“I heard,” said Steven, evenly, “that a human child has moved into your tree. Everyone is talking about it.”
“Everyone?” asked Lilly. “You would think that everyone would have something better to do than talk about us.”
“Is it true?”
“It is. As a matter of fact, Three was here last night as well.”
“Are you trying to get us all killed?” he growled, his wings ridged with anger and fear.
“No, Steven,” said Lilly, looking into his eyes. “I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m trying to make Fairy a nicer and more inclusive place, a place that I’ll be proud to live in, instead of ashamed.”
“We are going to die, you know that, don’t you?”
Lilly shrugged. “I don’t think so, Steven. I think we’re going to set a good example.”
“Lilly,” shouted Edith, jumping down the stairs, “can Weed and I bake cookies?”
“I don’t see why not,” said Lilly, smiling.
“Oh, hi Steven,” said Edith, coming to a halt. “This is Weed. She lives here now. Weed this is Steven, my grandfather. He was raised by humans, like I was.”
“Very nice to meet you, Weed,” said Steven, bowing.
Weed curtsied and turned scarlet. “Sir,” she said.
“I think you can call him Steven,” said Edith. “He’s nice and won’t mind at all.”
Lilly choked back a laugh and started getting the cookie sheets out of the cabinet. “We used different ingredients, Edith, so you may have to substitute.”
“We’ll be fine, right Weed?” she said, looking at her friend. “We’re going to make cookies for the other human kids because their life is terrible. Weed and I are going to change that and the best way to start is with treats. Weed knows where some of the kids hide. Don’t you think it’s horrible that children have to hide? I do.”
Weed climbed onto a stool and started mixing things together.
“She said she’s made food before. She worked for fairies, so she knows what she’s doing. She’s going to teach me. Maybe when she’s not afraid of you guys, she’ll talk to you. She’s been treated very badly and it takes time to stop being terrified.”
Steven sighed loudly and ran his fingers through his hair. His wings began to move in a start and stutter fashion which, like biting his bottom lip, meant that he was nervous. Lilly laughed out loud. “Go, Steven. Tell everyone you don’t know us any longer. Be safe, think of yourself, just as you always have.”
“That’s not fair and you know it,” he said, angrily. “I worry about all of you.”
“Don’t worry about us Steven,” said Lilly, putting her arms around both girls. “We’re fine. As a matter of fact, we’re more than fine. We’re happy. Do you know what happy feels like, Steven?”
Buttercup walked into the cozy kitchen holding a basket. She was dressed in a sheer sundress, the color of new celery and the flowers in her hair matched perfectly. “Father, Mother,” she said, nodding to each of them. “I have a gift for you, Edith.”
“What is it?” she asked, pulling Weed off the stool, so she could see the present as well.
The girls dropped to the floor and sat next to the basket. The blanket inside was moving.
Edith and Weed looked at each other and nodded. Then they slowly lifted a corner of the soft, fluffy blanket and a baby bunny started up at them.
Edith threw herself at Buttercup. “Thank you so much. Weed and I will take excellent care of the rabbit, I promise.”
Weed nodded and ran her hand over the bunny’s ears.
“I know it’s not a cat, but bunnies are lovely as well,” said Buttercup, watching the girls gently touch the tiny rabbit.
“She’s wonderful,” said Edith.
“So, this is your new friend,” said Buttercup.
“Oh, we aren’t friends,” said Edith, looking at Weed. “We’re sisters. We decided that last night.”
Weed cowered a bit and Edith touched her arm. “She’s afraid of being mistreated because a lot of fairies are mean but I told her that we’re all nice, so she doesn’t have to worry.”
“A pleasure to meet you Weed. That’s a nice name, by the way. It means you’re strong and you can survive anything.”
“See,” said Edith. “I told you that Weed was a great name.”
“Girls,” said Lilly, “your cookies are calling.”
“Lilly, will you watch the bunny until we’re finished baking?”
“Of course,” she muttered. “Buttercup, I hope you brought a bed for the bunny.”
“I did,” she said, “although she may rather stay in the yard during the day. Scott is making a pen for her right now, so she can enjoy the sunshine. Is Weed living here?”
“She is,” said Lilly.
Steven huffed and walked out the door.
“Ah,” said Buttercup, knowingly, watching him go.”
“The girls are making cookies for the human children who are hiding from the evil fairies. We are the evil fairies, in case you weren’t aware of that,” said Lilly. “We’ve done nothing to help those children. It doesn’t matter than we haven’t personally abused them. Not stopping others from hurting them is just as bad.”
“Weed,” said Buttercup. “If you know someone who would like a home, please bring her or him to our house. We live two trees down that way,” she said, pointing to her right. The tree with the bird bath in front.”
Weed looked at Edith. “She means it,” said Edith. “She’s my mother. Maybe we can bring someone over to her tonight.”
“Thank you,” whispered Weed.”
“Thanks mom,” said Edith, smiling.
Once the cookies were done, the Edith and Weed packed them into the basked the bunny had been in and headed to the woods. The bunny was in her pen, nibbling on grass and a small carrot. “I promise you will have a name by bedtime,” she said. “Be good and we’ll see you later.”
As they walked, Weed pointed out certain things to Edith. She explained what life was like for the human children who had been stolen and where it was safe to swim and hide.
“Do you want to find your real parents?” asked Edith.
“I have no idea who they are,” said Weed. “I was taken when I was two days old. I wouldn’t know where to look, or who to look for.”
“There has to be a way to find them, so if you want to look for them, I’ll help you. I bet they keep records somewhere.”
“Why would my human parents want me?” asked Weed, matter-of-factly.
“Why wouldn’t they want you? You’re fabulous,” said Edith. “Besides, they deserve to have the chance to love their real daughter.”
“Are humans as bad as they say they are?”
“Some of them are but some of everyone seems to be bad, don’t you think?”
“Humans aren’t nice but that doesn’t mean that your parents won’t be.”
Weed nodded and said, “These cookies will be gone in two seconds, you know that, don’t you?”