Fairyland by F.J. Bergmann

Glintfleur says hers can talk,
although I don’t believe her.
It’s the same size as mine,
but it wriggles more. Mine used to
scream when I pinched it
and covered it with pink flowers
but now it either whimpers
or doesn’t make any sound at all.
Ashpuppet fastened his high up
in the storm-tossed branches of an oak
the first night he had it,
and what glorious music it made!
Its howling mixed with gusts of wind
and the great kettledrums and cymbals
of thunder and rain, calling
down the lightning.
Spiderskin snatched one away
and forgot it in a clump of ferns,
where a fox found it. I steal
goats’ milk for mine now and then;
you’d think it would be grateful,
and try to please me.
I’m going to be choosier
next time.

F.J. Bergmann frequents Wisconsin and fibitz.com. She has no academic literary qualifications, but hangs out with people who do. Her publications include Asimov’s, Farrago’s Wainscot, Mythic Delirium, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, and regular literary journals that should have known better.

IMAGE: A Fairy Flew Off with the Changeling, Arthur Rackham