Thursday, 27 January 2011

Finn the Fairy - a story about ambition

I was asked to visit the P3's at Niddrie Mill Primary School in Edinburgh to chat to them about ambition and achieving your dream. A tricky subject to discuss with 7 year olds! I thought it might make it easier to explain what ambition meant if I wrote them a little story. This is what I came up with. They absolutely loved it! Thank you P3 and Miss Allan for a lovely visit. Niddrie Mill will always have a special place in my heart x

"This is a story about Finn the fairy. Now, you might imagine that being a fairy meant that Finn had long, golden hair and wore pretty candy floss dresses. But Finn was no ordinary fairy. Finn liked to wear trousers and t-shirts. They were much more comfortable and allowed her to fly around without worrying about getting a draught up her skirt. She had short cropped hair the colour of rubies which she liked to tuck behind her ears.

Sometimes the other fairies laughed at Finn because she was different but Finn didn’t mind because she had something special. She had a little fire in her soul that made her happy to get out of bed every morning and put a spring in every step. This little fire was called ambition.

Finn wanted to be the best tooth fairy in the whole wide world. Her biggest dream was to one day collect enough pearly white teeth to make the most incredible, dazzling, spectacular necklace ever to be seen. She would imagine this every moment of every day, and at night, as she slept on her spider silk pillow she would dream that Queen Eugene - the big boss fairy - was congratulating her for being the best tooth collector in the whole of Fairyland.

One morning Finn received a letter inviting her for a job interview at Tooth Fairy Headquarters.

Mum! Mum!” she squealed as she ran through to the kitchen, “I’ve got an interview for the position of senior tooth fairy

Finn’s mum smiled from ear to ear.

I’m not in the least bit surprised” she said “I know you can do anything you like if you put your mind to it

Finn stared down at the letter. She couldn’t stop smiling!

I need to get ready” she said, flapping her feathery wings “the interview is in two hours. I think I’ll wear my best purple trousers and my fancy green top and I’ve got those little pixie boots I keep for special occasions

And I’ll do your hair the way you like it” added her Mum.

Finn flattened her short red hair and looked up at her mum with a worried expression.

Do you think they’ll like me Mum?” she asked.

Finn’s mum’s eyes twinkled.

Just you be yourself and do your best and I’m sure they will love you

But I’m not like all the other fairies” sighed Finn “I never wear skirts and I hate the colour pink!

But you’re hard working and very determined” her mum replied, “I can’t think of anyone who would be better for this job than you

Finn’s mum had always believed in her and her dream. It gave Finn a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and made her want to achieve her ambition even more.


Finn was so nervous when she arrived at Fairy Headquarters later that morning. She hoped Queen Eugene would believe in her too. She took a deep breath, threw back her shoulders, shook her wings and fluttered into the interview room.

There were lots of other fairies waiting to be interviewed. They whispered and giggled when they saw Finn. Finn knew they were laughing at her clothes and it hurt her feelings. But she tried to ignore them as she made her way towards an empty chair. She sat between a boy fairy and a pretty girl fairy with long hair as white as snow.

Hello” smiled the boy “my name is Pip and this is Immelda

Immelda looked Finn up and down and screwed up her face.

I’m so nervous” whispered Finn, “for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be the best tooth fairy that ever lived and now I’ve got a chance to prove what I can do

You can’t be a tooth fairy” Immelda sneered “you’re not even wearing a dress!

Neither am I!” laughed Pip.

That’s different” snapped Immelda, “you’re a boy

I don’t much like dresses” shrugged Finn.

Immelda rolled her eyes.

Everyone knows that all girl fairies wear dresses!” she said.

Finn sighed with frustration.

Well, maybe it’s time that all changed” she said. “You see, I know I’m really good at what I do and I don’t see why that should change just because I don’t like glittery tutus and frilly pink dresses

At that moment the door swung open and Queen Eugene fluttered into the room. She was so beautiful everyone gasped. Finn couldn’t believe she was in the same room as the big boss fairy. Queen Eugene sat down at her desk and put on a pair of glasses. She stared down at a pile of papers and then looked around the room.

The first two fairies to be interviewed are Finn and Immelda!” she announced.

Good luck” whispered Pip.

Finn took a deep breath as she watched Immelda flutter in graceful loops towards Queen Eugene’s desk.

I think I’ll need it” she muttered as she followed.


Queen Eugene looked over the top of her glasses at Finn as she settled into the chair opposite.

I would like you to tell me why you want this job” she said.

Finn smiled.

This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do” she began “collecting teeth makes me happy and I’m very good at it. I work hard and I won’t give up until I’ve done the very best I can do to be the very best I can be

Queen Eugene nodded and smiled.

But she doesn’t even wear skirts” snapped Immelda “and she won’t wear anything pink!

Queen Eugene gave Immelda a disapproving look before turning back to Finn.

Don’t you have…anything pink?” she asked.

Finn shook her head.

I don’t like pink” she said softly.

Queen Eugene eyed her thoughtfully.

I tell you what” she said “let’s see which one of you can collect the most teeth in one night. Then we’ll know who is best for the job. Collect a rucksack from reception and I’ll see you back here tomorrow morning – 8 o’clock sharp


That night was a blur to Finn. All she knew was that her little green wings flapped harder than they had ever done before. She flew from house to house collecting teeth from underneath pillows and leaving a coin in their place. She had never been so determined to win a race in all her life! Before she knew it her little rucksack was filled to the brim with shiny white baby teeth.

I’m sure I’ve got enough to make that beautiful necklace” she thought with a smile.

When Finn got back to Fairy Headquarters she was absolutely exhausted. She knew even if she didn’t win she had done the very best job she could do. There was nothing more she could have done.

There” she panted and tossed the bag onto the table “I’ve done my best. I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life

Queen Eugene pulled open the zip on Immelda’s rucksack first. She turned it upside down and an avalanche of pearly teeth tumbled to the floor like little white stones.

Well done Immelda!” she said as she clapped her hands together with delight.

Immelda smiled proudly and flapped her glittery wings.

Finn’s stomach flipped with nerves.

Mmm, this would take some beating” said Queen Eugene preparing Finn for the worst.

She tried to lift Finn’s rucksack but groaned under the weight of it. Her face turned pink with the effort of tipping the bag over.

My, oh my” she puffed, “what have you got in here? Rocks!?

Finn’s heart soared with hope. Perhaps she could still win? This meant so much to her.

Hundreds of little shiny teeth poured out of Finn’s rucksack and spilled across the floor. Queen Eugene gasped.

I think it’s fair to say this is the most teeth I’ve ever seen in my whole time as boss fairy! We’re going to be able to make at least twenty fancy necklaces with these. I’m very impressed Finn and I would like to offer you the job

Finn’s face broke into a huge smile.

Thank you” she said “I won’t let you down

Finn had never felt so happy. This was the moment she had dreamed about all her life and it felt even better than she had imagined! All her hard work and dedication had finally paid off.

As you might imagine Finn’s Mum was over the moon when she heard the good news.

I’m very proud of you” she said “you knew what you wanted and you didn’t give up until you had it. I wonder what you will do now that you have achieved your dream?

Finn smiled a mischievous smile.

Well that’s simple” she said “now I’m going to work my little pixie boots off and one day I will be the big boss Fairy!

Finn’s Mum laughed.

Now that’s what I call ambition” she said"

© Hazel Allan 2011

Sunday, 9 January 2011

First blog post of 2011

It has been a difficult and stressful month. Junior was off school for the first two weeks in December due to the snowy weather. For a while it seemed like we would never see greenery again. I couldn't remember what the world looked like underneath the thick blanket of white. Being trapped in the house with a hyper seven year old was challenging.. to say the least. There are only so many board games you can play, fairy cakes you can bake, Lego models you can build and snowmen you can build. My Christmas decorations have never been up so early!

At long last school re-opened but three days into being back Junior took ill and had to spend a few days under a blanket on the settee. Thank goodness for Calpol and CBBC. Predictably, I then took his bug and spent Christmas in bed/hospital/my folks. Not the best Christmas on record it has to be said.

The M&S Honey Roast Parsnips and Nut Roast are still tucked away in the freezer for a time when we're completely back on our feet and can enjoy them. However, I'm not sure when that will be. This virus has really knocked me for six. On a good day I just feel hungover and on a bad day I feel like every cell in my body has been poisoned. Sometimes the thirteen steps to the toilet feels like Mount Everest.

Poor Dizzy Rascal, our hamster died on the 28th December. She was nearly two years old and so it was not a shock. She seemed bright enough but when I went to clean her cage I noticed (to my horror) that she had doubled in size. I was still so ill when I had to stagger over to the vets in my pyjamas through freezing sleet and wind. I kept feeling like I was going to pass out. It was a particularly emotional experience because it was three years to the day that I had to say goodbye to my faithful puss Bonnie, who died at the ripe old age of 17.

I whispered my tearful farewells to wee Dizzy in the waiting room and kissed her whiskery nose for the last time. I chose for the vet to take her away and do the kindest thing for her. He told me she was so swollen because of a fluid build up, most likely as a result of kidney failure. It was very difficult to say goodbye when she was still so alert and behaving normally. The lovely vet reassured me that I was doing the right thing and it was only a matter of time before she took a stroke or started to suffer. At least I can take comfort from knowing she wasn't in pain. I was kind of glad for the lashing rain on my walk home with the empty pet carrier since no-one would see my tears.

It's times like that - when you're desperately ill and emotionally weak - when you wish there was someone around who could make the impossible choices and pick up all the pieces. I get so tired of being the one who has to make all the difficult decisions and provide all the explanations. Sometimes I yearn for someone to hold me up emotionally and take the choices out of my hands. It was heart wrenching breaking the news to Junior that Dizzy had gone and wouldn't be coming back although he took it well and showed remarkable maturity and sensitivity. It was a comfort to take a bag of Dizzy's unused bedding, food and toys to the SSPCA animal shelter where they would be put to good use.

Poor wee thing. I broke my heart when I came home from the vets and started to clear away her cage. She had made this cute little pile of food, all neatly organised in the corner of her bed. I'm guessing she thought it would be warmer to have breakfast in bed. I know this will sound weird but I really miss her company.

On a brighter note we have a new member of the family. Baby. No, not a real baby! A furry one. Baby the cat arrived in the middle of December. I had some niggling concerns that he might not hit it off with Junior but I needn't have worried. Baby follows him around like a little lamb and it's sweet to see my rowdy boy showing the softer side to his nature. Check out what he has to say about life at his own blog.

Apart from a couple of 'weeing' incidents Baby appears to be settling into his new home. I contacted Sarah at Sunny Harbour (the shelter where we got Baby from) and she has advised me to keep things simple for a few days to reduce Baby's stress levels. I've to limit the space he has and in turn the inappropriate urination should mend itself. Fingers crossed.

I hate to think of my wee cat feeling stressed. Sarah has reassured me that his behaviour is normal, especially considering the stressful environment he came from before finding himself at Sunny Harbour. I wish I could make him understand that nobody is ever going to hurt him again. I guess even cats find it difficult to let go of the past.

Right, I'm away to scrape the snow off my car and give the engine a run. Need to make sure I can get Junior to school.