Once Upon a Moonbeam

A Fairy Tale With a Secret Recipe!

Eleanor and Esperanza’s grandparents lived in a cozy cottage beside a large, mysterious, meadow… Where wildflowers and tall grasses swayed to and fro, whispering happy secrets to warm summer breezes. Beyond the meadow, a babbling brook twisted its way like a thin, silver ribbon, into an emerald green forest. 

During one particular visit, Eleanor had a loose tooth. It was her very first one, and she was very proud of it. It wiggled and it jiggled, and one day, in the middle of a giggle, it popped right out!

Esperanza handed her brave, big sister a handkerchief to wrap the tooth in, and could hardly wait for her very own loose tooth! 

That night, when Eleanor snuggled under lavender-scented blankets, Baba asked her with a wink, “Did you put the tooth under your pillow? Maybe the tooth fairy will come tonight and leave you something.”

“Yeth, I will, Baba!” Eleanor lisped, holding up her tooth, and staring at it. “It lookth tho weird!”

Esperanza, in the lower bunk, stuck her head out, and frowned up at her sister. “Be sensible, Ellie! You know there’s no such thing as magic.”

Baba just smiled and kissed them good night. Dandy winked, blew them a kiss, and closed the door.

Eleanor’s nose poked over the covers. She gripped her tooth, gazed into the twilight and made a plan. “Ethee… Ethperanza,” she whispered, (missing her front tooth made her talking sound kind of funny), “Letth juth pretend to thleep.”

“OK!” agreed Esperanza excitedly. “When Baba comes back for your tooth pretending she’s the tooth fairy… we shout BOO and scare her!”

Both the girls agreed and giggled mischievously. It would be fun and fitting to catch Baba just once, because of the many tricks she sometimes played on the girls. That would make them “even” especially after that morning’s horrible sugar and salt-shaker-switching incident at breakfast. (Although, it could have been Dandy who did it.)

Time past slowly. It was very late and Baba never returned for Eleanor’s tooth.

“Thith ith very thrange,” whispered Eleanor fiercely to Esperanza, “Baba ithint coming!”

Moonlight streamed through the white lace bedroom curtains. Eleanor yawned, threw back her blankets, climbed out of the top bunk, and tiptoed to the window. Esperanza joined her, and the two girls stood together looking out past the meadow into the dark forest. Esperanza moved her elbow and nearly toppled the tiny vase filled wildflowers sitting on the windowsill. Eleanor rescued it and thrust her nose into the spicy blossoms inhaling deeply. The moon was full and golden. The meadow was bathed in moonshine. Esperanza shivered. Something strange was happening. There was a low humming sound.

Eleanor opened her hand. The little tooth glowed oddly. Esperanza gasped. Suddenly, a strong, sweet meadow breeze burst through the open window, and swirled warmly around the two girls. They held their breath, closed their eyes, and held each other tight! The humming crescendoed, then ceased abruptly.

Opening their eyes, they discovered they were standing on the windowsill, and towering way above them… was the vase of wildflowers- it now as big as a house! Eleanor pinched herself hard. “Ouchth! I AM awake!”

Esperanza glanced way up at the flowers. “What’s happened? Have we shrunk? This can’t be happening. I must be dreaming!” To see if this was true, she pinched her sister, and Eleanor pinched her right back. This proved they were both very wide awake.

There was a tinkling laugh.

Eleanor twirled around and gazed upon a most beautiful lady whose long golden hair was decorated with flowers. She had butterfly wings, and her silver robe was made of spun moonlight.

“Well met!” she sang, “My name is Silverstar, and I am a fairy.”

“A fairy!?” echoed Esperanza, “You mean like magic stuff… that kind of fairy?”

Silverstar laughed merrily. Her blue eyes glowed like sapphires.

“Of course, silly! Oh….! I see… You are one of those practical, sensible people who won’t believe in things unseen. No matter. Come, meet my friends!”

Suddenly, there was much chatter, fluttering of wings, and introductions. Eleanor felt delightfully giddy! The lady fairies, Quickbeam, Chitchat and Meadowsweet wore gowns made of rose petals, pansies and poppies. The gentlemen fairies, Cobnut, Twickbine, and Elfbolt, stood handsomely in sleek foxglove tunics with breeches of spun yarrow and fern.

Esperanza stood off to the side feeling miserable. This was impossible! “There must be an explanation for all this! There had to be!” 

Silverstar and Quickbeam clasped Eleanor’s hands, took a few running steps, and leaped off the windowsill pulling Eleanor up into the air!

“Time’s a-flying and so should we!” They swooped out over the wildflower meadow. Eleanor laughed and loved the wind in her hair as she flew. She was as free as a bird! This was tons better than Zip-lining with Dandy and hearing him scream!

Chitchat and Meadowsweet, rushed towards Esperanza.

“No, no NOOOO!” shrieked Esperanza, but Chitchat and Meadowsweet grabbed her hands, and off they flew behind Eleanor and the other fairies. 

Esperanza relaxed and enjoyed the short flight. It was fun! They landed beside a bubbly stream and the fairies set up a picnic using mossy stones as tables. Elfbolt and Twickbine had brought a scrumptious midnight picnic for everyone. They feasted on wild strawberries, hazelnuts, rose petal cakes, and lavender cookies. 

“Maybe this isn’t so bad after all,” thought Esperanza, brushing cake crumbs off her nightgown.

“Thith ith wonderful!” sighed Eleanor dreamily, looking around, pleased to see  that when fairies sit, their elegant wings folded flat and neatly upon their backs. 

“May I please have another lavender cookie?!” Esperanza sensibly remembered her manners, and didn’t speak with her mouth full.

Twickbine grinned and passed her one. He had made the lavender cookies himself.

“Would you like more rose petal cake?” asked Quickbeam, not wanting to be out-done.

Eleanor groaned. She was stuffed. Cobnut hoisted Eleanor up and chortled, “Come on everyone… Time to move, and Eleanor’s it!”

They played hide and seek with shy little star beams. The fairies and the girls  hid inside tiny tree hollows and wild delphinium blossoms. During moonbeam tag, the girls hid inside a huge velvety purple clover… purposely avoiding the low-growing wild roses. Esperanza reminded Eleanor that roses had thorns, and Eleanor showed Esperanza that some of the rose stems were dotted with blobs of foam from spittlebugs. Eww!

After many, many games, the girls sat beside the gurgling stream and watched some of the fairies dance. Their tiny feet barely touched the grassy ground as they leaped and twirled with sheer joy.

Elfbolt stood apart, and looked up at the sky admiring the stars. Then, clearing his throat importantly, he invited everyone to sit down beside the brook. Sakura, the Cherry Blossom Fairy, accidentally spilled an acorn shell of wild huckleberries onto the mossy grass and laughed. Finally, there was silence. Even the crickets and little tree frogs were quiet. 

Elfbolt cocked his head to the side, and looked into the little stream, listening  to its gentle murmur. He smiled and said, “I will sing its song.”

“How can a stream have a song?” blurted Esperanza.

“Every thing and every one has a song,” said Elfbolt patiently. “But one must be quiet if they wish to hear the Music.” 

Eleanor and Esperanza leaned their heads towards the water and listened carefully. At first they only heard the water gurgling. But then, it happened. They heard it! They heard the brook’s Song!

It sang of its constant journey to Moonbeam Creek. It sang of where it had been, what it had seen, and where it was going. The girls stared at each other in wonder. The fairies clapped their hands with delight and everyone danced until dawn to the brook’s Song until dawn.

When the sun awoke from its slumber and yawned the sky pink and gold, the fairies bid the moon and stars good night. Like giant pearls, fading moonbeams plopped down to the ground. Where each one fell, a circle of tiny toadstools sprung out of the earth forming a Fairy Ring.

The fairies pointed to the toadstools and reminded the girls that if on their own, to never eat anything outside that looked like a mushroom or a toadstool. They make humans sick unto death,” said Cobnut sadly. “They are only to be looked at, and to remember us by… where we danced and played during the night… and where the moonbeams fell.”

The girls yawned sleepily, nodding their heads.

“Yawn rhymes with dawn! It’s time to be gone!” Announced Silverstar.

The fairies flew Eleanor and Esperanza back home, skimming low across the meadow. The morning dew glittered like diamonds on the  grass, and birds sleepily chirped good morning to each other.

All too soon, they arrived at Eleanor and Esperanza’s windowsill. Standing next to the towering vase of wildflowers, Esperanza sensibly remembered her manners. “Thank you for everything!”

“Oh NO!” wailed Eleanor looking around. “I muth have loth my tooth thumwhere when flying home! Ith not in my pajama pocket anymore!”

Silverstar’s beautiful sapphire eyes glanced toward the meadow. “Don’t worry Eleanor. It will find you.”

Esperanza snorted in disbelief, then pretended she hadn’t.

Eleanor was so sad about the tooth.  “Tho… when… when can we theee you again?”

Everything went quiet, and Esperanza took her sister’s hand, and held it tightly. Something very important was about to happen again.

“You and your sister are too old to ever see us again, dear one. We visit but once, and only to those in need.” Silverstar said gently. Her butterfly wings kept changing colour in the dawn’s early light.

Eleanor swallowed a big lump in her throat. She was too big to cry in front of the fairies. She must be brave. Esperanza squeezed Eleanor’s hand in sympathy, and hoped her sister wouldn’t cry, because when Eleanor cried, Esperanza cried too. Why was that? Dandy once said it was because they loved each other so much. 

Twickbine stepped up smartly, gently tilted Eleanor’s chin up, and looked kindly into her eyes. “It’s okay to be sad for a little while Eleanor! It will pass. Be comforted that in life, there are many ‘kinds’ of magic! It’s for you to find the Good.”

“That’s right,” declared Elfbolt. “First, and foremost, is the One, True, and Great Mystery- The Rainbow Maker! You should know this Person by another Name.” They all looked very solemn when Elfbolt said that.

“And,” interrupted Silverstar, laughing, ” There’s magic in a hug…” 

“There’s magic in an echo,” piped in Cobnut…

AND lavender cookies!” grinned Twickbine. 

Chitchat gazed at Eleanor and Esperanza. “Dear girls, always remember – Life Itself IS magic … and the Magic of Life is Love!”

The fairies kissed Eleanor and Esperanza farewell and flew away into the dawn without looking back, except Sakura, the shy little Cherry Blossom Fairy. She glanced back just once, and blew them one last goodbye kiss.

Sweet fairy voices sang an achingly beautiful parting song as they flew over the wildflower meadow and back into the woods. It made the girls feel happy, hopeful, and heroic – all at the same time.

“The Magic of Life,

Is Love, is Love!

The Magic of Life,

Is Love!”

Eleanor and Esperanza kept listening, until alas, the fairies’ song faded away. They were so sleepy, and as if in a dream, they floated back into their beds. Once their heads touched their pillows, they knew no more.

Radiant sunlight streamed through Eleanor’s bedroom curtains. She sat up in bed and rubbed the crusty sleep from her eyes.

Baba briskly walked into their bedroom holding her steaming mug of coffee. “Good morning girls! Well, Eleanor,” she winked, “What did the fairies leave you?”

Eleanor lifted her pillow gingerly. WHAT? There was a coin and something else. Something was wrapped inside a soft green fern leaf!

With trembling hands, Eleanor opened the present. Inside the leaf was… a lavender fairy cookie!

Eleanor bolted out of bed and ran outside as fast as she could (in her bare feet), into the dewy meadow. Ever-sensible Esperanza hollered, “Wait Ellie! Remember your slippers!”

In the middle of the meadow Eleanor found a circle of tiny toadstools. “Why … ith a Fairy Ring!” she gasped.

“Look Ellie!” puffed Esperanza, finally catching up to her sister. She pointed down to the grass.

Something sparkled brightly in the middle of the Fairy Ring.

Eleanor bent down… and picked up her lost tooth!

For a moment, the girls thought they heard singing.

Twickbine’s Lavender Fairy Cookies

• 1/2 cup margarine or butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla, or rose, or almond extract
• 1 Tbsp. chopped organic lavender flower buds or lavender leaves
• 1 & 1/2 cups flour
• 2 heaping tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream margarine or butter and the sugar. Beat in egg and flavouring. Stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. Drop by teaspoons on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool slightly and remove carefully. Serve on a beautiful plate. Enjoy!

Twickbine says, to make these cookies gluten free,  substitute the regular flour with 1 cup of rice flour and a half a cup of cornstarch.

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