Dancing With The Fair Folk

In a small house near Crookwell, Australia, lived a girl named Clare Wulf and her mother Mrs. Wulf. Their house WAS cramped, but very beautiful.
Yvette Wulf had built it herself out of logs from a great wisteria tree which stood tall next to their humble abode.

In summer, the wisteria flowers would bloom, drooping through the tatty reed curtains filling Yvette's and Clare's house with a glorious lilac light.

Every Tuesday, Clare would go hunting for wild strawberries in the rainforest that surrounded their home. The strawberries grew in a spiky bush in a wide grassy glade in the middle of the forest. Clare knew she was very lucky to do this, because rainforests were being destroyed and hers was in tip-top condition.

It was a Tuesday. With her mother's usual cry of "Be back by six or the fairies'll get you!" ringing in her ears, Clare walked through the damp forest enjoying the scent of musty, wet wood and the twitters and calls of native and exotic birds.
When she got to her special strawberry glade, which was dappled with white sunlight and musical with parakeet calls, she sat down on the soft, downy grass.

The strawberry plant was heavy with spiky leaves, creamy blossoms and of course, the very juiciest of shiny berries. She crammed her mouth with some shiny red berries, and slowly, methodically, began to fill her basket. She was sure she'd picked them all, even greenish and white, when she saw the shiniest and fattest and reddest of all, she reached out her hand and suddenly...

“Hey, that's a new dress you're smudging!”

A tiny pixie apparently wearing a holed-out berry and nettle leaf and strawberry blossom hat turned to Clare.

“F-f-fairy!” Clare cried, jumping back several feet.

“Bella to you, don't touch my dress. C'mon, you going to the ball ?”

Bella led the still stunned Clare through the forest dodging nightshade, oleander and asparagus grass (“The spines will utterly destroy my dress!”).

Finally, Bella led Clare to a mushroom ring. Bella motioned for her to go in.

Clare did. In a second she was pixie-size. Her clothes had changed too. She now wore a snowdrop for a dress and a native violet for a hat.

A native dove cooed loudly.

“It's opening, come on!”

Suddenly Clare saw, a few feet away, hundreds or fairies, pixies, elves, water sprites and hobgoblins all dancing around a palm tree stump. Some were dressed in bottle-brush, others in wattle, but they all looked ravishing.

Clare giggled, and joined the dance. She learnt new ones too. She'd waltzed, polkaed and boogied, but she also did berry-ballet (ballet with berry tutus), frog-hop (tap-dancing in time with tree frogs) and the mint-leaf polka (polka while swishing mint leaves willy-nilly).

When Clare returned to normal size, she looked at her basket, now overflowing with red berries and there was a note. It read:

"Thanks for a great time.
"Bella"

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