Both my parents are primary school teachers. This means that as the end of term approaches I get roped into assisting on school trips where they’ve been unable to otherwise find a selection of willing sacrifices. This means on Thursday I assisted in taking 49 year 1/2 choldren (so 6 and 7 year olds) to the park to play games (I mean do curriculum relevant science and maths based activities obviously).
One of these activities was a mini beast hunt down a wooded trail. They had to work in pairs and make a note of any minibeasts they found and where they were located. All well and good. We found a beetle on a rock, a spider on a branch and a woodlouse in the leaf litter. One of the girls was a bit quiet so Miss asked her “Emily, what have you found?”. The response, “well Miss, I saw a fairy but it flew away and I can’t see it anymore”. Trying desperately not to giggle, we quizzed her further in case fairy was some previously unknown piece of Yorkshire dialect for a fly or similar. But no, it was actually a fairy. Apparently it was wearing a dress and had wings so it was a girl fairy.
What was so lovely was not that she genuinely believed it but that all her classmates did too and backed her up. The total faith and innocence was almost enough to reinstate ones faith in humanity. Where do we lose it all? Not the belief in fairies, but the trust in others.
When we were walking back my mum was asking another of the girls if she’d seen the fairy. The reply “No, but I wish we had found the dalek”!