Four funky fairies flitted around the frightened foal.
From their leader, who wore above-the-knee socks with yellow, green and red horizontal stripes, came soft, delicate tones. “Fear not, Filly. Fortune will favour you and save you from the big, bad wolf. Funky fairies are here to protect you.”
Filly remained fearful. “Ferocious is the wolf, while you are airy-fairy. Fill me in on your plan to thwart the evil wolf.”
“Flouting our rules of secrecy would be unwise. For now, you need to have faith in our abilities. Failure to put your faith in us will be bad for you.”
“For sure I have no other option than to trust you.”
“Fortunately, that is a good option.”
Filly lay down and fell asleep. Forthwith, big, bad wolf appeared high on the horizon, then padded down, each step bringing him closer to the sleeping foal. Five feet from the foal, big, bad wolf stopped in his tracks. Four funky fairies, all sporting colourful, striped above-the-knee socks, flitted around him.
“For heaven’s sake, who are you?” the wolf cried.
“Four funky fairies are we,” said the lead fairy.
“Funny, I thought you were forty flipping fishes, said the wolf, letting out a deafening roar.
Fast as fury, all four fairies turned into forty large fishes, flipping and diving as if they were in water.
Falling back on the ground, the wolf watched, mesmerised by the spectacle. Fully absorbed in watching the forty flipping fishes, he didn’t even notice what was happening around him… until he did. From all sides, water surrounded him, engulfed him, and it was rising.
“Folly this is not,” the wolf spluttered, suddenly very scared. “Fishes, fairies, whatever you are, free me from this water before I drown, I beg of you.”
“For us to do that,” said the lead fish, “you must vow never to hurt Filly the foal.”
“From the bottom of my heart, I vow,” said the wolf. “Filly the foal shall remain safe from my clutches. Friends we will be.”
Falling away rapidly, the water soon vanished completely leaving no trace it had ever been there. Forty flipping fishes turned back into four funky fairies.
For the rest of his life, the wolf remained a staunch friend of the foal, who grew up into a sturdy horse, carrying the wolf on his back when the wolf was too old to move himself.
“Friendless I would have been,” said the wolf from the comfort of the horse’s back, “if I had eaten you that night.”
Fable’s moral: Friendship is better than a full stomach.
Links to previous A-Z stories: