“Mommy, can you read me a story?” Kira asked.
Mrs. B raised both eyebrows from shock and paused before replying. “Uh, not tonight honey. I have too much work to do,” she said while kissing her daughter on the forehead and tucking her into bed.
“Can daddy read me a story?” Kira inquired.
“I’m sorry sweetie, but he’s watching the game. Maybe another night, OK?”
“OK mommy. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight sweetie,” Mrs. B replied as she hit the lights on her way out and grabbed the door handle to put it in the correct position- slightly ajar.
This scene was not a common occurrence. Children weren’t read stories anymore, and they certainly didn’t ask to be read one. The world had become a barren place for children’s fairytales. Children just watched television with their parents and siblings. No one thought twice about it, not until Kira innocently changed everything.
Kira lay snuggly in her bed. Her nightlight lit up her room enough to cause her stuffed animals to leave shadows on the walls. She hugged her little brown and white dog and placed him next to her. Ruff was the stuffed animal she had since she was a baby, and she always slept with him beside her.
She was only four years old but already could read student text books and nonfiction to herself, since fiction was hid away in the forbidden sections of bookstores and libraries. In fact, she was very bright for her age and extremely polite. She had to start kindergarten earlier than most children because both of her parents work during the day. Kira didn’t like the idea at first but now she enjoys going. She met Bobby, another boy in a similar situation, and because they were the youngest in the class, they quickly became friends.
That night, Kira slipped into a dream world, to a place she never imagined could exist. Kira entered the world of fairytales. Everything she saw was in black and white. She walked up to the only living being that she saw. A wolf was rocking back and forth on his chair sitting in front of a small hut made of straw. To his right lay mounds of yarn balls and to his left lay neatly folded piles of scarves, sweaters, mittens, and a few blankets. He was too preoccupied with his knitting to notice a little girl standing in front of him. Kira approached the wolf full of questions.
“Excuse me, sir,” She began.
The wolf looked up from his work interested in what he just heard but gave nothing more than a look.
“Can you tell me where I am?” Kira continued.
“You, my dear, are in the world of fairytales.” The wolf replied as he put his knitting down.
“The world of fairytales? Why is everything dead and where is all the color?”
“It has been a long time since we had a visitor. Come with me. I’ll give you a tour.”
The wolf jumped up from his chair and walked forward on his two hind legs, like a human. Kira followed the wolf away from the hut towards the center of town. The town looked as though one day everyone just got up and left. Nothing was cared for. The windows of stores hadn’t been washed in who knows how long. She saw a sign for “Thumbalina’s shoe store” half connected to the roof swinging back and forth. Next to that was Pinocchio’s wooden puppet store with so much dust covering it, she could barely make out the name or see the puppets sitting uncomfortably on the shelves. In the center of the dirt road laid an inactive fountain, that when it flowed must have looked marvelous. There was a whole set of empty stores that went in rows surrounding the fountain. All were abandoned. Weeds grew throughout the patches of grass and dirt. The odd thing was that the characters still lived here. Kira suddenly spotted something moving on the pond located at the bottom of the road.
“Look, a duck,” Kira shouted enthusiastically.
“A duck? Hardly, my dear. That is the one and only Mother Goose. She once led the Fairytale School. There is no better goose than Mother Goose herself. Once kids stopped reading fairytales, they stopped coming to the land of fairytales. You can’t run a school without students.” The wolf explained, while pointing to the old school building across the pond.
“Aw, that’s really sad,” Kira expressed.
“Well that’s about it. Thanks for stopping by.” The wolf eagerly dismissed Kira to return to his rocking chair.
“That’s it? Well what am I supposed to do here?” Kira asked.
“Do whatever pleases you.” The wolf replied.
“Hey maybe this little girl can blow down this hut for me.” The wolf thought aloud.
“Blow down the hut? Why would I blow down the hut?” Kira asked confused.
“Well that’s how the story goes. I blow down the houses of the three little pigs.”
“So why don’t you blow it down?”
“I’m a character actor. I don’t need to work if I don’t have an audience.”
“You’re only an actor?”
“Of course I’m only actor. Otherwise I would have eaten you by now. This isn’t the only story I do, you know. I have myself quite a resumé; although, I haven’t done anything lately.”
“Oh. I guess I can try to blow it down, but I’m only a little girl. I have trouble blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.”
“Really? You’re going to blow it down? I might be back in business yet.”
Kira took as deep a breath as she could, and blew out all the air in her lungs. Ordinarily, that would have been barely enough to blow out candles on a birthday cake, but this is the world of fairytales. A big gust of wind formed blowing over all the pieces of straw into a massive mess all over the ground. As the pieces of straw flew in the air, each piece gained color and so did the piece of land the hut once stood upon. An astonished pig stood within the wreckage; although that astonishment quickly turned to fear.
“What an excellent job, little girl,” the wolf grinned. He began drooling and intently staring at Kira.
Kira almost didn’t believe what happened, except for the fact that it did. The wolf kept inching closer to Kira, but she didn’t pay attention to him. She stood there staring at the mess she had made. She stood frozen from awe and guilt. The wolf got ready to pounce on Kira, but just in time, the pig grabbed Kira’s arm. The two of them ran to the pig’s second brother’s house of sticks with the wolf following close behind. As they ran, Kira announced to the pig, “Hey, you’re in color!”
“Yeah, thanks for that, but we need to get inside my brother’s house, NOW!” The pig quickly retorted.
The pig and Kira quickly scrambled to open the door of the house of sticks. He rushed Kira in, and then locked the door. The second pig managed to stutter, “Wha-Wha-What i-in the w-world is going on?” “The wolf blew down my house of straw,” the first pig replied. “Well, wh-who is this little girl?” “Actually, I guess she is the one who blew down my house. The wolf had tricked her.” The first pig explained. “Why are you in color?” The second pig questioned since he still was unable to grasp what was going on. “Oh, no. The wolf is coming. Board up the windows. Go.” The second pig scrambled to board up the windows, for he now understood the wolf was interested in enjoying them all for lunch.
“I will huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow this house down.” The wolf’s voice pierced their ears, and all three of them began to shiver. Before they knew it, the house of sticks was littered all over the ground.
They continued through the story until the end, and afterwards she enjoyed tea and cookies with them at the third pig brother’s house made out of stone. The next morning she safely awoke in her own bed. She couldn’t wait to get to school to tell Bobby all about what happened that past night.
Much to Kira’s surprise, on the schedule written on the board was “Story Time-
“‘The Three Little Pigs.’”
“Since when do we read fairytales?” Kira asked Bobby.
“I don’t know, but I’ve recently wanted to hear one,” Bobby replied.
“Like how recently?” Kira questioned.
“I don’t know. Today, I guess.” Bobby answered.
Before being tucked into bed, Mrs. B entered Kira’s room with a wrapped present topped with a blue bow held behind her back. She presented the gift and Kira’s face told Mrs. B that she had chosen wisely. She kissed Kira on the forehead. A moment later, Kira’s father joined just in time to turn the first page of her new book. Kira sat sandwiched between both her parents as they read her a bedtime story.
Later that night, when Kira entered the world of fairytales, much more of it was colored in than she remembered. She bumped into Bobby.
“I’m following little bo-peep. We’re looking for her sheep.”
“Well, I got to go. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Ok, bye Bobby.”
She looked around and saw some more kids, whose faces she did not recognize. She saw the wolf knitting again.
“Well hello, my dear. It’s so good to see you again.”
“You mean after you tried to eat me?”
“Yeah, sorry about that. I needed to stay in character. You understand, don’t you?”
“I- uh- I guess. Anyway, what’s with all the new faces around?”
“You’ve done a marvelous thing; you have. You brought the story back to life. Now children from all over have enjoyed ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ Mother Goose thinks the school should be up and running soon. Fairytales are back in the lives of families and are being read to children.”
“That’s really great to hear.”
“Anyway, I need to get back to work. Mother Goose said that we need to get this place cleaned up for company. We’re all working on getting this place back to its former glory.”
“You need to get back to knitting?”
“No, of course not, silly girl. I need to help clean the store windows. I was just taking a break. I’m not allowed to blow the dust away because they’re afraid I might break the glass and mess up all the shelving. Although, blowing away the dust would be a lot faster and easier, I’m too excited to care. We’re all getting back to work. It’s very exciting to have an audience once again. Thank you once again, my dear.”
“Why don’t I come and help you? I’m not in any story at the moment, and I’d love to see this place look as it once did.”
Every night, Kira returned to see more and more unfamiliar faces. She always greeted the wolf first and unless he was working, they spent time among the shops. The fountain had been fixed. The water in the center shot straight up in bursts to different heights and the water then cascaded over a beautiful bronze sculpture of stacked books, making it look like a bunch of mini waterfalls. At the base of this fountain, there were open books with shined bronze statues of the fairytale characters emerging from the pages. To make it even more elaborate, they spun around the base of the fountain, like the tea cups ride in Disney World. Kira had no idea it would be so stunning. She would’ve stared at it all night if the wolf hadn’t scurried her along to their next project.
Thumbelina’s shoe store had opened. Inside, you can witness the magic and artistry of her making shoes. Pinocchio’s toy store was also open. Along the walls inside of Pinocchio’s store were shelves that stretched the length of the store, with different wooden puppets. Stands and displays on the floor housed many different kinds of toys, though most were made of wood. The most intriguing store sign by far was the diner’s. It was all lit up in electric lights. Humpty dumpty sat on a wall, and then he had a great fall. He cracked open into a pan, which all the king’s horses and all the king’s men were using to cook breakfast. Out came this scrumptious looking omelet. Kira wasn’t sure if she was supposed to laugh or cry, but in the end she found it amusing. The school opened shortly after and laughter filled the air and smiles never left the children’s faces.
The popularity of fairytales grew. More and more fairytales were being read, and more children were entering the world of fairytales. At the time, Kira really didn’t understand all she had done, but she brought fairytales back into the homes of children, schools, libraries, waiting rooms for offices and into the hearts of children and adults alike.