“My dear fellow!” answered the egg.
“I thought I had lost you. I am sorry.”
“My dear fellow, no apologies are needed. The little girl picked me up and returned me to the tree. She was very sorry to deprive you of your hat, so she gave it to me for safe keeping since it was obviously important. As our dear friend the glittery egg says, the little girl will always take care of us and she will never forget us.”
“But how did you learn the song?”
“Oh, there was a little carol concert in the sitting room this afternoon. We learnt the tune from that and luckily we had the words on the hat that you so resourcefully made.”
“And the sparkly notes at the end?”
“Oh,” said the fairy, “that was me.”
“But you only heard it once?”
“I have a very good memory,” said the fairy in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Are you sure that wasn’t magic?” asked the rat.
“Perhaps it was,” said the fairy doubtfully.
“My dear fellow,” said the egg, “after today’s events, I am still not sure what magic is. So many unusual things have happened.”
“Perhaps,” said the rat shyly, “we could sing it again. I would very much like to join in.”
“By all means,” said the egg. “I expect you will need to sing from the words. Please do come up and take your hat.”
So the exhausted and happy rat climbed up the tree, took his hat, unfolded it, and the choir began their beautiful song once again. There was the egg, heartily singing the tune with the glittery egg, the rat beside him, carefully holding the words in one paw, quietly singing in his thin creaky voice, and there was the fairy, happily singing her soaring descant.
None of them noticed that the door was slightly ajar, and the little girl was peeping through. She knew better than to disturb them, so she watched for a while, and when the song ended, she blew them a kiss, and crept quietly away to bed. For if she told what she had seen, no-one would believe her.