I lost him in the forest because of Autumn Glitter - when the leaves are amber and red and the golden light of the late evening sun sparkles through the trees. I was dazzled by it and lost him.
As I was looking for him, the path forked. Which way did he go? I read somewhere that you’re more likely to take the right path if you’re right handed – but maybe he knew that too.
“Greetings,” said a fairy, who had suddenly appeared. He was about two feet tall, with a sharp silver beard and large, iridescent wings.
Must have been that kind of forest. I shrugged.
“Hello, have you seen someone pass this way?” I asked.
“Yes!” he cried.
“Well, did you see which way he went?”
“Yes!” He was smiling at me now. I took this to mean that he was a Good Fairy.
“Well, which way did he go?”
“I will tell you which way he went - but be warned, my answer may be a lie: he took the left path.”
“It may be a lie? So in other words it’s still either left or right?”
The fairy said nothing.
“That’s not helpful at all! How can I get you to give me a straight answer?”
“My answer remains the same. Unless… you have a golden horseshoe, worn once on the hoof of a unicorn.”
I smiled, and put my hand into my pocket. The fairy’s eyes widened and his face grew eager. Presumably the horseshoe was as important to him as the little thief I was chasing for stealing my merchandise.
I fixed my eyes onto his shiny wings.
“I don’t,” I replied. “But… I do have a pair of pliers and a blowtorch.”
Turned out, I didn’t need the golden horseshoe after all.