The community wasn’t really very big. From a distance, it resembled a tiny European town made up of villas, historical buildings and shops. Its streets were cobblestone and the children loved running up and down it because of the clicking and chopping noise it made under their shoes. Although there was no wall built around the village, it was completely surrounded by what had come to be known as the enchanted blue forest. This was not just any forest, but a forest that was inhabited by hundreds, maybe even thousands, of fairies who had been put under a spell banishing them from the prestigious gold forest because of their mischievous ways. The only way they could be allowed back to the gold forest, which was for productive and good fairies, was to undo the mischief that had put them in the blue forest in the first place.
The banishment also included a veil of invisibility to the adult eye. The children they had helped could see them but only while they completed their task and their act of contrition. Then they would fade from view and return to the gold forest at last and, hopefully, forever. What made it much more than shameful to be banished was the fact that their unique coloring of both body and wings faded into a dull gray until they redeemed themselves.
As well, to prove they were worthy of returning home, each fairy, when born, had been given a necklace of pure clear crystal which reflected all the colors of the rainbow. When they were banished, the crystal turned blue and would only return to its beautiful crystal clarity to guide them home, when they had truly mended their ways.
The birth of a fairy was no simple task. She or he might appear at any instance. Their lithe and little bodies had only wing sprouts upon birth which made it impossible to fly until their wings were fully grown. Their wings were beautiful but terribly delicate and when they flitted here and there was a musical hum throughout the forest. On a first voyage, one parent would steer the newly arrived baby fairy through the easy part of the forest where trees were sparse and instead flowers of all colors bloomed everywhere and every which way. Much like one would imagine, each fairy, while being unique and having a particular destiny, shared their beauty in being individuals, and their gossamer wings reflected the rays of the sun. No two were the same.
The banished fairies, for all of their frustrating and naughty ways, loved children and so it had been decided long ago, when a spell was first cast, their good deeds would break their spells only if they helped young children view the world in the way it was meant to be seen – in wonder, with love, and most of all, for the magical place it was meant to be.