The Sprite Who Wove Blankets
One day, June met a sprite sitting in the midst of a hollow tree on a bed of moss just before the sun went down. His legs were spread wide, while his hands carefully wove bits of moss together.
The sprite sighed.
June gazed on the marvel in silence, having never seen a sprite before. And then she sneezed.
'Blimey!' exclaimed the sprite, jumping out of his seat and up into the air twice what he was tall. 'Don't sneak up on a fellow, little girl. It's plain rude, it is.'
'Sorry,' said June with a wince, 'but I thought you would disappear if I said something.'
The sprite looked at her through narrow eyes, and then sighed again. 'I wish I could disappear. I wish I could just vanish and then do what I want to please myself.'
'Can't you?' asked June, having, of course, no experience with sprites.
'Maybe... But I'm starting to think it would be far better than sitting on moss, weaving it together all day long, just to make blankets to sell at the market for sprites who haven't done the work... I'm right tired of it,' he said.
June was about to ask another question when the sun went down, and suddenly the sprite disappeared.
June blinked, gazed at the empty moss, and then made her way home in a daze.
The next day, she leapt out of bed, pulled on her wellies and made her way to the tree with the mossy hollow to see if there was any evidence that she had seen a sprite. Sure enough, there was the sprite, sitting there with his legs spread wide, and his hands carefully weaving the bits of moss.
'You're here!' June said gently, so as not to take the sprite by surprise again. But she herself was almost as surprised as yesterday.
The sprite bounced a bit, then said, 'I heard you coming from a mile away.'
June didn't think he had. 'But you disappeared!' she said, focusing on what she thought was the real issue at hand.
'Of course I did,' the sprite said. 'Sprites always do when the sun goes down.'
'Oh,' said June. She hesitated a moment, then said, 'I thought you were going to vanish and do what you please,' she said.
'I changed my mind.'
'But you were tired of weaving blankets...' June was confused. Surely a sprite could do whatever he wanted. After all, he was magic, and didn't have grownups telling him what to do all day.
'Well, the thing is, is that I grew a little wiser in the night. And so, as I say, I changed my mind and came back when the sun came up.'
June's brow furrowed. 'You're going to make blankets forever?'
'Maybe,' said the sprite.
'But... how dull,' said June.
'Perhaps. If you think about it in the wrong way.'
'What is the right way?' asked June.
'Well,' began the sprite with a tilt of his little head, 'It can be a right pain to do a task that is never really done. But sprites need blankets, and moss is as good as anything. And I'm good at making 'em, too. So why not help out? I get to sit and do my thinkin' and my singin' in the day, breathe this nice mossy air. It's not such a bad life. Maybe this is me, doing as I please after all.'
'Huh,' June said. 'But its not too terribly adventurous, is it?'
The sprite tipped back his head and laughed. 'That may be, or it may not. Whose to say what happens in a day? After all, I'm meeting you. And I'm finding it quite an adventure.'
June smiled wryly, shook her head a little, then laughed, too.
For the first time, she knew exactly what the sprite meant: meeting someone new was always an adventure.