The Fairy and I (Part IV)

  That very night I went home slowly, for I had much to think over.  As I walked I passed a tree trunk, and its familiarity beckoned me to its side.  Around the trunk I saw the pool, and dangling on a limb above the pool, there sat three silver fairies. 

                “Hello,” I said, for age had made me confident.
                They looked up at me with startled gazes, and almost fled.
                “Don’t go,” I said.  And to my great surprise, they did not.
                “Why do you want to look at us?” One of the fairies asked.
                “It is a shame that you should see us like this, and not in the glory of our golden youth,” said another.
                “Oh, but I did see you in your golden youth,” I said, before any could say more.
                “Ah, did you?  How glorious we were!” the third reminisced sadly.  “And this is all that is left to us,” she added, and gestured the length of her small body.
                “What wondrous fairies you are! So beautiful, though so downcast.”
                “How can you say such things?  You are not a child.  You know the truth of it,” said the second fairy, her voice a cutting blade.  “We are hardly beautiful at all.”
                “I am not a child, but I do know the truth of it.  Shall I tell you what I thought of you when I was young and you were golden?”
                “Tell us, do!” said the first and the third, the second nodding eagerly to hear hopeful stories of their perhaps not quite forgotten beauty.
                “I thought you sad,” honesty compelled me, “shallow as this pool.  For it was that very night I met my fairy, and her hair spun like silver, her eyes held depth and the very beginnings of a wondrous twinkle,” I paused a moment, and then said, “She was the most beautiful fairy I ever saw.”
                They were slow to speak.  So slow, they said nothing at all, and only stared into the pool.
                I moved to be on my way, to leave them to their reflections, when the third fairy looked up and caught my eye.  I gasped a little at what I saw, something catching the light though there was no light to catch, for in her eye was the smallest hint of a twinkle. 
(The End)

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