REVENGE OF THE FIREFLIES by Abbie Phillips Walker

goblin sitting on a water-lily

The Fireflies and the Goblins had always been good friends, just as they were with the Fairies, until one night when the Goblins held a frolic in the woods and did not invite the Fireflies to come.

It was a bright moonlight night, and the Goblins, who did not think much about anyone or anything if it did not in some way help them, knew they would not need the Fireflies’ lanterns, so they did not bother to send them an invitation.

When the moon was high up in the sky so it shone down on all the trees in the woods, making it almost like daylight, the Goblins came tumbling out of their rocks and began their frolic.

They tumbled and they played such antics in the moonlight that anyone who did not know who they were and had seen them would surely have thought them a lot of crazy little creatures.

Of course, the Fireflies came flying along, and when they saw what was going on they began asking one another if anyone had received an invitation.

“It is plain to be seen why they did not invite us,” said one old Firefly. “They did not need us because the moon is shining.”

“That shows us what their friendship is worth,” said another. “If they need our lights, they invite us; if not, we are forgotten.”

For a few minutes all the Fireflies flashed with anger and then the old Firefly said. “I think we can have revenge if all of you will do as I tell you, and if I am not much mistaken those Goblin fellows will remember us the next time they have a frolic, even if they do not need us.”

All the Fireflies wanted to know what the old Firefly had in his mind, but not a word would he tell them about his plan until they ran about and called together all the Fireflies for miles and miles around.

Of course, it did not take those sprightly little creatures long to fly miles and miles, and pretty soon in one corner of the woods were gathered together thousands of Fireflies.

“My plan is this,” said the old Firefly when they were all there, “the Goblins are to go sailing on the lily pads after the frolic and we will go around to all the rocks and alight on all of them, for that is where they live, and when they return from their sail they will think their homes are on fire.

“Shine as brightly as you can, every one of you, and don’t wink or blink, so the Goblins will not suspect us. They will have a good fright, if nothing else.”

Away went the Fireflies in groups of thousands, and pretty soon all the rocks in the woods were covered; but not until the Goblins returned from their moonlight sail did the Fireflies let their bright lights be seen.

The Goblins stopped every one when they reached the woods, for all the rocks were a blaze of light. “Oh, our homes!” they all cried; “someone has set them on fire. What shall we do?”

Hither and thither like little bees they flew, but it was no use; they could not enter their homes. They were all on fire.

“Where shall we sleep?” they began to ask one another, for they were all very tired after the frolic.

“We can crawl under the leaves,” said one Goblin, “but we dare not sleep, for if the fairies should find us, no knowing what they would do to us with their wands. We will have to stay awake all night, and in the morning if the fire is out we can crawl into our homes, for, of course, the rocks cannot burn.”

“No, but they can be very hot and burn us,” said another. “Oh dear, I wish we had not gone sailing; perhaps we could have saved our homes.”

So under the leaves they crawled, but not a wink of sleep did those Goblins dare take, and when it was ‘most daylight time the Fireflies put out their lights and silently flew away.

When the Goblins went to their rocks they were surprised to find them all cool and not at all hot as they had expected, and one of the Goblins, putting a pointed little finger on the side of his pointed nose said to the others: “I have a thought, and it is this: The Fireflies were not invited to our frolic and I wonder if they alighted on our rocks for revenge?”

“I wonder,” said the others; but they were all so sleepy they could not think, so in they tumbled and were soon fast asleep; but the next time they gave a frolic the very first thing they did was to invite all the Fireflies, and not one did they forget.

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.