Twirling her wand on the Christmas tree at the fairy festive feast, Crystal beamed down at her friends. Fluttering wings wafted the aroma of Christmas to the top of the tree. On every table was a pudding, decorated with a glossy sprig of red-berried holly, and a plate of mince pies sprinkled with sparkly wishes for everyone.
Crystal tapped the wand on a bauble – ting ting – and the excited chatter turned to silence.
‘Christmas greetings to you all!’ she sang in her silvery voice. ‘Let the feast begin!’
Before any of the guests could raise a crumb to their lips, a cackle erupted from inside the tree.
‘Not so fast!’ cried a cruel voice.
From out of the tree a green witch appeared in a puff of evil-smelling black smoke.
‘You cut down my home! For that you must pay me handsomely!’
The tiny fairies trembled. Crystal almost toppled from her branch.
‘What do you want?’ she asked.
‘You must invite me and all my friends to your feast. When we have eaten all of your puddings and pies, you must decorate their trees. I will stay here in my tree until Christmas is over.’
Crystal didn’t trust the witch. How many friends did she have? How long would it take to decorate their trees? Would there be enough food for everyone?
‘What if we don’t agree?’ Crystal asked the witch.
‘We will cancel Christmas,’ said the witch. ‘We will strip the tree and take it back to the forest, with all your food. We will cast a spell to trap you here until Christmas is over.’
‘But what will Father Christmas do if he needs our help?’ the fairies said together, like little tinkling bells.
The witch was so busy cackling she didn’t notice Bubble, the youngest fairy at the feast, sneak a mince pie closer to her mouth and slip it between her teeth.
‘I wish…’ she whispered as she bit into the pastry.
There was a shimmer of stars and the witch was gone.
‘I’m so glad I gave wishes instead of presents this year,’ said Crystal.
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