"And they all lived happily ever after. The end." The woman closed the book and smiled at her daughter. She could sense the five-year-olds gears twisting and turning inside her small mind as the woman, affectionately called mommy, picked up her daughter and set her on her lap. "Did you like the story, honey?" The girl's face was screwed up in concentration.
"Mommy, why did they get married?"
Her mother was surprised to hear such questions from a five year old but if they were old enough to ask the questions they were old enough to get the answers. "Why, because they loved each other."
"But," her face was scrunched up and she held the book in her little hands like it was some big mystery to her, "when did they fall in love?"
"In the beginning of the book."
"Nu-uh!" Now she was indignant. "I was listenin'! They didn't even talk to each other!"
The mother was bemused. Her daughter wasn't usually this philosophical. She was a normal little girl. A bit tomboyish maybe but her mom didn't care. It kept her active and happy, away from the television, at least. What were you supposed to tell a little girl when she asked questions like that, anyway? It wasn't something they taught you in Mommy 101. "Well, some people get love at first sight. They just know. And then they talk afterwards."
"But what if they're wrong?" Her baby was stubborn in her cause. She tried to think of a way to end the girl's questions without crushing her.
"Honey, sometimes you just know. You'll find out eventually." The girl yawned and her mother jumped at the chance to end the discussion amicably. "Bedtime! No more questions, now." Her daughter opened her mouth to protest but she picked the girl up and laid her down in her bed. The little one's eyes closed but, as if in one last chance to have the final say, she muttered something. "What, darling?"
She managed to get a little louder as her eyes fluttered shut, "Mommy, fairytales don't really come true, do they?" Her mother was awestruck but was saved the need to respond by the gentle snores already coming from the bed. Her daughter's question echoed in her head and she couldn't stop thinking of it.
Fairytales don't really come true, do they? Do they? Do they? Do they?