The Fairy’s Cheek

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The Fairy’s Cheek, by J. W. Cassandra

Goblin of Tales now is pulling out such a tale from his haversack, that doesn’t grow in every bush. Listen to it with both ears!

Once upon a time, long time ago, there had lived a man and his wife. They tried to do on somehow by working with their own hands, but fortune didn’t smile on them. Their children had grown up in their row, some of them even had an own family, when one day the wife said to her husband, „I feel so, my sweet husband, a child’s heart has throbbed in me again! This son – whether he will be a son, verily, I feel it – will bring our fortune expected eagerly, behold it!”

The husband was hemming, he trusted it and even distrusted it at the same time, „Women’s speech!”  he waved of his hand.

Until finally, on a nice day the little offspring arrived to the world: he was a boy indeed, as his mother has told of him, but such nice, such shapely he was, that even to see him caused joy for everybody.

The visitors of the baby came to pay a visit in a row, and they one after another, admired the newborn baby. There was an elderly old witch in the village, she’s visited last Pet of Fortune [1], since the little boy listened to this name.

”I’ve seen lots of things in my life so far, but such a nice, shapely and clever child I’ve never seen yet”, nodded the witch above the cradle.

„Of what do you see, my old Granny, this baby is clever?”

„Of that I can read in his eyes”, she responsed. „Behold, with this child, fortune will set in to you truly!”, and she murmured something, drewing signs round the cradle with her hands, then she was gone.

And the child has grown indeed such nice that, it was a feast to the eyes; shapely and enough clever little kid, such as those who have seen him, told of him, „ His cradle was swung by fairies, his dreams were taken care of fairies”.

„What does it mean, Mom?”, the little boy interrogated her.

„It means, my sweet sonny, that you’ll be a very lucky, blessed, happy man who will be taken care of and followed by fairies in all your life.”

„And who are those fairies?”

„They are such beings who do live not here on the earth, but somewhere far beyond the earth and if they want, they appear here and, help people.

Their beauty cannot be compared to anything, their shape is ethereally graceful and is exquisite soft, it’s woven of beauty. But, eyes of men can see them never, if only they wish so.”

„And nobody can become a fairy of us?”, asked the boy with starry eyes.

„I know so, it can be happen at entirely exceptional cases only, but I have never seen such a thing, and even I have never heard of fame of such a man.”

So, Pet of Fortune has been growing, has been developing, and he kept thinking of the fairies all time. He decided: he, no doubt, will find that fairy which takes care of him, since its beauty charmed him even without having it seen ever.

He rose and set off one day, he went to the witch to the end of the village.

„Good day by the name of God, my Granny! Could you tell me, where to find my fairy?”

„You’re lucky, my son, to call me Granny,” the response was, „since be sure, anyway I wouldn’t help you!”, and telling these, she threw some dry branches on the fire then she stared at the sparkling flames.

„Look at here”, she showed to the sparkling sparks, „do you see this sign?”

The boy stared round-eyed, but he could see unfortunately nothing else but, the fire.

„But it is here, look”, the old crone showed, „if you set off over the crowns of the blue mountains and if, you keep going till you’ll reach that place where waters of heaven and earth are contiguous to each other, there you can set your eyes on the fairy. But beware, the route is curly, long and dangerous!”, she forewarned him.

The boy went home, he made a satchel for the way, he took leave of his parents, brothers, sisters, that of the whole inhabitants of the house, because for his sake they have grown wealthy nice for this time, even they could hold one-two slaves. He set off on the back of his dear horse toward the crowns of the blue mountains.

Though his mother reminded him, „Don’t go, my son, because if the hungering desire toward the fairies burns down in your soul, neither will you reach them, nor will you come back ever, and what will be happen to us and to you then, too?!”, Pet of Fortune resoluted to leave off, so he left his parents’ house, he left the village and everything what he has known in all his life so far.

He was ambling along on his horse when a wonderful, many-coloured winged butterfly fluttered its wings before his face. Pet of Fortune went toward the flush of the butterfly. So he flitted from field to field, from forest to glade, from glade to heart of the wood and, he missed the path.

He couldn’t even think where he would go, when colours of the wings of the butterfly recall in his soul the hungering desire for the fairies and he started to listen to inside, only to his desire.

The butterfly disappeared and before Pet of Fortune again, the crowns of the blue mountains started to be hazy in the distance, and he was riding at full speed thereabouts. He’s been riding so, for a long time yet when, he noticed

a town at the feet of the mountain: there was held an election of a king and how, how not, when he reached that place, the most beautiful girl of the town elected him to be the king.

He was crowned in the temple by great ceremony, he was seated on the throne and slaves were listening to his all commands. Pet of Fortune liked this thing, particularly because he himself had to do nothing else but reign, give commandments; and his guards, soldiers, slaves did their best to do everything by vast hosts.

There have gone a long-long time while Pet of Fortune surfeited with reign: he wasn’t interested in any more what he might order; entertainments, empty words, hunting bored him and he wished rather to see his fairy. Fire of hungering desire woke up in his heart again and, it gave his heart to feel ache.

He made saddle his horse and gave his last order, jumping into the saddle, „Hereafter let everybody rule on itself, let nobody be king or queen! Live on without me as you can, I’m called by the fairies!”, and telling so, he put spurs to his horse and galloped away as the wind.

Inhabitants of the town have stared after him at a loss for a while, and when they saw that Pet of Fortune won’t come back, they announced a new election of a king.

In the meantime, Pet of Fortune went enough far from them: at last he climbed up on a steep path and watched down to the enormous sea glittering down.

However, he had to descend there somehow before. He listened to the ardent yearning inside of himself again, and it brought down him on a narrow, steep and curly path.

Pet of Fortune was terribly angry with himself, „How many precious years I’ve wasted! How much I’ve been silly, how much I’ve been blind! How could I sit on the throne, how could I be deluded by pride, by greed for power, by beauty of butterfly that cannot be compared to beauty of fairies for even a minute!”, and he held in contempt himself.

„If you’ve wasted years for this moment, let it be waste!”, was heard a voice.

Pet of Fortune looked around amazed and this moment he heard the recent voice again, „I’ve spoken to you, your horse. Though you didn’t know, I’m not an average horse. I’m a fairies’ saddler and I endure in my saddle only those who are chosen by the fairies for this. It is a waste of time to brood, to marvel, you’d better to grab the present moment and to listen to the hungering fire of desire for the fairies what’s flaming in you now, yet – it will direct you what to do.”

Pet of Fortune got somehow down from the saddle, then he went by foot to the shore of the sea. There he sat into the sand and kept staring at the enormous streach of the water. On the surface of the water there were rising huge waves, sometimes glittering bodies of fish rose up to the surface, seagulls were flying and were sweeping down the fish screeching, but he saw only the glittering rays of sun on the water, he bathed his face in the silvery beams of moon and the world ceased to exist for him.

He hadn’t take care of his horse even, since the saddler of fairies didn’t carried him along, and it came back where it’s come forth from.

Suddenly, perhaps after days, perhaps after years on that place, where waters of heaven and earth are contiguous to each other, a face appeared before Pet of Fortune: but this face was so wonderful, its features were so pure, its beauty was so complete that they cannot be written by words! Pet of Fortune was only seeing, seeing, kept staring at it and, he knew that the fairy whom, to find was his most ardent desire of his life, revealed itself before him at last.

And the face stayed on the same place, its glory surpassed the Sun, the Moon and all the stars together.

Pet of Fortune felt such ineffable happiness first time in his life that, cannot be compared to any pleasure on earth. Anyway, even this hasn’t taken for a long time: suddenly he noticed that this cheek is only a half of cheek and the desire flamed on in him eagerly again, to see the fairy’s other half cheek, too.

The fairy warned him, „Don’t wish to see my other cheek, be satisfied with this one! Be sure, it’s in your interest to put a curb on your wishes!”, but Pet of Fortune wasn’t able to end his yearning.

The fairy warned him again, after a while, „ Who beholds my other cheek, those wish if only they never have seen it!”

But Pet of Fortune wanted to see the fairy’s other cheek at any price.

There has been happened however, that the fairy decided to show him what a change caused Pet of Fortune by beholding the fairy’s marvellously nice, shining, glittering, pure half cheek: the lad who became somewhat elder for this moment, saw his parents to live in peace, in wealth, in health, in love; even being honoured by everybody. He saw his village in the same manner, then the town on what he’s reigned: there have ruled everything peace, wealth, contentment, and the same have ruled over the whole earth, too.

Pet of Fortune didn’t understand why the fairy shows this all him, his yearning of seeing the other half cheek didn’t decrease at all. This time the fairy warned him again, the third time, „ Don’t wish to see my other face, because you drag into danger yourself and others, too. Be sure, your matter looks promising till you do know only this half of my cheeks!”

Pet of Fortune then tried to fight off the desire to take a look at the fairy’s other cheek but, he couldn’t help with it: the desire proved to be stronger him.

One day then, the fairy revealed its cheek till remaining unknown: a repulsive even in its beauty, distorted of hate, ardent of wild ire eyed, terrible face turned toward Pet of Fortune.

And then Pet of Fortune wished trembling in his soul, if only he wouldn’t have wanted to see ever the fairy’s other cheek: he became ill, faint, but he must have seen even in such a state as, famine, wars, discords, epidemics followed on his village, town and everything on the earth. People were forsaken by fortune, happiness, health,

wealth; they were decimated by epidemics, combats and everything was ruled by evil passion.

Pet of Fortune got scared of it: this all has been caused by his hungering, and the fairy keeps punishing people of earth because of his sin! Then he wished by pure heart, rather not to see the fairy’s cheeks any more but, let to be an end the decline, hate, suffering and, let to follow it again by peace, love, wealth. The storm that has lashed along the sea in the meantime, for this decide blew over, the sky cleared, wild gallop of rides of waves calmed down to swinging of mild surf and by this time, the fairy’s whole cheeks were beaming for Pet of Fortune.

Then, the fairy said, „Have a look at my cheeks fairly! If I want, I turn toward the world the nice, pure half of it and in this case everything flourishes: wealth, peace, love arise; if I want, I turn toward the world with my other half cheek and then follows on its inhabitants hate, war, famine, suffer. But I can turn toward the world with my whole face, too and, then all these things will be equal, there won’t overrun neither slaughter, nor illness, and there will live on earth not only blessed, peaceful, enjoying wealth people, but these all will get into harmony. So you must do, as well, because the yearning of seeing my face binds you to create harmony in yourself.”

„How could I do this? Hence I’m not a fairy, I’m only a son of a man!”, grieved Pet of Fortune.

That moment the fairy’s cheeks started to beam and the twinkling of lightbeams showed to the young man: if he listens to inside of himself and if he’ll know his own shining and distorted cheeks, he might learn them to organize into one unit and, in that case, he can become comparable to the fairies. But, it requires very absorbed and long work, first step of what is not to go anywhere till he reaches it.

„Do you remember the butterfly?”, the fairy asked him.

Pet of Fortune nodded.

„Well, it wanted to mean, not to pursue a transient beauty in vain. And do you remember the reigning?”

Pet of Fortune nodded.

„You was elected on the throne by my want so that, you could recognize transiency of pride, of greed for power, that of rule of others. One can rule only of himself, of others never! Do you remember of my warning not to wish to see my other face?”

Pet of Fortune this time scarcely inclined his head, he tried to listen so thorougly.

„Wishes are empty, insist on them is aimless and in lots of cases is even harmful. Now you can see, all these warned you for not being a slave of illusion! Even beauty itself is an illusion, so it has not to be pursued. From this very moment your task is to understand all these, and to take care of true, essential things dwelling in your inside. By aid of those harmony of your cheeks will be created, and you might become what you are indeed: a wise, calm, living in harmony, man. Later then, if you’ll spend enough time doing so, if I think it to be proper, I’ll dress you in a fairy-costume. Till, you have to make flourish your home and to teach them to everything”, and with these the

fairy disappeared.

And Pet of Fortune kept sitting on the shore of the sea and tried to understand all that he’s heard and passed through. It has taken a long time, his beard reached his knee when he returned home. At home he wasn’t even recognized by anybody, only the aged old witch winked on him with recognizing and his scarcely living mother’s heart throbbed in her happiness, „Pet of Fortune, my dear son, at home, at last!”

And along with him, returned wealth, fortune, love and, he told everybody of his adventures he’d passed through and everything he’d learnt of the long years.

And at the end of his life, the fairy appeared, and turning both his cheeks to Pet of Fortune, with its twinkling glory it shined along Pet of Fortune, who became himself a fairy by this, as well, and from that very moment, he has taken care of beloved ones, friends, contacts.

If you listened to the tale properly, you can find your own fairies, as well, and you can learn from them everything, but be careful, never want more than the fairy’s willing to show of its wonderful cheek!

By waving of Goblin of Tales, Pet of Fortune’s tale returned to the haversack of tales. And, Goblin of Tales would like to see you all to make a resolution of its tale, because it’s solicitous about it very much. Wait its returning back graciously!

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Written 28/07. 2006., translated 06/01. 2020., by J. W. Cassandra

[1] Literally in Hungarian: ’Son of Fortune’

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J. W. Cassandra

About the Author: J. W. Cassandra

I’m a teacher and a registered author either, at Artisjus as a writer and a poet in Hungary. I love forests, butterflies, flowers.

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