nce upon a time, there was a kind fairy who lived with two pixies. Every month the fairy and the pixies would journey to the town square for market day. It was a long and arduous trip, especially accompanied by the pixies, who stopped to chase every butterfly and admire every unusual pebble along the way. However, it was well worth the journey as magic folk gathered from far and wide to buy, sell, barter and trade.
After a day's labor, all would congregate in the adjoining meadow for a picnic supper, a glass of mead and a chance to share news and gossip with old friends. The fairy looked forward to these monthly forays: it was lonely with only two mischievous pixies for company and she enjoyed seeing old schoolmates and other fairies who had known her in her youth . . . long before the pixies had arrived.
From the adult toadstool circle in the glen, the gentle fairy could see the elders holding forth from their down chairs, and the baby fairies dashing in and out of the throng. Beyond the groaning food tables, she could see the young fairies: they were making daisy chains, teasing each other good-naturedly, and sharing nectar served in acorn cups.
The fairy often gazed wistfully at the young fairies. She remembered being one of their number years ago, wearing a dandelion crown in the center of a laughing knot of friends. And what of the pixies? They might be seen perched on a low limb of a great tree, hurling acorns with astonishing accuracy at the elders' conference or off a-ways, absently plucking petals off wildflowers.
The fairy fancied excusing herself from the adults to ask the youngsters if her pixies could join them. But she never actually did. She could imagine the laughter abruptly ceasing, the daisy chains hastily put aside, nectar cups immediately set down. "Of course, they can come," the young fairies would answer. "They are welcome here," she knew they would say. But the magic spell of spontaneous friendships, of budding romances, of childhood games, would be broken.
The pixies might now have run out of acorns and be searching for other ammunition or already laying waste to an entire copse of flowers. "Come, children," the fairy would beckon. "My marketing is done and we have a long journey home."