Legal Widow

Liability announced to us over breakfast that she would henceforth like to be known as Fairy Periwinkle. She was wearing her fairy outfit at the time, having insisted since Christmas that no other clothes would do, even with snow on the ground. She has been turning up at children’s houses with blue legs and chicken-skin arms, and the other little girls look at her in envy because no other mother would be soft enough to let them get away with it.
We all looked at her bleakly at this announcement and Deminimus snorted into his cornflakes. “Fairy Periwinkle will be a force for good in the world,” said Fairy Periwinkle. The Lawyer started a lecture on how you can’t get your moral guidance, let alone your identity, from the local pantomime. “Oh yes you can,” she shouted back. “Oh no you can’t…” began the Lawyer, but Fairy stuck her tongue out, burst into tears and stained her gauze bodice.
I warned the family to lay off her, as opposition will only make her worse, and we have only to wait until term begins for Finbar, the Curse of Reception, to begin a fairy cull to scare her out of it.
In the meantime, Fairy Periwinkle started her campaign for world peace by cutting up our credit cards. This is perhaps no bad thing, as the Lawyer was phoned three times over the holiday period by the credit company asking whether his cards had been stolen. Apparently, his spending patterns matched those of a crazed pickpocket who knows he has half an hour to run up to the maximum limit before the tills close down on him.
Fairy Periwinkle then threw out all of Subjudice’s raunchy new clothes – off-the-shoulder tops, front-split jeans etc – and smashed Deminimus’s Christmas presents, all weapons of some sort designed to inflict maximum destruction on the world. I was appalled to find I hadn’t given him even one developmental toy, but, as he explained to me, an education in modern warfare can set a young man up for life nowadays. I wonder if I should ban television news bulletins? It’s not all bad, however: inspired by the end of year reruns of Foot-and-Mouth, he built a small pyre of broken plastic weaponry in the garden and set a light to it, giving us all hours of fun as we watched the black fumes drift across on to next door’s newly painted white rendering.
For the next few days, Fairy Periwinkle refused to answer to any other name and wouldn’t walk about the house so much as flutter. Her resolve didn’t waver, even after days of being taunted as ‘Fairy Liquid’, ‘hairy fairy’ and the like, and having her wings clipped by a vengeful Subjudice, who was unable to restock her wardrobe owing to a lack of credit cards in the house. Fairy Periwinkle took to fluttering mournfully about the house, displaying her broken wings and asking people to clap their hands so that she wouldn’t expire.
The Lawyer decided to take the matter in hand and took her to see Lord Of The Rings, even though she’s way below the advisory age. “It’s good, Anglo-Saxon fantasy,” he explained. “Elves and dwarves, and trolls and warriors and wizards. None of your foreign fairies there. Should scare the whole thing out of her.”
I should say it did. She came home in shocked silence and cut off her fairy wings that night. The next morning, at breakfast, she came down wearing a holly wreath she’d taken off the front door.
“My name is Galadriel,” she began.