Humble Pie

This story is part of my collection, A Fairy Tale Christmas, which was originally written in 2007 for my family.

Dedicated to my aunt, Marcia.

Once there were three fairies who were sisters, and they lived right next door to one another.  One of the sisters was wicked, one was selfish, and the third was very humble.  Their houses, each of the three, sat on the same side of the road they lived on, and went in that order.

The wicked fairy sister had a sinister house that was beautiful but poisonous to the touch.  It looked like a gingerbread house, which the wicked fairy designed so that it would be tempting to eat, and the wicked fairy loved to make people sick with her house’s poison.

The selfish fairy sister lived next in the line of houses, and her house was right in the middle and was the biggest and tallest, for she liked to have the best of everything, and she liked to be the center of attention.  She had countless luxuries inside her house, and loved to taunt people with how many things she had that no one else did.

The humble fairy sister’s house was at the end of the road, and it was the smallest of the three.  It was very plain, but it was warm inside, and she would invite anyone in who needed shelter or wanted company.

Every year for Christmas, the fairy sisters wanted throw a party together and give out gifts to all who came, but they could never agree which house to have the party in.  The wicked sister wanted to have it at her house, but the selfish sister said that everyone would die from the poison in the house.  The selfish sister wanted the party at her house, but the wicked sister said that no one would have any fun since the selfish sister would not let anyone touch anything in her house and would not let them eat or drink her food.  But both the wicked and selfish fairy sisters were too snobby to allow the party to be thrown at the humble sister’s house, for it was too small for the party to have many guests, and no one would want to come for her house was far too ugly and plain.

So one year the sisters decided to each have a separate party at their own house.  Since the wicked sister and the selfish sister were very competitive they decided to both have their party on Christmas Eve, to see who had the most guests and to compare, in turn, who had the most fun playing host.  The humble sister, however, advertised her party to be on Christmas day, inviting anyone who didn’t have a place to go to stay with her and eat a hot meal and receive the presents she would conjure.

On Christmas Eve night, at exactly seven o’clock, the wicked and selfish fairy sisters’ individual parties began right next door to each other.  So many of the townsfolk had come, half of them so tempted by the delectable sight of the wicked sister’s house, had fallen ill before midnight.  The wicked sister gave out deliciously wrapped cakes which were as poisonous as her house to anyone who hadn’t already fallen ill from tasting her walls.  The half of them who had gone to the selfish sister’s party had all gone hungry before midnight, as the selfish sister didn’t allow them to eat anything, saving the feast for twenty all for her self, alone.  The selfish sister was also cruel, as she had given out beautifully wrapped gifts that were nothing but empty boxes because she kept the actual gifts that she had conjured.

As the midnight bells chimed from the clocks in all three houses, the humble fairy sister went to visit her sister’s parties, having forgotten the time until then.  She did not wish to be rude in not attending both, so she stopped at the selfish fairy’s house first, with the intention of going to the wicked fairy’s house after.

When she arrived and saw all of the hungry people there, she invited them all to visit her own modest house to eat and drink and receive gifts for Christmas.  When she arrived at her other sister’s house, and saw that everyone was very ill from poison, she offered them rest and medicine at her own humble residence where they too could receive gifts for Christmas.  These invitations were also extended to her sisters, who were too wicked and selfish to come.

So many people from the wicked sister and the selfish sister’s parties did not come, doubting that anyone related to them would be sincere enough to offer such a thing as what the humble fairy offered.  They were too skeptical to go to another party where they might go hungry or get sick from eating, believing that the humble fairy was like her sisters in not really caring about her guests.

Only twelve of the invitations were accepted, as the humble fairy opened her doors to anyone who wished to enter.  She fed them her favorite pie and gave them her favorite wine, which cured the hunger and sickness of all twelve who came.  The humble fairy also gave each of them a modestly wrapped Christmas present, which was the recipe for the wonderful pie she gave them to eat.

Each of the humble fairy’s guests were so touched by her kindness that they all baked enough of the pies to give to everyone in the town, including the wicked and selfish fairies who had poisoned and starved them.  Then, something magical happened as everyone, including the humble fairy’s two sisters, had tasted the pies.  As they were made from a fairy’s recipe, they were each made with a little bit of the magic that the humble fairy had bestowed on them that night, so that when everyone tasted only one bite of the delicious pie, they all were filled with the love and joy the humble fairy carried in her heart.  Even the wicked fairy and the selfish fairy were touched by this magic, touched by the good will and joy of giving that Christmas is supposed to bring.

The whole town now filled and warmed by the magic of the pies, each brought the humble fairy a gift that night on Christmas, filling her house with the one thing she wanted more than anything:

Peace on Earth and a Merry Christmas for all!