Once upon a time, but not so long ago, there was kind-hearted pixie called Billy. Billy lived in a very beautiful forest, in the branches of a magical oak tree. It’s not often that an oak tree, especially one as old and wise as this one, lets a pixie live in its branches, but the knobbly giant made an exception for Billy, because he was a very special pixie.
Now, as everybody knows, forests are made up of two types of creatures. There are the ones us humans can see, like squirrels, birds, ants and the like, and then, there are the magical ones that live in the underground caves beneath the roots of the trees, like elves, gnomes and pixies.
The reason Billy was such a special pixie, was that he was the only one of the magical woodland creatures who could talk to animals from ‘the other world’. It wasn’t just the squirrels and birds he could chat to, what was most unusual, was that he could talk to humans, too.
Life in the forest was, for the most part, peaceful and happy for everyone. But the wise old oak wasn’t completely happy. She was 99 years old and as she looked back over her life, she thought about how things had changed. All the creatures in the woodland loved having human visitors walk and play amongst them, but it upset her that some people who came didn’t clear up after their picnics, they picked the flowers and pulled branches off the trees and disturbed the nests and homes of the animals – and things were getting worse. She decided to call a midnight meeting.
Lit up by hundreds of glow worms, all of the elves, gnomes and pixies gathered under her big, leafy branches. When everyone was settled the wise old oak told them all her plan. They were going to have to work with creatures from the ‘other world’ to save their forest and the only one who could make this happen, was Billy the pixie.
As she told everyone what she had in mind, Billy flushed with pride and nerves. Everyone agreed, Billy was going to have to find a human child to help spread the message of how to look after the forest. What an adventure! And Billy knew exactly who he was going to choose.
Molly and her family came to the forest every Sunday. They picked up their litter, stayed on the paths and kept their voices low when they could see animals. She’d be perfect. Billy and Molly had been friends for ages. They would meet and play Pooh sticks in the stream when her parents were snoozing in the sun after their picnic.
Molly was very excited about the plan. Billy explained it was going to be her job to get all of the children in her school to help look after the forest. There was a lot to do. The bluebells needed re-planting, the badger den needed fencing off, litter bins needed to be put by the picnic areas… The elves, pixies and gnomes had the very special task of sprinkling magic dust on the seedlings the children had planted to make sure they grew strong and healthy. Billy also had to talk to the non-magical forest creatures. Their job was to collect litter that had blown into the treetops that the children couldn’t reach. Everybody had to work together to make the forest as beautiful as it used to be.
Exactly one week after the wise old oak tree had called the midnight meeting, the forest was looking splendid again. She decided it was time for a celebration. A triple celebration.
She asked Billy to invite all the animals and children from ‘the other world’ to her 100th birthday party with the elves, gnomes and pixies. And what a party it was! The forest was alive with laughter and joy. Billy, Molly and all their friends danced, played and ate lots of cake as the wise old oak looked on. The forest hadn’t looked this beautiful since she was a sapling. To thank Molly for all of her hard work, the wise old oak tree bestowed the most sacred of honours on her. She made her a woodland princess. As Molly received her crown she beamed with pride and she and Billy danced faster and more excitedly than they had ever done before.
The oak tree sighed a big, happy sigh, and the forest and all its friends, lived happily ever after.