Lovie and Bibs and the Fairy in the Tree by the Stairs
Published by Alicia Ranney at Shakespir
Copyright 2017 Alicia Ranney
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Lovie and Bibs are sisters and friends. They have lots of things in common: they both like games and toys, eating chocolate and watching PBS Kids. They enjoy lying on the grass, heads together, telling each other the stories they read in the clouds. If one of them gets a puzzle as a present, it’s really a gift for the both of them. And dress up – their favorite!
But it’s a mistake to think that they’re the same kid. Lovie is princesses, letting her hair hang free, elephants and Disney theme songs. Bibs is headbands and hair bows, monkeys, and any music with a good beat. It doesn’t matter to her if she looks like a princess, a sheriff or a tomboy, just so long as she can dance when she hears music playing.
Lovie is dramatic. She will be the happiest of any happy creature ever to grace the earth. Then in the next moment, no one has ever been more sad. Sometimes, she can be happy and sad about the same thing! Or angry. She can do angry really well. But then she’ll turn around and smile as if nothing was ever the matter. It’s all very confusing to the casual observer. But Bibs has her figured out.
Bibs is much more of a go-with-the-flow type of person. If she’s playing with her firetruck, and Lovie decides she wants to play with the firetruck, Bibs just finds another toy. If Bibs says, “Hey, Lovie, let’s do play-dough,” and Lovie says, “Nope, we’re playing jewelry,” then jewelry it is. Now if Bibs is jamming to some sweet tunes, and Lovie decides she’s not in a music mood, that’s a different story. Bibs loves music, has that been mentioned?
Lovie and Bibs like to play outside. They’ll play zombies or princes and princesses. Sometimes they play race cars, and sometimes it’s air balloons. They like to ride their bikes and then dig in the dirt. Every now and again, just because it seems like the thing to do at the time, Bibs will put a rock in her mouth and pretend it’s candy. Or maybe a leaf is salad (it sure looks like salad…). Or dirt is chocolate. Whatever tickles her fancy. She gets in trouble for that kind of stuff…when she gets caught. And she’s often caught, since Lovie is a giant blabber mouth who likes to go tattling to mom! Sisters!
Whatever happens, at the end of the day, the girls are friends, and they look out for each other. They like each other, and they enjoy having adventures together.
Just the other day, they were playing in the backyard. Their backyard is paved – it’s kind of weird. And on the side, there are two stairs leading up to a grassy side yard. Right by the stairs, there’s a big tree with lots of knotholes in it. It’s always seemed very magical to the girls, though they couldn’t say why.
When they were outside playing, they heard knocking. They went on an investigation and discovered that the knocking was coming from inside the tree! Lovie said, “Maybe it’s a squirrel?”
Bibs said, “Whatever it is, it’s nutty!” The sisters looked at each other and busted up laughing. And then the knocking happened again. It was loud this time! The girls exchanged excited and nervous glances. What – WHAT – could be making the noise?!
Suddenly, Bibs leaned in closer to the tree, as though she were trying to hear a noise coming from inside it. “What are you doing?” Lovie asked her.
“I hear something in the tree!” Bibs said excitedly.
“Well, yeah, it’s knocking?….” Lovie rolled her eyes.
Bibs made her scrunched up angry face and glared at her sister. “No, Lovie! It’s something else. Now shush so I can hear it!”
Lovie thought Bibs was a giant dork, but she stayed quiet. Bibs straightened up quickly and began jumping up and down. “Lovie, Lovie, Lovie!”
“WHAT?” Lovie said, annoyed.
“There’s something in the tree. It’s talking. IT’S TALKING!”
Lovie looked blankly at her sister. “Oh, yeah? Something in the tree is talking?” She sounded like she might not believe…
“Yep! It’s sure talking, all right!” Bibs continued bouncing up and down. Lovie feared for the safety of Bibs’ brain with all that bouncing.
“So what’s it saying then?” Lovie asked doubtfully.
“It says to RUB THE TREE!” Bibs shouted as she planted her hand on the rough bark and began to pet at the tree.
“What the heck are you do-“ Lovie broke off as a kind of fog began pouring out of the tree. She backed up quickly. Bibs was standing transfixed, so Lovie grabbed her arm and pulled her back too.
When she felt like they were a safe distance away, Lovie huddled clutching her sister’s arm. The fog was coming out thicker and thicker. They could barely see the tree anymore. Then a small figure began to emerge from the fog. The girls gasped. The fog began to clear, and then they saw – A FAIRY!
A fairy? But Lovie knew that fairies weren’t real! It must be a trick or something. “Bibs, stop playing games!” she hollered.
“Huh?” Bibs was confused. “I’m not playing games!”
“This is a trick! An illusion! There’s no such thing as fairies, silly!”
“No such thing as fairies, huh? Then what am I, I ask you?” The voice was small and tinny. But there was power in it. The girls stopped their argument and looked back at the little fairy.
She was as tall as Lovie’s pinky, and about as big around. Her tiny body was covered in what looked like miniature leaves, and her small shoes looked like they were made out of the littlest rose buds. Her sun-colored hair was tied back in a long pony tail and shot through with twigs and leaves and moss. She appeared almost angry for a fraction of a second. Then she just looked plain happy.
“Ah! I am SO excited to be out of that tree! It’s my home, you know, but even home becomes stuffy when you’re stuck in it for so many years!”
“You’ve been stuck in the tree?” Bibs was curious. “Well, how did that happen?”
“It wasn’t my fault, if that’s what you mean!” the fairy defended herself.
“I didn’t mean…” Bibs started, but the fairy cut her off by stretching out her miniscule hand.
“Well, shake it already!” she demanded. The sisters took turns shaking the fairy’s hand – no easy thing with a hand that small.
“I’m Agatha. I’m a tree fairy, and this is my home.” The girls stared at her. “And you are?…”
“Oh, sorry! I’m Lovie, and this is my little sister, Bibs.”
“Nice to meet you both! I’ve heard you outside playing. I’ve been trying to get your attention, but I guess it’s hard to hear somebody as little as me. Even if you do have those great big ears.” She studied their ears for a moment, then shook herself from the distraction.
“Anyway, I angered a cockroach, you see. The king of the cockroaches, actually. Cockroaches don’t have a lot of magic, generally speaking, certainly not as much as fairies like me.” She thrust her chin up proudly. “But I guess the king has enough to lock me in my tree when he’s in the right mood.”
“What happened that he was angry?” Bibs asked.
Agatha sighed. “I wouldn’t marry him.”
“He wanted you to marry him? A fairy marrying a cockroach? That’s weird!” Lovie snorted.
“What are you talking about? You didn’t even think I existed. Marrying a cockroach isn’t such a weird thing for an imaginary creature to do now, is it?”
“Um,” Lovie looked uncertainly at her sister, who shrugged.
“That’s what I thought,” Agatha said. Lovie thought she had a pretty big attitude for such a little fairy. “So as I was saying, he wanted a marriage, and I refused. He got angry, and he locked me in my tree.”
“Why did you tell him no?” Bibs asked.
“Did you not love him?” Lovie asked. Being a little girl, she knew a lot about love, but not much about Love. All she knew about it she learned from her princess movies.
Agatha’s shoulders slumped, and she suddenly looked very sad. “I love him. But I can’t marry someone unless they give my father a blue pearl. It’s the rule of my people.”
“That’s random,” Lovie said.
Bibs ignored her sister. “Does King Cockroach know the rule?”
“His name is Gerald. And he does know. He tried and tried and finally found a blue pearl, but he lost it. He didn’t have one to give to my father, so he begged me to run away with him, and I refused. I’m so disappointed that he would give up like that.” Agatha fluttered down to sit on the ground, and she put her head in her hands.
“Could we help if we found a blue pearl?” Bibs asked.
Lovie looked at her sister, exasperated. “Do you know of a bunch of blue pearls just sitting around? We live in INDIANA!”
Agatha raised her head and looked at Lovie hopefully. “You know, if you can get the pearl he lost, that would do the trick!”
“Where is it?” Lovie asked.
“I’ll show you!” Agatha flew to a hole where a pipe went down into the ground. It was too narrow for them to be able to see the bottom, but Agatha assured them the pearl was down there.
“How do we get to it?” Lovie pondered.
Bibs brightened. “I have an idea!” She ran to the garage and wheeled out her dad’s shop vac. She plugged it in and brought it over to the pipe.
“What is this contraption?” Agatha asked the girls.
“It’s a vacuum,” answered Bibs. “It sucks stuff up. If the pipe doesn’t run too deep, I can just suck the pearl out with this!” She turned it on, stuck the end of the hose over the top of the pipe and waited. They heard all kinds of things rattling against the hose. After a while, Bibs turned off the vacuum and lifted off the top. There were a bunch of little rocks, some leaves and twigs, and a marble.
“That’s it!” yelled Agatha.
“What, that? That’s not a pearl, it’s a marble!” Lovie laughed at the fairy. But Agatha looked at her patiently. “Is it?” she asked and waved her small hand over the marble. It shimmered and started to change before their eyes. The next thing the girls knew, there was a pearl sitting in the bottom of their dad’s shop vac.
“Huh,” Lovie wasn’t sure what to make of that.
“Now I just need to get word to Gerald,” Agatha said. “He’s so far away…”
“Let us help you!” Bibs was excited. “Where’s he at?”
Agatha pointed. “He lives there, past the miles of concrete, and across the flower bed. Through the forest of weeds, and over the great wall.”
Lovie stared in the direction the fairy pointed. Finally, she said, “So he lives in the neighbor’s yard.”
“It’s so far,” Agatha repeated.
Lovie rolled her eyes. “I guess that does seem far to a fairy as big as my little finger,” she mumbled. She got up, walked to the fence that separated the yards and hollered, “Hey, Gerald! We’ve got your pearl!”
Bibs had followed her sister, and they stood arm in arm as a loud sort of rumbling filled the air. The weeds in front of the fence began to shake and dance as something moved them. Through a small hole in the bottom of the fence, a battalion of cockroaches entered the yard. They marched and marched until Agatha met them by the row of snapdragons the girls’ father had planted.
Agatha flittered around, looking for someone. She clapped her hands in delight as she finally found who she was looking for. Toward the back of the rows, a tiny chair was held aloft by two cockroaches who appeared to be wearing flower petals as capes. On the chair sat Gerald, King of the cockroaches.
“How may I help you, Princess?” he asked, refusing to look at Agatha.
“You’re a princess?” Lovie was very interested in this turn of events.
Agatha didn’t respond to her. Rather she flitted toward the recumbent king, took his hand and urgently whispered, “Gerald, they’ve found the blue pearl!”
That got his attention. His head snapped up, and his face gleamed. “They found it?” Agatha nodded. They grasped each other in a tight embrace.
“We have to show your father immediately,” Gerald said. Agatha agreed. They looked at the sisters. “Well? How about carrying us back to my tree?” Agatha said.
“Sure thing!” Bibs reached her arms down for several of the cockroaches to climb up. When she had as many as she could carry, she raised back up and looked expectantly at her sister who was shaking her head so hard her hair kept whipping her in the face.
“Uh-uh, no way am I carrying bugs. Not happening. Nope!!”
“Come on, Lovie! You don’t have to carry them far!” Bibs argued.
“I don’t care, I’m not gonna do it.”
“Madame, if you would be so kind as to help a King and his fair Princess, we would owe you a favor.”
Lovie stopped shaking her head. “What favor?”
Agatha was the one to answer. “Anytime you need help, just knock on the tree! What could be better, after all, than having magical royalty at your beck and call?”
Bibs looked at her sister, pleading. Lovie thought it over for a minute and finally agreed. With a grimace on her face, she put her arms out, wincing each time a little cockroach leg brushed her skin. When everyone was on board, the sisters walked back to Agatha’s tree. They unloaded their cockroach cargo.
“That was…” Lovie shuddered, “funky.”
“Yeah, it was cool!” Bibs shouted.
“Not what I meant,” Lovie frowned at her sister.
Just then, Lovie and Bibs’ mom popped her head out of the door. “Girls! Dinner!”
She let the screen door slam shut behind her, giving no indication that she’d seen the fairy and the cockroach battalion, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
Lovie said, “Will you let us know how everything goes?”
“We’ll do better than that!” Agatha exclaimed. “You’ll have to come to our wedding!”
The girls squealed with delight. “I’d hug you if you weren’t so small,” Bibs told the little fairy.
“I’d hug you if you weren’t so big!” Agatha replied. “Remember to knock if you ever need me!”
The girls nodded. “Bye, Agatha! Bye, Gerald!” And holding hands, they ran inside.
Thank you so much for reading my book! This began as a series of bedtime stories I told my then two-year-old to help get her excited about becoming a big sister. Three years later, here it is! If you enjoyed this book, please stay tuned – there are more to come! Also, please take a moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer!
Lovie and Bibs are sisters and (mostly) friends - normal kids in a normal neighborhood who are VERY serious about their play time. Just when they think they've played all the games in their arsenal, they're pulled into a world of magic. And to think, it had been around them the whole time! In this adventure, a day of normal play transforms into a rare chance to stop a feud between two magical creatures. Discover the secret of the tree in the yard, find the courage to carry a cockroach, and earn a favor from a magical fairy. But don't forget to be on time for dinner!