The Baldurn Library
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And Other Fairy Tales
BY THE SAME AUTHOR
AT THE RELTON ARMS
A Novel. 12mo. $1.00
AND OTHER FAIRY
WITH EIGHT COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS
AND A COVER BY MRS. PERCY DEARMER
THE BODLEY HEAD
NEW YORK AND LONDON
COPYRIGHT, 1896, BY
Press of J. J. Little & Co.
Astor Place, New York
&MARGARET AND 'BOY
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY 21
THE BOY WHO LOOKED LIKE A GIRL 69
THE PRINCESS IN HER GARDEN 9
THE EXCEPTIONAL TADPOLE .
THE LITTLE WITCH OF THE PLAIN 137
THE SOFT-HEARTED PRINCE 165
List of Illustrations
BY MRS. PERCY DEARMER
I. WYMPS Frontispiece
II. IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY 23
III. TOYLAND 43
IV. THE BOY WHO LOOKED LIKE A GIRL .
V. THE PRINCESS IN HER GARDEN 93
VI. THE EXCEPTIONAL TADPOLE 117
VII. THE LITTLE WITCH OF THE PLAIN 139
VIII. THE SOFT HEARTED PRINCE 167
L ITTLE Lady Daffany had just been be-
trothed to the Prince, and there were great
rejoicings all over the town in consequence.
The people were allowed to cheer as much as
they liked, and every child in the country had a
whole holiday and a penny bun, and nobody had
an unhappy moment from sunrise to sunset. All
the fairies were invited to a magnificent ban-
quet in the palace, which lasted for five hours
and a half; and the betrothed couple sat at one
end of the table, and talked to one another; and
the King and Queen sat at the other end, and
hoped that everything would go well. The
Queen fanned herself, and murmured at inter-
vals, "The wish of my heart;" and the King
grumbled to himself, because he could not get
enough to eat. The King had a very healthy
appetite, and he always gave a banquet, when-
ever there was the least occasion for one.
I really don't think we have left any one out,
this time," said the Queen, in a satisfied tone.
One of the fairies had been left out at the
Prince's christening, and the usual misfortunes
had followed in consequence.
"That is because I sent out all the invita-
tions myself," replied the King, crushingly.
"These things only require a little manage-
The words were hardly out of his royal
mouth, when a sudden darkness fell upon the
room, just as though a curtain had been drawn
across the sun. One ray of sun continued to
shine, however, and that was the one that shone
over Lady Daffany's head; and down this one,
something came sliding at a terrific pace, and
tumbled into a dish of peaches, just in front
of her. The conversation stopped with a jerk;
and the people in the street ceased cheering at
the same moment, though they could not have
told any one why they did not go on.
I am going to faint," the Queen was heard
to exclaim; but no one was sufficiently un-
occupied to attend to her. For the eyes of
every one were'fixed on the one ray of sunlight,
that shone over Lady Daffany's head into the
dish of peaches on the table.
Now, that's a stupid place to keep peaches,"
said the cause of all this disturbance; and the
funniest little man imaginable clambered out
of the dish of peaches, and looked inquisitively
down the long table. He was very small, and
of a misty appearance, and he was dressed from
head to foot in dull yellow fog, and his face was
brimful of mischief. He looked as though he
had done nothing all his life but make fun of
people; for he had very small eyes that twinkled,
and a very large mouth that smiled, and the rest
of his face was one mass of laughter wrinkles.
"So you thought you were going to leave
out the Wymps, did you ?" he said, sitting
down comfortably on the edge of a large salt-
cellar, and swinging his legs backwards and
forwards. You will say next, that you have
never heard of the Wymps, I suppose !"
Now, that was just what every one in the
room had been thinking, but no one had the
courage to say so.
"To be sure, to be sure; how stupid of us
not to recognize you at once," said the Queen,
who had not fainted, after all.
"Most absurd Why, the children in the
schools could have told us that, eh ?" added
the King, glancing at the Royal Professor of
Geography, who sat on his right hand.
"No doubt, no doubt; though it does not
belong to my branch of learning," said the
latter, looking cheerfully at the Royal Professor
of History, who was trying, for his part, not to
look at anybody at all.
Then if you knew such a lot about us, how
was it that you didn't ask us to the banquet,
eh? shouted the little Wymp, in a most dis-
Dear me! said the Queen, "is it possible
you never had the letter ?"
"I have no doubt," added the King, "that it
was never posted."
"Or, perhaps it was not properly addressed,"
suggested Lady Daffany, politely.
The Wymp looked from one to the other, and
winked; then he stood on his head, and burst
into a fit of laughter.
"It is no use, dearest," said the Prince,
gloomily; we have never heard of the Wymps,
and we had much better own it at once. I sup-
pose that means another bad gift; and I had quite
enough of that sort of thing, at my christening.
It is enough to set one against banquets alto-
gether; there's always some one left out. First,
it's fairies; then, it's Wymps. Now then, Mr.
Wymp, just tell us where you came from, and
why you are here, and get it over, will you ? "
Now, that's sensible. I think I'll shake
hands with you," said the Wymp, coming down
on his feet again, and standing on tiptoe to
grasp the Prince's hand. To the Prince it seemed
just like shaking hands with a very damp sponge.
"Now, I'll tell you what it is," continued the
Wymp, climbing up a decanter, and standing
with one foot on the stopper, and the other
tucked up like a stork's; "the Wymps have
been left out of this banquet altogether, and
Wymps are not people to be trifled with. Why
people make such a fuss about fairies, I never
can make out. Now, if you'd left out some of
them, it wouldn't have made any difference to
anybody. They just overcrowd everything,
and it's not fair."
All the fairies fluttered their wings indignantly
at this; but the Fairy Queen reminded them
that it was not polite to make a quarrel in
somebody else's house; and the Wymp went
"So I have come down from the land of
the Wymps, which is at the back of the sun,
just to remind you that you mustn't leave us
out again. However, I see I am spoiling the
fun, so I will be off again. But I may as well
mention," here, he looked straight at the Prince,
and burst out laughing again, that, in future,
you will always tell people what you think of
them. Ha ha! ha! that is the Wymps' gift
to you Good-bye !"
And away he sped up the sunbeam again;
and the curtain fell away from the sun; and
the people in the street went on cheering, just
where they had left off; and the conversation
broke out again at the very place it had been
interrupted; and no one would have thought
that anything had happened at all. But the
Prince heard nothing but the Wymp's mock-
ing laughter; and he sat silent, for the rest of
"Are you ill, dear Prince?" asked the Queen.
"Of course not; you are a tiresome old
fidget," said the Prince, crossly. Now, the
Prince was noted for his excellent manners;
he was even known to speak politely to his
horse and his spaniel; so when the courtiers
heard his reply to the Queen, they began to
whisper among themselves, and the guests
made ready to depart.
"It is the heat; you must really excuse
him," said the King, getting up from the table
with a sigh.
What nonsense," said the Prince; "it is
not hot at all. It is your fault for having
such a stupid, long banquet."
We have enjoyed ourselves so much," said
the guests, as they filed past him.
"Oh no, you haven't," retorted the Prince;
"you have been thoroughly bored the whole
time, and so have I."
"It is the Wymps' gift," whispered the
S Two large, unshed tears stood in Lady
Daffany's eyes, when she bade the Prince
Do you think I have been bored the whole
evening? she asked him, softly.
"No, dearest," said the Prince, kissing her
white fingers; for you have been with me, all
And that of course was the truth, so she
went away happy.
The.days rolled on, and everybody began to
wonder at the change in the Prince. He had
always been considered the most charming
Prince in the world; but now, he had suddenly
become one of the most unpleasant. He told
people of their faults, whenever they were in-
troduced to him; and although he was generally
right, they did not like it at all. He said the
Royal Professor of Geography was a bore; and
although no one in the kingdom could deny
it, the Royal Professor of Geography naturally
felt annoyed. At the State Ball, he told the
King he could not dance a bit; and although
the King's partners certainly thought so too,
that did not make it any better. But when
he told the Queen, in the presence of the
Royal Professor of History, that her hair was
turning grey, underneath her crown, the Queen
said it was quite time something was done.
"The dear fellow cannot be right in his
head," she said. He must have a doctor."
So the Royal Physician was sent for; and
he came in his coach and four, and looked at
the Prince; and he coughed a good deal, and
said he must certainly have a change of air.
"The Royal Physician always knows," said
the Queen, looking greatly relieved.
"But what is the matter with me ?" asked
"That," said the Royal Physician, coughing
again, is too deep a matter for me to go into,
just now. In fact- "
"In fact, you don't know a bit, do you ?"
said the Prince; and he burst out laughing, just
as unpleasantly as the Wymp had done, when
he stood on his head.
So the Royal Physician drove away again, in
his coach and four; and the Prince went on
telling people exactly what he thought of them.
The only person, to whom he was not rude, was
the little Lady Daffany; for he thought nothing
but nice things about her, and therefore, he had
nothing but nice things to say to her. But, for
all that, she was most unhappy; for she could
not bear to hear that people disliked the Prince;
and all the people were beginning to dislike
him very much indeed. So, one day, she
slipped out of her father's house, quite early in
the morning, and went into the wood at the
end of the garden. Now, she was so kind to
all the animals and flowers, that the fairies had
given her the power of understanding their lan-
guage; so she went straight to her favourite
squirrel, who lived in a beech tree in the mid-
dle of the wood, and she told him all about
the Prince and the Wymps' gift. The squirrel
stopped eating nuts, and ran after his tail, for
several moments, without speaking. Then, he
winked his eye at her, very knowingly, and
nodded his smart little head several times, and
spoke at last, in a tone of great wisdom.
"You must go to the Wymps, and inter-
cede for the Prince," he said, and cracked
"But would they listen to me ? asked Lady
Go and try," said the squirrel. "The
Wymps are not bad little fellows, really. They
like making fun of people, that's all. And they
saw the Prince was a bit of a prig, so they
thought they would give him a lesson, don't
you see ?"
Perhaps they will think I am a prig too,"
said Lady Daffany, sadly.
"My dear little lady," laughed the squirrel,
"the Wymps never make fun of people like
you. Just you go and find the biggest sun-
beam you can, and climb up it, until you come
to the land of the Wymps, at the back of the
sun. Only, you must go with bare feet, and
with nothing on your head. Now, be off with
you; I want to finish my breakfast."
The biggest sunbeam she could find was the
one that came in at the library window, and
sent her father, the Count, to sleep over the
State documents. And there, she took off her
little red shoes and stockings, and pulled the
golden pins out of her hair, and let it fall
loosely round her shoulders; and she began
to climb slowly up the ray of sunlight. At
first, it was very hard work, for it was very
slippery, and she was frightened of falling off;
but she thought of the Prince, and went on as
bravely as she could. And then, it seemed as
though invisible hands came and helped her
upwards; for, after that, it was quite easy,
and she glided up higher, and higher, and
higher, until she came to the sun itself,
the big, round sun. And she went straight
through the sun, just as though it were a
paper hoop at the circus; and she tumbled
out on the other side, into a land of yellow
fog. There was no sunshine there, and no
moon, and no stars, and no daylight; nothing
but a dull, red glow over everything, like the
light of a lamp.
"Why," said Lady Daffany, feeling her
clothes to see if they were singed, "I always
thought the sun was hot.'
"I have no doubt yea did: it is quite
absurd what mistakes are made about the
sun," said a familiar voice behind her; and
looking round, she saw the identical Wymp
who had come to disturb the betrothal banquet.
Hullo I've been expecting you," he said,
as he recognized her; "why didn't you come
"Because you didn't send me an invitation,"
said the Lady Daffany, merrily; and she made
him a court bow. Now, it is true that the
Wymps spend their lives in laughing at other
people, but they are not accustomed to being
laughed at themselves, so when Lady Daffany
continued to be amused at her own joke, the
Wymp drew himself up very stiffly, aud looked
I don't see anything whatever to laugh at,"
he said, severely, "and you had better come
along, and explain to the King why you are
Then, he led her through the dimly lighted
land of yellow fog, and they passed crowds of
other little Wymps, who were all so like him-
self that it was difficult to tell one from another.
For they were all dull yellow, and distinctly
misty in appearance; and they all had small
eyes and large mouths, and their faces were all
covered with laughter wrinkles. They seemed
to be spending their time in turning somer-
saults, and tumbling over one another, and
laughing loudly at nothing at all. But the
Wymp who was with Lady Daffany did not
laugh once; he just trotted along in front of
her, and did not speak a word, so that she
really was afraid she had hurt his feelings, and
she began to feel sorry.
Please, Mr. Wymp, I didn't mean to laugh
at you at all," she said, very humbly.
"That's all very well," said the Wymp,
sulkily; but no Wymp ever allows any one
else to make a joke. Come along to the King."
But it wasn't a joke !" cried Lady Daffany.
Oh well, if it wasn't a joke that's another
matter. Not that I should have called it a
joke myself, but I thought you meant it for
one," said the Wymp, more cheerfully. Now,
why have you come up here at all ? "
She hastened to tell him all about the Prince,
and how much he had been changed by the
Wymps' gift, and how she wanted to intercede
for him; and her voice grew so sad as she
thought about it all, that the Wymp had to
turn round and shout at her.
Don't get gloomy," he cried, turning several
somersaults in his agitation; "nobody is ever
gloomy in the land of the Wymps. Make
another bad joke if you like, but stop being
At this moment they suddenly came upon
the Wymp King, who was sitting asleep on his
throne, all by himself. He was just like the
other Wymps, except that he looked too lazy
to turn somersaults, and he had no laughter
wrinkles at all.
Is that the King ? He doesn't look much
like a king," whispered Lady Daffany.
He hasn't got to look like a king," said
the Wymp; we choose our kings, because they
are harmless, and don't want to make jokes,
and will keep out of the way. We once had
a king who looked like a king-we used to
live in the sun then-and he did so much
mischief that the sun people turned us out,
and we have had to live at the back of the sun
Lady Daffany felt glad that the kind of king
she was accustomed to did look like a king;
but she had no time to say so, for just then, the
Wymp jumped on the throne, and woke up the
King by shouting in his ear.
Does any one want anything ?" asked the
Wymp King, waking up with a jerk, and putting
on his crown and his spectacles hurriedly.
Lady Daffany dropped on her knees in front
of the throne, and tried not to look frightened.
Please your Majesty," she began, timidly.
Who is she talking to ?" cried the Wymp
King. He had a very gruff voice, through
living in a yellow fog all his life; and he spoke
so loudly, that he completely drowned the rest
of her speech.
Say what you want, and don't give him any
titles; he's not used to them," whispered the
"Why, I don't believe he is a king at all,"
said Lady Daffany, standing up again.
Who says I'm not a king at all ?" shouted
the Wymp King, angrily.
If you make any more of your bad jokes,
I won't try to help you at all," said the
Wymp. "Why don't you say what you want,
at once ?"
So Lady Daffany set to work, and told the
whole of her story; and begged the Wymp
King to take back his fatal gift, so that the
Prince should no longer get himself disliked,
through telling people what he thought about
When she had finished, the King gave a great
yawn, and took off his crown.
Doesn't he tell them the truth, then ?" he
"Yes, I--I suppose so," she answered, doubt-
"Then, why should they mind?" asked the
Lady Daffany shook her head.
They do mind," she said.
"Then it's very stupid of them," said the
Wymp King, very drowsily. However, if that's
all, the gift can be passed on to you, instead.
Now, go away; I am going to sleep again."
He was already sound asleep, and not another
word could be got out of him. Lady Daffany
tried not to cry, and turned away.
"I suppose every one will dislike me now,"
she said, sorrowfully; "but of course, that is
better than their disliking the Prince."
Nonsense," said the Wymp, as he led her
again to the back of the sun ;" that would be too
good a joke for the King to make. You wait
and see. Good-bye."
And away she went through the sun again, and
came out on the bright side once more; and she
slid down into the garden, for the sunbeam had
moved on since the morning; and then she ran
indoors to find her shoes and stockings.
"That's all right," said the Count, putting
away the State documents with a great show of
exhaustion; you're just in time for tea. Where
have you been all day? "
I've been for a walk, at least a fly-no, I
mean a ride," stammered Lady Daffany. I'm
not quite sure which it was."
Never mind," chuckled the Count; I
expect you were with the Prince and didn't
notice, eh? Then, of course, you have heard
the wonderful news of the Prince's recovery."
"Then the Wymp did speak the truth!"
cried Lady Daffany, clapping her hands for
"What Wymp?" asked the Count. This
had nothing to do with the Wymps. It was a
strange physician, who came from a far land,
and he touched the Prince's tongue and made
him every bit as polite as he used to be. So
you can be married at last, and the Prince can
go into society again."
"A strange physician ?" said his daughter;
"I wonder where he has gone now."
That's just it," said the Count, pouring out
his sixth cup of tea; "he didn't go anywhere.
He turned three somersaults down the palace
steps, and when they ran to pick him up, there
wasn't anybody to pick up."
Then it must have been a Wymp," thought
Lady Daffany, as she wandered out into the
garden to think it all over.
I wonder if I have really got the Wymps'
gift, instead of the Prince," she said to herself.
Just then, the Prince himself came through the
bushes to find her. He no longer looked grave
and unhappy, and there was a radiant look on
"Don't you think I have been a very dis-
agreeable Prince lately ?" he whispered, as he
stooped to kiss her.
"I think you are the dearest Prince in all the
world," she answered, softly.
"All the same, the Royal Professor of Geo-
graphy is an old bore, isn't he?" said the
"Oh no, I don't think so. He is only clever,"
answered Lady Daffany.
"But the Queen Mother's hair is turning
grey; haven't you noticed it ?" persisted the
"I really think you are mistaken, dearest,"
said Lady Daffany.
And she never found out whether she really
had the Wymps' gift or not. But the Prince
and the people loved her to the end of her
In a Sea-Green
In a Sea-Green
FAR away in the world of dreams, there is a
beautiful Sea-Green Country. It is not to
be found in the atlas, perhaps, for the people
who make maps know very little about the world
of dreams; but little Margaret with the yellow
hair could tell them a great many things about
it that they do not know already. For she
once went to the Sea-Green Country, quite by
herself, and it was she who told the Sea-Green
King why he was green, and-but perhaps it is
worth making into a story.
Margaret is a dear little girl in a blue pina-
fore, with round wondering eyes, and cheeks
like ripe cherries, and a tangled mop of yellow
curls that make a frame round her face. And
she has a laugh just like the note of a black-
bird when he flies out of a bush, and sends all
the worms scuttling out of sight. Nothing runs
away when Margaret laughs, though; not even
Now, it all began in this way. Margaret
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
had been told that she was not to eat the green
gooseberries, at the end of the garden, because
they were not ripe; and this made her very
sad indeed, for green gooseberries, packed as
close as they can be on low bushes, quite near
the ground, are particularly tempting to any
one who is just three feet long. So she fell
to wondering why she was not allowed to eat
them, when they looked so very nice; and
she ran across the lawn, as fast as her brown
legs would carry her, and crawled under the
biggest gooseberry bush she could find, and
then looked up into the middle of the green
branches, to try and find out why green goose-
berries were not to be eaten. That is the best
way to see gooseberries growing,-to lie under
a bush, and look up at the rows and rows of
shining green balls, with their little brown
caps all nodding away as busily as possible.
But, of course, that is only to be done if one
is three feet high.
Margaret had not been there long, when
she discovered that the gooseberries were not
fastened on to the branches at all, as most
people would think, but were all moving about
among the thorns and the leaves; and when
she looked a little closer, she saw that they
had arms and legs, and that there were round
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
shining faces under the brown caps, and that
they all held sharp thorns in their hands. At
the same moment, the air became full of voices,
not children's voices, nor grown-up people's
voices, but voices that seemed made up of the
wind muttering through the grass, and of the
bees humming in the clover, and of the lark
whirring down to her nest; and they were all
calling Margaret I Margaret and every one
of the little green men was pointing at her
with his spear. At last, the biggest of them
all-he must have been half an inch tall-
dropped down from the end of a branch, on
to her blue pinafore, and began to speak.
Immediately, all the others stopped shouting,
which was exceedingly necessary, for other-
wise, he would not have been heard at all.
Madam," began the little man, leaning on
his spear, and taking off his cap with a flourish,
"I am King Emerald's Prime Minister."
Margaret had often heard people speak of the
Prime Minister, when she came down to dessert
on Sunday evenings, and she felt very excited
at meeting him in this unexpected way.
"Are you the Prime Minister?" she ex-
claimed in surprise, for he was not at all what
she had imagined him to be. Then, how dread-
fully naughty you must be, to be sure "
26 IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
At that, all the voices broke out again, and
hundreds of little green men dropped down
from the branches, and began pulling at her
blue pinafore. And as they pulled, they grew
larger and larger, until each one of them was
as big as she was; and the bush began to
spread out and grow larger too, until it seemed
like a thick forest all round her; and she grew
bewildered, and rubbed her eyes, and felt in-
clined to cry. Then she felt herself being lifted
up, up, up, into a green leafy country, where
every branch was a road that led away to
nowhere; and here, she was carried along so
swiftly, that everything became a green blurred
mass, and her eyes grew heavy, and closed, and
she fell asleep.
She awoke with a start, for the green men
had dropped her on the ground, with a jerk;
and she sat up and yawned sleepily, and looked
round to see where she was. All round her,
stretched a beautiful, bright green country, with
hills, and plains, and rivers, and lakes, all as
green as anything could be.
Why," said little Margaret, "I declare it is
exactly like being inside a geography book."
"There is nothing whatever about the Sea-
Green Country, in the geography book," said an
indignant voice at her elbow; and when she
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
turned round, there was the Prime Minister,
leaning on his spear and looking at her.
"I don't know," said Margaret, doubtfully;
"there's lots about America."
"America cried the Prime Minister, scorn-
fully. "What's America? This is the Sea-
If you please," said Margaret, as soothingly
as she could; would you tell me if that is the
same place as Fairyland ?"
What a stupid child you must be," said the
Prime Minister, glaring down at her. Didn't
I tell you this was the Sea-Green Country?
No connection with Fairyland whatever; quite
another place altogether. We are unique."
Margaret did not know what unique was,
so she gave a little sigh.
"I don't understand," she said, sadly. It
must be Fairyland, if it isn't in the geography
The Prime Minister lost his temper again.
"Do you think I don't know Fairyland when
I see it ? Haven't I been there for a trip, once
a year, for the last five thousand centuries ? I
know every corner of Fairyland, and I consider
it a vastly overrated place. There's nothing to
do all day, but to dance in a ring, and talk to
the Queen. Too many women in Fairyland for
28 IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
my taste; frivolous people with wings, I can't
see anything in them! You come round with
me, and I'll show you some of the things you'd
never get in Fairyland, or the geography book
So he took her hand, and they seemed to get
over the green grass, without walking, or run-
ning, or touching the ground at all. They just
glided along, like swans on the water; and now
and then, they stopped for a moment, and the
Prime Minister pointed out something in a very
important manner, just as though everything
in the place belonged to him, and there was no
king at all.
Why, the rivers have green water in them,
and so have the lakes," cried Margaret. And
oh all the birds are green too, and the flowers,
and the butterflies. Don't you have any black-
birds here, or robin-redbreasts, Mr. Prime
Greenbirds we call them, they're more
uncommon than blackbirds," said the Prime
Minister, in his superior tone. "We have
robin-greenbreasts too, and there's a greenbottle
fly over there.; I suppose they are black in your
country too, eh ?"
No, they're called blue, but they look black,"
said Margaret, thoughtfully.
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
Now, that's a stupid thing to do," said the
Prime Minister, quite cheerfully; for he was
always glad when he could prove that some one
else was inferior to him. Everything's green
here, and we call it green; saves a lot of trouble,
don't you see ?"
Everything was green; all the insects, and
all the animals, and all the people. There were
green cows, and green sparrows, and green tad-
poles, and green sticklebacks, and green salmon;
and as for the lobsters and shrimps, they were
all green, too, and boiling didn't make any
difference to them. But everything was not
of the same shade of green; for instance, the
children in this wonderful country were very
pale green indeed, just the colour of the nut-
leaves, when they are beginning to uncurl
themselves; while the grown-up men were
the colour of the sea, when it is dark, and
stormy, and angry. But the Sea-Green girls
were the colour of the sea, when it is calm,
and smiling, and gentle, the colour of fresh
cowslip leaves, and young daffodil-buds; and
they never changed to a darker colour at all,
for, in the Sea-Green Country, the girls are
Suddenly, there was a sound of trumpets
in the distance; and the trees at once bent
30 IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
their tall heads to the ground, and the birds
stopped singing, in the middle of their songs,
and the very wind itself ceased blowing, and
the fish came up to the top of the water to
see what was happening. Margaret looked
round her with wondering eyes, and saw that
all the people near her had thrown themselves
down on their faces, and were cheering as
loudly as they could in such an uncomfortable
position, while a long procession could be seen,
coming down from the hill to the plain.
Dear me," said the Prime Minister, who
had remained upright, and was tapping his
heel with his spear; "here comes the King.
I must give you an introduction to him. Of
course, he is very angry with you; but if you
are very polite to him, and ask after the health
of the Prince Chartreuse, I will do my best to
make him forgive you."
"But why is the King angry with me?"
asked Margaret, wonderingly.
"Hush said the Prime Minister. "Go
down on your face, child, at once. The King
can't bear to see any one standing up, when he
is making a procession."
"But you are not on your face," objected
Margaret; because, of course, she wanted to
see the fun.
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
I am the Prime Minister," he returned, in
a superior manner; but, at this moment, the
King himself drove up in a beautiful chariot,
made of green bottle-glass, and drawn by sea-
serpents; and by his side sat Prince Chartreuse,
looking very cross and very sleepy.
"I wish they wouldn't cheer so loudly,
they've woke me up," grumbled Prince Char-
"Stop cheering," said the Prime Minister,
with a graceful wave of his spear.
"Ah yes, of course, stop cheering, by all
means," added the King, hastily; and he put
up his eye-glass, and looked at Margaret.
Hullo what's that thing ?" asked Prince
Chartreuse, pointing at her, in a most unprincely
Then Margaret of the yellow hair, with the
round wondering eyes, and the cheeks like ripe
cherries, stepped forward in her blue pinafore,
and looked up fearlessly at the ill-mannered
It's very rude to point," she said, solemnly.
"Dear me," said the Prime Minister; "that
is not the way to speak to Prince Chartreuse."
"No, no, of course not," said the King
immediately; not the right way at all."
"I shall point as much as I like," said Prince
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
Chartreuse, sulkily. I always do what I like.
Daddy does what the Prime Minister likes,
don't you, Daddy? But, I say, what an awfully
funny colour you are," he added, pointing at
"An extremely odd colour," said King
Emerald, putting up his eye-glass once more.
And all the people on the ground rolled over
on one side, and looked at her too, out of the
corner of their eyes, to see what her colour
Only temporary, your Majesty," said the
Prime Minister, smilingly. It shall be altered
But Margaret was beginning to get a little
tired of being patronised by the Prime Minister,
and she objected strongly to being made green
all over, like the Sea-Green people. So she
stamped her foot on the ground, and made the
sea-serpents toss their heads in alarm.
"I'm not a funny colour at all," she cried,
indignantly. "It's better than being the
same colour as everybody else. I won't be
made green, just as though I were a cater-
The Prime Minister tapped her curly head
with his spear.
"Don't make the King any angrier with
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
you," he said, severely. "The King is very
fierce, when he is roused."
"To be sure I am," echoed King Emerald,
in a loud voice. "It's not safe to come near
me, when I am really in a temper with any one."
Margaret put her hands behind her, and
smiled up in his face as boldly as possible.
"I don't believe you are a bit angry with
me, are you?" she said. "I believe the Prime
Minister is talking nothing but nonsense; isn't
Eh? What? Dear me!" said the King,
dropping his eye-glass suddenly, and looking
helplessly at the Prime Minister.
Then Margaret began to laugh her black-
bird's laugh; and she laughed until the tears
rolled out of her big blue eyes, and tumbled
down her rosy cheeks on to the blue pinafore;
and the more she laughed, the more the King
and the Prime Minister stared at her, until at
last they began to laugh too; and then all
the people began to laugh, as they lay on the
ground; and the water in the stream bubbled
and laughed, as it danced over the pebbles;
and the flowers nodded their heads with merri-
ment; and all the birds began to sing again;
and everything was as full of laughter and fun
as it well could be. But Prince Chartreuse did
34 IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
not stop to laugh, for he jumped out of the
glass chariot, and took little laughing, yellow-
haired Margaret by her two hands.
"You have made the Prime Minister laugh,"
he said; "and no one has ever been known to
do that before. I should like you to come and
play with me. If you come home with me,
I will show you my pony with wings, and my
doll who talks, and all my other toys that have
come straight from Fairyland. Will you come
"I don't know," said Margaret, doubtfully;
and every one stopped laughing to listen to her.
"Does the dolly really talk ?"
"It talks five languages," said Prince Char-
Of course, that settled the matter at once;
and little Margaret jumped up into the chariot,
next to the Prince; and the sea-serpents took
them away up the hill to the Sea-Green Palace.
And Margaret stayed there a great many days,
and played with Prince Chartreuse, and talked
to the wonderful dolly, and rode on the wonder-
ful flying pony, and enjoyed herself very much
indeed. But the Prime Minister used to come,
every morning, and give them lessons, and
teach them how to speak the language of the
fairies, and the language of the wild flowers,
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
and the language of the four winds; and how
to write copies in green marble copy-books;
and how to turn a frog into a snake, and a
lizard into a kingfisher; and this, Margaret did
not enjoy at all, for she could never remember
any of the things he tried to teach her. So,
one day, the Prime Minister shut up the book
in despair, and shook his head severely at her.
It's your absurd colour," he said, irritably.
"I always knew how it would be, if you didn't
take my advice. Why can you not be the same
colour as every one else? It saves so much
trouble. As it is, you must go away, and not
play any more with Prince Chartreuse. We
shall have him changing colour next; and then,
what will happen to the country ?"
Yes," echoed the King, "what will happen
to the country ?"
But Prince Chartreuse flung himself on the
ground, and burst out crying.
I won't have her sent away, I want her to
stop and play with me," he shouted at the top
of his voice.
Now, Margaret was a sweet-natured little
girl; and she had grown very fond of the
Prince, although he was so spoilt, and she
could not bear to see him cry; so she knelt
down beside him, with her eyes shining
36 IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
with tears that were ready to fall, and she made
up her mind on the spot.
Don't cry, Prince Chartreuse; I'll be made
green all over like a caterpillar, if they let me
stop with you; I will really," she said, clasping
her hands together tightly. Then the Prince
sat up and stopped crying, and the Prime
Minister smiled approvingly, and said that if
Prince Chartreuse would take her to the Witch
of the Green Rock, she would make her green
all over, just like every one else.
So King Emerald kissed them both very
affectionately, when the Prime Minister was not
looking; and they went out of the Sea-Green
Palace, hand in hand, and walked down the hill
and across the plain for a very long way, until
they came at last to the seashore, where there
were no people, and no trees, and no flowers,
and no animals-nothing but a single green
rock, rising out of the ground in front of them.
Then Prince Chartreuse struck his spear
three times on the rock, and called out in his
imperious voice. "Ho there! Witch of the
Green Rock," he shouted. "Come out to Mar-
garet of the yellow hair."
A door opened in the side of the rock, and
out of it stepped a tall witch-woman, clothed in
flowing green garments, with eyes like moon-
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
light, and hair like seaweed, and a complexion
like sea foam.
Who wants me ?" asked the witch-woman,
sweetly; and her voice was like the distant
sound of receding waves.
Prince Chartreuse pushed little Margaret for-
ward, and she stood and fumbled shyly at her
blue pinafore. But she was always polite, even
when she was shy, so she began to speak as
bravely as she could. If you please," she
said, "I want to be made green all over, just
like a caterpillar, so that I can stay and play
with Prince Chartreuse."
That is very simple," said the witch-woman,
with a smile; and she stamped on the ground,
and said some strange words, and up sprang a
fountain of bright green paint.
Step into that," she said to Margaret.
I will come with you," said Prince Char-
treuse; and they stood together, under the
shower of green spray. But when they came
out again, Margaret was no greener than be-
fore There were the yellow curls, and the
blue eyes, and the cherry-coloured cheeks, just
the same as ever.
But the blue pinafore had turned bright
"It is no use," said the witch-woman; "you
38 IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
will never be like everybody else;" and she
turned away to her rock again.
"Stop!" cried Prince Chartreuse. "Why
can't you make her green ?"
She will never be like everybody else," re-
peated the witch-woman, and she shut the door
in their faces.
So they went back again over the plain,
very sadly, and clambered wearily up the hill,
and arrived at the Sea-Green Palace about bed-
"She will never be like everybody else,"
explained Prince Chartreuse, when they went
in. All the courtiers sighed, and the Prime
Minister looked at Margaret and frowned, and
King Emerald looked at the Prime Minister.
"She will have to be sent away," said the
Prime Minister, leaning gracefully on his
"It's a shame," declared Prince Chartreuse-
he was too sleepy to cry-" and if you send her
away, I will go too."
The Prime Minister coughed.
She will have to be sent away," said King
Emerald in a great hurry; and he pushed his
Margaret rubbed her eyes, and tried hard to
IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
"You're all very silly," she cried, "and I
won't go away unless I want to! Why should
I be green just because you are ? You can't
even tell one from another I" she added,
looking at the crowd of courtiers; and all the
courtiers looked at one another and seemed
surprised, for it had never struck them before
that it mattered which was which. And as they
looked, their bodies grew rounder, and their
legs grew shorter, and their arms tumbled off,
and their brown helmets began nodding, nod-
ding, nodding; and Margaret rubbed her eyes
again and burst out laughing. And her laugh
sounded just like the blackbird, singing in the
hawthorn tree at home.
I know what it is I she cried. "You are
all green because you're not ripe! Oh, where
am I going? "
You are going away," said the Prime Min-
ister, still leaning on his spear.
"Going away, going away," said the King's
voice, somewhere in the distance.
"I can't come with you," sobbed Prince
Chartreuse, whom she could not see at all;
"but I will come and find you when I am a
man, and bring you back again."
The crowd of courtiers began to close round
her; nearer and nearer they came, until they
40 IN A SEA-GREEN COUNTRY
were hanging all over her, with their brown
caps nodding, and nodding, and nodding.
And there she lay under the gooseberry bush,
looking up into the network of green branches,
with the rows and rows of green gooseberries
nodding their brown caps at her, and the Prime
Minister hanging at the end of a twig. And
the blackbird was singing his heart out, in the
hawthorn tree close by.
Margaret put up a fat thumb and finger, and
plucked off the Prime Minister, and threw it
away from her as far as she could.
"It was all your fault, you stupid thing,"
she said, and ran straight indoors.
That was how Margaret went to the Sea-
Green Country. And perhaps, some day, Prince
Chartreuse will come and fetch her back again,
to ride on the pony with wings, and play with
the doll who speaks five languages.
PRINCE POPPET was the King's son, and
he was shockingly spoilt. Peter was only
the sweep's son, and nobody spoiled him at
all; but he could turn coach wheels better
than any boy in the town, and that was de-
cidedly an accomplishment. The Prince had
so many toys, that he did not know what to
do with them; and he had to invent new and
exciting ways of breaking them, for the sake
of passing the time. Peter had no toys at
all, but he knew how to make a catapult out
of a merrythought, and a whistle out of a
peach stone, and that was more than the
Prince could do.
One day, when the Prince was looking idly
out of his nursery window, and wishing it was
tea-time, he heard the sound of whistling, just
below; so out he stepped on to the balcony,
and there he saw Peter in the garden strolling
about just as though the whole place belonged
Hullo! Who are you? asked the Prince.
"And who taught you to whistle like that?"
It didn't take any teaching," said the
sweep's son, laughing heartily. "And I'm Peter,
of course. Who are you?"
Prince Poppet stared in amazement. It had
never occurred to him before, that it was pos-
sible for any one not to know who he was.
I am the King's son," he said in a dignified
manner; and I have whistling lessons, three
times a week, from Professor Bullfinch."
"What waste of time," remarked Peter.
"Do you have a Professor to teach you how
to eat your dinner, too ? "
You are most ill-mannered," exclaimed
Prince Poppet, feeling very much inclined to
cry. I don't believe any one has ever taught
you how to speak to a King's son."
"Well, I haven't had much experience with
Kings' sons, certainly," answered Peter, turn-
ing a few coach wheels across the lawn, by
way of keeping himself in practice. Have
you learnt anything else, besides whistling ?"
The Prince reflected a moment.
I have a Professor of Deportment, who
comes from Fairyland, to teach me dancing
and manners," he began, very proudly.
That's a long way to drag the poor fellow,
just for that," observed Peter. Can you stand
on your head ?"
"I never tried," said the Prince.
"I can," said Peter, and showed that he
could, in the middle of the Queen's favourite
geranium bed. "What else? "
"I can ride, of course," said Prince Poppet;
"and shoot woodlarks on the wing, and pierce
a moth's head fifty yards off. Can you ? "
"I shouldn't think of trying," cried Peter,
angrily. Those are cruel, unfair things to do.
Can you catch a pony in a wood, and ride her
bareback to the farm, and harness her to a
Of course not," said the Prince, disdainfully.
"I am not a sweep."
"I am," said Peter, with pride in his voice;
"and I don't think much of all your professors,
if they haven't taught you how to stand on your
head, or to ride a pony bareback. I suppose
you can't even climb up a chimney, and sit on
the top ?"
The Prince shook his head.
I can climb the ropes in the palace gymna-
sium, though," he ventured to say.
What's the use of that? You won't find
ropes to climb wherever you go."
"Then I shan't climb them," said Prince
Poppet, making a joke quite by accident. He
was really feeling very cross. But the sweep's
son was looking so provokingly good-tempered
that it was impossible to be angry with him.
"Isn't there anything you can do?" asked
"I can say the pence table up to a hundred.
How far can you go ?"
I never have to go farther than tenpence
You see, I have only had tenpence for a whole
year, so it is not much good knowing any
more, is it? When I've got a shilling, I am
going to buy Bridget the woolly bear that is in
the toy-shop window. Have you seen it? It's
marked one-and-twopence really, but the toy-
shop man is a friend of mine, and so I am going
to get it for a shilling."
"Who is Bridget ?" asked the Prince, who
had long forgotten all about his tea, and was
growing more interested every minute.
Don't you know Bridget ? You don't seem
to know very much, considering you're a King's
son. She is my little sister, and she can run as
fast as .a hare."
"Wait a minute," shouted the Prince, sud-
denly; and he rushed away to find his mother.
The Queen was just getting ready for her after-
noon drive; and the Baroness, who was ar-
ranging the veil over her crown, looked most
annoyed when the Prince burst into the room,
and announced at the top of his voice, that he
was going to give Bridget his new talking bear.
The Baroness could not bear boys, and Prince
Poppet was always playing her tricks.
"Her Majesty has a headache. Who is
Bridget?" she said, very severely.
May I, mother ? shouted the Prince, pour-
ing the scent into the powder-box, and taking
no notice whatever of the Baroness. The Queen
did not know she had a headache, until the
Baroness told her so; but she put her hand
over her eyes at once, and told him to go to his
"He has such a sweet nature," she mur-
mured, as he flew upstairs to look for his
father. The Baroness did not respond to the
Queen's remark; but, as the Prince had dropped
a cold hairpin down her back as he passed, per-
haps that was not to be wondered at.
The King was in his study, trying to make
ice-pudding out of moonshine. He had been
trying to make ice-pudding out of moonshine
for the last fifty years, though no one took the
least notice of him, and the country managed
to govern itself perfectly well without him. In
fact, the people had come to think that making
experiments with moonshine was quite a right
and proper occupation for a king, and they
would have been quite upset if he had wanted
to do anything else.
Father !" cried Prince Poppet, may I give
Bridget my talking bear ?"
How noisy you are, my son," complained
the King, fretfully. "I had nearly done it, that
time; and now I shall have to begin all over
again. Run away to your mother."
It's rather tiring to spend the afternoon
in running backwards and forwards," said the
Prince, making more noise than ever by hitting
the nutmeg-grater with the rolling-pin. May
I, father ? "
"Two pounds of the best moonshine, three
ounces of pounded hail, mix well together, and
flavour with stars to taste," murmured the old
King. And I've quite run out of stars; how
tiresome! Where's that telephone ?"
"Then I may, mayn't I? Thanks awfully,"
said Prince Poppet, dropping the half-pound
weight on the King's toe, and running back
again to the nursery.
A minute later, the two boys were sitting
cross-legged on the lawn together.
"Why does it make that noise?" asked
Peter doubtfully, when the full accomplish-
ments of the talking bear had been revealed
"Because-because it's a bear, I suppose,"
said the Prince. He was rather disappointed
that his princely generosity was not more
But bears don't make a noise like a broken
concertina. I know they don't, because I heard
one up in the mountains last winter, and it
roared enough to make your flesh creep. No-
body would be frightened of a harmless squeak
like this !"
Nobody wants you to be frightened," re-
torted the Prince, sulkily. "Besides, it's for
"Oh well, Bridget hasn't heard a real bear,
so she might like this one," said Peter, more
kindly. Come along, we'll take it to her, at
The townspeople hardly knew what they were
expected to do, when they saw Prince Poppet
and the sweep's son, walking along side by
side. They were accustomed to cheer loudly
whenever the little Prince appeared in public;
but he had never appeared before on foot, and
without his crown, and they felt that cheer-
ing would be quite out of place under such
remarkable circumstances. So they decided it
would be etiquette to stare at him instead, as
he was doing something so very much out of
the common; and as it gave them something
to talk about for a whole week, and as the
Prince and Peter never noticed any of them at
all, everybody was pleased all round.
Now, Bridget was a round-faced little girl,
with curly red hair, and big black eyes; and
she was just as natural and unabashed in the
Prince's presence, as though he had not been a
King's son at all. She was the only thing in
the sweep's cottage that was not black all over;
and when Peter put his sooty arm round her
neck, and kissed her in his rough, careless
manner, it left no mark at all on her fat,
It is a most beautiful bear," she said, clap-
ping her hands joyfully. I never knew bears
were half so beautiful before."
"No more they are," said Peter, a little
crossly. "Real bears are not a bit like that.
This thing's more like a tame cat than a
It is like a bear," cried the Prince, angrily.
"What do you know about bears, I should
like to know?"
"I've seen a real bear," said Peter stoutly;
"and that's more than any of your musty old
professors ever have. Just as if a real bear
had a tail like that!" he added, seizing its long
bushy tail, which certainly did remind one of a
"Give it back to me!" cried Prince Poppet,
passionately, grasping it by the head at the
same moment. It would have been hard to
tell which of the two boys was the King's son,
for they both began tugging violently at the
bear; while Bridget stood and looked on sadly,
with her mouth puckered up into a round O,
and two shining tears in her big black eyes.
"Oh, my beautiful bear," she said with a
sob, as the unhappy animal cracked in the
middle, and fell down on the boards in two
pieces. The boys stopped quarrelling, and
looked a little ashamed of themselves. But
Bridget dropped down on the floor, and cried
bitterly over her broken toy.
"Don't cry, Bridget. I've got my tenpence
still, and I guess we can do without any more
Princes, can't we?" said Peter, kneeling down
beside her, and glaring up fiercely at Prince
"You can keep your tenpence," replied the
Prince, walking away to the door. I am going
to fetch all the toys I like best to give to
Bridget." For the Prince knew how to behave
like a King's son, sometimes, though he had
been so badly spoilt.
But, just at that moment, a very wonderful
thing happened. For directly Bridget's hot
tears fell on the poor broken bear, the two
pieces joined together with a snap, and the
little, black, woolly animal stretched his legs,
strutted all round the room, and sneezed three
"Dear me," he said, "you are a very well
brought up little girl. You have freed me by
your tears, and now I can go back to Toyland."
"Where is Toyland?" they all asked at
"Jump on my back, and you shall see," said
the bear. Now, whether they shrank as small
as the bear, or whether the bear grew as tall
as the children, they did not have time to
consider, for the next moment they found
themselves flying through the air at a most
tremendous pace; and it was all they could
do to hold on tight to one another, so that
none of their legs or arms should be blown
off on the way.
When they stopped at last, they found them-
selves in a most peculiar looking country, where
the ground was made of cardboard, and all the
trees were pointed in shape, and stood on round
wooden stands. It was the most curious kind
of country that has ever been seen; and when
the three children got off the bear's back, and
looked round them, they were too full of
wonder to speak. For all the animals were
made of indiarubber, and conversed in windy
voices; and all the fish had magnets in their
mouths, and lay on their sides on the dry
ground; and there were ninepins, who walked
about and chatted with tennis racquets, and
drums, who rumbled along by the side of
humming tops. But perhaps, the houses were
strangest of all, for they looked just like wine-
cases from behind, and yet were most mag-
nificent red brick dwellings in front, with green
doors, and brass knockers, and windows with
white curtains in them.
"It is just like a huge toy-shop. Isn't it
beautiful ? whispered Bridget.
I'm glad you like it," said the bear, proudly.
"This is a real country, this is. Everything
is so much alike that you can't tell a pig from a
cow, and that makes things so much easier to
understand. We have only got one kind of
tree, too, so there can't be any jealousy, don't
you see; and everything is movable, so that'
we can turn a town into a farm, or a pond into
a forest, at a moment's notice, which is most
convenient. For instance, the King has taken
a dislike to ponds lately, so we have to move
all the ponds out of his way, whenever we see
him coming. You see how convenient it is."
The children looked round, and as all the
ponds were round pieces of plate-glass, with
tin ducks floating on the top of them, it did not
seem altogether impossible to clear them out of
the King's way.
"How do you manage about maps, if the
things are always being moved about ?" asked
Prince Poppet, who wanted to show that he
Maps ?" shouted the bear, waving his long
tail about in his agitation; "don't mention
such a word in Toyland, again! It makes me
feel quite queer. Come along to the palace,
and see the King."
They followed him for some little way,
through wonderful forests and farms, and past
butchers' shops and groups of indiarubber
animals, until he stopped again, and hesitated
for a moment.
I say," he shouted to a venerable wooden
person, who was standing near a large Noah's
Ark, and might well have been taken either for
a man or a woman; have you seen the palace
"It was being moved to the edge of the
forest, when I last saw it," replied the venerable
person, drawing his wooden cloak more closely
round his wooden form. "And the forest is
in the same place as it was, a fortnight ago,"
"Come along," said the bear, and taking a
short cut across a Swiss village, they arrived
at last in front of the palace, which was a
good sized doll's house, with a particularly
handsome, green door in front, and the addi-
tional ornament of a green balcony just above
it. There were several wooden soldiers in
brilliant uniforms, strolling about outside, and
they formed into rank with a series of jerks,
and saluted, as the bear came up.
"Is the King anywhere about?" asked the
He's playing skittles with the forest trees,
at the back of the palace," answered a tin
Highlander, who had got mounted on an
Arab's camel by mistake.
"Come along," said the bear again, and the
three children followed him round to the back
of the doll's house, where they came at last
into the presence of the King.
The King of Toyland was a very cheerful
looking monarch. He had a body like a gaily
painted top, and a head like a Rugby football,
and his legs were golf clubs, and his arms were
real, spliced cricket bats; and when he spoke,
his voice sounded exactly like Scotch bagpipes.
"Hullo! Who are all these people?" he
cried, and stopped bowling down the forest
trees with tennis balls.
The bear explained how it was that Bridget
had disenchanted him, and how he had brought
them all back with him, to show his gratitude
"That's all very well," said the King, un-
screwing his arms to rest himself a little. "But
what can they do, now they are here, eh ?"
Yes," echoed the crowd of courtiers, who
consisted of a motley collection of Dutch dolls
and wooden sailors and peg-tops, and many
other curious individuals. What can you do,
now you are here ?"
"I can turn coach wheels," spoke up Peter
bravely; and he scattered the courtiers right
and left, to show them how he did it. He
knocked down a few more trees in the opera-
tion, and put the palace itself in danger; but
nobody seemed to mind that in the least.
Bravo Well bowled I" shouted the King,
screwing on his arms again, so that he could
clap his hands. "You can stay as long as you
like. I must learn to do that myself. And
you, what can you do, little girl with the big
black eyes ? "
Bridget did not think she could do any-
thing. She always had the cottage to look
after at home, and the dinner to cook, and she
never played any games, and nobody could
find time to teach her how to do things. So
she looked at the King very sorrowfully.
"If you please," she said, sadly, "I think
I must go back again. I can't whistle, or
do any of the wonderful things that Peter
But Peter came and put his arm round her.
"She can run as fast as a hare," he said,
"A race I That's a new idea. By all means
let us have a race," said the crowd of courtiers,
eagerly; for if people play games all day long
without stopping, they are quite glad to hear
of a new one.
By all means," said the King. Clear some
of those trees out of the way, and fetch the
In a few minutes, the forest had been entirely
,removed to the front of the palace; and, just as
Bridget had taken off her wooden shoes and
was all ready to start, up puffed a beautiful
little model engine, with real steam coming out
of the funnel.
Clear off that fancy engine driver!" shrieked
the King, pointing to a wooden doll who was
tied on at the back, as though he were guiding
the engine. "He's been marked twopence-
halfpenny in a bazaar, and he can no more
drive a train than any of these sailors can steer
a ship. Bowl him out, I say! Stump him!
How's that, umpire?"
"Out! said Peter, as the engine driver was
put head first into a Noah's Ark. Now then,
"Due in forty seconds," snorted the engine,
and off set the two at lightning speed. It was
the fastest engine that was ever made; but for
all that, Bridget was faster still; and when she
came running back to the King's side, the
engine was several yards behind, and had got
mixed up in a grocer's store on the way.
"Run it out I Bravo, you're a good sports-
man," said the King, in great excitement; and
Peter stood on his head with delight. But
Bridget only walked up to Prince Poppet, and
took his hand.
"May we all three stop?" she asked,
Hullo, there's another of them! Well,
what can you do ?" asked the King, striking
the characteristic attitude of the wicket-keeper.
"I am a Prince," he answered haughtily, by
which he meant that there was no necessity for
him to do anything at all.
"Well, what of that?" asked the King in
surprise. I suppose that doesn't prevent you
from doing things, does it? "
The Prince had always been taught that it
did. Besides, he was rather cross at being
asked so continually what he could do, so he
poked his princely chin in the air, and answered
in an offhand kind of way that was not at all
I can speak seven languages quite fluently;
and I know all the history of Fairyland for the
last thousand years; and I can draw a map of
the bottom of the sea. That's only a little of
what I can do," he said, and folded his arms.
"What?" shrieked the King, and his voice
sounded even more out of tune than it had
before. Do you mean to say you can only
do lessons, you intolerable, dull, little prig ?"
He could say no more, for his agitation
made his legs drop off with a clatter, and he
sank down in a heap. And at the same mo-
ment, there was a scream of recognition from
two or three of the courtiers.
"It's our Prince!" they cried, in great excite-
ment. And immediately, all the others came
crowding round him, and began shouting abuse
at him as loudly as they could.
He broke my leg off," screamed a wooden
horse on wheels.
He painted a moustache on me," sobbed
an elegant doll in a columbine's dress.
He fed me with stale cake," groaned a cloth
donkey, in a peculiarly stuffy voice.
He sucked my paint off," said a tin Life-
He hung me in front of the fire, on a piece
of string," wept a wax sailor boy.
He sent me sailing on the lake, in a five-
penny tin steamer," howled an elephant, who
had just strolled up from the neighboring
"And he put me into a Swiss farm, and
called me a goat," chimed in his companion,
a noble African lion.
Revenge! Revenge !" they all cried, and
made way for the King to come forward.
Prince Poppet hid his face in his hands, and
wished that Bridget would stop looking at him
in her solemn way, with her great black eyes.
The King screwed on his legs again, and
He must be bowled out at once," he said.
"What shall be done to him?"
Pour cold tea into his mouth, out of a tin
cup," said the columbine, viciously.
"Fix a dry crust in his mouth, and leave
it there for a week," said the stuffed donkey.
"Brush him down with a clothes brush,"
added the wooden horse, ruefully.
"Suck the paint off his cheeks," squeaked
"Drop him into the pond, and forget all about
him," said a new voice. Every one looked
round to see who had spoken; and when the
Prince saw that it was a handsome humming-
top, he hid his face once more, and shuddered
all over, and felt that there was no hope left for
him at all. For when that humming-top had
been given to him, a year ago, he had begun
by making it his favourite plaything: it had
shared his meals in the daytime, and lain on
his pillow at night. He had considered no-
thing too good for his beautiful humming-top,
until, one day, the columbine had come, and
then the humming-top had been thrown into
the pond, to see if it could float. But it had
been much too proud to try, and so the Prince
had never seen it again.
"What's that about a pond ?" said the King,
shivering. "There are no more ponds about,
I hope? Nasty, slippery things! Who said
For once, the King was not heeded. For all
the Dutch dolls, and the peg-tops, and the tin
soldiers, and the waxen ladies had flung them-
selves upon Prince Poppet in an angry mass,
and it is doubtful if he would ever have seen
his home again, had not little Bridget sat down
on the cardboard ground, and burst out crying.
Tears were an unknown thing in Toyland,
where everybody played games all day long;
so the sight of a little girl sitting on the
ground, and weeping bitterly, soon brought all
the courtiers round her in a ring. The tin
soldiers climbed up on the peg-tops, the animals
squeezed in wherever they could, and the Dutch
dolls stood in a row at the back; and stared
over everybody's head, with the same impassive
look on their wooden features.
What is she doing? Is it a new game?"
asked the wax sailor boy.
"It must be very bad for the complexion,"
said the columbine, fanning herself.
"A new game?" said the King, making his
way to the front. "Dear me, how thrilling!
But what are the rules of it? It's no use hav-
ing a new game, without knowing the rules.
Tell us the rules, little girl with the black
It-it-isn't a game at all," sobbed Bridget.
"Then if it isn't a game, how can we play at
it ?" asked the courtiers, sadly.
"We must refer it to the umpire," said the
King. There was no umpire at all in Toyland,
and there never had been one; but it was a
well known thing that the King always talked
about the umpire, when he did not know what
else to say.
Nonsense," said the deep voice of the
humming-top; "she's only crying. She must
have broken something. They always cry,
the children who treat us so badly, when they
break their toys."
There was a murmur of indignation among
the courtiers, when they heard this; and they
all began feeling themselves, to see if they
were broken anywhere. But, by this time,
Peter had managed to produce a very sooty
handkerchief, and Bridget wiped her eyes,
and began to smile a watery smile.
"I haven't broken anything," she said. "I
was only crying because I was frightened, and
I thought they were going to hurt the Prince."
Quite right, too," said the King, cheerfully.
"He has broken so many of us, that it is quite
time he should be broken himself. But don't
you mind about him; you shall stay here and
play, for ever and ever, and your black brother
is going to teach me how to turn coach-
"It would be beautiful," said Bridget, with
a sigh. "But I won't stop if the Prince has
to be broken."
It wouldn't be fair," said Peter, sturdily,
though he cast a longing look at the steam
"It is my own fault," said the Prince,
humbly; and you two must not bother about
"It is very confusing," said the King,
bowling down a butcher's shop with a golf
ball. "We must send for the umpire."
"If we can't break the Prince, he must be
sent away," shouted the courtiers. "There is
no safety for any of us, as long as he is in
Of course," said the King. "You must
stay without the Prince, or not stay at all.
Make haste and decide; it is time we had
another game. So much talking is quite
The Prince looked at his shoes, and felt
very much ashamed of himself, and his seven
languages, and his priggishness. And Peter
looked at Bridget, and Bridget looked at the
King, who had just lost one of his legs, in his
first attempt to turn coach-wheels.
Please, none of us will stop," said Bridget.
And the Prince kissed her. But Peter looked
at the steam-engine, and kicked the back of the
palace, until it rattled all over.
"All right; tell the bear to bowl them all
out," shouted the King, finding his leg in the
forest, and waving it at them. And at the
same moment, there was a sound of penny
pistols, and pop-guns, and tin trumpets; and
in the midst of it all, the King's voice was
heard shouting, "Who has thought of a new
game ? We must refer it to the umpire I "
And there were the three children, seated on
the bear's back again, and flying through the air,
even faster than they had gone before. When
they stopped, they found themselves on the
lawn in front of the palace, with the Baroness,
and the Head Nurse, and all the other nurses,
standing and looking at them. And the black
bear had completely disappeared.
"Good gracious," said the Head Nurse;
"your Highness gave me quite a turn. Where
did your Highness come from?"
"And who are those common looking chil-
dren ?" added the Baroness, who was more
put out than usual, for she had been looking
for the Prince ever since tea-time, and the
Queen was in hysterics upstairs.
"The bear brought us back," answered the
Prince. And these are my two friends, Peter
and Bridget, who are coming to live in the
palace with me."
"Why, they are the sweep's children," said
the Head Nurse, and then wished she had not
spoken, for she did not like it to be known
that she knew the sweep's children.
They must be sent away at once," said the
Baroness. "And your Highness must really
come and say good-night to her Majesty."
But Prince Poppet meant to show that he
was no longer a child, and he took no notice
whatever of the Baroness.
"Peter and Bridget are going to stay here,
always," he said, turning to the Head Nurse,
and looking as dignified as it was possible
for such a very small prince to look. Will
you please arrange some rooms for them at
once? Come indoors, Bridget."
The Head Nurse and all the other nurses did
not know what to do, so they hoped the Baro-
ness would say something. But the Baroness
never had anything to say to a boy, who did
not put cold hair-pins down her back; so she
remained perfectly silent, and waited to see
what would happen next.
And the next thing that did happen was, that
Bridget settled matters in her own prompt little
way; and nobody, not even the Head Nurse,
attempted to contradict her. She said that she
did not want to stay in the palace at all, because
there would be no one to look after Peter if she
did. And Peter said nothing would induce
him to stop in a place where people were
expected to learn the history of Fairyland, and
all sorts of different languages; and that he
would sooner go on sweeping chimneys, and
turning coach-wheels, and whistling. So the
Prince let them go very sadly, after Peter had
promised to come every week, to teach him to
turn coach-wheels; and he went indoors to say
good-night to the Queen, more peaceably than
his nurses had ever seen him go before. And
when he was tucked up in bed, he remem-
bered that he had let Bridget go, without
Prince Poppet did not altogether forget the
seven languages, and the history of Fairyland;
but he learned how to turn coach-wheels, and
how to make a catapult out of a merrythought,
which of course was much more important;
and he left his father in peace to make ice-
pudding out of moonshine. But one day,
the old King drank too much moonshine by
itself, and that always kills people, so the
Prince became King in his stead. And he
went down into the town, that very same day,
and brought back a beautiful tall maiden, with
big, solemn, black eyes, to sit on the throne
beside him; and that was how Bridget became
Queen. They offered to make Peter Lord
High Admiral, or Chief Cook, or anything else
he liked. But Peter had been black so long,
that he preferred to be an engine-driver in-
stead. And now he drives the King's special
trains; and he is still the happiest boy in the
town, for he has next to nothing to do, and he
has not forgotten how to whistle.
The Boy who Looked
like a Girl
The Boy who Looked
like a Girl
ONCE, a disagreeable old giant lived in a
beech tree. This was quite possible in this
particular beech tree, for it was many thousands
of years old, and had a large hollow trunk;
while the giant had only had five hundred birth-
days, and was therefore quite a young giant,
and not yet full grown. So there was plenty
of room for him inside the beech tree; and he
was very contented, and lived on beech-nuts
and a reputation. The reputation was for eat-
ing up little children, and that was why no little
children ever came that way; so the giant had
plenty of time to himself, and spent it generally
in going to sleep between his meals. But, one
day, he was woke up by a child's voice; and
looking through a crack in the tree, he saw a
funny little figure in a blue linen smock, sitting
on the ground outside.
Hullo I" cried the giant, who had lived so
THE BOY WHO
long on beech-nuts, that his voice sounded ex-
actly like a mowing-machine; "who are you?"
"I'm Boy," said the little fellow, standing
up and nodding at him in a friendly manner.
"Boy? which boy?" asked the giant.
"I didn't know there was another. Can you
tell me where he lives?" asked Boy, eagerly.
" I'm so tired of girls. There are nothing but
girls at home; at least, one of them is a baby,
which is just as bad. So I've come away to
see if I can't find some boys."
"But you're half a girl yourself," said the
giant. Look at your frock."
"It isn't a frock!" shouted Boy, angrily.
"It's only a top thing to go over all the others;
and if it wasn't fastened down the back with
hooks, I should have taken it off long ago.
When it's buttons, I can do it by myself, but
when it's hooks, only Nurse can take it off. And
this one is hooks, don't you see? I shall ask
the first boy I meet, to take it off. Look!"
The giant did look; and Boy lifted up the
linen smock, and showed his brown stockings
and blue serge knickerbockers, underneath.
"Ah," said the giant; "most certainly you
are a boy."
"Are you a boy, too? Then, why do you
stop in that musty old tree? Have you got a
LOOKED LIKE A GIRL
nurse, and must you do as she tells you?"
asked Boy, all in a jumble. He was very fond
of asking questions, without waiting for the
answers to them.
"Most certainly I am not a boy," said the
giant indignantly, for he had just remembered
his reputation. "I am a giant, and I eat little
boys for my supper.
Dear me," said Boy; "why, that's exactly
what Nurse always says about giants! But
I never believed it for a moment. You don't
really eat boys, do you ? "
Now, this put the giant in an awkward fix;
for he had never eaten a boy in the whole of
his life, and he did not know in the least how
to begin now. But he had never met one be-
fore, who did not believe in him; and he began
to feel a little cross.
"I shouldn't think of eating you," he said,
very gruffly; you are much too fond of talk-
ing to be nice to eat. But you had better run
along, or else something will happen to you."
"But that is just what I want!" cried Boy,
in a joyful tone. Do you think it will happen
"It will happen very soon," shouted the
giant, if you don't go away, and leave me in
peace. Who sent you here to annoy me like
THE BOY WHO
this ? You are a rough, noisy, tiresome little
"Oh dear," sighed Boy, looking up at the
beech-tree very sadly; I believe you're only
another girl, after all! Isn't there any place
where I can find a boy ?"
"Yes," said the giant, who had just had a
happy thought; "go to the Land of Bad
Weather. There are nothing but boys there,
and you can't even hear yourself speak."
Which is the way ?" asked Boy, holding
up his smock with one hand, so that he could
I haven't an idea," replied the giant; "but
the Pimpernel Fairy knows, and she lives on
the edge of the forest."
Is that another girl, though ?" asked Boy,
doubtfully. But the giant was too ill-tempered
to tell him any more; so off he set at a trot for
the edge of the forest.
The Pimpernel Fairy was sitting on the
grass, in the sunshine. She was dressed in
bright scarlet, and she had large black eyes, and
a very red mouth, and straight black hair.
"Please," said Boy, in a great hurry, "I
want to go to the Land of Bad Weather, be-
cause there aren't any girls there; and I am
tired of girls, and babies, and all that; and
LOOKED LIKE A GIRL
the grumpy old giant, who lives in the beech
tree, said that you knew the way. And, please,
will you tell me as quickly as you can?"
"Oh, it is quite simple," said the Pimpernel
Fairy, in a voice as soft as summer rain, and as
clear as star-shine; you have only to climb into
Cloudland, and there you are. But I am afraid
they won't let you in, because you are a girl."
I'm not a girl," exclaimed Boy. "It's all
because of this horrid top thing. Oh, if it
was only buttons, instead of hooks! I wonder
if you would be able to unhook it for me?"
But a cloud came over the sun, while he was
speaking, and the Pimpernel Fairy had already
disappeared; so Boy set to work at once to get
into Cloudland. First of all, he climbed the
highest poplar tree he could find; but although
he felt quite dizzy when he got to the top, he
seemed no nearer Cloudland than before. Just
then, however, a large grey sea-gull swooped
down by his side.
Hullo!" exclaimed Boy; "why aren't you
at the seaside ? "
"That's where I'm going; I've been to
Cloudland for a holiday," said the sea-gull,
panting for breath. "Do you suppose we
never do anything but sit on the waves to
be shot at? One must take a rest sometimes.
THE BOY WHO
What are you doing up here, I should like to
know? Little girls ought to be playing with
dolls in the nursery, not sitting on the top of
"I'm not a girl," protested Boy; "and I
want to go to the Land of Bad Weather,
because there are nothing but boys there.
Only think! No dolls, and no girls, and
nothing stupid at all."
"I don't know about that," said the sea-
gull, arranging its feathers. "There are lots
of stupid things there, and always will be,
until they let the sea-gulls manage things a
bit. However, if you are really anxious about
it, I'll take you there. Come along."
Before Boy could say a word, the sea-gull
caught him up in his beak, and flew upwards
with him, right through the sunshine, and
the blue sky that cast purple lights across
his face; and never stopped until they reached
"There you are," said the sea-gull, dropping
him at the edge of a large white and grey cloud;
" and next time you travel with a sea-gull, don't
wriggle so much, or else you'll get taken for a
fish, and swallowed. Good-bye."
And with one long dive, the beautiful big bird
swept down into the blue, and disappeared.
LOOKED LIKE A GIRL
Boy rolled down the cloud, which happened
to be a very slanting one, and fell right on to
a Peal of Thunder.
Here, get out of my way," roared the Peal
of Thunder, who was rumbling along with his
arms full of big drums and tea-trays, and was
shooting rockets and catharine-wheels out of
his eyes; I shall be late for that storm. You
didn't happen to meet him, did you ?"
At that moment, the Storm came rushing
past in a great hailstone chariot; and the
Peal of Thunder went clattering and rumbling
after him, until they were both out of sight.
But a new noise began almost immediately,
like a hundred engines letting off steam in a
railway-station. It was only the North Wind
taking a stroll with the East Wind, however,
and they were really chatting in quite a friendly
way; but Boy thought they must be quarrelling
dreadfully, for he had never heard such a noise
in his life.
"Why, here is one of the things they call
girls down there in the world," exclaimed the
East Wind, who had a frost-bitten face, and
wore a crown made of icicles. He seemed very
cross, and he talked as though he had a bad
Let's blow her back again," suggested the
THE BOY WHO
North Wind, who seemed a more cheerful per-
son. He was covered with a beautiful cloak
made of snow-drifts, and his voice came in
jerks like loud gusts of wind.
I'm not a girl," shouted Boy at the top
of his voice; "and I came to find all the
other boys. Do tell me where they are, will
The East Wind grumbled, and said he must
be a girl because he looked like one, and he
ought not to be there at all; but the North
Wind laughed like the bellows in a blacksmith's
forge, and said he would blow him to the other
boys, if he liked. So he breathed as gently as
he could; and Boy found himself swept through
the air in a kind of sea fog, and dropped in
the middle of a shrieking, shouting, boisterous
Are you boys ? exclaimed Boy, in bewilder-
ment. There were boys everywhere, as far as
he could see; short boys, tall boys, ugly boys,
pretty boys, fat boys, thin boys, every kind of
boy imaginable-except quiet boys. For they
were all as noisy as they could be; instead of
talking, they shouted; instead of smiling, they
roared with laughter; and instead of either,
they knocked one another down. They all
seemed very busy over something or another;
LOOKED LIKE A GIRL
and for a moment or two, Boy was not noticed
Thank goodness, we've got that Storm off
at last," said one.
No, we haven't; the slugs have been for-
gotten, and I can't find them," said another.
Then they all began shouting wildly.
Has any one seen that parcel of slugs ?"
It's your fault, because you threw them at
"No, it must be yours, because you didn't
catch them I"
"Here they are," screamed a very fat boy,
"under the lightning machine."
Take them to the rainbow; it hasn't started
yet, and it will get them down just in time.
Hurrah There's nothing more to do to-day;
those showers are not wanted, until they begin
cutting the hay to-morrow."
Just then, their eyes fell upon Boy, who was
still on the ground, where he had been blown
by the North Wind.
"Here's a girl, a girl, a girl!" they all
shrieked, and at once began dancing wildly
round him. "Turn her out; use her up as
a thunderbolt; send her down that rainbow;
put her in the machine, and make her into
THE BOY WHO
I'm, not a girl," cried Boy, plaintively; it's
all this horrid top thing. If you'll only un-
hook it, you'll see.
He jumped up on his feet, and offered the
back of his smock to the crowd of inquisitive
boys. But, although many of them came and
fumbled away at the hooks, not one of them
could unfasten it for him.
If you're not a girl, you shouldn't wear
girls' things, then," they said. There's no-
body here who knows how to undo a thing
For a moment, a very short moment, Boy
almost wished for a girl, who would be able
to undo his smock for him; but he remembered
himself in time, and held up his head, and
looked all his tormentors in the face.
I am a boy, all the same," he said.
They looked at him, doubtfully.
"What is lightning made of?" they asked.
" If you're a boy, you ought to know that."
"Of course I know," he said, remembering
what his nurse always said when there was a
storm; it's when two clouds come together.
That makes the lightning, and the lightning
makes the thunder!"
He doesn't know they all yelled, as they
danced wildly round him. It's nothing to do
LOOKED LIKE A GIRL
with clouds, you stupid little girl! WIe make
it up here, and it's made of stale sunbeams.
What else do you suppose is done with all yes-
terday's sunbeams, eh? You're nothing but a
girl, and you'd better go over to the Land of,
Fine Weather. They're all girls there, and
they've nothing to do all day long. Blow her
across at once, boys "
Fortunately, the fat boy came running back
from the rainbow, at this moment.
The lightning's given out, and they want
some more at once," he panted; and the whole
crowd of boys threw themselves on the light-
ning machine, and filled it with stale sunbeams,
and began churning them into lightning like
Boy was noticed no longer; and he crept
away along the cloud, and wondered sadly if
he would ever be able to prove that he was
a real boy. Just then, he heard the sound
of sobbing, and there, at his feet, was a dear
little fairy girl, weeping bitterly. Her face
and hair were brilliant as the sun itself, and
her eyes were like stars; and she was dressed
in deep blue sky. And Boy quite forgot she
was a girl; and he stooped over her, and
touched her face quite gently.
"What is the matter, little girl ?" he asked.
THE BOY WHO
When she looked up and saw him, she
stopped crying at once, and sprang to her
"Oh, you are a girl! she cried, in a joyful
tone. I am so glad you are a girl."
For the first time in his life, he was not in
the least bit anxious to declare that he was a
"Why are you crying, little girl ?" was all
"Because I am so frightened of all those
boys," she replied. "I ran away from the
Land of Fine Weather, because it was so
dull over there, and there was nothing to do
all day; and then I tumbled down here by
mistake. I am so glad you are not a horrid
Boy thought for a whole minute without
speaking, which was a thing he had never
been known to do in his life before.
I am a boy," he said, as gently as he could;
"but I will take care of you, and we will go
away from all those other boys. I don't think
they are the right kind of boys at all. And will
you please unfasten my top thing? "
He turned his back to her very solemnly;
and the little Fine Weather Fairy understood
perfectly, and unhooked it for him at once; and
LOOKED LIKE A GIRL
the blue linen smock fell down on the ground
at last, and he stood before her, a real boy in
Now, we will go away," he said, taking her
hand; and I will kill all the boys who try to
Killing seemed quite easy, now he had got
rid of his linen smock. But the little fairy girl
dried her eyes, and smiled at him, and said she
did not think she wanted any one killed at all.
I know a quiet way home," she said; "and
they won't see us as we go."
So they crept along the soft grey cloud, and
round at the back of all the boys, who were
churning the sunbeams into lightning; and they
would have got away quite safely, if the Fine
Weather Fairy had not had such bright eyes,
that she cast a gleam of star-shine just across
the fat boy's face.
There's another girl! he shouted; and im-
mediately, all the boys gave chase to them both,
and they had to run as fast as their legs would
carry them, towards the end of the cloud.
"Straight on," panted the little fairy girl.
"Oh dear, I am so out of breath!"
Boy was not very big, but he stooped and
put his arms round her, and carried her as
fast as he could; though the crowd of shouting
THE BOY WHO
boys came nearer and nearer every minute. He
began to wonder if killing was very difficult.
Straight in front of them, across a gulf of blue
sky, was the beautiful sunshiny Land of Fine
Jump," cried the Fine Weather Fairy; and
Boy shut his eyes and jumped. The fat boy
was just behind, and put out his hand to catch
them, but he only pulled out one of Boy's yellow
hairs, and the two children landed safely on the
Now you must leave me," said the Fine
Weather Fairy, very sadly. "They are all
girls here, and no boys are allowed to stay
Boy's eyes began to feel funny; and he
blinked them both very hard, and clenched his
"I don't want to go," he said. "I want to
stop here with you."
"What!" said the fairy girl, with a smile.
"Among all the girls?"
Boy grew very hot.
"I don't care, I want to stop," he said. "I
shouldn't mind girls so much, if-if- "
He was not quite sure why. The fairy girl
If you stop," she said, you must put on
LOOKED LIKE A GIRL
your top thing again, and then, no one will
know you are a boy."
Boy looked at his discarded smock, and
sighed. How it had got there, he never knew;
but there it lay at his feet; and it did seem
hard that he should have to put it on again,
after all the trouble he had gone through to
get it taken off. But it seemed the only thing
to be done, and he stooped down and picked
All right," he said. But you won't expect
me to like dolls, or babies, or anything like
that, will you?"
She did not have time to answer; for just
then, a troop of other Fine Weather Fairies
came running up to them. They all had eyes
like stars, and hair like sunshine, and they were
all dressed in blue sky; but for all that, Boy
was quite sure that he could have distin-
guished his own fairy girl from any one of
"The Sun Queen is coming," they cried;
"and there has got to be a change in the
weather. So we shall have something to do
at last! Oh dear, there has been no fine
weather sent for, since the summer began.
Then a pale yellow light began to creep over
everything, and it grew deeper and deeper, until
THE BOY WHO
the whole place was flooded with it, and Boy
was so dazzled, that he had to keep his eyes on
"I wish I had some smoked glass," he said.
"We looked at the eclipse through smoked
glass, the other day."
"Eclipse? Who said an eclipse?" asked a
terrible voice from the middle of the bright
light. "And who brought that great clumsy
earth child into my country ? "
"I did, your Majesty," said his fairy girl,
bravely. "I tumbled into the Land of Bad
Weather, and he helped me, I mean she helped
me to get away; and so I asked him, I mean
her, to stop a little. He, I mean she, was very
brave, your Majesty; and I should like to re-
ward him, I mean her, please your Majesty."
"That girl is a boy," said the Sun Queen, in
a more terrible voice than before. Nobody but
a boy would dare to mention eclipses in my
presence. I declare, it makes me feel quite
frosty. How dare you bring a boy here?"
Please your Majesty, he looks just like a
girl," said the little fairy, growing tearful.
Boy felt he would have done anything just
then, to make her smile again.
I'm quite sure I look like a girl," he said,
LOOKED LIKE A GIRL
Are you a girl ? said the voice of the Sun
It is really too bad," exclaimed Boy, begin-
ning to grow impatient. They all said I looked
like a girl, when I wanted them to think I was
a boy. I don't know what I am expected to
"Well, you know," said the Sun Queen,
"you must be one or the other. I suppose you
can't help it, if you are a boy; but I am exceed-
ingly sorry for you, if you are; and you certainly
can't stop here. We don't allow boys; we used
to have them, and they played tricks with the
barometers, so that no one ever believes in
barometers now. You really must go, or else
I shall feel obliged to set light to you, or some-
thing, and that is always so inconvenient."
Will you come home with me too ? asked
Boy, turning to his little fairy girl, and taking
"Why, you said you had too many girls to
play with, already she cried.
"That's quite different," said Boy.
Nonsense," said the voice of the Sun Queen.
"Why, she would burn you all up like wax
matches, if she came down to play with you.
But she shall take you home, as far as the
Pimpernel Fairy; and you may ask her for
THE BOY WHO
anything you like, when you say good-bye to
her. Now, off you go, earth child!"
And off he did go, with the fairy girl at his
side; and they just seemed to be running full
tilt down a very steep blue hill, until they
reached the edge of the forest, which they did
without feeling in the least bit out of breath.
Good-bye," said the little fairy girl, putting
up her face to be kissed. "What are you going
to ask me ? "
If you please, I should like it always to be
fine on my birthday-on all our birthdays,"
"Even the baby's?" asked the little fairy,
"I shall come back and see you again, some
day," he said, and kissed her. It was just like
kissing a ripe red apple, that has been hanging
in the hot sunshine.
No, you won't!" she cried, laughing.
Why not? I shall," said Boy.
Because I'm only a girl," she replied; and
when he looked again, she was gone. But the
place where she had stood was covered with
bright yellow buttercups.
The Pimpernel Fairy was sitting on the
ground, where he had last seen her.