The Fairy Godmother
We were five girls, just turned thirteen, bouncing up and down on our toes because we had been assigned our own fairy godmothers. Only the best, brightest, and most beautiful girls received fairy godmothers. I, of course, had the best and the brightest, being the daughter of the king. I had the finest dress, shoes, and tiara. I would have the best fairy godmother.
We were chaperoned by an older woman who looked like my nurse. We waited on the path as she walked each girl to a gate. “Wait here when you are done,” she said “And, I’ll pick you up.”
The girls nodded and then walked through the gate to their destiny. I waited in envy. We walked down the broad paths, and then the narrow paths, and then I was the last girl. The older woman took me by the hand as we walked through a dirt path through a dark forest.
“Don’t be afraid,” she said.
Me? Afraid? I snorted. Eventually we came to a wooden gate hanging on one hinge. She told me to stay there when I was done. I snorted. I am the best and the brightest. Why did I get the ugliest gate?
I walked through the gate and saw a small run-down cottage. In front of the cottage was an old woman with tobacco-stained teeth. She spit on the ground.
“You, You?” I could hardly get the words out. “You are my fairy godmother?”
The old woman laughed. Her laugh did not tinkle as I expected. It was loud and rough.
“The best and the brightest,” she laughed “come here.”
I folded my arms against my chest. I wanted to scream and throw myself to the ground.
“You can stay or you can go,” said the old woman and then she left me there in front of the broken stoop.