Birthday Story for a Nine-Year-Old

Sophia and the Enchanted Hour
Granny B
Happy Birthday Sophia. I love you so. 
You asked me for a story with a unicorn in it so here it is.

            Early one Sunday evening at grandma’s house, Sophia’s parents were busy talking to her aunts and uncles while her brothers wrestled with their cousins on the play room floor. Sophia sighed. Then she noticed her grandma winking at her from across the room and motioning her outside onto the desk.
            “Before the sky grows dark there is an enchanted hour,” Sophia’s grandmother whispered as they stood silhouetted against the sunset. “Before the sky fills with moon and stars, there is a time called blue dark. That is the bewitching hour between daylight and night when all the mystical creatures are about. If you are quiet and don’t scare them away, you might be lucky enough to see one someday. They don’t come to noisy insufferable children. That is why I think one might come to you. They only appear when they sense a soft, kind heart.”
            Then Sophia’s grandma walked back into the house and left her alone on the deck. Sophia noticed the giant pine trees that lined her grandparent’s property and the way they swayed in the gentle breeze. Then suddenly she noticed a flickering light behind the old barn. Sophia was usually too scared to walk down the lane alone to the barn by herself; but that night her curiosity drew her down the stairs, across the lawn and down the rock path.
Just as Sophia stepped around the back of the barn, she saw a shining white unicorn shaking its head and rising up on its back legs. Sophia was startled but she wasn’t scared. She felt like she was in a dream. She had wanted to see a unicorn her whole life and her wish had finally come true. Then the unicorn walked toward Sophia and nuzzled next to her. Sophia placed her arm around the neck of the unicorn and stroked its glowing mane. Then the unicorn knelt down low enough for Sophia to climb onto its back and wrap her arms around its neck.
            Then the unicorn spread its wings and flew into the blue dark sky. Sophia saw her grandparent’s barn drop beneath her. Suddenly she was flying through the clouds as stars sparkled all around her. Sophia let go of the unicorn’s mane. Then she spread her arms wide as every scared thought flew out of her head and brave thoughts filled her heart like gentle doves.
            Then these words filled her mind, “I am amazing. I am strong.  I am beautiful. I am loved. I am a daughter of God.”
            Suddenly Sophia found herself lying on her back in the pasture behind the barn as if she were waking up from a dream. She looked up at the stars as the gentle wind caressed her face and the long slender blades of grass tickled her cheeks. Just when she thought the magic was over she glanced up and saw a shooting star in the form of a white unicorn with a flowing mane blazing across the night sky.
            When Sophia walked back toward her grandparent’s house that night, she saw her grandma standing on the deck waiting for her. After she climbed the stairs, her grandma gave her a great big hug.
            “I saw . . . ,” Sophia whispered excitedly in her grandmother’s ear.
            “You are amazing. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are a daughter of God,” her grandmother whispered.
            “You saw too?”
            Grandma winked.
“And you know dear,” her grandma answered, “there is no telling what will happen tomorrow and tomorrow if you can believe.”