Sunday, March 17, 2013


My well-fed black lab, Star, has an intimate relationship with the bread fairy.

What? You don't know the bread fairy? Well, let me tell you a little about her.

The bread fairy makes regular visits to my neighborhood. I have never seen her, so I'm not sure if she is an exceptionally large fairy, or if bread fairies actually travel in small packs.  I'm also not sure about the natural habitat of bread fairies, because I have never encountered one in Colorado before. I'm absolutely sure that the bread fairy lives in the neighborhood where I am living now.

Here's the bread fairy works. Two or three nights a week, right around dusk, the bread fairy flies through my neighborhood, depositing a variety of bread products- bagels, hamburger buns, baguettes. The bread fairy doesn't leave her gifts right out in the open-- instead she tucks them cleverly at the base of trees, under small shrubs, and in the middle of bushes.

Then she takes to the air and waits and watches for friends like Star.

Every night, after dinner, I buckle Star's harness, and off we go, for a two or three mile jaunt through the neighborhood. Star is a lab, with a lot of energy, but I keep the leash relatively short, and I can generally maintain some degree of dignity and decorum. With one exception.

When Star encounters the bread fairy.

Two or three times a week, we are trotting briskly along when all of a sudden Star comes to a dead halt, then begins traveling in a totally different direction, generally at a  much greater rate of speed than we were previously going. She dives into the middle of a bush, or begins digging frantically under a tree.

When that happens, I know Star is having yet another encounter with the bread fairy.

I also know that there is no way I can drag her stubborn, determined, barrel-shaped body away from whatever it is she has just found so I might as well just wait.

Eventually Star emerges. Sometimes she has a piece of bread or half a sandwich. Sometimes it's a hamburger or hot dog bun. Occasionally she comes out with an entire baguette in her mouth. It's not usually totally fresh. But it's not usually moldy either. Instead,  the bread looks to be at about crouton age.

Star joyfully deposits her treasure on the sidewalk. "Look, mom, look what I found!"

And then, if I'm not fast enough, she has a feast, chomping away happily, spewing bread crumbs all over the sidewalk.

And then, when she is finished, we continue our walk.

Star loves the bread fairy.


Joanne said...

What a great story! I have never heard of a bread fairy but love the idea. I wonder what my students would do with this idea for story writing.

Thanks for sharing!

JenniferM said...

Wow, I've never heard of a bread fairy! (Although I guess my parents' yard has one, because my mom has always thrown the bread heels out in the yard for the birds!) It must be so much fun for Star to make these discoveries on your walks!

Stephanie McCabe said...

I love how you tell this story -- a little fantasy with your dog walks! ;)

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Star has it all figured out....good thing the bread fairy seems to make a habit of visiting your neighborhood!

ssurridge said...

My dog often finds what the bread fairy left FOR US in our kitchen. If the fairy leaves the loaf anywhere close to the edge of the counter all we find at the end of the day is the plastic she wrapped it in. Although we've never actually seen what happens to the bread, we can usually guess.

Kay said...

Having had a 100+ lab before, I can just imagine what happens when Star gets a good whiff of the bread fairy. I'm sure it keeps those fairies quite entertained. What a fun story.

elsie said...

Gotta love a bread fairy! Too funny Carol, you've given me a hearty laugh as I imagine the scene. My son has a black lab, so I can visualize this well. Maybe I should tell the story of when he ate a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Beverley Baird said...

Amazing - the bread fairy never visited here!
Star must have quite the nose!
loved you post!

Linda B said...

Those labs have a nose, don't they? Someone is having fun, I guess. I wonder who the bread is for, the birds, or the little creatures that come out at night. When I go out sometimes, the rabbits are out. Nice to have a mystery once in a while.

Carol said...

Thanks for all your comments! I thought of this post when I was out walking with Star this afternoon. I have always walked with my dogs, but I have never encountered anything like this bread thing. Two or three times a week, and never in the same place, my crazy dog finds some kind of bread. It's totally weird. She is shameless when it comes to food, and also eats off the counter, people's plates, etc. We always get the fat dog lecture at the vet!