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  • Silver was whistling and – so as always- a few butterflies attracted by his melody fluttered around him. He kept whistling and more butterflies came swirling around his head so that Silver looked like he was wearing a hat made of butterflies. Moonflower darted a dark glance at him. They had been searching for magic flowers for quite a while, but so far they had found none. This was Silver’s fault; he spent most of the time singing and playing with butterflies or sitting on beautiful flowers leaving Moonflower alone to do the work! But then Silver was also so funny to be with…
    “Hey, look at this giant rose! It’s so beautiful and I can smell it from here. Let’s go and sit there…”
    “Silver NO!!! We won’t. We have been sitting on all the flowers we saw and we haven’t yet found one single magic flower. The queen will be cross and she will be right too. And the night fairies will mock us and say that we are lazy!”
    “The queen will not be angry. I’ll make her laugh and she won’t scold us. And the night fairies always mock us anyway...Come on, please come with me on the rose. Look, we’ll just have some rest. And then we’ll search for magic flowers. It’s the last one. I promise.”
    Moonflower sighed. How was he doing this? Somehow he always managed to convince her not to do the right thing and somehow he also found a way to get away with doing the wrong thing. She followed him reluctantly to the big rose and soon they were sitting there, enjoying the soft petals of the flower and its lovely scent. The flower was in a farmhouse backyard and there was much going on at the place at this moment. Among other things, a hen was teaching her little daughters how to be attractive to roosters. Right now, she was giving them a song lesson and the little ones tried to reproduce the elegant cackle of their mother. But only a few weak peep-peeps came out and the result was quite a disaster. The chicken made Silver laughed so hard that he had to hold his belly, but the gaze of Moonflower was caught by a small chicken. While her sisters were singing, she was stealthily darting glances toward the water pool where a stork and a swallow were talking. Whatever they told must have been quite interesting for a few frogs and ducks had gathered around them and were listening carefully. When Mother Hen took the little ones to eat corn, the little chicken walked awkwardly at the opposite direction wondering what it was that could fascinate so many frogs and ducks.


    She joined the audience at the very moment when the stork was talking about winter and snow and Christmas. The snow was something white and very beautiful and it looked as if angels had filled the world with their feathers, was saying the stork. But it was also cold, replied the swallow and this is why his lot was leaving far away to the warm countries when it was snowing. And the stork answered that this was right; his own kin was not very comfortable with snow either, but the human children loved snow and they were playing out and they had a lot of fun. And this was also when something called Christmas happened and the human children loved this too as they received many toys that could not talk like people, but by midnight on Christmas day the toys came alive and they made parties with those children who were still awake. They ate candies and other nice things, which were even more delicious than corn and worms and they danced under a big tree with many decorations and glass balls.
    “I have seen those, “said a magpie that had just joined in. “I have …er… received such a ball as a gift last Christmas.”
    “She lies”, whispered a frog to another, “actually she stole them. Magpies are thieves, take my word for it. I know it from the mouse that lives in the house and it has heard this from the cook and the cook never lies.”
    “What are they like?” The duck had heard the frog, but little did she care that the magpie was a thief or not. What she wanted to know was what the glass balls on the tree were like.
    “They are quite beautiful, actually. They are like bubbles transformed into jewels or like tiny shiny moons in various colors. I’ll try and see if I still have the one they offered me and I’ll show it to you”. The magpie flew away leaving the frog laughing and whispering that she will not come back and the little chicken extremely perplexed. Tiny bright multicolored moons on a tree! That must be something to look at, she thought and she tried to figure out what it was like, but she could not, never mind how hard she tried.

    “Christmas is beautiful and I have also heard that there is magic in Christmas nights, but I dare say that this is nothing compared to the nights in the warm countries”, said the swallow in a voice filled with something like sadness, even though it looked quite cheerful at the moment. “Those nights…They are bathed in a bright moonlight, they are perfumed with scents of jasmines and gardenias and night flowers. And there is in the air, something much more than flower scents and moonlight, something that makes you only think of love.” The swallow sighed and its mind was lost to its own dreams and the stork said nothing; it just lowered its head and it pretended to straighten its feathers with its beak. You could see that he agreed with the swallow on the issue of the nights; he had his own thoughts on the matter and he did not wish to share them with anyone else.
    The little chicken was now extremely confused. She wanted to ask many questions, but she was too shy to do so. Also the words of the swallow had made her dream too. She did not know what the things that he had mentioned were, but at the sound of the swallow’s voice, they all seemed like some kind of magic. She wish she could ask what a jasmine was and at the same time, her mind still under the influence of the Christmas descriptions thought that the scents of jasmines and – was it grattenias??- might be some shape of angels who did not spread their feathers everywhere to make snow and cover everything in white. Oh, how she longed to travel to those places! She envied the stork and the swallow for the wonders they had seen and she wanted so much to follow them that she almost felt something like a pain in her small chest.
    “MATILDA!!! What are you doing there? I’ve been looking for you everywhere; you haven’t even eaten and we have to go and visit Aunt Red-Hen – she is sitting on her nest and waiting for her little ones to hatch and she cannot pay us a visit, so we have to go and see her.”
    Matilda was still lost in her dreams and the voice of her mother was not enough to bring her back. “Mother, she whispered in a dreamy voice, do you think that one day I can travel and see the world? Like the swallow and the stork?”
    “Why, no, of course you cannot and you will not! You will grow up and turn into a decent hen and no decent hen travels around the world - Take my word on this.”
    “But mother…”
    “Matilda, this is enough! Stop listening to those silly birds; we have nothing to do with them. They fill your head with nonsense and they make you waste your time. You’d better focus on the precious lessons I give you like your sisters.”
    Her head lowered, with nobody taking her defense, Matilda sadly followed her mother. The frogs and the birds at the water pool continued their conversation hardly noticing Matilda’s departure. But Silver and Moonflower had their eyes on her.
    “This is not fair!” Moonflower sounded revolted. “The little one should have a chance to do what she likes. She should travel around the world!”
    “You know that this is not possible, though!” Silver looked resigned. “Her mother is right: chickens are not travelers.”
    “And I say that this can happen. The little one should get a chance to realize her dream.”
    “But how can this be possible, Moonflower?”
    “I will make it possible. I’ll help her. What are we fairies good at if we cannot even make dreams come true?”
    “I see. So, you’ll use magic.”
    “Not just this. I will help her travel throughout the world.”
    “You won’t succeed, Moonflower…Even if she traveled now, it would take her a long while to travel too far. She will grow up and the world will be too dangerous for her. ”
    “This is hardly an obstacle. The world is always a potentially dangerous place. I can help her with this too. Do we bet on this?”
    Silver was now excited. He could not resist a bet.
    “We do. So, what’s the deal?”
    “If you are right, if the little one cannot travel through the world, I’ll do your chores for three moon cycles.”
    “Awesome!! And in the –unlikely! - eventuality where you succeed? ”
    Moonflower gave him a sweet smile. “In that case, you kiss me.”
    For the first time in a long time, Silver was utterly puzzled. “YOU will do my chores and all what you demand is a… a kiss?”
    “M-Hm. Yes.”
    He scratched his head in confusion. Then he shrugged pretending to be indifferent. “This is fine for me”, he said. “But just so that you know, your chances to succeed are close to zero in a million.”
    “We’ll see that.”
    Moonflower took rainbow dust – she always had some on her. She mixed this to the scent of a rose and to something else – Silver could not see what it was. Then she whispered a few magic words and she blew the mixture on the little chicken. Before Silver had the time to blink, Matilda was transformed into a fluffy toy.
    “This solves the problem of her growing up,” Moonflower winked knowingly to Silver. “And now…”
    “So far you only have proved that your magic works!” Silver wanted to sound cooler than he was.
    “And so does my brain. You’ll see- Matilda will travel the world and I’ll get my kiss.”
    “Yeah, right,” whispered Silver. And at that moment, he decided that he would do all he could to win the bet.
    Prestige was at stake and in Silver’s opinion this was almost as important as a kiss.

    This fairy tale was written for this FB page: http://www.facebook.com/MatildaOutwardBound
    You can also find it on my web site on DA and on my tumblir account.
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