Blythe yawned. She had long ceased to listen. Why did The Big Fairy Assembly always have to be so boring? Speech after speech, followed by another speech, every one of them tedious. The importance of the Fairy Order. The mishaps with the land of humans from the times before Fairy Order. It was the same every time. The story of how the first fairies—born eons ago from dew and mist—established the Fairy Order used to be interesting. But countless repetitions turned it into a snooze fest. Yes, Blythe understood. Following the Fairy Order was vital for every fairy. Following the Fairy Order was vital for the whole existence of the Fairyland. Without the Fairy Order there would be chaos and nobody wanted chaos in Fairyland. It would not do to have fairies wander about willy-nilly.
Fairies went to fairy school to learn the Fairy Order, and other useful knowledge. Once they passed the exams, they became of age and could get employment. They could be good luck fairies or bad luck fairies, casting good and bad fortunes in the land of humans. Or they could take up positions in the Fairyland.
Blythe understood it all.
She was but a young fairy, in her first year of fairy school. She had only glimpsed the land of humans twice. The first time through a magic window, the second time on a fairy school trip with her year, under the supervision of their wise matron. Under aged fairies weren’t permitted to enter the land of humans unaccompanied. Heavens know what mischief they’d get up to.
Blythe liked what she saw of the land of humans, but what fascinated her was the humans themselves. “They are so big!” she cried out. “And they have no wings! How do they get around?”
The wise matron patiently explained that humans developed for themselves inventions to help them get from place to place. Coaches driven by horses and donkeys, then trains and cars, ships to sail the waters and aeroplanes to fly the skies, later even spaceships. “Humans operate on a different space-time continuum,” the wise matron added. Blythe had no idea what a space-time continuum was, but she thought humans must have been very clever to come up with all those inventions.
She wished she could see the land of humans again. But the next outing wasn’t to take place for some time, and for now she had to sit through the dullness of the Big Fairy Assembly.
“Hey, Blythe!” A whisper came from somewhere on her left. It was Lori from her year, Blythe’s dearest sister fairy. “Do you want to come with me to the rainbow meadow?”
“But we can’t,” Blythe whispered back.
“I know how we can sneak out.”
Lori was true to her word. During the shuffle between different speakers, the two young fairies slipped out. They made their way to the rainbow meadow, their favourite spot, where flowers of all the colours of the rainbow grew, arranged in a colour spectrum. They played and frolicked between the flowers.
Soon, they were arguing.
Young fairies argue. Much like human children, they fall out one day and make up the next. One wants to play hide and seek, the other one wants a dance-off, you know how it goes. Lori, who was prone to sulking, turned her back on Blythe. In a dramatic fashion she stuck her little fairy nose up and flew to hide among the lilacs.
“Do what you please!” Blythe called after her. Who needed Lori anyway? Blythe could well amuse herself. Landing on a head of a daisy, she stood with one foot on tiptoe and did a pirouette.
That was when she saw it.
To be sure, the magic window to the land of humans had no business being open. Not without a guarding fairy to watch over it, at least. But even in a world as rigid as Fairyland, mistakes can still happen. Perhaps the guarding fairy on duty was rushing to the Assembly and forgot to close it. What did it matter to Blythe? An open window to the land of humans it was, and Blythe passed straight through it.
It was a warm night in the land of humans. Had this been a fairy school trip, the wise matron would have informed her pupils of the time and the place, but of course, it was not school trip, the wise matron was not here and Blythe couldn’t have known where and when she was. Only that it was a summer. She saw rows of human houses, and roads, and cars outside human houses. Some houses had lights in the windows, but majority of them were in the dark. Blythe descended to look through a window of one house. The window was ajar. Suppose she took a peek inside—only a little peek?
The room was quiet. Next to the wall opposite the window was a piece of furniture she knew from her lessons was a baby cot, and a human baby was in it. She landed on the side of the cot.
The human baby was asleep. How peaceful he looked! For Blythe had had by now enough of a fairy instinct to know it was a boy. Blythe bounced off the cot’s side and flew close to his face. She wondered what the baby’s eyes were like. If only he would open them for a few short seconds. What would happen if he woke up? Would he cry? The wise matron said human babies always cried. She didn’t want him to cry. What if she woke him up very gently, as not to scare him? She stretched her arms and touched his cheeks with her hands. “Hello, little human baby,” she whispered. With her index fingers, she gave the baby’s cheeks a little poke.
The human baby boy stirred but did not wake up. Blythe withdrew her hands from his face. She had to try something different. Maybe tickle him a bit? The wise matron said that humans laughed when you tickled them. Yes, she would do that. She landed on the baby’s belly.
She froze. There was a noise in the quiet house!
It was in truth nothing more than a rustle—one of the human family turning over in their bed, probably—but it was enough to frighten Blythe like nothing else had in her short fairy life. They got her! They would take her away and put her in fairy jail and she would never be able to graduate the fairy school!
She spread her wings and escaped out of the window back into the night.
Only when she reached the magic window did she realise nobody was chasing her. But her clandestine outing to the land of humans was over. She returned to Fairyland like a good little fairy.
“Blythe!” Lori’s voice called to her. “Oh Blythe, how I was afraid that you were angry and abandoned me!”
Blythe embraced her sister fairy. “Of course I haven’t, you are my best friend, Lori!” they held hands and fly-danced in a circle.
“Lori, we should go back to the Assembly,” Blythe said, her conscience troubling her.
Lori’s smile faded. “Yes, we should. Let’s go then.”
And so the two young mischievous fairies snuck back into the Assembly. Speeches were still going on and nobody seemed to have noticed their absence. How lucky I’ve been, Blythe thought. She thought of the little human baby boy asleep in his baby cot. No harm would come to him, unless she became a bad luck fairy. But being a bad luck fairy was never Blythe’s ambition.
From that moment on, she resolved to be a good little fairy who followed the Fairy Order to the dot. And she did. In time, she graduated the fairy school with flying colours and has, since then, cast many a good fortune in the land of humans.
Meanwhile, in the house in the land of humans, on the morning after Blythe’s nocturnal visit, the little baby boy awakened. His mother approached the cot. “Good morning.”
At the sight of his mum, the baby boy waved his little baby fists. “You had a good sleep, little darling?” As she lifted him out of the cot, his little legs were kicking.
She could only wonder what made him such a happy baby that morning!
From time to time, she indulged in a little human watching after finishing her work. This was allowed—she was by now an experienced fairy, and an efficient one. Though opportunities were scarce. Fairyland was as busy as ever, and in addition to her good luck fairy duties, she also helped out Lori at the fairy school.
She never forgot the little sleeping baby boy from that summer night. Thirty five years had passed in the land of humans. The little boy had grown into a handsome man and had become an actor.
She slipped into a room where two friends were watching a film in which he starred.
“Oh my god, look at that smile,” said one.
“Can you believe those dimples?” said the other.
Yes, she could believe those dimples.