Starlight - A Changelings Story by Elizabeth Solomon - Children's Stories Net

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  Starlight - A Changelings Story
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Chapter 1. Becoming a Changeling
Once upon a time in Fairyland, a fairy baby was born.
This of its self, is not that unusual, although fairy babies tend to get born much less often than human babies because fairies live for a very long time,
The thing is, fairy babies tend to be quite different to human babies.
Fairies in general do not have strong emotions like humans and they, prize (value, desire, want) tranquility and peace above all things.
The new little fairy baby was very sensitive and easily upset.
She cried and screamed often and very loudly.
This is unusual for fairy babies who spend most of their time being quiet and content (happy, satisfied).
The parents of this baby fairy were concerned (worried) and so they cast a spell that would allow then to see what the baby would be like in the future.
What they found convinced them that their fairy child would never be content in Fairyland.
While this does not happen very often in Fairyland, it is also not completely unheard of either and fairy folk have their own way of dealing with this type of problem.
Fairy babies are given their names one year and one day after they are born but until then, they are called "acorns" and are not considered as being fully part of Fairyland. However, once they have been given their name they belong to Fairyland and cannot be sent away.
If fairy parents find that their baby is different or difficult, then the fairy way is to swop their acorn before it is named, for quiet, sweet tempered and docile (obedient) human child.
The fairy baby that is left in the place of the human child is known as a changeling.
So the fairy parents, Teth the father and Tiah the mother, took out their magic far seeing bowl and cast a finding spell.
Before long they found a beautiful little human baby sleeping peacefully in her cot, a smile curving gently on her lips. They looked into her past and into her future and decided that she was the baby for them.
They placed an enchantment on their own little acorn to make her look like the human child and late one night they made the swop.
Soon after that, the human parents awoke with the shock of hearing their baby crying louder and longer than they had ever heard.
Concerned, they tried to placate (calm) the fretful baby.
They thought she was ill so they took her to the doctor but discovered that she was very healthy. Their baby just seemed very, very upset, and of course she was.
Fairy babies can speak from the moment they are born and can let their parents know what they need. With the enchantment the fairy baby could only make crying noises and she was furious (very angry).

Chapter 2. Life as a Changeling

Starlight's anxious new human parents did their very best to try and keep their fretful baby calm and happy. Eventually they found that she loved water so they would put her into warm water whenever she cried too long and that seemed to calm her down.
They could not understand what had changed their baby from the calm little one who smiled and slept most of the time to the red faced little screamer that never wanted to sleep.
Still it did not stop the human parents from loving their baby any less.
The harder the Momma worked to try and make the baby happy, the closer she grew to her little one.
One evening as the Momma gently rocked the baby to sleep she remembered how long ago she had once wished upon a star.
"Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, have my wish tonight, come true. Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish, I wish for a child to love with all my might"
As far as the Momma was concerned, this baby was her dearest wish come true and that is why she had named her baby Starlight and she loved her with all her heart.
Starlight grew and even from a very young age she developed a great love of music.
Her Papa had a flute and she loved blowing on it and making up little tunes.
When she was 4, her Papa made Starlight her very own little wooden recorder (a flute like musical instrument) and she found that she could play any song she heard.
She also loved creating her own tunes and Starlight never went anywhere without her recorder. Every spare moment she had she would spend playing little tunes. Sometimes they were happy and sometimes they were sad ones, just depending on her mood.
Life was not always easy for the little changeling.
When she was 5 years old, her Papa whom she adored, died and she and her Momma clung to each other trying to comfort one other.
This also meant that her Momma had to work very hard to look after both of them and was not always around. But each night before Starlight went to sleep her Momma would read her a story, because of course, Starlight especially loved fairytales and then her Momma would sing her a lullaby until she fell asleep.
Starlight by now had long forgotten her fairy origins but she always felt and looked a little different to other children. Her head was large and her legs and arms were thin.
She had beautiful big, almost black, eyes and her chin and her ears were a little more sharp and pointy than her friends. There were times she felt out of place in the world and even found it difficult to understand some human behaviour and human feelings.

Chapter 3. The Changeling and the Witch

One day while playing near the woods, a beautiful young woman approached Starlight and began speaking with her.
This woman was really a witch who had been watching her for a long time because she had recognised immediately that Starlight was a changeling and therefore of fairy origin.
Witches are just like all people, some are good and some are not.
Unfortunately this witch was always on the lookout for something she could get from people.
She was always quick to use people's problems to her advantage but Starlight was still too young to understand this properly.
The witch, named Kella, was quick to realise that Starlight felt different and out of place at times. So she made friends and let her know that she understood how she was feeling.
"There is a very good reason why you feel the way you do" said the witch smugly, "it is because you are not from this place. The home you are from is called Tyrne which is known by humans as.....Fairyland."
Starlight was startled and at first could not understand what the woman was suggesting. Starlight who was always so unsure of who she could trust suddenly found herself confiding in and trusting someone who was practically a stranger. A feeling inside made her wonder if this was wise but she ignored the feeling in her heart telling her that maybe she should be more careful.
When Starlight first heard that she was a fairy she found it hard to believe.
The witch told her that the only way to prove it would be for her to go to fairyland herself and find her fairy parents.
The witch gave a sly smile and told Starlight that information on how to enter fairyland was worth great wealth and would be very expensive.
The witch thought that Starlight had developed the fairy gift of finding gold and precious stones. Poor Starlight just shook her head for she had not and therefore did not have anything to give the witch.
"Ah well," sighed the witch, "you can always pay me with your happy memories".
Starlight did not understand.
So the witch explained that for each bit of information she supplied about Fairyland she would search through Starlight's thoughts and take some happy memories to keep as her own.
Starlight did not realise the importance of her happy memories and so it seemed to her to be a good exchange and she agreed.
Every day the witch would come and tell Starlight something about Fairyland and then take her magic wand and pull out her happiest memories, such as Starlight's memories of going to the zoo and riding on the pony; the memory of her Papa carrying her on his shoulders or swinging her around. One by one her precious, happy memories disappeared. The big doll Momma bought her when she was two and the things Papa made for Starlight before he died. Memories of her Momma's hugs, cuddles and lullabies, as well as the princess dress she made for her - all gone.
In return she learnt about Fairyland and all the things she should or should not do when she got there.
"Always be polite because fairies hate rudeness" Kella told her "If fairies are helpful you must find a way to repay their kindness immediately or they will demand a type of payment that you may not want to give, at a later time. Fairies kindness is never free unless they offer it themselves."
On one occasion Kella said "When you go into fairyland you cannot have anything made of iron on you. Iron is like a poison to fairies in Fairyland
Kella warned Starlight on another occasion, "When you are in Fairyland don't accept any presents or eat any of the lovely food the fairies offer you unless you are quite sure you want to stay there forever, for if you do, you can never leave Fairyland again and you will have to stay and serve the fairies forever."
Finally Kella revealed that the quickest and easiest way to get into Fairyland was to walk under a rainbow. "Humans cannot do this because the rainbow disappears when they try to go under it, but because you are a fairy, you will have no problem walking under one.
As Starlight got each new bit of information she started to feel more and more unhappy with the world and the people she knew. This included her friends and her Momma.
Without her happy memories to remind her, the world was looking a horrible place to be in.
The witch selfishly took her time giving very little information away and stealing as much happiness as she could from the young girl.
Eventually the day arrived when the witch had taken away all the joy and had nothing more to tell Starlight about Fairyland.
By this time Starlight felt hollow and empty with no happiness to be found anywhere from her past. All she could remember were sad and horrible things and it felt to her as if no one had ever been good or kind to her. By now, her Momma felt like a stranger to her and did not feel like her real mother. Starlight just wanted to get away and find out the truth.

Chapter 4. The Changeling goes to Fairyland

So Starlight wished and wished for a rainbow to appear.
Maybe it was a coincidence or maybe it was the fairy magic hidden so far down in her human side that stirred (started to become active) but by the next day it began to rain.
After a few hours the clouds cleared in a part of the sky and a brilliant, bright rainbow appeared. Without even thinking she ran as fast as she could towards the rainbow.
She stopped before she passed under it and remembered what the witch had told her.
She took off her shoes because they had buckles which may contain iron. She took the hair clips out of her hair and emptied her pockets.
With her recorder in her hand, Starlight stepped under the rainbow and looked up.
There she saw the beautiful rainbow arched over her.
She did not realise at that moment that she was looking at something that no mortal human being had ever seen.
She knew that when she stepped forward she would leave behind the world she knew and would enter an unknown land, so she took a deep breath and bravely stepped forward.
There was a slight silver shimmer in the air as she entered into a beautiful new world.
It was so beautiful that it almost took Starlight's breath away.
She saw colours she had never seen before.
There were trees, lawns and flowers and the air was full of brightly coloured birds, bees and butterflies.
As she looked closer she saw that they had little arms and legs and faces.
They were in fact all little fairies.
'Where do I go to now?' Starlight wondered to herself as she had no real plan and had no idea how she would go about finding her fairy parents.
Little fairies whizzed around her glancing at her but not really taking much notice.
Starlight knew she had to ask for some help but did not know who to ask or even what to ask for.
She plucked up her courage and spoke to a bee type fairy hovering over a flower.
She introduced herself as politely as she could and said "I have never been to Fairyland before and I am trying to find my parents who are supposed to live here. Can you please help me?"
The bee like fairy looked surprised. "You be of the water sprite Folk and Clan I think. You have entered Tyrne at the wrong place. We be Air folk kin (family) here" said the little fairy proudly.
Starlight was not sure she understood what was being said to her except that she was in the wrong place.
"How do I find my way to the ... um ... water sprites place then" she asked uncertainly.
The bee fairy looked shocked, "All Fairy can find their kin place and their kin folk - it's just natural."
"I am sorry," said Starlight desperately, "I don't know anything about this place and have no idea where to go or how to get there."
"Well Tyrne is a big place to be sure" said a hummingbird type fairy who had been listening to the conversation. Here is the land of the Air folk but there is also the land of the Fire folk, the Earth folk, and your folk the Water kin. You will have to cross Tyrne at the place where all the kingdoms meet. "Close your eyes and keep in your mind where you want to go and who you wish to meet. You will feel a pulling sensation in your tummy. Follow where ever the pull takes you. It will lead you true."
Now many little fairies flitted around Starlight offering her berries and nectar but she remembered the witches warning and politely said, "No thank you."
She felt very grateful for the help.
She took out her recorder and played a little tune.
She was amazed at the joy shown by the fairies around her as they flew and danced in time to the music.
"Before you get to where the kingdoms meet you must pass through the shades. Walk quickly and do not stop or talk to anyone. The spirits there will try to trick you and if they do, you will have to stay in the in-between place, maybe forever. If you become afraid your music will help."
This advice was offered by a very tall beautiful swan like fairy who had especially enjoyed the music.
Then, taking the advice given, Starlight followed the pull sensation in her tummy and set out on her journey.
Before long she entered a world that was dark and grey, where nothing grew.
It looked as if there had once been trees there but now they all looked black and burned.
A cold wind blew and the ground was boggy making it difficult to walk.
Starlight did not feel comfortable there at all.
The shadows frightened her and she wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible but it was hard travelling.
At one point an old man reached out his hand from behind a tree moaning and wailing "help me, help me."
Starlight remembered the warning and she felt in her heart that she should heed (listen to) the warning of the swan fairy but on the other hand Starlight had a tender heart and did not like to see people suffer.
At home if anyone needed her help she was always willing, now, she did not know what to do, so she pulled out her recorder and started to play in the hope that it would give her time to think.
As she played the old man turned into mist and blew away.
After this Starlight realised that this was a trick and she walked on determinedly following the pull that she felt in her belly.
After, what seemed forever, and at the point where she thought she could go no further, the grey became a little lighter and as she pushed forward through the mist, she found herself in yet another beautiful but unfamiliar place.
Exhausted she rolled under a bush full of exotic coloured flowers.
In this place the air was warm and the ground was soft, in no time she was fast asleep.
When she woke in the morning Starlight was famished (very hungry) and thirsty.
She felt afraid to eat or drink anything but she realised that if she were to stay in fairyland for any length of time, sooner or later, she needed to eat or drink something.
Her grumbling tummy and parched (dry) mouth were telling her that she could not wait any longer.
The warning was not accepting food or drink that was actually offered by fairies, it did not say anything about not finding any.
So she scooped out water from a nearby stream with cupped hands. The water tasted more wonderful than anything she had ever had before. She ate some strange looking fruit growing on a nearby tree which looked a bit like a tomato but was sweet and juicy and just a little made her feel full and gave her lots of energy.
It was a long journey and as she travelled, Starlight saw many different things.
The land changed from place to place but always it was beautiful.
She did not get as tired as she expected she might, but after a whole days travel, she would feel tired and hungry.
Always making sure no one was watching her, each evening, she would find a soft, safe place to sleep and she would eat some fruit from trees or bushes.
As Starlight travelled through Fairyland or "Tyrne" as everyone else called it, she tried to keep to herself and she made sure that no one saw her eat or drink or where she slept.
Although she did not know much about Fairyland, it was not difficult to work out which part she was in.
She saw the little gnomes and dwarfs digging in their mines and she knew they were the Earth Folk.
When it became very warm and the colours grew vibrant (lively) with reds, yellow and oranges, she knew she was looking at Fire Fairies. She watched these energetic little folk dancing and playing in the fires that they had lit, in much in the same way the Air Fairy Folk flew, swooped and danced in the air.

Chapter 5. The Changeling's Fairy Parents

After what seemed to be a very long time she came to a part of Fairyland with lakes, waterfalls and rivers.
Gentle mist lay in places and when she stood still Starlight could hear the ocean in the distance. Her heart raced because she knew this was the place of the Water Fairies and also the place of her origins (where she started or began).
Out of mist Teth and Tiah approached Starlight.
They had sensed her coming but there was no expression of joy or welcome on their face.
Starlight knew instinctively that these were her original parents and she felt a pang of disappointment because although they smiled at her, they did not seem happy or excited to see her. She followed them to their home near a beautiful lake.
There on the banks of the lake she saw a lovely young girl, who looked a lot like Starlight, walking serenely (calm and peacefully) as if she were in a dream.
Starlight's first question to her fairy parents was "Why did you send me away?"
Teth and Tiah explained patiently that they prized tranquilly and serenity above all things and that she, Starlight, had been born too full of emotion. They had seen that she would never be happy in Fairyland and had therefore found a human child that was a better fit for them. This explanation did not make her feel any better about it.
Starlight tried to speak to the swopped human child that Teth and Tiah had named Claris, but Claris did not have much to say.
All she spoke about was how lovely and peaceful everything was but not much else.
Starlight noticed that Claris was not curious about anything and did not seem to care about anything except tending to her garden.
She asked her fairy parents if they loved their human child?
Teth and Tiah smiled and told her that love was a human emotion and not something fairies experience. Fairies don't love like humans do they just work hard, keep things beautiful and in balance.
They admitted that sometimes they also have some fun and that there were some fairies who got up to mischief and played pranks (tricks).
Starlight asked "Does Claris ever become happy or sad?"
"Neither" said Tiah "because that is for humans and she is now a fairy"
"Does Claris have friends that she can laugh and play with?" asked Starlight.
"No fairies do not make friends in the same way that humans do," said Teth
"Well, do fairies ever laugh?" Starlight wanted to know.
"Oh yes" said Tiah "especially when they see the silly things humans do".
By now Starlight was beginning to wonder about fairies.
"Do fairies even care about humans, do they ever try to help humans?" she asked.
"Of course fairies help humans" replied Tiah, "some fairies more than others."
Finally Starlight asked her fairy parents what had given them the right to steal her Momma's first baby.
Tiah sighed and replied. "Starlight, we are not unkind whatever you may think of us. One of the reasons we chose Claris is because we saw that if she stayed in the human world she would have died before her first birthday. We saw that your Momma was kind and loving and we knew that if she lost her child it would be too much for her. The wish she made upon the Star, for a child of her own to love, was a very powerful wish and we knew that this would work out the best for everyone in the end.
Starlight became very quiet.
The little changeling realised that she felt things very strongly.
She cared about people and she was full of love. Sometimes too, she felt a lot of anger but these emotions were all part of her. She realised that she would never have been able to live in Fairyland because she was curious and adventurous and she would not have enjoyed this very quiet life.
Her fairy parents nodded and agreed saying that what they did was also the very best for her. Starlight realised that this was how they expressed their form of fairy love, by putting her into a place where she could become exactly who she was.
They knew humans were better than fairies at dealing with messy emotions.

Chapter 6. The Changeling and the Time Dragon

Starlight thought about her human Momma who had always only loved her.
She realised, with a pain in her heart, regardless of where Starlight had started from, that her Momma was her true mother, because she has always been there for her.
Her Momma had loved Starlight with a warmth that she would never have known in Fairyland and this love had been so strong and constant that not even Kella could steal all the memory of it away.
Starlight felt that now she had her answers and she wished to return to her home and to her Momma but Teth and Tiah told her this would be a problem.
Starlight had by now been in Fairyland for about 2 months and a fairy day is the same as a year and a day in human time.
This therefore meant that 60 earth years had passed in the human world and therefore everyone that Starlight had once known was now either old or had died.
Teth took out the magic far seeing bowl and Starlight was also horrified to find that her Momma was gone.
Starlight had never felt so lost and alone.
Her Momma was gone, her happy memories were gone and all she had was the coldness of her fairy parents.
Teth and Tiah still wanted the best for Starlight and they realised that her memories had been tampered (interfered) with, so they took her to the mighty Time Dragon named Tyme, in the hope that she would be able to help Starlight in some way.
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The Time Dragon was enormous with scales that looked as if they were made out of mother of pearl. This meant that although she was mostly white, her scales shone with beautiful other colours such as pink, blue and violet. She had big blue eyes that looked like giant sapphire jewels.
Starlight felt a little afraid of this fearsome looking dragon but felt heartened by her kind expression.
Tyme agreed to help and took Starlight to a clear, smooth flowing stream.
She was given a crystal cup and told to drink from the stream and then to look into the stream and watch carefully.
Slowly Starlight saw and felt her life unfold.
She saw herself being placed with the earth parents and watched how she grew.
She felt the enormous love that her earth Momma and Papa felt for her.
One by one her lost, happy memories returned.
Now, more than ever, she could feel the coldness of her fairy parent's hearts contrasted (shown as opposite) with the deep, ever growing love her Momma felt for her.
When it reached the point where Starlight had entered Fairyland the pictures in the river continued to show her what became of her Momma.
Her Momma, full of heartache and suffering, had never stopped searching for her lost child.
The sorrow of never knowing what had happened to Starlight had caused her Momma to grow old quickly and die too early.
Starlight felt heartbroken.
This was not what she wanted for her Momma and now she wanted more than anything to be with her Momma again. The Time Dragon told her that it would be very difficult but it was possible to take her back to her own time.
There would however be a price to pay.

Chapter 7. Tyme to go Home

In order to be able to go back to her human home, Starlight would have to drink from the cup of forgetfulness to forget about the witch, fairyland and her fairy origins.
She could keep all her human memories but would have to forget all the magical and fairy ones. She would also have to become fully human which meant that she would never be able to walk under a rainbow again.
She would have to accept that at times she may feel or even look a little different to other people but she had to have the courage to live a fully human life.
This meant that she would not always be able to find the answers to all her questions.
Starlight understood that it was a great sacrifice to give up her fairy nature but Starlight was more than ready to do so.
The Time Dragon also wanted a gift from Starlight in the form of three special songs.
Starlight asked if she could sing some of her favourite lullabies that her Momma used to sing to her.
The Time Dragon told Starlight that she needed her to compose three completely new songs that no one had ever heard before and that this would help to feed Tyme so that she complete her tasks.
Starlight was very intrigued (curious) and wanted to know just how her songs would be able to feed the Time Dragon.
Tyme explained it this way.
"It is not just food that feeds us. Whenever we see something beautiful or hear something wonderful that also nourishes (feeds) us. When a person creates something new out of themselves such as music, pictures or stories, they always put a little bit of themselves into it too. It is a bit like the tree which offers its fruit as a gift that feeds everyone but the tree is not harmed when someone eats its fruit."
The Time Dragon knew that Starlight composed and played beautiful music on her recorder but more importantly, Starlight journey and experiences had helped to make her wiser and kinder.
This had caused the "flavour" of who she was inside to become sweet.
So when she made her music the Time Dragon would have the joy of the music and also be able to experience Starlight's unique, one of a kind flavour, shining through and Tyme gained energy from that.
The music that Starlight composed for the Time Dragon was the most beautiful she had ever made or played.
The Time Dragon looked misty eyed and happy and then started the long business of weaving the spells that would take Starlight back to her time and place.
It took much longer than Starlight ever imagined it would, so she said her farewells to Teth and Tiah and stayed with the Time Dragon throughout the process.
They grew close and talked about a great many things but the conversations did not always turn out the way Starlight expected.
For example, on one occasion Starlight said to Tyme, "As a Time Dragon you must have been able to notice many very interesting and strange things."
"Well yes," said the Time Dragon thoughtfully, "I have! For instance...."
"I have noticed that..... Far, far away..."
"In the farthest room, the highest tower..."
"Yes?" Starlight was breathless with anticipation
"Well, that's usually where you will find the toilet"
"Oh" said Starlight, a bit confused.
"Of course" mused the Time Dragon, "that only happens when you are out somewhere doing something like shopping or a picnic and you are desperate to go. But then that is where you will find the toilet."
In spite of some of the unusual conversations they had, Starlight spent a happy time with Tyme.
She was nevertheless anxious to get home.
Eventually the time came when the Time Dragon had completed her spells and it was time for Starlight to drink from the cup of forgetfulness.
Although this would remove all the fairy qualities from Starlight, Tyme managed to leave Starlight with one important fairy gift.
This was her ability to make beautiful music which had been part of fairy origins, although her ability to create new music, she had developed from her human side.
Tyme made sure that Starlight would keep her full musical gift.
Just as Starlight was ready to drink from the cup of forgetfulness, Tyme remembered how Starlight had been led astray by Kella the witch, and so she gave Starlight her last and best piece of advice.
"The small voice from your heart which tells you what you should or should not do, will always be truer than the ones whispered into your ears by others."
"How will I remember this advice after I have drunk from the cup" Starlight asked Tyme
"When you look into your heart you will find this advice there," she told Starlight.
With that, Starlight embraced (hugged) the mighty Time Dragon and then took a deep drink from the cup.
Starlight immediately fell into a deep sleep.
She was awakened slowly to the sound of her Momma's voice calling her to come and have breakfast.
Starlight stretched and yawned.
Her body felt tired as if she had been walking a long, long way.
'What a strange dream I had' she said to herself. 'I wish I could remember it properly.'
Then, for some reason that she could not quite understand, she jumped out of bed and ran to her Momma.
She flung her arms around her and said "Momma I love you so."

The End

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