It was almost time for Mary's family holiday. She was so excited about her trip to France with her Mam, her Nana and her big brother Luke. Mary had never been on holiday outside Ireland before, so she had been counting the days for the past thirty-seven days.
She was extra excited because she was going to be travelling by ferry. Ever since she was young, Mary would wonder about what it was like to be on such a big boat and wish that she could travel on a ferry. But there was another wish she had too...
Mary really wanted to have her very own fairy. Some of her friends had a fairy, and in fact her best friend April had three, but Mary didn't have one of her own. "Maybe one day", her Mam would say when Mary asked for a fairy door. Mary knew that "maybe one day" didn't sound like any day soon, so she was a little disappointed every time she heard that answer, but she understood that you can't get everything you want whenever you want it.
Mary woke up on the morning of the ferry trip with such excitement. Finally, she was going to be a passenger on the biggest boat she had ever seen!
She was absolutely amazed when they all walked up to the ferry, which seemed even bigger once they were up close. Mary's Nana turned to her and smiled. "Isn't this exciting?" she said, and Mary and Luke both nodded.
The family found their cabin, and Mary's Mam suggested they all go and explore the ferry. They left their cabin and started to wander along the ferry's corridors. There was a shop onboard, two restaurants, and even a cinema! Plus, you could stand on the deck and feel the wind in your hair! That was Mary's favourite part.
After a while, it was time to head back to the cabin to play some card games, which Mary loved to do. As she was skipping along the corridor near their cabin, Mary noticed something from the corner of her eye. It looked like... it couldn't be... it was - an Irish Fairy Door!!
Mary gasped. The door was purple with a pink flower in the centre, just like one of her friend April's doors. "Mam, look! A fairy door!! Can I leave a note for the fairy??"
"A fairy on a ferry", said Luke, with a chuckle.
"Of course you can, Mary!" said Mary's Mam. "But make sure you fold it up nice and small so it doesn't look untidy!"
Mary wasted no time in writing her note. "Hello there fairy!" it read. "My name's Mary and I wish more than anything I could have a fairy of my own, but I am so excited to meet you here on the ferry! I'm going on holiday to France. Have you ever been to France? Oh wait that might be a silly question as this ferry goes to France all the time! Please write back. Fairies are the best! Love Mary"
Mary folded up the note and left it beside the fairy door. As she fell asleep later that night, she hoped and hoped the fairy would write to her by morning.
The next day, Mary sprang out of her bunk and asked her Mam if she could go and check for a reply. Her Mam agreed, so Mary hurried out of the cabin towards the fairy door. To her delight, there was a note waiting for her! It read "Hi Mary! Oh thank you ever so much for writing to me! Receiving notes from humans is my favourite thing in the whole world and not many people seem to notice my door here, so I was so so so happy to read your message! And yes, I love France! It's quite a bit warmer than Ireland as you will find out. And I love the French language, c'est belle! That means it's very beautiful, if you didn't know. I hope you have a brilliant holiday! Hope to hear from you soon. Cherry"
Mary was so happy! "She wrote back, she wrote back!" she called, heading back to her cabin.
Mary then felt a little bit sad as she knew they would be leaving the ferry that day, but she wrote another note to Cherry and left it for her along with a picture she drew of herself, Luke, her Mam and her Nana, so Cherry would know what they all looked like. She told Cherry that she would be getting the ferry back ten days later, and left the folded-up note beside the door.
Mary and her family had a wonderful holiday, full of sun, laughter and lots of French bread! Even though Mary was a little sad to leave at the end of the ten days, she was excited to get back on the ferry.
When they boarded again, Mary wasted no time in checking Cherry's fairy door, and to her amazement, she found a note waiting for her! Cherry had drawn a picture of herself too, so Mary and her family would know what she looked like. She had long brown hair, just like Mary! "We're very alike aren't we" said Cherry in her note. "Well apart from the wings and the fact that I am a little bit shorter!!"
Mary wrote a note telling Cherry all about her holiday and added "You were right about the French language, c'est tres belle! As I'm sure you know, that means very beautiful!"
There was another note from Cherry waiting for Mary the next day. Cherry said she hoped they would meet again some day and Mary replied saying she hoped so too.
Not long after that, it was Mary's birthday. She opened her present from her Mam and Nana and was shocked to find that it was... a purple fairy door!
Mary couldn't believe her eyes. Her very own fairy at last!
She decided to call her fairy Periwinkle, or Perry for short. She left a note welcoming Perry to her new home, and left it outside the door. The next morning, she found a note from Perry that read:
"Dear Mary, I am so excited to be your fairy! I think I am going to have the most fun living with you and Luke, your Mam and your Nana! Oh and I hope you don't mind, but my best friend from Fairy Valley might be coming to stay every once in a while, when her boat is docked in Ireland. Her name is Cherry! :)"
And so began a lifetime of magic and friendship for Mary, Perry and Cherry, Mary's ferry fairy!