While Mommy and Daddy were having a discussion in the kitchen, Claire turned into a fairy and chased her kitty into the back yard. There she heard pretty music that seemed to drift to her from some far-away land. Suddenly a swallowtail appeared in front of her and fluttered out of her reach. It was so bright that Claire tried to grab it right out of the sky, but it flitted away. As Claire was chasing the swallowtail, she tripped over the kitty and plunged headlong to the ground.
After a moment, Claire slowly sat up and shook her head. The swallowtail was gone. She galloped over to the fence and pushed as hard as she could. A board swung loose, and Claire squeezed through. She glimpsed the swallowtail in the meadow and dashed after it.
Peter, Claire's brother, laughed when Claire fell down and hit her head, but he blinked, hardly believing his eyes, as Claire forced her way through the fence. When he realized that she had indeed escaped, he rushed toward the fence and barely squeezed through. Claire, far off in the distance, was chasing the butterfly through the meadow.
Peter, knowing that he could easily catch up, jogged after her but tripped on a tree root, hitting his head on a fallen branch. Groaning, but laughing at himself a little, he rubbed his head and stood up. Claire was still chasing the butterfly, but now she was entering the forest. When Peter caught up to Claire, she was staring at a tiny man who was standing on a fallen tree, holding the stem of a tiger lily. Music seemed to emanate from the flowers and trees and the nearby stream.
“Who, who, are you?” Peter stuttered.
“I am Mr. Mellifluous,” the small man shouted. “And you, you must be an owl.”
“No, I'm Peter, and this is my sister Claire,” Peter responded, shaking his head.
“Are you shaking your head because you are not really Peter and this is not really your sister, or because you are not sure that I am Mr. Mellifluous?”
“I don't know,” Peter frowned.
“Obviously, you don't know much,” Mr. Mellifluous scolded, “and that's probably why you are trespassing on my land.”
“Nobody told us this was your property,” Peter objected.
“Nobody obviously doesn't know anything either,” Mr. Mellifluous replied. “Nevertheless, you are here, and now you must go on a musical journey.”
“A musical journey. Why, I've never heard of such a thing. I'm sorry, but we have to go home now,” Peter whined.
“As I was saying....You must go far and wide, on many paths, and through many rooms, to hear the music of the earth, before you can return to your home. You will hear and see many things that you won't believe, and some that you won't want to believe, but you must keep going. Everywhere you go in this garden of light, you will hear music, which at times might help you remember your home. You must each go your own way now....”
Peter turned to Claire in disbelief, and when he turned back, Mr. Mellifluous was gone. Then he turned back to Claire, and she too had vanished. Peter turned around and around, feeling suddenly lost. Then he saw a path through the trees.
|The Fairy with Blue Wings|
The swallowtail fairies danced through the air and Claire chased after them. Suddenly Mr. Mellifluous appeared again.
“You must beware!” he exclaimed. “Fairies are very bad. If you follow them, you will be lost!”
Claire did not listen to the grumpy little man. She galloped after the fairies through the meadow. A tall fairy with blue wings suddenly appeared in front of her. He took out a wand and waved it over Claire's head, and she lifted off of the ground!
Claire turned into a tiger fairy and roared. The other fairies screeched and lashed at her with their claws. The fearful little man was not at all happy about the ruckus. He put his hand over his mouth and shook his head. Claire and the other fairies rushed away with the wind.
|The Dark Man|
Claire flew up to a man and asked him, "Why does everyone here seem so sad?"
"We are far from our home."
"I'm so sorry," Claire said. "Can I help you?"
"We don't remember our home," he muttered.
"Maybe if we search together, we can find it! Follow me! I know it won't take long!"
"I don't have wings like you do," he groaned.
Suddenly Claire felt very sad. She patted the man on the arm.
"I will search for your home," she shouted as she was rising high into the air.
|The Sphinx among the Stars|
“Can you help me find my way home?” Claire inquired.
“No,” he replied. “I don't think so.”
“Is something the matter?” Claire inquired.
“No,” he replied. “I was just thinking of a star.”
“Oh, how wonderful! Can I think of a star with you?” Claire asked.
“Of course, but in a little while I'm going to fly high into the sky. I was hoping to bring a star back with me.”
“I'll go with you,” Claire nodded.
“You can if you like,” he replied. "But I can't help you if you fall!" He leaped into the air and flew high and even higher. Claire could hardly even keep up. Finally he hovered near a star and reached for it, unable to touch it. Claire watched for a moment, then became dizzy. She sailed back toward earth.
“Goodbye!” she shouted.
|Toad in the Flowers|