The Homework Fairy

The Homework Fairy

A Story by bailish

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a fairy that helped students who had trouble with their homework?


"Billy!  It's time to do your homework!"  shouted Mrs. Watson from the doorway.  Tired and frustrated, she was still wearing her nurse's uniform, having just arrived home.  The sun was low in the sky, and she had to cup her hand over her eyes to pick out which of the children was hers.

"How does she know the worst time to call every day?" thought Billy to himself.  It always seemed to come at the middle of a fun game with his friends.  But this black-haired boy of 10 knew that disobeying his mother, even for a short time, could have serious ramifications.  "Coming!" he shouted back as he ran off and continued playing.

"Honestly," remarked his mother to no one in particular.  "Sometimes I think he just tries to make me angry."  And she went inside.

She entered the kitchen and started cooking dinner.  As the food was warming up, she started straightening the living room, picking up clothes from various places and throwing them in the washing machine.  Then she turned on the water to the washing machine.  She had obviously done this many times, and she had her routine down.

Shortly after that, Billy came running in through the door, wearing his baseball cap.  He sat down at the kitchen table and pulled out his books.  He opened them and started working on some things, but quickly it became clear from his fidgeting that he didn't know how to do the next problem.  "Mom, can you help me with this?"

"Billy, I've told you a hundred times I just don't have the time to do your homework for you."
"But I don't know how to do it."
"That's enough of that.  I barely have time to make enough money and take care of you without worrying about your homework, too.  Ever since your father left I've been unable to do anything else but work."

It was a constant theme that his mother had said on many occasions, so often that Billy worried that she was going to leave him, too.

After a while, he took off his cap and was about to throw it on the sofa, but an immediate stern look from his mother stopped him in his tracks.  Instead, he put it back on his head and headed to his room with his books.

A few minutes later, he passed through the living room on his way to the kitchen, but this time without his cap and books.  He sat at the dining table, but then promptly got up, went to the cabinet, and set the table for two people.  Then he sat back down, and his mother brought the pans of food to the table.  Billy relished the smell of her cooking.  He often felt it smelled much better than it tasted, but he already knew better than to say the truth.  No matter what he said, his mother would find something wrong with it.  They served themselves and ate in silence.

Next morning in class, Miss Freeman, the math teacher, asked all the students to pass their homework forward.  Everyone smiled and talked as they passed up their papers, all except Billy.  He wanted to avoid this, but there was no other way.  He resignedly passed his almost blank paper forward with the others.

Later, at the end of class, Miss Freeman called out each student's name to come get their marked paper.  When Billy came up, he expected a disapproving look, but instead, she had the kindest smile on her face for him.  He was confused, but took his paper without looking at it.  When he got back to his seat, he saw his paper was completed with the correct answers, and he had a perfect score.  He looked at all the letters and numbers carefully, and was sure they were all in his own handwriting.  He was completely baffled how this could have happened, since he was sure he hadn't done them.

When break time came, instead of playing with his friends, he looked over his paper again, checking whether he understood how to do them.  He kept looking them over again and again until finally he started to understand how to do the problems.

That evening, he was at his home doing his homework.  Suddenly, he gave a small cry of frustration.  "Argh!  Why can I not do the things that the other kids can do?  How do you do these things?"

But at that moment, a small burst of light came out from under his book.  He cautiously lifted the cover, and there, lo and behold, was a beautiful, miniature girl with wings.  Billy couldn't believe his eyes.  He thought he must be dreaming.  But then he heard, "Thank you!" in a very small voice, as she dusted herself off.

"You're ... welcome, I guess."  Billy was confused, and responded more out of  reflex rather than thoughtfulness.  "Who are you?  What are you?"
"I'm a fairy, obviously.  You can call me Esther.  Haven't you read any books about fairies before?"
"Yes, but I've never seen one before.  I mean, you're real!"
"Of course I'm real!  Now what seems to be the problem?"  And with that, the fairy looked at his page of homework.  "Oh, here.  When you add fractions, you're supposed to do it this way."  And she proceeded to show Billy how to add the two fractions.  Billy forgot all about her being a fairy as he was learning how to do his homework.


"There we go.  All done.  Do you understand it now?" asked the fairy.
"Sure!" answered Billy, with a sense of accomplishment in his voice.  But then the quizzical look returned to his face.  "Say, who are you, anyway?"
"Oh, I knew you were having problems on your homework, but you had a good attitude."  the fairy cleverly replied to avoid answering the question.  "Some people just need a little extra teaching to understand what the other students do.  If you don't understand something, then it makes it more difficult next time."
Billy became more suspicious.  "Where'd you come from?"
And with that, the fairy waved her tiny wand and disappeared.
Billy was as shocked as when she arrived.  "Where'd you go?  Come back!"  He became nervous.  Will she come back again, Billy wondered.


The next day at school, when Miss Freeman returned the papers, she said to Billy loud enough for the others to hear, "This is excellent, Billy!  Keep up the good work."  Billy beamed as he returned to his seat.  Now he knew that he could do the work that the other students could.  But he was rather sad too, for he knew Esther wouldn't be coming to help him again.

After the students left, Miss Freeman sat down at her desk and started to write some reports.  Suddenly, a burst of light came out of her desk drawer.  She opened the drawer.   "Hello, Esther."
"Hello, Miss Freeman." the tiny fairy answered.
"Thank you for helping Billy.  His attitude sure has improved."
"That's my job.  Anything else for me to do?"
Miss Freeman started shuffling some papers.  "Yes, there is.  I was wondering if you could help out this girl.  Her name is Lily."
"Say no more, Miss Freeman."  And she gave another wave of her wand, and was off.

Miss Freeman smiled, knowing she was helping students achieve their potential.

© 2008 bailish

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Wish there were more teachers, like your Miss Freeman. Making a huge difference to kids, in need of help. Whether they have learning disabilities or just grasping the concepts presented to them. Thank you, for sharing this very sweet short story with us.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Short and sweet. If only I'd had a little magical intervention in elementary school...perhaps I wouldn't have always been in trouble for my consistently exploding science projects. Congratulations on the contest win.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Bravo - excellent depiction of light fantasy in a real setting. I think your characters acted exactly as they would have in real life (except I imagine that a real boy would be more curious about his fairy teacher than his homework in the beginning)... good job with not over-doing the fairy's part. :)

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Awwww, I really like this story and I am going to share it with my nine year old who is starting third grade this year. It was a fun read, light and very captivating. Thank you for becoming a new friend of mine, cheers, lea

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ho ho ho. I love it! I wish there was someone to help me at times too.. :]

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I absolutely love this story! I'm going to be a teacher one day, myself! I want a fairy like Esther. Where can I find one? :-)

This is such a sweet story and I love the happy ending!

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was a cute story and man do I wish I HAD a homework fairy when it came to doing college math and writing some of my papers. Great story!

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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7 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on July 27, 2008
Last Updated on July 27, 2008



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