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THE FAIRY-FOLK OF BLUE HILL
THE FAIRY-FOLK OF BLUE HILL
LILY F. WESSELHOEFT
Author of "SPARROW THE TRAMP," Etc.
ILL USTRA TED
JOSEPH KNIGHT COMPANY
JOSEPH KNIGHT COMPANY
I. THE MISCHIEVOUS PRANK OF THE GNOMES I
II. WHAT THE BROWN BEETLE SAW . 14
III. WASSAS THEFT . . .. .28
IV. FAIRY \'EI.L AND PLOT OF GNOaIIS 42
V. WASSA MAKES A PLAN . . 58
VI. THE ELVES AND GNOMES TO THE RESCUE 74
VII. FAIRYLAND .... . . 84
VIII. WASSA GOES TO FAIRYLAND .. 99
IX. THE BROWN BEETLE UNDERTAKES A MISSION 114
X. THE LAND OF THE AFTER-GLOW. 128
XI. WASSA RETURNS TO FAIRYLAND .. 143
XII. THE FAIRY PRINCE AND 'IHE MERMAIDS .. 157
XIII. WASSA GOES TO THE LAND OF THE XMID-DAY
MOON AND FINDS THE FAIRY PRINCE .. 171
XIV. THE FAIRY PRINCE AND WASSA .... 183
XV. WASSA CAPTURES THE FAIRY PRINCE 198
XVI. CLOUDCATCHER AND HiS PRISONERS 214
XVII. THE LITTLE GRAY MAN'S DECISION 225
The departure of the giants . . .... Frontispiece.
Illuminated Title ... . . . vii
Headpiece to Table of Contents . . .... ix
Tailpiece to Table of Contents . . .... ix
Headpiece to List of Illustrations . . .... xi
Tailpiece to List of Illustrations . . .... xiii
Headpiece to Chapter I . . . .
"They silently gathered about the sleeping giant cook" 6
" As in their midst stood a little gray man ....... .. o
"Up the steep hill the gnomes toiled . . 16
" A beautiful blue dragon-fly alighted on a stone near by 18
Tailpiece to Chapter II . . . 27
"Her parents had recently built a hut on the shore of
Lily Pond" ........... ....... .. 33
" Wassa skilfully extricated the fishes" .. . .. 35
Tailpiece to Chapter III . . . ... 41
"It was little Mona, the hunter's child . .... 45
"Toto the Slim was seen astride the limb of an oak 50
"As the song ceased, the gnomes paused in their work 55
"The two giants who were to carry away the hut cautiously
approached .............. ........ 6r
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
" Mona's light cap fell off" ... .. . . 70
"Carefully she caught the boughs that came in her way 72
Tailpiece to Chapter V .... . . ..... 73
Headpiece to Chapter VI . . . 74
" Others blew long blasts .... . 77
"At a table sat King Rondo" . . 81
Headpiece to Chapter VII . . . 84
"The gnomes, at the bidding of King Rondo, gently lifted
the hunter's little maid" . . . 85
"My dear, where hast thou been so long ?" . .. 89
" I came to see the beautiful things that Mona, the hunter's
maid told me about" ... ... ..... ....... o
"The little maid bent forward and gazed eagerly into the
turbid water .. . . I04
"A large bird which a hideous face and long bill flew close to
her" .... . . .. .. Io6
Headpiece to Chapter IX . . .... 114
" Help! screamed Wassa, striving vainly to extricate herself 123
Tailpiece to Chapter IX . . . .. 127
"Gradually the column of mist assumed the form of a beau-
tiful female figure" . . . 129
" In a crotch of the huge tree was Judge Owl .. 132
" Rockroller approached the mass of rock ... .. 139
Tailpiece to Chapter X .... . . 14e
" He amused himself by reaching far over the edge of the
pond" ... ..... ...... ... 151
" After a tedious alk, the cave of the birds was reached 52
"The delicate form of a fairy appeared within . .. 155
Tailpiece to Chapter XI . . . 156
"A fairy boat that sailed rapidly toward the prince and
Wassa" ............... ....... .. 159
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. x1ii
"The monarch of the sea" . . ..... 162
"So engaged in watching the mermaids was Wassa 167
Headpiece to Chapter XIII . . . 171
She beheld a beautiful palace of the purest crystal" 173
"She sprang joyfully forward to seize a luscious plum .. 177
The Prince and Wassa seated themselves on the beautiful
creature's back" .. . . 188
" The eagle spread his long wings and soared into the sky 190
" The dark head of a rattlesnake came into view ... 196
Tailpiece to Chapter XIV . . . .. 97
" She constantly reared her head to gaze into the kettle 200
"A light form stood before her . . . 206
" Wassa looked up, and saw, over the top of the huge rock,
the head of a giant" .. . . . 210
SKing Cloudcatcher, holding his hood in his hand . 215
-A merry twinkle came into the king's bright eyes" . 221
Tailpiece to Chapter XVI ............... 224
"And placing the elf on the top of it . . 226
"The giant Twigtwister . .......... 234
Tailpiece to Chapter XVII . . . .... 240
THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE
Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, dear
children, there lived on the beautiful Blue
Hill a family of giants.
Peaceable fellow's, in the main, were these
giants, usually living in harmony with one an-
other, although deep mutterings were occa-
sionally heard to issue from the neighborhood
of the hill; these sometimes grew so loud that
2 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
they shook the earth, and then the timid rab-
bits scurried into their holes, and the sensitive
birds hastened to hide themselves in the
depths of the wood, thinking a thunder storm
The brown beetle, however, knew better.
He knew, when he heard these sounds, that
the giants were quarrelling. He had seen the
little man in gray, who always appeared when
the quarrels became violent, and the brown
beetle knew well the power this little man pos-
sessed over the great blustering fellows,- he
knew how quickly all disputes ceased when
the little figure, clad in gray, appeared in their
The brown beetle knew well this little gray
man, whom the timid rabbits and birds thought
to be but a streak of mist. Oh! the brown
beetle could have told them many a tale, if
they would but have listened to him It is
not to be wondered at, that they thought the
little gray man but a streak of mist, for they
were too much frightened to take a good look
The brown beetle, though of dull mind,
understood fully the power of the little gray
THE MISCHIEVOUS PRANK OF THE GNOMES. 3
man over the great and powerful giants with
their childish minds. He knew, although his
slow brain could not have expressed it in
words, that the great, childish fellows felt the
power of the stronger mind of the little man
in gray, who controlled their natures, since
they could not do it themselves.
As we said before, the giants were usually
good-natured, and if they did no great good,.
certainly did no great harm. They amused
themselves by striding about the country,.
reaching the neighboring towns in half a dozen
good strides,- fishing in the surrounding
ponds, and basking in the sunlight that lay on
the sides of the Blue Hill.
The quarrels among the giants seldom
amounted to more than a few high words that
were soon forgotten, as is the case of brothers
and sisters of the human family; but these
giants had enemies, and, strange to say, these
enemies, the only ones they feared, were the
very opposite of themselves, as small as they
were large, and were no other than the small
gnomes or dwarfs who lived in underground
caves and beneath large stones.
It would seem as if the great giants might
4 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
have taken care of themselves, but strange as
it may seem, they were no match for the wary
little dwarfs, who, having ten times more
brains in their little heads than the giants had
in their great empty noddles, drove the giants
almost to distraction by their impish and in-
Early one morning, the giants departed for a
day's tramp. From the summit of Blue Hill,
on clear days, they could see the snowy peaks
of the mountain now known as Mt. Washing-
ton, and they were curious to know if it were
as large as their own Blue Hill, for it looked
very small in the distance. So off they set,
leaving behind one of their number, with in-
structions to have plenty of hot oatmeal por-
ridge for them on their return, for a hundred
miles was quite a little walk for them, and
they knew that the exercise would give them
As soon as the giants were gone, the cook
stepped over to the next town and collected
dry sticks suitable for his fire, piling them up
in a great heap, all ready to be lighted. Then,
as it was a warm day, and it would not be
necessary for him to cook his porridge for
THE MISCHIEVOUS PRANK OF THE GNOMES. 5
some time, he lay down in the shade and
dreamed away the afternoon.
As the sun slowly settled into the west-
ern woods, the giant remembered that it was
time for him to begin his cooking, so he
rubbed two smooth sticks briskly together
until a spark appeared, and in a minute
more the smoke curled up over the trees,
and the oatmeal porridge was bubbling away
It is not very exciting work making oatmeal
porridge, and the fire was quite hot, too, for it
required a very large pot to hold enough por-
ridge for all the giants, and consequently a
large fire was needed, a fire, in fact, as large as
the great Boston fire of 1872. So the giant
thought he might as well make himself com-
fortable and seated himself with his back rest-
ing against Blue Hill, and his feet comfortably
immersed in the cool waters of Lily Pond."
Seated thus, the soothing effect of the foot-
bath, together with the crackling of the fire
and the bubbling of the porridge, brought
about a sleepy condition of the giant cook's
great brain, and without knowing it, he fell
6 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
No sooner were the giant's eyes closed, than
from behind every bush and tree sprang hun-
dreds of little creatures with sturdy forms,
long, peaked beards, and comical little caps
that ended in a peak. Their faces were brim-
ful of mischief, and they silently gathered
about the sleeping giant cook. After watch-
ing the sleeper for a while, and laughing at the
foolish expression of his face, as he sat with
his great head nodding forward, the king of
the gnomes, Rondo by name (and a rosy,
good-natured looking monarch he was, who
loved good cheer and mischief), jumped upon a
THE MISCHIEVOUS PRANK OF THE GNOMES. 7
stone in the midst of his subjects, and thus
addressed them :-
"Come, subjects mine, the hours are few
Before the giants home are due.
Pity wouldd be, now would it not,
Should they not find the porridge hot?
Better to find it burnt, I hold,
Than flavorless, uncooked and cold.
Then quickly bring me, I desire,
More fuel for this waning fire."
Then the gnome king jumped down from the
stone and went up to the fire that was not
waning at all, but doing very well,--in fact,
just the right amount of heat to cook the por-
ridge slowly and safely. The other gnomes,
meanwhile, were collecting dried sticks and
soon returned, laden with bundles of them
which they thrust into the fire, King Rondo,
at the same time, stirring them with his golden
sceptre, in order to create a better draught.
In a few moments, the huge fire was blazing
finely, and a great volume of steam arose from
the kettle in which the oatmeal porridge was
bubbling away furiously. It rose higher and
higher in the great kettle, and soon came pour-
ing over the sides and fell into the ashes and
8 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
fire below. At this, the gnomes laughed with
glee and danced about exultantly, King Rondo,
all the time, stirring the fire with his golden
By this time, the giant cook's slumber be-
came lighter, and he began to move about
restlessly in his sleep, as many sound sleepers
do when about to wake. He gave such a sud-
den yawn that the dwarf king jumped back
from the fire in haste, and his subjects ran off
with great speed.
The giant opened his eyes at the moment
when the peaked cap of the dwarf king was
disappearing behind a clump of bushes, and
he started up with a presentiment that some-
thing was wrong, for the dwarfs' visits never
boded good to the giants.
At once, the giant's eyes fell on the kettle
with the porridge running over its sides, and
he became sensible of a decidedly burnt odor.
With much trepidation, the giant caught up a
large stick, in fact, it was the trunk of a large
pine-tree, and scattered the blazing embers
from under the kettle. Then he seized the
huge spoon and hastily scooped up as much of
the porridge as he could, not realizing that he
THE MISCHIEVOUS PRANK OF THE GNOMES. 9
was taking also a large amount of ashes. Not
until he had dipped up all the mixture, did he
see that the porridge in the kettle was full of
black specks. It was too late to remedy the
mistake by making fresh porridge, so he re-
solved to trust to luck and the good appetites
of the giants.
Not long did the suspense of the giant cook
last, for very soon he recognized the distant
voices of his returning friends, and a great
panic seized him, as he heard them clamoring
for their supper. Putting on as unconcerned
a manner as he was able, the cook placed be-
fore his hungry companions the hot oatmeal
porridge, and awaited, in breathless suspense,
the result of the first taste.
"Faugh!" exclaimed one, the knave has
burnt it!" and taking up a spoonful of the
mixture, he hurled it far away.
"The stuff is full of ashes," cried another,
and he also threw away the contents of his
At this, a general hubbub arose, in the midst
of which one of the giants seized the huge
caldron and hurled the contents far and wide.
It fell in the neighboring towns, and, as the
IO THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
giant's rage increased, farther and farther did
he hurl the oatmeal, and a huge lump fell in
the town we now call Quincy. Then came a
still more violent swing of the giant's arm,
and a quantity of the porridge was hurled
where the town of Gloucester now stands.
On the unfortunate cook fell the brunt of
the giants' displeasure, but as their ill-humor
increased, a general fight arose, and each giant
attacked his neighbor indiscriminately. Dur-
ing the tumult, the cook vainly attempted to
make his voice heard and relate how the
dwarfs had brought about
the mishap, but the giants,
unreasonable as angry chil-
dren, were too excited to
listen to him.
The tumult was at its
height, the air resounding
with the noise of heavy
blows and fierce impreca-
tions, when suddenly a
silence fell on the savage
group, as in their midst
stood a little gray man.
Gray clothes, hat, beard and
THE MISCHIEVOUS PRANK OF THE GNOMES. II
hair he had, and the tall giants towered far
above him, but every one of them hung his
head before the stern gaze of the little man
Shame on ye!" exclaimed the little gray
man severely, again have ye broken the con-
tract and disturbed the peace."
It was astonishing to note the change that
took place in the countenances of the giants
as the little gray man spoke. A moment be-
fore raging with the fury of wild beasts, they
had suddenly become abject and humble, not
daring to raise their downcast eyes before the
stern gaze of the little man in gray.
Pardon, master! cried one of the giants,
his great trembling voice sounding like rum-
bling thunder. Pardon, master, we were
A contemptuous smile flitted o'er the lips of
the little gray man, as he replied:
"Are ye a parcel of babies that ye must
need squabble over a mess of burnt porridge ?
I would that your great empty heads contained
but a small part of the brains my little gnomes
Master," said the cook humbly, they will
12 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
not listen to one. The dwarfs it was who
burnt the porridge by building a hot fire under
it, while I slept."
"It serves thee right, thou great sleepy
head," replied the little gray man. Hadst
thou been attending to thy duty as thou
shouldst have done, the dwarfs would not have
played the trick on thee. Now, listen to your
sentence, ye great over-grown children The
next time ye so forget yourselves, shall ye for-
feit the right to these pleasant regions and be
banished to far-off realms. And now, the
fruits of your senseless rage shall ye ever see
before ye, to serve ye as a reminder. Hun-
dreds of years hence, when it is forgotten that
such a race as ye ever existed, men shall prize
a stone that they little dream was once the oat-
meal porridge of the giants. Thus shall good
come out of your senseless bickerings. Re-
member my words, and know that I will keep
Bowing submissively, the giants silently
trooped down the hill. The little gray man
watched them until, with a few strides, they
were out of sight, when his severe countenance
relaxed and an amused expression stole over
THE MISCHIEVOUS PRANK OF THE GNOMES. 13
his face, as one sometimes smiles at the recol-
lection of the misdemeanors of children, to
whom he has administered a deserved rebuke.
Then, as suddenly as he had appeared, the lit-
tle gray man was gone. How or where, no
one could have told, he simply was gone.
The threat of the little gray man was ful-
filled. The burnt oatmeal porridge with the
specks of cinders in it was congealed where it
fell, and to this day, the quarries of Quincy
and the Cape Ann Quarry of Gloucester pro-
duce handsome blocks of granite, that very
few people know was once the burnt oatmeal
porridge of the Blue Hill giants.
14 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
WHAT THE BROWN BEETLE SAW.
The little brown beetle, seated under a leaf,
had seen the mischievous gnomes at work and
had heard the quarrel of the giants, and when
he saw them so dejected at the reproof of the
little man in gray, he felt very sorry for them,
for they had never done him any harm, and he
had seen so much of them that he felt quite
well acquainted with them, and was sure that
they were not bad at heart.
The brown beetle thought the little gray
man had been unnecessarily severe with the
giants, and he trembled as he thought how
soon the foolish fellows might do the same
thing over again, and how lonesome it would
be not to see their great forms moving about,
nor to hear the hill reverberating with the
echo of their deep voices, nor the crackling of
the underbrush beneath their huge feet.
Very depressing was the mood these thoughts
WHAT THE BROWN BEETLE SAW.
produced, but the brown beetle gradually be-
came more cheerful, and before long he was
himself again. Sitting basking on a dry leaf
on which the sun was shining, the beetle pon-
dered over the annoyances the mischievous
gnomes constantly inflicted on his friends, the
giants. Suddenly, he heard a slight crackling
of dry branches and leaves that he knew must
be caused by the feet of either human beings
or animals, which, he could not tell. Anxious-
ly straining his eyes in the direction of the
sounds, in a moment there appeared, around
the bend in the path, the little man in gray.
Not from the footsteps of the little gray man
did the crackling sounds proceed,- never a
twig or leaf bent under his light tread. As he
came into view around the bend of the path,
he turned and, looking back over the steep
road over which he had just come, beckoned
authoritatively with his hand.
Then to the astonished gaze of the brown
beetle, appeared a troop of gnomes, each bear-
ing on his sturdy shoulders a pack. On they
came, in single file, by the thousand it seemed
to the bewildered beetle, each one an exact
counterpart of the other, and each small figure
16 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
bending beneath the weight of his heavy
Up the steep hill, the gnomes toiled after the
little man in gray, and when the last one had
passed, the brown beetle recovered his scattered
senses, and curiosity getting the better of his
amazement, he spread his wings and flew after
When the little man in gray reached the top
of the hill, he paused for an instant before a
WHAT THE BROWN BEETLE SAW.
high rocky wall, and, looking over his band of
gnomes, addressed them in serious tones:-
Since ye must needs play your mischievous
pranks on the giants, I have decided to con-
fine ye to the interior of this hill, where ye will
be safe from the wrath of the enemy. I com-
mand ye to keep to the occupation of extend-
ing your underground domains, and to cease to
annoy my giant subjects, who are dangerous
fellows when aroused. Do ye note my com-
"We hear and obey, master," replied the
gnomes, bowing submissively.
Signing to the band to follow him, at a
given signal from the little gray man, the wall
of rock parted, and he disappeared within the
dark cavern, followed by his obedient subjects.
When the last gnome had vanished from sight,
the rock rolled back into place, and the brown
beetle found himself alone before the closed
entrance to the cavern.
"Can I have been dreaming?" said the
brown beetle to himself, as he passed one of his
prickly feet. across his eyes to clear his vision.
No; he had not dreamed at all, for there was
the cave with its rocky barrier before him, and
IS THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
placing his ear against the rocky door, a con-
fused murmur of tiny voices reached him, and,
ere long, the sharp and regular click of two
hard substances struck together was heard.
The brown beetle wondered if the gnomes
would always remain in their underground
home as the little man in gray had commanded
them to do, or whether they would roam over
the country as they ,,
had done, and as the
giants did. While
these thoughts were passing through
the beetle's mind, a swift whirring
of wings attracted his attention, and a beautiful
blue dragon-fly alighted on a stone near by.
The blue dragon-fly had a haughty manner,
and was attended by a swarm of gnats, whose
business it was to wait on her and obey her
slightest whim. Not deigning to notice the
WHAT TIE BROWN BLETLE SAW.
brown beetle who was gazing admiringly at
her, the blue dragon-fly busied herself in
arranging her toilet, that was in some dis-
order from her long flight. She fluttered her
gauzy wings and spread them in the sun, all
the time apparently unconscious of the pres-
ence of the brown beetle, who was admiring,
with all his might, the beautiful blue of her
graceful body, and the delicacy of her gauzy
Giving the finishing touches to her toilet,
the blue dragon-fly threw back her head proud-
ly, and addressed her attendants thus:
I desire ye to keep further off. Your pres-
ence oppresses me."
The gnats obediently withdrew to a short
distance, and hovered together in the warm air,
while the blue dragon-fly balanced herself
gracefully on a stone and, for the first time,
looked at the brown beetle.
The beetle was so embarrassed, when the
dragon-fly fixed her beautiful great eyes on
him, that he hardly knew what he said, but he
stammered some words to the effect that he
was glad to see her.
It is a matter of indifference to me," re-
20 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
plied the blue dragon-fly haughtily, whether
thou art glad or sorry to see me."
The brown beetle was dreadfully confused at
this rude repulse, and hastened to apologize.
I come and go as I please," continued the
proud beauty, "and ask leave of no one.
Straighten out the tip of my left wing," she
ordered, turning to her attendants.
The submissive waiting-maids hastened to do
their queen's bidding, and then in obedience to
a sign from her, retired to a distance as before.
What is the matter with the giants ? de-
manded the blue dragon-fly imperiously, not
deigning to look at the beetle as she addressed
The brown beetle, delighted to oblige such a
beautiful being, hastened to tell the story of
the mischievous trick of the gnomes and the
quarrel of the giants, and how the little man in
gray had commanded the gnomes to abide in
the interior of the hill in future.
The blue dragon-fly beckoned to her attend-
ants to approach.
Go into yonder cavern and ascertain how
the gnomes are employed, and what the cavern
is like," ordered the proud queen.
WHAT THE BROWN BEETLE SAW.
The swarm of gnats obediently flew off to
execute the bidding of their mistress, and were
soon out of sight. In a short time, they came
swarming back again.
Well ? demanded the queen haughtily.
We have been able to discover nothing,
gracious lady," answered the first maid of
honor. We found our passage barred by a
high wall of solid rock, and although a faint
murmur of voices reached our ears, we were
not able to catch the words."
"Stupid things! exclaimed the dragon-fly.
"Now go and prepare a bath for me."
Away swarmed the eager attendants, and
the blue dragon-fly and the brown beetle were
left alone together.
The blue dragon-fly looked at the brown
beetle quite graciously. "I don't like the
dark," she said with a charming smile. I like
to fly about in the sunlight. I suppose that
cavern is as dark as dark as can be."
Oh! yes," replied the beetle, delighted to be
addressed by the beautiful stranger, "it's as
dark as a pocket. I've often been in there, or
rather, a short distance in."
Thou ? asked the dragon-fly in astonish-
22 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
ment. How was it possible for thee, with
thy great clumsy body to enter, when my little
gnats, with their tiny forms, found no crevice
through which to creep? "
Low down on the ground, in one corner,"
replied the beetle, "there is a place where
the stone has crumbled away, and there I
I would go in, but I do so hate dark, poky
places," said the blue dragon-fly, with a coquet-
tish flutter of her gauzy wings.
"I should think thou wouldst," replied the
brown beetle, with a glance of admiration at
the pretty creature balancing herself in the
air. Such beautiful beings as thou ought to
live in the sunlight."
"Great stupid thing! Why cannot he
understand what I want ? muttered the blue
dragon-fly, in a low tone; but she took care
that her words should not be heard by the
brown beetle. Thou wouldst not mind going
in for me, wouldst thou ? she said aloud, with
a charming smile.
Mind going in? Not the brown beetle!
Why, he would have gone in at the blue drag-
on-fly's bidding, if he had been sure that some
WHAT THE BROWN BEETLE SAW.
huge creature stood within to gobble him up at
the first step he took.
So the brown beetle disappeared through
the hole in one corner of the rocky wall, and
the dragon-fly, flippant creature that she was,
sported in the sunlight, flirting her delicate
wings, and skimming about, with no regret at
having used her arts to persuade the honest
brown beetle to gratify her idle curiosity.
Some minutes passed, and the dragon-fly
was becoming impatient at the delay, when the
brown beetle reappeared.
The gnats were right," he said, there is a
second wall of thick stone, behind which it is
impossible to go, and where the gnomes are at
Is that all thou hast discovered? demand-
ed the blue dragon-fly in a disappointed tone.
It appears that the gnats were not the only
The brown beetle took no notice of the rude-
ness of this remark, but went on with his story :
Creeping as closely to the wall as I could,
I listened with all my might. At first, the
voices sounded indistinct and afar off, and the
regular click of their hammers (for I am sure
24 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
they were working on the stone walls of the
cavern), seemed to drown their voices, but soon
I became accustomed to both sounds, and
could distinguish what they sang."
What was it? eagerly demanded the blue
I will try to remember," replied the brown
beetle, and he recited slowly the following
"In their dark homes,
Live merry gnomes.
Through the long day,
At home they stay,
Their hammers ring
Kling a ling kling.
When others sleep,
Abroad they peep,
The darkest night
Is their delight.
The dead of night
Is gnomes' delight."
They must be jolly fellows, and I should
like to get a look at them at their work," said
the blue dragon-fly, "but I wish they would
take the day-time for their frolics. It would be
such fun to watch them."
WHAT THE BROWN BEETLE SAW.
The brown beetle was silent. He wanted to
tell the blue dragon-fly that he would be on the
watch, and whenever he saw the gnomes he
would give her all the information he gained,
but he was not quick-witted, and hardly knew
how to say it.
Perhaps thou wilt be able to find out more
about these strange creatures," said the blue
dragon-fly. If thou shouldst, pray let me
know, for I am full of curiosity about them,
they do play such fine tricks upon the giants."
Before the brown beetle could reply, the at-
tendants of the blue dragon-fly came swarming
up the hill, evidently in a state of great
Well ? demanded their haughty mistress,
for not one of them would have dared ad-
dress her without permission.
"Gracious lady," began the first maid of
honor, we searched for a pool of water suit-
able for thy ladyship to bathe in, but the
drought has affected most of those which thy
ladyship is accustomed to frequent, and we
were obliged to go farther away. At last, we
discovered one where the water is clear and
cool, where pond-lily-blossoms with their
26 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
broad, green pads form suiting resting-places
for our gracious lady queen."
Why this tiresome explanation ? demand-
ed the queen imperiously. My province it is
to command, thine to execute, not to make
speeches. Lead the way."
"But, gracious lady," replied the maid of
honor obsequiously, permit me, I beg, to say
a few words. A most strange thing happened,
as we were contemplating the pond that was to
serve as a bath for our beautiful queen. Even
as we gazed, a rustling in the bushes startled
us, and there appeared before our eyes a being
such as we have never before beheld."
One of the elves, thou stupid," retorted the
queen sharply, "the lilies are full of them.
Many and many a time, I have seen them
sleeping in the lily petals and floating on the
Pardon me, gracious lady, but it was no
elf; those we know well. It was a large being,
and it stepped into the water and seized a lily
blossom and broke it off, and another, and still
another, until its large hands were full of the
beautiful blossoms thy ladyship so loves to
WHAT THE BROWN BEETLE SAW.
"Nonsense, if it were not an elf, then it
must have been a giant," answered the blue
"It was not a giant, gracious lady," con-
tinued the maid of honor, "it was not so
large. It was a being the like of which has
never set its feet on these shores."
Will wonders never cease ? exclaimed the
blue dragon-fly in amazement. What-in the
name of all that is marvelous could it have
been ?" '
28 TIE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
The strange apparition that had so startled
the attendants of the blue dragon-fly was
merely a little maid. Her one garment, made
from the rough skin of some animal, was torn
and jagged, and presented a very untidy ap-
pearance, while her coarse black hair hung
about her face in disorderly locks.
The little maid waded into the pond, and
roughly pulled some of the beautiful pond
lilies that floated on the surface. A rustling
in the bushes caused her to turn her head, and
two other little maids, younger than the first
comer, and a lad, made their appearance. A
strong family resemblance proclaimed them to
be brother and sisters, and the skins that formed
their clothes were as worn and untidy as were
those of the elder sister.
Wilt thou not throw us some of the blos-
soms, Wassa? asked one of the little maids.
The one who was gathering the lilies care-
lessly threw a bunch toward the new-comers,
and then continued her occupation.
Soon another rustling in the bushes an-
nounced the approach of some one else, and
another little maid stood before them and
looked about her.
The new-comer was of about the size of the
one gathering lilies, but her whole appearance
was different. Her dress was made of rabbit
skins neatly sewed together, and she wore leg-
gins and moccasins of leather tastefully and
carefully embroidered with porcupine quills
stained in bright colors. Her brown hair was
neatly braided, and her dark blue eyes had an
open, honest expression. She had the cbnfid-
ing, trusting air that is seen in children who
are tenderly and carefully reared, and who have
experienced only love and kindness.
The blue-eyed maid stood at some distance
from the brother and sisters, and watched them
with great interest, with the wistful expression
one sees but in an only child; but a troubled
look came over her face as Wassa ruthlessly
30 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
tore the beautiful blossoms from their stems.
At last, Wassa, wading deeper into the pond,
reached forward and snatched an unusually
fine blossom so roughly that it broke close to
the flower, at which she carelessly tossed it into
the middle of the pond.
"Oh! how canst thou do that?" exclaimed
the blue-eyed maid.
Wassa darted an angry glance behind her at
the words of the blue-eyed maid. "Why should
I not do so? How dar'st thou interfere with
my pleasure? "
It is a pity to destroy flowers'thou dost not
intend to care for," replied the blue-eyed maid
"Why is it a pity?" asked Wassa roughly.
"Flowers are not alive, they cannot feel."
"We don't know but that they may feel,"
replied the other; "and then, these beautiful blos-
soms make such splendid homes for the fairies,
The dark-eyed children looked at the blue-
eyed maid in astonishment, then Wassa laughed
loudly and derisively, and the younger children
Fairies! exclaimed Wassa, how canst thou
WASSA S THEFT.
be so stupid? I suppose thou hast seen them,
hast thou not?"
"I am not quite sure," replied the blue-eyed
maid gently, "but I have often looked for them,
and once I was almost certain I saw a little
fairy fly out of one of the blossoms, but it went
so fast I couldn't say for sure."
"There are not any fairies, nor any giants,
nor anything else of that kind," retorted Wassa
positively, shaking her black locks.
The blue-eyed maid did not reply, much to
Wassa's disappointment, for she would have
liked to draw her into a quarrel.
"Dost thou mean to say thou believ'st in
such nonsense?" asked Wassa.
*I believe there are fairies and giants,"
answered the blue-eyed maid, "although we
cannot see them; and I think we ought to be
very careful not to step on the flowers, nor
break them off their stems unless we mean to
care for them, for, for all we know, they may
be the homes of fairies who love them as much
as we do our own homes."
"The fairies will have to look out for their
homes then," exclaimed Wassa loudly, and
roughly seized all the beautiful white blossoms
32 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
within her reach, and scattered them over the
"Oh! how canst thou be so cruel?" cried
the blue-eyed maid indignantly. "Do not
destroy the pretty blossoms."
Do thou not be so silly," answered Wassa.
"Mona! where art thou? I want thee to
fetch a jug of water from the spring," called a
voice in the distance.
"Yes, mother, I am coming," replied the
blue-eyed maid, and she ran off quickly in the
direction of the voice.
How proud she is," exclaimed Wassa, when
Mona was out of sight.
"She's proud because she has such a fine
frock on," said one of the little maids.
"Dost thou not know that she's an only
child? asked Wassa contemptuously. That's
always the way with only children, they're
always spoiled. But thou wilt see how long
her fine airs will hold out."
"Yes, we will see!" echoed the younger
The blue-eyed maid, Mona, was an only child,
the only one left of several others. Her parents
had recently built a hut on the shore of Lily
WASSA S THEFT.
Pond, and with much hard labor had succeeded
in clearing a small patch of ground and had
planted it with care, the little maid, in her
small way, helping her parents as best she
could. Fish from the pond, and game from the
woods, furnished them with food, and they lived
a peaceful and contented life in this wilderness.
At about the same time the hunter (as we
will call Mona's father) had made his home on
.- *7 ...
the shore of the pond, a rover and his family
built a hut on Willow Pond, and his children
they were who destroyed the lily blossoms so
ruthless ly. Too indolent to prepare the rough
soil for planting, as did the hunter, the rover
and his family lived only on the food the ponds
and woods afforded them, and, as is often the
34 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF TIE BLUE HILL.
way with indolent people, felt a great dislike to
their hard-working neighbors. The industry
the parents of Mona displayed in felling the
forest trees and uprooting stumps, to prepare
a place in which to plant their seeds, was
much ridiculed by the rover and his wife; and
the care and love they bestowed on their one
child and their solicitude to have her grow up
to be a good and useful woman was considered
as spoiling" her. It never occurred to them
that the most spoiled children are those who
envy others for having what they have not
To return to the rover's children. After
Mona had disappeared, Wassa turned her steps
homeward, followed by her brother and sisters.
As they passed the hunter's pond, Wassa
went to the edge of the water, and, stooping
down, drew in a net that was set in the deep
water. As she landed it on the grass, two
fine bass leapt and struggled to free them-
Wassa skilfully extricated the fishes, and,
breaking a lithe twig from a tree near by, ran
it through their gills. Then she threw the.
empty net back into the water, and proceeded
on her way. The younger children looked on
"Thou hast made a mistake, Wassa," said
her brother. That was not our net. It be-
longs to the hunter."
I know that as well as thou dost," replied
Wassa, but I intend that the hunter's family
shall have no fishes for their supper to-night.
It will serve Mona right for being so proud."
"Yes, it will serve her right," assented the
other children quickly, falling in with their elder
sister's plan as readily as all younger children
do; and home went the rover's children, with-
36 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
out a pang of conscience at the theft they had
For a while after the children had disap-
peared, all was still in the woods,- still as far
as the noises made by human beings were con-
Occasionally a fish jumped in the pond, and
dragon-flies skimmed over its surface,-birds
flew in and out among the trees, and squirrels
ran over the branches. Gradually, however,
the sun sank out of sight, the notes of the birds
grew shorter and more subdued, until their
sleepy voices ceased altogether, and the squir-
rels went fast asleep in their snug nests. A
refreshing coolness spread through the woods,
and the evening air became laden with the
perfumed breath of the forest trees. First one
star and then another appeared, and the round,
full moon rose from behind Blue Hill, and
sailed into the sky, shedding a soft light over
pond and wood and hill.
Then, dear readers, if you had but been
there to see the tiny forms that sprang from
beneath the large stones and from within the
mounds, and that came sliding down from their
homes in the hollow trees.
WASSA S THEFT.
Each small face was brimming with mirth
and good nature, and their nimble little feet
flew over the ground without seeming to touch
so much as a blade of grass. By hundreds
they came, all flocking to the verge of the pond,
where they joined hands, and executed a wild
and fantastic dance, singing, at the same time,
the following lines:-
Sleeping all day,
At night we stray
From our snug homes
In trees, neathh stones.
On waves we ride,
In flowers hide,
And dance and sing
Till the woods ring.
But elves must work,
Nor duty shirk;
The good to right
Is our delight.
Spites to prevent
Is our intent.
Say, brother elves,
Knows any one
Work to be done?"
The circle of elves danced around the pond,
executing all kinds of fantastic steps, until the
38 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
exuberance of their spirits was somewhat ex-
hausted, when they bent their tiny faces over
the water and gazed into its clear depths.
For a time no one spoke, until one of their
band, the most dimpled and roguish-looking of
them all, the most nimble of foot and graceful
in the dance, Toto the Slim, thus addressed his
Brothers mine, the nets of the hunter lie
at the bottom of this lake, as ye well know, and
I crave your attention while I relate what
befell this day. Hidden neathh yon mossy
stone, footsteps, human footsteps, fell on my
ear, and, peeping cautiously forth, I espied
Wassa, the rover's maid, with her brother and
sisters. Mindful of the unkind feeling they
bear the hunter's little maid, I watched them
closely. Drawing the hunter's nets, they
threw them on the shore, and within the
meshes leapt two shining bass. These fishes
these naughty children stole, my comrades.
Now, I ask ye, brothers mine, shall we allow
this deed to go unpunished ? Must the gentle
Mona, she who so loves the fairy folk and is so
loved by them, go without her supper? "
No, a thousand times no," cried all the
elves in chorus. Let us at once to
Wassa's hut and pay her for this naughty
Comrades mine," said Toto the Slim, his
tiny face brimful of mischief, I, for one, do
not believe in turning the other cheek, but
in giving a good slap back. So, I say, let us
at once repay this trick tenfold. Come on!"
And Toto laughed gleefully as he gave a twirl
to his mustache.
Before, however, Toto and his comrades
bounded away, Pippi the Just, the oldest and
wisest of the band, raised his hand with an
authoritative gesture and spoke these words:-
Toto, my friend, thou art young as yet, but
thou wilt gain wisdom when thou art older.
Those who take what is not their own should
be made to make amends, and I counsel this,
- that we look at the rover's nets, and if there
should be two fishes in them, they go, by
rights, to the hunter's nets. This, friend Toto,
is just and right, and thou wilt find it works
better than thy rule. Come, then, comrades,
let us go."
Away over bush and stone went the nimble
elves, nor halted until they stood on the shore
40 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
of Willow Pond. The net of the rover was
soon found, and, forming in line, the wee elves
tugged at the lines, while the woods about
echoed with their shrill voices. At last the
net appeared on the surface of the water, and
soon four fine bass were plunging on the
grassy bank of the pond.
Two back with the nets we'll throw," said
Pippi the Just, "and two we will put in the
All the elves assented to this as wise and
just,- all except that mischievous elf, Toto the
Slim, but no one thought of him. Then back
to Lily Pond went the troops of elves carrying
the two fishes, and not one of them noticed
that the wag Toto was left behind.
When the last elf had disappeared among
the forest trees, Toto, laughing softly to him-
self all the while, drew forth the rover's net
once more, and opening it, out sped the two
fishes, and diving to the depths of the pond,
were quickly lost to view.
Next, this waggish imp gazed about with
his roguish eyes until they espied two flat
stones. These he rolled, with much exertion,
to the edge of the pond, and, putting them
WASSA'S THEFT. 41
into the net, cast it once more into the
Down to the depths of the lake went the
weighted net, and a shower of spray arose,
while Toto, delighted at the success of his
plan, danced joyfully about, and then bounded
into the woods and sought the hollow tree that
served him for a home. Into this he crept,
and sinking on to his bed of moss, was soon
The sun rose on a scene so peaceful and
quiet that no one would have believed that
hundreds of elves had made it their play-
42 TIE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES.
The next morning the little brown beetle
crawled from under a large leaf that grew on
a tree near by Lily Pond, where the hunter's
nets were cast, and that had served him for a
roof during the night, and looked about him.
He had seen the revels of the elves or fairies,
and his little mind was still in a state of bewil-
derment, for the brown beetle's mind moved
slowly, and the rapid manner in which the
little elves worked quite dazed his dull, honest
It serves them right for being so envious!"
exclaimed a voice, suddenly disturbing the
brown beetle's revery.
The beetle was not nervous, but he had
thought himself alone, and he gave a little
start of surprise as he turned in the direction
of the voice.
The blue dragon-fly was poised on a tall and
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES.
slender blade of grass, that hardly quivered
under the light weight as she fanned her
gauzy wings in order to balance herself grace-
fully. The swarm of gnats who attended on
her hovered together in the warm air at a
respectful distance from their haughty queen.
Well! said the dragon-fly impatiently, as
the brown beetle made no reply to her remark.
The good-natured beetle looked inquiringly
at the blue dragon-fly, but as he was not sure
to what she referred, and therefore was igno-
rant as to what reply she expected him to
make, wisely concluded that it was best to keep
Stupid creature! muttered the blue drag-
on-fly with an angry quiver of her wings, as
she said aloud: I am waiting to see how
vexed the rover's children will be when they
find only stones in their net."
Stones ? inquired the beetle mildly.
Yes, stones," replied the blue dragon-fly
sharply. The stones Toto the Slim put in
their nets in place of the fishes."
The brown beetle might indeed look be-
wildered, for all he knew about the matter was
that the elves had put two fishes into the
44 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
rover's nets. He did not know that the mis-
chievous Toto had remained behind, and,
releasing the fishes, had put two flat stones in
I was not aware of that," stammered the
brown beetle; I thought they were fishes."
The elves were foolish enough to leave two
fishes in the rover's net," answered the blue
dragon-fly, but Toto the Slim, who has more
brains than all the rest put together, thought
the rover's children deserved to go without any
fishes at all, and after the elves had gone he
remained behind, and, releasing the fishes,
replaced them by two stones. Now, I am
waiting to see Wassa's disappointment when
she finds what the nets contain. What fun it
will be, when she thinks the nets heavy with
fish, to see her vexation at sight of the great
flat stones !" and the dragon-fly laughed mis-
"It is very warm here; fan me!" ordered
the dragon-fly to her maids-in-waiting, after a
The submissive attendants fluttered up to
their queen, and fanned their wings until they
succeeded in raising a slight breeze.
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES.
"That will do," ordered the queen after a
while, and the obedient maids-in-waiting retired
to a respectful distance.
Fly to the rover's lake, watch for Wassa's
coming, then acquaint me," commanded the
blue dragon-fly, and away swarmed the gnats.
Then the brown beetle and the blue dragon-
fly heard a crackling among the dry twigs and
leaves, and in a moment the branches were
thrust aside, and a light form springing
through the opening stood on the shore of the
It was little Mona, the hunter's child--the
brown beetle, slow as was his mind, had
46 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
learned to know her from the conversation of
the elves, and this he communicated in a whis-
per to the blue dragon-fly.
The little maid stood by the pond, holding
back the branches with both hands, and bend-
ing forward to gaze into the water. A very
pretty picture she made, with her cap embroid-
ered by her mother's loving fingers with porcu-
pine quills stained in brilliant colors, her short
garment of rabbit skins, and her pretty moc-
casins and leggins. So thought the honest
brown beetle, and the blue dragon-fly thought
Soon Mona's bright eyes caught sight of
the nets of which she was in search, and,
quickly loosing her hold of the branches, with
a light bound she reached the spot where the
nets lay, and drew them ashore. The two
fishes that were within plunged and leapt on
the grass, and, quickly securing them, the little
No sooner was Mona gone than the dragon-
fly's attendants came swarming back from
the rover's pond. Something had evidently
thrown them into a state of great excitement,
but so strict were their rules of etiquette that
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES. 47
nothing could have tempted them to address
their queen until she had given them permis-
sion to do so.
"Well?" demanded the blue dragon-fly
in a condescending tone, "what have ye to
report ? "
Gracious lady," replied the first lady-in-
waiting deferentially, we followed thy com-
mands and hovered over the lake in the
vicinity of the rover's nets. Ere long we
heard the sound of approaching footsteps, and
soon the rover's children appeared. I wish
we might see Mona when she finds her nets
empty,' said Wassa as she seized the cord of
her own nets and began pulling them toward
the shore. 'How heavy they are she cried
as she drew them through the water; 'we shall
have plenty of fishes to-day.'
"Imagine her surprise, gracious queen,
when, instead of fishes, two large, flat stones
lay in the nets !" She exclaimed angrily,
'This is Mona's work and the other chil-
dren echoed, 'Yes, this is Mona's work! It is
she who did the mischief.'
Then, gracious lady, my attention was sud-
denly attracted by a tall, yellow lily that waved
48 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
to and fro on its stem, and looking closely, I
beheld the tiny face of that roguish elf, Toto
the Slim. Leaping from the chalice of the
lily, down the slender stalk he climbed, and,
after a wild dance of exultation, away he
"Return to thy story of the children,"
commanded the queen haughtily, and the
maid of honor submissively continued her
Pardon me, my lady queen; I imagined it
would be of interest to know that Toto the
Slim was at the bottom of the mischief, for of
that I am sure from the merry expression of
The children soon recovered from their
surprise, and Wassa cried: 'We will pay the
proud maid for this. We will teach her to
play tricks on us.' And, gracious queen, they
are now on their way hither."
No sooner had the maid of honor ceased
speaking than Wassa appeared, followed by
her brother and sisters. With angry haste
they drew in the nets that Mona had, a few
moments before, thrown into the water, and,
with hands and feet, endeavored to tear them
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES.
to pieces; but the nets were strongly made,
and resisted their violent efforts. Then a new
idea entered Wassa's mind.
We will roll a big stone into the nets and
sink them where they will never again be
found," she exclaimed.
Away went the excited children in search of
a stone large enough to suit their purpose, and
soon espied one not far away. By dint of
great pushing they at last succeeded in rolling
it to the spot where the nets lay, then, twining
the nets about it, they carefully pushed it to
the edge of the lake.
One vigorous push, and in went the heavy
stone, and the children ran quickly back to
escape the shower of water that arose as the
stone splashed in. In a moment more all was
as still as before,-the calm surface of the
lake looked as if it might keep forever the
secret of the hidden nets.
After a cautious survey of the still water,
and sure that no trace of their ill deed was
left to betray them, the children went home,
well satisfied with the success of their naughty
How spiteful they are exclaimed the blue
50 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
dragon-fly indignantly, "and all because they
are envious of Mona and the pretty things she
Beware of all the passions wild,
But the saddest of all, an envious child,"
sang a voice from above, and the tiny elf, Toto
the Slim, was seen astride the limb of an oak
that grew above the spots where
the brown beetle and the blue
S dragon-fly were stationed.
rA "This is a pretty state of
affairs!" exclaimed the blue
dragon-fly. Now, those nets
of the hunter lie at
V A'"j the bottom of the
S lake and there they
There they will stay
Till close of day;
In moonbeams bright
They'll come to light."
As Toto the Slim said these words, he slid
down from the branch on which he was seated,
and popped into the hollow of the tree that
served as his house.
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES.
Long the blue dragon-fly and the brown
beetle pondered over the words of the elf, but
it meant nothing to them; for how could
moonlight disclose the nets that lay at the
bottom of the lake, when they could not be
seen in the brighter sunlight?
While the blue dragon-fly and the brown
beetle are pondering over the words of the elf
Toto, we will turn to other friends.
That same night, as soon as the woods were
quiet and dark, a little gnome might have
been seen coming down Blue Hill. Bounding
over stones and bushes, swinging on grape-
vines, leaping across streams and chasms, on
went the little gnome until he reached the
hollow tree in which dwelt the elf Toto the
Slim. Standing at the foot of the tree,
the gnome called out -
"Wake up, wake up, friend elf, I pray,
And hear the words I have to say."
No sooner were these words spoken than
the rosy, roguish face of Toto appeared at the
opening that led to his snug home, and in a
trice he slid down the tree and alighted at the
gnome's feet, saying:--
52 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
At thy service, little gnome,
So prithee say wherefore thou'st come."
The gnome made an answer thus:-
Toto the Slim, I have a plan, to which I
hope thou wilt agree. There are two things
that weigh on my mind greatly. One is, to
see the envy that is in Wassa's heart toward
the hunter's little maid, whom we all love, and
who has not deserved such unkind treatment
at Wassa's hands. The other is, the best way
to avenge the insults our giant enemies con-
stantly put upon us. Now, I have bethought
me of a plan to kill two birds with one stone
and settle both of these matters at the same
time. How would it do to have the giants,
when the rover's family are fast asleep, lift up
the hut and bear it with its inmates far away,
where they will never trouble Mona more ?
Now, this will relieve the hunter's little maid
of all annoyances, and will get the giants into
trouble, for thou know'st they may do nothing
unless ordered by the little gray man. What
think'st thou of my plan, friend elf? "
"Thy plan is excellent, friend gnome,"
replied Toto the Slim, always ready to fall
in with any project that promised mischief.
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES. 53
'One difficulty alone occurs to me. The
giants on whom thou hast practised so many
tricks will at once suspect thee of a snare to
entrap them. Thou wilt have to find some
messenger whom they will believe."
"Of that I have thought," replied the
gnome, "and I have provided for it. The
blue dragon-fly is on friendly terms with the
giants, and would be a fitting messenger.
Say'st thou not so ?"
None better," said Toto the Slim.
"Then the sooner I see her the better,"
replied the gnome, so good night, friend elf."
Away sped the gnome on his mischievous
errand, and the elf crept back to his bed,
where he soon slept soundly once more.
The next day the blue dragon-fly called
pettishly to her attendants, Knows any one
the whereabouts of the giants to-day ?"
May it please thy ladyship," began the first
lady-in-waiting, "we heard that the giants
have found the heat so oppressive that they
departed this morning for the sea-shore, to
wade about in the channel, hoping to refresh
themselves after the restless night they had
54 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
"Very well," replied the blue dragon-fly
waving them back, "then I will await their
return. Follow me."
Away flew the dragon-fly, followed at a re-
spectful distance by her attendants.
So light was the blue dragon-fly, and so
strong her gauzy wings, that before long she
reached Blue Hill that she knew to be the
headquarters of the giants. As she soared up
the hill, she all at once heard the regular click
of hammers, and the sound of voices keeping
time with the blows. As she approached, she
saw, on the side of the hill that looks toward
the setting sun and which, then as now, re-
flected his last rays, hundreds of little gnomes
at work with their tiny hammers.
Sturdy of limb, with peaked caps, peaked
beards, and grave faces, the little band worked
industriously away, and the blue dragon-fly
lighted on a tree near by, and listened to the
song they sang:-
"Spirit of yon leafy dell,
Grant, we beg, a fairy well.
May its waters, fresh as dew,
Flow only for the good and true.
Should the bad and false pass by,
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES.
Be for them this fountain dry.
Should an envious face peer in,
Reflect, we pray, with all its sin.
The horror of an envious mind,
Of all sad sights, the worst we find,
And what grieves most the fairies mild,
The manners of an envious child."
As the song ceased, the gnomes paused in
their work, and all gazed toward the meadows
that lay below, and through which a stream
56 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF TIE BLUE HILL.
ran like a silver thread. A white mist,
through which a delicate form was faintly
seen, rose from the water, and, seeming to
bend toward the Blue Hill, gradually floated
away and faded in the distance.
At the instant the last wreath of mist dis-
appeared, a gurgling of water was heard, and
from the rock where the gnomes had been at
work there gushed a stream of water clear as
crystal, and filled the basin that had been
Whereupon the little gnomes made obei-
sance toward the place where the spirit of the
dell had appeared, while they uttered these
"Thanks, fair spirit of yon dell,
For granting us a fairy spell.
May this sparkling little rill
Refresh those travelling up Blue Hill;
But should the envious come this way,
Help them to cure their fault, we pray."
As they ended, the gnomes shouldered their
little hammers and ascended the hill in single
file, the blue dragon-fly gazing with amaze-
ment after their retreating figures.
"Can I have been dreaming?" asked the
FAIRY WELL AND PLOT OF GNOMES.
blue dragon-fly of herself. No, she could not
have been, for there was the newly hewn well
full of clear water."
"Now, if envious Wassa could look in,
what a picture she would see!" thought the
A distant rumbling was now heard.
There are no clouds in the sky, so it can't
be thunder," said the blue dragon-fly to her-
self. "It must be the giants laughing. It is for-
tunate for me that they are in a good humor."
Nearer and nearer came the rumbling, and
soon the blue dragon-fly could distinguish the
loud ha-- ha- ha! of the big fellows, and
before long their great forms came into view.
The dragon-fly watched them as, one by one,
they jumped across the pond that lay in their
path, and a few strides brought them to the hill.
As the giants strode up the hill, the blue
dragon-fly flew toward them, and lighted on
the hand of the foremost.
Ho, ho! my little lady, is that you? roared
King Cloudcatcher, holding the tiny creature
before him, and as he spoke his breath raised
such a breeze that she was nearly blown off his
58 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
WASSA\ MAKES A PLAN.
What can we do for thee ? asked the giant
The dragon-fly lost no time in acquainting
the giant with the task assigned to him, and
ended her tale by begging him to avenge the
tricks played upon the hunter's family.
What wouldst thou have us do ?" asked
King Cloudcatcher, who was as dull-witted as
Take up the rover's hut and carry it as far
away as those mountains yonder," replied the
blue dragon-fly promptly, nodding her little
head in the direction of the dim line of moun-
tains outlined against the distant horizon.
"Our master might not be pleased, little
lady," answered the giant, if we did that with-
out his bidding."
I should think you were big enough to be
your own masters," said the blue dragon-fly
WASSA MAKES A PLAN.
Our bodies are big and so are our heads,"
replied the giant, but the master says they
contain very little brains. It might bring
trouble upon us, lady-bird, to do as thou
I will take the responsibility," said the blue
The giant king laughed so loudly at this
boastful speech of the blue dragon-fly that the
little creature was blown suddenly off his great
finger. She soon recovered her balance, how-
ever, and alighted at a safe distance upon a
bush that grew near by. The other giants
joined in their king's mirth, and the hill rever-
berated with their loud laughter.
"Yes," repeated the blue dragon-fly, when
silence was restored, I will take the responsi-
bility. What is there so amusing in that? What
harm can come from doing my bidding ? Two
of ye can take up the hut with the rover's
family inside, and set it down again before
they know what has happened."
The little lady is right, by my faith," said
one of the giants; there can be no harm
It was decided that after the moon had risen
60 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
that evening two of the strongest and most
reliable giants should lift the rover's hut and
bear it so far away that the hunter's family
should suffer no more persecutions at their
As soon as this plan was agreed upon, the
blue dragon-fly flew home, followed by her
attendants, who had all this time remained
The day deepened into afternoon, and the
sun set behind the western woods; twilight
came on with its soft shadows, and at last the
moon rose over the eastern brow of Blue Hill
and sailed into the sky, lighting up the mead-
ows and casting a silver sheen over the winding
river. Sometimes the shining stream seemed
lost amid the tangle of trees and shrubs, but
there it was again, glistening brighter than ever
in the clear moonlight.
No noise was heard save the chirping of
crickets and tree-toads, and the occasional cry
of a night hawk. Then down Blue Hill came
the giants, and strode toward the pond on
whose shores the rover's hut stood.
Half hidden by trees was the hut, built of
trees and boughs roughly put together. It
WASSA MAKES A PLAN.
was a very crude affair, and all the light that
entered came through the open door.
The two giants who were to carry away the
hut cautiously approached, and stooping down,
looked in through the open door. The inside
of the hut was as untidy as was the outside, and
the giants saw the rover's family fast asleep on
beds of fir boughs.
Satisfied that everything was in readiness
for their plan, the giants rose to their feet and
prepared to begin their work, while their com-
panions stationed themselves at a distance to
watch the proceeding.
The two giants bent over to raise the hut
from the ground, but no sooner had they placed
62 TIE FAIRY-FOLK OF TIE BLUE HILL.
their hands under the rude structure than a
voice was heard to say :--
Hold, ye knaves What is it ye are about
to do ? "
The two giants quickly straightened them-
selves to their full height and looked about
them. Standing on a rock near by was the
little gray man, who looked sternly at them.
The blue dragon-fly told us to. We did it
but to please her," the giants hastened to say.
Is the blue dragon-fly your mistress ? Have
ye sworn obedience to her?" demanded the
little man in gray.
"Pardon, master," they humbly answered,
"but the rover's family persecute the honest
hunter, and we thought to remove them out of
their reach. We meant no harm."
Your duty is to obey, mine to command,"
sternly replied the little gray man. Do thou,
Deepdrinker, follow me."
The giant thus designated meekly followed
his master to the shores of Lily Pond, in whose
depths Wassa had sunken the hunter's nets,
and the little gray man commanded:-
Drain the pond at one draught."
The huge giant threw himself prostrate on
WASSA MAKES A PLAN.
the ground, and, taking a deep breath, put his
lips into the water and drank deeply. Gradu-
ally the water receded from the margin of the
pond, and the giant drank on, until the muddy
basin was disclosed, and in it the large stone
around which Wassa had twisted the hunter's
Thou hast done well, Deepdrinker; it was
a goodly draught," said the little gray man.
" Rockroller, come hither."
Another giant stepped out from among his
companions, and approached the edge of the
pond as Deepdrinker arose to his feet.
Reach out thy hand, Rockroller, free the
nets, and toss yon pebble over the hill," again
commanded the little gray man.
The giant did as he was bidden, extricated
carefully the nets that had been twisted about
the large stone, and then, lifting the stone be-
tween his thumb and finger, as if it had indeed
been a pebble, tossed it lightly over Blue Hill.
Swiftstepper, do thou take the nets and put
them in their proper places," commanded the
little gray man, "and then back to bed, ye
The little gray man vanished as suddenly
64 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
as he had appeared, and Swiftstepper, standing
with one foot on each shore of the pond, care-
fully replaced the hunter's nets, as the little
gray man had bidden, and then he rejoined his
It was fortunate for the safety of the gnomes
that the giants did not discover the little faces
with their peaked beards and caps peeping out
from behind bushes and rocks, watching with
mischievous enjoyment the success of their
plot; and still more fortunate was it that they
did not hear the shrill, jeering laughs that arose
at the sharp reproof of the little man in gray.
Great was Wassa's surprise, the next morn-
ing, at finding the hunter's nets cast in the
Perhaps the fairies did it," suggested one of
her little sisters.
Nonsense there are no fairies, I tell thee,"
replied Wassa angrily. How dost thou sup-
pose fairies could get that great rock out of the
water ? "
"Then maybe the giants did it," said the
There are no giants either; thou know'st
that as well as I," replied Wassa.
WASSA MAKES A PLAN.
I saw something one day that looked just
like a fairy," said the youngest sister timidly.
" It looked like a tiny face peeping out of a
"'Twas a dragon-fly or a butterfly, thou
little goose," replied Wassa. Thou art as
foolish as Mona to imagine thou see'st fairies."
Who dost thou think took the nets and
stone out of the pond ? asked the brother.
The witches, I suppose," replied Wassa
with a laugh.
There is Mona now," said one of the little
maids, pointing in the direction of the hunter's
Through the tall forest trees the children
saw Mona busily at work in her little garden.
She had transplanted with much pains many of
the prettiest wild flowers, and columbine and
violets and innocence were blooming as freshly
and cheerfully as if they had sprung up of their
See how proud the little maid is," whis-
pered the brother; dost thou not see how
careful she is not to spoil her fine clothes ?"
"If it were not for her fine clothes, she
wouldn't look any better than any one else,"
66 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
answered Wassa angrily. See that silly cap
perched on the top of her head! I wish we
could get it away from her!"
I'll snatch it off the next time I see her,"
said the lad.
"No, no, thou must not do that," replied
Wassa. Let me think."
Wassa was silent for a few minutes, then she
resumed, with a meaning nod toward Mona: -
I know how to manage it. Thou shalt see
how easily I will arrange matters," and away
ran Wassa toward Mona at work in her little
The two little maids and their brother left
behind had such unbounded confidence in
Wassa that they were not surprised to see
Mona, after a few words, follow Wassa with a
The hunter's little maid was so much by
herself that she was overjoyed at the prospect
of playmates, and Wassa was usually so un-
friendly that Mona was very glad to find her
in so gracious a mood.
The younger children could not understand
why Wassa should so suddenly be on such
cordial terms with the hunter's maid, but they
WASSA MAKES A PLAN.
always fell in with her moods, and soon all the
children were playing happily together.
Mona, who had always been obliged to play
by herself, was particularly happy at finding
the rover's children so affable, and was ready
to believe that their natures had undergone
a change, and that henceforth all was to be
peace and sunshine. Her gay laughter rang
merrily through the woods, and her play was
the wildest of all.
Farther and farther from home strayed
the children, led on by Wassa, until Mona,
breathless from a wild chase, was startled
to find herself where she had never before
"I must go home directly," cried Mona
anxiously; "my mother will think we are
"There is no hurry," replied Wassa confi-
dently; we are at the foot of Blue Hill, and
we may as well ascend it, for we shall have
time to reach home before sundown. I know
the way very well, and it will take but a little
"I don't dare," replied Mona; "my mother
is always anxious if I am away long. Some
68 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
other time, dear Wassa, I shall be glad to go
"Thou canst not go until I do," replied
Wassa, "for thou dost not know the way.
Thou wilt get lost, and the bears come out at
night, and they will eat thee up. So thou
see'st, thou mayst as well have the pleasure of
going up the hill."
At these words Wassa began to ascend the
footpath made by the feet of the giants, her
brother and sisters closely following her. The
hunter's little maid hesitated for a moment,
and then reluctantly joined the party.
Mona's nature was a happy one, and when
she considered that the only course left her
was to keep with the rover's children, she re-
solved to make the best of the matter; so
whenever the thought of home and her mother
came into her mind, she put it resolutely
Up the hill roamed the children, stopping
occasionally to pick the blueberries that grew
in thick clusters on each side of the path, or to
peer into the numerous caves they passed, half
expecting to see some strange animal spring
out at them. When about half way up the
WASSA MAKES A PLAN.
hill they came upon the fairy-well the gnomes
had so lately made.
Oh! what beautiful clear water! ex-
claimed the hunter's little maid. I can see
my face there, it is so clear;" and all the
children crowded around to catch a glimpse
Let me look! cried Wassa, coming from
behind and looking over the heads of the other
What a picture was seen in the clear surface
of the fairy-well, dear readers! Above the
head of Mona with her pretty cap and the
happy faces of the younger children, appeared
the face of Wassa, but how transfigured by the
magic well! Reflected in the clear water, so
changed was the countenance with its distorted
features and complexion of green, that the other
children started back in terror, and gazed at
their sister to see what had brought about so
sudden a change.
No, Wassa's face had not changed. What
they saw was wrought by the spell of the spirit
of the dell.
How dreadful thy picture in the water is,'
said one of the little maids; it looks as if thou
70 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
wast making up a face, and thy complexion is
I did make up a face," replied Wassa, whc
had a secret misgiving that the spring was
reflecting the envious thoughts that filled her
breast. Come, let us go farther on, or we
cannot be home before dark."
On went the children once more, when
.j .. y walked to the
edge of the path
and looked down.
"Just see how
Steep the side of
Sthe hill is," she ex-
ing to the chil-
and gazed down
the steep hillside. The path was indeed
steep, and many large rocks lay in the way.
As Mona leant forward to peep over, Wassa,
as if by accident, pushed roughly against her.
Mona's light cap fell off, and in spite of her
WASSA MAKES A PLAN.
quick efforts to recover it, the cap was borne
swiftly over the precipice.
My cap My cap! cried Mona anxiously ;
"I must go after it."
Thou must not think of such a thing," said
Wassa' decidedly. There it lies at the foot
of the precipice, and thou couldst never climb
up again, even if thou shouldst manage to go
But I must," replied Mona. I cannot lose
the pretty cap my mother took such pains to
make for me."
It will very soon be dark, and I am going
home. Come, children," said Wassa.
So saying, Wassa started to return, followed
by her brother and sisters. Looking back,
they saw Mona beginning cautiously to de-
scend the steep path.
"What art thou doing, Mona? called Wassa
"I am going to find my cap," replied the
little maid resolutely.
Thou wilt never find thy way home, and
when it is dark the bears will come out and
eat thee," said Wassa. My father says he has
often seen them prowling about at night."
72 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL,
Wassa thought this threat would induce
Mona to give up her project, but she was
mistaken. Mona valued the cap highly,
both for the sake of her
mother, who had taken great
pleasure in making -it for
her little daughter, and also
because it was so pretty,
and, moreover, she was not
a timid child.
I Wassa watched the light
figure of the little maid
as she began the descent.
V Carefully she caught the
boughs that came in her
way, and held them firmly
i to steady herself down the
'steep declivity. When they
I '-. ^ had watched her half way
down, the children turned
their steps homeward, leav-
ing Mona to her fate.
I did all I could to per-
suade her to come with us,
did I not?" asked Wassa, as the children
walked rapidly down the hill.
WASSA MAKES A PLAN. 73
"Yes, certainly thou didst," they answered,
" but she would not listen to thee."
In fact, Wassa did not intend that her trick
in knocking off Mona's cap should have so
disastrous an ending, and she felt somewhat
frightened at the result. Influenced by her
jealousy, she was determined to cause Mona's
pretty cap to disappear forever, but she had not
thought that the gentle little maid would dare
venture down the steep ravine to recover it.
Meanwhile the sun was sinking lower and
lower, and the little maid was continuing her
way down the rough hillside.
74 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
THE ELVES ANGNO
TO TNE f
With a fast-beating heart little Mona began
to descend the precipice. She hoped to re-
cover the cap and overtake her companions
before they were out of hearing, but she did
not realize the extent of the task she had
Looking down from the edge of the preci-
pice, the distance to the bottom did not seem
very great, but the path was rough and steep,
and Mona made very slow progress. Seizing
for her support the longest boughs within
reach, the little maid carefully selected a secure
footing before releasing the bough. Often the
loose earth gave way as she set her foot upon
THE ELVES AND GNOMES TO THE RESCUE. 75
it, and fell crashing down the hillside, and then
it seemed as if the task were almost hopeless,
and the cap looked as far off as when she first
The cap hung on the top of a fir tree that,
from where the little maid stood, looked no
higher than a bush of medium size, but in
reality it was a tall tree that had been growing
for several generations.
Mona had plenty of courage, and not once
did she think of giving up her project; but as
the sun sank lower and lower, and she realized
how very little headway she had made, a dread-
ful misgiving took possession of her. What
if she should not reach the bottom of the hill be-
fore dark?" Next came the thought, What
if the bears did really go prowling about at
"I will not think of such things," said
the brave little maid to herself. I will
think of the kind fairies. Perhaps there are
some about here, and they are watching
This last pleasant thought reassured the
little wanderer, and she cheered herself by
imagining the flowers and trees about her
76 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
peopled by the small beings she had learned
to love. If she could but have seen the
tiny faces that peeped after her from
their leafy hiding-places, she would have felt
secure in the thought that she was not
Bushes heavy with their weight of blueber-
ries were on either side, and wild flowers grew
under her footsteps, but Mona did not stop to
pick any, fearing the sun might go out of sight
before she reached the top of the hill again.
Soon, to her great joy, the foot of. the hill,
where the cherished cap hung on the fir tree,
seemed nearer and nearer, and, looking back
on the path down which she had gone so
slowly and with so much difficulty, she was
surprised to see how steep and how far off the
summit of the precipice was. This gave the
little maid new hope, and she proceeded more
resolutely than ever.
As Mona was feeling about with one foot
for a foothold on which to trust her weight, a
sudden noise from behind arrested her atten-
tion, and she started violently, fearing that one
of the bears of which Wassa had spoken had
indeed come in search of her; and, losing her
THE ELVES AND GNOMES TO THE RESCUE. 77
hold by which she had supported herself, the
earth on which she stood gave way, and, with
a loud report that vibrated through the silent
woods, it rolled swiftly down the steep hill-
side, carrying with it the terrified little maid.
In her fall, the thought of home and par-
ents passed rapidly through Mona's mind, but
almost before she fully realized the danger
of her situation, the slide that bore her was
78 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
arrested by a clump of bushes, and she was
thrown into their leafy arms. The sudden
shock, together with the fatigue and anxiety
she had undergone, was too much for the
poor little maid, and all consciousness forsook
No sooner did Mona's eyes close than at
once every flower and shrub and tree seemed
alive with the tiny faces of elves. Small faces
popped out of the flowers, and slender forms
came sliding down from the tall flower stalks
and flowering bushes. Some seized the deli-
cate stems of the blue hare-bell and wild lily
of the valley, and rang the little bells violently.
Others blew long blasts on the wild honey-
suckle and columbine, while above the din
shrill voices clamored excitedly.
From every direction came tiny elves crowd-
ing and pushing and stumbling over one an-
other in their eagerness to learn the cause of
this sudden summons.
Suddenly the murmur of voices ceased as
they discovered the form of the hunter's little
maid lying on the ground, with closed eyes
and all the color gone out of her face. For a
few minutes all were silent, then Lippo, the
TIE ELVES AND GNOMES TO THE RESCUE. 79
elfin king, pointing solemnly to the little form
on the ground, said:-
Good subjects mine, here have we come
On nimble feet, from leafy home,
A gentle deed of love to do
For this fair maid, so kind and true.
Lured forth was she from her fond home
By false words of the jealous one.
Whate'er we do must be done soon,
The night is short, and yon's the moon."
As the king ceased, the full, round moon
slowly appeared above the tall forest trees, and
moved majestically higher into the sky.
Then said Pippi the Just, the wise counsel-
We tiny elves cannot by ourselves bear
this gentle maid up the steep side of the moun-
tain. The gnomes, so sturdy of limb and sure
of foot, will know how to help us. Who of ye
will hie to King Rondo and acquaint him with
the mishap ? "
Almost before the last words were spoken,
Beppo, the swift of foot, was half way up the
steep mountain side, on his errand to King
Bounding over stones and bushes, climbing
80 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
nimbly over rocks, the swift-footed Beppo went
on his way, until he stood before the wall of
rock that formed the entrance to King Rondo's
domains. Upon it, picking up a small stone
for the purpose, he loudly knocked.
No answer came, and, putting his ear to the
rock, the elf could hear the click of hammers
ringing within, and the voices of the gnomes
keeping time to the blows. Again and again
Beppo repeated his knock, each time more
loudly, until at last the heavy door swung back,
and a gnome stood before him.
"What dost thou wish, friend Beppo ? de-
manded the gnome.
"It is with the king I wish to speak,"
replied Beppo, on most important business,
and I beg him to grant me an interview with-
"Enter," replied the gnome, "and I will
acquaint his majesty with thy message."
The elf entered the cavern, and as the
rocky door rolled back into place Beppo
became sensible of a most savory odor pro-
ceeding from the depths of the cavern. This
the elf knew was a favorable sign, for it was
well known that King Rondo was fond of
THE ELVES AND GNOMES TO THE RESCUE. 8I
good cheer, and was always in a gracious
mood when eating his favorite viands.
The gnome disappeared within the king's
apartments, and soon reappeared, saying:-
"His majesty bids thee enter the banquet
hall, as thy message is an urgent one. He is
engaged in eating his favorite repast of grubs
on toast," and dislikes to leave them, as when
cold they are tasteless and tough."
"As his majesty wills," answered the elf,
following the gnome.
82 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
The door of the banquet hall was thrown
open as they approached, and the sudden
brilliancy before him almost blinded the little
elf's eyes. The walls, hewn from solid rock,
glistened with crystals and mica and garnets
that reflected the light from myriads of
At a table, in the midst of this splendor, sat
King Rondo, eating from a smoking dish of
"grubs on toast," and drinking deep draughts
of Mountain Dew," collected by his faithful
A goodly king was Rondo the Round."
Where else could be found such a red-cheeked,
jolly sprite, with his fat, round body and plump,
short limbs ? Just to gaze on him was enough
to make one happy, and to see him with his
favorite dish before him,--well, words can
hardly express what a pleasant sight it was.
Looking up, the king caught sight of his
guest, who stood modestly in the doorway, wait-
ing for permission to enter.
The king spoke thus:-
"Come hither, friend, I pray thee tell
If brother Lippo fares him well,
And if there's aught that we can do
To prove to him our friendship true."
THE ELVES AND GNOMES TO THE RESCUE. 83
Then Beppo stepped into the banquet hall,
and bowing low before the king, made an-
King Lippo is well, your majesty, and
sends greeting. He bade me bring word of a
misfortune that has befallen the hunter's little
Then Beppo, in as few words as possible,
related the tale of Mona's mishap through the
treachery of the rover's maid, and begged the
gnome king to send help to the unfortunate
"Return to thy king," said Rondo as the elf
ended his tale, "and say to him that King
Rondo will make the case his own. What ho
there, knaves! he cried to his attendant gnomes,
"have the secret underground passages well
lighted up, that the little maid need have no
Beppo waited for no second bidding, but,
saluting the king, hastened homeward. Before
he left the cavern, he saw that it was one blaze
of light. Passages led in every direction from
the lofty cavern, and these were ablaze with
the light of torches and glittering ore.
0 0 0
84 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE IILL.
Beppo left the gnomes' cavern and hastened
to carry back to King Lippo the news that the
gnomes would come to the rescue of the hunt-
er's little maid. As soon as he had left the
cavern, hundreds of gnomes issued forth and
came trooping down the hill. Leaping and
running, they hurried along until they reached
the spot where Mona lay.
Silently the gnomes crowded around the
little maid, gazing fondly on her whom they
had long loved. After a while King Rondo
broke the silence thus:-
Bestir yourselves, my subjects true,
And do the work ye've come to do."
The gnomes hastened to obey their king,
and disappeared into the woods, singing:-
Gather, gnomes, with toil and care,
Boughs of hemlock and balsams rare.
Fragrant branches and flowers wild
Deck the couch of the hunter's child.
Gently lift her, and softly bear
Through fairy paths the maiden fair."
Almost as soon as the last words of the
refrain had died on the air, the gnomes re-
appeared. Some dragged after them large
boughs, and sturdy forms bent beneath the
86 THE FAIRY-FOLK OF THE BLUE HILL.
fragrant green burdens they bore on their
shoulders. Throwing to the ground the
boughs they had collected, the gnomes skil-
fully fashioned a litter, over which the elves
scattered bright and fragrant wild flowers.
When the task was completed, the gnomes,
at the bidding of King Rondo, gently lifted
the hunter's little maid on to the soft litter,
and some of the strongest of the band raised
it from the ground and carefully bore it up
the hill, followed by the rest of the troupe.
Slowly and cautiously went the little gnomes
up the rough hillside, until they reached the
rocky wall that formed the entrance to their
cave. King Rondo gave the signal, the heavy
door rolled back, and the procession entered
"Welcome, welcome, maiden dear,
Never mortal entered here.
Beloved by all our fairy band,
We welcome thee to Fairyland.
But ope thy eyes and gaze around,
And see how fair 'tis underground."
At these words the maiden's eyes unclosed,
and she gazed about her. The brilliant light
of the torches, reflected a thousand-fold by the
crystals and shining mica and precious stones
that adorned the cavern, at first dazzled Mona's
eyes, and she started from her couch. Her
next glance fell on the friendly faces of the
gnomes, and, so accustomed was she to think
lovingly of the fairy-folk, that Fairyland had
always seemed near to her, and she was not at
all startled to find herself there. The wel-
coming words of the gnomes would have re-
assured her if she had been at all apprehen-
sive, and she sank back upon her soft
couch, soothed by loving words and fragrant
odors, and allowed herself to be gently borne
Through grottos was the little maid borne,
where clear streams of water flowed over shin-
ing white sand, and in which brilliant gold and
silver fishes sported. Then the wondering
child passed through beautiful gardens, from
whose rocky sides grew luxuriant ferns, while
above her head hung spreading vines and blos-
soming boughs, where bright-plumaged birds
flitted filling the air with sweet melody.
Sometimes through long and narrow pas-
sages was the little maid carried, but from
every nook and corner kindly faces peeped out,