"Grandpa!  Grandpa!  Tell me please,
Where do the pennies go
That people throw in wishing wells?
I'd really like to know."
"Well, that's a funny question, girl,"
My grandpa said and grinned
"I guess the fairies get the coins,
After they're tossed in."
"But fairies don't have pockets,
Where would they put the money?"
Grandpa scratched his head and said,
"Go ask your Grandma, Honey."
 Grandma said she wasn't sure,
But Grandpa could be right,
The fairies prob'ly take the coins,
And hide them out of sight.
Well, maybe that was true,
But the girl wasn't satisfied,
So she went out to the wishing well,
To take a look inside.
First she tossed a penny in,
And listened while it dropped,
She heard it go, "Kerplunk" below,
And then the noise stopped.
So then she threw another in,
But she didn't hear it land,
She wondered if it had been caught,
In a tiny fairy hand.
She stood upon her tiptoes,
To overlook the wall,
But when she peeked into the well,
There was nothing there at all.
So she climbed up on the top,
To get a better view,
When, whoops, she lost her balance
And off the edge she flew.
She was falling, falling, falling,
Through space as black as tar,
She didn't know she hit the bottom,
But she remembered seeing stars.
The next thing she recalled
Was something tugging on her nose,
Her face was wet with water,
Had she drowned, do you suppose?
No - because she heard some voices,
And when she opened up her eyes,
She was surrounded by small fairies,
Imagine her surprise.
With their wands, they tickled her,
You know that's what fairies do,
She couldn't help but laugh,
And then they giggled, too.
"What are you doing here?" they asked,
"This is our wishing well,"
"I didn't plan to come," she said,
"I guess I slipped and fell."
"Whatever shall we do with her?"
They talked amongst themselves,
"Feed her to the fishes!"
Cried one surly little elf.
"Oh no!  Please don't, " she begged,
"I want to go back home."
But the fairies couldn't lift her up
Atop the wall alone.
"I thought fairies could do anything,"
Tears welled up within her eyes,
"Oh dear," the saddened fairies said,
"Our little girl now cries."
"Feed her to the fishes!"
The bad elf cried again,
"Now, Elfred, cut that out!"
The fairies ordered him.
Then an older, wiser fairy spoke,
"See that bucket up on top,
Just bring that bucket down,
We'll put her in and wind her up."
"Oh, what a good idea!"
The fairies laughed with glee,
They tickled her again,
In fun and gaiety.
"That won't work," growled Elfred.
"Why not?" the fairies frowned,
"Because," he said, "There is no way
To get that bucket down."
"It's on a pulley - works on weights,
And that's a scientific fact,"
"Well, for goodness sakes," the fairies said,
"Who would have thought of that!"
"Feed her to the fishes!"
Elfred grinned and rubbed his hands,
"No!  Hold on a minute."
The wise, old fairy took a stand.
"It's time to use the coins,"
 She shook her head and said,
Then the little girl became aware
Of the copper mountain overhead.
Her mouth flew open, as she stared,
At the massive, awesome sight,
She never saw so many pennies,
In her entire life.
A great mountain made of pennies,
That nearly reached the fairies' sky,
"We're saving them," the fairies said,
"Because we can't fly that high."
"One day, when it is tall enough,
We'll fly off from its peak,
And fly way above the wishing well,
Into the people world we seek."
The fairies sighed and smiled then,
At this - their utmost dream,
So important - Penny Mountain,
Their little faces beamed.
The old fairy then spoke up,
"Let's play Tiddly winks and Basketball,
That will get the pennies in the bucket,
And make the bucket fall."
And so the games began,
Each fairy had a turn,
Even Elfred took some shots,
Before the fun adjourned.
Eventually the bucket filled,
And the weight brought it slowly down,
Then with delight the fairies squealed,
When the bucket reached the ground.
Next they emptied out the pennies,
And laid them to the side,
Which made the bucket perfect then
For the child to ride inside.
But first they fed her for her journey,
With sweet creams and fairy-food,
And when they tucked her in the bucket,
They advised her, "Hang on good."
"Bye-bye," she waved, as she was raised,
Up in the bucket high,
She saw both her grandfolks then,
As she was hoisted toward the sky.
They reached for her and hugged her,
As together, they exclaimed,
"Oh dear, we were so worried,
Never, ever do this again."
"Oh, it's okay, and I'm all right,
But what a trip I've had,
I met good fairies, Grandma,
And an elf pretending to be bad."
"And, Grandpa, now I know
What it is the fairies do
With all the pennies in the well,
And even Elfred helps out, too."
"They've got a mountain made of pennies,
And when it gets high enough,
They will climb up on the top,
Then jump off and fly to us."
Said Grandpa, "Slow down, darlin,'
You may have hit your pretty head,
I can't make much sense at all,
Out of anything you've said."
Grandma smiled, "Come on, sweetheart,
You need a good, hot bath,"
Then she took the child by the hand
To lead her down the path.
"Wait, wait," cried the little girl,
Clinging to the wishing well,
"Grandpa, throw some money in,
To wish the fairies fare-thee-well."
Grandpa dug into his pocket,
But no pennies lurked in there,
Instead, he found a silver dollar
Which caught the child unaware.
With eyes as big as saucers,
The little girl stared at it in awe,
"A whole, big, silver dollar!
Would you throw that in, Grandpa!"
Grandma merely shook her head,
While Grandpa tossed the coin in,
They did not hear it splash below,
But each face was wreathed in grins.
The little girl could just imagine,
A silver dollar on the mountain,
The fairies would be in ecstasy,
And Elfred would be countin'
Before they left the well that day,
The child was filled with laughter,
Then she, the fairies, and Elfred,
Lived happily ever after.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
July 2003

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The midi file is "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Start,"
played so beautifully by Margi Harrell.