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While thinking about some old kids stories by Edith Nesbit and Enid Blyton, I half-recalled a fragment of a story where a character had some ointment that made them grow red wings. At one point, an antagonist was jealous of those wings and cut them off. To solve this, some other ointment was somehow procured and the character grew much stronger, un-cut-off-able yellow and blue wings! At least that's how I remember it.

I can't remember if this was a written story or a movie / TV show- I can see the colours of the wings in my head but that might simply be down to a rather active imagination as a child!

What it isn't:

The latter of the above examples reminded me of another Nesbit book, where a magical creature granted wishes, one of which involved wings, but it wasn't that either!

Searching turns up the examples above and some other irrelevant results about a Michigan-based hockey team. What could it be?

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  • Seems to be a lot of children's books about characters growing red wings. I know of one titled "The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings". The character's wish did not turn out happily. Published in 1978, I believe. Nov 14, 2023 at 20:26
  • @StanleyWebb I didn't find that one! The phrase "red wings" is a definite confounder when searching
    – bertieb
    Nov 14, 2023 at 20:42

1 Answer 1

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The Wishing Chair Series

wishing chair cover

(cover† used on the Wikipedia page, which claims fair use via Enid Blyton society)

You might be picturing a human character getting wings, or possibly a creature (like a caterpillar) having ointment rubbed on it to grow them. However, the 'character' that grows wings is actually the titular Wishing Chair of the book series by Enid Blyton:

Mollie and Peter, searching for a birthday present for their mother, find a mysterious antiques shop which appears to be run by fairy folk. There, they find a magic Wishing-Chair with the power to grow wings and fly.

The incident in question happens in the second novel, The Wishing-Chair Again:

It's the first day of the summer holidays and Peter and Mollie are dying to go on more adventures with their Wishing-Chair. Peter inadvertently asks to go to the land of "Goodness-Knows-Where", but in the process of going there the Wishing-Chair is stolen. They eventually get it back and a few days later, the Wishing-Chair only grows three wings. They end up in the Land of Slipperies and when Peter offends one of them, they retaliate by chopping all the chair's wings off, so they get some ointment which grows the wings back.

The book series is known for a pixie with a rather unfortunate name, renamed to Binky in modern printings.

This series has also been suggested for a story about two kids (brother and sister) going to faraway places and befriending a small creature.


†: As a side note, I recall a slightly different cover with a similar dark blue background and town scene with the chair in flight but viewed from slightly above rather than below, and without the distinctively red wings.

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