This post needed musical accompaniment, so I took the first volunteers I could find. (Image by Leslie Brook for The House in the Wood and Other Fairy Stories, 1909.)

The FedEx truck pulled up in front of the Fairy Tale Lobby and hovered loudly. Simplia peeked through the curtains to see what was going on.

And when she did see,… “Oh-ho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a comin’ down the street!” she sang, and slid over to the door.

“So don’t let it pass my door!” Sagacia sang, right on cue.

“It could be somethin’, for someone who is no relation,…”

“But it could be…”

“Yes, you’re right it surely could be…” Simplia chirped

“Somethin’ special…” Sagacia winked.

“Somethin’ very, very special now…”

“Just for me!” They sang together, stretching forth, posed for their anticipated standing ovation.

“Sign here, please ma’am?” the FedEx man said, holding out a device with an attached stylus for one of the two to sign. He seemed not to appreciate their clever performance! That is, he seemed not to have noticed it at all!

“I think it’s the curtains I ordered,” Sagacia said, clearing her throat and straightening her T-shirt. She signed the device quickly.

She carried the box in and Simplia retrieved the scissors.

“Yep,” said Sagacia, slitting through the tape. “See? These are for my bedroom, and.…”

She flipped open the flaps again. “Wha? Where are the ones I ordered for my bathroom? She shuffled through the styrofoam peanuts.

“Check the packing slip.” Simplia said. “Sometimes they tell you if something was shipped separately.”

Sagacia slit the plastic label cover and pulled out the packing slip.  She unfolded it and read aloud, “Dear Vasali…”

“Oh!” said Simplia. “I get it!”

“The magical third day of the month,” Sagacia nodded.

She continued:

Dear Vasalisa the Wise,

When a fairy tale ends “And they were married, and they lived happily ever after,” I kind of wince. I mean, “ever after” is a long time! I’m not saying they didn’t live happily ever after, I’m just saying I’d like some more details. Or maybe whole new stories about THAT.

For example, in stories like “Clever Manka” and “The Lute Player,” we hear wonderful tales of unusual—but not impossible—things that happened long after the wedding, sometimes late into a marriage, and the couple’s experience just showed how strong their love was, and maybe even made it stronger. I’m a middle-aged woman in a good marriage that I would call “happy,” and I’d like to hear more tales like these.

Can you or your magical friends help with that? Surely some of them know good “happily long after the wedding” stories that I and others can identify with!

Happily in Hapsburg

“I’m sure they do!” Simplia agreed.

“And I’m sure they can help!” Sagacia said, wandering off to get thumbtacks to post the letter on the bulletin board.

Then they heard that truck hovering sound again.

Sure enough, up the walk came the FedEx guy with another box. He seemed to have a lighter step this time, and he was balancing the box on his fingertip, almost twirling it. Sagacia opened the door, and Simplia joined her to see what would happen.

Singing poured in the door! A surprisingly smooth tenor! “I got a saddle from Seattle last September!” That FedEx guy was actually skipping up the steps.

“And I expect a new Rocking Chair!” He slid into the doorway.

“I hope you got your grapefruits from Fresno!” he sang, handing over the box elegantly.

“The D.A.R. have sent a cannon for the courthouse square!” The Simpletons chimed in, Simplia signing the device and Sagacia accepting the box.

“O-ho the Wells Fargo wagon is a comin’!” the FedEx guy sang, tripping back along the walk, his silly and magical new friends waving as they sang the last lines.

“Don’t you DARE to make a stop . . . until you stop for me!”