Once upon a time, there was a little fairy named Juneberry.
She lived in a magical boot-shaped house.
She lived there with her father, Mr. Fairy, and six sisters, Honeywell, Cecilia, Peachpit, Tamtam, Sisel and Mima. Oh, and their pet caterpillar, Spot. Not surprisingly, Juneberry’s mother had passed away many years ago.
Spot liked Juneberry best and followed her everywhere.
Juneberry was a curious little fairy, and sometimes she liked to go exploring. She wandered farther and farther from her house every day. One day, while she was out looking for adventure, adventure found her. It came in the form of a horse-drawn camper. Driving the camper were two girls. They were quite surprised when they encountered Juneberry, for they had never laid eyes on a fairy before.
Soon they saw that Juneberry was a perfectly sweet girl and that Spot meant no harm, so they introduced themselves. They were traveling bakers named Lara and Tracy; Lara with the orange braids was in charge of keeping the oven running and full of wood, and Tracy made the cherry pies. When the bakers offered Juneberry a slice of pie, she accepted enthusiastically.
While Tracy warmed up a pie, Lara told Juneberry that they were on their way to Happyland. “What’s Happyland?” asked Juneberry. “You mean, you’ve never heard of Happyland? It’s where everyone lives!” said Lara. “It’s the only town in the world!”
Lara explained, and Juneberry listened intently and felt her curiosity growing. “I would love to see this Happyland!” she said. “Well, we can take you with us, if you like,” said Lara. “Thank you! I would love to go!” Juneberry said. “But first I need to tell my father that I’m leaving. Would you like to meet my family?” “Oh, yes,” Lara said. “Did you hear that, Tracy? Juneberry is coming with us to Happyland, but first we’re going to visit her family.”
They ate some pie and then started traveling deeper into the woods, with Juneberry giving directions to her house.
When they arrived at the boot house, Mr. Fairy greeted the bakers warmly and shared with them some dandelion tea; Tracy, of course, offered some cherry pie. Juneberry’s sisters were all very curious and eager to hear the bakers’ stories. The atmosphere at the boot house was joyous indeed.
But when Juneberry told her father about her plan to go to Happyland, he got very serious. “Juneberry, may I speak to you for a second?” he said, and excused himself from the table. He led Juneberry into the house. “I need to speak to you privately,” he said, and they went upstairs.
“Now that we’re alone, I wanted to tell you that Happyland can be a dangerous place for a fairy.” “How do you know?” asked Juneberry. “Have you been there before, Father?” Mr. Fairy sighed and nodded. “Yes, Juneberry, I have.” “When?” “A very long time ago, before you were born. Before any of you were born. And I can tell you that humans are not all nice like fairy folk.” “I don’t think all fairy folk are nice. Mima’s not very nice, for example. The other day, she stole my—” “Yes, yes, Juneberry. Of course fairies are not perfect either. But humans are capable of doing terrible things to one another, and to those they see as different from them.” Father and daughter looked at each other in silence. Finally, Mr. Fairy sighed. “I can see in your face that you are determined to go. I will not stop you, but please remember my words. Be careful.” “I will, Father,” said Juneberry.
Lara and Tracy had packed up the camper and were ready to set off. Mr. Fairy gathered all his daughters to say good-bye to his youngest. Juneberry gazed at the faces of her beloved sisters and felt a sadness that was new to her. She had never left her family before. But she knew she would never forgive herself if she missed out on this adventure. Finally she puffed up her chest and said, “Good-bye, sisters! Good-bye, father!” Spot whined pathetically. “Oh, Spot,” said Juneberry. “I’m so sorry you can’t come with me. But Sisel and Cecilia will take care of you, don’t worry. Good-bye!”
And off she went.
TO BE CONTINUED
(Sets by Nica and Ham)