When I was a child I believed in fairies. My brother was seven years older than my self and he lived with my mother. Mom had to work full time so I was brought up by my grandma so was treated more like an only child. Because of this I spent most of my free time reading, I was taught to read long before I went to school but, because of very little reading material in the house, I almost lived in the local library.
The library was almost at the end of grandma’s street so very accessible without crossing main roads, which I was not allowed to do. Usually young children were allowed two books per visit but, because of my voracious reading habits, I was allowed five. Even so this did not last me for an entire week.
Although my reading skills were above average, I was very immature and my favourite subject was fairies. I read and re-read any stories about fairies that I could get my hands on. I loved the illustrations of dainty little people with wings of fantastic coloured gossamer. Some of the stories I read showed fairies sleeping inside roses and this is what got me into trouble.
Grandma’s neighbour had a beautiful climbing rose that came over the wall into grandma’s yard. By standing on the dustbin I could look into the roses on the top of the wall. Of course I never caught sight of sleeping fairies and thought this was because I only looked in daylight.
One night I managed to stay awake until grandma went to sleep. We shared a bed so I had to be very careful getting up and going downstairs. Taking the matches I very carefully climbed on top of the dustbin, lit a match and began my search. A few matches later and I had investigated all the roses within reach.
Being a somewhat determined child I brought several bricks from the corner of the yard and built a small platform to stand the dustbin on, climbed up again and managed to get on top of the wall. I once more started my investigation of the flowers but, unfortunately let the match burn down low enough to burn my fingers. In my haste to rid myself of the match and suck my poor burnt finger ends I slipped off the wall, onto the dustbin, which fell over making the most awful din.
I was sitting in the garbage that spilled out of the bin when both grandma and the woman from next door came out to see what the noise was. I don’t think grandma realised that I wasn’t in bed until she saw me on the floor. She yanked me onto my feet and marched me into the house double quick, smacking my bottom as she walked.
When I gave her the explanation of looking for fairies, she told me in no uncertain terms that there were no such thing as fairies and then she really dropped the bomb shell…there was no Santa Clause either. I was honestly speechless, how could this possibly be true. I had firmly believed in Santa and even had a spat with one of my school friends when she told me there was no Santa. I had come home that day and told grandma what my friend had said and grandma replied that my friend would probably not get any presents if she said things like that. Now it was really hard to believe that the whole thing was a lie. I felt really betrayed to have had such a cruel trick played upon me and it took me a long time to forgive grandma for spoiling my belief in Santa but more so for disclosing the fact that there are no fairies.
I really love the idea of fairies and can still imagine how these beautiful little beings flit amongst the garden flowers. Maybe, just maybe if I sit very quietly on the deck, in the early morning I may catch sight of brilliant wings hovering over the garden pond and just maybe, it will not be a dragon fly.