“Wait, wait, little bird!”
She cried after it, but it kept speeding up. Not once taking her eyes of the curious birdie, she chased it across a meadow full of fragrant flowers. The little bonnet slid from her head and unleashed a wild abundance curls. Running and crawling through the field, her fancy black varnished shoes slipped off in the high grass and green smudges formed on her freshly-washed Sunday dress. Smeared with grass and dirt, the child ran as fast as her bare feet could carry her and reached for the creature. Finally, she managed to poke it with a fingertip and startled. It was so warm.
The little creature hovered and looked at her with big, round slanted eyes as dark as the deepest lake. To her astonishment its feathers were not feathers at all but slender green leaves bound together into a dress with a matching miniature hat. From her back sprouted the bright wings of a butterfly, which she pensively clapped open and shut.
From up close, the tiny woman was radiant and beautiful. She had an elfin, oval and somewhat angular face laced with long, waving hair in a shade of brown with golden hue the girl had never seen before. From in between the lush locks, a pair of pointed ears stuck out and frail feelers swayed gently up and down as if stirred by a life of their own. She looked so delicate and startled.
“What a strange bird you are.” The child said. Fearlessly.
The elfin woman batted her marble-like eyes with a gasp and hurried away as fast as her little wings could carry her. She ducked down in a flowerbed.
“Wait!” Macy went after her. Then wing-battering and voices, thin and shrill like a child’s, caught her attention. The sound was sugary sweet like singing. It seemed as though a choir of flowers had sprung to life.
When she looked closely over the flowers, the girl found the entire field buzzing with pretty birdies in the sundriest attires, as if they were trying hard to blend in with the foliage around them. They popped up to look at her, whispering and pointing.
“Can she see us?” She heard them gossip in their high-pitched voices.
“No, it couldn’t possibly be.”
“I swear, she’s looking right at me!”
“Eyla, you lured her here.”
“You should have been more careful, Eyla!”
Just inches from Macy’s hand, the little elfin woman called Eyla raised her head from her hiding place amidst the blossoms and clasped her throat in shock. “Bippityboo, what did I do?” She muttered, staring at Macy with open mouth.
“Oh, hello.” The girl murmured in a cheerful tone, bending over to her. The little being hid behind a leaf shyly, then peeped at her from the sides.
“Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.” The girl ensured her.
Now the tiny one started to enjoy her little game. She giggled and showed her tiny head, before hiding again, with Macy digging into the green to find her.
“It’s okay, you can come out.” The girl said, kneeling down slowly. “I’m Macy. What’s your name?”
“Eyla.” She replied in an unsure tone from the back of a plant.
Macy gently slid the leaf between them out of the way with a fingertip. The elfin creature gasped, holding on to the leaf with her tiny dainty four-fingered hands. “Are you a monster?” She asked in a voice as small as her posture.
Macy laughed her carefree child’s laugh. “Who, me? No, silly, I’m a girl.”
“A girl?” The tiny one pondered that for a minute. “Are you going to eat me?”
“Why would I eat you, you don’t look particularly tasty. Besides, you’re far too small. You’d only increase my appetite.” She teased.
The butterfly-girl sighed in relief and stretched her leg like a ballerina, until her nimble four-toed foot touched Macy’s skin. With upright toes, she stepped gracefully onto the girl’s index-finger. Macy raised her hand to watch the creature more closely. In every aspect a woman, but different.
“What a peculiar butterfly.” She said puzzled.
“Butterfly?” She clenched her little fists and stamped her foot, with her wings clapping in agitation. “I’m not a butterfly, and I’m not peculiar either, I’m a fairy!”
“A fairy?” The girl said pensively. “I’ve never met a fairy before.”
“Then how can you say I’m peculiar?” The fairy bent over to look at her, hands on her hips. “You look pretty strange yourself.”
“I don’t think so.” The girl muttered, suddenly self-conscious and a little offended.
The fairy chuckled and reached up. “Your ears are funny.”
“Aw!” Macy covered her ear to protect it against the fairy’s mean little jerks. “Are not!” She whined. The little one giggled.
Another fairy called out to her firmly. “Eyla!”
“Oh.” The butterfly-girl arched back wringing her hands behind her with a guilty look. “We’re not supposed to talk to humans.” She shuffled her foot and threw nervous glances at the other fairies who beckoned her persistently.
“But...” Macy protested.
The air grew thick with fairies who shone like fireflies throughout the impending dusk. To the girl they resembled tiny shooting stars across the sky, close enough even to grasp.
Macy watched them in amazement while the buzzing around her slowly diminished. Everywhere minute bundles of light disappeared on the horizon. The last remaining fairies motioned at little Eyla.
The fairy startled. “Dippityboo, I have to go too. Bye.”
“No, wait... I...” Macy raised her hand after Eyla to keep her from going, but it was no use. With a hurried flutter, she was gone, afraid to be left behind in the dark. The fairy turned to Macy for a final wave and then vanished in the distance with the others.
Macy watched them all go and stood forlorn in the middle of the meadow. She should probably go back to the park, daddy was probably out looking for her by now. Her shoulders sloping, she absently kicked a pebble. He would be angry. The girl looked down at her stained dress. Mummy would be too.