Pippy had not really lived in the blue forest very long. She was quite young and, at times, silly. She came from the gold forest only days ago, banished for angering one of the elder fairies for something really naughty she had done to the Queen of the Fairies. No one really knew how old these elders were, only that they had lived for centuries, maybe millennia and were not your usual run of the mill fairies. They were nearly always old and wrinkled and cranky and crabby most of the time. They were so old they had to use gnarled walking sticks to make their way through the thickly wooded forest, careful not to fall into the branches of ever-reaching tree boughs. One thing was for sure these days; it didn’t take much to have them banish you to the blue forest,
Several days before Pippy was banished, Aurora had been banished for sliding down one of the beautiful white petals of the lilies, to its very center, and then peeking out (oh so innocently but with the biggest impish smile) with a face full of yellow pollen. And then, she gave her position away by uttering the tiniest little sneeze. The elder was furious, yelling at her that she had disturbed the pollination process for that flower forever. Now it would never be home to any other fairies since it could not produce any more blossoms on its own.
Aurora was caught by surprise, not only for her mischievous deed, but for the spell of banishment the elder immediately placed upon her. She arrived in a flash in the blue forest that very day.
Now Pippy was quite another story.
Pippy was destined to be, at heart, a fairy to look up to. She seemed perfect in all the ways the gold fairies could be until that fateful day when she committed the ultimate act of mischief. While flying playfully around the royal court, she accidentally landed in Queen Borealis’ upswept hairdo and could not untangle herself.
The Queen went crazy, yelling at anyone and everyone to immediately help rid herself of Pippy from her beehive hair. It took several elders to finally extract poor Pippy but that was not going to be the end of that, in no way. It was then that she became known as The Knot Fairy.
Pippy was banished and because of the nature of her mischief, she already knew what it would take to be allowed to reenter the gold forest. And so, the morning after her arrival in the Blue Forest, her penance, due to the fact that she had angered the queen herself, was to go into the human community. She flew around the small community trying to decide upon which house she would focus to do her penance. And that is how she chose Jennifer’s house to try and earn her gold status back. Her once clear birth necklace would now remain blue until she succeeded.
Jennifer was a good child, as far as being able to be a good child at seven years of age could be. She was a bit gawky, but her mother knew she would grow up to be the loveliest child ever. She was quite independent – a good match for Pippy. She would do her chores, brush her teeth, eat whatever her mother put in front of her without complaining, but there was one thing she intensely disliked most of all – brushing out all those knots when her mother combed her luscious long golden locks and put them into a pony tail for school each day.
Jennifer would cry, stamp her feet, yell harsh things at whoever happened to be within hearing distance, and would not stop until that ponytail was firmly affixed to the top of her little round head and swung back and forth as she walked downstairs to have breakfast before going to school.
Worse than that, if anything could truly be any worse than that, was the chore of getting her to wash her hair, because Jennifer knew all too well the horrors that would follow. The towel drying was not nearly bad enough; it was that because of the knots, the evil hairdryer took so long that it always burned her tender young ears and head and drove her to distraction.
It was no picnic for her mother either. She dreaded the shampooing practice almost as much as Jennifer did. She steeled herself for the battle that always ensued after a shower. Try as she might, she could not make the process any less painful for the daughter she loved so much. And so, it was with great distress that she went through the paces of drying her daughter’s hair and pinning it up at night in just such a way as to preserve those golden ringlets that would fall out from her daughter’s head in the morning, all while attempting to avoid those dreaded knots. The next morning, the torture would begin again.
It was on just one of these days Pippy started her penance. Being invisible to Jennifer’s mother made it that much more difficult to accomplish her task. She had to decide on doing one thing at a time: should she help with the hair brushing or should she go right to the bathroom scene and tackle the tangles and knots which always appeared when her hair was wet. Decisions, decisions, decisions. It would make sense, perhaps, to start off easily and so she decided to help Jennifer’s mother with the daily morning hair brushing,
At first, Pippy watched Jennifer’s mother, taking in the style of brushing she was using. Fairies didn’t have these problems as their hair was kept perfectly in place with magic, but there was no magic going on here, only screaming from Jennifer.
Pippy flew around Jennifer’s head first and then around her mother’s, desperate to find the right strategy to begin her redemption. She realized this was going to be harder than she thought. After all, Jennifer’s hair was what it was: long, curly, loaded with natural Rapunzel-like ringlets…and plenty of knots. How in the world would she succeed in this her first part of her test.
Jennifer felt a slight breeze go past her face and watched as her mother swatted at what she thought was some small insect getting in her way of getting the job done. Pippy fell to the floor, regrouped and took up her flying around again, this time careful not to go too close to either of them. At the same time, she made circles around Jennifer who suddenly saw her.
“Mom,” she queried excitedly, “Did you see that?”
“See what?” She was frantically trying to untangle all of those knots.
Jennifer watched as Pippy brushed against her mother’s hand, forcing her to drop the brush. It was then that Pippa sprinkled some magic fairy dust on the brush and a nearby comb sitting on the sink. Then Pippy flitted in front of Jennifer and pointed to the wide tooth comb on the sink.
Jennifer wasted no time in getting Pippy’s message across to her mother.
“Mama, try the comb,” she offered, “and start at the bottom of my hair.” Meanwhile, Pippy flew to the back of Jennifer’s head and focused her efforts on invisibly separating the voluminous strands of hair from the bottom to the top of her young charge’s head. This effort was not lost on her mother who was very intuitive and had been searching for a way to manage her child’s wet hair without causing her harm.
Pippy continued to fly around still unraveling the knots in Jennifer’s hair. Her mother worked from the bottom where the hair suddenly seemed to be tangle and knot free. Jennifer stopped her tantrum and remained calm; her mother was astonished. Why hadn’t she thought of doing this before. In half the time, and without most of the routine yelling and crying of her daughter, she moved the comb from the bottom up, a bit at a time until all the knots were gone. She used the magic brush to finish the job. After that, the hairdryer took little time to finish the job
The next day, after untying all the pinnings, her mother softly brushed and combed her hair, from the bottom up.
“Well now,” her mother smiled, “your hair is brushed, your ponytail is tied, and you have been the best little girl ever.” Jennifer was extremely happy this day and went to school with a big smile on her face. Pippy flitted nearby and smiled.
And then, it happened. Pippy’s necklace flashed gold. She began to fade. It was time to leave, time to go back home. She waved goodbye to Pippa. The Knot Fairy had completed her task.