Far off, in a place not tread by the feet of man, where the trees were a little bigger and the flowers a little wilder, was the edge of the Mysterious Glen. There stood a three-foot Gnome impatiently tapping his curly-toed shoe.
He just couldn’t believe his luck. He was fresh on his first job for the Pixie Postal Agency when word came that a Delivery Gnome was needed. Of course, all eyes landed on him. Newbies always took the worst assignments and no one wanted to deal with the Fairies of the Mysterious Glen. Truth be told—he had never dealt with a Fairy before. He had heard enough about them to make his toes uncurl (not a pleasant experience at all).
You see, word on the dirt path was that Fairies were crazy. They chose to be neither completely good nor completely bad, and often moved dangerously between the two.
If he inadvertently aggravated the Fairy customer, he could be belly lint for the remainder of his days. The very thought made him develop an uncontrollable twitch in his right eyelid.
Fortunately for the Delivery Gnome, this particular Fairy customer didn’t really notice him, nor did she seem to be aware of the dreadful music and mangled singing coming from the Glen hidden past the row of trees behind her. She was too busy with her package, folding paper here and adding sticky stuff there.
The Gnome, however, was wishing he could shove his fingers in his green, pointy ears, jump in the saddle of his trusty transportation, and gallop as far away from the Mysterious Glen as possible. Whatever the crazy Fairies were up to sounded like an out-of-control party that should have ended long ago.
“There you go,” said the Fairy as she handed the package to the Gnome. It felt extremely light in his hands. Too light actually. He tried to act like he didn’t notice.
“Now,” said the Fairy as she put her hands on the waist of her pink tutu, “Make sure it only reaches the hands of oldest Princess of Tanopolis.”
“Tanopolis,” repeated the Gnome, his voice shaky. “To the oldest Princess, gotcha.” He withheld the groan buzzing in his throat. He wasn’t too keen about heading into the land of humans either. His first day on the job didn’t seem to have a single shred of silver in its lining.
A stern look swept over the fairy’s features. She poked him in the nose with her pink fingernail. “And I mean A.S.A.P. If it doesn’t get to her like tomorrow don’t ever cross my path again. I am NOT a Fairy to reckon with… I will remember everything about you, Mr. Gnob Greenling.”
Having never mentioned his name to her, the Delivery Gnome gulped mightily. “Y-y-yes, sir, I mean ma’am,” he stuttered.
Assured, the Fairy smiled. “And, don’t forget to say, ‘Happy Birthday’ to her, mmkay?”
Mr. Greenling, the Delivery Gnome, saluted quickly before turning on his heel and scurrying away. With a jump, he mounted the saddle of his trusty steed (a shaggy sheepdog named Piddle), dug his heels in, and rode away.
It wasn’t until he was half way to Tanopolis that he realized he had forgotten to get her signature. It was required on the delivery papers. The pencil-pushers at the Agency weren’t going to be happy about the fact that he forgot.
“Oh well,” he said with a rebellious smirk. There was no way he was going back to find that Fairy again. He would just have to ensure that he got the addressee’s signature. One’s better than none.
He glanced down at the package and read:
Directly (And I mean DIRECTLY!) to:
Princess N.M Tonapola, of the Royal Family Tonapola
1st Royal Tonapola Castle
Trister County, Tonapola 55514
P.S. Don’t let anyone see you
and don’t screw this up, Delivery Gnome!
I know where you live…