Just a few feet from the rose bush, Swifty heard the owl's beak clicking at her heels. She wasn't going to make it! Any moment that razor sharp beak was going to find its target and she would be someone's dinner. The fairy closed her eyes, flying blindly, and prayed for a miracle.
Suddenly she heard another screech followed by a thud, like a heavy bag of flour hitting the floor. Swifty's eyes flew open and she chanced a glance over her shoulder. The owl was no longer chasing her, but had changed direction in pursuit of something else. Someone else. Swifty's last glimpse before tumbling into the rose bush was a burst of green glitter and owl feathers.
The exhausted fairy lay in a jumbled heap at the base of the rose bush. Her heart was thumping and her wings hung limp. Sitting up gingerly, she touched her forehead, feeling a lump already forming where she had struck the trunk of the bush in her haphazard flight to safety. She had also grazed her leg on a thorn and she grimaced as she dabbed at the wound with the hem of her skirt.
Outside the hedge, Swifty could hear the owl still screeching and someone shouting. Silently, she crept to the edge of the bush and peered through the green leaves, watching the battle that raged in the evening light. Twice the owl approached the mysterious fairy and attacked and twice the fairy dodged and struck, green glitter filling the night sky. As the owl circled for a third strike, Swifty realized that the fairy wasn't shouting, but laughing.
"Come on, Old Hoot! Surely you've got more in you than that! Ha, ha!"
Wide-eyed she watched as the owl, beak open for attack, dove at the taunting fairy, wings tucked back and talons at the ready. At the last possible moment before impact, the fairy let out a battle cry and threw his hands together. There was an explosion of glitter and suddenly, in his place, was a giant hawk, wings spread and claws splayed. In the collision that followed, the owl let loose an angry hoot as he was thrown backwards, tumbling through the night. The fairy laughed, spun a pirouette and transformed back into his usual self, calling to the retreating bird, "That will teach you to pick on somebody your own size, Old Hoot!"
With a final look at the sky, the fairy turned his attention to the bush from out of which Swifty was peeking. He smiled. Zipping toward the ground, the fairy added a nifty backflip to his descent and landed with a flourish. "You alright in there? That was quite a scare, but you can come out now. Old Hoot won't be back to bother you again." Swifty sighed before crawling out from under the thorny branches. The green-clad fairy offered his hand, raising Swifty to her trembling feet. "Swifty? Is that you?" he asked, surprised.
"Yes, it's me, Dot. You've come to my rescue. Again."