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A Little Fat Fairy Tale (Part Three)

The final chapter of the tale of ugliness, beauty, loss and love.

Late the next morning, when Mr Robin Redtummy sang outside her front door, the little fat fairy rolled out of bed, sleepy but excited! She showed the stately bird her dress, and the fireflies (whom he promised not to eat – he told her they gave him indigestion anyway). Mr Robin Redtummy was most impressed by the wonderful Daisy dress, and he wished the little fat fairy well, making her promise to tell him all about the ball the next morning.

Excitedly, answering the door to nobody except a Squiggle who brought her a sweet little nut for lunch, in return for a little woollen jumper he had ordered the week before, the little fat fairy got herself ready for the Royal Autumn Ball!

She bathed in her little hollow conker bath, adding bubbles of Violet essence and a touch of fairy dust to make her skin glitter. She brushed her little mop of dull brown hair until it shone, and the fireflies made themselves comfortable in a little circlet of firelight around her brow, twinkling and pretty. She carefully slid on her beautiful Daisy dress, fastening it well and admiring the swirls and glow in the soft gloom of the little treehouse. At last she was ready!

Anxious not to be seen by anybody until she got to the Palace at Diamond City, she covered herself in her old brown hooded cloak, so that when she arrived at the Royal Autumn Ball, she would fit in with everybody there, instead of having people stare at her on the way. Making herself as small as possible, she squeezed and squashed herself into the corner of one of the Squiggle-drawn flower-laden carts by the Crystal Fountain. They were leaving from the Happy Banana Hollow square to take the party fairies to the Diamond City. Keeping her head down, she listened to all the fairies chattering, and looked at their splendid dresses, most of which she had made herself, and wished her Daisy friend could have come with her. And do you know, every time she thought about her Daisy friend, her heart felt just that little bit warmer, and so did her wings where the gleaming Daisy dust was twinkling! The little fat fairy felt like the Daisy was with her after all, in a way.

The stories of past Royal Autumn Balls that the little fat fairy heard would make whole new stories on their own, so I cannot tell you of them here, but by the time the carts arrived at the Diamond City Palace, she was so excited she could barely sit still! Everybody rolled out of the carts and ran and flew themselves up the shining silver steps towards the Great Ballroom, laughing and giggling and shouting to friends to see their fine garments and new dance steps. The little fat fairy, suddenly overcome with shyness stayed squashed into her little corner of the cart, under a bunch of Buttercups hanging from the edge.

“Little Fairy!” said a voice. She peered out in surprise from her brown hood, and saw the Squiggle for whom she had made the red jumper, winking at her.

“Aren’t you going into the Ball, Little Fairy? I hear you have the most marvellous dress to wear. It would be a shame to waste it by staying out here in the cart.”

The little fat fairy blushed, and wriggled out of the corner, and out of the cart. She stood next to the Squiggle, who undid her cloak for her. She carefully pulled down her hood and took it off, handing it to the Squiggle.

“Dear Squiggle,” she asked. “Would you please look after my cloak for me until I come back out?”

The Squiggle took the cloak from her, admiring the fine dress and twinkling fireflies. He grinned at her, and gave her a little push towards the steps of the Palace.

“Go on, now. Go on! We are waiting to hear all about it, and we cannot until you have been in!”

And so, shyly and excitedly, the little fat fairy began to walk up the shining steps into the Palace. Everybody was already in the Great Ballroom, dancing and laughing and japing about with one another. She could hear they were all having the most marvellous time! The music of the Grasshoppers and Elves came spilling down the satiny-silver steps towards her, making her want to pick up her little fat feet and raise her little fat hands, and dance to the happy rhythms and melodies. The lanterns of sun-stars and moonbeams lit the way, shining off the night-flowering jasmine that lined the walkways with soft-smelling blooms and ivy trails.

As she reached the top of the grand staircase, the Great Ballroom came into view. And oh! What a sight! Great tall fairies with laces cascading zoomed and flitted around the room, chasing each other first one way, and then another; groups of the most elegant noble fairies stood around in deep conversation, their fineries from distant lands showing their wealth; the musicians played and danced at the same time, twinkling jigs and weaving spells with the most marvellous tunes that was everything everybody wanted to hear all at once; little Sprites darted in amongst folk, laden with nectar juices, blueberry wine, and the tastiest morsels of food that Magic could find in all its lands; and right at the front of the Great Ballroom were three Great Thrones, upon which sat the Fairy King, the Fairy Queen, and the Fairy Prince.

The little fat fairy was overwhelmed with so many sights and sounds and smells! She didn’t know where to look or what to listen for next! She stood there in the Grand Entranceway, having completely forgotten herself as she stared wide-eyed in wonder at as much as she could!

Suddenly, she felt a hand on her arm and voice in her ear.

“Oh, my dear Little Fairy! How wonderful to see you! Won’t you join us? What a marvellous dress you have on, the finest I have ever seen! But of course, you have made it yourself, so why would it not be! Come, and greet my wife! She will be so pleased to see you.” It was Sir Rowanberry Cloudburst himself, the fine gentleman who once said of the little fat fairy that she had, “a smile that cuts through the rain like sunbeams breaking through to make a rainbow.”

He kept a tight hold of the little fat fairy’s hand, and carefully led her through the swirling dances of the fairies to the far side of the Ballroom, close to where the Thrones were. There, the little fat fairy saw a group of the most austere-looking fairies she had ever seen in her life! They were watching the dancers, and remarking on how the younger fairies of today were very narrow-minded in what they thought good manners were, and wasn’t it a pity that many of them could not speak civilly to one another, instead preferring to insult and poke fun at each other, rather than sharing nice comments or beautiful spells.

“It simply isn’t Fairylike,” said tall, thin Baronet Von Hazelshrubber, dressed in deep red satin with black lace trim, peering around the Ballroom through a monocle.

“No, no, I quite agree,” said Lady Willow Larch, dressed in amethyst organza and dewdrops.

“Gentlefairies,” said Sir Rowanberry. “Allow me to introduce to you this lovely Little Fairy. She makes the most beautiful clothes in all of Fairyland, you know.”

The little fat fairy stood there clutching Sir Rowanberry’s large hand, as these tall, stern fairies looked down at her. She felt herself blushing as they regarded her in silence for a moment. They looked her up and down, taking in her short, squat, roly-poly puddin’ and pie shape covered with the soft Daisy green bodice and the diamond and emerald gems, and her little brown mop of hair glinting with fireflies, her rounded potato nose and wobbly tummy covered with the soft glowing swirly petals, and fat little arms and legs peeking out of the lovely dress.

She smiled at them, desperately. Just a little smile. But it was definitely a smile! Instantly, the whole group were smiling back at her!

“What a wondrous, smiley sight you are for these old eyes, Little Fairy,” said Baronet Von Hazelshrubber. “I do believe you made my jacket, did you not?” The little fat fairy smiled up at him shyly and nodded.

“Little Fairy,” said Lady Poppy Cloudburst, gliding towards her to take her other hand. “This is the most wonderful evening! Here we are, dressed in all our finery, and the one who made us look so wonderful is here to enjoy it too!”

Lady Poppy, in her beautiful dove-grey satin studded with moon beads that the little fat fairy had worked so hard on, and Lady Willow, in her rustling amethyst, took her round to meet noble fairies and folk of the towns where they came from, and people from not only Fairyland, but Elvendom, the Wondrous Waters of the Western Seas, and even a small group of Boggles from the Northern Climes of Outer Westerwyke.

And all the while, fairies of Happy Banana Hollow who came across her in their dance or games or whilst they ate, would stop the little fat fairy and thank her for their clothes, and twirl around for her to see how well they fitted, and they all told her how marvellous it was to see her there in her most beautiful dress! The little fat fairy was even persuaded to join in a simple dance with the three poor fairies who lived in the Old Tin Can down in Woodsmoke Row! She saw the mean school fellows now and again, still laughing at her from behind their elegant fans and whispering about her, but every time they did, she would be distracted by another well-wisher, and carried on dancing with the most beautiful smile on her little round face!

Looking down from the Thrones, the Fairy King, the Fairy Queen, and the Fairy Prince watched the Ball happily, sometimes descending from the dais to dance or greet people. It was just as the Fairy Prince thought he might like another dance with a most becoming fairy from the eastern reaches of Fairyland, that the little fat fairy caught his eye. Stumbling and giggling over her dance steps, dressed in the prettiest dress he had seen all evening, with fireflies twinkling in her hair, he watched as the most beautiful smiles lit up her face. He called over one of his friends who had been speaking with one of the little fat fairy’s dancing group.

“Who is that little darling Daisy fairy?" asked the Fairy Prince.

“Apparently, Your Highness, she is a seamstress from Happy Banana Hollow. She is very popular, I believe,” replied Sir Gorsemither. “It is said that she has the most beautiful smile, the most beautiful spirit, and the most beautiful heart in all of Fairyland. And I also heard that she can sew garments that fit a fairy like a second skin. I believe her mother used to make clothes for Her Highness, the Queen.”

“Hmmmm…” said the Fairy Prince, thinking. “Who makes Mother’s clothes now? And who makes mine? Surely not this little Daisy fairy; this jacket is positively wonky!”

“I believe, Your Highness, that the Royal Clothes are brought in from Elvendom these days.”

“Hmmmm…” said the Fairy Prince, thinking. “I believe I shall change that, then.” And he got up from his Throne and descended into the crowds towards where the little fat fairy was sharing some blueberry wine and forget-me-not creams with her new friends.

The little fat fairy’s mean school fellows tried to place themselves in the Fairy Prince’s path, simpering and giggling and fluttering their eyelashes at him. But to their dismay, he swept straight past them, and headed for the little fat fairy, who, at that moment, had forget-me-not cream on her rounded nose and was laughing with Lady Poppy and Lady Willow about how she couldn’t manage to remember the dance steps, but she could always remember how to make very complicated cakes.

All the fairies in the group saw the Fairy Prince approach, and swept him the deepest curtsies they could manage.

“Ladies, Gentlemen, I have come to meet one of your number. I hear there is a great seamstress among you.”

Everybody looked at the little fat fairy.

The little fat fairy looked at the floor, blushing hotly.

“I hear, “said the Fairy Prince, “that this great seamstress has the most beautiful smile, the most beautiful spirit, and the most beautiful heart in all of Fairyland.”

“That is indeed correct, Your Highness,” said Lord Rowanberry. “Allow me to introduce to you one of the greatest gems in all of Happy Banana Hollow!” And he pulled the little fat fairy forward so that she stood in front of the Fairy Prince.

Now, it is at this point that you will be thinking that the Fairy Prince fell deeply in love with the little fat fairy as they gazed into each others’ eyes, but this is a fairy tale, as you know, so the truth must be told. And the truth is this: the little fat fairy was not the Fairy Prince’s True Love, nor was the Fairy Prince the little fat fairy’s True Love. Oh no, dear Reader, those are two different fairy tales altogether! But back to this Fairy Tale.

The little fat fairy stood blushing in front of the Fairy Prince as he looked at her keenly. He wiped the smudge of forget-me-not cream from her little rounded nose with a silken handkerchief.

“What is your name, Little Darling Daisy Fairy?” he asked.

The little fat fairy looked at the floor and shuffled nervously.

“I… I don’t really know, Your Highness.”

“What do you mean?” the Fairy Prince frowned. “Everybody has a name!”

“Well…” the little fat fairy was embarrassed. “I don’t really remember it. Most people call me Little Fat Fairy, or just Little Fairy. I don’t know if even my mother remembers what my name is, I have been called that for so long.”

“Tsk!” exclaimed the Fairy Prince. “This is no good! You must have a name!”

“What about ‘Giggles’?” asked Lady Poppy.

“Or ‘Smiley’?” asked Lady Willow.

“Or ’Rainbow’?” asked Sir Rowanberry.

“No, no,” said the Fairy Prince. “I know! We shall call you Daisy! On account of your splendid dress! You look like a lovely little round darling Daisy, dancing in a meadow of sunshine in June.”

“Oh, Your Highness,” gasped the little fat fairy. “I shall have to check with my wonderful Daisy friend if it is alright to have the same name. After all, it would be awful to get confused, and all my customers were to go to the Wide Open Space and ask my friend for dresses instead of me! And perhaps Daisy would not want me to have the same name.”

“Quite right, Daisy Darling,” said the Fairy Prince. “Tomorrow, you must go and check if we may call you Daisy too, but make sure you do, for I shall call you Daisy Darling until I hear otherwise. Now, let us have some more dancing!”

The rest of the evening passed by in a swirl of dancing, and plum puffs, and moonshine ale, and vast amounts of giggling. There was a beautiful firework display, and a formation flypast of the Golden Eagles, lit up with sun dust on their wings. It was very late when the fairies began to leave for home, stumbling and laughing their tired but merry way down the silver steps of the Palace to their carts.

The Fairy Prince sought out the little fat fairy before she left, and kissed her hand and her cheek, whispering to her to mind that she checked with her Daisy friend if they could share the name.

“Farewell, Daisy Darling,” he whispered in her ear. “I shall send for you next week, for I need a new suit of royal blue silk with golden trim. I believe I shall be needing to impress a certain lady who lives east of here soon, and I want to look my best!”

The little fat fairy nodded and smiled and curtsied sleepily, and climbed into the cart, snuggling down in the corner amidst the Buttercups and tired partygoers, with her brown cloak the Squiggle had kept warm for her wrapped round her.

She remembered nothing of the journey home, and nothing of hanging up her Daisy dress and getting into her own bed. She only remembered waking up thinking she had just dreamed the most delicious dream. And then she remembered! It wasn’t a dream at all!

She leapt out of bed and quickly wiggled into her old overall, blowing a kiss to the sleepy fireflies in the hearth, and ran as fast as she could through Anchor Wood, past Primrose Hollow, and to the Wide Open Space, so that she could see Daisy and tell all that she had seen, and heard, and done at the Royal Palace in Diamond City!

She reached the Wide Open Space, panting and wheezing (little fat fairies shouldn’t overdo exercise until they are used to it, you know). She stood, looking round frantically. Where on earth was Daisy? She looked under tree roots, and bushes, and even went as close to the Big People house as she dared, but she couldn’t see Daisy anywhere! She went back to the spot where Daisy had always stood, and suddenly realised something terrible.

The grass where Daisy had always stood was short. Very short. And in the exact spot where the little fat fairy had last hugged Daisy, there was just a little dark green patch. And… nothing else.

The little fat fairy stood there, not knowing what to do. Suddenly, she heard a flittering of wings. Mr Robin Redtummy flew down and stood beside her.

“Oh, Mr Robin,” said the little fat fairy. “Have you seen my Daisy friend? I have such wonderful tales to share about how everybody loved my Daisy dress, and the dancing, the food, and the Prince says I must ask if I may share the name of Daisy with Daisy, but I can’t ask because… well… where is Daisy?”

Mr Robin Redtummy looked sadly at the little fat fairy.

“Little Fairy,” he said kindly. “Did you not know that yesterday was Gardening Day for the Big People?”

“No,” replied the little fat fairy. “What is that?”

“It means,” said Mr Robin, “that they cut down the grass and the Daisies. Your Daisy friend isn’t here any more, and cannot come back.”

“Oh… oh oh oh….” The little fat fairy sank to the ground and burst into tears! Her wonderful friend had gone and could never come back! Her friend that had spoken so kindly to her, and told her truths, and given her beautiful petals and a green collar to make her dress, and made her wings shimmer, and made her heart smile, could never come back and hear what a wonderful change had happened in the little fat fairy’s life because of the Daisy!

“There, there,” said the kindly Mr Robin, patting the little fat fairy with his wing, which made her cry all the more because that was what Daisy had done! He swept a piece of moss towards her so that she could dry her tears and blow her nose.

“Daisy cannot come back,” Mr Robin said, “But Daisy will always live in you. Not only do you have your Daisy dress, but your wings shimmer with Daisy sun, and your heart smiles, and you know you don’t need to hide from anybody any more! Don’t you think it would be the most wonderful thing for Daisy to know, that you kept your friend alive in your heart and smiled at the world because of it?”

The little fat fairy nodded, sniffing.

“But to lose a friend hurts my heart even more than people calling me fat and ugly,” she said.

“That is true,” said the kindly Mr Robin. “But our hearts are made bigger when we have friends, and to not miss them when they aren’t here any more means that they never really had a place in our hearts at all! You loved your Daisy friend, and your Daisy friend loved you. The best thing you can do is to be as good a friend to others as Daisy was to you, and that way, a part of Daisy will always be alive.”

“You are right, Mr Robin,” said the little fat fairy. “But I cannot ask if it is alright to be called Daisy too.”

“Oh, my dear, “said Mr Robin. “I think you will find Daisy would be very, very proud for you to share the same name. Now, let us go back to the Twisted Acorn Nookery, because I believe there is a letter addressed to “Daisy Darling” there, and if I am not very much mistaken, there is an order inside it for some new clothes to be made for a certain Prince.”

Pausing for a moment, the little fat fairy got on her hands and knees and kissed the spot where Daisy had lived. Then she squeezed her piece of moss, and sparkling gems of diamond and emerald tumbled out and made a shining pile, glinting in the sun.

“I will never forget you, Daisy,” she whispered. “Thank you for being my friend. I will always keep you in my heart.”

And so the little fat fairy and Mr Robin Redtummy returned to the Twisted Acorn Nookery.

In the days that followed, it became known that Daisy Darling of Twisted Acorn Nookery had not only the most beautiful smile, the most beautiful spirit, and the most beautiful heart in all of Fairyland, but she was the warmest friend, too, and never hid herself away. Of course, there were always those who were mean or jealous or silly and cruel, but they were told very smartly to go away and come back when they could behave themselves politely.

And thereafter, every wonderful garment or hat or slipper or parasol or brooch or frill or frippery that was made by Daisy Darling’s hands, had somewhere, hidden in a corner or under a tuck, a tiny little embroidered Daisy that mysteriously glowed under the moonlight if one took it out and looked.
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