Popple and the Golden Jelly Spoon
This is a story about Popple and the fairies. Popple is a pig with wings. He lives with his mum in a sty at Blackberry Farm. His mum isn’t sure how he came to have wings as she doesn’t have any and neither does his dad. She wondered if the fairy folk had anything to do with it. He kept his wings folded up on his back in the daytime. Nobody really noticed them. They just thought he had rather a baggy jumper on. At night when everyone was asleep Popple would shake out his wings and go for a lovely fly with his fairy friends.
One day fairy Juniper said it was her birthday and she wanted to do something special to celebrate. She invited Popple to a swimming party at the fairy pool. Lots of fairies would be there but Popple would be the only pig. He said he didn’t mind.
Popple and Juniper flew off out of Popple’s bed-sty window to fairyland. It was dark in Pigland but it was bright as day in fairyland. At the pool everyone was lying in the warm moonlight, moonbathing. The light was silvery, not yellow like sunlight. All the fairies had shimmery swimming costumes. Popple was embarrassed because he didn’t have a swimming costume and he started to cry. Juniper said that pigs didn’t wear swimming costumes, only fairies and people did, and he mustn’t get upset.
Popple soon cheered up when he discovered that his wings made a lovely boat for the fairies to sit on in the water. He floated around while fairies floated on and off his boat wings. Suddenly there was a plop and a loud wail. One of the fairies’ children was crying out. He had dropped his golden jelly spoon into the water and it had disappeared. Everyone swam to the edge of the pool to think about what to do. None of the fairies could swim underwater, and Popple had never tried.
“Boo-hoo, my golden jelly-spoon ‘s gone!” wailed little Fig.
“I told you not to take it into the pool with you.” said his mum.
Then Popple had an idea. He would see if he could walk along the bottom of the pool and find the spoon with his trotters.
He tried hard to sink his legs to the bottom, but his wings kept floating out sideways, keeping his feet well away from the bottom of the pool.
“What we need is some string,” said Popple.
One of the fairies’ mums had a ball of knitting wool. “Will this do?” she asked.
Popple got the fairies to wind the wool round and round his body to hold his wings down tightly. They were not very good at tying knots, but at last it was done. Then Popple tiptoed into the water. He took a big breath and dived down into the pool. There on the bottom he saw the jelly spoon. He picked it up in his mouth and swam to the surface again. Everyone cheered.
Popple returned the spoon to little Fig who was jumping up and down with delight.
Popple was a hero. The fairies handed him the biggest slice of birthday cake imaginable. Popple thought he would have a quick fly over the pool to show off his flying skills. He spread his wings out. They felt rather heavy. Oh dear, he couldn’t flap them at all. Popple’s wings were waterlogged. Whatever could he do? He had to fly back home before sunrise, but his wings were too full of water to flap.
Now it was the fairies’ turn to help Popple. They all picked up their towels and came over to him and started rubbing his wings dry. Some fairies turned their backs towards him and flapped their wings really fast, to make a draught like little hairdryers. After a few minutes they asked Popple to try flying again.
This time, up he went, whoosh.
“Thank you, fairies!” he shouted, “Bye for now,” and he flew off home to Pigland just in time for morning.
Thank you to Aoife who sent me this lovely picture of Popple in a real boat. I hope you all like it. I do!
By Aoife Hillman