I have a book that I got as a child. It is called Stories of Fairies, Elves, and Little People by Francine L. Trevens. I think I got it for Christmas or Easter or something from the weird neighbors next door. I think they were religious people, so it is sort of a strange gift to give someone, but whatever. It isn’t a book anyone would have ever heard of. It looks like maybe it would was sold at the dime store. Maybe it came in one of those big pre-packed, impersonal Easter baskets from the grocery store, with coloring books and a plastic bunny bank.
The book was made up of many short stories about fairies, sprites, goblins, and trolls. And to be honest, most of them are pretty horrible. Just not quality literature at all. Probably just written for the paycheck.
But one story interested me. It was called Have You Ever Seen a Pink Leprechaun? The star of the story was a pink and purple pixie named Jennifer. (Dang, I could have sworn she was a fairy? Hence, the name of the post.) Oh-wow. Coincidence. That just so happens to be my name. As I got the book just as I was beginning to learn how to read, I of course went through and circled my name everywhere that I saw it in the story.
The story is actually about a family of leprechauns who find a pink and purple baby on their front porch. She is not only a different species and color than the family raising her, she is also the only girl child. To make matters worse, they call her “Orphie” (short for Orphan). Her leprechaun “brothers” pick on her mercilessly.
Then one day the fair comes to town. But it is not just any fair. It is a PINK & PURPLE fair! All the people there look just like Oprhie!
Then her father, King of the Pixies, shows up and explains to her that they have been looking for her all along. That they traveled around the countryside holding fairs, hoping someone would be like, “Hey, you guys look like the orphan that lives down the road from me.”
Being a kid whose father died before I was born, I thought this was a pretty cool concept. A father who loves his daughter so much that he never stops looking for her? That is powerful. AND they ride on a unicorn. But wait, it gets even better!
Then the pixie father goes to pay off the leprechauns and to take Jennifer (Orphie’s real name) home. But then they fight over her. I had such a small family growing up you couldn’t have sneezed or they would have blown away. It seemed great to me that this pixie, with my name, decked out in awesome colors, should be loved by two families so much.
Except that isn’t really what it is like in the book. In the book, each side just seems greedy and fights over her like property just because the other side wants her. In the end, Jennifer decides to go live with her dad, but plans to visit the leprechauns during the summer and on school vacations. It is like one big, colorful divorce.
So, even now, sometimes I think of that story and Jennifer, the pink and purple fairy. (Hey, I have been thinking of it that way for like 30 years, I am not going to correct my brain now.) And if I mention it, people just look at me funny, because they have never heard of the story.
But now you have. I hope you found that it enriched your life.
…And they lived happily ever after.
Is that an allegory for so many modern families, or what? I like that the father’s name is Paul. That’s my husband’s name. I would have circled that name too. 🙂
Sometimes I read your adult perspectives on your life as a child and I think that you must have found my family very baffling and overwhelming.
I find everyone’s family baffling and overwhelming. I was the only kid around when I was a kid. And I think I liked it that way!
I have heard of that book; my mother had that book as a child and gave it to me to read when I was a child. As a child I loved that book. I may try to search for it to purchase it some day so that my daughter can read it too.