When the Faery was younger, she was obsessed with rocks. I was constantly finding little stones in her pockets - or the bottom of the washing machine. Everywhere we walked, she had to stop and inspect any potentially interesting stone or rock that crossed her path. Often, the ones she selected were nothing more than broken pieces of cement, but she'd insist on adding them to her collection nonetheless.
Three months before we moved to Los Angeles, it was her fourth Christmas. My sister-in-law gave her a small pouch that was filled with tumbled gemstones and crystals, and carefully explained the properties of each stone. The Faery listened carefully as her aunt told her that when she feels sad, holding the rose quartz could help her feel better because it can help with depression.
Since then, she's always kept her gemstones tucked away in a safe place and - on occasion, when she's been upset about something - I've found her clutching the rose quartz.
Last week, as Miss Pie was having a particularly horrendous meltdown, I heard the door to the girls' closet bang, then the Faery emerged with her rose quartz and placed it into Miss Pie's hands.
Miss Pie stopped howling, instantly. After all, no one had ever handed her a pretty pink stone before. In fact, she's usually discouraged from playing with small stones - this is the same kid who has lodged sultanas up her nostril, after all. I had good reason to limit her access to such small items.
The Faery's eyes just about popped out of her head. "Why is the stone so magic, Mum? Look! I gave it to her, and she stopped crying straight away!"
I didn't have it in me to explain the most likely reason why she'd stopped crying was simply because she'd never been handed something like that to actually hold before; that it was probably more to do with the novelty factor than any sweet act of thoughtfulness on the Faery's behalf.
This wasn't the first time she'd pulled out the rose quartz for someone else - last year when J found out about the unexpected death of an old friend, the Faery fetched her pink stone for him to hold. It was the one of the sweetest gestures I think I've ever witnessed.
This amazing little soul... where did she come from?