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 Short Story

China Trip

By Bernard Shaw

I have an invitation to a trip to China; Her Majesty Fairy Queen Feeana is sending the children from the Fairy school to China so they may get to know other Fairies of their own age. There are fifty Fairy children, four wise old Fairies, The teachers and myself. The children are very excited and I find it thrilling to go on such a magic trip. No special arrangements are to be made the Chinese Fairies know that we are coming and have prepared a place for us in the North East of China.

On arriving at the school deep in the woods I found the children ready equipped with their Magic wands and large smiles on their sweet little faces. The four teachers or Wise old Fairies were ready and were again in the middle of counting the children. This they had done at least ten times but they were taking no chances. The Fairy Queen Feeana appeared in her usual flash of light and small whiff of smoke.

Looking the fairy children over very carefully she too counted them once more then with the four teachers and Her Majesty waving their magic wands, in a bright flash, we were sitting in a clearing somewhere in the Chinese forest to the North East of Peking. The clearing is perfectly round and there are Chinese fairies greeting us as we land in the clearing. A group of Chinese fairy children sang a song for us and it was a great pleasure to listen to their sweet young voices.

Soon all of the children were playing in the clearing European and Chinese If it was not for the fact that the Chinese Fairies had a picture of a Panda Bear stitched to their dresses we would not have been able to tell one from another. Soon small groups of Fairies were using their magic wands both parties were I think showing off as children sometimes do. Some competed in painting flowers other butterflies I myself was sitting on a silken cushion with a Chinese fairy on each knee. They were delighted with my nose and with their magic made it smaller and then bigger. I took it all in good part.

The Fairy Queen came to my rescue and we saw for the first time a Panda Bear with a baby. The bear trotted into the middle of the clearing and looked first at the fairy children then at me. The Chinese Fairies were gathering bamboo shoots and plant for the Panda mother soon all were competing as to who could collect the most tender of shoots and bamboo for the bear mother.  She took it all in good part and had no shy from the fairies neither from the Chinese nor from the European. The baby contentedly drank milk from the Panda mother’s breast.

The Chinese fairies were thanking the children for their coming also the Teachers came in for praise and each Chinese Fairy child gave to each European Fairy a small doll made in the shape of a Panda bear to take back home with them. I too became a gold Chinese coin from some distant period way back in time. Now I saw for the first time how disciplined the Fairy children were. One teacher held her hand up in the air and called out to the Chinese children to group around her. The next minute Chinese Fairies surrounded her. A quick count and unending cries of good-bye and the Chinese children just disappeared.

Then one of our Fairy Teachers held up her hand the European Fairies quickly formed a circle around her and a quick count. Forty-nine Fairies, one of the children was not present. Where could she be? I looked around the circle but could see no sign of the missing Fairy. Her Majesty gave a quick sigh and took out of her pocket the Magic Mirror. Looking into the mirror she smiled and showing me the mirror I saw the Fairy riding on the mother Panda’s back.

The Panda Bear mother seemed not to have any idea that she was giving a Fairy a ride on her back. She only had eyes for her baby and soon was happily climbing a tree. The Fairy now saw that she was alone the other Fairies were not with her. She gave a small cry and landed promptly in the middle of the other waiting Fairies. Queen Feeana had spirited her back to the circle by magic.

Another quick count and we were back at the woods of home. The Fairy children were asked by their teachers to draw a Panda bear and soon pictures of Panda Bears with and without children were appearing as fast as the children could draw. I with the Fairy Queen Feeana and I were discussing the journey and the welcome by the Chinese Fairies. Her Majesty with a smile on her face gave me a large packet of Chinese tea. Thanking Her Majesty I too took the path back to my home where I soon had a kettle on the boil and drinking a sweet cup of Chinese tea I let the pictures of what I had seen pass by in my head.
Bernard Shaw
Copyright 2005
Listed 9/08/2005

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