[Editor: This short story for children, by Eva Oakley, was published in Real Australian Fairy Stories (1945).]
The Slippers and the Fairies
One evening, before closing, the shop-keeper, who owned the bootshop, placed all the Slippers into three nice rows. They looked lovely; all shades of all colours, and with beautiful pom-poms on them.
As soon as it was quite dark, ever so many lovely Fairies came, and said to the Slippers, “How would you like to jump down on to the floor, and dance all over the place?”
“Oh!” said the Slippers, “we would love it.”
So the Fairies flashed their lovely little Fairy lights and spangles all around, and the Slippers started off; first they danced round in circles, and then in and out the legs of the stools and chairs. Then one very bold pair scuttled across the room, at a terrific rate, and, I am sorry to say, bumped into a very sedate pair, who were dreadfully shocked. The naughty pair had to find each other before they could dance again, for they had been humped in two directions. However, off they all went again, and danced merrily on.
Suddenly the Fairies called out, “Oh! it is nearly midnight, and we must go, for our Queen is expecting us, and we would not disappoint her for anything.”
“Just a moment,” cried the Slippers, “please let your lights shine out for one minute longer, so that we can all see to jump back into our rows.” So the Fairies waited, and back the Slippers scrambled. Then they called out, “Thank you, dear Fairies, and good-night!”
“Good-night,” said the Fairies, “good-night!” and then they went on their way.
But what do you think? Next morning, when the shopkeeper arrived, she could not make out however the Slippers were all in different places from those in which she had left them, for you see, in their hurry to get back into rows, they had jumped into whichever places they were nearest, and so the pink ones were in the blues’ places, and the blues were where the brown ones had been, and so on; but nobody ever told the shopkeeper how it had all happened.
Of course, this is only a Fairy Story.
Eva Oakley, Real Australian Fairy Stories, Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , p. 9
pom-pom = a small decorative ball (usually made of wool) attached to an item of clothing, especially on a hat, particularly on the peak (but also used on blouses, dresses, slippers, etc.); a handheld cluster of coloured streamers (often, but not always, put together in approximately a round shape), especially used by cheerleaders and waved in pairs (one in each hand)
spangle = a small glittering or shiny item, particle, or object; a small thin flat piece of glittering material (often metal or plastic), especially used to sew onto clothing in large numbers for decorative purposes; a sequin; to decorate something with spangles, to bespangle
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]
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