The Tale of the Wingless Fairy and the Magic Lake

Joesep
Art by Josephine Wall

Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in the fair realm of Fairyland. The girl was very happy to live in such a beautiful and magical land, for indeed there is no more enchanting land than Fairyland.

The blue and violet waterfalls pour softly into timid lakes bejewled with white and pink water lilies, the trees rise tall and slender up from the grassy flower spangled turf, proudly stretching their leafy limbs towards the clear blur sky. There are beaches of white lilies and gardens of primroses and daffodils, and lavendar meadows as far as the eye can see. Indeed the heroine of our story was lucky to be the dweller of such a land.

However, as it often is with everyone born into such beauty, this was not enough to make her happy. And the reason for her unhappiness was a fairly simple one: she had no wings. now maybe that seems rather silly to you for very rarely do we come across a girl with wings, very rarely on earth yes, but this particular girl lived in Fairyland, and in Fairyland it is most common that all girls have wings.

One of the very characteristics of a fairy is her wings. And as you must have understood by now, the girl in our story is a fairy. Her name is Annysia. no one knows the reason why Annysia has not been given wings, but I am quite sure we are about to find out just that.

Annysia was a very lonely girl, as all her fellow fairies spend most of their time flying about, playing in the trees and dancing with the butterflies. Annysia could do none of that. She had to spend her days on the ground.

One day when Annysia was on one of her many walks alone, she came across a most beautiful lake. The water was slivery as though bathed in moonlight, but it was the middle of the day and no moon shone. Even the water lilies were more breathtaking than any other Annysia had ever seen, they spakled in soft pink light, like pink pearls caught by a ray of full moon.

Annysia sat down by the lake with her feet in the water. She touched one of the water lilies with her hand, caressing its fine petals. Then all of a sudden a tiny fairy appeared in front of her, and this was no ordinary fairy, it was a fairy godmother, the highest rank of fairy in Fairyland. “Why are you so sad?” the godmother asked Annysia. “Because I have no wings,” replied Annysia. “If that is what you need to be happy, I will tell you how to get it,” said the fairy godmother. Annysia became very excited and begged the fairy godmother to give her the spell. “You must travel to another realm, and in that realm you must find your true love, and when you receive your true love’s kiss, then you will also receive your wings.” “How do I find this realm?” asked Annysia. “That is easy, you must jump into this lake and let yourself sink to the bottom, and there you will find it.” After the fairy godmother had said those words, she disappeared.

Annysia was very frightened of the water, but she wanted wings so badly that she was able to overcome her fear and find her courage. Annysia waded into the water, and then she let herself sink to the bottom.

When she had reached the bottom of the lake, she found to her surprise that there was another surface; she swam up to the surface and saw that she had come to another lake in another realm. This lake was not quite as beautiful as the one in Fairyland, but it had the same silvery glow and the same soft pink water lilies.

Annysia waded ashore and found herself in the middle of a forest. She did not know how to find her true love so started walking aimlessly around in the forest.

This forest was much darker and more frightening than the forests in Fairyland, and Annysia failed to find her courage. She sat down on a rock and started crying.

Then after a little while a figure appeared in the forest. And as the figure approaced, Annysia could spot the silhouette of a man on a horse. When the man was close enough to see her, he stopped and asked her: “Why are you crying little maiden, are you lost?” Annysia nodded her head. She was too frightened to look at the man so she covered her face with her hands. “Come, I will help you,” said the man. He lifted her up on his horse and they rode off.

“Where do you live?” asked the man after a little while. “In Fairyland,” said Annysia. The man started laughing, he did not believe in Fairyland, but he though he would humor the girl. “And why is it that a fairy such as yourself has taken a stroll into my forest?” “Your forest?” asked Annysia, “is it really yours?” And it was really the man’s forest for he was the king’s son the prince Adonis. But he did not tell this to Annysia, he thought it might frighten her, and he rather liked the little fair girl.

After riding for two hours the prince stopped for a rest. He lifted Annysia down from the horse, and now for the first time he could see her face properly. And as a ray of sunshine caught the lovely honey dew of her hair and lit a glow in her fair face he instantly fell in love.

He liftet her face up to his, but the timid fairy would not meet his gaze. “Will you not look at me?” the prince asked Annysia. She shook her head. In fact she wanted to do just that, but for some reason she didn’t understand she just couldn’t.

“I think I can find my way back now,” Annysia whispered. The prince could feel pain striking through his chest. He could not let this beautiful girl out of his sight. But Annysia turned her back to him and left.

She ran and ran through the forest, but no matter where she turned she could not find her way back to the lake. Again she was struck by fear and she sat down and started to cry. And again something stirred in the dark forest, but this time it was not a sweet-tempered prince.

To her horror Annysia saw a big black wolf moving in on her. He stared hungrily at her with his big yellow eyes, his red tongue hanging out of his mouth. Annysia cried out for help just as the wolf attacked her, and in a blink of an eye, Prince Adonis came from nowhere and in a second he caught the wolf on his spear.

Annysia was unharmed. The prince jumped down from his horse and ran to her side, and as his hand touched her cheek to check if she really was unharmed, she raised her eyes and looked at him.

His skin was that of chestnuts in autumn and his eyes glowed like the night sky in midsummer, and something changed in Annysia forever. Her heart was as if caught by his hands, and was no longer beating in her own chest, but in his: her rescuer, her hero, the prince. And when he leaned in to kiss her, she let it happen, for she wanted it as much as him.

The minute his lips touched hers she could feel something piercing through her back and shooting up like a water lily poking its head out form under the surface. The spell had come true; she had indeed received her long longed for wings.

The prince now understood that she had been right, that she truly was a fairy, and he no longer doubted this, for he had never encountered a fairer girl in all his kingdom. But as their embrace unlocked, an awful truth fell upon Annysia, the prince did not belong to Fairyland; it was closed to such as him. If she went back she would lose him forever.

But as she again found her way into his embrace she knew that the dream she had so longed for was now replaced with another dream, and that no wings could measure up to true love.

The prince took her by her hand and together they walked to the lake Annysia had come from, for the prince knew very well which lake it was, it was also his favorite place in the kingdom.

Annysia gently touched the petals of a water lily and the fairy godmother appeared again.

“I have now received my wings,” said Annysia, “but the gift I value most is the one of true love. I wish to marry the prince and leave Fairyland.” The fairy godmother smiled and said: “and that was what you were meant to do all along. You have discovered that the reason you were deprived of wings was that you did not need them to fulfill your life’s purpose; sometimes to be different is a true blessing in disguise. You will keep your wings Annysia, you have certainly earned them, but from this day onwards they will be invisible.” She then gave her fairy wand a little wave and the wings disappeared from sight, even though Annysia could still feel them ever present on her back, reminding her of her true origin.

The prince and Annysia married, and she became Princess Annysia, loved and adored by all, but most of all by her husband Prince Adonis. Sometimes Annysia missed Fairyland and she would wander down to the lake at early dawn watching the water lilies open to the sun, but never was she tempted to wade into the lake and go back to Fairyland, for her heart belonged to the prince, and his love had given her her true wings.

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