Sue Riddle Cronkite

Would you believe that way back when there was this tiny little fairy, so tiny you couldn’t even see her, but she could do magic as big as all outdoors? Her name was Pooplepopper but that didn’t really matter, because she never saw anyone to call her any sort of name.

She lived in Timothy Tucker’s yard, which is far down south in a Florida town called Bonifay. Many times she saw children playing in Timothy’s yard, and many times she called out “Hello, hello,” to the children but she was so little and so tiny and her voice, it was so little and so tiny too, that they couldn’t hear her.

One day when Timothy was sitting under the oak tree in his backyard he said to his mom through the kitchen window: “Hey, Mom, I think I heard a cricket.” 

But it really wasn’t a cricket. It was Pooplepopper, the tiny fairy, just trying real hard to talk to Timothy in her loudest voice, which wasn’t very loud, 

She was heartbroken, Pooplepopper was. She wanted very much to play with the children, more than anything else in the whole world. She worried so about being little, that she forgot all about being a fairy. She didn’t even remember her magic at all, Pooplepopper didn’t, because she was so unhappy.

On the day before Christmas she was in the backyard at Timothy’s house again, hacking away at the dried brown winter grass with her tiny machete, to make a path for herself, so that she could be near the children. Pooplepopper sat down to rest and heard the boys and girls talking about Christmas. 

“I want Santa Claus to bring me a bike,” eight-year-old Timothy said.

“And I want a train,” his next-door neighbor Bernard called out.

“Christmas?” Pooplepopper wondered, then she remembered last winter when the children had talked about Christmas and the gifts they would give and receive.

“What do you want Santa to bring to you, Susan?” the boys asked Timothy’s five-year-old sister.

“I want a doll,” Susan answered. “A tiny doll that I can carry in my hand, and put in my pocket if I want to.” The boys laughed.

“Girls, and dolls,” they said in unison and ran away from Susan to kick Timothy’s football back and forth across the yard.

“Poor Susan,” Pooplepopper thought. “Boys don’t understand about girls and dolls. To girls, dolls are a wonderful make-believe. They’re magic.” 

Then, suddenly, she remembered. She was a fairy, and she had magic! How could she, Pooplepopper the littlest fairy, ever have forgotten. She could have anything she wanted. She could do just any old thing.

Why, if she wished, she could play with the children forever and ever.

That was when Pooplepopper made up her mind. She would use her magic to turn herself into a doll under the Christmas tree in Susan’s very own living room. She could be the little doll Susan wanted. Pooplepopper was sooo happy. 

She put down the tiny machete she had used to chop a path through the winter yard grass and screwed her eyes up very tight, the better to say the magic words.

“Iggldy, piggldy, pops,” she said, crossing her fingers and toes and turning around five times fast, and then, Presto! The little machete lay all by itself in the Tucker’s backyard. Pooplepopper was not to be seen in the brown grass anywhere.

Do you know where she was? Pooplepopper, the littlest fairy had turned her very own self into the littlest doll and sat quietly waiting under the Christmas tree for Susan to find her on Christmas morning.

And, sure enough, Susan did. She found Pooplepopper under the tree dressed in doll’s clothes, with a friendly doll smile on her face.

“Oh, Mother,” Susan said. “Look, look, what Santa brought me. The prettiest, lit’liest doll ever. I can hold her in my hand, and I can carry her in my pocket. See Mother? She’s so beautiful. She’s Magic!”

Pooplepooper smiled then, a very un-doll-like smile. 

To herself she thought, “I am magic, little Susan, and I’ll stay with the children now, forever and ever.” 

She closed her eyes then, just like a doll, and helped Susan play sleepy-time and go-to-the-store and all the other games little girls play with little dolls everywhere on Christmas morning. 

Connect with Sue Riddle Cronkite, author and journalist, at [email protected].