By Elena Kefalogianni
Zack lives on a small farm in rural Nebraska with his father, Scott. Chickens run around freely, horses eat hay in the stable, pigs roll in the mud, and cows “moo”. The summer sun shines on Zack’s black eyes and warms his skin. Zack watches Scott milk Tunia, the mommy cow, who has a pink bow on her head. Tunia sees Zack and licks his face; Zack giggles. Scott carries the buckets of fresh milk inside the house and into the kitchen. Today he’s going to make cheese pie from the older milk that he has stored for cheesemaking.
“Mommy Tunia, you remind me of my mommy, Marie. Daddy said she got really sick one day, but that her presence lives with us in our flower garden,” says Zack.
“Moo,” says Tunia.
“Will you take me to see the flowers?” asks Zack. Tunia lowers herself to the ground, and Zack hops on her back.
Behind the stable, there is a flower garden full of purple poppies. Tunia lowers Zack down, and he starts to smell the poppies.
“Do you like them, Tunia? They were mommy’s,” says Zack, and Tunia nods.
“Zack, come inside; dinner is ready,” calls Scott to Zack from the kitchen window.
“Bye, Tunia,” says Zack and then runs to the house.
He sits on the chair and stares at his plate. His tummy is growling.
“Eat,” says Scott. “This pie is from Tunia’s milk that has turned into cheese.”
Zack touches his stomach. He drinks his orange juice. “I’m not hungry, Daddy.”
“You need calcium to grow,” says Scott.
“But my tummy hurts when I eat it,” says Zack. “I want Mommy.”
“If you’re not going to eat again, go to your room,” says Scott, and Zack walks away with tears in his eyes.
“That’s not nice!” Scott drops his fork when he hears a voice.
“What did you say? Zack?” Scott starts looking around.
“I said that’s not nice!” Scotts hears the voice again coming out of his plate. He lowers his eyelids.
“Who is this?” Suddenly, Scott sees his cheese pie moving. “Oh, my God! Help, help!” he yells and starts smashing the cheese pie with his hand.
“Wow, you almost got me there,” says a voice. A fairy emerges dressed in blue and with shiny orange wings.
Scott pushes his plate away. “Who are you?” he asks, looking at the fairy in disbelief.
“I’m the Foodfairy! I help parents who have kids with food intolerances,” says the Foodfairy.
“And, are you really magical?” asks Scott.
“Then bring Marie back. That’s all we need,” says Scott pointing at his wife’s picture on the wall.
“I’m sorry; I don’t have the power to do that. That’s not what I’m here for,” says the Foodfairy.
Scott gets up. “Then what are you here for?”
“To help you with Zack and his lactose intolerance,” says the Foodfairy and takes out her rainbow magic wand. Scott stares at it. “See, my magic wand has colours from all kinds of food.”
“What are you talking about? I don’t need your help with my son. Go away,” says Scott.
“Oh, yes, you do. Yes, you do,” says the Foodfairy.
Scott opens the window. “Leave.”
“You need my help because Zack can’t have dairy products. He’s lactose intolerant, which means he can’t digest the lactose in Tunia’s milk,” says the Foodfairy.
“You don’t know Zack; he’s a naughty boy who doesn’t eat his food. He’s been naughty since we lost Marie,” says Scott.
“That’s not true. Zack is sad that he lost his mother, but he has you, the farm, and Tunia. If you made his food lactose free, his tummy wouldn’t hurt, and he would eat again.” The Foodfairy flies off the kitchen window to the farm and lands next to Tunia. “Come on, follow me.”
Scott runs behind the Foodfairy. The Foodfairy takes out her magic wand, taps it on Tunia’s back three times, and a slice of cheese appears. Scott’s mouth drops. “Now that is lactose-free cheese, and Zack can eat it.”
Scott takes the cheese from the Foodfairy’s hand. “And how am I supposed to do that without your magic?”
“Oh, that’s easy. There’s a process for taking out lactose from milk. Just follow the directions in this book,” says the Foodfairy throwing her magic wand in the air to make a book appear.
The book lands on Scott’s hand. “I don’t understand. Are you going to leave me?”
“Yes, I have to go help someone else now.” The Foodfairy starts to fly away. “You’re a good father, Scott; go find Zack now.”
The Foodfairy disappears, and Scott returns home, holding the slice of cheese. He goes upstairs to Zack’s room and knocks.
“Hello, Zack, are you there?” Scott enters the room and finds Zack’s head buried to the pillow. “Hey, buddy. Can I talk to you?”
“Daddy, I can’t eat Tunia’s food anymore. It makes me sick. I’m not lying,” Zack cries.
“I know Zack… I should have believed you the first time you told me. I’m sorry.” Scott hugs him. “Look, I used a process to take out lactose from Tunia’s milk; that’s what upsets your stomach.” Scott shows Zack the slice of cheese.
“Did you hurt her, daddy? Please don’t hurt her; I love her.” Zack looks into Scott’s eyes.
“Of course not. Someone helped me do it,” says Scott and gives Zack the cheese.
Zack looks at the slice of cheese. He hesitates. He slowly takes a bite, then gobbles the rest. “That’s delicious!” says Zack.
“I promise eating dairy won’t be painful anymore,” says Scott.
Zack jumps out of his bed. “Can I eat ice-cream like all the other kids now?”
“Yes! Should we make some?” asks Scott.
Zack nods. “Vanilla and strawberry, please.”
Zack and Scott head downstairs into the kitchen and find a big ice-creamer maker sitting in the middle of the kitchen counter. It’s wrapped in an orange bow just like the Foodfairy’s wings.- Total nr. of readings: 7,310 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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