The frail little orphan girl was prone to nightmares, especially during the thunderstorms that were all too common during the summer. It didn't help that the orphanage in which she and her older sister lived stood on the edge of a thick and eerie-looking forest. Some of the bullying big boys had told the child of a witch's ghost haunting the forest, and also of "tree monsters" with a taste for the flesh of little girls.

"Tom and Fred just made those stories up to scare you, Sarah," her sister would tell the girl every night, as the poor little thing sobbed into her shoulder. "No monsters are going to eat you."

Her words were partially drowned out by the thunder and lightning, so Sarah only heard "monsters are going to eat you" and cried louder. If the noise got too loud, it might wake up the matron...

"Sarah, would you like to hear the story about Mama?"

Almost instantaneously, Sarah stopped crying, and began to listen to her favourite bedtime story, about the mother she never knew. Her sister was determined to make it stay that way until Sarah was a little older.

"Once upon a time, there was a beautiful fairy..."