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The Girl Who Laughed

 There was once a little girl who loved to laugh. She giggled and chortled and guffawed with joy. Any excuse would do. The sight of a flower's head nodding as though in time to the wind warranted a giggle. The feel of a kitten's fur under her hand was really not fully appreciated unless she stifled little shrieks of joy. The sight of babies getting their fat cheeks pinched by old women was enough to send her into peals of chortles.

    But the best laughter of all was when someone told a joke.

    Because, then, it was the kind of laughter that came all at once.

    The kind the jumped out without any expectation.

    A moment of pure, unadulterated spontaneity.

    It was the burst that came from the belly.

    And that, of course, was the kind of laughter that could never be planned.

    For herself, that was.

    But for others? 

    That took a lifetime of learning just how to get them to burst. And when she found the pattern, and got the jokes just right so that everyone she met had their very own moment of a bursting laugh... well, that was when she herself closed her eyes and passed into her next great adventure that began with a sight that caused her to leave this world laughing.

The Old Crow

 Once upon a time there was an old crow. It was a struggler, a hopper, and a left-taloned dreamer. It struggled because it was old and had wings that hurt. It was a hopper because of said hurt wings which left it hopping along. And it was a left-taloned dreamer because that was the only talon it had left. As I said, it was an old crow.     But the crow had vim and vigor.     It had spice and a quirky way of cocking its head.     And, sometimes, even when the day seemed bleak, it would lean back its head and caw.     One day, the old crow saw a mouse on its side with a paw missing. The old crow hopped up to the mouse, and turned it over with its beak. It nudged the mouse into the shelter of a nearby shrub, and stood guard. When the mouse felt strong enough, it watched the old crow, and saw what it was like to be without an appendage.      And the old crow watched the mouse come to terms with having a missing paw.     It watched as the mouse nodded its head to the old crow in thanks — wh

The Little Girl Who Saw the Fairies Once

 There was once a little girl who had a particular fascination with a rather large rock that stood at the top of a hill that was far too steep for her to climb. For several years she looked at the top of the hill longingly, waiting for the day when her legs would finally become long enough and then she would be able to see what it was about the large rock that drew her so.     One day, on her seventh birthday, she woke up and knew that her legs were long enough.     She set off as quickly as she could, and, after a lot of panting, made her way to the top of the hill.     The little girl set her fingertips to the rock reverently.     She felt its creases, examined its moss, ran all the way around it.     It was, indeed, a very good rock.     But that didn't explain the fascination that she felt inside her.     And so she climbed to the top of the rock and gazed down.      Which was, of course, when she saw it — the essence of what it was that had called to her for so long. For there

The Melancholy Fairy Queen

 Time moved slowly for the fairy queen. One would have thought it would move quite quickly, for she was very old. But that is the thing about being immortal: time becomes a very funny thing; the fairy queen had grown weary of so much time.     And so the fairy queen set out on a long journey to find the one person who she knew was older than she was. For there was a hermit who lived in a cave near the sea who was said to have been born just after the world came into being.     When the fairy queen reached the hermit, the sight was not what she expected. She did not find an old man sitting lethargically in a chair contemplating the sea's waves in an ancient, melancholy kind of way — the way in which she had herself sat in her own throne among the court of the Fae. Instead, she found a middle aged fellow dancing around a fire with a little boy. The little boy giggled and laughed and chortled at the man's funny dancing. And the man was laughing, too. When they had stopped to rest

The Fairy and I (Part I)

Once, when I was very young, I sneaked into the forest by moonlight.  By chance, perhaps, a fairy landed on a branch so close to my face I could see the glimmering of her pale eyes, alight with the glow of a thriving moonlit night.  Her hair of spun silver, and delicate wings, her pale skin, and graceful movement inspired a thrill of joy that sang in my body from the tips of my toes to the ends of my hair.  She was the most beautiful creature my child-eyes had seen—or so I had thought in that moment.  For I would come to learn that I was quite mistaken. “Oh, you are so very beautiful!” I exclaimed, holding my fingertips back though they longed to touch, to make certain with another sense the truth of what my eyes saw. The fairy raised her delicate silver eyebrows, her eyes wide with surprise.             Do you really think so?”             “Indeed, fairy, I think you are the most beautiful creature of all I have ever seen!”  I spoke my impassioned truth again.