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The Girl Who Reached for the Stars

    retold by Paula Willowmoon

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved the stars. Every night before bed, she gazed out of her bedroom window at the beautiful stars in the sky. She loved how the stars glittered. "Oh, how I wish I could touch just one star." she thought.

One night, she decided to go on a journey to try to touch a star. She braided her hair and tied it with a ribbon to keep it out of her face. She put a piece of bread in her pocket in case she got hungry. Then she took a sugar cube from her mother's tea service and put it in her other pocket because she couldn't resist sugar cubes. She went outside into the night. She walked along a dirt road.

She walked, and she walked, and she walked until she came upon a beautiful old mill. When she looked into the pond by the mill, there were stars floating on the water! It was a warm night, so she emptied her pockets, slipped off her shoes, and jumped into the mill pond to try to touch a star. She paddled, and paddled, and paddled about in the pond, but every time the girl reached out to touch a star on the surface of the pond, it would disappear in a ripple. She climbed out of the pond, squeezed the water out of her clothes and her braid, filled her pockets, put on her shoes, and continued on down the road.

Soon she came upon an ancient forest of thick-trunked trees and dark green moss. In this forest, she saw little faeries dressed in all the colors of the rainbow. They were dancing, so she joined in their dance. The Faeries and the girl held hands and danced, and danced, and danced, until they fell down on the warm, moss-covered ground laughing. The faeries asked the girl, "Why are you up so late, Little One?" She told them, "I want to touch a star." The faeries all giggled. "We can help you." the Faeries said. They told her, "Ride the One with Four Feet to the One with No Feet. Then climb the Stairs with No Steps. Then you will touch a star." The girl gave them the ribbon from her braid and thanked the Faeries.

So the girl set off to find "the One with Four Feet." The girl came to a field. In the field was a stone wall. She walked along the top of the stone wall until she came to a large oak tree. There was a horse tied to the tree. The girl asked the horse, "Why are you tied up here by yourself?"

The horse replied, "I'm waiting for the One who Danced with the Faeries."

"Oh! That is I!" exclaimed the girl. So she untied the gentle horse and rode on the back of the One with Four Feet. The horse galloped and galloped and galloped until he came to the ocean. There he stopped. The girl slid off his back, patted him gently, gave him the sugar cube from her pocket, and thanked him.

Just then, up out of the water jumped a magnificent fish. It was red and had scales that glittered like the stars. "You must be the One with No Feet!" said the girl.

"Yes," said the fish, "jump on my back and I will take you to the Stairs with No Steps."

The girl rode on the fish's back across the ocean. The fish swam, and swam, and swam with the girl on his back until they finally came to a brilliant rainbow. The fish stopped and told the girl, "Be careful climbing up the rainbow. " The girl climbed off the fish's back, gave him her piece of bread, thanked him, and started her climb up the rainbow.

It was very hard to climb the rainbow, for it had no steps. She climbed, and climbed, and climbed up the rainbow. The farther she climbed the colder she got, but she was determined to touch a star. She stopped and looked back down at the Earth. It was so small and so far away. Just as she got up to the top of the rainbow, a shooting star whizzed by. She tried to grab it, but she lost her balance and slid back down the rainbow. It got warmer and warmer as she fell.

Then all she felt was the soft warmth of her own bed. When she opened her eyes, it was daytime, and indeed, she was in her own cozy little bed. She looked down at her hand and opened it. Out shot a glimmer of light and then it was gone. She smiled, for she knew she had touched a star. The End.

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