-".-. .i -- o,WI
- .. ...-.; : .
1 ..... .? ,,,'' ".,
i -.i : ',; ". "-. : ",.. .'-''
," '." ,. "".x
-- -. .vw. '" ." -"
.'. ,_m ...n,n m ..., .- 1"-
h-Kn- ) ,.. -j_ M '....... .
"4" 'sK f". .- .. 7 .,A J. t , t" .-
hS -', .. .
-', *. 2KX- h -, "-
S,' T .. S y, N t:.- . .. -, ..
-.. ^.*- r --', "- '. %. V )' -.' ,- :. :
,;'- ^^' ,',, -- .... 4 ....' ,& -" : -_,p. ,- -.' t
J .Z. '' A'j
-i, -,x f- I I '' --\ ,i -' N S
3W L N__' : . I i'd ', :!
-,' ,, _, .r .
'; ._ ... : ,,* :,. ... .
J .,. .K _,.'- ---.. -. -
-.. 'I ,- I : -.' ,. -' _
r .. t ,$ -. I.- I ..
._-'I _& I' 1 '-r, .
INV .11 'IN
.: _,,-_ .-. _~~s~s~_ ..4,.
I -''- Kr" N 'J c. 1 ,' -1c d ,i,-'I
IT I' A
t. T -m; ,._
'-o .. .. '
;" ,;R B -Mnde
,,.~ "- ,," ,_ -' "" .
,, ~~t- L .:~ Th .ldu - .. ..
.,._ _ .-. .' ,. ; =.= -. ; .. ,
--,,,, -", , I,".-- ,4 .,.- ",-- -- ,- J "," '
I : j
.' .t ,
^ j" *" '-' :.* .
__try T I. l\T
AUTHOR OF "LITTLE BELL AND OTHER STORIES," "CLOVER BEACII,"
"UNDER THE DOG-STAR," AND "HOLIDAYS AT IHOMIE,"
Illustrated by E. B. BENS-ELL,
PUBLISHED AND PRINTED BY
~\HGRRPHED RND PR\NTED BY
Q T\NUS FR\NT\N HO\
N-W. C4R. FI)URJH f RR( STS
i.& ~ ~ ~NA A A
i i iE3
""| ' - Ii j i'.
--~-~- -~C ~B- :
THE ABSENT-MINDED FAIRY.
-I HE came sliding down a moonbeam, in fine
N style, seated upon an embroidered traveling-
'rug, just exactly as you slide down-hill on
Sa sled. There are three ways of coming
here from Fairyland, upon a sunbeam, a
S moonbeam and a rainbow. But the sunbeam
Sis warm, the rainbow is damp, and the moon-
beam, being neither, is decidedly to be preferred. She
was a silly little thing, always falling into scrapes, and
offending people because she "didn't think," but nobody
ever had so many good intentions, and so the King had
changed her name from whatever it was-I really don't
know that-to Dulcintentia, and her friends, finding that
quite too long to say, especially when they were in a
hurry, had shortened it to Dulcie.
She came away in a dreadful hurry; she did most
things in a hurry, because she always forgot what she
had meant to do, until about the last-minute-but-one, but
tiL ti ili. ini h id an. r.h.-r andI m.r', l.iinl r 'i
--she was afraid that she might accidentally meet Lord
St. Johnswort. His Lordship had sent her a basket of
fruit, a short time before, and she had written him a
pretty little note of thanks. It was chiefly crab-apples,
the very thing of all others which she disliked, and the
next time she happened to meet him, somebody unfor-
tunately mentioned crab-apples, and she, forgetting all
about his gift, exclaimed;
"Don't speak of them! The mere smell of one
makes me ill for a week!"
Now this was, of course, a dreadful exaggeration,
and, also of course, his Lordship's feelings were deeply
hurt, and yet it never occurred to that stupid little fairy,
until she was at home, and in bed, and almost half
asleep, that this speech accounted for the very marked
manner in which his Lordship had avoided bidding her
good-night! When it did, she sprang out of bed,
dressed herself in mad haste, forgot that, unless she
obtained a passport from the King, she would be denied
entrance on her return, rushed to the moonbeam gate,
and slipped past the astonished gate-keeper before he
could remonstrate with her.
Then she stood still, dismayed. There was the
moonbeam, smooth and shining, and very slippery-
looking, but how could she slide down it with nothing
to slide upon ? She would, probably, tumble off! A
soft and pretty little traveling-rug suddenly appeared-
whence, she could not tell-and spread itself at her feet.
"It's evidently meant for me," she murmured, "and
I must get off to-night-I can't run the risk of meeting
Lord St. Johnswort until he's had time to forget. I
only hope he forgets everything as quickly as I do I
really dare not stop-there may not be a rainbow for
weeks, and besides, my Grandmother said she took the
worst cold she ever had in her life, sliding down a rain-
bow-and a sunbeam ruins the complexion. If this is
anybody's, they'll stop me, of course! "
She fancied she heard a faint chuckling laugh, but
she did not wait to listen; she hurriedly arranged the
rug, and started. But she had only gone a very little
distance when her fancy became a certainty-the chuck-
ling grew louder, and seemed to be close to her ear!
Turning, she saw to her dismay, perched behind her
upon the rug, an Elf, bent double with mischievous
Now the Elves, as a race, are not on friendly terms
with the Fairies. The gate of Fairyland is closely
guarded, because here they sometimes slip in, or even
climb over, and although they never do anything very
bad, they make a good deal of trouble. No respectable
fairy likes to find a bee in her bonnet, or a tadpole in
her slippers, or a beetle in her pocket. But a few of
the Elves, fascinated with the beauty of Fairyland-and
fairies-have sworn allegiance to the King, and are his
trusty servants. Their quick wit, and keen sense of
fun, make them valuable messengers and servants, and
so it was a friendly elf who stood behind Dulcie on the
rug-but this at first she did not know, and it was with
a trembling voice, although she tried to be very dignified
and commanding, that she said to the elf,
Leave me! I prefer to be alone!" "
"Leave her!" chuckled the elf, with a droll imita-
tion of her voice and manner, "when it's my best rug
she's sliding on; and if I do leave her, she will come
down with a bang, and mayhap break all her pretty
little bones. No, my lady," and although he still
grinned, his voice was kind and pleasant; "I'm not a
Hostile, I'm a Friendly, and when I saw you fly out of
the gate, without showing your passport, or asking for
a rug, I flew after you, for I didn't suppose you
were rash enough to wish to leave Fairyland for good
and all, and I knew, if I did not make an arrange-
ment to meet you, you'd never be able to get in again.
Oh! sighed Dulcie, swinging her tiny hands,
"that's just exactly like me." I never once thought
of a passport, and I only wished to stay away till-
well, for a little while."
"Till his Lordship forgets about the crab-apples?"
chuckled the elf, w; --n.. his head. "That won't be
long; he's losing his memory, poor, dear old noble-
"How did you know ?" asked Dulcie, mistrustfully;
"But I don't care," she added, "you certainly are a
friendly elf, or you'd not have lent me your rug, so
now please tell me how I can get back, and how I
can know when his Lordship has forgotten, and how
I can make the human people like me ?"
"Anything else?" asked the elf, gravely.
"We'll take 'em one at a time-you can get back
by signalling for me to come for you, my lady. See
here"-and he took off his little green pointed cap,
in which a gray cock's feather waved, and pulled
from between the cap and its lining a tiny silver
whistle-"If ever you want me," he said, "blow this
once; if you wish to come back, blow twice, and I'll
bring the rug. Now I don't know whether it will be
safe-it can do queer things, this whistle can! Shall
I tell you, and will you keep it straight in your head,
my lady? It's a power-but if you forget, feathers
and fur what scrapes you will get into And he
laughed until he nearly fell from the rug.
"Oh! please tell me," said Dulcie, eagerly, "I'll
remember, and it is so nice to be powerful, and I'll
make so many friends, and indeed and truly, I'll not
lose it-you shall have it back all safe when you
bring me home!"
"I've a notion to do it," said the elf, talking
more to himself than to the fairy, "she can always
get away, if I leave her the rug, and I don't care so
immensely for these human people, anyhow, and if she
does make mistakes, after I've told her all straight, is
% that my fault ? Oh, no! Not at all. See here, my
lady ; it hangs from a little silver chain ; put the
chain around your neck, and never take it off till you
see me again. Now listen! If anything ever happens,
to make you wish to escape from these humans, and
you haven't your rug with you, blow this way-one
long and one short note-and every body will stand
on his head, and then, when you're safe, blow one
short and one long, and that will right-side up them
again. And if, for any reason, you should take a
notion to change a person into an animal, or a bird,
or a tree, or flower, or anything you like, blow this
way-one loud and one low note--and make your
wish, and it's done! And if you want to make your-
self, or anybody, or anything, invisible, blow this way-
two notes as softly as you can, and to reverse the charm,
two as loudly as you can; wish, and it's done. Can
"I think I can," said Dulcie, hesitatingly, "but if
you don't mind, perhaps it would be safer for you to
go over it once more-it's a little bit confusing!"
So the elf patiently went over it once more, and
then she was sure she had it all right, and by that
time the long journey down the moonbeam was
accomplished, and the elf, stepping nimbly to one
side, caught the edge of the rug, and drew it after
him, just in time to prevent a bump.
"You did that beautifully !" said Dulcie, smiling
up in his face, "and, indeed, you've done everything-
beautifully, and I wish I could do something for you.
Must you go back? I'm afraid I shall be a little
lonesome, just at first "
"I must go back, my lady," said the elf, bowing
low, and giving a chuckle that was more than half a
sigh, "but I will come, if you need me, and when
you return, as you must, you know, at the end of
three months, if you really wish to do something for
me-oh! I didn't tell you about the rug; it has a
thread of the Magic Carpet twisted through it, and
will take you anywhere-you've only to stand on it,
and say where. Good-night, good-bye, good luck!"
And he was gone, before the fairy knew he was
The little creature stood still a moment, bewildered.
It was all so strange! The moonlight, falling on the
grimy old earth, made it look almost like Fairyland,
but trees, and houses, and roads, and bridges, were
so terribly large.
Now what shall do first? she said to herself;
"Oh, I know! That fast little su-nllower-fairy came
home the other day, and I heard her say she'd been
seeing the elephant; so I'll see that, anyhow."
Standing on the rug, she said, gravely,
"I wish to go to the nearest elephant."
Now she had not the remotest idea what an
elephant was, so you may imagine her surprise, when,
in half a second, she found herself in a vast building,
full of people, and the crashing noise of a band. A
great space in the centre was covered with ,sawdust,
and in this space some huge elephants were solemnly
performing their various tricks. Other animals were in
cages around the ring, and their roaring mingled with
that of the band. But she was not frightened; she
had never known what fear-the fear of cruelty or
pain-was, and so, from her perch on the chandelier,
where the rug had landed her, she surveyed the per-
formance with great interest.
"But I wonder which is the elephant?" she said
aloud to herself, can it be that very droll thing like
a very large elf, with the red spots all over him ?"
"No, that's the clown," said the nearest elephant,
who had overheard her, we're the elephants, my dear,
and I wish to goodness we were anything else; these
people who come here to laugh at us little know the
life we lead, or what is done to us to make us learn
Now you must know that fairies can understand all
languages, even those of beasts and birds and insects.
"So you really are the elephants! said Dulcie,
very much pleased; "I don't wonder people go to see
you-there's so much of you to see; but I'm dreadfully
sorry you are uncomfortable. And I wouldn't stand it,
if I were you," she added, brightening up, why don't
you just tread on anybody who teases you, or hit him
with your beautiful long waving nose? "
"A brother of mine tried that last week!" groaned
the poor elephant, "and this was what happened: first
Lhey chained him; then they starved him; then they
shot him. Ow! "
He said Ow! because, in talking to the fairy,
he had forgotten to take his part in the performance,
and was reminded by a poke from a sharp piece of
iron, at the end of a stick. Dulcie said "Ow!" too, for
sympathy, and then added, hurriedly,
"I can do the most wonderful things-I have a
whistle, and I can whistle all these people upside-down,
and whistle you into a bird, or a fish, or anything
you like-shall I ?"
"Shall you?" said the elephant, "I should rather
think you should! Just put this whole circus-full of
grinning idiots upside-down, first, and then change us,
all of us, yes, I won't be spiteful, if the lion does look
down on us-change us all into beautiful, free birds!"
Dulcie thought intently for a moment; she did not
wish to make a mistake, but she was very much excited;
she waved her wand over the elephants and other
This is for these!" and blew a long and a short
note, then, without stopping to look, she waved it
towards the audience, saying,
"And this is for those!" and blew one loud and
one low, adding, as she finished,
Oh, I forgot-birds! "
Imagine her consternation, when the two or three
thousand people who made the audience suddenly rose
whirling into the air-ducks and geese, sparrows, larks,
doves, crows, blackbirds, birds of every sort and descrip-
tion, dashing frantically about, uttering discordant notes;
while in the ring, and in the cages, every animal,
including the unfortunate clown and ring-master, stood
upon its head with feet waving wildly in the air.
For a few minutes Dulcie's consternation was so
great that she was powerless to think. The beasts
were angrily reproaching her, and vainly trying to
regain their feet. The noise made by the birds was
deafening. Her first wild impulse was to sail away on
her carpet, and leave them to their fate, but she fought
this down-it would be too horribly mean Summoning
all her courage, she sounded the whistle now loud,
now low; long and short; short and long, for she knew
that, in the terrible confusion, it would, be vain to try
to recall the elf's instructions. And at last, to her
inexpressible relief, the birds suddenly flopped into the
seats, and were people again, and the distressed beasts
came right-side up a few more trials, and the beasts
were changed to stately white swans, which, dashing
against a partly opened window, pushed it wide, and
made their way out. -Full of excitement, the fairy
followed, to see what would become of them. Those
which had been elephants flew but a short distance,
heavily and painfully, anl then settled down, one on a
large tree, another on the roof of a house, and the rest
.;" 1 o'
,. .' _~ ?-. ", % ,
upon the ground. Dulcie flew up to the one upon the
roof, saying, breathlessly,
"You'd better fly away-somebody might catch you
"I can't!" said the swan, faintly, "I suppose I look
like a bird, but I feel exactly like an elephant, and my
wings would have to be two or three dozen times bigger,
to make me- able to fly any distance-could you do that,
I might try," said Dulcie, hopefully, "he, the elf
who gave me this whistle, said it was very powerful, so
I daresay I could make your wings as big as you like.
Now we'll all wish-you tell them, I can't make them
hear- and then I'll blow till I get it right!"
So the swan-elephant on the roof raised his voice
and explained to the others that they were all to wish
for wings large enough to enable them to fly easily, and
then Dulcie began to whistle. But, alas, after trying a
variety of notes, out came one .low and one loud note,
and, behold, the swans were elephants again! It was
all very well for the ones on the ground, but the poor
fellow in the tree-which fortunately was not a tall tree
-came down with a crash, while the roof strained, and
The beetles agreed to stay as they were.
To be sure, they felt horribly heavy and could
not get used to taking up so little room; but they
felt so safe, down on the ground, and able to slip
out of sight, that they thought they had better not
We don't doubt your good intentions, dear fairy,"
said the one who had been on the roof, "but you
seem a little confused in your head, so we'll not take
any more risks, and we're very much obliged to you
-nobody will poke us with sharp sticks down here."
So they are tumbling contentedly about to this
day, and-but perhaps you've seen a tumblebug ?
The other beasts, not being so heavy, had man-
aged to fly away, and, going by easy stages, reached
a delightful desert island, and went to housekeeping,
secure from all their enemies.
When the whole thing was over, day was begin-
ning to break, and the poor little fairy, perfectly
exhausted, cast about in her mind for a place where
she might safely rest and sleep.
"There must be a human king somewhere," she
mused, drowsily, "and he must have a palace-that
would be safest, of course-I wish I were in a palace!"
Swiftly the carpet flew through the air, and in at
an open window, lighting upon the canopy of a grand
bed, and in two minutes the fairy, curled snugly up
in the rug, was sound asleep.
She slept many hours, but it seemed to her that
she had only slept a few minutes, when something
woke her suddenly.
Peeping cautiously over the edge of the canopy, she
saw the King, sitting up in bed, with his mouth wide
open; he made a loud noise, between a groan and a
yawn. She knew it must be the King, for his crown
was hanging on the bed-post.
"Oh, dear!" he groaned, looking crossly at the
crown, "I wish somebody'd steal that thing! It gives
me a headache just to look at it. If I hadn't been
fool enough to put it on, they'd have found somebody
else, and I could have gone on playing marbles, and
blowing soap-bubbles! I might find out how to govern
the wretches, if I could get about a little without their
knowing me, but wherever I go, a dozen idiots rush
ahead and clear the road, and tell everybody I'm coming,
and then half of the people get out of the way, and
the other half bring ridiculous petitions, and I don't
know, really, whether I ought to let the chief-justice
have an electric light in his new house, or not; I
should think a watch-dog would answer every purpose,
and I've got to decide to-day !
And he gave another tremendous yawn, ending in
"Dear me!" said Dulcie to herself, "everything
seems to groan-first it was the elephants, and now it's
the King! Poor little fellow; he looks very young for
the situation-but I can help him! That's just it-I'll
make him invisible, if he likes, and then he can find out
everything. My head's as clear as a bell, after my nap,
and I'll not make any mistakes, this time."
Leaning over the edge of the canopy, she called, as
loudly as she could,
"Your Majesty! Oh, your Majesty !"
The King jumped; he had thought he was quite
alone, and he was very much startled.
"Who's there? he said, fretfully, "I didn't ring
and I will not give anybody an audience, till I've combed
my hair and put my crown on! "
It's only me," said Dulcie, meekly.
"And who's 'me' ?" asked the King, in a very cross
voice; "Do come where I can see you, and don't squeak
like that-speak sensibly, if you can!"
Dulcie fluttered down, and perched on the foot-
board, saying, still more meekly,
"I can't speak any louder, your Majesty, you see
I'm so small-I'm a fairy, and if you really would like to
be invisible, I can make you so."
It was beautiful to see the change which came over
the boyish face of the poor young King. It fairly
beamed with delight, as he exclaimed,
"A fairy! Then there really are fairies! Oh, I'll
not mind being King at all, if you'll live in the palace,
you little Darling, and help me govern my kingdom-
it's a very small one, and we can manage it easily,
Dulcie felt immensely flattered. She only wished
that some of the elderly fairies, who snubbed her
because of her youth and heedlessness, could have
been by to hear this King-a real King, with a
beautiful crown hanging on the bed-post-ask her to
"live in the palace, and help him govern his kingdom!
"I c s f a s "I mt
home, after-awhile, but I will make you invisible, as
long, if it is such a little Kingdom. Will that do "
"I couldn't stay, for always," she said, "I must go
i home, after-awhile, but I will make you invisible, as
i soon as you like, and stay here until you've found out
all you want to know about your people-it won't take
long, if it is such a little Kingdom. Will that do ?"
"It'll be better than nothing," said the King,
reluctantly, "but I do wish you'd stay-I really think
you would, if you knew how horribly stupid they make
it for me! Still, it might be stupid for you, I suppose,
and I don't wish to be selfish, so stay as long as
you can, dear, and I'll not bore you about staying
longer; it's so hateful to be bored! But I hear them
coming-just make me invisible right away, will you,
and then wait for me here, till I come back? You'll
find some sugar-plums in the top drawer of the bureau,
if you get hungry; I'll leave it a little way open, but
don't mention it, please-there's so much talk about
keeping up my dignity-now, go ahead, dear, please,
before they get here-I'm all ready! "
Dulcie was very careful this time, ana said the
charm and blew the whistle all right, but the young
King, in his impatience, put his feet out of bed before
she had quite finished, so that. while the rest of him
vanished entirely, they remained faintly visible-some-
thing like the negative of a photograph.
They were only in time, for the servants whose
duty it was to dress the King, after knocking vainly
three or four times, opened the door and came in.
Perhaps he's dead! said one to the other, in an
"And a good job if he was!" replied the other,
also whispering, Much he knows about his business!"
T li.- shad.[, \\\ 'I >-[ _-i, lZIn ,k 'rv I-I' ,I l [ I ,. t l. \ K in,
recollected himself just in time, and, turning, went out of
the open door. He had succeeded in putting on his
best clothes, and his crown, after he was made invisi-
ble, so when he could not be found, and these also
were missed, the servants decided that he had dressed,
and gone out early, to get rid of an embassador
who was expected that morning. Dulcie was indignant
to see how little anybody seemed to care-feasting
and frolicking went on all day in the palace, each
one of the courtiers doing exactly as he pleased; the
chief-justice borrowed the Great Seal, and sealed himself
a nice order for the electric light in his new house;
the embassadors to foreign countries, who had just been
appointed, and were not at all pleased with their
appointments, changed about until everybody was sat-
isfied, and the Lord High Treasurer made himself a
handsome birthday present out of the treasury, and
charged it to "Stationery and Sundries."
Dulcie, flying unperceived from room to room,
became more and more indignant as the day advanced,
and wrote down one thing after another to tell the
King when he should come home. She had found the
candy, and some delightful little cakes, in the top
drawer; the palace was full of flowers, and fountains,
and birds and pictures, and she would have enjoyed
her day very much, if she had not felt so responsible
about the government.
Night came on, and still the King had not
returned. She became very uneasy, and was thinking
of making herself known to a little page who had
behaved pretty- decently, all things considered, and
starting him off to search for the King, when she
suddenly thought of her rug.
"I wish to be where the young King is!" she
said, standing firmly on the rug, and in a moment she
was whirling through the air. Another, and she had
landed But where was she? Far from the city, on
a quiet village green. The moonlight was faint, and
for a few minutes she could distinguish nothing, but
she heard a sound of sobbing, and, as her eyes grew
used to the light, she saw a pair of stocks, and,
sticking out of them, two shadowy feet!
"Oh! who has done this ?" she said, excitedly, and
the King,-for it was indeed he-answered promptly,
"The constable-and he did his duty, too!"
The young King's courage came back to him as
soon as he heard the fairy's voice, and he explained
how, wandering from place to place, wholly invisible,
as he thought, he had been made uneasy by curious
glances directed toward his feet, until, looking down,
he had seen, to his consternation, that they were
faintly visible. He had already seen so much that had
given him sad and remorseful thoughts, that he resolved
to hide somewhere until the sun should go down, and
then make the best of his way home.
I was all in a muddle about this governing
business," he continued, so interested in his story that
he forgot about the stocks, "and I wanted to think
quietly over what I had seen. The poor people were
so horribly poor, and the rich people were so abom-
inably rich, that I knew there was something wrong
somewhere, and I was determined to find out where.
So I walked quickly through the village where I
happened to be, to get to a wood not very far off,
but, as ill-luck would have it, it was just at noon, the
laborers were lying about eating their dinners, and
first one pointed at my feet, and then another, until
a crowd gathered, and there was a first-class row!
I tried to run; but they put their feet out, and tripped
me up, and shouted, and howled, until I struck out
right and left. And in the midst of it all, up came
the constable-he was a fine, strong-looking man, just
such a fellow as I'd like to be myself-and, as soon
as he heard what it was all about, he put his hand
where he thought my shoulder ought to be-and he
guessed exactly right, too-and said, 'I arrest you in
the name of the King, for disturbing the public peace.' "
'But I'm the King, myself!' I said, before I
thought, and you ought to have heard them roar out
laughing! But what hurt me most of all was"-and
the young King's voice quivered-" something I heard
one of them say; it was a workman, who happened
to be passing; he hadn't joined in the row, but he
said, 'I could well believe that it is our King-a pair
of useless feet, without body or head!' and he walked
off. But the constable was as cool as a cucumber,
and as firm as a rock. 'Anybody can call himself
a King,' he said; 'but until you can prove it, it's my
duty to arrest you. If you are the King, or if you
aren't, you've no business to be going about like
this; it's enough to frighten people out of their wits.
But I've no wish to be hard on you, and if the prison
was worth anything, I'd put you there for the night;
but, like everything else about the government, it's
coming to pieces, so I must put you in the stocks,
King or no King. I'll come back at bedtime, and, if
you've made yourself like other folks, I'll let you out,
and give you a bed and a breakfast, if you'll be off
as soon as you've eaten.' So he put me here, and I
was afraid you couldn't come, and I was very miserable
indeed; but you can let me out, can't you, before he
comes back? I don't wish to be made visible first; he
must not know about my really being the King! "
It's all my fault! said Dulcie, remorsefully, I
ought to have told you not to put your feet out till
I'd finished. The only way I can do is, to change you
into something small, that can slip out, and then back
into a King again. Now let me think a minute, for
it will not do to make a mistake, this time!"
So she thought very carefully, and blew the whistle
exactly right; the King was changed into a mouse
and slipped out of the stocks without a struggle or a
groan. But before she could reverse the charm, the
flashing of a lantern frightened them, and they had
only just time to get out of sight, before the con-
stable reached the stocks.
He was dreadfully puzzled, and stayed so long
examining the stocks, to see, how his prisoner had
escaped, that the fairy and the King grew very nervous
-what if a cat should happen along ? But he went
away at last, muttering and shaking his head, and
then the mouse got entangled in the long grass, and the
fairy in a cobweb, and it was nearly midnight before
they found each other, and the fairy reversed the
charm, and restored the King to himself, and then she
was obliged to make him visible, and then to turn him
into a fly, so that she might take him home on the rug.
When they reached the palace, they found it blazing
with light; a court-ball was going on, and the indignant
King, when he was once more restored to his own
form, wished to go out and "give them a piece of
his mind," he said, and send everyone to bed.
But Dulcie, who was really beginning to have a
little sense, implored him not to do it.
"You're all tired out, and very sleepy," she said,
"and that makes you cross; they're no worse than they
have been ; you've only found them out, and if you
bounce out upon them the way you wish to, you'll only
make enemies, and not do any good. Go to bed,
there's a dear boy, and when we are both rested, we
will talk things over, and make everything come straight."
To this the King at last consented; they both slept
"delightfully, and in the morning he awoke, full of resolu-
tion. Dulcie and he had a long talk, and the first
thing they decided upon was to send for the fearless
constable, and make him Prime Minister.
The fairy stayed until she saw that the kingdom
was really beginning to come straight, and then she
bade the King good-bye, crying a little as she did so.
But I really must have change of air and scene,"
she said; "I had no idea that governing was such hard
>'^ -'^ :, .;\ 1rC "<: '. '^v. t. '
:'l~ ts .-^^A*' *,-
work! I find I'm not sleeping well, and I've no appetite
at all. My mind don't seem to be strong enough for
such responsibility, but I can see that yours is growing
stronger every day. And I'll be sure to come and see
you, the next time I pay a visit to the earth-I shall be
so interested to hear how you're getting along-! "
The King, who was a generous young fellow, did
not try to detain her longer, though his heart was
sorrowful at the thought of her going. He even recom-
mended her to go to the seashore, and stay until she
regained her appetite and could sleep once more.
So she wished herself at a certain seaside village,
which she chose at random from those which he
mentioned, because it had a pretty name. Once more
she sailed through the air, and came safely down upon
the sand, close by the sea. She had never seen it
; -'. .
"before, and she stood for awhile, lost in wonder,
watching the great billows as they thundered in over
the sand, and broke in beautiful white foam, almost at
her feet. Ships with great white sails were passing to
and fro in the distance, and sky and sea were so blue
that it was hard to tell where one ended and the other
began. She looked for a long time, but at last she
turned, and saw a row of houses not far off, and people
walking about, and sitting on the sand, or on rugs.
One person, in particular, soon attracted her attention
-a very plump woman, between forty and fifty years
old, with a round, rosy, good-natured face, on each side
of which hung little corkscrew curls. In one hand
she held a parasol, and in the other a large pair of
field-glasses, through which she was looking intently out
to sea. The sea was damp, and she had seated herself
on one end of a see-saw, which some children had left
there, and of course the other end of the board was
high in the air. Down the board walked the fairy,
for her voice was very small and fine, and she wished
to be near the mortal's ear, so she sprang from the
board to the broad shoulder, and said, gently,
"May I ask what you are seeking?"
Gnats!" said the mortal, in what seemed to the
fairy a voice of thunder, and she gave her ear a
resounding slap; the very breeze from it nearly blew
"No, it isn't gnats !" said Dulcie, speaking a good
deal louder, and just a little pettishly; "It's me, Dulcie,
a fairy, and you very nearly blew me away with that
whack! See how small I am, compared with you;" and
she fluttered lightly down to the mortal's lap.
Now if Dulcie had made careful search through the
country, she could nowhere have found a grown person
so ready to believe her, so full of child-like faith in all
that she could not understand, as was this stout lady
perched upon the edge of the see-saw.
..A. *-. .. -. .
__- i 4
"Bless me!" exclaimed the mortal-whose ii.'.' it
will be shorter to mention, was Grigg--
"Are you really and truly a fairy ? I've read of
them all my life, but I've never succeeded in seeing one,
though I've often tried! Why, what a dear little thing
you are! You're even prettier than I've imagined them
-is there anything I can do for you, my dear? "
Now this was such an entire revu.rsal of the way
"in which mortals received fairies, according to all the
traditions, that Dulcie was a little taken aback. But
she was determined, before everything, to be agreeable,
and to make none of the slips, which, she was beginning
to see, had lost her some of her lamented friends, so
she smiled gratefully, saying,
"Thank you, you are very kind; but I was just
Going to ask if there wasn't something I could do for
"Then you really are a fairy!" said Miss Grigg,
joyfully, for that's the way they begin, in all the
stories, and I suppose, of course, you'll tell me to make
three wishes; but, indeed, I have only one wish, or at
least one ready-made-I daresay I might think of more
in time-but I'm afraid you'll say my one wish is equal
to three ordinary ones-it 's a pretty tjug-h wish, I
admit, even for a fairy to ,grant-I wish to be thin and
Iulcie looked thoughtful, and a little disappointed.
Her first feelings, in meeting this friendly mortal, had
been great delight and triumph. Ilow she would crow
over the Kin, when she went home! Respectfully, of
course: but to think that, after all he had said, the
very first mortal she met should not only believe in
fairies, but actually seem to have been expecting her!
But this demand damped her joy a little.
I don't know, dear mortal," she began, doubtfully.
Call me Hannah, do, you dear little thing; it's
so much more friendly !" put in Miss Grig'.
Well, then, dear Hannah," returned I)ulcie, '!'ve
never heard the recipe for making people thin-except,
yes! I remember now, hearing my G(randmther tell
about a mortal who was almost as light as a fairy,
"but this mortal had been very ill-would you mind
being ill, dear I lannah? We might choose some pleasant
sort of illness; my Grandmother knew of a lovely
one, called Nervous Exhaustion-she gave it to several
people, she said. When you have that, you're not
allowed to wait on yourself in the least, and everybody
must give you whatever you cry for, or even make a
face for, and very often you're obliged to go traveling
to lovely places, and you are taken care of just as if
you were a baby. Now wouldn't you like that? I've
the recipe for that, in my memorandum-book, where
my grandmother herself wrote it for me-she said I
might find it useful, some day!"
And Iulcie drew from her pocket-where, for a
wonder, it happened to be-a tiny book, and read
'Equal parts of Needless Haste, Useless Worry,
Groundless Anxiety, Senseless Suspicion, and Vain
Regret. Shake well together, and take a good swallow
before each meal, and on going to bed.'
"Yes, I should think that would do it," said Miss
Grigg, thoughtfully. "and I'd be tempted to try, if
there was time, but that's just one of the difficulties;
I'm looking for him every minute; you noticed the
field-glasses, perhaps? "
"Him ? said Dulcie, doubtfully.
"Oh, I forgot," said Miss Grigg, laughing and
growing still rosier than she already was, "or rather,
I suppose I thought fairies knew things without being
told; the fact is, I'm engaged to be married, and he
went to China fifteen years ago, when I was a slim
young thing, not much ';., r than you are, so to
speak, and quite good-looking, if you'll believe it I've
tried several times to make him understand how I've
changed I couldn't bring myself to send him my
photograph-but all he will say is, that one can't have
too much of a good thing, and I'm the best thing lhe
knows anything about!" and Miss Grigg gave a joyous
"Well, if he really feels that way," said Dulcie,
brightening up, "why should you wish to change?"
".Ah, my dear, he hasn't seen me! It's all very
well for him to talk so at a distance, but when he gets
here, and finds me so fat, as well as old and ugly, I'm
afraid he'll wish he'd stayed in China to the end of his
days and Miss Grigg sighed.
"But you're not ugly! cried Dulcie, indignantly;
the pleasant, friendly face seemed to her to grow prettier
every minute, "and I've heard my Grandmother say, that
when mortals really love each other, all that sort of
thing don't matter at all-that they seem not to know
about it !
Did she say that?" asked Miss Grigg, looking
very much pleased; and then her tone suddenly changed,
as she exclaimed, "Oh, dear! there come those horrid
children again! I'm very fond of nice children, but
these My dear, they ask you sixty questions an hour,
and don't listen if you answer; and if they've asked me
what I'm looking for once, they've asked me a million
"Would you like to be made invisible till they go
away ? said Dulcie, eagerly. "I can do that; I've
a whistle that can do wonderful things-and, now I
remember, that was just what I meant to do for people
"I'd like it of all things!" said Miss CG -, heartily;
"it would be something like being thin; and, perhaps,
when they think nobody's here for them to plague, they'll
go away again. But- you'll not forget to make me
visible again as soon as they're gone, will you, dear?
It would be so awkward for a person of my size to be
permanently invisible "
Oh, no !" said Dulcie, very confidently, "I'll not
go far away, and when you wish to be visible again,
just call, softly, 'Dulcie'-and I'll be with you directly."
So that's your name !" said Miss Grigg, admir-
ingly, "and a sweetly pretty one it is; but it's rather
long for such a little body."
The fairy blew the silver whistle slowly and care-
fully, for fear she should get it wrong, and, when she
looked up, the stout lady had vanished, and there was
nothing to be seen but the see-saw.
"I'm here, all right, my dear;" said the pleasant
voice, "but hush-there come those children!"
Sure enough, there they came, three of them, two
boys and a girl.
Why, she isn't here! said the girl, in a disap-
pointed tone; "I'm sure I saw her just now; I meant to
ask her to let me look through her spy-glasses again."
Oh, well, she'd only have snapped at us, the way
she did yesterday," said the largest boy, "and here's the
see-saw, anyhow. You two sit on the short end, and
I'll climb out on the long one-come on."
"No, I want to sit on the long end! said the girl
,\\int th,: kon/ ,.n l!" \hini-d th,- litt,- b1-:y, and,
\ ith that, t]h lar.,.-ir b ..v ste[l'[ l-d iij. : d r.in ,,it i.[., i
the long end, just as the other boy and the girl jumped
up, and tried to pull it down.
Their united weight, and the way in which the board
was placed, sent poor Miss Grigg spinning through the
air, and she fell heavily on the sand, while the end of
the board upon which she had been sitting flew up and
the other end came down with a bang A three-fold
shriek, and a storm of quarreling and fault-finding
drowned the groans of poor Miss Grigg, who was really
very much hurt. She had been looking through the
field-glass, and as she fell, it had struck her sharply
under both eyes, and, if she had been visible, they would
both have been black already.
She started up, intending to run back to her
boarding-house and bathe her aching head, but she sud-
denly remembered that she was invisible.
"I can't go back this way!" she groaned, "and, oh!
where can that fairy have gone ? I begin to be afraid
she was a bad fairy. Dulcie! Dulcie !" she called, and
the children hearing her, and looking for her in vain,
started up in terror and ran away, forgetting their
quarrel in their fright.
And where was Dulcic all this time? Why was she
not hovering around, to see that her gift should do no
harm, even if it did no good? Alas, she was sound asleep!
She had flown up into a tree, and had heard not a word
of it all. Her journey had wearied her more than she
realized, and when the excitement of this meeting was
over, she found herself strangely drowsy, and, seating
herself on the rug, flew up to a quiet retreat in a tree.
"I'll just take forty winks," she said to herself, "and
then fly down and see how Hannah's coming on-
perhaps she'd like to stay invisible till after he comes
home, and sort of break it to him gently; I think that
would be a pretty good plan, and I'll suggest it to
When at last she woke with a start, it was high
noon; as soon as she remembered where she was and
all about it, she sprang up, full of remorse, and, seating
herself on the rug, flew down to the beach. A sound
of suppressed sobbing greeted her ears, and there on
the sand, in the hot sun, sat the poor invisible Miss
Oh, my dear Hannah, what has happened?" cried
Dulcie in dismay.
- -.. ..- -. _--, .
"I thought you must be a bad fairy!" sobbed poor
Miss Grigg, "or you'd never have gone off and left me
so; and if you're not a bad fairy, you'll make me visible
again right away, so that I can go and put something
on my eyes-I'm afraid to look at myself, for I know
they're as black as a coal! "
They were, indeed. When Dulcie had reverted the
charm, she was truly shocked by her friend's appearance.
There was a large black-and-blue place under each eye,
and the lids were red and swollen with crying.
"Oh! said the fairy, sobbing in her turn, and
wringing her tiny hands, this is worse than anything I
ever did in Fairyland! What shall I do? What can I
do? My dear friend, my kind, good, beautiful Hannah!"
The large and tender heart was touched at once by
the little creature's utter distress.
"There, there, my dear," she said, soothingly, as
she took the fairy gently upon her lap, "you didn't
mean any harm, and it'll be all right if he only doesn't
come till my eyes get well-that would settle it! But
where did you go? "
I went to sleep!" said Dulcie, looking very much
ashamed, and I was so frightened when I woke and saw
h :r'- th- in h1-i l .i k -1 ., I.-.r I knr\\ it 1lmuL-d li'.r.
taken him a good while. But now tell me, what can I
"If you could make all this black-and-blue and
redness on my eyes invisible," said Miss Grigg, speaking
quite cheerfully again, "I'd be all right-I wouldn't mind
the aching at all, if it wasn't for the way I must look,
for I sort of feel it in my bones that he will come
to-day-the ship was due yesterday."
"I should think I might do that easily! said
Dulcie, eagerly, and feeling as if a mountain had been
lifted off her; "instead of saying 'oh, mortal,' before I
whistle, I'll juist say 'oh, black-and-blue and redness'-,it
can't do any harm, and it may do good "
Neither of them had noticed that a large ship was
being slowly "warped in" to the nearest dock. As the
fairy was about to begin, a hearty voice called out,
Hannah, as I live! I'd have known those little
curls if you were twice as stout "
Forgetting all about her eyes, Miss Grigg turned
joyfully to meet her lover, but almost before she had
satisfied herself that it was indeed he, she saw a look of
blank dismay steal over his face, and he fell back a step
or two, faltering out,
-- r ,
S -- r 5
'What in thunder-- and then stopping short.
Miss Grigg's round face grew crimson with wonder,
love, and pride.
"I thought it would be so!" she said in a trem-
bling voice, and still forgetting about her black eyes;
" Good-bye, Leander; I will not reproach you!"
And she walked off to her boarding-house without
once turning her head, leaving her lover so startled and
shocked that he really did not see which way she went.
So when Dulcie, who had been stupefied with
astonishment and fright, recovered her senses enough to
speak, there was no one there but an astonished-looking
man, who was muttering,
"Two black eyes! It can't possibly be my Hannah!
Some of the fellows have played me a trick. She was
the sweetest-tempered woman in the world, and nothing
shall make me believe it. Two black eyes!"
Dulcie flew to his shoulder, and tried to shout into
his ear, but her voice was tremulous with tears; he
thought she was a mosquito, and boxed his ear with
such violence that, had she not sprung aside just in time,
her history would have ended there and then.
She fled to the tree in blank despair. The worst
had happened, and she was the cause.
But, after a long and bitter fit of crying, she began
to feel a little hopeful. Surely two such sensible-looking
people would manage to come to an understanding, and,
should they not, no doubt the King would make it all
So, trying to take comfort from this, she resolved
to make another trial; there must be people in the
world who needed such help as she could give!
"Let me see," she mused, "I'll try children this
time; I've heard my Grandmother say that they are
much more easily helped and comforted than grown
people are. And I don't wish to begin here again! Of
course, poor, dear Hannah will tell her friends about it,
and I'm sure I can't blame her. She looks as if she
might have plenty of friends, too. No, I'll not stay
here; I will have to come back before it is. time to go
home, just to see that it's all right again, but I can go
as far as I like on my rug, in the meantime, But I
must have something to eat, first. There's a very good
smell coming out of some of these windows-I'll just
fly about and see where it is and what it comes from."
',S she- h1 _.I ;rd in front l on-.- \\indow alt,-r
anioth'r., until ait ,t *'11; cam( to10 [1h- iitl r's I antr\,
and thI.r '. n a t tray. i- u t rUaE It to l.r carr'- d into the
.ining-r m \>,-r % hF,%_ or ix i lat,:t ol f-al,-r s ,I)l,.
lh hc \V tr thhin.g .ail. l ; air. l li Iht- ly, and
pickin: up a I altz I ,- n \IhiLli va. I.i ng near. and
lhi'h. a tl iu. l mnl uihi [t.,11 La r- f, 'r i,--r. wa tlh' small,-est
11111 Cn._ f1: I 1 M I'i1 1 il l t : w\k a <-1 '': h, : Ji',a- ll
t,_ help_ her-dIll. Sh,- \3as pu,,is..e. on the ed1._-e f til!e
plate:. \ which I \vaI a 'Xej-p on': \\ h n a it, i n nI:,'i e
startled her, and before she could .prelt,_ad h r \\in'g;, slht
had slipped into the soup. It was hi:t-li--.Iuip-, Irtuinatly,
not very hot, but in a moment h-r _au.yi. dres-. and
wings were soaked with it, and -h,:- tried in vain :ithri-r
to scramble up the edge of three slilppe-ry il.it:. or to:
raise her wings and fly. Fortunat'lv. it \a nil't i\-r
her head, which, bobbing about oni thhr -uirlace. while e
her little body was quite concealed Iy ther thick soillj,
looked like some new and curious s...rt ol:f In Ihct,
when the waiter came presently ti, tak, te h tray into
the dining-room, he never thought otf it'- I:Leing anything-
else, and remarking, in disgusted toneis.
Bother them flies! They're into everything! he
took a teaspoon and proceeded to fish her out.
But it would be hard to tell which of them was the
more frightened, when, instead of a fly, he found in his
spoon a little creature who looked like a very small and
delicate human being. Fortunately for Dulcie, he was
an Irishman, and had never quite outgrown *his early
faith in fairies.
"Sure, it's one of the little folk my Grandmother
used to be telling me about!" he said, as he carefully
deposited the fairy on a clean plate, instead of throwing
her out of the window, "and I'll not let her go till she's
given me the three wishes-I'm in luck itself, for once
in my life, I believe !"
An angry tinkle of the bell reminded him that only
half the boarders were served with soup, and he caught
up the tray, but set it hastily down again, while he
turned a strainer over the plate which held the fairy
"No disrespect to you, my dear, but it would
break me heart to find you gone when I come back
again, and I'll be thinking up my three wishes! "
Too wretched even to cry, the fairy sank hopelessly
down on the plate, and hid her greasy face in her
"Oh!" she moaned, "how can I escape from this
giant? Unless he happens to wish for the two or three
things I could give him, I am powerless, and there is no
telling what he will do if I disappoint him. His Grand-
mother has evidently told him about fairies as they were
in my Grandmother's time, but things are very different
now! I would give my best shoe-buckles to anybody that
would lift this dreadful cage, and set me free, but oh,
dear! I couldn't fly, I am afraid; for my wings feel as if
they were growing fast to each other, and to my back,
and my gown is heavy with that hateful soup! "
Just then she heard a door open and then a light
footstep in the pantry, and then a child's voice, saying,
"I'm sure there was a noise, like a little, little baby
crying-could it have been my doll? I left her some-
where-I don't know where; I'm afraid I'm a very bad
mother-and it sounded just about as loud as she is big.
Ethelberta, my darling, are you here? If you are, please
cry again, so that I may find you ?"
r-, 4y~p ,, 4
ili*.' ., .- ..,_s~; ~ ~g
r ..." If--"..] ,I
.JiA -. ,
"Dear little mortal." screamed Dulcie, as louldly as
she possibly could, "lift the cage, here on this plate,
and I will give you my shoe-buckles, and a ride on my
rug, and whatever else you ask for, that is in my
Her voice was not much louder than the chirping
of a canary, but children have quick hearing, and the
child went at once to the plate and lifted the strainer.
It was as the fairy had feared-she could no longer fly,
so, in terror lest the waiter should return, she said,
"Take me quickly, before that dreadful,man comes
back-take me where I can wash my wings, so that I
may fly to a place of safety, and you shall have some-
thing beautiful! "
Now if this had been one of those children who
stop to ask "Why?" or "What for?" whenever they
are told to do anything, Dulcie would never have
escaped the waiter, for he was on his way back to the
pantry even then.
The little girl, whose name was Faith, but who, on
account of her small size and delicate features, had
always been called Fay, was not at all surprised that
she had at last found one of the fairies of which she
had so often read. She had been surprised, many a
time, in the woods and fields, at not finding them.
"They must have been here very lately!" she
would say to herself, when she found a green fairy-
ring" in the grass, or a pretty pink toadstool with
smooth shining top, and she always hoped that next time
she would not be too late. So though she laughed, it
was only with delight, and she gently lifted Dulcie from
the plate, and had only just disappeared from the pantry
when Patrick, the waiter, came in at the other door. It
so happened that a large horse-fly, which had fallen into
a cup of milk and struggled out again, had that minute
crawled upon the plate on which Patrick had left Dulcie.
The poor fellow rubbed his eyes, took up the plate and
carefully examined the fly, and then set it down again,
looking completely puzzled.
"Sorra a three wishes will I get from you, bad luck
to you !" he said angrily to the fly, which, having now
rubbed its legs and wings nearly dry, flew out of the
window. At the same moment, it occurred to Patrick
that the fairy must have transformed herself into this
shape in order to escape from him, for had she not
' i !i
contrived to raise the strainer, which was as heavy for
her as a house would have been for him?
"Stop, stop!" he called after the fly, "sure you'd
never cheat a poor man from your own country! Come
back till you see the beautiful jelly I'll give you! "
But the fly, which my have heard, but certainly did
not understand this liberal offer, sat on the wall outside
in the sun, carefully scraping his wings with his hind
legs. Here Patrick, looking cautiously from the window,
soon spied him, and not waiting to go round by the
door, for fear his prize should escape him, the eager
fairy-hunter leaped through the window, and stealing his
hand up softly behind the fly, made a sudden grab and
secured it; but alas, he had been too eager; when he
opened his hand, which he did very carefully, lest the
fly should again escape him, he found there was no
further danger on that score, for it was quite dead!
Then the next time I've the luck to catch a fairy,"
he said sadly to himself, as he reentered the house, by
the door instead of the window, "I'll make a bargain
without loss of time, soup or no soup, bell or no bell!
It is I that am the fool! Couldn't I think that if I made
my three wishes, I'd be far out of this before the
mistress could come to scold me? It's a great lord,
in me own ancestral castle, I'd be by this time, if I'd
had the sense of a hen itself! Oh, murderation, mur-
Meanwhile, the little girl had carried the fairy to
her own room, talking eagerly to her all the way.
"My smallest doll's dress will just fit you, dear
little fairy," said Fay, "and I will fill her tin bath-tub
with warm water, and you shall have a lovely bath, and
then I will wash out your own pretty frock for you, so
that by the time Mamma comes up from dinner, you
will be all clean and dressed again, and then when I
show you to her, she'll never say again that she don't
believe in fairies! Did you fall into the soup, or did
that waiter put you there, to keep you from flying? "
"I fell in, darling," said Dulcie, quite recovering
her spirits under this delightful treatment, and that
creature fished me out, and then, instead of behaving as
you are doing, he put me on a plate and turned that
cage on me till he could come back, and make me give
him three wishes! Very probably he would have killed
me if you hdd not rescued me; he looked quite equal
to it, and unless he had happened to wish for two or
.... ..... .. .63
three particular things that are in my power, I couldn't
have granted his wishes!"
Little Fay did not ask what these things were;
she hastened to help the fairy with her much-needed
toilet. The ruined dress was so light and gauzy, that,
being carefully washed by the child, it was dry, and
ready to be put on, by the time Dulcie had washed
off all traces of the sticky soup, and dried her wings.
SWhen she was once more dressed, and feeling like
herself again, she flew to Fay's shoulder, and said,
"I hate to disappoint you, darling, but I have
strong reasons, beside my fear of that man whom you
call the waiter, for wishing to go away immediately.
You will not keep me, will you, when you know that
each moment of my stay is a moment of terror?"
The child looked sadly grieved, and a large tear
rolled down her face.
"Am I to lose you so soon" she said, when I
have wished for you so long? And am I not to show
you to Mamma?"
"I am afraid, indeed I am afraid !" said Dulcie.
"Somehow, I fear more and more that I have reason
to fear all mortals who are no longer children ; but, dear
little child, come with me. I have almost three months
yet to stay, before I return to Fairyland. We will
find an island somewhere, on which there are none of
these huge people, who either do not believe in me,
or who believe only from selfish motives. We will
gather other children there-I can take one at a time
on my rug-and we will stay there, happily, playing
all day, until it is time for me to return home. Come,
while I fly for my rug, do you steal down the stairs,
and meet me under that large tree. Then I will tell
the rug to take us to the loveliest little island of the
sea, which has no people on it. Come!"
The child sprang up, exclaiming:
"Oh! how beautiful that will be! It will seem
like one of my most wonderful dreams. But then-
Mamma?" she faltered. "She has only me, and when
night comes, and she cannot find me, she will break
her heart with crying. No, I cannot go, darling fairy,
but I will not keep you in danger a moment longer.
See, the window is open. Fly off to your rug, and
make it take you far away, where you will be safe."
"I never really knew what trouble was till I came
to this dreadful world," said the fairy, crying bitterly.
" Here, darling, are my diamond buckles-wear them,
for my sake-and good-bye-I hear some one coming!"
and hastily pressing the tiny buckles into the child's
hand, Dulcie flew through the window, just as the door
opened and Fay's mother came in.
The little girl was crying softly, and when her
mother anxiously asked what was the matter, she said:
"Oh, Mamma! I have had a fairy here-a real,
darling little fairy, and she would have stayed longer,
but she was afraid of grown people, and I could not
keep her when I saw how miserable it would make
her, and now I shall never, never see her again !"
"You have been asleep, dear," said Fay's mother,
smiling. "It was only a dream, and you must not cry
for the loss of a dream."
"But, Mamma," persisted Fay, "it couldn't have been
a dream, possibly."
And then she told her mother all about it, beginning
with the little voice and the strainer, and ending with:
And see here, Mamma, here are the beautiful
little buckles she gave me to remember her by-why,
And she looked vainly, first in her hands, and then
about the floor, but alas, the buckles were nowhere to
be found. They were so very tiny, that they had slipped
from her hand and fallen through a narrow crack in
the stained floor, which had only a square of carpet
in the middle.
\When little Fay found that the only real evidence
of her visit from the fairy had disappeared, her grief
was redoubled, and her mother, finding that contradiction
only seemed to make matters worse, tried to turn
her thoughts to something else; and when days went
by, and nothing more was either seen or heard of the
fairy, the little girl began at last to have her own faith
shaken, and as she grew older, and found that a number
of her beautiful beliefs were only fancies, she came
to believe that it really was, as her mother had said,
Meanwhile, Dulcie was debating with herself as to
her next step.
"If I were not so afraid," she said, "I really
would try to set matters straight for poor, dear Hannah,
before I go away, but the next time I am caught
I may not get off so easily! Well, I will venture down
at twilight, and try to see her. Who knows ? perhaps
she and Leander have met and made it all up by this
time! I had no idea these mortals were so silly. His
own sense-if he'd had any-might have told him that
she hadn't been fighting. Fighting! Hannah !" and the
fairy laughed to herself at the very idea.
As soon as the sun had set, and it was beginning
to grow dark, she hovered about the lighted windows,
carefully avoiding those of the pantry and dining-room.
At last, in one of the bed-rooms, where two people
were talking together, she saw a nice, broad back,
which looked to her like Hannah's. The face was
turned away from the light, which made her more sure.
The other person in the room was a pretty, young
girl, who sat near the window.
Surely," said Dulcie to herself, "I need have no
fear of her."
The stout lady rose suddenly, saying: Well, Maria,
we might as well go down to the verandah-it's awfully
warm up here," and Dulcie, feeling doubtful about the
voice, and afraid they would go before she could make
sure, forgot her old fears and flew straight in, just as
Maria was turning down the gas. She flew so near
to the stout lady that her '.;ng-, nearly brushed a very
large ear, and then, to her infinite dismay, the stout
one uttered a piercing shriek and plunged under the
"It's a bat!" she cried in muffled tones, not even
daring to peep out. "Oh, Maria, take a towel and
.ho,:- it O:ut--t-h' fasten their claws in your hair-oh!"
I hrt \ ta an:ith'r l1nr k, anl in halt a a-,c-':':n
SlarIa iiA V. lj,;-.-' 11, a- t.
LiV thi- tim I )ulci-- lhal r'. '. '-r' ,[ I!-,m I',:r Ir .- hr
0an1l \ ,.it l.tu lhin .- Illv i t l:r-.lf.
' Nv iit a Lat, hrre in thi-, \vrl.. i alk-: tlhe I,.t
\hih thn Kin. -,-'m'-t:1;mu.- -mflpi:,, ma ,_ n .iin -r.." -hv
t h an. I -.ul''- it i i al ut all a- lar
La, th.t ]Lu.. '- :r.-attra -> hand.. an.- h :.r- .]: i. ...,,-'in -
: : .
on as if it were an elephant, and she were a fly!
This is really too much foolishness! Well, it isn't
Hannah-I've made sure of that. So now I shall just fly
quietly out, and leave them to stay there until they
come to their senses, if they have any."
So she flew back to her perch, and Maria and the
aunt, having waited half an hour, and hearing no
farther signs of the enemy, crawled stiffly out, scolded
each other for acting so foolish, brushed their hair and
their dresses, and went downstairs to tell of their fright
Dulcie decided to make one more trial.
"She will be more likely to be on one of the
verandahs," decided the fairy, it's such a warm night.
But I'll not fly about there; somebody might be brave
enough to take a towel and try to hit me. I will fly
down and creep softly through the grass, and along
the edge of the verandah. I think I can tell dear
Hannah from the rest, by her feet!"
So she flew down, alighting at some little distance
from the house, and making her way with difficulty
through the thick grass. But just as she had nearly
reached the steps, she heard a low, savage growl, two
"frightful, glaring eyeballs shone above her, and as she
gray cat. Stiff with terror, she remni ..1 1-', i.
and the cat, whose instinct tau-ght ht r *i .rm-ii .i1.
she killed anything, and thinking si,_- li.I :r.1i
unusually large beetle, carefully carri'-.l [I t. I. il. t
the gravel-walk, that she might hav- lA 1[,-r cih.
play: with her. Dulcie was faint with Iri.J. I'l. :.cat
I l, I n. .- h :r ir int!, and n1 t lhu rtin l ]i,-r :it 'all. 1 .I t
how long wuuld that last ? Ihos great, cruel teeth
gleamed through the darkness, and the fiery eyes shone
But there are uncertainties about everything, as
Miss Pussy presently found. She had just come out
upon the gravel-walk, and was beginning her fun by
releasing the fairy for a moment, for the pleasure of
catching her again, when a huge, black dog bounded round
the corner of the house, giving a savage bark. Miss
Pussy flew for her life, rushing up the nearest tree.
The dog was hard after her, and only missed her last
foot by half an inch, and the fairy, recovering from her
fright enough to use her wings, managed to fly back to
her perch, and sank down upon her rug, more dead
"I must get away from here," she panted, when she
na..l r,-':>,v :r.:i .l littl... I ,.La, : n ,t -. i ; .ar that I-.irli.jl
,I.-cl r- ag ain T" l,: Ir ih \ ait,-r \I.i I., l ,n, :i l..t
th,i .,- :t, .:i..: I, ,:._ .. [-- .. i -tnd \\-e ,ud, l J. t',r:,.[ ;ti' ti!
"I thinl< I'.,_- h,:. ',l mi 1i r.i,].:dm ,.'thl r -1,eak aI ,I.n ,_:
C tl ,-d Ie t ,U- ,"t .hi: c ''nIt in -I I. A ;. i it t' I d ... "
Ir:,m e\ery\ ih,.-rI I-, .. I m ii ht I- [!,o r,_1;. I [.l .i\- thLrI
until it is time for me to go home. And one thing I
am perfectly positive about-I will have nothing more to
do with grown-ups, under any circumstances, unless when
I come back here, before going home, I should find that
Hannah and Leander haven't managed to come to an
understanding. Perhaps I ought to wait, and try to set
that matter right now, before I go, but I really haven't
the courage. I've gone through so much to-day, and I
had so little to eat, that my nerves will not stand
another shock. Hannah herself wouldn't ask me to do
more than be half-drowned in soup, and nearly eaten by
a wild beast, to say nothing of the way in which those
creatures screamed at me! No I'm off!"
So, standing upon the rug, she wished herself in
Russia, and away sailed the rug, faster than any balloon
you ever saw. Dulcie found herself shivering before
long. The cold was more intense than any she had
ever felt. She came down in the courtyard of a large and
stately house. To her great delight, two children were
playing in the yard. They were warmly dressed, and
had healthy, rosy faces, and they laughed as they rolled
about a huge snowball, which still grew larger as they
rolled it. But they did not look at all as if they needed
anything. One was a boy, and the other was a girl, and
presently the boy blew on his fingers, and said-in
Russian, of course:
"Whew! My hands are freezing! What a pity
that cook is so cross. We might run and get warm at
his great fire, and be back here again, while we are
only going up all those stairs to the nursery !"
"Yes," replied the girl, "no matter how quietly we
go in, he flies into a rage the moment he sees us-he
is really very cross!"
Dulcie thought she saw her opportunity. She did not
hesitate a moment, but, perching on the great snowball,
said as loudly as she could:
Dear little children, I can make you invisible for
as long a time as you like !"
They stared at her with wide-open eyes, looking, she
thought, a little frightened, so she hastened to reassure
"I am a fairy," she said, "a good-that is, I mean,
not a bad fairy, and though I can't do as much for you
as my Grandmother could have done, I can make you
invisible, if you like, and visible again, as soon as you
"My tutor says there is no such thing as a fairy,"
said the boy, doubtfully.
"And so does my governess," added the girl.
You must not believe them, when they say that,"
said Dulcie, eagerly. "They know no better, perhaps,
poor things; but I only came from Fairyland myself, last
night, so here is the proof that there are fairies !"
You may wonder, perhaps, that she could understand
and speak Russian so easily, for you may have heard
that it is a dreadfully hard language to do anything
but growl in; but fairies are born with a knowledge
of all human languages, as well as those spoken by
beasts and birds, fishes and insects. This was quite
necessary when they were known and loved on earth, and
is still kept up, in case that happy time should come again.
"Can you really make us invisible ?" asked the girl,
Because, if you can," said the boy, with an earnest
look on his rosy face, "I think we ought to believe in
you. It would be what my tutor calls a demonstration."
"Very well," said Dulcie. "But let me quite
understand, before I do it, for how long a time do you
wish to be invisible? Until the sun goes down?"
"Oh, no," replied the boy, "not so long as that,
Madame Fairy; or at least, not so long this first time.
Do we, sister?"
The little girl shook her head, and he continued:
"You see, Mamma would be frightened. She looks
from the window every little while, and smiles-there
she is, now!" and he waved his cap and bowed to a
handsome woman at an upper window. Can you tell
time, Madame Fairy? No? Well, then, look! When the
longer of those two gold sticks on the clock's face points
down-so-then tap softly on the kitchen window, and
we will steal out and be made visible again. Now we
are ready. Give me your hand, sister."
The fairy blew her whistle; the children vanished,
but two bursts of joyous laughter floated on the air, and
two happy voices cried:
"It is true, then! There are fairies!"
Then the boy's voice said:
"I feel your hand, sister, but I cannot see you
anywhere Can you see me?"
No more than if you were thin air!" she replied.
" Come, we will go and warm ourselves in the kitchen,
now !" and away they sped, their invisible feet leaving
visible tracks in the snow. The fairy flew after them
promptly, and perched on the window-sill.
"Come, now," she said to herself complacently,
"I've begun very well in Russia! Dear little things!
How happy I've made them. And I'll not stir till I see
the gold stick pointing down."
They had stolen in as the cook-who was a tall and
fierce-looking man-came out to say how many ducks
and chickens he wished killed for the day, and they stood
on the warm hearth, which had been spotlessly clean,
but on which now there were four little patches of fast-
melting snow. The children looked, at this with some
dismay, until they remembered they were invisible. Then
they decided, in whispers, to wait and see the cook's
rage when he should find his clean hearth in this state!
Meanwhile, Dulcie's attention had been attracted by
another boy and girl, who came out of a door at the
side of the house They were about the size of the first
pair, and looked a little like them.
"Where can our cousins be ?" said the boy, looking
around the court-yard. "Aunt said we should find them
here, and here is their great snowball, of which she
spoke, but where are they?"
Perhaps they have gone in to get warm," replied
the girl. "Come, let us roll the snowball, and then hide
-they will be so surprised, when they come out, to see
Very well," said the boy, beginning to push with
a will, "but I don't see where we can hide, and watch
Dulcie could not resist this.
"I can see the gold stick just as well," she said to
herself, and once more flew up on the snowball, saying:
"Would you like to be invisible for a little while.
my dears? I am a fairy, and can make you so in a
There I told you there were still fairies, brother,"
said the little girl, triumphantly, and now you will
believe me !"
"Indeed I will," said the boy, heartily, "for this is
a real, a beautiful little fairy! Please make us invisible
quickly, dear fairy," he added, "before our cousins
So Dulcie blew the charm as fast as she could, and
the invisible children rolled the ball around at such a
rate, that it was soon twice as large as they found it.
4 -:- *- -.
the time was past, and flew back to her perch upon the
window-sill. She peeped in, and saw that the cook had
returned, and was cuffing the scullion unmercifully for
the wet tracks upon the hearth. All the poor boy said
had no effect.
"There has not been another mortal here!"
thundered the cook.
The fairy was in an agony. She had never seen
cruelty like this before.
"He did not do it! He did not do it!" she
screamed, at the top of her tiny voice. But she might
as well have been a mouse squeaking behind the
wainscot, and she flew back to the snowball
The invisible children in the kitchen had tapped on
the window two or three times for her in vain, while
she was talking with their cousins, and then, a little
frightened by her not answering, had stolen out to
try and find her.
"Suppose she should be frozen to death!" said the
little boy, in an awe-struck whisper, "and we should have
to stay invisible all the rest of our lives !"
But just then they caught sight of her, as she stood
on the snowball. She had whistled the charm, and the
cousins had disappeared.
"Hush!" said the girl, "there she is! And only look
how our ball has grown, brother, She must have done
that with her wand. Don't let's call her yet-let us go
and push the ball, and see what she will do, for you
know she couldn't see us, after she said the charm, fairy
though she is !"
So they stole softly up, and began to push the
ball, but, to their surprise, it would not move.
'(-- .~--r.- -- --:; -
The fact was, that, just as they began to push, the
other two children also began with all their might, and
soon both pairs were breathless and very angry. All four
thought that the fairy was making the ball immovable,
just to annoy and tease them. They pushed with a
will, whispering all sorts of cross things about the fairy
as they pushed, and poor Dulcie was so distressed at
what she heard, that she quite forgot the charm, which,
to release them, must be worked backward. Just as
she was recalling it, the ball suddenly moved. One
pair of children had stopped a moment to breathe, and,
as the others were still pushing with might and main,
over went the ball, and under it went the cousins who
had come on a visit.
But for the soft snow underneath they must have
been badly hurt, and, as it was, they were a good deal
bruised, and mouths, eyes, noses and ears were filled
For one breathless moment Dulcie thought she
would fly away and leave them to their fate.
"I could come back to-night, when they are asleep,"
she thought, "and make them visible again then-but
no, this is cowardly! Poor Hannah is enough-too
much-for one day. I know! I have my own invisible
suit in my pocket. I'll slip that on, and then I'll be
She did so quickly, and then, with trembling breath,
reversed the charm. She fluttered in the air above
them as she did it, and flew straight to a bird-box
when she had finished. But she heard angry voices
until a voice from an upper window recalled all four
children to the house.
Twilight was falling, and she sat shivering in the
bird-box, afraid to venture out until it should be quite
"For that fierce cook," she said to herself, "looks
like a gigantic, hostile elf, and who knows what he
might do to me!"
She was so wretched and dazed over her second
failure, that it did not occur to her that she could fly
away on the rug, until the stars were shining.
"But where shall I fly?" she thought. "Oh, why
did I leave Fairyland? I was unpopular there, it is
true, but if I keep on in this way, here, a price will be
set upon my head before long, and I shall be obliged
to stay invisible all the time. I know what I will do!
I will go and be a hermit. My Grandmother told me
that, in her time, if mortals did not like -their homes, or
their families, or anything, they picked out a nice, large
cave, with a spring of sparkling water in one corner of
it, and plenty of fruit in the neighborhood, and spent
the rest of their lives in thinking. Now I don't wish to
think for the rest of my life-I should go crazy-but
perhaps I can manage to think for a month or two, and
I may find out what the matter is. There is something
wrong, that is certain, and the King more than hinted,
I remember now, that I might be the something! I
didn't like it at the time, at all, but I begin to be afraid
he must have been partly right. What was that line of
poetry he asked me to remember? Oh, d
memory is really growing smaller all the time. Iuti the
first thing is, to choose a hermitage. I can't do any
respectable thinking while I'm so unsettled and ,o
dreadfully hungry, and as for asking for anything. : t.-' iat
here "-and the fairy shuddered. "No," she r,:s.irnr:,.
"I'll fly off on the rug-it's a fine, starlight ni:.hlt--and
perhaps I had better keep myself invisible until I .gt
out of this dreadful country."
So, once more placing herself on the rug, sh r,_..
into the air, intending to fly due south, in search S n a
warmer climate; but, before she had gone very high, or
far, a smell of savory cooking, from a peasant's house,
attracted her attention; for by this time the poor little
thing was extremely hungry. She began slowly to
descend, saying to herself:
"At least, I can see if they seem to be pleasant
people, and, if they do, I will beg for a little soup-I
am nearly sure it is soup-and a warm cover by the
stove for the night."
Leaving her rug on the roof, she flew lightly down,
and peeped in at the window.
It was soup. A sad-faced man and woman and two
quiet-looking children were gathered about a rough table,
eating their dinner, which consisted of soup and bread
alone. A baby, with an old, wizen face, lay in a
clumsy cradle by the hearth.
"We must be quick," said the mother, after they
had eaten in silence for a few minutes. "The agent
may come to-day for the rent, and if he sees and smells
this good soup, he will not believe that we have not
been able quite to make it up."
"But you can tell him, mother, can you not, that
our dear lady gave you the soup-bone and the herbs?"
asked the boy.
"Yes, I can tell him," replied the mother, with a
sad smile, "and he can refuse to believe me-he is a
hard man. He even frowned at the baby the last time
he was here, and called her a burden-my darling!"
and the poor woman caught up the ugly baby and
There was a hole in the window, quite large enough
for Dulcie to creep through, and she now did so
fearlessly, and perched on a piece of black bread beside
the peasant's wife.
"Do not be frightened," she said, hurriedly, "I am
only a poor little fairy, very hungry and cold, and I am
come to beg for some dinner. You see, I am so small,
that I cannot eat much, but your soup smells as if it
were delicious, and perhaps I can do something for you,
in return for a little of it."
They had all been staring at her in astonishment,
mixed with something like fright, but her gentle voice
and appealing face reassured them. They had never
doubted the existence of fairies, and now they gave her
a warm welcome, and some warm soup, too.
When she had satisfied her hunger, she was
beginning to tell them what she could do for them.
"I can make people invisible," she said, "and visible
again. I could take you, one at a time, wherever you
like, on my traveling-rug, and when I go home, I can
take a petition to the king-- "
But just here a heavy footstep was heard outside
the door, and the children, peeping through the window,
said, in an awe-struck whisper:
"Oh, dear fairy," said the mother, in a terrified
whisper, "if you really can make people and things
invisible, do it at once, I beseech you, to the baby and
So, hurriedly directing them to put the dish of soup
in one end of the cradle, so that she need only work
the charm once, Dulcie whistled it as fast as she
possibly could, and by the time the agent had stamped
the snow from his boots, and come in, the great cradle,
with all its contents, was no longer to be seen.
The agent sniffed suspiciously, but he had, fortunately,
a cold in his head, and, as he saw nothing but black
bread upon the table, he concluded that he must have
been mistaken. He seemed to have forgotten about the
baby, and was quite pleasant, until the rent was handed
'" ..-; r.I +
'~ *** ^
*I i ; ; i*
i~_~~- 73F/' ~~~"?
him; but when the father explained that he had only
two-thirds of it ready, and must beg a few days'
indulgence, he was very angry, and declared that unless
the rest were ready for him the next day, they should
surely leave the house. He turned to go, and, as
ill-luck would have it, his foot struck the rocker of the
The cover of the soup-dish flew off; the hot soup
poured over his legs and feet, fortunately missing the
baby, who, wakened by the rude jostling of the cradle,
set up a terrific screaming.
Dulcie, safely hidden in a recess of the earthenware
stove, nearly choked with silent laughter at the agent's
face of blank amazement, as, feeling the hot soup, and
hearing the shrieks of the baby, he looked down and
saw nothing but the bare floor. But she did not laugh
when, furious and frightened both, he roared out:
"This is nothing more nor less than witchcraft!
You shall all be in prison before night!" and rushed
from the house, evidently to execute his threat.
Oh, what shall we do?" sobbed the poor mother,
wringing her hands. "It was bad enough that we were
to be turned out of doors-but now!"
"Please, please do not cry so!" said Dulcie, in a
trembling voice, "I have thought of a way-before he
comes back I will make you all invisible, and he can't
possibly arrest you then !"
"It will be the best way for the present," said the
father, gloomily, but we can't stay invisible for the rest
of our lives. You'll have to think of something to do
"Wouldn't you like to go to America?" asked
"We would indeed," said the mother. "We have
long wished it, but we had no money for the journey,
and now we would be stopped, if we had."
"But don't you see," said Dulcie, that nobody can
stop you if you are invisible? You can pass through
gates, and go where you like, if you just watch your
chances for vacant places in the coaches, and cars, and
boats. All you will have to do will be to keep silent
when people are about, and do your talking whenever
\'.'u ar': inl l I' 'lv ['lac', whMl r,' nobody, cai n h-ar ..
'But r.%L('p>'-<: th,_- t:, Lv : 'uM >.r t .it the %vr,:,n_-
tim,:, i he di l ji- t no\\ a-ki, thl mn tlh.-r, J uti uil'r ll, .
I l Cier- th,-ouilit inrt:ntly Io)r 'a momni,: nt, a1,nd th[ n
,->, La m ,-, I .i'-. fully :
I know! I have a charm in my Grandmother's
book here-if you can only find me a cat, I can make
it all right."
"- There is no trouble about that," said the father,
brightening up a little, "we have a fine, large one-we
must leave him behind, I suppose, poor old fellow!"
"Indeed you must not," said Dulcie. "Call him in
at once, and put him in that empty bird-cage. I will then
make him exchange voices with the baby-here is the
charm, and it is very short. When you do not want
him to be seen, you, good mother, must hold the cage
close to your side, and cover it with your cloak, but,
whenever you can do so safely, you can set down the
cage, and make a speech for him, something like this:
'Charity, good people, for a poor, hungry cat!' and you
will see how they will give him things to eat! Then,
when the baby cries, people will only think that there
is a cat concealed somewhere, and when the cat tries to
mew, he will go like the baby, and people will give him
all he wants."
"That seems like a pretty good plan," said the
father, hopefully, "and the furniture we leave will quite
make good the rent we owe, so come on, good IMr-.
Fairy, and make us invisible, and give the baby the cat's
voice, and the cat the baby's, for that beast of an agent
may come back at any minute!"
Dulcie, feeling highly elated at being called a good
fairy, went briskly to work with her whistle, beginning
with the cat and baby. While she was arranging them,
the mother distributed the rest of the soup, gathered up
two small bundles of clothing, and put in her pocket the
little bread that was left. Then the whole family stood
close together, while the charm was wrought, and
laughed like children when they found they could not
see each other.
They were just in time, for, as they left the house,
they saw the agent coming back with two officers.
Dulcie had perched herself on the cat's cage, promising
to go with the family to the nearest town, and as they
went along, she gave them some last instructions. She
made everybody but the baby and cat repeat after her
the name of the seaside town where Miss Grigg lived;
the word "America" they knew already. Then she said:
"I have thought of a plan by which you can safely
ask your way. Wait until night to go to the railway
stations and steamboat landings; then do you, good
father, mix with the crn.', 1. a ni-i a-k tllI-, ,r-ti,-nI v-,u
must have answered. People will reply without seeing
who asks. If you listen attentively, after you leave
Russia, you will soon pick up a few words of English,
and, at any rate, if you say the name of the place to
which you wish to go, you will be directed. When you
cross the ocean, your best plan will be to let the cat out
of the cage on the ship, and catch him again when you
are about to land. I wish I could take you all upon my
rug, but that is not possible. However, when I return
to the town in America to which you are going-and to
which I must go, on my way back to Fairyland-I
will go straight to the beach every morning, and ask if
you are there; and if you are, you must answer, for you
know you can see me, if I can't see you. You will, of
course, be obliged to take things to eat as you need
them, but I have here a little purse of fairy-gold-there
are one hundred pieces in it-take it, good mother, and
whenever you help yourself to food, leave one of these
pieces in exchange. I have heard my Grandmother say
that a piece of fairy-gold, kept in a purse, drew other
money to it, and nearly always made the possessor rich,
so you see you will give an ample return for what you
take. Now remember all I have told you, and I think
you will have no trouble."
The poor people overwhelmed the fairy with thanks
and blessings, and when she had seen them steal
unobserved into a railway train, she started off once
more upon her rug, going southward, but undetermined
where to land.
"I could still be a hermit for a few weeks," she
said, and I must do a great deal of thinking, for, now
that I have started these poor people, and they depend
upon me so, I must think out a way for them to make
their living, after they reach America. I don't wonder
all the poor mortals sigh, when I see how much work
it takes just to give them enough to eat and wear, and
a place to keep warm and sleep in. Now, if I had not
made such a dreadful mess of poor, dear Hannah's
affairs, she would have been the very one to help me
with these people. I know! I will just think out a way
to set her straight, and then she will help me with my
poor people. So the very first thing to do is to find the
All the time that she had been talking to herself,
r~ai. v o
'~ I' ,' ; '
!1' .4 rl
.. j ...'' -. ~
,- .. -/ --
the air. At first the cold had been intense, and she had
been glad to wrap herself in her warmest clothes, but
as she flew on, the air became gradually warmer; and
at last, looking down, she once more saw green fields
and smiling orchards, instead of wide expanses of snow
and frozen seas. She could, by a wish, have returned to
the village on the shore, but this she did not yet desire
to do. She knew that many weeks must elapse before
"her family," as she now called the peasants whom she
had befriended, could reach America, and she could not
bring herself to return to Hannah, until she had thought
out a way to help her.
It had been dark when she started on her flight,
but a full moon had risen, and in this soft and clear
light she had not felt afraid. Her only terror was
toward the hostile Elves, for she had perfect faith in the
goodwill of human beings.
As the sun rose, she saw, just beneath her, a quiet
valley, through which rushed a clear, bright stream. A
pretty little cottage stood upon the bank; and she saw a
child come out of the door, and run to fill her pail
from the stream. Something in the gentle face of this
child made Dulcie think of Hannah. So she commanded
the rug t' ,.I:.l :'n.1, and ali i gl ht:l : on thl' bank, jLut as
the child turned to carry in her brimming pail.
Do not be frightened, little mortal," said the fairy,
gently. "I would not willingly hurt you, or any one. I
am only a poor, foolish fairy, in- search of a hermitage.
Do you think I could find one in your lovely valley?"
"I don't know what a hermitage is," replied the
child, with a beaming smile, "but I do know what you
are, you lovely little thing-you are a fairy. I have tried
all sorts of ways to see. one moonlight, starlight,
midsummer-eve, fern-seed in my shoes, and now, when it
is broad daylight, and I wasn't even thinking of them,
here one is. Would you mind my picking you up? I'll
be very gentle, and none of the little wild things about
0 here are afraid of me."
The fairy fluttered up and nestled in the outstretched
"You darling child!" she said, almost crying for
pleasure, "wouldn't you like-but no! I've blundered
quite enough. Perhaps, if I am patient, and do my
thinking first, I can really help you. And as for a
hermitage, it's a nice, large cave, with a spring in the
corner, and plenty of fruit in the neighborhood, and, if
you can find me one near here, I will just settle down
for the rest of my three months, and we can see each
other every day. I must take a recess from thinking
for a little while every day, you know, or I can't stand it!"
"I know of the very place !" said the child, whose
name was Serena, joyfully. "It is quite near here, but
no one but just myself and my mother know anything
about it. I must run in now, for mother will want the
water, but if you will wait here in this pretty, shady
corner for a little while, I will show you the cave."
"And oh, my dear," said Dulcie, faintly, "will you
bring me something to eat when you come out again?
I was never so nearly starved in my life, before !"
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" cried the child.
"Wait !" and she darted into the cottage with her pail,
returning in a few minutes with some tiny slices of bread,
delicately spread with honey. The famished fairy, after
earnestly thanking her, began to eat, and the little girl
ran back to tell her mother this most charming adventure.
But, to her great disappointment, when she led her
mother to the spot where she had left Dulcie, although
to her eyes the fairy was plainly visible, the good woman
shook her head, saying sadly:
"I see nothing but a pretty katydid, my dear. But
this I will say-I never before saw a katydid eating
bread and honey !"
When Serena's work was done, and her lessons
were said, she led the fairy to a tiny grotto in the rocks
beside the stream, which was all that a fairy could desire
for a hermitage. Here, day after day, did Dulcie sit
and think, and the more she thought the more it became
plain to her that for all the slights and affronts of which
she had so bitterly complained, she herself was, in the
first place, to blame. As thinking, by practice, became
easier to her, she recalled the lines which the King had
begged her to remember-
"Evil is wrought by want of thought,
As well as want of heart."
"Indeed it is!" she said, sadly, to herself-for now
that she was so much alone, she talked to herself more
than ever-" If I'd only begun this thinking business
before I met poor Hannah, I'd have made him invisible,
instead of her, and then he could have seen what a dear,
unselfish, sweet-tempered soul she had, and he wouldn't
have cared if she'd been twice as fat, and would have
told her so, the moment she saw him.