A Fairy Tale

By Andrew Looney

Once upon a time, deep in the forest, far from where human feet ever trod, there lived a gentle fairy named Petula. She lived in a tiny house overlooking a small pond. Tall plants stood all around her house. In the spring, flowers bloomed atop these plants, surrounding her house in a symphony of beautiful colors - red, yellow, purple, blue, pink. The lush green plants were soft to sit on and lovely to look at. She had a large yard of thick, dark green moss, where she would often spread a blanket for picnic lunches. Further out from her house stood enormously tall trees, stretching miles into the sky, so thick that it took almost an hour to walk around them.

The pond was beautiful and still. There was a dock that extended into the pond from Petula's house, and tied to the dock was a tiny rowboat. Petula would often float about the pond in the warm summer evenings, listening to the gentle humming of the insects. Sometimes, she would send floating candles out into the water, tiny candles of bright colors, small and light enough to float on the water. These candles would drift off into the pond, floating between the lily pads and water plants, and would reflect off the still surface of the water as the evening faded into darkness.

In the fall and winter, it was colder. The leaves turned to brown and yellow and red, and fell from the tall tall trees. Petula cast magical fairy spells to keep the huge leaves from falling on her house, and they drifted to either side, landing in the pond or just beyond her yard. The flowers that gave her yard such color and filled her small house with sweet fragrances closed up for the winter. Petula would build a fire in her fireplace, and locking her doors and shutting her windows up tight, she settled in for the wait until spring.

In the winter, Petula wore warm fuzzy sweaters and robes, carefully folding her graceful fairy wings up behind her back. She sat by the fire, brushing out her long, long golden hair. She did a lot of reading, and sometimes she watched a little television. But she felt very lonely in the winter. In the summer, she could run about outside, and float in her rowboat. But in the winter, she had little to do. She watched the snow pile up outside her window.

Then one day, she met a pixie named Alexander, at the Supermarket. Alexander was a handsome pixie, and Petula was fond of him at once. So, she invited Alexander to her house for tea.

The next day, Petula and Alexander sat by the fire, drinking tea and eating toast with butter and small round cakes with chocolate icing. They talked together for hours, each learning much about the other. They discovered that they both enjoyed many of the same things. They played backgammon and listened to ancient harpsongs by elves on the stereo. When at last it was time for Alexander to leave, Petula kissed him on the cheek.


Meanwhile, in the dark and forbidding Iron mountains, the beautiful Princess had been captured by the Evil Troll King and locked up in a tiny room at the topmost tower of his castle. Large and burly trolls wearing armor and carrying swords stood guard outside the locked door with its tiny window blocked by bars of stainless steel. The Princess looked out of her tiny window at the desolate, ruined land below, and wished for escape. Suddenly, the Evil Troll King burst into the Princess's prison cell. He laughed wickedly, and, gazing at the Princess's breasts, which showed nicely through her tight gown, he bellowed, "Off with your clothes, woman!"

"Never!" screamed the Princess. "Help!" she shouted out of the window.

The Evil Troll King summoned several of his trollish guards. "Chain her to the wall!" he commanded.

The trolls put down their swords and placed stainless steel chains around the arms and legs of the Princess. Then they hung the chains from hooks on the wall, and left her, struggling, hanging in the air.

"When the Prince gets here, you'll be sorry for this," said the Princess.

"Never mind him," said the Evil Troll King. "My armies will stop him."

With that, the Evil Troll King grabbed at the Princess's flowing white gown and tore it off. The Princess was left with only a white lace bra and a pair of pink panties to protect her.

Fortunately, the hooks of the bra were somewhat complicated, and as the Evil Troll King was attempting to unhook the bra, the Prince arrived.

"Stop that, you foul vermin!" shouted the Prince.

"Aw, man! How did you get past my armies?" asked the Evil Troll King.

"Simple," said the Prince. "My armies are better than your armies."

And with that, the Prince freed the Princess and carried her down the stairs and out to his car.


Spring arrived, and Petula and Alexander had fallen in love. On warm sunny days they sat on a blanket out on Petula's lawn, and ate fresh baked bread with cheese, and marinated meats broiled on skewers, and cashews, and cream-filled chocolates, and drank orange juice and lemonade. In the evenings they took long walks together through the forest, or, if it was raining, they stayed in and watched movies on the VCR.

In the mornings, Alexander cooked pancakes for breakfast, and in the afternoons they went floating out on the lake in Petula's rowboat. Sometimes they loaded the rowboat up with pillows and blankets and made love on the water. Then they would watch the sun go down, and would send floating candles out into the darkness. And back at home, they would cook TV dinners in the microwave and play chess and read poems to each other. Then one night, one of their floating candles floated into a pile of dead leaves on the bank and started a forest fire. Petula's house burned down, and both she and her lover were killed.


But the Prince and the Princess lived happily ever after.

This story appears in My Secret World. Copyright © 1985 by Andrew Looney.

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