A little boy about 7 used to wonder if Fairies and the magic that surrounded them really did exist. His Granddad had told him that he had once seen them on his way home. How much he wanted it to be true, he longed to see them or some evidence for himself. He used to play in the river Gele by bridge at the top of Peel Street. One day, while playing under the bridge, he saw something shinning in the moss on the river bed. Upon investigation he was in awe as he discovered a Fairy Shoe. Oh the joy, the thrill and the magic that overcame him, he put it in his pocket safe and ran all the way home. In his room he took the shoe from his pocket and stared at it for hours. This was the very proof he needed and the feeling of happiness would stay with him for a long time. The magic was overpowering. He placed it in cotton wool and put it in a little wooden box which was then hidden under a loose floor board in his bedroom. There it stayed, secret and safe. Occasionally, and with great reverence, it was removed to be cleaned and stared at, always being returned to its secret place. No one was every to be told.
Some years later, disillusionment was about to set in and the reality of growing up was to dawn. It was Christmas 1963 and everywhere was white. It caused problems for parents but so magical for a child to have a white Christmas. Now a young teenager, he received a monopoly set as a present, something he had really wanted. He lifted the lid in nervous anticipation, the packets of money and little houses spelt hours of fun. He slowly opened the packet of playing pieces and …..
His heart was heavy and he ran to his room to recover his magical shoe from its box to see if it could be the same. A childhood disappointment grew in him and he carefully placed the shoe back in its box and returned it to its hiding place, never to be looked at again. The magic however was still there and he always wondered if there was a mistake and that maybe it was a fairy trick to keep them secret.
I still have the shoe and it retains its memory of a magical time. It has no value but it preserves in me the feeling of a child’s magic. We all see things in different ways and probably look back at out childhood as a magical time. For me it was, and the little shoe still makes me happy when I see it and do you know ……I still wonder !