As the time approaches for the King’s birthday his majesty travels the land to spend moments with his people. Blessing as many possible with the gift of his time, the greatest of all honors has been bestowed on the village of Fiddlesworth. For this shall be the sight of the festivities surrounding the actual day of his birth. A great celebration and a faire, that will rival any that the kingdom has ever seen, is planned. This is the time that your plan has the greatest chance of success; for it is at times like this that the fairies of the forest appear. They are drawn by the music and merriment that surrounds such great events. And no fairy is more legendary than the spirit Fiddlestix. The ultimate prankster and jester he has been known, more than any other, to appear to the children of this village at times of celebrations.
You arrive in the village along with hundreds of other visitors, but your purpose is very different. You know searching for him is futile, for it is only when you stop and allow yourself to hear his fiddle through the wind in the trees that you will know he is near. Stalking you with his cherubic smile, and the twinkle in his eye. You plan to follow the children, for they know the ways of the forest and the fairies that reside there better than any others. Through the trees you travel winding your way among the branches keeping an ear pricked for the sound that will tell you that your quarry has been found.
When you reach the outer edge of the forest, so far away from the festivities that you would not even think any human had ever passed this way. When all hope begins to vanish of finding him, the sound of a fiddle reaches your ears. Looking back a shape flits out of view almost as if a bush has pulled back into the forest to escape your notice, you know he is near and heading back towards the festival you keep your eyes peeled for the least movement. Then there it is, a flower sticking out from behind the top of a signpost wiggling, as if being held by a giddy child. You stop and wait, for it would be a mistake to try to charge ahead at this point. Fairies are very skittish and it is always best to wait and allow their curiosity to bring them to you. Time seems to stand still as you wait only the lone flower that alerted you to his presence assures you that he is still waiting and watching, slowly the brim of a hat that looks as if it were ripped directly from the flora around you pokes around the side of the sign, followed shortly by a face that beams with amusement and mirth. You have found the creature you have sought. He is cautious still and takes his time to come out of his hiding place, but once he does the forest seems more alive as the colors of the forest seem to deepen in his presence. He speaks not a word since the language of the fairy can not by understood by mortal man, but through the fiddle in his hands he is able to express more than any human ever could.
Legend has it that the founder of Fiddlesworth, the great violin maker, used fairy magic to create his amazing masterworks, and the most wondrous of his creations went missing from his workshop on the day of his passing from this world. In the fairy hands, you can truly believe that this is the work of the genius, wielded by the creature for which it was intended.
As children hear the music they come to him. Innocent of the things men do, Fiddlestix has no fear. As you watch a weight lifts from your soul. Sitting back against a tree he holds court as if he were the king being approached by the regalist emissaries, the youngest comes forth to take a flower that he offers. Soon children come forward in droves, some to just touch him and prove he is real, others to take the bow from his hands and try to bring forth the sweet music from the beautiful instrument.
Creeping closer you sit and watch him interact with the children, you know all is right with the world when you’re in his presence. He turns and gives you a wink and a lopsided smile to let you know he is okay with you being there with them. You relax with your back up against a tree and absorb what happens around you. It is a long journey that has brought you here and no one would believe that you have finally found what you have searched so for long. As the thought crosses your mind Fiddlestix turns to you and beckons you forward. Creeping down on all four you approach the fairy. He reaches into his pocket and with utter excitement brings out something he wishes to give to you.
Sitting in front of the Kingspub you stretch as if waking from a long sleep. You came to Fiddlesworth on a mission, but now it does not seem that important. Your soul is filled with peace; the drive to find something, what you are not sure, is gone. People pass in and out of the pub partaking of the festivities and slowly you rise from your seat and venture in to join them. Somewhere deep in your soul you know that the time you have spent here will change your life forever and the joy you feel now will be carried with you for the rest of your life.
story by Bruce Ellis, photos by Christine Papazian-Ellis, special thanks to Fiddlestix T Bloomington