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September 2006

This wee fairy setting now occupies a 3 1/2 inch photo cube in a bookshelf in the den.

It was the third of a series that I did during the month of September, 2006.

And, as so often happens in life, there is a story behind that little setting....

We have had so much rain in El Paso this summer that toadstools have been popping up all over our lawn. Usually they are white, but I was very surprised recently to see some unfamiliar polka dotted ones in our back yard over in the corner of the rock wall!

I bent over to look and saw a little green bird ready to peck at what appeared to be a strange round pod; not something that I was used to seeing in our back yard.

As I got further down to examine it more closely, I saw it was a tiny fairy girl wearing a pod as a hat, sitting in a wee grapevine rocking chair, while three little birds circled around, chattering away.

"Hi, there! My name is Wanna. What's going on here?" I asked. She looked at me shyly and didn't respond.

"Go on! Tell Wanna why you're in this chair instead of out playing with us," one of the birds said.

She shook her head no.

"Well, Feyla's gone and gotten herself in trouble again, Wanna, " the blue bird confided. "She wouldn't listen and went flying off with those grackles, and you know they are totally untrustworthy. "

At that moment, there was a raucous noise over near the dog's food dish as a couple of the big black birds landed. And even as we looked, one of them boldly strutted across our back patio with a piece of dry food in its mouth and dipped it into the dog's water bowl.

"See! Brazen thief!" The little bird said. "We tried to tell her that she shouldn't go, but before we realized it, she had hopped on one of their backs and next thing you know the whole flock was taking her to Juarez," he added, nodding vigorously.

"And of course we couldn't begin to keep up, so we had to tell her folks," the first bird chimed in, "and they were fit to be tied, I tell you!"

The blue bird interrupted him. "Naturally, fairies can fly just about anywhere they want to, of course, but they are leery these days of flying into Mexico because they're not sure they can get back, with all this fuss about immigration and all."

"Yes," the red bird added, "I understand they contacted the Border Patrol, and one of their helicopters intercepted the grackles and forced them to land, and the Border Patrol guys brought her back, since she was too young to have good judgment."

"Wow!" I said, aghast. I looked toward the silent little fairy. "Feyla, your friends are right. You could have gotten in big trouble, running away to Mexico like that. Why, whatever were you thinking?

"Well, ...." she said in a tiny little voice, "It sounded like fun, and I wanted to see all that water in the river," and a tear began slowly tracing down her tiny cheek.

"Don't scold her, Wanna. She's already heard it all from her parents," the little green bird said quietly. "She's on restriction for a month, and this is her last time-out today. She just wanted to have a little fun, and those grackles are such clever wretches. They can talk anybody into anything, including having a tiny fairy hop on and go for a ride down the Rio Grande with them."

He turned to his companions huffily. "I seem to remember when you guys were taken in by their blather. Do you want me to tell Wanna about THAT?" The other two looked a big chagrined, as much as birds can look chagrined.

He turned back to me and shrugged, as much as a bird can shrug. "The grackles took advantage of her natural inquisitiveness and they knew she was curious about how high the river is after all our recent flooding."

"How much longer do you have to stay here in this chair?" I asked the little fairy, a bit concerned that our dog might get too curious and accidentally hurt her.

"I think that when the big hand is on the three, then I can get down,

... and I won't go riding with the grackles any more, Wanna, I already promised. "

"A wise thing to do, Feyla," I told her. At that moment the phone rang and I had to excuse myself.

And sure enough, by the time I had finished my phone call it was 3:30 and both the little pod fairy and her little bird friends were gone, leaving behind the tiny rocking chair. I was reaching to bring it inside when the dog leaped around me in circles, begging for food. Those darn grackles had cleaned out his bowl, and when I came in the house for a moment to get his treat, I forgot about getting the little fairy chair.

Later, my husband said, "You know, it was the oddest thing. I was stopped at the light on North Loop a while ago and I could have sworn I saw a grackle with some kind of toy something in its mouth and it was being chased by three of the tiniest little birds I ever saw!"

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