Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Fairy Trap Dress

The Legend of the Fairy Trap

Legend has it that fairies find it near impossible to resist the lure of beautiful objects, especially those made by kind hands and a pure heart. Many years ago, a small girl with just such a heart discovered, quite by accident, the way to entice fairies into her bedroom night after night, bringing with them their magic and joy!

This young child was not born into riches of the usual sense--her family did not have much in the way of material possessions and worldly prizes, and although they always had enough to eat and a roof to sleep under, there was not money for extravagant toys and playthings. Fortune had smiled on this girl in quite a different manner, however; she was graced with the most vivid of imaginations, and the ability to find exquisite joy in simple beauty. A scrap of lace or ribbon retrieved from beneath her mother's sewing table was, in her mind, a piece of the finest raiment. Tiny blossoms picked from the patch of wildflowers growing near the side of the road were, to her, flowers from the Queen's garden! And a piece of broken jewelry or a small seed pearl found amongst the rocks and pebbles of an empty lot were the greatest of riches!

Once day while playing outside among the trees and bushes with her found treasures, and while lost in thoughts of beauty and magic, the small girl fashioned a tiny dress from her bits of ribbon and lace, her prized wildflower blossoms, and her beloved jewels. When it was completed, she was so enthralled with it's loveliness that she thought to herself, "Surely this is a magical thing--even the fairies themselves would love to wear such a dress," and she ran inside to hang it up in her bedroom.

That night, after the little girl had fallen into a deep and peaceful sleep, something truly extraordinary happened. The three fairies who inhabited her yard had secretly been watching her that day as she transformed her small trove of treasures into the beautiful miniature dress. They had peered in through her bedroom window as she hung her prized creation from the edge of a lamp. And now that she was safely asleep, they sprang into action. Since no mortal eye was was awake to witness their clandestine activities, the fairies used their magic to slip quickly and effortlessly through the closed window as if it were only air. In a mere moment they were across the room to the coveted little dress, and had in their tiny fairy hands. Quickly as they came, they were back at the window to depart with their prize. But as the fairies passed once again through the glass of the window, the beautiful dress was forced from their hands and fell to the ground inside the room.

Dazed and a little befuddled, the three fairies darted back through the window into the room, and again tried to carry the little dress back out with them through the glass. Yet once again the fairies found themselves outside the window, staring in at the dress on the bedroom floor. And then the realization came over them. The little dress of childhood treasures had been made by human hands---there was no fairy magic in it, and so it could not pass through the solid matter of the window glass as the fairies could!

By this time, however, the fairies were themselves so deeply enchanted by the little humans girl's creation, that they could not bear to fly off into the night without it. And so they stayed. Back into the room they came, and passed the hours of the night taking turns with the tiny dress, flying around in it and dancing through the air above the little girl's very head, until finally the suns' first rays poured like ribbons of gold into the bedroom. When the fairies realized the girl would soon wake up, they quickly hung the dress back up where they had first found it, and whizzed out the window into the wooded yard. When the little girl awoke moments later, her head was swimming the the fuzzy memories of the most magical dreams--dreams full of the flitting of tiny, glittery wings, and of silvery peals of laughter that was almost silent, and yet filled the whole room.

That evening, as soon as the little girl had slipped once more into the kingdom of dreams, the three fairies returned. They kept the hours of the night as they had done before, dancing in the little dress, and filling the little girl's dreams with the most lovely of sounds and images. Night after night they returned to play and dance and sing in the dress, each morning hanging it carefully where the little girl had put it that first day.

And so the legend goes, that if you find a small, lovely dress--fashioned from little bits of this and that--and you hang it in your bedroom where it can be seen from outside your window, the fairies will come. Night after night, they will come. They will come in the silence as you sleep, and dance in the air above your head wearing the dress they cannot take, for it was made with the magic of the human heart--which is a different thing from the magic of the fairies. The fairies can fly through the air on their wings of gauze and glitter, and they can pass without effort through that which we cannot. But mortal magic--the magic that most humans don't even know about-- is this; that through what we create with kind hands and pure hearts, we can draw to ourselves beauty and wonder that is beyond our imaginations!

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