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“They want him back, Mommy,” seven-year-old Josie said to her mother earnestly. “Sean. The fairies want him back.”

“Josie, honey, you are too old for this fairy nonsense. You saw us bring Sean home from the hospital. You saw Mommy’s tummy when he was growing inside. Sean is not a fairy baby….”

“But he is, Mommy. I told you, the fairies switched him with our baby. They told me in a dream….”

“Well, dreams can seem real sometimes, but that one isn’t. Your brother is our baby; I should know, shouldn’t I? Now run up and get a story for bedtime; I’ll read to you.”

Josie shuffled toward the stairs, but she turned once, before going up. “They want to switch back now, though, Mommy. Don’t you want our baby Sean back?”

“Josie! Go up now if you want a story, or you can go to bed without one! And no more about fairies.” her mother sighed exasperatedly. Josie had been going on about this fairy-baby silliness for nearly two weeks… ever since the first night Sean came home from the hospital. She’d woken crying in the middle of the night that someone was taking her brother. Both parents had run to the baby’s room, only to find Sean looking thoughtfully up at them, wide awake, but perfectly fine. Well, kids got some funny ideas, sometimes…..

Upstairs, Josie peeked at the baby who was supposed to be her brother. He was a cute baby, she supposed, but he was not her brother.

Her brother was with the fairies, and even if Mommy didn’t care about having him back, Josie did. In her dream, the fairies had told her Baby Sean wasn’t very good for a fairy baby, and they wanted their own back. The dream had been so real, the fairies hovering like fireflies in her room…Josie glanced toward the window. It wasn’t easy to open, but if she pushed really hard….and then she could put the fairies’ baby out on the roof for them to take, just like they had said to do in her dream…..

Of course, it was very cold out, and snowing again–but the fairy-baby would be tough. Fairies were outside all the time, weren’t they?..She opened the window quietly, then crept to her brother’s room. The fairy-baby was a little thing, not heavy at all, and she managed to lay him out on the flat spot beside her window quite easily. She shut the window quietly. The fairy baby lay sleeping still on the roof outside, and the snow softly fell around him…..

Josie sighed. He was awfully cute, but she would be happier to have her real brother back. She blew the fairy-baby a kiss, and, carrying her book, padded back downstairs for her story.



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