Apricot sat on a toadstool and watched the other fairies play; some of them hovered over the holly bush while the others played hide and seek amongst the frost covered long grass. Being the only fairy without wings, Apricot was often alone. She couldn’t keep up with the others as they flew around, flitting and gambolling. The more she lagged behind, the more they teased her.
Crestfallen, the tiny fairy hopped down from her toadstool and headed off for home. She was confused and hurt…why hadn’t she got wings, what made her so different from the others?
Day after day the Elders had told her that having no wings made her very special and she should celebrate the fact that she was unique, but nothing consoled little Apricot: she was different and that is all she knew.
Everywhere she looked there were wings: glistening, and shimmering, splendid, sparkling wings, wings of all shapes, sizes and colours, beautiful as they were they just added to Apricot’s disappointment and frustration.
Finally, one day Apricot could stand it no longer. She decided that she had to leave her Glen and go in search of some wings. There must be a pair for her somewhere, she just had to go and look for them.
She packed up some honey nectar and dewdrop tea and headed on her way. Quietly she tiptoed out of the house and warily scampered over the grass. She hadn’t thought it would be so dark or so cold, but the big full moon was the lantern that lit her way and off she went in search of her very own pair of wings.
Hurrying along, she headed towards the forest; there were so many mystical creatures which her elders had warned her about. They had powers which they could use for good or bad, and just maybe if she asked nicely they would help her to find some wings.
It felt that she had been walking for hours when she saw the shadow of an old house looming in the distance. Apricot was a little afraid as she knew that humans lived in houses; she also knew that fairies and humans didn’t mix.
Very soon the dark sky gave way to the midnight blue of dawn as Apricot found an old, cracked terracotta flowerpot lying on its side. She climbed inside, and with no wings to wrap around her, she laid down shivering before she quickly fell asleep.
As the sunshine of the new day glinted on the flowerpot, a beautiful green and purple dragonfly focused on the tiny sleeping figure. Apricot was nestled up against the far side of her flowerpot and the dragonfly crawled a bit nearer to get a closer look.
“Little one, wake up.” murmured the dragonfly.
Apricot stirred, she rubbed her eyes and looked around her. It took her a moment or two to remember that she wasn’t at home in the Glen. She was very cold and hungry and sitting in a flowerpot.
“Nice to meet you, my name is Krystal,” the dragonfly whispered, interrupting the fairy’s thoughts.
“Oh, you scared me!” exclaimed Apricot. “My name is Apricot and I am not little, I just don’t have any wings”.
“Pardon me, I do apologise”, stammered Krystal, “welcome to my home”.
The little fairy and the dragonfly looked at each other curiously trying to decide if they could be friends or if Apricot would be sent away. Suddenly, Apricot remembered her wings (or lack of them) and confided in Krystal. She had to be on her way: she wasn’t going to find her wings chatting in a flowerpot.
“Stay,” said Krystal. “I promise to help you find your wings if you will let me”.
“Would you really?” asked Apricot, she was so happy inside. She had a new friend and she hoped that with Krystal helping her, she would soon be able to have her wings and return to the Fairy Glen.
Together the friends shared a breakfast from Apricot’s little bag and, after sipping the last of the dewdrop tea, decided that they should go in search for wings. They didn’t know where to start but they were determined.
The weather had changed and under heavy, snowy clouds, the two searched in many places. They spoke to many mystical animals but nobody knew where to find wings, not ones that would suit a little fairy like Apricot. Sadly, the pair decided to return to their flowerpot, it had been a long day and they were both very tired. Maybe tomorrow, Apricot would have some luck.
Before they could reach the human’s garden and their flowerpot, the first flakes of winter snow fell and Krystal stopped to look up into the dark sky as the snow got heavier. Weary and with a heavy heart, Krystal headed back to her flowerpot with Apricot. She knew that her time was coming and there was nothing she could do.
Once back in their flowerpot, Krystal lay down. She was so tired now and her beautiful body was cold. Apricot, noticed that Krystal seemed troubled and weak.
“Krystal, what is happening to you? Get up Krystal, please get up”.
The dragonfly hinted at a faint smile. “I can’t little one, I am old and tired, the snow is here and I must leave. I am sorry I couldn’t stay, I am sorry we couldn’t find your wings”.
“No, no, no, please don’t leave me”, begged Apricot “I don’t need wings, I just need you. I will stay and take care of you, but please don’t leave me, not now”.
Apricot sunk to the ground. She put her arms around the neck of the dragonfly and with her tears falling on the beautiful wings of her friend, Krystal went to sleep forever.
The little fairy felt so lonely and very sad as the moon cast a light over the lifeless body of her friend. She peered outside watching the snow silently falling and she sobbed until finally her tears gave way to sleep.
Suddenly, Apricot awoke from her fretful slumber. She felt strange and it frightened her, she didn’t know what was happening as she felt a prickling on her back, a pulling and prodding as two sets of beautiful wings emerged: Krystal’s wings.
As the wings hovered behind her, Apricot turned her head first over her left shoulder and then her right, admiring her new wings. They were so beautiful, everything that she ever hoped they would be. They were a kaleidoscope of shimmering rainbow colours. For Apricot, there were so many questions: How? Why? Where did they come from? As she realised, that Krystal had gone, tears ran down her little cheeks: she understood…..
The wings were Krystal’s final gift to her, she had kept her promise.
With one last look around the flowerpot, Apricot realised there was nothing for her here. She headed off into the snowy night and with a flick of her wings, the little fairy was airborne at last and heading for home.
©Tracey Louise Marinelli