September 30, 1916
I am about one foot, three inches away from being picked up by the wings and nailed to the bell tower at the college. It is not strictly my fault! Well, strictly it is, but looking at everything in its most complete sense, there are ways that it can be said that it is not my fault at all. Unfortunately, dear Mama is failing to see it in any sort of sensible and calm way.
This is my final term before graduation and we are putting on the annual show “Fairy Dust and Slippers” for the families. My family, Mama, Padre and my little brother arrived dutifully in the pony and trap an embarrassing FIVE HOURS EARLY! Why would they do that? No one else’s parents were here so early. I had to shoosh them away to look around the college while I got a wiggle on to get ready. Last night I met up with this right flat tyre of a bimbo. Stood in the bar flexing his muscles like some hayburner, but when it came to anything above the neck, it was strictly vacant possession. I mean, I don’t like men to dominate the conversation, but it is nice to get the occasional response. But then, this guy was just another Palooka and had been hit round the head so many times by other fighters that I was lucky he wasn’t drooling. Now, I might be a fairy, but I ain’t no sap, so I stretched out my wings and flew out of there to meet some of the other girls; they hadn’t had much of a night of it either, and we cheered ourselves up by mixing dew-drop cocktails and smoking dried lily pad leaves. Yes, I know it is naughty, but what do you want from a fairy?
When I woke up this morning (translation: afternoon) to find my mother knocking at my door and calling my name like an over-powdered old aunt, I was not pleased.
“Coo-ee! Cherub darling, it's Mama!”
Pushing the pile of half-gossamered and hung over fairies off my bed, I clambered out of the sheets and slipped on a creased silk robe that my real over-powdered aunt had sent me down from which ever kingdom she is currently wand-waving in; she is the other fairy in the family and gets the scene in ways my mother never will, or I hope never will.
As I opened the door, my mother’s face went from light fawn to dark fawn in seconds.
“You have lipstick smeared down your neck. Why would you have lipstick …?”
I truthfully did not and do not have an answer for that.
“Mummy, why are you here?”
“We wanted to show Aladdin (my kid brother) the college.”
“Well, go and show him! It is hours before the show!”
It didn’t work properly. She should have gone there and then and wandered round the buildings and the quad for a few hours, and everything would have been all tickety-boo. But no, she had to drag me out to lunch first.
So, there we were, sitting in the Fairy Grotto Canteen, while she made me show Aladdin my new wand that they had just bought me, when I got a fit of hic-coughs. Personally, I blame the genie-slings from last night, but anyway, before I could stop myself, my wand hand jerked forward, the hic-cough shot up through my nose, and I made a small, weird noise that sounded suspiciously like the word, “frog.”
Not a problem if I had been pointing at the ketchup bottle or something, but it never works out like that, and the thing sitting at the business end of my new wand was my smelly little brother.
Aladdin the Frog. It has a ring about it, don’t you think? No? Well, my mother didn’t think so either, and the only ringing in my head was as she hit it with a hoof.
Wands are funny things. They are not merely pointing objects to help the concentration, they are peculiar to themselves, and you must learn each one from scratch. This wand was completely new to me, untested, and I did not have a hope in glorious Hades of reversing the spell. Sadly, neither did the dean, the bursar, or any other of the senior staff. I don’t know what I did but I did it properly.
“It has probably got lodged as a curse,” explained the principle to my hysterical mother. “The problem is we don’t know what the curse is, so don’t know what conditions must be fulfilled to change it. Have you tried getting some of the prettier students to kiss it, er, him?”
“Does this sort of thing happen often?” asked my pragmatic father.
“No, not much.” The principle looked guiltily out of her window down to the small and ever-growing menagerie that was hidden from public view. “You may want to dig a pond when you get home. I can recommend a very pretty water lily you might want to try. Especially vibrant in late spring.”
Next: August 12, 1919 »