Written By Catherine McMahon (Aunty Catherine), illustrated by Cathelijne Filippo.
Fearne kept looking up at the clock. She wished she could speed up time, school just had to over soon, she thought. No, still half an hour to go she sighed. Finally the bell rang and she grabbed her coat and bag and ran down the street towards home. She just couldn’t wait to get changed and head off to the forest. She went there every day. Today she was bringing some of her birthday cake to share with the fairies. Did you know fairies like cake? Its one of their favourite foods, I bet you like it too. Fearne carefully put a few small slices of cake into her lunch box and set off to the bottom of her garden. She climbed the fence and walked through the tangle of wild plants as she headed to the spot where she regularly met her fairy friends. Fearne sat and waited on the log at the meeting place.
She sat there for a while but Sorrel, her best fairy friend, didn’t arrive. She got a little worried and so began to call out his name.
“Sorrel, Sorrel where are you?” she called. There was no reply and so she began to look for him, it just wasn’t like him to be late. Maybe he is hiding, she thought “Come on Sorrel “she shouted “stop hiding I want to play with you” But Sorrel still didn’t appear. Now Fearne was really worried and began to look for him even harder. She looked in the mossy areas under shrubs and in low branches of trees. She looked everywhere she could think of. Eventually she found Sorrel curled up in a ball on the forest floor, moaning. “What’s the matter”? Fearne asked. Sorrel said that he had been early and so decided to wait by the fence at the end of Fearne’s garden to surprise her. He saw that one of the gardens nearby had beautiful berries growing in the hedgerow. Sorrel just couldn’t resist the sweet berries, for fairies they are even better than cake. And so he went to eat a few. In fact he ate a whole lot. Now he had a tummy ache. “You shouldn’t eat berries from the hedgerow, they could be poisonous.” Fearne told him. “We fairies eat all kind of berries but you are right these ones were poisonous” Sorrel said quietly. “They have been sprayed with pesticides and now I am very sick.” Fearne began to cry, “What can I do Sorrel”? She asked. “Please take me to the fairy queen, she can help me” Sorrel told her. Fearne picked Sorrel up and together they went to ask the fairy queen for help. The fairy queen has very powerful magic. She placed her hand on Sorrels tummy and sent in her magic. She was able to heal Sorrel. The fairy queen told Fearne how dangerous pesticides are. She said “it’s not just us fairies who become ill from eating the berries, plants, fruit and vegetables that have been sprayed with the poison but also birds, squirrels and other animals too. Humans need to stop using them, they don’t realise the harm they do. “How can I help?” Fearne asked feeling responsible for all human thoughtlessness. The fairy queen smiled gently, she could see that Fearne was very upset. She held out her hand and put it on Fearne’s shoulder. She spoke kindly and said “Most humans don’t mean any harm, they jut don’t know the effect these poisons have on the environment, come with me I want you to meet someone” The fairy queen led Fearne deeper into the forest. They came to an area that seemed to glitter and shine. The fairy queen held her wand in the air and a rainbow shot out of the top of it. The next moment a beautiful shimmering woman came into view.
She was the most beautiful woman Fearne had ever seen. Her gown seemed to be made of flowers and leaves. Fearne could feel the love pouring from this beautiful woman’s heart to all that surrounded her. The plants seemed to turn to her direction as she passed and rabbits, squirrels, mice and other little animals came running to see her. The fairy queen and the beautiful woman faced each other and bowed their heads. Then the woman turned to Fearne and bowed her head so Fearne bowed hers in return. “Fearne this is Lady Gaia, the angel of the earth” The fairy queen told her. “Hello” said Fearne shyly. The fairy queen turned to Lady Gaia and said “Thank-you for coming Lady Gaia, we need your help” “It is I that needs your help” Lady Gaia replied. She raised her hand in the air and a cloud floated down from the sky. Then Lady Gaia moved her hand over the cloud and it began so show pictures like a television screen. “This is what our waterways should be like” she said as pictures of beautiful sparkling crystal clear water trickled in streams and rivers. “But this is what is happening to it” she said as the picture on the screen changed. Fearne couldn’t bear to see what was on the screen, lakes and rivers all full of dirty polluted water, fish trying to live and breathe in this dirty polluted water. Litter in hedgerows, piles of rubbish where there should be beautiful green fields should be. Smoke pouring from chimneys and factories clogging the air. Fearne Gasped “oh no this is terrible” she cried Lady Gaia smiled gently “I know” she said “but if everyone makes even one change, together we can help the earth” “What changes can we make?” Fearne asked “If people used environmentally friendly, organic products for cleaning their house and their bodies and for gardening they could greatly reduce the toxins being poured into the earth. Accidents like what happened to Sorrel would not exist and animals would be safe too. They are much better for humans too” Lady Gaia told her “I am going to ask mum only to buy environmentally friendly products from now on” Fearne told them. “Don’t forget to tell your friends too” Lady Gaia said. “Thank-you I will” she replied Sorrel and Fearne said goodbye to Lady Gaia and The fairy queen. They went back to the area where they usually play but Fearne couldn’t stop thinking about the pictures Lady Gaia had shown her. “I am sorry Sorrel, I just don’t feel like playing today. I want to go home and tell mum about the products that are damaging the earth.” Fearne told her friend “That’s ok” Sorrel replied, “I understand” “Oh I nearly forgot” Fearne said, “I bought you some birthday cake to share with the other fairies” she told Sorrel placing the lunch box on the ground.
Sorrel said a magic word and it shrunk to a size to fit in his pocket. Fearne laughed, she loved to see magic. Fearne raced home to tell her mum all about what she had learnt. When it was shopping day Fearne and her mum chose carefully the products they bought. The chose natural cleaners for the house and natural organic shampoos and shower gels. It felt really good to be one of the people who make a difference in the world. “Mum wouldn’t it be great to buy these as gifts for people” Fearne said “Great idea Fearne we can buy a pampering gift set for your teacher at the end of school year.” And that’s just what they did. In fact any opportunity they got they introduced people to the environmentally friendly delights they had discovered.