areth was the eigth queen, after
Andrielle I The Wise, Andrielle II, Malyndra, Tiara I (The Bestest),
Sharilyn, Liselle and Diamantina. At that time, the Fairies did not have all
the names like they do now and there were only 25,000 of them; little more than 40 fold the 600 who had survived the Great Rebellion some two centuries before and some 70 centuries back from our time. In the late
fall of Tareth’s 17th year as Queen, this happened.|
Tareth and page-Mistress Deliciana were preparing the Palace for the winter and were arranging the punishment things that would be used on the little girls who were the pages
“I despise this task” Tareth said.
“Imagine how I feel having to use these things. Do you know how pathetic a little girl is when she is being chastized? Thank you for nothing, Malicia! And with winter coming you know that there will be much more misbehavior. Even we get short with them and each other. I have wanted to tell you to go turn into a frog more than once”.
Tareth said “Yes, Even Tiara snapped at me once and Andrielle, known for her even-temperedness flung a glass of claro juice at a wall once in sheer frustration over some tiny matter”. And nothing more was said.
Page-Mistress went to see Andrielle the Wise and told here about the conversation that she had with the Queen and said “Do not mention this to Tareth, she is proud and would think it unseemly to ask for help in this small a matter”.
Amdrielle, who was, by virtue of being the first queen and known for her wisdom, the president of the Council of Elder Queens, said. “This is no small matter since it makes us do what we would not do otherwise. I shall call a meeting", touched her tiara with the index finger of her left hand and winked then nodded her head in the gesture bespeaking a shared secret between two Fairies
She called a secret meeting of the elder queens and when all were assembled she removed her ring and placed it on the crystal eye. Immediately, the image of her and Page-Mistress came up and the conversation that they had had was replayed.
“Let us deal with this matter straight away” Andrielle said “It seems that this is affecting our little girls most. What do you say Tiara?”
“Why me?" The fourth queen asked “My reign ended somewhat badly. I unwisely chose the evil Darylette as Princess Adopt…”
Sharilyn interrupted “…Out of feeling for the little foundling, I was able to fix the problem and it did set up the reign of Liselle which every Florestelle [that being what the Fairies call themselves] secretly wanted. So more good has come of you and none would trade that small crisis for your absence from the ranks of Elder Queens.”
Diamantina chimed in “Yes, and you gave us these” and pointed to her headpiece which had become omnipresent “The perfect symbol of our kind. Being made of metal and crystal, it bespeaks a civilized people. Sitting upon the head, it points to Mentality and being a shimmer of colors, and graceful she speaks clearly of us and ennobles all she touches”. The change of pronoun was lost on nobody
Tiara said “I see that the monster I have created doth bestride Monda Di Aurea [how the Fairies call their world] like a colossus. This is not right. I will not have my shadow fall across the land like some would-be goddess… And it deprives Tareth of the proper glory of her queen ship. I strongly object!”
Andrielle. said “This is mostly about our pages and who is called ‘The Bestest’ and how did that arise? I have six votes that says we can expect you to handle this. You would not like to let those little girls on whom you dote endlessly to be disappointed”
At that point, Queen Tareth entered with a package and said “I love secret meetings. Especially the kind about which I am not supposed to know. For the last 3 generations every little girl has gotten one of these. I used to take mine to bed with me…” and she produced a doll of good size that was clearly recognizable as Queen Tiara.
Andrielle said “How many of those of me are there? Not one save in ‘Queens” sets. It is final then. You shall make arrangements with Queen Tareth.”
Tiara protested “But you are ‘The Wise’. This should be in your line of doings…”
“And”said Andrielle, “I am wise enough to know when I am not the best person to do something and who is. Do it for the children”, at which point the whole place erupted in gales of laughter for it was Andrielle who was well-know to have placed in her proverbs “Beware of she who says ‘do it for the children’, for she cares for neither you nor the children. She only wishes to shame you into enshrining her half-witted ideas as wisdom and law.”
As winter drew nigh. Tareth announced that that upon the fifth day of the new season, there would be a big party for all in the Grand Hall at which Tiara would preside to break the spirit of sadness and that the arrangements were to be made with Tiara
Tiara went to the Flower Fairy and said. “I would like for you to have ready the first day of winter a large silver or white conifer tree. I would like it to be twice as tall as the tallest of us. And have red and green cones. Be certain that it does not grow after it has reached two Florestelle tall. I will have it moved to the Grand Hall by uprooting it and putting it in a large pot. After, we can replant it and we can use it every year”
Two days before the beginning of winter. Tiara had the tree, white in color to bespeak the winter snows, and of the proper size, moved into the hall and said that beginning upon the first day of winter, those who wished could hang ornaments of all kinds upon the branches of the tree. Then she made a seemingly strange request. “…None of the children shall be allowed to wear their tiaras to this party. Frankly, I am sick of these things and it would be interestingly novel to see what perosns look like without them. Also, each little girl is to make a request for the thing she would most dearly love. I wish to know what children like most. As an unwitting Childrens’ Queen, I think I should know this.”
Some of the little girls complained but their parents said “Do you love Tiara?”. Always the answer was “Yes”. “Well Tiara would not like you to disobey her. Would you like to do that?”. “No, but…” “Now I am sure Tiara has her reasons, she invented them and we love them, but since they are her invention, then she is to be honored on this”
So, The Fairies spent much of the first four days of winter preparing the Hall and the tree for this party. Upon the fifth, they all entered the Grnad Hall, each bringing some item to aid in the celebration. Toward dusk, Tiara said. “I think all of the planning and work has taken more of a toll on me than I realized. I do not feel well. Do continue without me. It would grieve me if the celebration were to stop since I put so much work into it. I hope to return later when I feel better” and she left.
Two hours after the evening meal, there came a knock at the door of the Grand Hall and one of the Queen’s aide answered it. A tall lady stood there. She wore a white iredescent dress and stockings, a metallic ice blue winter cloak lined with silver and trimmed with white fur, its hood up but stil showing the hair and tiara that was now emblematic of the poeple who called Monda di Aurea "home". The tiara was a filigree of wire with only a few staones and covered with specks of "snowflakes" that gleamed in the manner of an aurora stone. She also wore very warm looking stockings with silver slippers over which were glossy transparent boots, up to the top of her calves where the silver-lace trimmed hem of her skirts was, with patterns of whate sparkle stars and snowflakes, and long white gloves. Her face had a silver-white cast to it with flecks of sparklings that caught the light and sent it back in colors, She looked gravely concerned and said in an unfamiliar, gentle voice “ I am Mistress Winter. I am given to understand that a pall of sadness falls upon you people in my season. Queen Tiara has charged me to deliver some gifts to the little girls here. This is a large task and required me to bring it in a very large sleigh that required eight of our strongest pulling-beasts. Queen Tareth, please have as many persons bring these items in here as you can.” Then Mistress Winter took a seat and said to one of the aides “please come over here. I wish for each of the little girls to come sit on Mistress Winter’s lap and tell me her name and what she wished for. Let us start with, Hmmmmm…. Melisandra’s little Stella”
Little Stella had wanted the Floating Crystal game set and Mistress Winter told the Queen’s aide to find the package with Stella Melisandra’s name and bring it to her and the little girl. She told the little girl to open the package. There was the Floating Crystal game set that she wanted but there was also something else…
…A brand new tiara that Mistress Winter put in the little girl’s hair.
And so it went with each of the girls until the last one; clever little Dianestra. She sat upon Mistress Winter’s lap and said she wanted a writing set. Then she put her nose close to Mistress Winter’s cheek and sniffed and made a face. Quickly she scratched lightly and to everyone’s shock and horror the white came off…
“Tiara!!” squealed Dianestra in absolute ecstasy, “It is Tiara!!! Mistress Winter is TIARA!!!”
Found out, Tiara threw her hood back and removed the disguise and was soon sitting on the floor with the children all wearing new tiaras, playing at the Floating Crystal game and leading song playing the dulcichord that 12-year-old Denelle had gotten and, in short, acting like a child herself.
Then after the children were asleep Tiara joined the grown-ups and told the story of the preparations she had made. Andrielle said, “It is a good thing you were found out. It would be bad to have the children need to be told later on that Mistress Winter is a myth and not real.”
Tiara thought and said “I did not think of that but you are right. I have a lovely idea: Each year, we shall draw lots to see who is to be Mistress Winter and we can have a guessing-game for the girls with the winner getting some kind of prize”
That year and thereafter. There was not the short temperedness that had plagued the Fairies and very rare were the chastisements needed. Rather, The Fairies waited with eagerness the coming of Mistress Winter and the celebration that lifted the spirits of all. And ever since, this has been a happy time for all and is carried on to this day, more than 300 generations later. All Fairy homes have a white tree just under the height of a person, in their homes they they decorate for Mistress Winter day