Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day!

Once upon a time there was a girl named Nola.  She lived in a magical land.  People who had never been there believed that it was magic because it was made of swamps and alligators and voodoo, none of which was really true.  But the reality was no less wild: her land was made of a winding river and a vast sparking lake, of giant all-knowing oaks, and of streetcars and parades and okra and shining beads and red beans.

Only those who took the time to visit her land themselves ever began to understand it; those who only read about it never glimpsed its true wonder.  And there was a mystery that only the residents knew of: once a person lived there, no matter how far away they ventured, they would always, always return.

Nola lived an enchanted childhood in the magical land, climbing the giant ancient trees, marveling over angel trumpets and passionflower vines, and admiring the sparkling waters in the long warm days.  But one day a great storm swept away all of the places and people that she knew and loved.  She was devastated and all alone.  "I have heard that a person who lives here will always return.  But not I - I will never, ever return to this terrible place," she promised herself.

She traveled to a faraway place that had its own sort of magic, but it was loud and bustling and tall - so very tall.  She learned to love it there.  But there was a piece of her heart always missing: the piece that had always belonged, and she feared would always belong, to her beloved magic land.  "But I must not return there!  It is a desolate and awful place, and it will never be my home again."

Try though she might, Nola could not stop thinking about the place she had called home for so long.  So she came to a resolution: she would visit the formerly magical land to witness the tragedy up close again, and so convince herself once and for all that her home was destroyed forever.

The journey was long and trying, and Nola knew that only heartache could await her at its end.  But when she neared the magical place she was bewildered to feel her heart lift, as if it had grown wings in her chest.  Here it was - not the same, no, but reborn!  Still injured and licking its wounds, but growing, repairing, making right what was wronged.  Upon setting foot in its soil, Nola instantly knew that she had returned home for good.

Nola never again left her magical home, and did everything she could to help restore it to a new glory.  She loved the land and its waters and its trees and its people and its animals with all her heart, not just the bit that it had held before.  And she lived happily ever after.

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