"Did my fishies go to Heaven, Mommy?"
"Umm, well, I think they probably went to a giant fishbowl in the sky, dear."
"I hope they're happy there. I don't think there could be any yucky green stuff in the water there. And maybe they'll have wings. Do you think they could fly, Mommy?"
"Maybe, honey, maybe. Now get into bed."
"I don't want to go to bed. It's still bright outside. The fairies haven't come out yet."
"Oh, they haven't? What do you think a fairy looks like?"
"I don't think, Mommy. I've seen them. They're the little lights that fly over the stream in the back garden. Haven't you seen them?"
"Well, we call those fireflies. They're not really fairies, you know."
"But they are! I can see them talking to each other. And haven't you heard them singing? They're so loud I can hear them through the window when I wake up in the night."
"You hear the frogs, dear, the frogs down by the pond."
"No, it's fairies! And they can only come out at night because parents don't believe in them. If I could go out at night I could play with them. Oooh, I could dress them up in tiny dresses and make hats for them out of acorns, and then we would dance and sing and play in the stream, and the moon would see us having so much fun that it would get out of the water and play with us too."
"That's very sweet, dear, but you know that the moon doesn't live up in the water. It's in the sky, see?"
"That's where you think it is. Really it's just pretending. Real moons live in water, but you can't touch them because they've sunk so deep. I'll bet fairies can touch them. They could dive right to the bottom of our stream and pick up the moon and lift it out--and then the whole garden would light up and there'd be no shadows and we could dance until the sun came up. Could we hang the moon from our tree, Mama?"
"I'm afraid the branch would break."
"But you're not going dancing with the fairies, remember? You're going to sleep. There is school in the morning."
"Do you think fairies go to school?"
"I imagine they would have to. Where do you think they learn to read and write?"
"Silly! Fairies don't read and write. They just sing and everyone knows what they mean. Can you hear them? Can you hear them singing?"
"No, dear. All I hear are the frogs down by the pond, and all I see are a few fireflies in the shadows."
"Why can I see them and you can't?"
"Maybe it's because your head isn't filled with stocks and shares and potlucks and counseling and degrees and debt just yet. I don't have room for fairies anymore."
"I'm sorry, Mommy. I wish we could both dance with the fairies."
"So do I. Now get in bed, or you'll never get up in time for breakfast tomorrow."