“Faster, Dasher. Fly faster!” Pindi lay on Dasher’s back, her wings tucked close to her body, her hands gripping his shoulders. She was having the time of her life flying around the yard on Dasher’s back while the wind gusted around them.
“I can’t fly any faster, Pindi. Its too windy. I can hardly stay right side up.”
“When is it my turn?” yelled Mindi. “I want a ride, too.”
Reluctantly, Pindi asked Dasher to land so her twin sister could have a turn. Pindi was surprised Mindi wanted to ride. Mindi was usually timid. But, she kept Pindi from getting in even more trouble than she did. That was quite a job.
“Today is our birthday!” Pindi shouted. “We’re 11! We’re having a party later. You’ll come, won’t you? Everyone will be there. Mom and Dad, Blade, Grandma and Grandpa, Angus, Zoom, the frog king and the young frog we helped save. Even Ka-a. But Raven Feather isn’t invited. He’s mean.” Ka-a and Raven Feather were crows. Crows and fairies don’t normally get along, but Ka-a and Pindi were friends.
“We’re waiting until dusk when the fairy lights go on in the garden near our summer home. We can dance in the sparkling light. I think the giants put them up just for us.”
“Of course, I’ll be there,” Dasher answered, slightly out of breath from Pindi’s ride. “I wouldn’t miss it. Will you have mosquitoes? I love mosquitoes. They’re delicious.”
“Mom is making sure we have everyone’s favorite food.” Pindi answered, licking her lips and thinking about honey treats. And presents.”
“Wow, that was fun!” Mindi landed, excited after her ride on Dasher.
“Told you so.” Pindi flew off, intending to fly straight home to see how the party preparations were going. But she thought she heard crying, so she veered towards the sound. Mindi followed.
“Did you hear that?”
“Yes, it sounds like someone is hurt. Let’s go see.”
Pindi shook her head in wonder. Why had Mindi suddenly gotten so fearless?
“Look! There on here on the ground beside the fern. It looks like a wood nymph. She’s bleeding.”
The fairy sisters landed next to the injured wood nymph.
“What happened?” asked Pindi.
“I was flying around the Crepe Myrtle and a gust of wind blew me off course. Then I fell. My arm hurts and my knees are bleeding.”
“I’m Mindi and this is my sister Pindi. What’s your name?”
“We’ll take you to our healer. She’ll get you fixed up.”
“No, please help me get back to my tree. I just want to go home. We have a healer, too.”
“Ok” said Mindi, looking at her sister. “How will we fly holding Xylem? We’re all the same size.”
“I know”, said Pindi, “We’ll get Dasher.” She flew off to find the dragonfly.
“We need your help. We found an injured wood nymph. She needs to get back to her tree, but we can’t lift her.” Pindi explained to Dasher.
Dasher was exhausted after flying the sisters around the yard. He just wanted to rest. But, he waited for Pindi to climb back on his back and flew to the fern where the sisters had found the wood nymph.
“Help is here!” Pindi exclaimed as she climbed off Dasher’s back. “Let’s help you get up on Dasher and he’ll take you home.”
Xylem wasn’t sure about riding on a dragonfly, but she stood up on wobbly, bloody knees, cradling her injured arm. “How am I supposed to hold on? I can’t use my arm.”
“I’ll ride with you,” said Mindi, “and help you hold on.”
“Come to our birthday party later!” Mindi yelled as Dasher took off with his passengers.
At dusk, the party was in full swing. The buffet table was piled with everyone’s favorite treats. Mosquitoes and flies for the dragonflies and frogs. Nectar for the hummingbirds. Honey treats and mead for the fairies. A fairy band played rock and roll. Pindi and Mindi danced and frolicked in the sparkling fairy lights with their friends.
“Xylem! You came.” Pindi shouted, seeing the wood nymph standing on the fence with her arm in a sling. She had brought her parents with her. “Come and meet everyone.”
Much later, laying next to her sister in their leaf beds, Pindi thought their birthday was about perfect.