“Papa, how do you know you’re really alive, or that you just think you’re alive and having a death-dream?”
I slowly turned to the back seat and glanced at our two guests, friends of ours from America.
What makes you think of that, honey? I asked.
“Well, you know how when you’re dreaming you don’t realise you’re in a dream? Well, I feel alive, but what if I’m really dead and just dreaming that I’m alive?”
Um .... Well, if you feel and dream, I think you’re alive, I said. The dead don’t dream.
“How do you know?” she asked. A fair point.
Do you remember anything before you were alive, I asked – before you were born?
“Oh yes,” she said agreeably. “I was a fairy then, and was a fairy for many lives, even as far back as the dinosaurs, and I was friends with a Barosaurus.”
Did Barosauruses make good friends? I asked.
“Sure! He followed me around like he was my puppy.”
How long were you a fairy?
"Oh...I don't know."
Just how long you can remember.
She pondered that question a moment. "I only remember being a fairy two thousand times."
I paused a moment. Well, who taught you to be a fairy? Did you go to fairy school?
"No!" she said indignantly. "The fairy-mothers teach you how to be a fairy. A fairy learns from the fairy-mother." She said it as if everyone knew such a thing.
"That's a very good mother."
"Yes. I only go to school when I am human. This is the first time I've been a girl."
So you remember coming to life as a girl here? I asked.
“Yeah ...” She looked thoughtful.
I’m certain you’re alive, I said.