The Toilet Paper Fairy

The Gunndersons seemed like a regular family. They fought over the best seat, cried over their split milk and laughed over any unexpected sounds or smells. It wasn’t until one day, on a Monday that Courtney, the youngest of the Gundunderson gang, realised her family was not what they seemed. 

The Toilet Paper Fairy

by Jules de Jongh

Season 2 Episode 28

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea:  I’m nearly there, just putting the milk in my tea! (off shot then approach) Oh I am ever so sorry to keep you. Hopefully my neighbour Jules will be here with our story any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  And there she is, what a timely teller of tales. I’m assuming that is her but one should never assume. Hello? Who is it?

Jules:  Hello Nanny Bea, it’s your neighbour Jules with a story.

Nanny Bea:  Just as I suspected! Come in dear, come, come.

Jules:  Why thank you Nanny Bea. I was just admiring your Monkey Puzzle Tree. It sure has grown.

Nanny Bea:  Yes indeed, and to think it was but a seed not that long ago.

Jules:  That reminds Nanny Bea, I must tell all our listening friends about Story Seeds. If you have an idea about a story, send it to us at and we’ll see if we can grow that into a full sized tale to air on the show. Speaking of tales, are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please.

Jules:  Okay then, The Toilet Paper Fairy, adapted for radio

The Gunndersons seemed like a regular family. They fought over the best seat, cried over their split milk and laughed over any unexpected sounds or smells. It wasn’t until one day, on a Monday that Courtney, the youngest of the Gundunderson gang, realised her family was not what they seemed. Her not so regular family had a secret that she didn’t even know they had until this very day during her Spanish lesson. Mrs Guttierez was practically teaching Spanish, by that I don’t mean almost teaching Spanish, no she was completely teaching Spanish just in a practical kind of way. Today’s lesson was on household chores, los quehaceres domesticos and the students, to their surprise, had a lot of work to do.

Instead of sitting at desks while the teacher was standing at the white board, Mrs Guttierez invited the class to stand and to follow her all the way out the door, down the hall and into the teacher’s lounge. A sacred place, few had entered. The students stood in silent anticipation of the excitement ahead. They scanned the room with it’s bubbling black coffee and half eaten cake. There were stiff chairs at tables and squishy ones around the edges with two members of staff occupying them. Ms Furby, the overly eager biology teacher and Mr Stearn, the less than friendly groundskeeper. Who both popped upright at the sight of the children and darted through the door as if they had urgent business to attend to, of which neither did.

Mrs Guttieriz stood in front of the  counter, her wide sides disguised what was behind, until ta da! She stepped away announcing their task for today. Do you remember, it was household chores, los quehaceres domesticos. Chores like washing dirty dishes and ironing clean laundry. Two piles of suitable subjects lay there on the countertop. Now some might say Mrs G was taking advantage of her students having them do her personal household chores but no one knew how to, in Spanish that is and that’s all they were allowed to speak in her lessons. 

Courtney kept up with the best of them, she’d washed a dish before, she’d ironed a skirt or shirt on occasion, usually at the last minute and very poorly so that her mother would swoop in saying something like, ‘Oh, give me that, or we’ll be late to the…’ insert here wherever they were going.

Once the dishes were done and the laundry as well, Mrs Guttierez had more plans for her practically willing pupils, now calling on them one at a time as they moved across the room and into the washroom. 

Ricco was the lucky first choice. He was to clean the mirror, and he did so leaving a trail of Dorito residue wherever he wiped. How he had Dorito fingers so early in the day no one was certain but the smell of not quite cheese and the sight of neon orange dusted fingers left no doubt, the lad had had a bag of big D’s. 

Next to be chosen was Josh, a boy who preferred pencils to playdough and science lessons to the sand box. He was a tidy lad, and that is probably why he was the one instructed to polish the door knob, polish the taps. Basically to wipe up Ricco’s trail that led to his mirror trail which Mrs G would have to discreetly clean again later so as not to discourage the boy.

Courtnay was busy not paying attention when Mrs G called on her with the next task, ‘Courtney Gunderson,’ she said a little louder than she needed to, to snap Courtney back to attention. Then she added, ‘Cambiar el papel de bano, por favour.’ Courtney just looked blankly at her teacher. Mrs Guttierez repeated her request one…bit…at…a…time. Cambiar…el….papel de bano. Courtney’s face did not change. Now it was Mrs G’s rule to only speak in Spanish but you could see this rule was becoming less appealing as she said each word followed by comprende. Cambiar? Comprende? Courtney was getting a bit embarrassed. Mrs G nodded encouragingly. Courtney replied, ‘Change?’ 

‘Si, si, si,’ the teacher replied quickly, then offered the next part, ‘el, comprende?’ again she nodded enthusiastically  for Courtney to reply and she did. ‘The.’

‘Si, si,si’ they were getting close, not wanting to ruin this winning streak, Mrs G carefully said the most complicated part like she was trying to run in taffy, ‘papel de bano.’ 

Courtney stopped her pain by saying, ‘toilet paper.’

‘Si, si, si’ Mrs G said with excitement.

‘Yes, yes, yes’ Courtney replied with confusion. ‘Change the toilet paper, change the toilet paper,’ she said to be clear she’d heard correctly. ‘What do you mean by ‘change the toilet paper’? The class laughed  the bell rang and Mrs. G gave up. ‘Vamanos, vamanos,’ she said ushering them out of the teachers lounge and into the hallway, where they scattered like marbles poured out on a wood floor.   

Courtney laughed with her friends as they said things like, ‘Good one!’’ You really had her going’ and ‘Way to wind up Mrs G.’ Courtney had no idea what they were talking about but she smiled all the same.

That afternoon when she finally got home she decided to start an investigation into the mystery of the changing of toilet paper. She went into the downstairs bathroom and unravelled to the very end of the roll. Then she did her homework, washing her hands in between of course. Less than 45 minutes later she returned to the scene of the crime, a crime against the planet, wasting all that paper but she had to know. Courtney opened the bathroom door, walked over to where the toilet paper was meant to be and , ‘Huh!’ It was completely restored, a big hunk of pillowy chunks were there in the place of the bare roll she’d left behind. Courtney couldn’t bring herself to unroll a full roll, ‘What about the planet? She thought. This mystery was going to take some time to unravel, but Courtney had time, reams of it.

She started a diary and logged each time she could justify using the rest of the roll at home. She’d use it, then go back to find it restored, use it again, and again it would be restored.

Courtney’s investigation was getting her nowhere until one day, with diary in hand, Courtney walked out of the bathroom as Mother walked in. She must’ve seen the empty roll as Mother shouted back, ‘Who do you think I am, the toilet paper fairy?’ Courtney gasped, finally understanding, the mystery solved at last. How could she have lived all these 6 years without ever realising the truth. The empty toilet paper roll was replaced each time by their very own..’Toilet Paper Fairy!’ A secret Courtney has not shared with a soul to this very day.

The End

Nanny Bea: Oh thank you Jules. You know I have my very own Loo Roll Fairy, much like the Toilet Paper Fairy only she loads the roll with the last piece hanging over the front.

Jules:  Ah very good Nanny Bea, I get it, ‘cause in England you put the paper on with a bit hanging over and in America we put it on hanging under. 

Nanny Bea:  Well that is for the fairies to decide. Who am I to instruct a fairy otherwise. 

Jules:  Yes, of course. Um, I have never, told a fairy to do anything, at all.

Nanny Bea:  And I’d advise you to maintain that stance, the last thing you want to do is anger a fairy. They may be small but they are very persistent. They will be listening you know, they hear every word.

Jules:  Well then I’d better invite them back.

Thomas:  Go to

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our stories and how you can take part in the show. You can like or follow us on iTunes or Spotify to get a reminder and come back next week with more Tales and Tea.

[Be on the Show jingle]

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