Folktale Week Day 2- The Adventures of Prickle and the Fairy

The Adventures of Prickle and the Fairy- Installment 2 (Prompt: MAGIC)

Hedgehog Pinecone Illustration by Becky MacPherson

Expecting the little girl to pass by Prickle and the fairy waited in their hiding places, but they were soon surprised to hear the footsteps stop on the path between them.

 

“Hello?” a small voice said.

 

The fairy slowly peaked over the edge of the leaf behind which she hid. The little girl had stopped directly in front of her and was looking around.

 

“What’s she doing?” the fairy thought to Prickle.

 

“I don’t know. Why doesn’t she keep going?” Prickle thought back.

 

“I can hear you”, said the girl still looking around.

 

“Hear who? Who can she hear? There’s no one here but us”, thought the fairy to Prickle.

 

“You!” the girl thought back to the fairy’s questions, “I can hear you.” She had decided to switch to thought to help whoever it was to understand that she could hear their thought conversation.

 

“She can HEAR us?” thought the fairy to Prickle.

 

Prickle didn’t respond. He had been stunned into silence. Happening upon a human that could hear fairy-to-animal thought conversations was highly irregular.

 

“Uh...hello then” the fairy said. She was now past the shock enough to respond directly to the girl.

 

“Hi!” the girl said back cheerfully. “I’m Clare. Who is it that I am speaking to?” She still couldn’t see the fairy or Prickle.

 

The fairy allowed herself to come into full view, rustling the leaves as she did to help the girl focus in on her location. “You are speaking to me”, she said. My name is Esmeralda and I am a woodland fairy.”

 

“Oh wonderful!” Clare replied, looking enchanted, “I’ve never met a real fairy before!”

 

“We are very good at hiding”, Esmeralda said giving her skirt a flip for added emphasis (and flair). “We blend into the leaves and moss so well that humans only ever see us if we want them to. And that is a rare, rare occasion indeed.”

 

“I understand”, said the girl solemnly, “I am honored then.” She bowed her head slightly as a gesture of respect to the wee magical being in front of her. “Is there someone else here? Weren’t you talking to someone else?”

 

“What, you can’t see him?”, the fairy giggled. “He’s right there!” She pointed at a thoroughly ordinary branch of pine to the girl’s left.

 

Clare looked, but saw nothing. She focused closer and then gave a jump as a pine cone seemed to leap off the branch and land with a soft ‘plop’ on the forest floor below.

 

Clare stared as the pine cone proceeded to roll around on the bed of pine needles beneath the branch. Back and forth, back and forth it rolled and then with a ‘pop!’ it changed form all together.

 

“Why...you’re a hedgehog!”, said Clare.

 

“Indeed I am, my dear,” replied Prickle, “Prickle is the name and I’ve been working on shapeshifting all morning.”

 

“Well you seem to have gotten the hang of it!” exclaimed a delighted Clare. “How utterly magical. I never would’ve known!”

 

“And that my dear, is the point”, replied Prickle with a wink.