Davey and Marigold Make an Arrangment

       Marigold, the fairy of the flower by the same name, traped and traipsed atop golden buds that carpeted a most wonderful garden.  It was morning and the sunlight split through the tree trunks in a gentle, creamy yellow, sparkling on the dew drops that Marigold scattered amongst her flowers.

       It was the kind of day that made Marigold feel that all was right with the world.  Every flower bud practically vibrated with life, the dew water clean and crisp, and the birds sang sweet songs, just as they should on such a morning.  The garden was in the best of orders, having been well-tended with great care the day before. 

       She took a moment to lean her back against a foxglove’s stalk at the edge of her marigolds to take in the beauty of it all.
            Suddenly, a gust of wind and a hazy sheen overtook her.  And in the next second, a wrenching, tinny sound crashed about her little ears.  Stretching out her hands in shock, they hit a barrier that made its way all around her.  And on the top and bottom of her too.  She felt herself lift in the air, aloft not by her wings at all, and saw a face peering at her.  All at once she realized, the hazy sheen was glass and she was trapped within it.  The large eyes that blinked at her, the grubby hand that gripped the glass around her, those belonged to her captor. 
                                                            *           *           *
            Davey wandered blissfully through the morning, happy to be away from the horrors of his grandmother’s oatmeal.  Gran was such a brick and made such wonderful things for tea; he simply couldn’t understand why breakfast had to be so horrid.  He kicked a rock off into the woods that surrounded his grandmother’s garden, and as he did, his eyes came to light on a rather interesting insect flying in a curious pattern.
            He moved closer, watching it fly to-and-fro, landing on each flower in turn.  It was rather large for a bee, but maybe, Davey thought, it was a new kind of butterfly that he could add to his collection.  But as he moved toward it, he felt his feet begin to slow, and his mouth dropped open.  This was no butterfly.
            He stood still for exactly three seconds, before turning on his heel and fleeing back to the house with as little sound as possible; he needed a jar.
            When the jar was in his hand, he approached the marigolds slowly, careful to keep his shadow from alarming the small winged creature.  Silently, and with grave care, he crept, until he could almost imagine he heard the hum of a simple melody. 
And then, he got it!
            Fastening the lid on tightly, he gazed in awe at what he had captured; a small girl fairy, who had begun to angrily bash tiny fists against the jar.
            Suddenly she stopped and looked as though she was trying to gulp the air, while stumbling about the base of the jar dizzily.
            Davey smacked his forehead.
            He had forgot to give her airholes.
            The airholes were a delicate job, and Davey knew it had to be terribly uncomfortable for the fairy; no one, he supposed, especially liked to see nails driven in at you, especially if the nails were as tall as you were.  But there was nothing for it.  He couldn’t let the fairy go; it was the most fun he had had since… well, he didn’t want to think about that.  Anyway, it was jolly good fun, if he could just get the nails in right.
            He was not prepared for a small shout that reached his ears after the first hole was done.
            ‘Be careful!’ called a tinkling voice, tinged with anger and fear.
            Davey took a step back, his hammer dangling from his wrists.
            He had not counted on capturing anything that talked.  He breathed an enormous sigh of relief that he hadn’t done what he normally did with his butterflies: stuck a pin right through the middle of them.
            Moving closer so the fairy could hear him—not knowing how good of hearing such small ears could have—he said with all the shock of a boy having been spoken to by a fairy, ‘You can talk?’ 
            ‘Of course I can talk,’ said the rattled, exasperated Marigold, as she crossed her arms tightly across her chest and glared at her captor.  ‘All fairy’s talk, and make a special effort to do so when there are large spikes being driven at their heads.  Wouldn’t you?’
            Davey, gape-mouthed, nodded.  Then it came to him.  A fairy that could talk would be able to… well, of course it could; it had to.  And if she would… if she could… then this was no time to be stunned: it was time to play it cool.
            ‘I suppose,’ Davey said, as though he hadn’t already responded to the little creature, straightening his back and giving a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders.  And then he asked the question, ever so coolly:  ‘You talk like in the tales.  I don’t suppose that means you can do anything else from stories?  Magic, perhaps?’  He tried to make it sound off-the-cuff, that it didn’t matter to him.  But he couldn’t help that his eyes slightly widened in anticipation, as he waited for an answer that could solve everything.
            Marigold looked Davey up and down, and then glanced at her jar prison, before saying, ‘Yes.’  At that Davey’s eyes went very wide indeed.  ‘Dark magic,’ the fairy said with an ominous glare, as Davey suddenly dropped the hammer.  ‘And if you don’t let me out of this glass jar, I’ll cast a horrible curse on you.’
            Davey swallowed as the palms of his hands began to sweat.  But something wasn’t quite right.  ‘If you can do magic, why don’t you get yourself out of the jar?’
            Marigold blinked twice, then glared at him.  ‘Alright, fine.  I can only magic flowers.  There, happy?  I can’t curse you or get out of this jar.’  Davey felt all the tension leave his body.  ‘But I can’t do any magic that’ll help you.  What did you want to trap me for?’  Marigold asked with a scowl, for it seemed to her the height of rudeness for anyone to keep a flower fairy from her flowers (she had had no experiences with little boys, and thus mistook mischief for rudeness).
            ‘Well, see,’ Davey felt his cheeks go pink.  It felt like too much honesty to tell the fairy that he wanted to stick a pin in her.  So instead he said, ‘I hoped you’d be able to do some magic.’  He hoped she bought it.  After all, after he had thought of it, it was true.
            ‘Seeing as I can’t,’ Marigold said, cocking her head, ‘would you mind letting me go?’  She tried to pretend she didn’t want it very badly, but she couldn’t even flutter her wings in the jar, and the space was beginning to feel extremely small.
            Davey let out a sigh.  It had been such a nice morning with someone to talk to.  Gran was all very nice, and he’d be sad not having her around, but it wasn’t the same.  He felt gloomy at the thought of saying goodbye to the little fairy, but, she could talk after all, and well… He nodded to her and unscrewed the lid.
            Marigold flew as fast as a hummingbird, bee-lining for the window, but then stopped and flew back a little.
            ‘What did you want me to do magic for?’ she asked kindly, because he suddenly seemed sad.
            Davey squirmed a bit, but then decided to confide.  ‘My sister, she’s gone away.  I’ve been wishing she’d come back.  But it didn’t work, so I thought if I had some magic...’ he gave a little shrug.  Maybe the fairy would think he was silly.
            But Marigold nodded in grave understanding, then asked, ‘Where did she go?’
            ‘To be educated,’ Davey said, making a face.  There could be nothing worse. 
            Marigold nodded again, in complete agreement.  She didn’t know what being educated was, but it sounded horrible.  Then she asked, ‘Do you miss her very much?’
            Davey’s eyebrows scrunched, and his eyes looked just a little red, so he simply nodded. 
            Marigold’s heart gave a lurch.  ‘I could play with you,’ she said shyly.  ‘After my chores are done sometimes.  If you promise not to kidnap me again,’ she added.  That would need to be a firm part of the bargain.
            Davey’s face lit up.  ‘Really?’
            Marigold smiled and nodded, then stuck out her tiny hand.
            ‘I’m Marigold,’ she said.
            ‘Davey,’ he said, taking the small hand between his forefinger and thumb.
            And both felt they had come to an excellent arrangement.

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