This is a true story about Frances, age nine, who saw
fairies by the waterfall behind her house.
They were tiny men, dressed all in green. Nobody but Frances
saw them, but when she told her cousin Elsie and their parents, the adults teased
them in a most annoying way.
Why not take a photograph? Elsie (who was fifteen) had the
idea. She would paint paper fairies and take their picture with Frances, and
none would be the wiser.
The girls never meant to fool the world. They only took the
photo so the grown-ups would stop teasing them. Who could have imagined that
Elsie’s photograph would fall into the hands of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator
of the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes? Or that Sir Arthur, like
Frances, believed in fairies…and longed to see one?
In a wry feat of narrative nonfiction, reporter Mary Losure
tells the remarkable tale of “two amiable adventuresses” that is almost—but not
quite—too good to be true.
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