Pixie Avalon giggled and cooed as her Dartmoor Colt whisked her through the sky, in and out of the low-floating clouds, on the way to safety. At the moment, she was the only one who knew what was going on. She sighed softly when she felt her friend begin to fly lower and lower, knowing the fun ride was over.
But she was only sad about that for a moment. After all, she had new friends to meet and play with! New friends who would keep her safe and sound until the danger in Pixie World had passed.
It took her eyes a few moments to adjust to the dimmer lighting after her colt friend clattered on his little hooves into the Team RoJo fort, but soon she could see her new, magical friends' hangout.
She saw Sir WHIP shrink down to kid size, and BEN Owl shrink down to normal owl size and perch on Ro's shoulder, as he liked to do. But Pixie Avalon also noticed that there was a railing all around the fort, about a foot down from the ceiling, so that BEN Owl could perch anywhere he liked, and have the best view of whatever was going on at that time.
As soon as everyone was inside the fort, they crowded around the Dartmoor Colt as he took a long, well-deserved drink from Kato's bowl.
"He's so cute!" Ro said, petting the tiny horse, rubbing his shoulders and around his wings gently, figuring they might be a little achy from the long flight. The way the small animal leaned into her hands, she could tell she was right.
When the colt was comfortable and his thirst was quenched, Team RoJo and their friends turned their attention to the basket where Pixie Avalon watched the Dartmoor Colt being well cared for.
She knew she'd been right to run away (so to speak) and find a safe place.
The Dartmoor Colt clip-clopped over to the table on which his friend, in her basket lay, and gave a little hop onto his back legs, his front hooves clunking on the table's bench. He could just see Pixie Avalon's hair and eyes, and hear her little giggles and coos, reminding him that she really was just a baby, even if she was magical. There was much she still needed to learn to be a full-fledged pixie.
He looked around the fort at Ro and Jo, BEN Owl, Sir WHIP, and now Kato who'd burst into the fort through the doggie door within the regular door, and knew that this place was safe – Team RoJo made it safe. In this place his friend could grow and learn about her magic – and her pixie family.
Kato jumped up, plopping his front paws on the bench right next to the little colt's, and gave him a big kiss with his long tongue, welcoming him into the fort, one four-legged dude to the other. The colt bumped his chin gently against Kato's, and made friends, just like that.
Ro and Jo reached over to pet the little horse, and Ro said, "We will find your home and make sure you and your little Pixie Avalon get home safely."
"No!" came a tiny voice, and all of Team RoJo's eyes turned to the basket in the middle of the table.
"No, no, no, no, no," sang the little voice, playfully. Ro and Jo glanced at each other, and then up at BEN Owl, who had flown to a perch on the railing nearest the table.
"Is she saying no, or just singing a little baby pixie song, BEN Owl?" Ro asked. "How much do you really know about Pixie Avalon?"
BEN Owl cleared his throat, and said, "I know about pixies in general, and I knew that Pixie Avalon had been born recently, because there was a big Pixie Party and lots of excitement, as there always is when a baby pixie comes into the world. What I cannot figure out is why she is here. Why all the pixies, especially her mommy and daddy pixies, would let her out of their sight before she is ready."
Just then the Dartmoor Colt whinnied, and sounded a little upset. He shook his head back and forth, clearly meaning no, as Pixie Avalon still sang, "no, no, no, no, no…"
BEN Owl flew down and perched on the edge of Pixie Avalon's little basket and watched her mouth as she sang. "Are you really saying no?" he asked the tiny pixie.
Pixie Avalon's big brown eyes blinked, and stared right back into BEN Owl's eyes.
"She doesn't seem to be afraid of anything here," BEN Owl said, watching the little pixie smile, "and she's not singing no anymore."
"Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben," sing-songed from the basket as soon as BEN Owl landed on its rim.
"Don't you want to go home, little one?" Sir WHIP leaned in and asked Pixie Avalon, whose eyes go big and scared, and she started singing no again.
Sir WHIP looked at BEN Owl and said, "She's frightened. Whatever could be going on in Pixie World to frighten a little baby pixie like that?"
BEN Owl shook his head, while Ro and Jo leaned over the little basket and Jo said very softly, "Don't you worry, little Pixie Avalon, you can stay here as long as you want, and we will take good care of you."
Pixie Avalon's cooing and giggling started up again, her brown eyes glistened, and then she drifted into a nap, as all babies do from time to time.
"I think maybe we should fly on over to Pixie World and check out what's going on," Sir WHIP suggested to BEN Owl, who agreed, and the magical flying creatures left the fort on a quest for knowledge.
Just after they left, Ro, Jo, the Dartmoor Colt, and Kato sat around the table watching Pixie Avalon, all smiling at how darn cute she was, and they didn't notice as the doggie door, within the regular door of the fort, moved. It lifted inward, and then lowered, all by itself! And it did it four times before it stopped and stayed still.
"Do baby pixies drink from bottles like human babies?" Jo asked his sister, whose brows rose up as she thought about his question.
"She's sleeping, and quiet, she hasn't cried at all. She dozed off pretty quick after the ride here. I'll bet she'll be hungry when she wakes up. You're probably right. But where will we ever find a bottle small enough to fit in her itty-bitty little mouth?" Ro said.
"How about that thing that comes with our medicine from the drugstore?" Jo suggested.
"Oh yeah! We could squeeze out a drop at a time!" Ro said softly, but with great excitement. "Great idea, Jo! I'll go get it!" She turned on the bench, but Jo stopped her.
"I've got this," he said, turned toward the house, lifted his hand up before his chest and wiggled his fingers. Soon the medicine squirter was in his hand. "It's clean – Mom washed it really well after we used it last."
"Great!" Ro said, and tilted her head toward the little fridge in the corner. "And there's milk in there for Gramps Blaze's coffee. I'm sure he won't mind if we use a little."
"Probably only need a spoonful, or two," Jo said. "She's so tiny, I doubt she'll drink much."
Suddenly, something brushed Ro and Jo's arms, and they nearly fell back off the bench they were so startled!
"What the…" Jo said, and saw Pixie Avalon's basket wiggle, as if someone were shaking it.
Pixie Avalon's eyes popped open, and she began to yell, "Gob, gob, gob, gob, gob, gob!" She waved her arms out from under the blanket and smacked at the edges of the basket, as if there were actually hands there, jiggling it, to scare her. Then she yelled some more: "GOB, GOB, GOB, GOB, GOB!" For a pixie, she hollered very loud.
"She's so scared!" Ro said, and just then she saw why.
Above their heads, little pixies – five of them – flew around, their wings buzzing like bees.
"Look at them! There are pixies…" Jo said. "They came to find their baby!"
"Look closer, Jo!" Ro said, her voice unhappy, maybe even a little scared – which surprised her brother. Ro wasn't scared of hardly anything. "They aren't pixies! They’re ugly! They look mean!"
"Gob, Gob, Gob, Gob, Gob…" Pixie Avalon continued in her basket, her eyes flicking all around, watching the ugly little creatures flying close to the fort's ceiling.
"Go away!" Ro shouted. "You go away and leave Pixie Avalon alone, you hear me?"
"Or you'll be sorry," Jo said, wiggling his fingers at them, but not using his magic yet – he wanted to give them a chance to leave, just in case they were ugly but not mean.
"Goblins!" Ro gasped. "That's what she's saying! Goblins!! They are like bad pixies! Mean! Remember that story Gramps Blaze told us about the goblins who kidnapped the fairy, and the brave chipmunk who rescued her?"
"Yeah! Those goblins are mean! We can't let them get Pixie Avalon!" Jo said, and lifted his hands up toward the flying Goblins.
Just then the goblins began dive-bombing Pixie Avalon as she lay in her basket, and she screamed, very afraid. She wiggled inside the basket and Ro leaned over to try and pick her up, to protect her from the tiny, flying goblins.
Jo had just raised his arms and was about to wiggle his fingers and take the bad guys out, when Pixie Avalon sat up in the basket, and POOF!
Wings sprouted out of her back! Just like that!
Pixie Avalon's wings glittered in the light coming through the window, as she flew to the ceiling, away from the goblins.
Before Jo could react and wiggle his fingers, he heard the little twerps laughing, and then the goblins landed on BEN Owl's perch along the back wall.
"That was mean to scare Pixie Avalon like that!" Ro said, her voice stern. "Why would you do such a thing?!"
And then something amazing happened. The "goblins" began to peel away masks!
Pixie Avalon hovered, sort of like a tiny magical helicopter, in the corner of the fort ceiling close to the door, still not sure about these laughing little buggers.
But after a moment, when their masks were off, the baby Pixie giggled and flew right over to the goblins.
"What are you doing, Pixie Avalon?" Ro called out, and Pixie Avalon turned in mid-air, holding a finger up to her lips, reminding Ro and Jo that their normal speaking voices were way too loud for fairies and pixies.
Pixie Avalon flew over and landed between two of the goblins, and they hugged her very happily.
Then all the little winged creatures flew down from BEN Owl's high perch and landed on the edge of Pixie Avalon's basket.
"Hey! You guys aren't goblins at all!" Jo said, remembering to be surprised in a quiet voice.
"You're pixies!" Ro whispered excitedly. "Why would you want to scare Pixie Avalon like that?"
The two former goblins that Pixie Avalon had flown to and had hugged her, fluttered down to sit on the table before Ro and Jo who'd sat down on the bench side by side, figuring there was a story coming – and they were right.
The lady pixie said, "We are Pixie Avalon's mommy and daddy. Pixie Avalon is three months old, and that means, in Pixie World, that it's time for her to sprout her wings and learn to use them."
Ro and Jo both said, "Ohhh!" getting it.
"You know how mommy and daddy birds sort of push the baby birds off the edge of their nest to show them that they have wings and can fly?" Daddy Pixie asked Ro and Jo.
"Sure. Baby birds just automatically use their wings – it's instinct," Ro said, using a word she'd learned in her science class.
"Exactly!" Mommy bird said. "Mommy and daddy pixies usually place favorite toys, sweets, and other things high up on shelves so that the babies sprout their wings and use them to get what they want."
"That's very clever," Ro said.
"And a little sneaky," added Jo, giggling.
"It usually works, but sometimes a baby needs a little more of a push," Mommy Pixie said. "Pixie Avalon was one of those babies. We simply could not get her to sprout her wings."
Daddy Pixie continued: "Baby pixies' instinct, when they are frightened, is to use their wings to fly away and escape what scares them. So, we dressed up as goblins to frighten her, but she saw Mommy Pixie fitting my costume to me before she finished making it one night. She thought I was a real goblin, and got Tick-Tock – her Dartmoor Colt – to take her away."
"Tick-Tock?" Jo asked.
"She calls him that, I guess because that's the sound his hooves make on the floor in our home," Mommy Pixie said, smiling, her arm still linked around Pixie Avalon's.
"We are very grateful to you for rescuing our baby," Daddy Pixie said. "And we are very relieved that Tick-Tock found someone magical who would follow him."
"We only meant to startle Pixie Avalon into using her wings. Other pixie mommies and daddies have done the same kind of thing many times in the past, and it worked just fine."
"Well, Pixie Avalon is not an average pixie, it seems," Ro said, smiling.
Once the story was told, Pixie Mommy dug in the folds of her goblin costume and pulled out bits of apple and grapes, and Pixie Avalon gobbled them up, then burped contentedly.
"Oh, we thought she would need milk," Jo said, showing the medicine squirter to Pixie Avalon's mommy and daddy.
"How clever!" Pixie Mommy said, a big smile on her face. "But baby pixies don't need milk once they sprout their wings. They sprout all their teeth at the same time, and can begin eating regular food," she explained.
"Good to know," Ro said, tugging the Team RoJo Journal toward her from the opposite edge of the table. She jotted down all she had just learned about Pixie Avalon and Pixie World.
Once all the pixies had enjoyed some refreshments, they flew out the door that Jo held open for them, and disappeared into the night, heading toward the cozy glow of Pixie World.
Just as they flew away, Sir WHIP and BEN Owl returned from their quest.
"There are several pixies missing from Pixie World!" BEN Owl said. "And the rest of them were tight-lipped about what's going on. There's obviously some sort of crisis…"
Ro smiled at her confused and frustrated friends, tilting her head, signaling for them to come inside the fort. "We know all about it. Wait until you hear this story."
On the way home, safe, flying between her parents in the middle of a whole group of her pixie friends and family, Pixie Avalon did her first loop-de-loop!
And giggled happily.