“Oh!” admired Lynn. “Did you make them yourself?”
The wizard smiled but shook his head. “No, the magic in these slippers is far more powerful and pure than I can conjure. They were given to me, but they look as though they were made for you. Put them on, and do not take them off as long as you travel. You will soon see why they are magical.”
The friends shared heartfelt good-byes, and soon Lynn left the hovel to continue her journey, carrying a parcel of food to sustain her.
She walked for hours, and when she became impatient with walking, she skipped, then hopped, then ran, then danced, then walked again. Though the wooded trail was long and rough, the fairy’s feet never grew weary, and were protected from every pebble and crack, so that she did not stumble or fall. “This must be the magic of the shoes!” she thought.
Still, though her path was made easier, she looked anxiously for signs of Spring, for she missed her home of flowers and sunshine. Here and there she glimpsed a spray of grass peeping from the clumps of gray snow, and now and again she heard the song of a joyful bird. These distractions were welcome, and kept her from being downcast.
Her mountain trek lasted many days, and at night she wrapped herself in leaves or the fur of a gentle creature, to shelter her from the frosty air that clung to the darkest hours before dawn.
Days passed, she found the air was less and less harsh, and the sun more and more generous. The mountains smoothed into rolling hills and tiny buds and sprouts brought color to the forest. The snow melted at last, raining down upon her in silvery droplets. One day, while she walked along, Lynn sang her favorite songs remembered from childhood. She thought she was alone, so she sang loud and strong - not always on key, but she compensated for that in her robust energy. But then she heard a giggle nearby that made her stop short and look around.
“Who’s there?” she asked, looking high and low for her companion.
“Oh, it’s just me, and my name’s Flutter,” a sweet voice said, and a caterpillar peeked around a half-eaten leaf. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you, I just loved the words to your song so much they made me laugh. Did you make it up yourself?”
“Oh hello,” Lynn replied, smiling with relief at the kindness of this stranger. “No, my brother wrote it, but it makes me happy too. I thought I was alone, and was actually becoming very lonely. But I’m glad you are here. I’ve traveled for so long and haven’t seen anyone in quite a while…”
“That’s too bad! But where are you traveling from and to?” Flutter asked.
“I am on a quest to find the Great King!” Lynn said proudly. “I’ve come from the Faerie Realm, because I’m a fairy but my wings don’t fly, and I want the King to help me.”
“How wonderful – a quest!” the little caterpillar beamed. “You know, I’ve always wanted to fly… but here I am, stuck crawling around on the ground. I love to eat leaves, and sometimes I imagine that the leaves are actually wings that sprout on my back and carry me high above the trees!” She craned her neck and smiled at the sky, then remembered the fairy standing by and looked a little ashamed. “So I suppose you could say I know how you feel. Maybe- maybe the King would help me to fly too? Do you think that is possible?”
“Of course he could!” Lynn assured her and clapped her hands. “Come with me, and we’ll find the King together. I would love to have your company, and won’t it be fun when we can both fly!”
So the fairy and the caterpillar went along together easily at the same pace. As they did, Lynn taught Flutter her songs, and Flutter told her stories. They laughed and talked and became fast friends. Lynn felt like the journey was much more pleasant and hopeful with a friend who could truly understand her.