A Fractured Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there lived two fairy princesses that were created by a commune of ancient fairies.

It was a terrible commune. No one was in charge, and decades would go by without anyone planting crops because everyone was too busy singing and dancing. Nevertheless, they were filled with love and good intentions, and wished very much that they had a new fairy in their group, a baby. After consulting several ancient texts and with much cooperation, they were finally able to grow a rare plant that produced one giant flower, and when that flower opened, they saw it contained a perfect baby with elfin ears and golden, shimmering hair. They named her Shemena, which means Shining One.

For a while, the baby brought the fairy commune together. Food was abundant and everyone shared the chores. Shemena never learned to walk because the fairies loved her so much, they took turns holding her day and night. While one danced with the baby in their arms, the other fairies would prepare the meals and make repairs around the commune. At least, most of the time they did.

Delighted by their first success, the fairies tried another Baby Plant. As it grew, there also grew in the commune a sense of anxiety and discontent. Whose turn was it to feed the quails? Why weren’t there any fresh towels? How did the guinea pigs get into the strawberry patch again? …and so on. There was so much to do and most of it was boring and very un-fairylike!

When the time grew near for the second flower to bloom, there was great joy and celebration, but this time there was also serious feeling among the group. Maybe, the fairies whispered to each other, this was a mistake? Maybe we should consider a Transplant?

A Transplant is where a fairy child is placed into a human family. The humans are enchanted to believe that they made the child, but of course, they didn’t. Once with humans, a fairy child will quickly grow into a bigger, human size and look almost exactly like a regular human. Over time, a fairy can take on almost all the characteristics of a human, including their lifespan. The earlier they are Transplanted, the more complete the transformation from fairy to human.

Transplanting is very serious business. Left to grow among their own kind, fairies can live hundreds of years. Fairies are somewhat solitary creatures, which is why the commune was so exceptional, but they have no crime and get sick very rarely. There are no rich fairies, no poor fairies, and no fairy fences. A fairy life is a good life, if you can survive past childhood.

The problem is, many don’t. As parents, they are distractible and prone to daydreaming; sometimes they even forget that they have a child! Humans, on the other hand, have a high tolerance for boredom, and are forever planting crops, doing laundry, washing dishes, and keeping kids safe and clean. That’s why Transplants are much more common than you might realize. You yourself might be a Transplant. Do you sometimes feel like you came from another planet? Do humans seem a bit absurd to you? Are your ears a bit…pointy? Do you daydream and cry more than others? Do you watch a lot of nature shows? These are all signs that you might have started life as a fairy.

Shemena’s fairies gathered around the Baby Plant under a full moon one night to decide what to do. With much sorrow, they decided that their Shining One and the new one would be better with humans. “But not boring ones!” cried the fairy currently holding her. “Make sure there’s…art. And music. Just make sure she gets those things.”

“Okay, music and art. What else? Does anyone else have requests?” said the oldest fairy, somewhat impatiently. She would be the one to find a human mother. The Plants had not been her idea in the first place and she was least attached.

One by one, Shemena and the Plant were given blessings.

“Great legs!” said one.

“Biting wit,” said another with a low laugh.

“Empathy,” a small voice added. “And feeling.”

Then the old fairy’s turn came. Shaking her head spitefully, she said,

“May you live in interesting times.”

At this all the fairies trembled, and many of them began to weep.

Just then a wise young fairy came from behind a toadstool and said: “Do not grieve, my friends. I cannot undo what our comrade has done; the babies shall indeed live in interesting times, but I have not given them their final blessings. To them I give, Humor.”

With this, the flower opened, and in the moon’s light there glimmered a silvery baby girl. The two girls were whisked away and delivered to a beautiful young woman who lived in what looked like a commune (the old fairy didn’t ask too many questions). Their mother knew one was called “Shemena” but could not remember why she had chosen that name. To the other one she gave the name “Sarah”, which means Princess. Sarah was completely at home among humans, having been Transplanted right away, but Shemena always knew deep down that she also belonged to a different world. Because she was a late Transplant, she retained her fairy sense of justice she’d learned early on, and unfortunately, she also retained her fairy teeth.

They grew up had their own babies, some with their pointy ears, and they did loads and loads and loads of human laundry and human dishes, but always, there was music and art and most of all, laughter.

The end.

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