Once upon a time, in a forest far away, there lived a young fairy. Having no other fairies to talk to, she spent her days wandering through the woods. She knew the paths the humans took, and was careful to avoid them. She knew where the last rays of sunlight would hit the forest floor after a long summer’s day. And she knew where to find the freshest, sweetest water that would quench any thirst. One day, after a particularly heavy rain, she checked on her favorite stream and discovered a large book floating in the now muddy waters. The young fairy spent hours cleaning leaves and mud off the book before laying it in the sun to dry. She needn’t have bothered, for the book was magical and when the pages dried, it looked as shiny and new as the day it had been made.
Excited, the fairy sat down to read her new book. To her dismay, the words were written in a language she did not understand. She turned the book upside down, sideways and even tried to read it backwards, but still she couldn’t make sense of the words. She looked at it during different times of day and under the full moon. Nothing helped.
The pictures, however, were clear. They were beautifully illustrated in vibrant colors of yellow, blue and green. They showed her the adventures of other, older fairies. Those pictures enchanted her. She had never met another fairy!And they were so elegant; their wings were large and magnificent and brightly colored in jewel tones. She especially liked a young man whose wings shimmered like amethysts. After that day, the book never left her side, and she could often be found sitting on her favorite sunflower, in a clearing near the creek, studying the ancient tome.
One day, a tax collector from the neighboring kingdom – the kingdom whose humans liked to travel noisily along that trail through the woods – followed a different path.
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