by Nancy McConnell -
“I don’t want to go!” Blossom yelled and kicked at the base of a nearby mushroom. She stubbed her toe.
“Everyone has to go to school, dear,” her mother said firmly. “Please do not take it out on the furniture. You’ve had 100 years to do as you please and what have you done with your time? Chased bees, stolen nectar, and dowsed poor unsuspecting spiders with dew. It’s time you learned responsibility. Although I don’t know what your poor teacher is going to go through to teach it to you.”
“I won’t go!” Blossom stamped her pointy shoed feet.
“Yes dear,” her mother said, “now eat your beetle sandwich. That dew was fresh this morning."
Blossom crunched into her sandwich and chewed, picking a leg from her tooth. There had to be a way to get out of it. No one could make her go. Could they?
But in the end she did go, and before the birds had finished their morning bath, Blossom was flying on her tiny wings to her first day at fairy school.
The other fairy children gathered at the base of an ancient oak learning tree. Most of the others looked twinkly and clean for the first day of school. But Blossom arrived wings wrinkled, flower crown lopsided, and a smudge of dirt on her nose. Some fairies were playing Toss the Acorn, throwing a handful of acorns high in the air and then dodging to the side to miss getting smacked on the head. This was mostly the boys and most of the time they were not successful.
Some fairies were coaxing a blue butterfly to fly down from a flower stalk. This was mostly the girls and they were not too successful either. Others just stood around and talked and laughed. Blossom could not believe they were taking this outrage so calmly.
“Blossom!” a voice called. Petal, her best friend, waved vigorously from among a group of giggling first years. Blossom scowled.
“What’s wrong?” Petal asked when she saw the scowl.
“I don’t want to be here!”
“Why not?” Petal looked surprised, tossing a piece of toadstool in the air and kicking it with her daintily pointed foot. The toadstool soared up into a tree and a loud squawk from the tree meant that Petal must have hit whatever she was aiming at.
“I know what they’ll do to us in there.” Blossom pointed toward the round door at the base of the tree
“I guess they’ll teach us how to become better fairies.” Petal shrugged, preparing another toadstool projectile.
“Are you kidding?” Blossom answered with disdain. “I’ve been spying on the village school, and you wouldn’t believe what they make those human kids do!”
“What?” Petal asked, her eyes wide.
“They have to sit in chairs, all day. They have to make marks on white sheets of material, and they have to listen to the teacher talk and talk and talk…it’s horrible. They hardly ever go outside. And when they do they have to run around in circles and hold hands and sing and stuff. Yuck.”
Petal looked stunned. “You’re making it up.” Her toadstool dropped to the ground.
“I swear on dandelion fluff. Besides, why do you think they refuse to tell us anything about school before we get here?” With one deliberate stomp Blossom squashed the unoffending toadstool.
Petal looked worried.
“They can’t make us do that.” Her voice was shaky.