18th December

The Fairy Knows

A boy went to the village shop but there was nothing he wanted there. He walked home through the woods, past a grassy mound known as the fairy knowe, and this reminded him of an old legend about the place. He was standing thinking about this when a girl came along the path towards him.

‘Hello,’ she said. ‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m looking for the door into fairyland,’ he said, laughing.

‘Oh,’ she said, ‘I know where that is. It’s hidden away. It’s not here.’

‘Show me,’ he said.

So she took him round the other side of the grassy mound where nobody could see them and she showed him the door into fairyland.

The next day he walked the same way, and there she was again. And again she took him away to fairyland through the hidden door.

Days became weeks, and weeks became months, and nobody but themselves knew about their meetings in the woods.

One day the boy did not appear. The girl waited. She returned the next day but he did not join her.

On the third day she was coming out of the village shop and the boy was there on the street.

‘Where have you been?’ she asked.

‘What is it to you where I’ve been?’

‘I waited for you at the fairy knowe, but you didn’t come, not today, yesterday or the day before.’

‘Then why did you wait? Do I have to see you every day?’

‘Do you not want to see me?’

‘Perhaps. But you are not the only person I know.’

‘Do you not want to go with me to fairyland?’

He laughed. ‘Oh, fairyland! What’s that?’

‘Do you not believe in fairyland any more?’

‘No. It’s just a story.’

‘But I showed you the door and let you in.’

‘That was a long time ago. I’ve grown up now.’

‘The first time we met, you laughed,’ she said. ‘You were happy. I made you happy.’

‘I’m happy now,’ he said.

She hurried away, to hide her tears from him. She thought, I will never take another boy to fairyland.

She did, in time. But she did not expect him to believe in it.

Reader: Hannah Visocchi
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
Piano: Kit Downes
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