Thursday 10 February 2011


by Nick Gisburne

There are girls who are sweet, there are girls who are not
For Angelica, ‘sweet’ was a stretch
Spoiled and spiteful, whatever she asked for she got
To her parents she’d only say ‘Fetch!’

And they’d take her a toy or the tastiest treat
Or a beautiful bauble she’d break
But the one thing she needed to make her complete
Was a thing she decided to take

‘We can’t fetch you a fairy.’ They’d said it so much
But it finally forced its way in
If Angelica wanted a fairy to touch
She’d rely on the talents within

Many months the young girl-child now studied the skies
And the fairy folk’s fondness for flight
Though they shy from the sun, after dark they will rise
And in star-shine will dance with delight

So Angelica captured the light of a star
And she bound it with cobwebs and dew
For a fairy, to find it, would travel afar
And this fact the young miscreant knew

In a jar near the window the stolen star hung
While Angelica feigned that she slept
And in moments her terrible trap had been sprung
As inside it the fairy now crept

And as soon as its feet landed lightly within
And it reached to release the star’s light
It at once felt the tightness of tethers dig in
As the spider-silk snares closed up tight

In an instant Angelica ran to the trap
To behold what her plan had procured
And the fiendish young female then started to clap
Upon seeing the fairy secured

With a pencil she prodded and poked the poor thing
And she laughed as it struggled to fly
But it quite unexpectedly started to sing
And Angelica started to cry

For its song was the sweetest and saddest lament
Filled with sorrow, defeat and despair
And Angelica’s heart, be it blackened and bent
Felt a flame of regret flicker there

In her tears flowed contrition, regret for the wrong
She had done to this delicate thing
And as long as she listened and suffered its song
To one shred of remorse she might cling

Now, Angelica tipped out the jar on the bed
But the bonds were too tight, she could see
So she snipped with great care at the spider-silk thread
And the fairy fell, fragile but free

And its singing now ceased, yet it did not escape
But lay breathless, exhausted and drained
Wings lay fragile and formless and bent out of shape
Once-fair features were troubled and pained

But Angelica suddenly knew what to do
For the star, still secure, was the key
And she broke its bonds open and let the light through
And the star of the fairy shone free

In a flash, in an instant, the blink of an eye
The good fairy stood strong and sublime
With the star in its hands it was ready to fly
But for one more thing, still there was time

She had trapped it and tortured it, laughed at its pain
Yet the fairy’s forgiveness was swift
In a shower of sparks, magic powers arcane
It was gone, but had left her a gift

It was wrapped in green paper and tied up with string
And inside was a box of burnt wood
And within this black box, a most delicate thing
A small cake, stained the colour of blood

For Angelica, fairies fell far behind food
And in seconds she’d scoffed the whole cake
Somewhat filling, it left her serene and subdued
With a terrible cranial ache

There was something inside young Angelica’s head
And it wriggled and tickled her brain
Having munched on the magical meal before bed
It was sending her slightly insane

Feeling dizzy and drowsy and weary and weak
Young Angelica lay down to rest
And she dreamed of the fairy folk’s eerie mystique
But awoke feeling deeply depressed

She was flat on her face and her arms were quite numb
Though the horrible headache was gone
But one thought above all beat her brain like a drum
That the light on the ceiling was on

She rose up from the pillow, but ‘rose’ isn’t right
For Angelica flew from the bed
Yes the gift of the fairy was magical flight
But still learning, she soon hit her head

“I can fly!” shrieked Angelica, “Truly I can!”
“I can soar like a skylark! I’m free!”
“And I don’t need a fairy! Ignore the old plan!”
“I have wings! I can fly! Look at me!”

But to turn was too tricky this novice now found
While rebounding again from the light
She could hover and circle and flutter around
But could never quite go left or right

Soon Angelica’s efforts were more of a chore
As she busily bounced to and fro
There was something not normal, there must be much more
But of one thing she did not now know

For the odious item Angelica ate
Was the penalty paid for her crime
Her most frightful of felonies settled her fate
And in truth it was not before time

While most fairies fight fairly, and some call us ‘friend’
There are those from a much darker cloth
Though Angelica’s actions are hard to defend
She must live her short life as a moth

I’ve said ‘sweet’ was a stretch, but was ‘short’? Sadly not
And this fate, was is just? Maybe so
But her mother knew naught of this fairy-filled plot
And saw only the light, still aglow

“Why Angelica darling, it really is late
And you ought to be snuggled in bed
Let me turn out the light and let’s have no debate
Or your troublesome tantrums,” she said

As she entered the bedroom Angelica saw
That her mother was standing nearby
And resisting the light, she flew straight to the door
And cried, “Mother! Just look! I can fly!”

But her mother heard mothish, a curious tongue
Such a language her ears fathomed not
With a moth at her mouth she most urgently swung
In a motion best labeled a ‘swat’

And Angelica, dying, could not recall why
She had thought what fun fairies would be
And the last thing she heard, as a beetle walked by:
“Hey! Just look what the elves did to me!”