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 Short Story

Baby Missing

By Bernard Shaw

It had been a fairly busy night at the Fairy Maternity ward. Seven new Fairies had been born during the night, three boys and four girls. The wise old Fairy in charge had finished her night duty and handed over to the wise old Fairy that would be in charge during the day. Nothing unusual had happened during the night, the seven births were like most births of Fairies straight forward; just one baby did not know whether to unfold her little wings or not. It was important for the wise old Fairies to make sure that the baby wings were fully functional and that they opened and closed, as they should. Some baby’s wings tend to get stuck together during their birth. If this was seen to right away, later the babies would be able to fly when they reached the age of three or thereabouts.

During the day there was usually many visitors coming to see the small babies. The parents and relations not to mention the little folk that were just plain nosey and one old Leprechaun that had retired from work but took it upon himself to be unofficial guardian to all of the new born babies. It was from this Leprechaun that they received their first pair of baby shoes. The shoes were so delicate, so finely made and so soft that each child learned to walk within three months of being born.

Her Majesty Queen Feeana came once every month to visit the Maternity Ward. This was usually a day of celebration Her Majesty brought toys and new silken clothes for the babies. No Fairy baby has ever been seen to suck its thumb or to use a dummy. Baby bottles for feeding were boiled in a large pot. It was perfectly clean in the maternity ward the work of cleaning was done by the Bogies. The Bogies were just a little simple but good hearted and they would do anything for the new Fairy Babies.

The Bogies were also responsible for seeing that that the visitors did not stay too long or overtire the babies. Parents were allowed to visit their babies for two hours in the mornings and two hours in the afternoon, at all other times there was no visiting allowed. On this day there was an unusually large number of visitors, visiting the ward. Among these visitors there was a woman dressed as a Pixie. This Pixie was very interested in the baby girls. Each baby she picked up from out of its cot and pretended to make a fuss of it. She did this to all of the babies. The last baby she picked up interested her the most. Quick as a flash she disappeared with the newborn baby.

This Pixie was really a young Witch that wanted a baby Fairy to learn as many secrets from the child as she possibly could. The Witch thought that Fairy babies were born with all of their knowledge and magic she did not know that babies as soon as they could walk and talk were subjected to a four and a half year period of intensive learning. Everyone knows that babies and small children learn quicker and can retain their knowledge easier that someone that learns later on in life.

The baby’s cot that was empty was soon to be the showplace of a serious investigation. All were there the Fairy Queen, the wise old Fairies, the Leprechaun even the Bogies. No one had seen anything out of the usual. This was indeed a very serious matter, a baby missing from the maternity ward, nothing like this had ever happened before in Fairyland. Her Majesty took from her handbag a small mirror. This was the Famous Picture mirror. The Queen could see anything and everything that went on in this world. Very few of the little folk had ever seen this mirror but all knew of its existence. That is why the little people always told the truth when they were asked a question about something.

Her Majesty Feeana looked into the mirror and saw the Witch with the newborn baby. The Witch was trying to feed the baby with cow’s milk everybody knows that babies do not drink cow’s milk. Only the milk from a mother horse is good enough for Fairies that need all the extra nourishment that is in a Mare’s milk. The Queen waved her wand and the baby no worse for its being taken away was back in its own little cot. The Witch suddenly found herself nursing a small pig. She was so surprised that she dropped the pig that immediately ran off into the woods. A knock on her door surprised her even more.

There stood the old Leprechaun. “I have here a pair of shoes for you,” he said. “With these shoes you will be able to walk for miles without your feet hurting you.” The Witch took the shoes and tried them on they fitted perfectly. As soon as she had the shoes on her feet he laughed out loud. “You will never be able to take those shoes off again in all your life.” The shoes are magic and everywhere that you go these shoes will squeak and everybody will know you for what you are a Baby Stealer. You will no more be able to go into a maternity ward and steal a baby. Once a month the shoes will pinch your feet and you will not be able to walk. That is your punishment no one steals a Fairy baby and gets away with it.
Bernard Shaw
Copyright 2005
Listed 8/01/2005

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