The Pixie Party

toadstool house

The Pixie Party

Sephie and Merelda are sisters who love to dance.

More than anything else in the whole wide world they want to go to the pixie party. There the pixies dance among the toadstools, strings of multi-coloured firefly lanterns lighting their dancefloor.

There’s only one problem – Sephie and Merelda are far too big to dance with the pixies.

But they have a plan.

They put on their best party dresses and skip down the road to town. There they see a familiar wizard selling magic potions in the marketplace.

“Old Wizard Woo,” Sephie asks, “can we buy a potion to make us really small?”

“As small as pixies,” Merelda adds.

“Hmm.” The old wizard strokes his beard. Sidney Spider peaks over the brim of his hat. “I think I might have something…” He rummages through his basket and pulls out a bottle. The words ‘Shrinking Potion’ curl across the label.

The sisters pay him a small golden coin.

“But what do you want a shrinking potion for?” the wizard wonders, blinking owlishly.

“To dance at the pixie party, of course!”

Old Wizard Woo scratches his head as the girls begin to skip away. “I’m sure that’s not a good idea,” he murmurs. “If only I can remember why…”

Sidney Spider spins a web down to the wizard’s ear and whispers “They musn’t touch the toadstools!”

“That’s it! Of course! Don’t touch the toadstools!” Old Wizard Woo shouts after them. The sisters wave back. He just hopes they were listening.

Sephie and Merelda walk through the Enchanted Forest, following the faint sound of music drifting through the trees. The pixies live deep in the forest, where the toadstools grow big enough for them to live inside. The sisters creep close until they see the pixies dancing.

“We’re here. I can’t believe we’re here,” Sephie whispers excitedly.

Merelda grins. “Let’s drink the potion.”

They each drink a mouthful, pulling faces at the taste. A golden glow surrounds them and they begin to shrink. Soon the girls are no taller than pixies. Blades of grass tower around them like the trunks of trees.

“It worked! We’re small!” Grinning and laughing, they join the party.

Sephie and Merelda dance for hours, jumping and skipping, swirling and twirling. They make lots of friends. Their feet fly as they laugh and spin.

They’re having fun until suddenly Sephie stumbles dizzily and falls against a toadstool house.

Merelda gasps, remembering the wizard’s warning. “Don’t touch the toadstools!” he’d told them. She runs to her sister’s side but she’s too late. Sephie has already fallen into a deep sleep.

The pixies stop dancing. The musicians stop playing their instruments. All of their new friends gather around.

“We’re not pixies,” Merelda admits sadly. “We drank a shrinking potion. The wizard warned us not to touch the toadstools.”

“You’re human?”… “Oh dear!”… “That’s not good,” the pixies say. “Humans don’t wake up after touching the toadstools.”

Merelda starts to cry. She doesn’t want her sister to sleep forever. “Is there nothing you can do to help?”

“You could always ask the pixie witch for help.”

“Ssh, Tixel,” the others say, shaking their heads.

Merelda looks at the gathered pixies. “Who’s the pixie witch?”

“We don’t talk about her!”… “She’s scary!”… “She plays nasty tricks,” the pixies say.

Tixel shakes his head. “She’s not that bad,” he tells Merelda. “Though she can be a bit grumpy. I’m sure she’ll know a spell to wake your sister up.”

“Please take me to her?” Merelda begs and Tixel agrees.

The pixie witch lives in a hole in a tree not far from the toadstool village. Merelda and Tixel are soon clambering up the roots, knocking against the wood as they shout “Hello!” into the witch’s home.

“Who’s there?” a croaky voice calls out. “Go away. I don’t want visitors.”

“I need your help,” Merelda told her.

“Well, I don’t want to give it.”

“Please! My sister’s in trouble. We drank a shrinking potion to dance at the pixie party but Sephie touched a toadstool and fell asleep.”

The pixie witch pokes her head out of the hole. “What silly person gave you a shrinking potion?”

“Old Wizard Woo.”

“Bah! I should have guessed. I’ll help your sister,” she says. She wiggles her fingers, muttering strange words, and a bulging bag follows her out of the hole. “And then I’m going to go and give that wizard a good telling off!”

Merelda and Tixel follow the little witch back to the village where Sephie lies in the middle of the dancefloor, away from the toadstools.

The pixie witch wiggles her fingers, sprinkling sparkling dust over Sephie’s face as she speaks strange magic words. A moment later Merelda sees her sister’s eyes flutter open.

“You’re awake!” Merelda throws her arms around her.

Sephie rubs at her eyes and yawns. “Have I been asleep?” Before Merelda can explain the pixie witch growls another question that causes the sisters to look worriedly at each other.

“Did that daft wizard give you a potion to put you back to proper size?”

The sisters shake their heads.

The pixie witch grumbles. With another wiggle of her fingers and sprinkling of dust she casts a spell on the sisters. Shouting their farewells to all of their new pixie friends, they begin to grow.

As Sephie and Merelda walk home through the forest they talk excitedly about their night at the pixie party.

It was great fun, they agree, but next time they’ll make sure their plans are better made. And they’ll stay away from all the toadstools.

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The Lost Unicorn – Version 3

snowdrop and fairies

There are many different creatures that make their home in The Enchanted Forest: fairies and dragons, pixies and goblins, giants, trolls and ogres. The rarest and most beautiful creatures of all, however, are the unicorns. With long, flowing manes that shimmer like spun gold in the sunlight, coats of purest white, and elegant twists of golden horn, they are a sight to take your breath away.

This tale is about the youngest of the unicorns. Continue reading

The Lost Unicorn – Version 2

snowdrop

Many different creatures live in the Enchanted Forest but the most beautiful of all are the unicorns. With long, flowing manes that shimmer in the sunlight, coats of purest white, and elegant twists of golden horn, they are a sight to take your breath away.

The youngest of the unicorns is called Snowdrop and this is his tale.

Continue reading

Crafting Stories for Different Ages

the storyteller

As a children’s storyteller, preparing a story suitable for only a single age group is not enough. One day I can be entertaining a group of three-year-olds, the next, seven-year-olds. For this reason when I write a story I try to prepare several different versions of it, each aimed at a different age group. Prior to sharing a few stories with you I thought I’d say a little bit about what this generally entails. Continue reading

Sidney the Scaredy Spider

This children’s story (aimed at 5 / 6 year olds) Sidney the Scaredy Spider, is one that I wrote to be told rather than read, but I thought I’d paint a few pictures to go with it and share it here.

Enjoy – and I’d love to know what you think.


 

sidney

 This is Sidney the Spider.

Sidney Spider is very shy and very nervous. He doesn’t like meeting new people or doing new things. He gets scared. That is why he’s known as Scaredy Spider.

 

 

Scaredy Spider lives in a web in the branches of a little bush. He likes living there. No one ever bothers him.

He has to admit, though – sometimes he does get a little bit lonely.

wind blown sidney

But one stormy day the wind blows so strongly that Scaredy Spider’s web is blown right off the little bush and is carried away – with Sidney still on it!

Scaredy Spider clings tightly to his web, trying desperately not to fall off, until finally the wind sets him down in a large garden.

 

Sidney is very scared – what can he do? His web is in pieces and his bush is far away.

He has to build himself a new web – but where?

owl

 

First he sees a tall tree. What a perfect place to live, he thinks, and he scurries up the trunk and begins to spin his web.

“Twit-twoo.” An owl looks down at Sidney. “Hello,” hoots the owl. “My name is Oswald. Are you my new neighbour? I live here in my nest. We can be friends!”

“Eek,” cries Scaredy Spider, and he runs away down the trunk of the tree, too scared to talk to the owl.

 

 

Next Sidney sees a rickety old fence. This is definitely a perfect place to live, he thinks, and he begins to spin his web.

rabbit

Suddenly a rabbit hops out of a hole, it’s nose twitching. “Hello,” says the rabbit. “I’m Ridley. Are you my new neighbour? I live here in my burrow. We can be friends!

“Eek,” cries Scaredy Spider, and he runs away through the grass, too scared to talk to the rabbit.

 

toad

 

After that Sidney sees a drainpipe, dripping water into a big puddle. Here, he thinks, will be a perfect place to live, and he begins to spin his web.

“Ribbit, ribbit.” A toad splashes into the puddle. “Hello,” croaks the toad. “My name is Terrence. Are you my new neighbour? I live here in this puddle. We can be friends!”

“Eek,” cries Scaredy Spider, and he runs away up the drainpipe, too scared to talk to the toad. 

Finally Sidney sees an open window and he enters a room.  No one else is around. No one to scare him. And there, sitting on a table, he sees a blue, pointy thing. A perfect place for me to live, he thinks, and he begins to spin his web.

After that Sidney is so tired that he falls fast asleep. When he wakes up he finds himself looking up at the long beard and kind green eyes of an old wizard.

wizard and hat

 “Hello,” says the wizard, lifting his hat with spider and web. “I’m Old Wizard Woo. Are you living here now? I live here, in this house – and this is my hat. We can be friends!”

Scaredy Spider wants to run away, but there is nowhere he can go. He has to be a brave spider. “Hello,” he squeaks, his voice as wobbly as his legs. “I’m Sidney.”

Old Wizard Woo smiles and Scaredy Spider finds himself smiling back.  He will be lonely no more.

Old Wizard Woo

 

Sidney still lives on Old Wizard Woo’s hat. They are best friends.

Sidney Spider is still very shy and very nervous but when he’s with his friend Wizard Woo he knows that he doesn’t need to be Scaredy Spider any more.

 

The End