A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch

 

A FAIRY MATCH IN THE MUSHROOM PATCH

Chapter 2 – TRICKS IN THE CLASS-SHROOM     

The silver bell above the dorm monitor’s station rang gently; it was time to start the day. Madame Louise walked between the beds and opened the curtains of every tiny window. The sunlight poured into the room. Leaning down, she whispered softly to each beautiful, sleeping little fairy.

“Good Morning precious little fairling, time to wake up,” she said stroking the hair from the face of each little fairy before moving to the next bed.  She leaned over and whispered into Lilly’s ear, “Time to wake up, little fairling, good morning sleepy, beautiful fairy, time to wake up.”

Lilly stirred, but she didn’t quite wake up. She thought she heard Madame Louise’s gentle voice, but she was sleeping so soundly that she was sure she was dreaming. She nestled deep under her sheets and made no attempt to get out of the bed. She was having a fabulous dream and wasn’t quite ready to wake up.

Madame Louise slowly pulled back Lilly’s sheets and stroked Lilly’s golden curls away from her face. She stared at Lilly for a moment and smiled. Gently, she tickled her tummy, whispering as she did so.

“Lilly dear, it really is time to get up . . . you shall miss breakfast if you don’t,” she said with a giggle. “Breakfast, Lilly, fairy crumpets with hot butter and a lovely cup of rosehip tea. It’s your favorite, Lilly,” Madame Louise giggled.

Rosie, Ivy, and Pearle had gathered around the foot of Lilly’s bed; they were tickling her toes and whispering her name. Lilly finally sat up and glanced at Madame Louise, who was motioning toward her. Lilly knew it was time – time for their hug. Madame Louise grabbed all four little fairies, pulled them close, and gave them a little hug to start the day. She did it every morning to each and every one. Lilly jumped out of bed and glanced at Pearle.

“May I, Pearle,” she whined. “Please?”

Pearle nodded and tapped her lap. “Of course,” she giggled, “come on!”

Lilly jumped straight from the bed into little Pearle’s lap. “Could you please take me to the bathing room? I have misplaced my slippers and my toes are freezing,” Lilly said as she pointed to her tiny feet.

Pearle’s face lit up. There was nothing she loved more than giving the girls a ride on her lap. Pearle’s Chariot, the fairlings called it. Although Pearle used it daily, there was no slowing her down; she was incredibly fast in the chair that the elders had designed specifically for her. Often going too fast, especially around corners when playing her favorite game, make a fairling green! Spinning as fast as she could around and around on her back two wheels, trying to make the fairies sick. She could almost always make Boris sick and sometimes even Jack. Lilly, often turned grey, though not quite green, and Ivy and Rosie, well they were pros just like Pearle.

“To the bathing room,” Pearle said playfully.

“To the bathing room!” All the little fairies giggled as Madame Louise looked on.

Lilly was in Pearle’s lap, Ivy was running behind, and Rosie was perched on the arm of the chair. This does not look very safe at all! thought Madame Louise, though she never said a word. She simply listened for a moment to the beautiful sound of fairy giggles that had suddenly filled the dorm, but when Pearle’s chair tipped onto one wheel, Madame Louise could hold her tongue no longer.

“Pearle, do be careful,” she said with a smile. “Slow down dear, please. I still can’t believe there’s so much swivel on those wheels!” She smiled as Pearle maneuvered the chair with ease, a skill she had acquired over time without complaint. Madame Louise remembered the day Monsieur Parley, with Monsieur Pierre at his side, introduced the new chariot to Pearle. She had been so pleased that her smile radiated throughout the room. In fact, thought Madame Louise, I do believe it was Lilly, even then, who dove into Pearle’s lap for the very first ride. She watched as they exited the dorm and entered the bathing room, and she listened to the little fairies as they helped each other. “On the count of three; one, two, three” The group of fairlings giggled as they lifted Pearle out of her chair and placed her aside the bathing tub, and that was that. The fairlings went about their business: washing their faces, cleaning their teeth, brushing their hair, and straightening their wings. As soon as Pearle laid down her brush and straightened her wings, she was whisked up by whomever was closest and placed safely back in her chariot . . . Pearle’s chariot, and the day, proceeded as normal.

The dining hall was always busy and could often be a tad loud. Announcements were made and breakfast was served. Each little fairy ate fairy crumpets and berry crepes until their tummies were full. Lavender juice and rosehip tea completed their meal. Breakfast was a very important fairling meal indeed. The rule was that a good breakfast would get their creative juices flowing and would also make them strong – at least that’s what the elder Fairy who made the announcements always said.

As the fairlings left the dining hall and headed to class, the elders looked on. Each little fairy made way for Pearle’s Chariot, and the hall emptied. One by one, the little fairlings went about their schedules, and the elders went about their tasks.

Lilly’s first class of the morning was fairy history. She enjoyed her history class, because Monsieur Pierre, who taught both history and science, had a knack, a gift for such things. He could teach while being funny and interesting, a skill most fairlings appreciated very much. The time would fly by quickly, often too quickly. Sitting in her seat at her desk, Lilly waited patiently for her class to begin. Jack sat down in front of Lilly, and Boris sat down next to Jack. Ivy sat behind Lilly, and Pearle sat in the aisle next to Rosie. The classroom filled quite nicely, and the class would start soon.

Jack dipped his quill into his inkwell, but the well was dry. He nudged Boris and pointed with his quill to the well. “Boris, do you have your ink jar with you?” he asked “I left mine in the dorm.”

Lilly was not surprised that Jack didn’t have his extra supply of ink and though she didn’t say it, she was almost certain that Boris didn’t have his either. She waited and listened to their exchange; though she thought she probably ought not to, she did anyway.

“I do Jack, hang on a minute,” Boris chuckled, and Lilly was quite surprised as Boris dug around his satchel. He raised his finger. “Hang on, it’s in here, I know it’s in here,” he said.

Jack smiled, “Of course it is,” he said, “I don’t have mine, so you must have yours, right?”

Boris nodded as he continued to dig through his satchel. His hands were rummaging from left to right and now he had an odd look on his face. Lilly knew what was next. One by one Boris placed the items from inside his satchel on top of his desk: his straight edge, his scrolls, a spare quill, and a fairy roll. “Eh, that’s for later,” he laughed.

“A moss bomb,” Jack laughed.

“That’s for later too,” Boris said, as he pointed to the mass of moss sitting on the desk, and then he continued to dig through his satchel, as Jack looked on.

Lilly had seen enough. She rolled her eyes and pulled out a jar of ink. She stood up, waltzed over to Jack’s desk, and filled his well. She took one look at Boris’s, and it was, as she had expected, near empty. She filled his too. She turned on her tiny fairy heels, waltzed back to her seat, sat down, and never said a word.

Jack and Boris took one look at their inkwells, and at Lilly, and both chuckled. Lilly was always so prepared, but they never quite seemed to be, though Boris really had been trying, or so he thought. He purposely put an extra quill in his satchel and threw in an extra scroll as well. Though one look at the scroll he placed back in his bag made him realize it wasn’t the one he needed at all. Really, really, must work on that, he thought as Jack dipped his quill into the ink that Lilly had filled for him. Though the boys were still laughing, the rest of the mushroom had become very quiet.

Lilly was not amused. “Really Boy’s,” she said as she sat down, “there’s nothing funny about being ill-prepared for class.” She rolled her eyes and folded her tiny arms, “Sssshhhh,” she whispered. “Here’s Monsieur Pierre.”

Every little fairling in the room stood up out of their chairs and not one little voice was heard. Monsieur Pierre had appeared at the back of the room and now suddenly appeared at the front of his desk that was located in the center of the front of the room. Lowering his arms, he motioned for the little ones to sit back down in their chairs.

“Good morning young fairlings,” he said softly. “I hope you all slept well, ate a wonderful meal, fed your tummies and your brains, and are ready to get started this morning.”

In unison, the fairlings said, “Good morning Monsieur Pierre, we slept well, we ate well and yes, we are ready to get started!” Everybody including Monsieur Pierre giggled; they said the same thing to each other every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It was then that Monsieur Pierre motioned for the young fairies to roll out their scrolls, as he wrote on the enormous board what the topic of discussion was for that morning and their assigned task for the day. The sound of the quills scraping across the paper and the taps of the quills against the inkwells were the only sounds that could be heard until Monsieur Pierre laid down his chalk. All the little fairlings followed suit and laid their quills on their desks, sat straight up in their chairs, and got ready to pay attention. All except for Boris, who was struggling to finish writing down all of his requirements for the day. The room was quiet, except for the erratic sound of Boris’s quill scraping across his scroll. He was frantically trying to write, but his quill was dry.

         Impossible, thought Boris, Lilly just filled the well up for me. He continued to dip the quill into the inkwell – the well was dry. It can’t be, Boris thought. It just can’t be!

         “Um, um Boris,” Monsieur Pierre said, though very nicely, “are you almost done, can I continue please?”

Boris wasn’t almost done, not even close, but he didn’t know what to do. Without warning Monsieur Pierre appeared at Boris’s side, looking down at Boris’s desk and frowning.

“Can you read that Boris?” he asked, though he didn’t really wait for Boris to answer him. “Why don’t you slow down, take your time, and I will continue. Try to listen as best you can, um?”

Boris nodded. He took a deep breath and wiped his brow. He wanted to continue, he wanted to write down his task, but he couldn’t, he had no ink. He had no idea why he suddenly had no ink, and Monsieur Pierre was already in front of the class again, so Boris couldn’t explain why he couldn’t continue to write. He didn’t dare.

Suddenly Boris noticed his fingers were sticky, as were his hands. Looking down he realized they were black, all black, and covered in ink. How on earth did Monsieur Pierre not notice such a thing or maybe he had, thought Boris. But Monsieur Pierre, once again in mid-lecture, did not appear to have noticed. Boris started to panic. He couldn’t write; he couldn’t pay attention long enough to listen, and he couldn’t leave the mushroom without drawing attention to his most dreadful situation. His cheeks became flushed as he realized his inky hands had left unsightly fingerprints all over his scroll. He looked at his desk in horror unsure of how to proceed. Wracking his brain, thinking and thinking, he wondered what had happened. There was no ink, then there was the ink that Lilly had brought him, then there was no ink again, but there was ink because it was all over him, but he didn’t know how . . . and now he didn’t know what to do! He had been sitting there the whole time writing, working, and doing what he was supposed to be doing and trying very hard to be a very good, studious fairling, just like Lilly, but it wasn’t working and he didn’t know why!

Monsieur Pierre was slightly agitated and stood once again in front of Boris. Boris’s eyes were wide open, his mouth was ajar, and he had a blank expression on his face. He raised his inky hands for the professor to see. Poor Boris couldn’t even talk but simply looked at his hands in disbelief and shrugged his tiny shoulders in despair. He had absolutely no idea how the inkwell had become empty and how he was wearing all of the ink that Lilly had so thoughtfully given him. He waited to see what would happen next and didn’t have to wait long.

Boris held his breath, his heart pounded and his cheeks were bright red, as every fairlings’ eyes were upon him. Then he heard the most unusual sound. If he was not mistaken, it was a laugh, definitely a laugh. He didn’t dare turn to see where the laugh was coming from. Monsieur Pierre suddenly took two steps to the left, and stood directly in front of Jack.

Jack tried with all his might to stop laughing, but he couldn’t. He was biting his tongue, sucking his cheek, and pinching his own fingers, but the laughing wouldn’t stop. It was Jack who looked odd now, as his face had turned bright red from holding his breath to stop laughing.

Lilly sat with her tiny hand clasped over her mouth, as she suddenly realized what had just happened. Although she didn’t know the details, she knew that Jack had something to do with Boris’s predicament. Oh, Jack, I should have known, she thought as she watched the situation unfold.

Rosie tried very hard to look over Ivy’s shoulder to watch what was going on, but little Pearle, knowing full well what had happened, just like Lilly, didn’t dare glance that way. She wanted to avoid eye contact at all costs with Monsieur Pierre, Boris, and Jack.

Boris, suddenly realizing what had happened stared in horror at Jack, who was wishing with all his might that he hadn’t slipped so many rosehip buds into the inkwell. He had no idea so many would swell so quickly and dry up the ink. One surely must have flipped out as Boris frantically dipped his quill for ink. Boris had unknowingly put a rosehip bud underneath his fingers, causing it or maybe them to pop, spewing ink all over his hands.

“j a c k,” Monsieur Pierre said, very firmly indeed. “May I have a word please with a certain mischievous little fairling, named Jack? Right now if you don’t mind!” Monsieur Pierre glanced around at the class. “We’ll be right back. Revise your scrolls, please.”

Jack stood up, though rather slowly, and made his way to the back of the room where Monsieur Pierre was pointing a finger, on his raised hand, toward the door. Though he didn’t move very quickly, Jack was moving just the same although now he wasn’t laughing at all!

Lilly’s eyes met Boris’s and Boris shuddered, the dust factory fresh on his mind, but this was not that bad, surely. Boris was right, after a quick scolding regarding pranks in the class-shroom, an essay due with the topic of how to be respectful of other fairlings’ property, and when it’s appropriate to play jokes on his classmates, Jack was thankful that was that. Quite relieved, Jack sat back down and glanced only briefly at Boris as he slipped the apology note onto Boris’s desk that Monsieur Pierre demanded he write. Just then Boris was excused to the bathing room to wash the ink from his little plump hands and the history lesson once again got underway.

The fairlings listened intently as Monsieur Pierre discussed Sir Ian Walker IV, one of the bravest fairy settlers of the original colony. He discussed the reason Sir Ian had grown the great mushroom patch specifically where he had and why he had chosen that particular location of the forest to protect the colony. They were hidden deep in the forest beneath the foliage, close to the babbling brook, with plenty of ground to cultivate for food and without a soul knowing they were there; it was ideal. The location had grown into the magnificent colony they now enjoyed, safe and protected from the rest of the world.

Lilly listened closely as Monsieur Pierre spoke of the trials Sir Ian had endured: his limited tools, the minimal quantities of dust for tasks, and the master gnomes he used as protectors of the colony. These gnomes often helped build as well as protect the patch. Lilly was fascinated. Her eyes followed Monsieur Pierre as he talked and walked from one side of the shroom to the other, and used his hands, as he so often did, to explain the events he was discussing. She didn’t want him to stop talking. She was fascinated by his words, especially the part about the mulch farm Sir Ian had developed, and was startled when the bell above the board suddenly rang. Regretfully, Lilly gathered her things.

“Well, my dears,” Monsieur Pierre said, “until next time then Good day!”

“Good day,” all the little fairlings said in unison as they stood quietly behind their desks until Monsieur Pierre had left the room. Once he had, the little fairies followed suit.

“I think history must be one of my favorite classes. I think it’s fascinating. Don’t you?” Lilly asked Boris as she followed behind him.

Boris thought for a moment. He liked history but didn’t like it as much as Lilly did. He didn’t dislike it, but he didn’t love it either. Now he looked puzzled. He pondered his own question as Lilly slapped him gently on the arm.

“Boris, stop it,” she said with a giggle. “You don’t have to love it. It wasn’t really a real question I suppose.” She nudged Boris gently and added, “I know full well that Flight 101 is by far your favorite lesson, and, if I’m not mistaken, Colony Exploration is Jack’s favorite.”

Boris laughed. Lilly was right. Jack loved to explore and one day he hoped to be a famous explorer. And Boris, well, he just wanted to fly without breaking anything like his foot or his wing or other things such as branches, mushroom tiles, or anything he happened to hit while accidentally flying too low or too fast or just off course. Boris wanted to hover with ease and fly with speed! Unfortunately, and much to Mademoiselle Francesca’s disappointment, he just wasn’t very good at it! Though he did try very hard, a point that Mademoiselle noted each time Boris took a spill. He was certain he would get the hang of it eventually; Mademoiselle had told him so!

Blog post © 2021Amanda M. Thrasher

Text Copyright © 2013Amanda M. Thrasher. All Rights Reserved. Published by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press