“What are you doing out here all by yourself?” it asked in a sympathetic, motherly tone. Lynn was shivering and crying and couldn’t form a response, and the rabbit took pity on her. “There, there, you are too cold and tired to stay here. Climb on my back, and I will take you to a nice place where you can rest.” Too overcome to ask questions, the fairy did as she was told, and laid down in the sweet, soft fur of the rabbit’s back. They traveled toward the mountains of the North, and as they did the hills rose higher and higher around them. The rhythm of the rabbit’s movement and the beat of its heart lulled Lynn to sleep. The stars high above sang their lullaby: one that only fairies can hear, silvery and clear and full of good things that settle into drowsy eyes and create sweet dreams.
Lynn awoke when a wet nose nudged her cheek. Rubbing her eyes, she saw that she had been carried to the door of a hovel in the cleft of a mountain. There was a warm glow from inside which poured out on the old snow that still clung to the ground. The fairy’s feet left tiny dents in the snow as she stepped to the doorway. Wet and cold, she shivered and knocked. Her lifeless wings hung heavy behind her, now shriveled and gray from lack of the warmth and sunshine they were so used to.
Presently, a man came to the door. He was quite large, at least from the perspective of a tiny fairy. His frame was hidden by a grand, woolen cloak that draped over him, exposing only his head and hands. He was balding, and had a long white beard on his chin that made him look wise and old, but his dark blue eyes were still young and full of life.
At first he did not see his guest; only the rabbit and a few other wild creatures huddled around his home. “Hi there, get away! It’s much too cold for you to be out stargazing tonight. I’ve no food for you, and my generosity does not extend indoor welcomes to the likes of fluffy critters. Off with you now, before I turn you into true wooden creatures!”
He stepped back to shut the door, but then heard a sad little voice: “Please sir, does your generosity extend a welcome to the likes of a fairy like me?”
The man looked around, then down to the bit of shadow in the snow. She did not look much like a fairy at the moment; more like an autumn leaf after it falls to the ground and turns limp and colorless. He lifted the fragile fairy into his palm and carried her inside, where he provided a scrap of warm fleece and hot tea in a dainty china teacup, the size of a thimble, handcrafted in the fairy world. The fairy took the small gift with amazement, wondering how this man had come to possess such a treasure.
“I’m a wizard,” he said softly as he tucked the small coverlet around her. “Judson is my name. Unlike most humans, I have been many wondrous and magical places, including the Faerie Realm. But that is enough about me; who are you, and how is it that you are here, so far from your home?”
“My name is Lynn, and well, it’s my wings… I need to find the Great King…” but her eyes were heavy and her body longed for rest, so she passed into sleep once more, wrapped in the comfort of the wizard’s home.