The Pixie in the Pond – Elementary Level
Once upon a time there was a small pixie called Whistle. You can guess why he had that name. He was always whistling happily! He lived with his mother and father in a little house hidden in some bushes not far from a big pond. It was a lonely house, for no other pixies lived near.
“I’m very lonely, Mother,” Whistle said, over and over again. “I wish I could play with the field-mice. They want to show me some new holes they live in under the roots of a big tree.”
“No, Whistle,” said his mother. “The last time you went to play in a mouse’s nest you got lost inside and it took us all day to find you. You are not to play with the field-mice. Please run out and play by yourself.”
So Whistle went outside, looking very sad. It was boring having to play by himself, very boring. “I’m sorry but I can’t,” he said when one of his field-mouse friends ran up and asked to him to come and play. Whistle was being a good little pixie for doing as his mother asked.
He ran off to the pond. He liked to watch the big dragonflies there. They were nearly as big as he was.
It was whilst he was watching the dragonflies that he saw a little pixie head sticking up out of the water. It was watching the dragonflies too!
Whistle stopped in surprise. He was sure that there were any other pixies living nearby. But here was one swimming in the pond – a pixie about as small as himself, too!
“Hallo!” said Whistle. “Who are you?”
“I’m Splash, the water-pixie,” said the little pixie, climbing out of the water and sitting beside Whistle. “I live in the pond with my father and mother. We only came last week. I didn’t think there was any one for me to play with, and I’m so happy to have found you.”
“Oh, Splash, I’m pleased too!” said Whistle. “My name is Whistle. We can play together every day. What shall we play at?”
“Come into the water and I’ll teach you to swim,” said Splash.
“But what about my clothes?” said Whistle. “They’ll get wet.”
“Well, they’ll dry, won’t they?” said Splash. “Come along! Mind that mud!”
But dear me, Whistle wanted so much to get into the water that he fell right into the mud. You should have seen how he looked! He was black from head to foot!
“Oh no!” said Whistle. “Look at that! I’d better get out and dry myself, and then see if the mud will brush off. Come and sit by me, Splash, and I’ll teach you to whistle.”
So Splash sat next to Whistle in the sun, and the pixie taught his friend to whistle loudly. By the time it was time for dinner, Splash could whistle like a bird! Whistle’s clothes were dry, but the mud wouldn’t brush off. It stuck to his clothes, and was all over his face and hands too. The two pixies said good-bye, and each ran home to his dinner.
Oh dear! Whistle’s mother was very unhappy when she saw his clothes! “You bad, naughty pixie!” she said angrily. “You have been in the pond. Take off your clothes at once. You must have a hot bath.”
“Oh, Mother, don’t be angry with me,” cried Whistle. “I have found a friend to play with. It is a water-pixie called Splash!”
“Really!” said his mother, as she put hot water into the bath. “Well, just remember this, Whistle you are not to play with water-pixies at all! You will only get muddy and wet, and I won’t have it!”
“But, Mother!” cried Whistle sadly, “I do so like Splash! He is so nice. He wanted to teach me to swim.”
“You’ll drown before you learn to swim in that pond,” said his mother. “Now remember, Whistle, you must not play with that water-pixie any more.”
Whistle said no more. He knew it was no use, but he was very sad. It was hard to find a friend, and then not to be able to see him. That afternoon, Whistle went down to the pond without telling his mother. Splash was there, whistling away to himself, excitedly waiting for Whistle.
“What’s the matter?” he cried, when he saw the pixie’s sad face.
“Mother was very unhappy about my muddy clothes, and says I mustn’t play with you,” said Whistle sadly. “So I came to tell you. After this I shan’t come down to the pond, because if I do I might see you and play with you. And I don’t want to make my mother angry.”
“Oh, no!” said Splash. “Just as we have found one another so nicely. It’s too bad!”
“Good-bye, Splash,” said Whistle. “I’m very, very sorry, but I must go.”
Off he ran home; and just as he got there he met his father, who called to him.
“Whistle! How would you like to go for a sail on the pond this afternoon? I’ve got a fine little boat here that used to be owned by a child.”
“Ooh, how lovely!” said Whistle, looking at the toy boat. It was standing next to the side of their house, and was even bigger than the house itself!
“Mother! Where are you?” called Whistle, in excitement. “Are you coming for a sail too?”
“Yes!” said his mother. So in a short time the little family set off to the pond. Whistle and his father were carrying the boat, with his mother running behind. They set the boat on the water, and then they all got in.
It was a windy day. The wind filled the little white sail and blew the boat far out into the pond. What fun it was! Whistle’s father sailed the boat and Whistle looked for fish over the side as they went along. He saw a big one and, as he stood up to get a better look, he fell out of the boat. Splash! Into the water he went head-first!
“Oh! Oh! Save him! He can’t swim!” cried Whistle’s mother. “Oh, Whistle, Whistle! Quick, turn the boat about and save Whistle!”
But just then the wind blew so hard that the ship raced across the pond. Poor Whistle was left splashing about in the water. The little pixie couldn’t swim, and he was in great danger of drowning.
But suddenly up swam Splash, the water-pixie. He had watched the boat setting sail, and had kept by it all the way, though the others hadn’t seen him. As soon as he saw his friend fall into the water he swam up to him. Catching hold of him under the arms, he swam with him to the boat.
“Oh, you brave little pixie!” said Whistle’s father, as he pulled the two of them into the boat. “You have saved Whistle! He might have drowned! Who are you?”
“I am Splash, the water-pixie,” said Splash. “I live in the pond. I would very much like to be friends with Whistle and teach him to swim. He has taught me to whistle like a bird, and my mother is very pleased. I should like to do something for him in return.”
“Oh, you are the bravest little pixie I have ever seen!” cried Whistle’s mother, as she sat holding Whistle close to her. “Please be friends with Whistle. He must certainly learn to swim. I will make him a little swim suit, and then it won’t matter if he gets wet or muddy.”
“Oh, Mother, how lovely!” cried Whistle happily. “I told Splash this afternoon that I could never see him again. I said good-bye to him, because you said I wasn’t to play with him and now he is to be my friend after all!”
“You were a good little pixie for doing as you were told,” said his father. “Now you’d better bring your friend home to tea with you, if Mother has enough cake!”
“Oh yes, I made a big chocolate cake this morning,” said Whistle’s mother. “Ask your mother if you can come, Splash!”
Splash jumped into the water and swam to his little home in the reeds. In a moment or two, three pixies stuck their heads out of the water for Splash had brought his father and mother.
“Thank you for asking him,” said Splash’s pretty little pixie mother. “He will be very happy to come. I am just going to brush his hair. Perhaps you will all come to tea with us tomorrow? We should love to have you.”
So all the pixies became friends, and now Splash and Whistle play together all day long. Whistle can swim just as well as Splash can. And as for Splash’s whistling, well you should just hear it! The two pixies sound like a whole family of birds!