|The fairy of a thousand colours|
Not all fairies are how we imagine them to be. Pretty, nice, kind and generous, always ready to lend a helping hand. No. Not all of them are like that. At that time, for example, the Queen of the Fairy Realm was a very, very, inconsiderate fairy indeed; self-centred and, whats worse, extremely capricious. If it werent for the fact that she was queen of a realm of fairies, we wouldnt have been wrong in thinking that she was a witch! The witch... sorry, the Queen wanted all her wishes fulfilled and, oh boy, she certainly had a lot of wishes, and always different ones into the bargain.. So, all the fairies in her realm, instead of dedicating their energies to devising more important and do-good-deed spells, spent their time studying new spells that would satisfy the every whim of their insatiable Queen. The fairy Lalla, for example, was given the task of inventing new colours for the castle garden: each week she had to think up a new colour. Its not easy, you know! Even when you are a fairy! And, oh boy, there was real trouble in store, if she did the same colour twice: the Queen would see red and would deal out a punishment of terrible spells that, just between you and me, were more like witchcraft. - What a silly task and what a waste of time. Lalla thought, - With so many sad and colourless places in the world, I have to waste my time with someone so capricious! - Lalla complained, but spell after spell, week after week, she never let her spoilt and unappeasable sovereign down. One day, however, after the thousand tones of blue, and after the thousand and a thousand hues of yellow and after the thousand, and a thousand, and a thousand tints of red, Lalla made a mistake and repeated the spell that she had used a hundred weeks before to create a particular shade of lilac that she had called Lilac sunset on the lake. Nobody would have ever noticed, but the Queen did, and as soon as she saw that colour in her garden, she remembered that it was the same as the one used a hundred weeks before.
She was totally vexed and saw this as a perfidious insult to her person, and was so angry that as a punishment she cast a wicked spell to make all the colours from her realm disappear, imprisoning them in her crown. But that was not all! She was so infuriated that she confiscated and locked up all the magic powers of the other fairies, as well. Now, the whole country was black and white, sad and gloomy and even the sun, when it came out, was just a weak, pallid ray. There was only one magic spell that could free the colours from the Queens crown. But now, none of the fairies were able to do any magic, anymore. It was then that the fairy Lalla decided to pack her bags and go and seek advice from the Wise Owl who lived at the old oak tree; surely, he would be able to help her. The Wise Owl would certainly have liked to do something, but what? He was just so sad surrounded by that bleak world, that he was having difficulty coming up with even half a wise idea. Lalla then decided to continue her journey and went to see the Frog of the reed pond who was always a good source of ideas, but when she arrived, she found the frog crying buckets of tears: his green pond had become a dirty puddle of grey water. The frog would have given anything to help the colours come back, but what could he do? With all those tears, his brain was waterlogged and it was impossible to think at all. What was needed was a magic spell! So, the fairy Lalla decided to continue her journey to look for the Gnome, William, who lived in the wood.
Perhaps, he would know the answer to bring back the colours to the realm. So, after having walked for days and days, finally she found him. He was also very glum and gloomy because gnomes adore magic and colourful things! He would have loved to help out ... but what could he do? He didnt have any answers... But, hold on a sec, perhaps there was a solution... Not long ago he had heard a cicada sing a strange story about a dragon that was a guard to a small and rare, shimmering flower. I mean, thats strange, isnt it - a dragon guarding a small flower: perhaps it was worth finding out more about this. So, the two of them set out to find the small flower. After walking a great distance, they arrived at an unknown destination, unwelcoming and greyer than grey, where they found a large dragon that lived in a grotto. At his feet, a small flower that sent out a thousand tiny, multicoloured rays was growing. Clearly saddened by that grey and dismal landscape, the dragon wasnt ferocious at all, but appeared lost in his thoughts and down in the dumps with his gaze fixed in admiration at the small flower, the only tiny and brightly coloured thing in that dark and dismal setting. The fairy Lalla and the gnome William, seeing the dragon so depressed, told him that if he let them transplant that small flower and take it to a place that they knew of, very soon the whole realm would become magic and full of colour again, just like before.
The big dragon was really enthusiastic about the idea; in fact, he was so enthusiastic that, during that night he flew them directly to the Queens bedchamber. The night was, in fact, the only time that the Queen took her crown off. So, while the Queen was royally snoring her head off, completely unaware of what was going on, Lalla took out the little flower and placed it on the crown. And at that precise moment, the wicked Queens spell was broken. In a pandemonium of lighting, thunder and lightening bolts, all the colours and the magic powers that, up till then had been locked in the crown, broke free and took their place back in the small realm. And, as this was happening, the Queen of the fairies was turned into an ugly and wrinkly, old witch who was immediately banished from the realm. The sad and disheartened dragon was turned into a young and likeable elf that became Lallas friend and together they enjoyed themselves going around colouring all those sad and grey places in the world. That is, all places except the one where the wicked old witch went to live.