THE BANISHMENT OF FALEERO
"A Fairy Under Starry Skies," by Luis Ricardo Falero
by Nathan M. DeHoff
Several centuries ago, in the great Forest of Burzee, there lived a young fairy named Filera. Filera was very beautiful, with long hair of a light brown color. Unlike the younger generations of fairies, she had no wings, but she could float through the air, and she did this quite often. In fact, the young fairy constantly used the magical powers that she knew she possessed, and always tried to discover new ones. She would often make herself invisible, and sneak up on an unsuspecting beast, much to the annoyance of the Knooks. But Filera could also be helpful, and spent much time watering young trees, or aiding the Ryls in painting the forest flowers. The fairy possessed a curiosity that was typical for children, both in and out of Burzee. Although she was often rebuked by her mother for swimming in the Pool of Nares, or climbing Wood-Nymph Queen Zurline's private tree, Filera was popular throughout the forest.
Filera's curiosity actually increased as she grew older, and her excitement was boundless when she received her first wand. At first, the fairy used this device for practically harmless tricks, such as sending rain-drops back to the clouds, evaporating dew-drops, and shrinking leaves, she eventually used it to turn a lion-cub into a bear-cub. Now, only adult fairies are allowed to perform transformations, and even then only when necessary, so Queen Lurline punished Filera for her deed by revoking the child's wand for one year.
But a year is not long for an Immortal, and Filera was soon testing her wand again. She performed several more transformations, including that of a wandering human into a fire-fly. Filera was reprimanded each time, but, since she was a child, she was always quickly forgiven.
Once Filera had become an adult fairy, she was assigned to watch over a nobleman in Thumbumbia. This job was fairly easy, since the nobleman never did much of anything, and very rarely left the castle. On one of her visits to Thumbumbia, Filera explored Thumbnail, the capital city. Here, in the shop of a witch who happened to be away at the time, the fairy discovered a book of black magic, and learned how to cast some powerful spells.
Filera knew that she should not use the spells, as fairies are forbidden, under most circumstances, to practice black magic. However, on her way back to Burzee, she magically caused a rock to explode, and enjoyed doing this immensely. The fairy continued to experiment with the black magic, and her spells caused increasingly more damage. Eventually, Filera caused a volcano to erupt, burying a Thumbumbian village in lava, and conjured up a hurricane, which destroyed a coastal city in Macvelt.
On the day that Filera performed these wicked actions, Lurline was using her magic to find out about important events in the world. She discovered that a new King of the Nomes, named Roquat, was being crowned, and that King Scowleyow was preparing his troops for battle. When she looked at the country of Macvelt, a shocking scene met her gaze. There was Filera, performing a forbidden incantation. Then, a hurricane came, and this great wind blew through the coastal city at an amazing rate. When she noticed this, Lurline became as angry as a kind and gentle Fairy Queen could, and, when Filera returned to Burzee, the Queen summoned the law-breaker to her palace.
"Filera, I have discovered that you were responsible for the destruction of a village," stated Lurline.
"Two villages, actually," said Filera.
"You were practicing forbidden black magic, and harming mortals, were you not?"
"I was, Your Majesty," replied Filera, who knew that it was useless to argue with the Queen.
"Such actions are inexcusable! I have forgiven you many times in the past, but I cannot forgive you for what you have done today. As much as I hate to do it, I must banish you from Burzee."
"But where will I go?"
"You shall live in Follensby Forest, in the Land of Oz. While there, you will remain immortal, but you will not possess eternal youth. Instead, you will continually grow older. Also, you must change your name."
"Yes. Since you have been banished, you no longer have the right to hold the name of Filera. As you have allowed yourself to be ensnared by the trappings of external things, such as power and pride, from now on your name will be Faleero."
Now, "Filera" means one who spins, as in thread or spells, whereas "Faleero" means an ornament, as worn by a mortal or beast, for to the fairies it refers to one whose allowed herself to become deceived and ensnared by superficial things. From that time on, Filera was known as Faleero, Royal Princess of Follensby Forest. Faleero constantly grew uglier and more evil, until she became a crotchety old woman, who gathered sticks all day. Once, Faleero transformed the Royal Family of Pumperdink into firewood, and was turned into a raven by Queen Ozma of Oz. As far as is known, Faleero was the only evil fairy to be mentioned in the Royal Histories of Oz.
Author's Notes: The Oz books contain mentions of several fairies, but, with one exception, all of them are good. This one exception is Faleero, who was first mentioned in Ruth Plumly Thompson's Kabumpo in Oz, where she is described as the thousand-year-old, ugly Princess of Follensby Forest, who spends all of her time gathering sticks. In The Purple Prince of Oz, Faleero transforms the King, Queen, Prince, and Princesses of Pumperdink, and marries the King's brother Kettywig. At the end of this story, she is punished by Queen Ozma. Anyway, I had the idea that Faleero was a fallen fairy (you know, like Lucifer is a fallen angel), and this story explains Faleero's banishment from the fairy community.
Story: Curiosity gets the better of Filera, who as she grows older, continues to act in ways that are irresponsible. As an adult fairy, she stumbles upon the home of a witch, learns black magic, and uses it to cause a volcanic eruption that buries a village in Thumbumbia and a hurricane that destroys a coastal city in Macvelt. At this, Lurline takes away Filera's powers and name, and banishes her to Follensby Forest, where she will age.
Dating: The date of 1668 begins after Filera becomes an adult in the story, and is based on the notion that Lurline imposed a 250 year punishment upon her (during this same period, Roquat comes to power and Scowleyow begins to train his army), after which she would be free once more to utilize her powers. It may have been thought that by then she would have changed her ways, and for a time she may have. What causes her to return to black magic is not known. Her actions in The Purple Prince of Oz indicate that she grew bitter and harsh, but there seem to be other aspects of Pumperdink that exacerbate her actions in that story.
Sister: No mention is made of Falingo, Faleero's fairy sister, and it may be that she later joined Faleero.