[I'm sure this was never meant to be. Oh well.]

Storytime! The Flower Fairies

Perhaps, Izzy thought, she shouldn't have mentioned it, even as a passing fancy. Outside, the rashest of ideas tended to become reified in the most alarming way, and this one had already gone too far to be stopped. The words and music had appeared in the storybook the very next day, and obligingly presented themselves for inspection every time she opened it. The temptation was becoming irresistible.

All she had to do was find someone to play the music. The Second Doctor was a demon with the recorder, of course, and Jamie was a skilled piper; but she was hardly going to let either of them in, even under her supervision. The same went for the Seventh Doctor and his spoons, and doubly so for anyone even remotely connected with I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue.

Then another idea blossomed in her mind.

"Gotcha," she said.

- * -

Harry Saxon looked at the storybook, which was already open at Izzy's — or the book's — chosen page.

"Flower fairies?" he asked with disgust.

"I'm sure you'll make the best of it."

The Master took another look at the illustration, and his expression changed.

"Aha," he said. "And in musical form, too? I can't deny that this has ... possibilities."

"That's what I thought, too. So as soon as the band arrives, we can start."

In a few seconds, the air glowed, and Captain Picard, Commander Riker and Lt Commander Data materialised, holding - respectively - a flute, a trombone, and a violin.

"How good of you to come," Izzy said. "Children, please give the musicians some space. Gentlemen, are you all happy with your parts?"

The three Starfleet officers nodded.

"Then," Izzy continued with some satisfaction, "Hit it, maestro. The Book will do the rest."

[Music: The Mystery Science Theater theme.]

Izzy and the Master [singing] :
In a town that we'll call Nameless,
Somewhere in Story Space,
The Master and Izzy Somebody
Created a magic place.

[Story Space. A large meadow, bathed in spring sunlight. Fluffy bunnies hop to and fro.]

If you tell stories that aren't quite right,
That's not a move that we think is bright;
Because should you try any clever tricks,
This is where we'll end up sending you so you can get your kicks.

We brought in lovely flowers,
The nicest we could get (lalala)
And planted thickets here and there
So the meadow's prettier yet. (lalala)

[Wild flowers bloom all over the meadow.]

Now if we leave the flowers alone
They'll come to nasty ends (lalala)
So in order to look after them
We'll give them fairy friends.

Fairy roll call:

Fairy Lily!
[Kassia, wearing a blue Trakenite fairy dress and with translucent wings, appears, holding a bunch of lilies. She is about six inches high, as will be all the other fairies.]

Fairy Forget-Me-Not!
[ZoŽ appears. She looks down with no particular favour at her costume, which is the same design as Kassia's but silver and sparkly.]

Fairy Thistle!
[But ZoŽ's displeasure is as nothing to Jamie's horror at his tartan fairy dress...]

Fairy Nightshade!
[... Or the Rani's, at her black leather version.]

And if you wonder how they eat, or fly,
Or other fairy facts, (lalala)
Then repeat to yourself "It's just a tale,
I should really just relax,
For Storytime Flower Fairies 3000!"

Izzy turned over the musicians' sheets. The Master stuffed a handkerchief into his mouth to muffle his laughter.

[The music segues into 'The Lincolnshire Poacher'.]

Fairy Forget-Me-Not [gazes heavenward, realises there's no alternative, and starts to sing] :
When winter first gives way to spring, I plant the little seeds.
I turn the soil with honest toil, and clear the ground of weeds.
It's laid out very logically, with all the plants in a row,
But when the wretched things come up, that isn't how they grow.

[She gives the ground a few desultory pokes with a trowel, trying not to get her hands dirty.]

Fairy Thistle [who has somehow acquited a red bobble hat] :
I mind the small wee growing flowers, I watch them night and day.
The bunnies canna eat them since I keep them all away.
I drive the flying beasties off with knife or with bare hands,
And if there's mildew or blight or rust, I kill it where it stands.

['She' produces a hosepipe, and turns it on a patch of Martian fungus that has suddenly appeared nearby.]

Fairy Nightshade [sprinkling a vile-looking liquid over the plants] :
A fairy of the flowers am I, who flits about the field;
I give my care to the little plants and try to increase their yield.
With fertiliser, magic spells, genetic tricks and more,
I can grow a dozen laburnum trees where there was one before.

[Behind her, crocuses and snowdrops shoot up to seven feet in height and then fall over.]

[An instrumental interlude. The 'fairies' flit through the meadow, pretending to look after the flowers. While doing this they disturb Nyssaias and Embericles, who leap up with little shrieks and adjust their costumes.]

Nyss and Emmy:
At harvest time we make the hay and frolic in the flowers.
It's down the farm away from harm to spend some happy hours.
We try to grace a peaceful place well out of anyone's way;
Then in rain and shine and at other times, you'll find us making hay!

[Fairy Thistle aims 'her' hose threateningly in their direction; they giggle and dive for cover. The other 'fairies' adopt a tight formation centred on Fairy Lily.]

Fairy Lily:
Throughout the year we tend the plants till they are fully grown.
And when they're at their very best I come into my own.
I go and pick the perfect ones, the loveliest I've seen;
Then I make up pretty posies for the wretched and the mean.

[The other three 'fairies' all give handfuls of their signature flowers to her; she arranges them in a neat bunch, and lays them at the feet of a garden gnome. As she flies away, the gnome's eyes briefly glow red.]

[Coda: To the tune of 'Rule Britannia'.]

All fairies:
Izzy Someone! We know that this is you!
If you try this stunt again, fear what we'll do!

[The cast poses for a final bow; then fade to black.]

ZoŽ's voice:
Oh, Jamie! Mind where you're pointing that thing!

Jamie's voice:

- * -

"Thank you, Captain," said Izzy, escorting her musicians to the door. "And all of you, of course."

"My pleasure," Picard replied. "Though I hope you won't be needing us again too soon. I'm never very comfortable around children."

"Oh, if little Victoria had her way you'd be playing every day. But I think once will be enough for the Master to take the hint—" Izzy suddenly swung round. "Sorry, must dash. Donna! Let go of Adam at once!"

She hurried back inside. Picard shrugged, and tapped his commbadge.

"Picard to Enterprise," he said. "Three to beam up."

"Captain," Data remarked.

"What is it, Mr. Data?"

The transporter effect was already shimmering around them as Data explained.

"Captain, I am reasonably certain that before we arrived in the nursery, we did not have a large number of iridescent stickers affixed to our shoes or uniforms..."

Acknowledgements / Author's Notes

I think, on the list of things I never expected to write, "verse about flower fairies" comes quite high.

John Elliott