once upon a time there was a little girl called Josie. Josie lived in a cozy a house in the forest with her big sister. Josie was a very good little girl, she was always sweet and did what her sister asked her to do. It was quite easy for Josie to do what she was told, because her sister only asked her to do fun things. But then one day something happened that changed things. A wicked prince came to the little house in the forest, and since he was a prince, at least he said that he was, he did not hesitate to demand to stay in the cozy house and to have the two girls as his servants. He was hardest on Josie, since she was the youngest. All day long she had to cook for him, make him endless cups of tea, heat his bathing water, and fill his mug with fresh drinking water. The wicked prince never said thank you or please, he only looked sternly at Josie, and told her to put some more sugar in his tea or less salt in his food. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and the prince did not leave. Josie forgot all about what fun felt like, and she was always too tired to be sweet and to smile. One day Josie heard a little voice in her heart telling her that it was time for her to leave the cozy house, and to go looking for happiness somewhere else. Jose felt bad about leaving her sister behind, but she knew she had to obey the voice inside of her, so she promised herself that she would find a way to make the wicked prince leave so that she and her sister could live happily together again.
That night when the wicked prince was sleeping Josie packed a few of her belongings and ran away from the house.
She kept running and running deeper and deeper into the forest until she came to a clearing where the full moon shone through the trees and where all kinds of colorful wildflowers grew. Josie felt that this was a safe place to sleep.
She lay down in the dewy meadow and closed her eyes to the starlit sky. Then all of a sudden she heard a very funny noise, it sounded like the chiming of little bells! Josie opened her eyes, and there right in front of her she saw two tiny silver fairies looking down at her. Josie startled and got up immediately. The fairies laughed. Their bodies almost looked like moonbeams, and their wings were like gossamer threads.
Josie smiled for the first time in many many months. The fairies pulled her hand to make her follow them, and she did as she was told.
The fairies brought her to a place under a very big tree with beautiful heart-shaped leaves in golden hues, and to Josie’s great surprise each leaf held a little fairy inside!
Some of them were the silvery color of the moon, others were more golden like starlight. now all of them started flying towards her, they took her hands in their tiny wings and pulled her into a beautiful dance. Josie could hear faint music playing from the forest and the music swayed in her heart and she drifted away into a magical fairy dance.
She was having so much fun she forgot all about the wicked prince and the promise she had made. She danced and danced and laughed and smiled and she was again filled with sweetness and joy.
Then all of a sudden the music changed and the fairies stopped dancing. Everything went very still, but it was as though the
air was filled with Light and sparkles, and then she appeared: The Fairy Queen. Josie knew right away it was her, because all the other little fairies bowed down to her. The Fairy Queen looked at Josie and asked her in perfect human language: What was it you wanted to ask me dear?
Josie startled and did not understand what the Fairy Queen meant, but then she remembered the wicked prince and her promise to find a way to make him leave. She mustered all her courage and told the Fairy Queen about the wicked prince. “Oh, he is not really a prince,” said the Fairy Queen, “he only says that to make himself more important, and to have an excuse to put others down. He is actually a poor beggar who is too lazy to look for a job, so he pretends to be a prince so that he can impose on others and eat their food and drink their water.” Now Josie felt really angry. The wicked prince had made her do so much work wen he himself was too lazy to do anything. This was not right. “Then how can I get him to leave?” asked Josie, “I am just a little girl!”. The Fairy Queen smiled, ” Don’t worry little girl, it is quite easy. The wicked prince has all his life dreamed of being rich, only he is too lazy to earn any money for himself. So what you will do is this: Tell him that where the rainbow ends there lies buried a big pot of gold, and if he just follows the rainbow he will easily find it and can claim it for his own.” “But what if there is no rainbow that day, ” asked Josie. “Don’t worry about that, ” answered the Fairy Queen, “I can easily help you to make a rainbow!” And as she said that, hundreds of little fairies appeared, and these fairies where neither silvery like the moon or golden like the starlight, their tiny bodies shone in indigo and pink and green and all the seven colors of the rainbow. “Oh, rainbow fairies!” exclaimed Josie.
The Fairy Queen smiled and nodded. “When you need them to make a rainbow for you, just put a glass of water in the sun, and soon the whole sky will be filled with the most magnificent rainbow.” ” Oh, thank you so much Fairy Queen!”, Josie smiled and bowed her head. “Goodbye for now Josie, hurry home to your sister, she will be worried about you if she finds your bed empty in the morning. I will send some star fairies with you to light up your path.” The Fairy Queen nodded to a couple of golden star fairies and they immediately came to rest on Josie’s shoulders. Josie thanked the Fairy Queen once again and wished her good bye. Then she started on the long walk home, but with the star fairies lighting her path before her, the journey did not take very long.
Soon, right before the first rays of dawn bathed the forest in their gentle light, Josie was home again, and the star fairies flew back up to the sky. Just as she opened the door she heard that the wicked prince was already up. “Where is my tea Josie!”, he shouted angrily, “it is far past dawn”. Josie could feel that all the sweetness and joy she had inside faded and she decided that she could not wait long before she put the glass of water in the morning sun. She made the tea for the wicked prince, and surly, like every day, he complained that it was not sweet enough nor hot enough. Josie sighed, but said nothing. “My water mug is empty, fill it up!” demanded the prince. Josie’s sister came out of her room and told Josie that she would fill the mug with water. But Josie would not let her. She took the mug and an empty glass and went into the garden where the well was. First she filled the glass with water and put it in the sun, and then she filled the mug. It did not take long, only a couple of seconds, and there right before her eyes, a beautiful thick rainbow appeared in the sky.
Josie started laughing, and she ran into the house with the mug for the wicked prince. As she gave it to him, she told him about the rainbow and the pot of gold buried where the rainbow ended. The wicked prince immediately took interest in this. He went into the garden and when he saw the rainbow, the temptation of the gold became too great and he started running, as he had never run before, after the rainbow. That was the last Josie and her sister saw of the wicked prince, and if you have not heard differently the wicked prince is still running around chasing golden treasures. and what of Josie and her sister?, well they lived happily ever after of course, filling each day with joy, sweetness and fun.
All the magnificent art is by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite