THE KEY TO THE FAIRY KINGDOM
The older and wiser fairies whispered among
themselves in their little groups of special friends.
They said, "The King has finally returned to the fairy
rainforest. So what's he going to do about the Fairy
Empress Dowager? Does he think she'll just hand
him back the key to the Fairy Kingdom?"
Next day in this well hidden corner of the rainforest,
the morning sun sparkled bright on a trembling of
gossamer wings swaying back and forth in time to
the gentle tinkling of faraway, fairy bells.
Here and there, little fairies fluttered up and down as
they jostled ever-so-gently for the best spots in the
magic tree. All the while, the unseen bells rang out.
Over and over again, they intoned the ancient call to
assembly, "Gather at the Magic Tree where all the
fairies come to plea."
The littlest fairy blushed red and hid behind a bush
when her tiny friends heard what she was singing
along with the bells. "It's not where all the fairies
come to pee," they giggled.
In the morning sky, the sun lit the old Fairy King
from behind. Everyone strained to see if he was
showing any sign of weakness. He was a nice old
character and well liked. However, not even his
closest fairy friends thought he would be a match for
the Fairy Empress Dowager.
The King settled into a good spot, high in the magic
tree. One of the fairies who was closest, whispered
that he looked like he was holding onto the tree rather
more tightly than was necessary. After all, he could
still fly quite well, considering he was little more
than five hundred years old.
As they waited for the arrival of the Fairy Empress
Dowager, a gentle murmuring of fairy voices rose
and fell. Some of the fairies said quietly that the old
Dowager enjoys her temporary powers rather too
They would be glad to see when the Fairy Kingdom
was safely back in the hands of the old King.
Everyone fell silent when the Fairy Empress
Dowager finally arrived with a great whooshing of
sound and fairy-dust all about her.
"What a dreadful old show-off," a voice at the back
called out and a twittering laugh ran through all the
"Who said that?" demanded the Fairy Empress
Dowager. But the fairies at the back said nothing.
They just looked around and at each other, fluttering
and rearranging their gossamer wings.
"We'll see about that one later," said the Dowager.
She nodded to her two favourite Fairies in Waiting,
the ones who spy on the other fairies.
The Fairy Empress Dowager carefully adjusted
herself on the tree until she was just a little higher
than the Fairy King himself. The senior fairies, who
knew about such things, raised their elegant
eyebrows at this little flight of fairy fantasy.
However, what happened next saw all the fairies
stirring into a very great fluttering.
"Look at you," she said in her grandest voice pointing
down at the Fairy King. "You're not fit to rule. We all
know you would much rather spend your time
anywhere else than looking after the Fairy Kingdom.
As long as I hold the magic key, the kingdom is mine
and I shall be keeping it for now."
With this, she raised the Key to the Fairy Kingdom
high above her head where it sparkled with its special
powers. None dared look up, not even the Fairy King
No one spoke or moved for what seemed a very long
time. Then brave little Fairy Farndale took a deep
breath and fluttered up.
"What key?" Fairy Farndale spoke out in a voice that
sounded very clear and firm for such a small fairy. "I
see no key."
At first the other fairies looked around in surprise.
Then they understood, and another and another spoke
Soon all the fairies were chanting together, "What
key? I see no key."
"Oh yes, we'll soon see about that." Ever-so-cross,
the old Fairy Empress Dowager fairly snorted her
words out. However, she was now spreading far too
much fairy-dust all over the Magic Tree. This did not
go unnoticed in the fairy-ranks.
"What key? I see no key," the chant was getting
louder and louder.
Little by little, the sparkle was leaving the magic key.
Even as the key itself was trying to slip out of her
hand the Fairy Empress Dowager shouted and
But on this day, the fairies had remembered that in
the rainforest the power to rule might be given, but
The Dowager had now become just another old fairy
that no one liked.
And all the little fairies laughed, and laughed, and
The Key to the Fairy Kingdom
was published in
Stinkwaves, Issue 3