Emily and the Sprite
Emily thought, as she lay in the grass with her hands behind her head, that summer days were glorious. Taking in the sweet air, and chewing on a grass straw, she reveled in the delight of doing nothing. And that was because she had nothing to do. Well, nothing to do if you asked her. If you asked her aunt, she would tell you quite a different story. But for Emily, the only task she had on her list today was to escape, and having done that, she found herself quite free.
Her eyelids began to flicker under the soporific effect of the bright warm sun, and she was about to yield to the delightful sleepy feeling when something landed on her stomach with a sudden and sizably thudded oomph.
Emily’s eyelids flew open to see the smallest boy she had ever seen scrambling to get off her.
‘Oi!’ he said, looking at Emily as if she were the offender. ‘What do you think you’re doing, laying there in the middle of the grass like that?’
Emily was about to offer an apology, before she realized that would be ridiculous. ‘Its perfectly reasonable to lay in the grass in the summer,’ she said, massaging her belly and scowling. She was too annoyed to be shocked at what was clearly a boy with proportions that were most distinctly inhuman. In fact, he was so tiny, that she was surprised he had made so big an impact crashing into her belly. Then it struck her; she was talking to a sprite.
And the sprite, if that was what he was, was glaring right back at her.
‘Well, if you must know,’ said the sprite to no question that had been asked him, ‘I’m fleeing from a rather fearsome hare.’
Emily was about to say that she hadn’t asked him anything, but she stopped short, rather overcome by the sprite’s plight.
‘A rabbit?’ she asked, then snorted. ‘You’re fleeing from a bunny?’
‘A hare,’ said the sprite, crossing his arms and glaring again. ‘It’s quite fearsome.’
‘Oh, really?’ Emily said, sitting back on her hands in the grass, her voice ringing of good natured mockery.
‘It is,’ stressed the sprite. ‘You see, I thought it would be awfully funny to tie his ears together while he was sleeping. Turns out,’ he said with a mischievous grin, ‘it was funny. But the only hitch was that he woke up.’
‘And chased you?’ said Emily with a chuckle.
‘Yes!’ said the sprite. ‘And its got the most enormous, razor sharp teeth. Plus, its quite fast, so, if you don’t mind, I’ll just be on my way.’
‘I’m not keeping you from fleeing from a little bunny,’ Emily said, grinning and gesturing for the sprite to carry on.
‘A hare!’ said the boy resolutely. ‘If you only saw it, you’d…’
But he stopped what he was saying mid-sentence, for Emily had suddenly froze with one hand over her mouth, and the other pointing. The sprite knew without turning around exactly what Emily was looking at.
In a flash the sprite lept over a nearby log, and with surprising strength that belied his size whipped Emily over with him.
Emily was torn between fear—for she could now see the razor-sharp teeth and could easily picture them sinking into her neck with a single bound—and a rather inappropriate desire to giggle—for it was the case that the ferocious, massive, teeth gnashing hare did indeed have his ears tied together.
The hare sniffed the air, and looked about him, but apparently decided there was nothing to be found, for it bound away with long angry jumps, as though on the hunt for something most foul.
‘Phew…’ said the sprite, wiping his tiny brow with he back of his arm, and relaxing against the log. ‘Some bunny, eh?’ he said, looking slyly at Emily.
‘Hare,’ said Emily resolutely, though still shaking from the sight of the hare’s teeth. Then she smiled. ‘Nice ears.’
‘Thanks,’ said the sprite, with a mocking bow.
It was the start of a beautiful friendship.