He raised the cup. No time for words now; time for deeds; and with one of her lightning movements Tink got between his lips and the draught, and drained it to the dregs.J.M Barrie certainly believed in magic; but when do we stop believing and why do we pick and chose what we do believe?
"Why, Tink, how dare you drink my medicine?"
But she did not answer. Already she was reeling in the air.
"What is the matter with you?" cried Peter, suddenly afraid.
"It was poisoned, Peter," she told him softly; "and now I am going to be dead."
"O Tink, did you drink it to save me?"
"But why, Tink?"
Her wings would scarcely carry her now, but in reply she alighted on his shoulder and gave his nose a loving bite. She whispered in his ear "You silly ass," and then, tottering to her chamber, lay down on the bed.
His head almost filled the fourth wall of her little room as he knelt near her in distress. Every moment her light was growing fainter; and he knew that if it went out she would be no more. She liked his tears so much that she put out her beautiful finger and let them run over it.
Her voice was so low that at first he could not make out what she said. Then he made it out. She was saying that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies.
Peter flung out his arms. There were no children there, and it was night time; but he addressed all who might be dreaming of the Neverland, and who were therefore nearer to him than you think: boys and girls in their nighties, and naked papooses in their baskets hung from trees.
"Do you believe?" he cried.
Tink sat up in bed almost briskly to listen to her fate.
She fancied she heard answers in the affirmative, and then again she wasn't sure.
"What do you think?" she asked Peter.
"If you believe," he shouted to them, "clap your hands; don't let Tink die."
I love pantomime and every year the "M's" go on Christmas Eve. We are building our traditions and family memories. The four year old loves it. It IS magic and if we don't clap our hands raw Tinkerbell will certainly have her fate sealed. The nine year old is starting to feel embarrassed, he furtively looks around to see if anyone is looking at him. I always try to encourage him to "let go" enjoy the moment, no-one is looking at him they are all having far too much fun and watching the stage. Yet, for the nine year old we are on the cusp of not believing in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy. Unfortunately he is a complete pedant so I fear the four year old will lose her belief earlier than nine.
I completely believed in everything I was told as a child, and am still fairly susceptible to suggestion. Some may say gullible. I don't need proof to believe in fairies, ghosts or God for that matter. I don't believe in Father Christmas but that's because I am the one going out to search for the elusive Christmas Toy that is out of stock everywhere but is that year's "must have".
There is magic in lots of things around us. We are all magic. "Life" is magic. Yes it's lots of genes, cells and chemistry but that doesn't explain the soul of a being. But sometimes it's very hard to remember to stop and look for the magic. We all lead such stressful lives running from work, to school to clubs to home to sleep.
Is it also easier to believe in magic if you have children in your life? To see the marvel of every new thing through their eyes, take pleasure from their enjoyment. If I hadn't had children, I wouldn't be at the pantomime every year, I wouldn't watch all the kids films I actually really like and there would be a little less magic in my life.
Clap your hands everyone and keep the fairies alive.