A long, long time ago in far lands untold, there lived a fairy. An extremely mischievous fairy (even by the standards of his peers) named Glitterwing. This particular fairy lived in a beautiful wooded glade known by most fairies as Stargazer's Wood. This small fairy village was full of fairy magic and the air sparkled with fairy dust. Mushrooms and knotholes in trees made comfortable homes for around 100 fairies in this area. Glitterwing, the fore mentioned young fairy, lived in the red mushroom closest to the pond.
I have said that Glitterwing was a singularly mischievous fairy, and he was. Not a day went by without at least one of his pranks being unleashed on other fairies, and as soon as a joke ended, he could be seen immediately thinking of other forms of trickery, often with little tears of mirth still trickling down his face. Most of the fairies in Stargazer's Wood thought of the young Glitterwing as a harmless jokester, and indeed, most laughed along with him. Though sometimes they grew weary of the tricksy pixy and desired him to find another home, one where his jokes could not bother them constantly.
Besides being and avid prankster, Glitterwing was very ambitious and inquisitive in nature. When he was not devising new ways of birthing mirth he was to be found reading or asking more experienced fairies all sorts of questions; more often then not the questions were about humans. His obsession with humans was in fact what brought about the events of the tale I am now relating to you.
The other fairies couldn't understand why Glitterwing so desired to learn about humans, and when he said he wanted to meet one, they were shocked. Most of the Stargazer's Wood fairies had never seen a human, and the ones that had felt no urge to repeat the experience. Fairies in general were suspicious of man-kind and thought of them as spectacles at best. Glitterwing's neighbors thought his yearnings were ludicrous and even mad. However, this did not particularly bother the minute prankster; he was used to being considered odd.
In the distant past, even long before Glitterwing's existence, the dream of meeting a human would have been obsolete. Long into yesteryear humans and fairies had met often, they had even co-existed. Humans had thought fairies as great fun, loving their mischievous jokes. However, after a time, the larger beings began to trap fairies and use the magic dust off the smaller humanoid's wings to their own advantage. Some even captured fairies as pets for their children. So, the fairies left human inhabited areas and returned to their hidden sanctuaries in the woodlands of the world. Since those days fairies have kept to themselves and humans have been none-the-worse because of it.
As Glitterwing grew older and reached adult-hood he asked more and more questions about humans. Most of the fairies had no trouble answering his unceasing questions, but some found him to be a nuisance and ignored his incessant inquiries. One question that contributed greatly to Glitterwing's future excursions was made to the chief of Stargazer's Wood. The dialogue went something like this: "Chief Fleetwing, where do humans live?" he asked. "To the north, the south, and the east, but never the west," was the reply. "Why not the west?" Glitterwing had asked, ever curious. "That, my young friend, is something you and I, or any other fairy for that matter, may never know. Now run along, enough questions for today," the chief answered, mystery clouding his words like winter fog clouds one's vision.
One day, soon after learning the directions in which humans live, Glitterwing left. Most considered this fact with disdain, and most of the elders were even slightly glad, the cretin's pranks couldn't bother them anymore. The ones who had grown fond of the impish blighter, however, were worried for him, and none of the fairies wished any ill upon him.
Glitterwing traveled east through the forest, unaware of how far away human civilization was. After several days of flight he grew tired and disheartened, but his spirit could never be entirely broken and he pressed on. It is at this point that the tale grows foggy and unsure, for only a few woodland animals witnessed the fate of Glitterwing, and fewer still passed the story on the others. However, thanks to my extensive travels and innate story-telling experience, I can reconstruct the event that wiped Glitterwing from the path of any fairy.
One evening as the stalwart adventurer fluttered doggedly on, a human spotted him. Unbeknownst to Glitterwing, the human followed his progress for a long time on the back of his horse. (I venture to guess he must have been a merchant, for he had a large cart harnessed behind his horse.) At first he had mistaken Glitterwing for a large fire-fly and desired to catch him simply as a light source. When it finally dawned on the traveling merchant that the creature he stalked was a fairy, his yearning to catch it was increased ten-fold. "If I can but ensnare that beautiful faeri (humans have always misspelled fairy) my son shall be delighted. A faeri is a rare and rich gift for a child," the man thought. And before Glitterwing even knew the human was behind him, he was trapped in the man's lantern and well on his way to human lands, the man whistling a happy tune all the way.
The fairies of Stargazer's Wood never saw Glitterwing again. Even I, being the renowned tale-spinster I am, cannot rightly say what became of the impish little fairy. Many believe that he eventually escaped from humans and lived out his days with a different community of fairies. Others hypothesize that he was never really captured by a human, but simply lost his way in the wood and was eaten by some large predator. I, however, believe his adventurous nature would not have let him return to a fairy land and that he lived out his life in relative peace and fun with the merchant's family (I also do not believe he could have been eaten, all the evidence points to human capture.
I leave it up to you, reader, to guess at the hapless fairies fate, for that is half the fun of reading, using your imagination. To be completely honest with you, the pondering of Glitterwing's existence and life experiences often keeps me awake many a night, indeed as I scribe this tale for you, my dear reader, my candle grows short. Before I leave you in peace, ponder this, the moral of my tale: Curiosity may, or may not, have killed the fairy.