ORIANNA by Abbie Phillips Walker

girl with bow and mushrooms

Bunny White, one night when the Fairies were holding a revel, peeped out of his window to see the frolic, for Bunny and the Fairies were the best of friends because members of Bunny’s family had for ages drawn the carriage of the Queen.

But tonight Bunny saw a stranger in the midst of the Fairy group, tiny like the others, but very differently dressed, and the Fairies were all listening to what she had to say, rather than making merry, as was their custom.

“Who can she be?” thought Bunny White, and, being a very inquisitive creature, he ran out of his house and over to the carriage of the Fairy Queen to ask her about the little stranger.

“Oh, that is our dear Orianna, the Indian Fairy,” answered the Queen, “and only once in a while does she come to visit us”; and then because Bunny White was so interested the Queen told him all about Orianna.

“You see,” said the Queen, “all children are afraid of Indian dreams, so I had to have a Fairy who would make the Indians kind and loving to the ‘Pale Face,’ as the Indians call the white folk.

“Orianna lives near the Indians in a forest, and when you see a tall tree with an opening at the bottom like the door of a wigwam you may be sure that it is one of Orianna’s homes.

“Did you notice her pretty costume?”

Bunny White told the Queen he had not had a very close view of Orianna, so the Queen told him to run over to the Fairies and see the pretty dress she wore.

Orianna wore the dress of an Indian girl, tiny moccasins on her little feet and two tiny black braids, one over each shoulder, but the thing that attracted Bunny White the most was her wings.

They were not at all like those of the other Fairies. Orianna’s wings were feathers of an eagle.

Her wand, too, was different, for instead of a wand she carried a tiny silver bow and arrow, the tip of the arrow being of gold.

Bunny ran back to the Queen and told her he thought Orianna the very prettiest of all the Fairies. “But what is it that shines so on the tip of the arrow?” she asked.

“Oh, that is the love she shoots straight into the hearts of all the Indians,” replied the Queen.

“Orianna flies up through her tree house to the tallest branch and shoots her love-tipped arrow straight into the heart of all Indians, and so you see the children need never be afraid any more of dreaming of Indians, for all Indians are good and Orianna is always on the lookout from the top of one of her homes, and that is the reason she so seldom comes to visit us.”

Just then Orianna came to bid the Queen good night, and Bunny White ran off to his home, but the next morning he was up bright and early to look for the wigwam trees.

But not one did he find, for the Fairies are very clever, and who ever did find the places where they live; but for all that we know, there are Fairies, and now that Orianna is taking care of the Indians no little boy or girl need ever be afraid of Indian dreams, because the Fairy Queen has given them a Fairy.

THE FROGS AND THE FAIRIES by Abbie Phillips Walker

frogs and fairyes race illustration

In a pond in a dell lived a big family of frogs, and one day when the sun was shining all the young bullfrogs came up out of the water and hopped on the bank. “I think it would be good fun to see what is in the dell beside this pond,” said Billy Bull, who was a young and inquisitive frog.

“What do you fellows say to a lark to-night by the light of the moon?”

“We’ll go, we’ll go, Billy Bull,” said all the other young frogs in chorus.

“Better stay home, better stay home,” croaked old Grandfather Bullfrog from his seat on a stump by the edge of the pond.

“Oh, hear old grandfather croaking!” said Billy Bull; “he never went out of this pond in all his days, and what does he know of the dell?”

“Better stay home, better stay home,” croaked Grandfather Frog.

“You can, Grandfather Frog, if you like, but we young frogs are going for a lark tonight, and when we come back we will tell you what is in the dell,” said Billy Bull.

That night when the moon was up and shining through the trees, out of the pond leaped all the young froggies.

“Better stay home, better stay home,” croaked Grandfather Frog from his seat on the stump, but the young froggies only laughed as grandfather’s warning followed them through the dell—”Better stay home, better stay home.”

It happened that the Fairies were holding a party that night, and when Billy Bull and all the other young frogs hopped and leaped into the middle of the dell they saw the bright lights of the fireflies’ lanterns.

“Looks to me like all the fireflies in the world had gathered for us to feast on,” said Billy Bull. “What luck for us.”

Away off they could still hear Grandfather Frog croaking his warning: “Better stay home, better stay home.” But it was no warning to the young froggies; they only saw the fireflies and the feast in store for them.

The froggies had never seen the Fairies before and they thought they, too, were little insects, so, without stopping to think or look closer into the midst of the Fairy revel, in leaped Billy Bull and all his cousins.

But the Fairies were as quick as the frogs, and no sooner had they leaped than up went all the fairy wands, and there stood each frog still and stiff. They were not able to move; they could only stare and listen.

“What are these creatures that dare to disturb us?” asked the Queen.

“Your Majesty, they are frogs,” said a fire-fly, “and I expect they intended to eat us.”

“Eat the lantern bearers of the fairies!” said the Queen. “They shall suffer for this.”

“Off with a toe on each front foot, and then perhaps these frogs will stay at home and not hop about at night. Where do they live?” asked the Queen.

“In the pond at the end of the dell,” said the fireflies.

“Send them home,” said the Queen, “and every time they wander far from their pond they shall lose a toe.”

Down on the foot of the froggies went the fairy wands, and where the frogs had five toes there remained only four on each of their front feet, and then with their wands on the heads of the froggies the fairies turned them around and drove them back to their pond.

“Better stayed home, better stayed home,” croaked their Grandfather Frog as the young froggies leaped sadly into the pond and buried themselves in the mud at the bottom.

And that was the way it is said frogs came to have five toes on each of their hind feet and only four toes on each front foot. If they had listened to their grandfather’s warning they would still have their other toes.

THE FIELD FAIRY by Abbie Phillips Walker

a boy and a cow illustration

Jack and his sister Nina were two little orphans who had to beg from door to door for their food and a place to sleep.

One day a man named Simon told them if they would work for him he would give them a home.

Jack and Nina thought Simon must be a very kind-hearted man to offer them a home, so they worked just as hard as they could to repay him.

But in this they were mistaken, for Simon was a very greedy, hard-hearted man and only offered to take the children that he might get their work for nothing.

Jack did all the chores about the farm and Nina took care of the house, although they were both much too small to do such hard work.

In return Simon gave them a place to sleep on the floor of the attic and very little to eat.

If he had Nina cook meat for his dinner he would sit by the stove and watch that she did not eat any of it, and when he had eaten all the meat he would leave the bones and gristle for poor little Jack and Nina, who were half starved.

One day Simon told Jack he was going to sell the big Brindle Cow to the butcher and that he was to drive her the next day to the town, a few miles away.

Jack and Nina were very fond of Brindle Cow and wept bitterly when they heard this. They begged Simon not to let the butcher have her, but he told them he would not listen to any such silly chatter and for Jack to be off the next morning bright and early.

Nina put her arms around Brindle Cow and cried when Jack was ready to lead her away and watched them down the road; but her tears blinded her so she could not see far, and she went back to get Simon’s breakfast with a sad heart.

When Jack came to the woods he led Brindle Cow to a stream to drink, and while he sat on the bank, waiting, he was surprised to see a Fairy slip out of a lily as it opened.

“I thought you were never coming,” said the little creature.

Jack thought it was to him she was speaking, and while he tried to find his tongue, which clung to his mouth, he was so surprised, Brindle Cow answered.

“We had to wait for daylight, you know,” she said.

“Yes, I know; but the sun will soon be up, and I must get home before that,” said the Fairy. “Now what can I do for you?”

“Save my life! I am on the way to the butcher now,” replied Brindle Cow.

“You told me that day I did not eat the field flower in which you were sleeping that you would help me if ever I was in need of help,” said Brindle Cow.

“Last night I saw one of your sisters and told her my sad plight. The Field Flower Fairy would help me if I could only find her,” I said.

“‘Oh! She will be by the stream in the wood. She sits in a lily until it is time to go home in the morning. I will tell her,’ she said.”

“‘Of course I will help you,” said the Field Fairy. “I will change you into anything you like. What shall it be?”

“There is another thing, good Field Fairy,” said Brindle Cow. “This poor boy will be punished if I am not carried to the butcher and the money he gets carried back to Simon. This boy and his sister have been very kind to me. They never forgot to bring me water and gave me salt many times when their master did not know it. I should not like to get them into trouble, even to save my life.”

“Oh, please do not mind us,” said Jack, who at last was able to speak. “Nina and I will not mind being punished if only you can escape the butcher.”

“I have thought of a plan,” said the Fairy, “that will save you from the butcher, and will not cause your two friends the least harm, either. It is this:

“Instead of changing you into some other shape, why not change your master into a kind and good man?”

“Oh, that would be best of all,” said Jack, “that is, if Brindle Cow does not object to remaining a cow.”

“I would rather be a cow if I can be sure I am going to live,” replied Brindle Cow. “But you can understand, of course, there can be no joy in life for me with that butcher staring me in the face.”

“Well, that is all settled, then,” replied the Fairy, “and though the sun is getting well up I think I can get to your master without letting the old Sun Man see me, for it is cool and shady along the road to the farm. You two wait here and see what happens.”

Jack wondered what the Field Fairy intended to do, but he would not be surprised now at anything, so he began to pick some berries, for he had not had his breakfast, and now Brindle Cow was sure she was not going to the butcher. So she began to eat the sweet grass by the stream.

Jack thought she might speak again and he patted her sides and nose, but the only answer Brindle Cow made was to rub her nose against him and moo.

After a while Jack heard some one calling his name and running down the road. It was Nina. “Oh, I am so glad I have found you!” she said. “Come quickly; something has happened to Simon.”

Jack let Brindle Cow take care of herself and hurried after Nina, wondering what the Fairy had done to Simon.

But it seemed that Simon had brought on his trouble himself by trying to save the wood that morning when Nina told him she needed more wood for the fire. Instead of giving her more wood he had poured on some oil and the flame had blazed up and burnt him.

When Jack and Nina reached the farmhouse Simon was on the floor, groaning with pain.

Forgetting all the unkindness they had received at his hands, Jack and Nina lifted him from the floor and placed him on his bed. Then they did all they could to relieve his sufferings.

Nina bathed his face and hands and Jack bandaged them, and by and by he fell asleep. When he awoke he asked for some gruel, and then he remembered Brindle Cow.

“Poor creature!” said Simon. “I wish I had kept her even if she was getting old; but it is too late now, for, of course, the butcher has her.”

Just then, “Moo, moo!” was heard outside, and for the first time since he left her at the stream Jack thought of Brindle Cow.

“Why, there she is now!” he said. “I did not get to the butcher’s this morning because Nina called me before I had gone beyond the woods.

“I’ll never sell her,” said Simon. “Go out, Jack, and give her a good dinner, and to-night see that she has a nice bed of straw in the barn.”

That day for dinner Simon told Nina to have a good meat stew and that Nina and Jack were to eat all they wanted.

Jack told Nina what had happened at the stream in the woods and asked her if she thought the Fairy had anything to do with the accident that happened to Simon.

“Of course not,” said Nina. “Fairies always do good, not bad things, and, besides, Simon must have been burnt at the very time you saw the Fairy, and I wonder if you really did see a Fairy, after all. Are you sure you did not fall asleep and dream it all?”

Jack was quite sure he did not dream it, but never again did Brindle Cow speak—at least, Jack never heard her if she did.

But when Simon recovered from his burns and was quite well again something did happen, and whether the Field Fairy and Brindle Cow had anything to do with it Jack and Nina never knew.

Simon was a changed man, that was sure. He would not let Nina do the work any more, but sent both of the children to school. He fixed up the house and bought new furniture, and, best of all, he bought nice clothing for Jack and Nina.

“And if you don’t mind,” said Simon to Jack and Nina one day, “I wish you would call me Uncle Simon.”

He even bought a nice horse and pretty willow carriage for the children to drive to school; in fact, everybody thought Simon must have lost his mind, he was so changed.

“It must be the work of the Field Fairy,” said Jack when he and Nina were talking over what the neighbors said about Simon. “She said she would change him into a kind and good man.”

“Perhaps she came and found him burnt and thought she would wait and see what happened to him,” said Nina, “but I think you fell asleep that morning, Jack, while you were waiting for Brindle Cow to drink at the stream.”

“Brindle Cow saw the Fairy. Didn’t you, Brindle?” asked Jack, as Brindle Cow came up to the stone wall where Jack and Nina stood.

Brindle Cow looked over the wall straight at Jack and answered, “Mo-o-o.”

“It does not matter, Jack,” said Nina, with a laugh, as she patted Brindle Cow on the nose. “It has all turned out so well and Uncle Simon could not be kinder or nicer to us now if he were our father. Sometimes I think it is all because when he was so sick and helpless that we were kind to him and did all we could even though he had almost starved us and made us work so hard. I think he is sorry for it and is trying to do all he can now to make up for his unkindness and make us forget it.”

“Perhaps you are right, Nina,” said Jack, “so we will forget it, but I am sure about the Field Fairy, and Brindle Cow knows it is true, for it was the Fairy who saved her from the butcher.”

But all the answer Jack could get from Brindle Cow was “M-o-o-o!”

HOW THE BUTTERCUP GREW YELLOW by Abbie Phillips Walker

flower and elves

Long, long ago it is told that the flowers were all white and that each received its color by some magic power. The little Daisy, with its yellow eye, received its golden center when the angry elves pelted the little Fairies with sunbeams.

The Daisy grew to be very proud of her yellow eye and thought it showed off to perfection her pure white rim. One day she was looking about the field where she grew and saw the little White Cups growing all about her in abundance.

“There is too much white in this field,” she told the other Daisies. “Our beautiful white borders would show off much better if the White Cups were golden.”

“But perhaps the White Cups do not wish to become golden,” said her sisters.

“Oh, but we do, dear Daisies,” said the White Cups all in chorus; “we have always wanted to be a beautiful yellow like your eyes, but we thought you would not like to have us that color, as we have to live in the same field.”

“Oh yes, we would,” said the Daisy, “and I am sure the fields will look much more beautiful with you a golden color than white; besides that, we shall be seen to better advantage; so both of us will gain by the change.”

“But who will help us to change our color?” asked the White Cups.

The daisy thought a long time, and at length she said: “You might get the Goblins to color you, but the thing is to get them to do it. They are such queer little fellows that if they thought they were bothering the Fairies they would do it quick enough; but if we ask them to make you yellow that we all may look more beautiful they would only laugh and run off.”

“Why can’t we make them think they would make the Fairies angry if they made us golden?” asked the White Cups; “I am sure we can find a way.”

“That would be the very thing,” said the Daisy, “but what do you propose to do?”

“We will ask the Fairies when they come into the fields to-night for their frolic,” said the White Cups.

That night when the Fairies came flying over the field the White Cups called to them and told them what they wanted.

“Oh, that will be beautiful,” said the Fairy Queen, “and we can fool the Goblins easy enough, as you shall see.”

The Fairy Queen called her Fairies around her and whispered so low that the field flowers could not hear what she said, but they heard the Fairies laugh as they flew away, and each alighted on a little White Cup and began to sing.

“We love you, little White Cup, Our Lady of the Field;
We will watch o’er you and keep you and from all danger shield;
You are prettier than the Daisy with her yellow eye so bright,
You are like a waxen blossom in the pale moonlight.”

Over and over they sang the verse as they leaned over and kissed the little Cups, and by and by from out of the woods came the Goblins, hopping and jumping like leaves before the wind.

“Here they are,” they said, when they saw the Fairies. “Listen and hear what they are singing.”

When they heard the Fairies’ pretty love song to the little White Cup the Goblins kicked up their heels and laughed, each laying a tiny finger beside his nose as he winked at his brother.

Off they scampered to the woods again, and the Fairies kept on singing their song, while the Daisy watched with its yellow eye, wondering how her cousin, the White Cup, would be made the color for which she had wished.

By and by the Goblins came back, but this time they carried bags over their shoulders and they crept carefully through the grass.

The Fairies saw them all the time, but of course they pretended not to, and when the Goblins were quite near the Queen said:

“Come, my children; leave your best-loved flower for to-night. To-morrow you shall come again.”

As they were flying away they glanced back, and in the moonlight they saw the Goblins hard at work over each little White Cup.

When the morning sun awoke he opened wide his eyes, for all over the field among the Daisies he beheld little Golden Cups nodding gaily at their cousins with the golden eyes.

The next night when the Fairies came flying through the fields they saw the Yellow Cups. “You are more beautiful than ever,” they said to the Golden Cups, “and we will call you our Golden Cups, but you must be known as the Buttercups or the Goblins will discover our trick and make you white again.”

The Buttercups thanked the Fairies and told them they would be glad to be their cups whenever they gave a banquet and that never would they let the Goblins know the Fairies had fooled them.

So they bloom among the Daisies in the fields and are called Buttercups, but they know to the Fairies they are the little Golden Cups, and the Goblins wonder why the Fairies always seem so happy when they fly near the Buttercup and find it changed.

The Fairies are too wise to let the Goblins know how they fooled them and gained for the Buttercups the very color that they wanted, but it is rather hard sometimes not to tell them when the little Goblins scamper about and try to upset their plans.

The Fairy Queen has taught them that “Silence is golden,” and they know their Queen is always right.

REVENGE OF THE GNOMES by Abbie Phillips Walker

gnome and rabbit sitting at table

The Fairies decided to give a party one night, and invited the Goblins, but they did not ask the Gnomes, because they did not think of them.

The Gnomes live so deep in the earth that the Fairies seldom meet them, and so they really forgot and did not in the least intend to slight them. But the Gnomes heard the Goblins talking about the party one night and they were very angry because they were not asked also.

The woods were very beautiful, and some of the trees were wearing their red and yellow leaves, for it was late in the summer. When the moon came out the green and red and yellow made a pretty picture, and the Fairies were delighted with the setting for their party.

The Fairy Queen had a new carriage made from a petal of a white lily and drawn by two butterflies. The Fairies all had new dresses of pink rose petals and they had the fireflies in all the bushes and trees where they looked like so many tiny electric lights.

Their table was spread on a big rock; the rabbits were to wait on the table because their coats were white, and squirrels were to do the cooking in a little hollow. The table cloth was spun by a spider and was so beautiful that the Queen, when she saw it, thought it was a shame to cover it with dishes, so she had the rabbits put the food on a rock behind a tree and leave the beautiful cloth so the Goblins could see it.

But when the Goblins arrived they looked at the table with dismay. “Are not they going to have anything to eat?” they asked one another, seating themselves at the table and looking with anxious eye.

Not a word did they say to the Queen about the beautiful cloth, and she found that it was quite wasted on the greedy little Goblins.

There were so many Goblins that the Fairies were obliged to spread a table on the ground for themselves, and when the rabbits appeared with the food the Goblins jumped up and helped themselves before the rabbits could serve them.

At last the Queen, seeing that it was of no use to have waiters for the Goblins, told the rabbits to put the ice cream and cake and lemonade and all the nice things on the table and let the Goblins help themselves.

The bad Goblins spoiled the beautiful cloth the spider had taken so much trouble to weave; they spilled the lemonade and they crumbled the cake and the poor Queen was in despair.

The Goblins, not getting the food quick enough to suit them, had climbed on the table, which, you remember, was spread on a rock. Now, this rock did not have any moss on it, and it happened that it was one of the doors to the home of the Gnomes.

The Gnomes are little brown men and they hide under the leaves and sticks that are so near the color of themselves that they cannot be seen, so they had been watching all that went on at the party, and, when they saw the Goblins on top of one of their rocks, part of their number hurried into the earth and opened the stone where the Goblins were.

Some of the Goblins were quick enough to escape, but most of them went into the ground, and all the cake and candy and ice cream with them.

The Queen and her Fairies jumped up and looked around. Everything was changed and the Fairies shivered as they looked.

The trees were brown and the bushes and the leaves were falling from the trees, making the ground look as though it had a brown carpet over it.

The air was frosty and the poor little Fairies looked about in amazement at the dreary scene before them. The Goblins that escaped were running around and calling on the Queen to help them rescue their brothers.

“It is all your fault,” they told her. “If you had asked the Gnomes to your party this would not have happened. Now you must help us to get our brothers out of the power of those bad Gnomes.

“What shall I do?” asked the poor Queen. She felt that her party had been a failure and thought if she had asked the Gnomes it could not have been worse.

Just then a Goblin came running toward them. He had been sent by the Gnomes. They told him to say that his brothers would all be held prisoners until the Fairies sent them all the ice cream they wanted.

The Fairies and the Goblins hurried to the kitchen in the hollow, but it was empty. The squirrels and the rabbits had hurried off when they felt the frosty air and saw everything turning brown.

“What is to be done?” asked the Goblins, “You ought to help us,” they told the Queen again. “If we had not come to your party we should not have gotten into trouble.”

The Queen could not resist replying to this remark the second time. “If your brothers and you had not climbed on the table, but kept your seats, as well-behaved Goblins should, you would not have been in need of help.

“We must go to work,” she said to her Fairies. “Fold your wings and pin up your skirts. We must make ice cream for those wicked Gnomes.”

They worked all night, and just before it was light the Goblins carried ice cream in nut shells to the rocks of the Gnomes, and by and by the captured Goblins came out and joined their comrades.

“We lost our supper,” said the Goblins to the Fairies, “and you should give us our breakfast. We are hungry. If it had not been for your party we should not have lost our supper.”

This was more than the poor tired Queen and her Fairies could bear. They took their wands from under their wings and, waving them, they flew toward the Gnomes.

Little sparks darted from the wands, and every time a spark touched a Goblin it left a little red mark, and at the same time it pricked them.

Such tumbling and scampering you never saw as the Goblins tried to get away, and when a Goblin that had a red spot on his face meets a Fairy he hides or runs, for he knows that she will point him out as one of the greedy Goblins who tried to make the Fairies cook their breakfast for them.

THE TELL-TALE GOBLIN by Abbie Phillips Walker

a goblin near tha lake

Once upon a time there was a Little Fairy who loved to wander by the river, and as the Fairy Queen does not like her subjects to go too near the water, the Little Fairy had to steal away. Always when they held a revel this Little Fairy would fly away from the dance and wander down by the river to watch the ripple of the water as it flowed over the pebbles and stones.

One night a Goblin, who always watched the fairies, happened to be sitting under a bush and saw the Little Fairy.

“What is she doing here all alone?” he said to himself. “She has run away from her sisters, and I am quite sure the Queen does not know where she is. I’ll watch her, and if she is up to mischief I’ll tell the Queen. Maybe she will give me a new red coat for telling her.”

Now, this little tell-tale Goblin began to watch, and pretty soon he saw a mist rise from the river; then it looked like foam, all silvery, in the moonlight.

And then suddenly as he watched, the goblin saw a handsome youth rise from the river and hold out his arms to the Little Fairy standing on the bank.

“Ah-ha!” said the Goblin. “She has a lover, has she? Well I’ll tell the Queen and I guess these midnight meetings will be stopped, and I am sure now I shall get a new coat for telling.”

The River Youth called to the Fairy just then, and the Goblin forgot the red coat to watch what happened.

“Come, my love,” called the White Youth, “take the willow path and you will be safe from the water.”

The Little Fairy flew to the willow tree beside the river and tripped lightly along a slender bough which dipped its tip into the water.

When she reached the end the White Youth was there to take her in his arms. He carried her to the middle of the river, where there was a little island, and the watching Goblin saw them sit upon the soft green grass in the moonlight, but he could not hear what they said.

“I’ll run and tell her Queen and let her catch them,” said the Goblin, and, forgetting that his red coat could be plainly seen in the moonlight, he jumped up and ran along the river bank toward the dell.

“Oh, oh!” cried the Little Fairy, with alarm, when she saw the Goblin, “whatever will become of me? There is a Goblin, and I am sure he has seen me and is going to tell the Queen. Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be banished.”

The River Youth, who really was a River God, reached for a horn of white shell which hung from his shoulder by a coral chain, and blew a shrill blast, and the Goblin fell upon his face on the ground.

“Rise!” called the River God, “and tell me where you are going?”

“Oh! Your Majesty,” said the sly little Goblin, “I was about to go to the Fairy Queen and tell her one of her fairies was being carried off, but of course I shall not do so now. I see whom she is with. I thought it was old Neptune himself and he might change her into a mermaid.”

The River God knew the bad little fellow was telling him a wrong story, but something must be done, so he pretended to believe the Goblin, and said: “Well, now you know the Fairy is safe, what can I do for you if you keep our secret?”

“Give me a silver cap,” said the Goblin, quickly.

“Very well. Come here to-morrow night at midnight hour and you shall have the cap if you have not told the Fairy Queen what you have seen,” said the River God.

The Goblin promised and off he ran to his home in the rocks, and the River God took the Fairy back to the willow tree. “Come tomorrow without your wand, my love,” he said; “we must not delay, now that the Goblin has seen us, for he cannot be trusted after he gets the silver cap.”

The next night the Goblin was by the river waiting when the Little Fairy arrived.

“Where is your wand?” he asked, for he saw at once she did not have it.

Before she could reply there was splash in the middle of the river and out of the mist and foam the River God lifted his head and called to the Fairy. At the same time he held up a little silver cap to the Goblin.

The Little Fairy went to her lover by the same path as before, but she took from his hand the little silver cap and tossed it to the Goblin before she flew into her lover’s outstretched arms.

“Now tell him where your wand is,” said the River God.

“I have left it behind me in the dell,” she said, blushing and hanging her head.

“What! are you not going back to the Queen?” asked the Goblin, in astonishment. “Are you to become a river sprite?”

“You have guessed it,” said the River God. “This night we are to be married at the bottom of the river. Farewell, you little tell-tale Goblin. I hope your silver cap fits your peaked little head.”

The Goblin watched the Fairy and her lover as they slowly sank from sight, and then he ran off as fast as he could to the dell to tell the Queen what he had seen. “I’ll get a red coat, too,” he said. “I did not promise not to tell to-night.”

The tell-tale Goblin was so bent on telling the Queen what he knew that he quite forgot his new silver cap until he reached the dell where the fairies were dancing; then throwing away his old cap, he clapped the silver cap on his head so hard he cried out with pain.

For a second he saw stars, and the cold silver felt very different from his soft, warm peaked cap which he had tossed aside.

The little fairies, seeing the Goblin hopping about in the moonlight, called to the Queen: “Oh, look, dear Queen. Drive away the Goblin; he acts quite mad and may mean mischief.”

The Queen, knowing that Goblins, when they were quite sane, were not friendly to her fairies, held up her wand and cast a ray of light straight into the Goblin’s eye. “Leave our dell,” she said, “or something will happen to you that you will not like.”

“Oh, wait, wait and hear what I have to tell!” called the Goblin. “I know a secret you must hear.”

“Oh, don’t listen to him, dear Queen!” said all the little fairies. “It is wrong to tell secrets. Go away, we will not listen.”

But the Goblin would not go; he wanted to win a red coat, and he was sure the Queen would give it to him for the secret he could tell.

“If you will give me a new red coat I will tell you something about one of your fairies you would like to know,” said the Goblin.

“Oh, what a funny head he has!” said a fairy as the Goblin lifted off the silver cap, because it was so uncomfortable.

All the fairies began to laugh, and on his head he clapped the cap again to hide his queer peaked head, and again the cap made him see stars until he jumped with pain.

“Oh, he is quite mad, you may be sure!” said the Queen.

“I am not mad. Listen and I will tell you the secret, and you will know then I am very clever to have discovered it,” said the Goblin. “But first I must know if you will give me the red coat. I shall not tell you if you do not.”

The tell-tale Goblin did not think for a minute the Queen of the fairies would refuse to pay to hear a secret, and when the Queen told him he was a bad, mad fellow and to be off, he was quite surprised.

“You will be sorry,” he said as he hopped away, and then he thought he would tell it, anyway, for what was the use of knowing a secret if you did not surprise others by showing how much you know.

Back he ran, but the fairies and their Queen put their fingers in their ears and ran away, so they could not hear. The telltale Goblin, however, was bound to tell, and he ran until he was near enough to shout: “She has married a River God and she left her wand in the dell; they gave me this silver cap not to tell.”

When the Queen and the fairies heard this they stopped and the Goblin thought they wished to hear more, so he went to them and said he would help them hunt for the wand, if they would come to the dell.

The Queen put her finger on her lips to warn the fairies not to speak, and back they went to the dell, following the Goblin, who was hopping and jumping along before them.

“Here it is,” he said, stooping to pick up a little gold wand.

“Hold!” cried the Queen; “do not touch it. I will pick it up, and now that you have told us the secret you shall have your reward.”

The Goblin hopped with delight, for he was sure the Queen would touch him with the wand and he would have a new red coat at once.

“You shall wear the silver cap the rest of your life,” she said, and before the Goblin could jump away the Queen tapped him on the head, and in place of the tell-tale Goblin there stood a silver thistle, all prickly and shining among the leaves and bushes.

“Your sister has left us, and we must forget her,” said the Queen as the fairies followed her home. “Let her be forgotten by you all; her wand shall be saved for a more worthy sister.”

The Little Fairy never regretted marrying her River God, for she lived happy ever after, and sometimes when they come up from the river bottom to sit in the moonlight she will say to the River God: “What do you suppose became of the Goblin? Do you think he ever told the Queen?”

“Of course he did,” replied the River God. “He ran as fast as he could to the Queen, but the silver cap was so uncomfortable for him to wear that I am sure he has discarded it long before this. So he gained nothing for playing the spy.”

“Perhaps his conscience pricked him and he is sorry,” said the Little Fairy.

The Little Fairy was right. The Goblin was sorry when it was too late, and the silver thistle swayed in the breeze. It tried to tell the breeze it was sorry for telling tales, but even the breeze did not wish to listen to a prickly thistle, so there it had to bloom unloved and alone the rest of its life.

Fairy Song, by John Keats

fairyes-illustrationShed no tear! O shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! O, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root’s white core.
Dry your eyes! Oh! dry your eyes!
For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies—
Shed no tear.

Overhead! look overhead!
‘Mong the blossoms white and red—
Look up, look up. I flutter now
On this flush pomegranate bough.
See me! ’tis this silvery bell
Ever cures the good man’s ill.
Shed no tear! O, shed no tear!
The flowers will bloom another year.
Adieu, adieu—I fly, adieu,
I vanish in the heaven’s blue—
Adieu, adieu!

The Fairy by Charles Perrault

Once upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters. The elder was so much like her, both in looks and character, that whoever saw the daughter saw the mother. They were both so disagreeable and so proud that there was no living with them. The younger, who was the very picture of her father for sweetness of temper and virtue, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother doted on her elder daughter, and at the same time had a great aversion for the younger. She made her eat in the kitchen and work continually.

Among other things, this unfortunate child had to go twice a day to draw water more than a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a pitcherful of it. One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink.

the-fairy-charles-perrault

“Oh, yes, with all my heart, Goody,” said this pretty little girl. Rinsing the pitcher at once, she took some of the clearest water from the fountain, and gave it to her, holding up the pitcher all the while, that she might drink the easier.

The good woman having drunk, said to her:—

“You are so pretty, so good and courteous, that I cannot help giving you a gift.” For this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor country-woman, to see how far the civility and good manners of this pretty girl would go. “I will give you for gift,” continued the Fairy, “that, at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower or a jewel.”

When this pretty girl returned, her mother scolded at her for staying so long at the fountain.

“I beg your pardon, mamma,” said the poor girl, “for not making more haste.”

And in speaking these words there came out of her mouth two roses, two pearls, and two large diamonds.

“What is it I see there?” said her mother, quite astonished. “I think pearls and diamonds come out of the girl’s mouth! How happens this, my child?”

This was the first time she had ever called her “my child.”

The girl told her frankly all the matter, not without dropping out great numbers of diamonds.

“Truly,” cried the mother, “I must send my own dear child thither. Fanny, look at what comes out of your sister’s mouth when she speaks. Would you not be glad, my dear, to have the same gift? You have only to go and draw water out of the fountain, and when a poor woman asks you to let her drink, to give it to her very civilly.”

“I should like to see myself going to the fountain to draw water,” said this ill-bred minx.

“I insist you shall go,” said the mother, “and that instantly.”

She went, but grumbled all the way, taking with her the best silver tankard in the house.

She no sooner reached the fountain than she saw coming out of the wood, a magnificently dressed lady, who came up to her, and asked to drink. This was the same fairy who had appeared to her sister, but she had now taken the air and dress of a princess, to see how far this girl’s rudeness would go.

“Am I come hither,” said the proud, ill-bred girl, “to serve you with water, pray? I suppose this silver tankard was brought purely for your ladyship, was it? However, you may drink out of it, if you have a fancy.”

“You are scarcely polite,” answered the fairy, without anger. “Well, then, since you are so disobliging, I give you for gift that at every word you speak there shall come out of your mouth a snake or a toad.”

So soon as her mother saw her coming, she cried out:—

“Well, daughter?”

“Well, mother?” answered the unhappy girl, throwing out of her mouth a viper and a toad.

“Oh, mercy!” cried the mother, “what is it I see? It is her sister who has caused all this, but she shall pay for it,” and immediately she ran to beat her. The poor child fled away from her, and went to hide herself in the forest nearby.

The King’s son, who was returning from the chase, met her, and seeing her so beautiful, asked her what she did there alone and why she cried.

“Alas! sir, my mother has turned me out of doors.”

The King’s son, who saw five or six pearls and as many diamonds come out of her mouth, desired her to tell him how that happened. She told him the whole story. The King’s son fell in love with her, and, considering that such a gift was worth more than any marriage portion another bride could bring, conducted her to the palace of the King, his father, and there married her.

As for her sister, she made herself so much hated that her own mother turned her out of doors. The miserable girl, after wandering about and finding no one to take her in, went to a corner of the wood, and there died.