2 Jun


fairy photo: fairy Faerie.jpg

By the time she was seventy-five Rosie knew she was a fairy.

She’d lived in the convent since her birth mother had given her to the care of a kindly Mother Superior when she was eleven and, according to that insane mother must have sinned by having her first menstrual cycle, a weakness in the eyes of that bewildered woman and quite normal in the eyes of the Mother Superior. It was that good Christian woman who provided her with both good, sound advice and sanitary protection – and a sound, book-based education.

And that started Rosie’s semi-devout life, in a home filled with angels. That’s how she saw the nuns she was sharing her young life with – they were, to a woman, angels.

There was never any doubt about her faith and that it was based on all of the best human qualities – generosity, kindness and a forgiving nature amongst them. And during her long stay under the care of first one Mother Superior and then another and another she met, fell in love with and married the gardener’s boy. The order to which she had been donated believed that the muscles of men would be a better weapon against garden weeds than the more feeble limbs of ladies who might be better employed in the winery and library, and so employed tone of them with his forks, spades and wheelbarrows and as Rosie was never actually a worshipping member of the convent, had never made promises of a non-secular kind, nobody saw anything peculiar about her forming a relationship with that boy, and to aid her the then Mother Superior, (the second of several during her life at the convent) in a moment of extreme tactfulness and understanding, provided her with contraceptive advice and a prescription for pills provided by an understanding and sympathetic doctor.

And so began Rosie’s adult life. Unlike the nuns with whom she shared her life, she enjoyed sex. If any of those ladies did they never said, though she sometimes found herself questioning the randy look in some of their eyes, and her studies had taught her there just might be something beautiful about same sex romance. A bookish education had taught her tolerance amidst many other things.

Being married to the gardener’s boy (who became the gardener shortly afterwards, when his father moved upstairs to weed the Elysian fields) had its advantages and she was never short of a healthy diet as well as posies of pretty flowers whenever she wanted one.

Her life was odd. In one way it was as if she was a nun herself, living amongst them, debating with them, laughing with them, comforting them when this or that went wrong for them. But in another way she was a married woman who enjoyed the physical aspects of that union to the full and yet who, through a misunderstanding regarding the medication she’d been put on at the onset of her relationship, never conceived – something that never particularly troubled herself or her husband.

The worst thing that happened was the slow decay of the convent, from being a lively and busy organisation to being a refuge for less than a handful of bitter old women. And when that started happening the gardener’s boy and now her husband started looking for alternative employment.

They’re getting to be like dried up old prunes,” he said, bitterly, “and anyway there’s not enough income from the winery to pay me a living wage.”

She sighed and nodded and saw his point.

He found alternative employment, with the Council, tending the parks and gardens it owned, and he was good at it. But it was a two-way street, and Rosie missed the nuns, even the dried up old prunes. She missed the singing, the hushed corridors, the atmosphere of reverence and hope.

And she missed the angels.

But she had a positive frame of mind. Life in a convent had taught her that much, and she had soaked it up until it was part of her character. As a consequence her life continued very much as it had been, and she was uncomplaining. But to say she was happy would have been to over-egg her state of mind. Contentment is one thing and happiness is something else.

And, when she was seventy-five her gardening husband passed away. Swiftly, from a tumour, his life was sapped, and he died.

And it was then, when she was alone in the world, that she knew she was a fairy – not an angel, for they were nuns and she wasn’t – and, like Tinkerbel she decided to fly to Never-Never Land, from a bedroom window, two floors up.

She arrived there mere moments later.

© Peter Rogerson 02.06.14


One Response to “THE HAPPY FAIRY”

  1. pambrittain June 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Ouch. Such a sad ending to a beautiful story.

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