The Patchwork Fairy
There was once a very beautiful fairy, made of satin and silks with a delicate, embroidered face and fine lace wings. Her name was Esmerelda and she was just perfect for the top of the christmas tree
Every year she was carefully unpacked and set upon the uppermost branch of the tree untill christmas was over. Then she was carefully wrapped in tissue paper and stored away until christmas came around again.
The fairy didn't mind her long sleep, she was happy to come out each year and sparkle. But as the years passed she began to lose her bloom. The embroidered face grew grubby. The fine lace on her wings torn and her dress became threadbare.
Untill one year when unwrapped Esmeralda was tossed aside and a bright shiny star put on the tree in her place. The poor fairy missed the bin she had been tossed at and landed face down in a box. As she lay there sobbing bitterly at the loss of her beauty and dignity she didn't realise what a lucky escape she had had. Though destined for the bin she had landed in a box of toys and clothes that had been sorted out for the local childrens christmas charity appeal
At the charity centre Esmeralda was lifted out of the box. "What a sorry excuse for a fairy, not much good for anything but the bin" said an impatient voice and Esmerelda felt herself flying through the air again. Suddenly she felt a strong hand wrap itself around her "Hold on a minute" said a gentle voice "I bet I can do something with her. Has to be worth a try anyhow" and she was popped into a deep bag.
Later that evening Esmerelda was taken out of the bag and found herself spinning round and round in a whirl of hot water and soap suds. Then hung up on an aerer above the fire by the hem of her dress. Poor Esmerelda, not understanding what was happening, felt very sorry for herself.
The next day when she was thoroughly dry she was taken down, her wings and dress removed and bright yellow, woollen hair sewed to her head. Her wings and satin dress were beyond repair so they were thrown away.
"I'll have to make you a new dress and wings. Well I have no satins or silks, we'll just have to see what we can do. Ah yes these will suffice" said the woman as she pulled from her sewing box a piece of red taffetta and a large piece of red and green tartan.
Esmerelda was horrified christmas tree fairies did not wear tartan and taffetta. But there was nothing she could do and she just watched helplessly as the woman fashioned fairy wings from the taffetta and a long dress from the tartan.
When they were finished the dress and the wings were sewn on to Esmerelda and she was placed onto a shelf. From where whe sat on the shelf Esmerelda could see herself in the hall mirror and she wept unconsolably at what she saw.
Now you or I would have seen a fine, handsome, fairy doll. But Esmerelda who thought of herself only as a christmas tree fairy saw a travesty of her former self "Just look at me" she cried "I'm nothing but an ugly patchwork fairy. Nobody will want to put me anywhere on their tree let alone at the top". She cried herself miserably to sleep sure that she would have been better off if they had put her in the bin.
The next day Esmerelda was returned to the charity centre and packed into a box, which was wrapped in golden paper and tied with a big red bow. On christmas morning Esmerelda awoke again and immediately started crying because she wasn't on the tree.
In a little while she heart the sound of voices and the presents around her being unwrapped. Very soon it was her turn. She heard the bow being untied and the paper ripped off. Then the box lid was tossed aside and she found herself looking at a sweet little girl.
Rather than the horror that Esmerelda expected to see at her ugliness the girl beamed the biggest smile that Esmerelda had ever seen. "Oh Mummy" she sighed "My own fairy doll. She is so beautiful". "Yes she is Kate said the girls mother. The little girl swept Esmerelda into her arms and rained down kisses on her head.
Esmerelda felt a tear in her eye and a warmth spreading out from her heart. "I love you" the little girl crooned "My beautiful fairy" and Esmerelda realised that she was beautiful and that she loved Kate too.
Over the years Kate and Esmerelda were inseperable. Wherever Kate went she took Esmerelda. Even when she started school she took Esmerelda in her bag. When she got too old to play with dolls Kate made a special place for Esmerelda on her dressing table. When Kate got married and left home she took Esmerelda with her. In a special chair that Kate had bought for her Esmerelda was given pride of place on the fireplace.
Her first year in her new house when Kate put up her christmas tree she bought a beautiful fairy to put on the tree. But Esmerelda knew it was just an ornament to be packed away once christmas was over. It would not take her place in Kate's heart.
Esmerelda felt sorry for the chrismas tree fairy and knew that she would not swap one day of her life with Kate for all of her former beauty. For whilst children might admire christmas tree fairy's they did not love them. Esmerelda was glad that she had become a patchwork faerie.
Faeries & Me / Faerie Origins / Faerie Tales 1 23
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