by Dawn Knox
Mrs Furbelow withdrew a booklet from her handbag and slapped it on the desk with a triumphant snort.
“This says your academy is inclusive and non-discriminatory.”
Miss Scrapp, the head of the Academy of Christmas Employment sighed.
“I understand your frustration Mrs Furbelow but I’m afraid that doesn’t change my decision. Your son is not a suitable candidate for the Christmas Tree Fairy course. We would, of course, be delighted to accept him on to the module for Christmas Elves.
“But he has his heart set on being the fairy on top of the Christmas tree. Don’t you, Sid?” Mrs Furbelow’s son began to sob.
“I’m sorry,” said Miss Scrapp, holding her hands palm upwards in resignation, “It’s out of the question. Sidmouth simply isn’t suitable.”
“But you’re not allowed to turn him down because he’s male. It’s illegal,” Mrs Furbelow said, her mouth set in a straight line.
“I assure you his gender has nothing to do with my decision. I am basing that more on his youth. And our Christmas Tree Fairies usually display more… um… well, daintiness than Sidmouth offers.”
“Oh!” said Mrs Furbelow nodding her head from side to side, “So, you’re ageist and shapist, are you?”
“No! Not at all! It’s a question of health and safely. Sidmouth is rather young to be standing at the top of a tree for hours. Our Christmas Fairies are usually older and… um… slightly taller for their… um… girth.”
“Are you saying my Sidmouth is fat?”
“Absolutely not! But his body shape would be a problem.”
“Well it’s never been a problem before!”
“No, I’m sure in most walks of life, it’s fine but being wider than you are tall would make it rather difficult to sit on the top of a Christmas Tree.”
“Nevertheless, my son deserves a chance…”
Miss Scrapp leaned her chin on her steepled fingers and sighed. “Very well,” she said, rising from her desk, “Please follow me.”
Mrs Furbelow shot her son a triumphant look and he smirked.
“There, there!” said Mrs Furbelow, dabbing the tears running down Sidmouth’s cheeks, “it’s only a tiny bump on your head. I’m sure it’ll be gone by tomorrow.”
Miss Scrapp sat silently watching mother and son. It wasn’t like she hadn’t warned them. She’d expected the top of the slender tree to bend under Sidmouth’s weight but she hadn’t imagined it would lean right over. Poor Sidmouth had clung on for as long as he could but his forelimbs weren’t designed to grip trees. He’d plummeted shortly after, hit the floor and bounced once.
“So, Sidmouth,” said Miss Scrapp, “would you like me to enrol you on the Christmas Elves course?”
The young frog shook his head and sniffed, “No thank you, Miss. I don’t s’pose you could enrol me on the plumbing course, could you?”
About the author
Dawn enjoys writing in different genres and has had romances, speculative fiction, sci-fi, humorous and women’s fiction published in magazines, anthologies and books. She’s also had two plays about World War One performed internationally. Her current work in progress is a story set in Bletchley Park during World War Two. You can follow her here on https://dawnknox.com , Facebook here DawnKnoxWriter or on Twitter here https://twitter.com/SunriseCalls
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