Many years ago, I wrote a handful of stories for parents to read to their children.  They were intended to be interesting enough to hold the attention of a child, but entertaining enough (with jokes, puns, and other wordplay) that adults would enjoy them as well.  I never did anything with those stories.  Until now.

Since I cannot write as work while I am on unemployment, I have started revisiting these stories and tailoring them to my grandchildren.  They are not deep, inspiring, or instructive, but I think that you may find them fun to read.  So, for your reading pleasure, I offer


A Fairly Tale

You’ve probably read some fairy tales at one point or another in your life.  I don’t like fairy tales, because they have people like kings and wicked queens and woodsmen, and porridge and glass slippers and other things I have never seen in my life.  I like stories to be about things I can understand.  And why do people call them fairy tales?  Most of them don’t even have fairies in them!  I know about the fairy godmother, but whoever made up that story didn’t know a fairy from a pumpkin.

So I wanted to set the record straight—oh, please forgive me, the youngsters won’t understand me if I write like that!—I wanted to set the iPod straight.  There are fairies here in the New World, and you’ve probably known one or two yourself.  I know one quite well, for she lives near where I grew up in the Catskill Mountains.  (There used to be cats there, but they are all gone for some reason.) 

You may have met this fairy yourself along the way.  For a time, she was the First Assistant Tooth Fairy for all of New York State, and she did a fine job, except for the time she left a Canadian Loonie under Dawson Baker’s pillow when she meant to leave an American dollar.  (She always thought that she must have gotten that coin from a Canada goose, but actually we have a lot of loonies in our mountains.)

One day, this fairy bought a lottery ticket and won a million dollars in American money and decided to travel across the ocean and visit the Old World while she was still young.  She started in England but got mad and went to Ireland instead.  There she met a leprechaun, and fell in love, and got married, and had twins, and I’ll tell you more about them later if you are still reading.

But then our fairy got homesick (she was really only allergic to the curtains, but she thought it was the whole house making her itch.)  So she used the last of her money to return to the New World, and made a home under a maple tree in a sugar bush near my house.  If you don’t know, a sugar bush is one sweet place to live!  When a whole lot of Maples live on the same street, (or avenue, or drive,) the saps who make pancake syrup call that a sugar bush, but this fairy just called it her home, sweet home.

She was out of money and looking for a job, but her life was full of excitement because of her daughter Stephanie, who came with her from Ireland, and I’m glad she did, because she’s the one I really want to tell you about.  I only told about her mother because she’s going to be in the stories too, so you needed to meet her.

Stephanie was a fairly.  No, I didn’t misspell that; she was a fairly.  Since her mother (you know about her) was a fairy, and her father was a leprechaun, Stephanie turned out to be a little bit of both, so her parents called her a fairly.  (Now, I know a particularly smart girl named Emilie who remembers the story so far and wants to know about the other twin, and she’s not very patient so I’ll tell that part next.)

Stephanie had a twin brother named Winston, who lived with his father in Ireland.  And was Winston a fairly too?  No, don’t be silly!  Since his father was a leprechaun and his mother was a fairy, he was a leprefaun.  (That may be a hard word to say, but I know good readers like Joshua can do it.)  And Stephanie and Winston were not identical twins, so we should be able to tell them apart during our stories.

Since Winston stayed in the Old World with his father, I never met him, though I might someday when I’m in my 60’s or 70’s.  But I know Stephanie fairly well, because she lived near my house and I liked to look for nuts in the sugar bush.  (I know, it’s crazy!  If I wanted to find lots of nuts I should go to Washington, D.C., or maybe to Canada; but I was too sensible to do that.)  So I went to the sugar bush, and I met Stephanie, and the stories I will tell you in the weeks to come will be about her and her fairly exciting life.

I hope to see you soon with the next chapter of what I call my “Fairly Tales”.

Illustration courtesy graphic artist Sharon Dahl.  Thank you!