It was Saturday, and Marianne and Charlie were going to the bug museum. They left, chattering excitedly about the new dragonfly exhibit. “There were dragonflies at the time of the dinosaurs,” Charlie said as they walked out the door. “Do you think they were friends?” The door closed.
Isaac sighed and coughed and turned onto his left side. He was stuck at home trying to sleep off his cold so that he didn’t miss the caroling in the evening. Was it possible for extra sleep to heal a cold? Marianne said it was. So, here he was, stuck in bed on a perfectly good Saturday morning.
He rolled back onto his back. This wasn’t working. Maybe if he drank a nice warm cup of cocoa, it would help. He sat up and coughed for a bit. Then he trudged into the kitchen.
He filled up the kettle at the sink. While waiting for it to fill, he looked out the kitchen window. The backyard looked small and empty. With all the leaves and flowers gone, it should have looked bigger, but it didn’t. Even the plants in the windowsill had gone dormant and quiet.
Isaac coughed and shut off the water, feeling glum. Just then, something fluttered at the edge of his vision. He turned and leaned closer to the window. Something was flapping around frantically at the neighbor’s bird feeder. Was it an injured bird?
Setting the kettle on the counter, Isaac raced outside to the rescue. The cold air hit him like a slap to the face. He could hardly breathe through the coughing as he hurried across the yard, blinking the tears from his eyes. He was sure he would scare the poor bird away before he reached the feeder.
But the fluttering wings were still there and just as frantic. However, it wasn’t a bird in distress. It was a pixie. It had somehow been trapped in the wire mesh meant to keep squirrels out of the bird feeder.
“It’s okay,” Isaac said in a calm voice. “I’m here to help.” And then he coughed for a bit.
The pixie calmed down and stopped the panicked fluttering. Instead, it watched him closely. Isaac assessed the situation. The wires were separated and bent the wrong way, making a sort of monkey trap for the pixie’s foot.
Isaac made soothing murmuring noises as he reached in and bent the wires further apart. The pixie wiggled free and darted away. It paused five feet away, and fluttered in place, watching Isaac. “Go on,” he said. “Or did you want some bird seed to take with you? I imagine you were hungry, and that’s why you were here.”
He looked over at his neighbor’s windows. Miss Marta wasn’t looking out. He tipped the bird feeder over, pouring out a tablespoon-sized heap of birdseed into his hand. Then he held it out to the pixie, flat-palmed.
The pixie swooped down and gathered the birdseed into its skirt. Then it flew around his head, shaking pixie dust onto him like a rainbow fall of snow. The pixie flew away over the treetops, but Isaac didn’t watch it go.
He was too busy trying to think unhappy thoughts. He managed to get to the back door by imagining floating away like a balloon at the mercy of the strong winter wind. But, the moment he touched the doorknob, his relief was enough to take his feet off the ground.
His hands clutched at the doorknob in fear, and his feet hit the ground again. He hurried into the house. Inside, it was warm and smelled like pine trees and cinnamon. Within seconds, he was floating up by the ceiling.
There wasn’t any danger of floating away, so he decided to just enjoy feeling weightless and happy. He swam through the air, looking down at the tree in the living room. The top of the bookshelf needed to be dusted. Too bad regular dust didn’t work like pixie dust. Then everyone would want to dust.
He swam into Charlie’s room and reached for his book. He couldn’t reach. It was too low. How sad. He floated lower, feeling sad. Until finally, he could reach the book. He snatched it up, feeling happy, and floated higher.
Drifting from room to room, Isaac spent the rest of the morning reading. At lunch time, feeling hungry, he swam to the kitchen sinking lower and lower. He made himself a sandwich and sat at the table. He closed his eyes in bliss at the first bite. When he opened his eyes, he was still sitting at the table.
The pixie dust had worn off. He smiled and finished his sandwich. Then he realized that he hadn’t coughed once since the pixie had dusted him. Pixies could cure colds? Amazing! Now he didn’t need to take a nap.
Isaac started planning out the rest of his day, feeling thankful to the little pixie. That evening, he sang with Marianne and Charlie and felt happy and peaceful and thankful. It was a perfectly good Saturday, after all. He needed to add a bird feeder to the back yard. One without wire mesh.