Ruthie watched as the fairies danced on Grammie’s walls. Oh, they were not real fairies, of course. Ruthie knew that the rainbow colors were made by the sunlight passing through the glass prisms hung on Grammie’s window. When the prisms moved, the colored fairies danced along the walls and on the floor.
Ever since she was a tiny girl she loved to watch the colors flutter across the walls. Sometimes Grammie would touch the prism and make the fairies dance faster. Sometimes the prism would be still, and the fairies would rest, watching quietly from the walls and ceilings.
Ruthie loved to sleep over at Grammie and FaFa’s house. She loved to step
into the jacuzzi bubble bath tub and snuggle under the quilt on the guest room bed. The quilt was made by her great-grandmother, Ruth, for whom she was named.
She loved to sit at the shiny black counter and dip buttered toast into a
sweet, warm dippy egg. Grammie always let each overnight guest choose a special
eggcup from her collection in the draw in her big closet.
One sunny morning Ruthie was eating her dippy egg when one of the prism fairies landed on her hand.
“Look Grammie,” said Ruthie as she watched the colors flutter lightly on
her fingers. “Look, I have a fairy on my hand.”
Grammie came over to watch as the fairy colors danced over the top of Ruthie’s hand.
“How pretty,” she said as she continued to wash some of the breakfast dishes. “Now finish your dippy egg. I’m going to go take my shower and then we’ll go out and do some shopping.”
“O.K.” answered Ruthie. She continued to watch the fairy. Sometimes the colors moved away from her hand and danced along the counter. Ruthie followed them with her hand.
Grammie forgot to put away a plastic container with a blue cover, and
Ruthie reached for it with her other hand. Quickly she placed the container upside down over the fairy colors. With a scooping motion she captured the colors inside, and quickly placed the blue cover over the container.
She stared in amazement as the colors remained inside. She moved the plastic container to the left, and then to the right. The fairy colors stayed inside.
Ruthie looked at the walls where other fairies had danced only moments ago, but they were gone. She turned and glanced at the prism hanging in the window, but there was no more sunlight shining through, making beautiful fairies on the walls. The day had become cloudy.
Ruthie looked again at the plastic contained and, curiously, the colors were still inside.
“Ruthie, we have to leave. Please go and get dressed now,” Grammie called from the bedroom.
“O.K., Grammie. “Here I come.”
Ruthie went over to the “junk drawer” where she knew Grammie kept a pair of
sharp scissors. Carefully she jabbed the scissor point into the top of the container, making a series of tiny holes.
“I’m coming, Grammie,” she called as she dashed to the guestroom to get dressed. Gently she slid the plastic container under the bed. The fairy colors remained inside.
promise though, that you won’t tell anyone that I’m here, not even your
When Ruthie and Grammie returned from shopping later that day, Ruthie ran immediately into the guestroom to check on the plastic box under the bed. She got down on her hands and knees and lifted the bed skirt so she could see underneath the bed. Yes. It was still there. Carefully, she slid the box out. The rainbow colors remained inside, but they were not moving. They didn’t dance from side to side as they had when Ruthie first captured them inside the
container. She shook the box, but the colors didn’t move.
“Why?” she wondered aloud. Slowly she pried the blue cover from the box and placed the box on the windowsill. The sun had come out again and, for some reason even she didn’t understand, she knew the sun would be important for the fairy colors.
Lunch was ready. She wanted to tell Grammie about the colors in the plastic box. As she nibbled on her grilled cheese sandwich, Ruthie told Grammie
what had happened.
Grammie just smiled. “Ruthie, you have a wonderful imagination.”
“Really, Grammie, it’s true! Come on I’ll show you! It’s in the bedroom.”
Grammie followed Ruthie down the hall into the guest room. The plastic
container was still on the windowsill, the blue cover by its side, but there
were no beautiful colors inside.
Ruthie stared sadly at the empty box. “Honest Grammie, they were there.”
Grammie put her arm around Ruthie. “Come on, Honey, let’s have our lunch.
Maybe the colors will come back.”
Ruthie knew Grammie didn’t believe her.
The afternoon was busy and Ruthie forgot about the fairy colors and the empty container.
Grammie helped her make paper dolls. Ruthie liked to hear stories about when Grammie was a little girl. Grammie told her that she liked to make her own paper dolls and design fancy clothes for them. Ruthie and Grammie each made one doll, and then drew and colored some paper dresses to fit onto the dolls.
After a while Ruthie got tired of playing paper dolls. “I’m going to go in the guest room and read my book now. O.K., Grammie?"
Grammie liked that Ruthie really enjoyed reading. Besides, Grammie was tired of playing paper dolls too. “That’s fine, Honey.”
Ruthie looked at the empty plastic container still sitting on the window sill in the guest room. She was beginning to wonder if maybe she had just imagined that she really had captured the beautiful rainbow colors in the box.
“How silly!” she though aloud.
Suddenly a small voice interrupted her thoughts. “I’m over here,” the tiny voice said.
Ruthie turned and looked toward the closet.
“No, silly. I’m over here!" The voice sounded annoyed.
Ruthie turned toward the dresser and her eyes widened in amazement. There, standing on the dresser, was a tiny fairy. She stood all of about 6 inches tall. Her long blond hair fell in ringlets down to the middle of her
back. She was dressed in a tiny pink dress. The hem of the dress came to little points and on her feet were the tiniest silver slippers.
Wings of silver fluttered slightly as she spoke. “It got kind of stuffy in that box!”
“Who.. who are you?” Ruthie asked in amazement. “Are you real?”
“Of course I’m real. It’s a darn good thing you took the cover off that box you stuck me in. I could hardly breathe in there. Hold out you hand.”
Ruthie did as she asked, and the fairy fluttered her silver wings and landed ever so lightly into the palm of her hand. She was so light that Ruthie could hardly feel her standing there.
Ruthie gasped. “Did you really come from the colors in the box…. the colors that came from the prism that Grammie hung in the kitchen?”
“Well where do you think I came from? Santa Claus?” The fairy looked
“Well.... no,” answered Ruthie hesitantly. “It’s just that…. well, it’s just that I always thought it was just pretend when we said the light that came from the prisms was fairies.”
“Now you know different,” answered the fairy. “Actually, if you hadn’t stuck me in the plastic carton I would have stayed colored light and been able to go back to where I belong.”
“And where’s that?” asked Ruthie.
The fairy fluttered her tiny wings again and propelled herself over to the
window. She remained suspended in the air as she glanced outside.
“Out there, in the land of Rainbow Fairies. That’s what I am. I’m a Rainbow Fairy. The
fairy turned in the air and flew back to Ruthie’s waiting hand.
“Do you have a name?” asked Ruthie in almost a whisper.
“Well, yeah!!” answered the fairy. “Doesn’t everyone have a name? It’s Sinda. And I know your name. It’s Ruthie.”
Ruthie’s eyes widened in amazement. “How do you know that?”
Sinda smiled. I’ve been dancing on the walls of Grammie’s kitchen since you were just a little baby. I used to play with Johnny, and Robbie too. And now Camille plays with me sometimes. Little Lori and Markie like to see me dance also. Sometimes Hazel and Hunter come and visit and I dance for them.”
“Wow!” was all Ruthie could say.
Sinda’s little wings fluttered again and she gently propelled herself onto Ruthie’s shoulder and sat down.
“Just the other day you almost caught me. I was dancing on the floor and you covered me with your hand. Luckily I was able to slip out
between your thumb and finger.”
“How come I was able to catch you today?” asked Ruthie.
Sinda shrugged her shoulders. “Well, I guess I have to admit. I was curious about what it would be like to be a real girl. Sometimes I see you playing with your dolls and toys and I wonder what that would be like. You have to
“I promise,” answered Ruthie. She saw sadness in Sinda’s small face. “You never get to play?” she asked. “What do you do all day?”
With a flutter of her wings, Sinda flew to the windowsill. “Don’t mind if I sit do you?” she asked without waiting for an answer.
“Fairies come from the light. There are lots of us, actually, but the only way we can be seen is when the light shines through a prism or glass. Kids try to catch us
with their hands, but we are fast.” Sinda laughed. “I mean… we are really fast!”
“But I caught you,” Ruthie answered.
“Yeah… I guess I wanted to be caught.”
Ruthie sat on the bed next to the windowsill. She leaned closer to Sinda.
“How long are you going to be here?” she asked.
“Not sure. I’ve never been caught before.”
“Never!” said Sinda.
“Do you have a mother and father?” asked Ruthie.
Sinda turned and looked out the window.
" Yeah, but I'll probably never see them again."
"When she turned back to face Ruthie there were tiny tears in her eyes."
"Are you sorry that you let me catch you?" asked Ruthie.
"Fairies are warned, from the time they're just little fairy-mites, never to get caught." Sinda fluttered her silver wings and landed over on Ruthie's other shoulder. "We're told that our wings will dry up in just a few hours if we are caught, and then we'll never be able to get back to Rainbow Land."
Sinda put her tiny face in her hands and started to cry.
"What can I do to help?" asked Ruthie.
"There's no sun today and if there’s no sun, I can’t turn back into a rainbow fairy. If the sun doesn’t come out in a few hours, my wings will dry up and then I’ll never get home.”
Ruthie lifted up her hand so the fairy could jump into her palm. She held her new friend up close to her face.
"I don't want that to happen to you,"
said Ruthie. "I have an idea. First let's get a weather report."
Ruthie moved her hand over to the bureau so Sinda could jump off.
"What good will that do?" she asked.
"It will tell us when the sun is supposed to come out again." Ruthie pressed the numbers for the weather channel.
Sinda looked on in amazement. "What's that?" she asked.
"You mean you've never seen a televison before?" answered Ruthie. “Sh-h-h. Listen.”
The news was not good. Sinda and Ruthie looked sadly at each other.
"Oh this is just great!" said Sinda. In a little while my wings will dry up and I'll never be able to fly again."
"Wait!" said Ruthie. "I have an idea. She ran down the hall toward the kitchen. "I'll be right back."
In a moment she returned carrying a spray bottle filled with water. "Grammie uses this when she irons. I'll spray your wings every once in a while and then they won't dry up. We can do that until the sun comes back out. Then I'll put you back into the plastic box and bring you back into the kitchen."
"Oh yippidy do!" answered Sinda. First you’re going to drown me and then you'll stick me back into the box!"
"Are you always this grumpy?" asked Ruthie. "Besides, do you have a better idea?"
Sinda fluttered onto Ruthie’s hand and covered her face with her small hands. " I guess not. O.K., let's get this over with. Go ahead, spray me!"
Carefully Ruthie sprayed Sinda tiny silver wings with water. "There," she said in as comforting way as she could. "Now we'll wait a little while and do it again."
Grammie called from the bedroom. "What are you doing Ruthie?"
"Quick," ordered Ruthie. "Here comes Grammie. Hide!"
Sinda looked to the left and to the right. “Where should I go?”
“In here,” said Ruthie, as she opened the top drawer to the bureau. “Hop in here.”
Sinda did as Ruthie said. With a quick jump she landed into the drawer and snuggled under a pair of FaFa’s black socks. “Don’t close it. I don’t like the dark.”
“Grammie, do you believe in fairies?” Ruthie asked as Grammie stepped into
the room. “Do you think there really could be such a thing?”
Grammie smiled. “There are many things that we cannot see that are real, so maybe fairies really do exist.” She put her arm around Ruthie, and continued. ”Like love, for instance. Can you see love?”
“No,” Ruthie answered. “But it’s real, isn’t it?”
“Oh yes! Love is certainly real,” said Grammie, as she hugged Ruthie closer. “Some people have to see things to believe, and that’s so sad. It’s easy to believe in what we can see, but harder when we know in our hearts that it’s real, but can’t see it.”
“Do you think that sometimes things are real only because we believe in them?” asked Ruthie.
Grammie thought for a minute. “I do think that may be true. When people are afraid to believe in what they cannot see, then they can have no faith in anything.”
She gave Ruthie a kiss on her cheek, and the special kind of hug that only Grammie could give. “Now my dear, I have to take you home.”
Ruthie thought of Sinda hiding in the drawer under the sock.
“NO!” The words came out in a shout and startled Grammie.
Ruthie knew if she left Grammie’s house there would be nobody to spray Sinda’s little wings to keep them from drying out, and Sinda would never get back to the land of Rainbow Fairies. She would never get to see
her parents again.
“Please Grammie. Please, please can I at least stay until the sun comes out?”
Grammie looked at her. “Until the sun comes out? Why until the sun comes
Ruthie thought of telling Grammie her secret, but she had promised Sinda that she would tell no one. “I need to,” she answered. “I mean, I really, really need to! Please let me!”
Suddenly a tiny voice whined, “I’m drying out in here. Hello-o-o-o!”
“What was that?” asked Grammie.
Ruthie moved toward the dresser and put her back to drawer, shutting it
Closed with a bang. “Nothing. It was nothing!”
Ruthie could hear the muffled sounds of Sinda. “He-e-elp! Somebody help! It’s dark in here.”
Ruthie kept talking as loud as she could so Grammie wouldn’t hear Sinda squeaky little voice. “So, Grammie, can I stay until the sun comes out?”
“Why in the world are you yelling? Yes. You can stay as long as you want.”
As soon as Grammie left, Sinda crawled out from under the sock and fluttered her body up onto the dresser. “I told you I was afraid of the dark!. Now spray me before I dry up.”
Just as Ruthie put the finishing touches on Sinda’s silver wings, a ray of light shone across the rug. “Look, Sinda. I think the sun is about to come out!”
Sinda shook a few droplets of water from her tiny wings and fluttered over to the
window. Anxiously, she looked across the sky as it began to lighten up. The clouds were disappearing. She could see some rays of sunshine peeking through.
“I think you’re right,” she answered hopefully. Quickly she propelled
herself over to Ruthie to plant a tiny fairy kiss on her nose. “Thanks for helping me. Now help me back into the plastic box, and for heaven’s sake leave the cover off.”
Ruthie did as she was asked.
“Now you have to leave,” instructed Sinda. “Fairies can only appear and disappear when nobody else is around.”
“Will I ever see you again?” asked Ruthie.
“Of course,” answered Sinda. “Every time the sun shines through Grammie’s prism, I’ll be there.”
“But how will I know it’s you?”
Sinda though for a moment. “Hm-m-m-m? I’ll tell you what. I’ll be the one who dances on the wall even when the prism isn’t moving. That’s how you can tell it’s me.”
Ruthie smiled and waved goodbye to her fairy friend. When she came back a little while later, the plastic box was empty and Sinda was gone.
Slowly Ruthie picked up the clothes and toys she had brought to Grammies and packed them back into her overnight bag. It was time to go home.
She thought about Sinda and wondered if she was back in the land of Rainbow Fairies.
She wondered if she was with her parents again…. but most of all, she wondered if she really was real!
Grammie was ready to take her home. “All set, Ruthie?”
Suddenly Ruthie dashed into the kitchen. Grammie was right behind her. The sun was shining brightly, making tiny fairies all over the walls and floor.
The fairies were still because the prisms were not moving, but far in the corner, over near the ceiling, one fairy was dancing!!
Ruthie smiled and blew her a kiss.
promise though, that you won’t tell anyone that I’m here, not even your