"Once upon a time there was a beautiful fairy with midnight-blue eyes and white hair that glowed like moonlight."

"Mama," Sarah interrupted.

"Right," said her sister, and continued:

"She was the queen of Fairyland, and to show off her high rank, always wore her golden crown and special damask and brocade covers for her wings. All fairies needed these special covers to keep from being blinded by the bright light given off by their wings, but only the queen and her daughter were allowed to wear the ones made of damask or brocade. The nobility had silk, satin, and velvet for their, and the commoners just had them made from wool."

Sarah's sister took a deep breath and went on: "Mama liked being a mother. She gave me a pretty silver crown and taught me how to fly. Her favourite thing to do with me was plant seeds in pots and watch them grow. Many in Mama's court didn't think it was proper for a queen and a princess to dig in the dirt, but-"

"I want the part about me!" Sarah whined.

"Mama loved having me so much that she wanted another child, but her husband had been dead since I was a baby, and she didn't want the long and boring process of finding another to marry."

"But why do people have to be married to have babies?" Sarah always asked this question, and her sister always ignored it.

"Mama went to a wise old fairy who used her powerful magic to cast a spell on a little seed. The old fairy told Mama to plant the seed in her largest flowerpot, and a baby would emerge from the flower on the first day of spring. All the old fairy asked in return was for the baby to be named Gretchen, after her, if it was a girl.

"Mama planted the seed, watered it, and waited for spring. By the time the first day of spring arrived, the seed was an enormous yellow flower, which bloomed to reveal..."

"Me!" Sarah said happily.

"Right," her sister said affectionately. "When Mama and I first saw you, we gave you lots of kisses! Unfortunately, at the naming ceremony, Mama broke her promise to the old fairy and named you 'Sarah'. The old fairy came to the palace and asked Mama why she'd broken her word, and Mama made the mistake of telling her that she thought 'Gretchen' was an ugly name."

Sarah put her hand over her mouth, as she always did at this part of the story.

"That made Old Gretchen very angry, and she decided to take revenge..."