Fionna was so excited she was wiggling like the four-year old she was. Her parents stopped the car to look at a roadrunner. They were in Arizona near Sedona on their way to visit The White Deer Native American Museum. Reina White Deer had been a famous artist and activist for native Americans.
“The bird is smaller than I imagined,” her father said. “Now all we need is Wile E. Coyote.” Her mother laughed, and said, “What’s up, Doc?” The museum was in an old, rambling stone building. Fionna looked at beautiful weavings, paintings, baskets and jewelry with her parents. Her parents were in conversation with an older woman, who was sitting behind the jewelry counter. “My mother was Reina White Deer,” the woman said. “This museum holds my memories of her and of me; my name is Jill Prince.” She pointed at a painting on the wall of a beautiful young woman, holding a little boy in her arms. “My mother painted that of me and my son. Shortly afterwards, my son disappeared. This is all I have left of him.”
Fionna wandered into the vast back room, which was like a garden, full of desert plants and animals. The farther she walked, the sandier the floor became. A hawk flew low over her head, bells jingling on its talons. She was startled, and darted through two trees where she saw a door strangely high on the wall. She brushed away cobwebs; no one had passed this way in a long time.
She passed through the door and entered a glass room in the shape of an octagon with the same stone walls as the rest of the museum, but they gleamed strangely like glass. Ahead of her she saw a miniature house and garden, just the right size for fairies. She sat down to play. She imagined a fairy queen and king, and a tiny princess. The glass house would be their kingdom. She set up a tea party for them on the tiny table.
When she felt a nudge at her elbow, she thought at first it was her mother, but instead, she saw a small dog-like creature. “Hello,” she said, and she reached out to pet his head.
He backed away and sat down. “I am Brother-Wolf,” said her new friend. “Who are you?”
“My name is Fionna. I was just setting up tea for the fairy queen and her family. Would you like to play with me?” Brother-Wolf agreed, and he brought her a sack in his muzzle. When Fionna opened it, she found fairies just as she had imagined: a queen, a king and their little girl. Each had tiny gossamer wings and velvet clothes. The bottom of the sack held a tiny Brother-Wolf. She found chairs for the fairies and the tiny Brother-Wolf as well. She poured them tea and delicately added sugar and cream.
“Make mine mostly cream, please.” Brother-Wolf said, with a smile in his voice. Fionna and Brother-Wolf played happily, but eventually Fionna began to miss her family. “Won’t you come and meet them?”
“You want me to come out of the Glass House with you?” Brother-Wolf asked.
“Yes, please,” Fionna responded. “You are a good friend.” She and Brother-Wolf walked to the doorway. Brother-Wolf hesitated for a moment, drew in a deep breath and walked through. As he passed through the door, a ray of light shone down on him so brightly that it was like fire, and Fionna had to close her eyes. When she opened them, she saw a boy near her own age.
“You broke the spell!” The boy danced around whooping with joy. “I was trapped by Coyote the Trickster who was jealous of my name, Wolf Prince. He told me I would meet a fairy princess, but he tricked me. He only gave me the doll fairy princess. My mother told me that coyote has always been jealous of the wolf, but I did not remember her words. I followed Coyote, and once in the Glass House I had to wait until friendship was offered freely, and I was asked to come back to the world. Let’s find my mom!”
He was the boy from the painting, and his mother was overjoyed to see him again. Not a day had passed for Wolf Prince, but now his mother was old enough to be his grandmother. Neither one cared, they were delighted to have each other again. Fionna had set him free.
Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham