As he spoke, Lynn wondered more and more why she had ever desired something so small as fairy wings. She thought that maybe if she’d been able to fly, she would never have come on this journey, never met the good wizard Judson or Flutter or Rusty, never met this Great King, and never known there was anything more than the tall flowers and fairy songs. How amazing were the thoughts of the King! The more she learned, the more she wondered at the love which the King lavished on her. Why should he care for one as small and insignificant as she? What role of any consequence could she play in such a divine drama?
With a voice that assured her that he knew her thoughts, the King said, “The enchanted slippers you wear are called Teremai, which means Mercy, in the Elvin tongue. You see, I have not left you vulnerable and alone; I have given you this gift of mercy, to carry with you through all life’s journeys. It will help you to not grow weary, it will keep your feet from stumbling, and it will never wear out or grow old, for my mercy is new every morning. Together with the visions I have just shown you, they will guide you and guard you, and give you strength, courage, hope, and joy in all things. Remember my plans, my promises, and my love will never fail you. Go, my beloved, and discover how much I delight in the small and weak things, for through them I can do great things.”
As the fairy left the magnificent castle, she saw Rusty, leaning against the castle gate and playing his songs. He nodded and smiled to her, and she recalled what he had said before. She began to understand that the Great King gives gifts that are far above what she could ever ask or think. She knew the road home would be long, and she wondered if she would even return home, or if the slippers of mercy would lead her down other paths.
“So Elensila,” Rusty asked, “did He heal you?”
“More than I could have ever imagined.”
He smiled and said, “I knew he would. Farewell, until we meet again.”
Lynn retraced her steps down the garden path, stopping to splash in the stream and rest among the flowers and swing on the willow boughs. Her wings did not weigh her down anymore; in fact, she hardly considered them at all, and then only as a reminder of her fantastic journey and the wonderful climax – her time with the King was not the end, as she always thought it would be, but only a turning point in the fairy’s tale.
She reached the village, today alive with activity, but not frightening and crowded as it was before. This time, she strolled lazily along, looking at all the goods to be sold. As intriguing as they seemed, Lynn thought that they were meant to try to fulfill some desperate emptiness that only the King could fill.
As she pondered, she heard a familiar tune played on a mandolin, and a voice sang the words that had first sparked her dream. “Have you heard of the Great King, the One beyond the Sea?…” A traveling musician appeared from between the market stalls, and nodded to the fairy, then continued his song and fixed his eyes on the castle that now stood in the distance behind her, where she could hear an angelic harmony to the song playing on the finer instrument of Rusty. How much she loved him, and yet now she realized how little she knew about him. Why had he lived among the elves? How had he met the King? Perhaps someday they would meet again, as he said, and she would hear his story.