by Sarah Earlene Shere, ©2022

(Sep. 9, 2022) — No one would believe me. I found it difficult to believe, myself. But it happened. I died and was brought back to life. At least, I was certain I had died. How could I possibly have survived the fall from that window? But there I was, standing on all four paws, a little shaken, but no harm done. I surveyed the window’s surroundings, trying to find a way to re-enter from whence I had fallen. Suddenly, the window was shut. No use of trying that way. I walked around the two-story cottage, even finding my way up onto its thatched roof, but no entrance was to be found. As the sun began to set over the distant hills, my stomach began to feel the pains of hunger. I sat at the front door, certain that the farmer’s wife would come looking for me to give me my dinner. As the moon rose, I began to pace and gargle a hunger song, hoping it would cause the farmer and his wife to come.

Finally, the door opened. The farmer stepped out. I was stunned as he pushed me aside with his foot and quickly shut the door behind him. I was too hungry to be angry. Instead, I was mesmerized by the burlap sack he swung at his side. Something inside was moving. Expecting that this was something that was soon to be our dinner, I followed him anxiously, unconcerned that I was nearly causing him to trip as I endeavored to keep up with him, weaving in and out between his feet.

Suddenly, he stopped. I looked around and was surprised to find us in the woods. With a swift movement, the farmer flipped the bag over, and out tumbled my brothers and sisters. The farmer growled at us, “You’ll not be gettin’ any more free meals from us! Now, be off with ya’!”

For a moment, we stood in bewilderment, then we hurried after the only source of food and shelter we had ever known. But the farmer’s legs were long and quick, the foliage was dense, and the trees blocked the light of the moon. Soon we lost track of him, and each other.

That’s when I found a hollow log and a fairy. She was a lovely little thing. She spoke comfort to me. She assured me that there were others like her all throughout the woods, and they would not let any harm come to me or my brothers and sisters.

After that, she gave me my calling. She said it was the calling given to all the abandoned and forgotten: to not live for ourselves but for others. She said we are called to give the love and kindness that was not given to us; in that way, we will heal our own broken hearts as well as others.

In the morning, she perched herself on my nose and led me out of the woods. Soon I came upon another cottage. Here, the fairy smiled, kissed my nose and told me I would know what to do from there. When she left, I felt instinctively drawn to an open window of the cottage. Just inside, I saw a small girl, propped up, resting in bed. She looked weak and pale. I sat on the tree trunk by her window, watching her with uncertainty. I realized, at that moment, how the trauma of abandonment had made me wary of trusting another human.

Soon, the child opened her eyes and turned her face toward me. She smiled, gave a slow blink and nodded her head. I was surprised. How did she know the proper way to greet a cat? I returned a slow blink of my own and a gentle nod. Suddenly I felt safe. I laid down on the limb as she gently spoke to me and made an effort to communicate with purring imitations. It was a sweet, thoughtful gesture, if not a little embarrassing for her. I would stay for a while. And I decided I would come back on the morrow.

Sarah Earlene Shere is an author, actress and cosplayer in her native home of Southern California. In the early 1990s, Sarah fell in love with storytelling at the age of eleven. As she’s grown closer to God and fallen in love with Jesus, her stories have become biblical and allegorical, reflecting her favorite authors, John Bunyan and Hans Christian Andersen. Besides Amazon, Sarah’s stories and writings can be found on Facebook and WordPress under Hosanna Heralds. Her fairy tale flash fiction stories can be found on Instagram and Facebook (#FairyTaleFlashFictionFriday). Since 2018, Sarah has been acting with Long Beach based Masquer Theatre Company. In 2017 she started volunteering with a local cosplay non-profit, Kids Can Cosplay. She prays her stories are a blessing to you!

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