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The Baldwin Library
fee CATSKILL FAIRIES.
if ii iH | i
By VIRGINIA W. JOHNSON,
â€œJOSEPH THE JEW,â€ â€œA SACK OF GOLD,â€ â€œTHE CALDERWOOD SECRET,â€ â€œKETTLE
CLUB SERIES,â€â€™ &c., &c.
ILLUSTRATED BY ALFRED FREDERICKS.
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by
HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
PMU ABOUT JOB og Mieee ss Boe let is St Be ee eet ee PL
WE OLDs CLOCK HELLS * A OTORV w= 48 root ahr oe ia Sine ders eee ee
INDVENTURES: OF (A SEA] SHELE â€œ25-5 ar (yf cay Ve ape a sea see ae 2
HOW? BIORN:} DISCOVERED â€œAMERICA? of 3,00 a he 0
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INIERS @ SEORV AG ee vege cetneys Soc ees
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gee DOVE: MAIDEN 22h. Shee er ea oe ee ve Olt
phe HIRST: COCOAINUT wee, finn ee ee ee et ee ee GS
THE CATSKILL FAIRIES.
ALL ABOUT FOB.
â€œAre you afraid to stay alone?â€
asked Grandfather, drawing the
buffalo-robe over his knees, and
taking the reins.
â€œNot a bit afraid,â€ said Job,
sturdily, with all a boyâ€™s indigna-
tion at the charge of cowardice.
12 The Catskill Fazirtes.
â€œYou are twelve years old, and almost a man! Wellâ€”take
care of the cow, and donâ€™t forget the fowls. I shall be back by
Then the old wagon creaked away down the hill, moving as
if it had rheumatism in all its joints, the white horses jogged off
soberly, the rim of Grandfather's hat disappeared, and Job was
The boy was half afraid all the same. There was not a living
soul left on the mountain besides Job, after Grandfather had
gone. When one is only twelve years old, and is left in this
way, one must feel rather queer at firstâ€”at least Job did, and
that is all we can know about it. He stood in the road until
the last sound of the wagon had died away in silence, and at
that moment a little shiver of loneliness crept down his back,
and he did not know whether to laugh or cry. Something
white and soft brushed against him; it was the Angora cat.
You must not suppose that she was an every-day sort of tabby,
such as is found in all farm-houses: she was very different from
common animals, as we shall presently see. At that moment
the cow lowed in her shed, in a friendly way. Job laughed in-
stead of crying.
â€œHeâ€™s gone,â€ said the lad aloud. â€œNow, Kitty, let us have
He decided to prepare the evening meal just because he did
not know what else to do. The cat was placed in a chair,
while he spread the board; and as her table manners were very
elegant, she merely sat there winking sleepily instead of trying
to dab her paws into the dishes.
â€œThis is better than living in the woodsâ€”isnâ€™t it, puss,â€ said
Shutting-up for the Night. re
Job, pouring some milk in a saucer. â€œHow cold you looked
that September morning, after the frost, when I found you on
the edge of the ravine.â€
â€œMiouw!â€ replied the Angora cat.
â€œ Yes, indeed,â€ continued Job, as he cut a slice of bread for
himself. â€œIf you had not come to me, Tom Smithers would
have caught you, and carried you down the mountain to all his
brothers and sistersâ€”and a nice life they would have led you.
The baby would have pulled off your tail the first thing, and
how would you have looked without your tail? There! eat
It really seemed as if the Angora understood every word
that Job said, for she gave a little leap in the air, purred vio-
lently, and proceeded to eat daintily. After that the cow was
made comiortable for the night, the hen-house barred securely,
so that no stray fox might steal in, and fresh wood brought
from the wood-pile for the fire. There was nothing more to
be done before going to bed, and Grandfather as well as Job
was usually asleep as soon as the chickensâ€”but then the earli-
est cock that crowed did not catch them napping in the morn-
ing. Before closing the house door, he paused one moment to
look at the sky, which was flooded with gold from the setting
sun. Job was a very ignorant child, but he knew that far
away down the path of shining Hudson River was a great city
and the sea. This city he had never seen, which was not very
strange, since a great many grown people living back among
those Catskill Mountains were equally unlearned. It was the
last of December ; summer had faded, but the autumn had been
long and mild. The mountains towered up blue and grand
14 The Catskill Fairies.
against the heavens, and it seemed as if the snow would never
come from the bleak North this year. Here and there the hills
had a white line on their slopes, as if they had trimmed their
robes with ermine, yet the peaks were still uncovered.
Far down in the shadowy hollow was the spot where Rip
Van Winkle had slept for twenty years, according to the le-
gend. All through the leafy Junes, the glowing Octobers, when
the woods burned in scarlet and crimson, and the cold, silent
winter, Rip must have slumbered. No wonder he was stiff
when he awoke at last. Job had been to the very spot, and
tried to feel sleepy also. Grandfather said the story was all
nonsense, yet somehow Job believed it. Yes, and far away,
over on the brink of a distant precipice, was the hotel, now de-
serted and gloomy, where the gay people flocked in the warm
weather. Job would hide behind the bushes, like a â€˜shy, wild
Fobâ€™s Portrait. 15
animal, and watch these strangers, wondering much that they
cared to gather the wild flowers and mosses which he never
noticed. What fun it would be if a bear should come up the
path, only all the bears were gone. There was not even a
rabbit to be seen. If a pedler should pass, Job would invite
him to stay and rest.
dry-goods store is to a city boy.
He went into the house, bolted the door, and crept into bed,
where he soon fell fast asleep, with the Angora cat curled up
comfortably beside him.
Now we must paint our heroâ€™s portrait, because we can feel
but little interest in the hero, if, in these days of photography,
we do not know exactly how he looked. Job was a strong,
active boy, and his face was as brown, his cheeks as red, as the
sun and the wind could make them. He wore a battered hat,
when he remembered to put it on, and a jacket made of Grand-
fatherâ€™s old plum-colored coat, with the tails cut off: Grand-
father being a tailor after his own fashion. When spring came
he tossed his heavy shoes into a cupboard, and ran about bare-
footed, until the frost compelled him to seek them once more.
He had been sent to the little red school-house three miles
away, where he learned to read and write. Nobody knows
what strange fancies came into his head about the clouds and
the moon, living up there alone with Grandfather. This may
seem rather a sad, dreary life to the little men who were born
in merry, crowded nurseries, yet it is astonishing how much
Job found to amuse him. Indeed, he seldom played with other
children, and did not miss them.
There â€˜was the early breakfast to get, and the dishes to clear
16 The Catskill Fatrees.
- away afterwards; then the cow must be driven to the pasture,
where the mountain grass made her yield such sweet milk.
After that Job could run wild among the rocks all the
morning, setting snares for birds, searching for hidden nests,
and fishing for trout in the clear brooks, which leaped from
stone to stone with gleeful music. Nor did his resources fail
him in winter, when the wild storms kept him in-doors. Then
he listened to Grandfather's stories about Indians and rattle-
snakes, or read the few tattered volumes their library boasted.
Better still was it to retreat to the store-room, where their pro-
visions were kept as carefully as if they were in a besieged
city, and draw figures on the door with a bit of charcoal for a
pencil. These crooked, wavy lines meant to the young artist
the horses and people of the city.
Grandfather was a bent, wrinkled old man, â€˜iis smoked a
pipe, and grumbledâ€”but he was kind for all that. Job did not
take scoldings to heart, for he knew very well that Grand-
father was fond of him as the only relative left him in the
world. When one lives in a small house alone on a mountain,
one has to learn to do everything: Grandfather sewed, r ade
famous bread, and churned the butter. If Job had been used
to any other housewife, he must have found it very funny to
see Grandfather sweep the rag-carpet with his spectacles on;
but to the boy this was the most natural thing in the world.
The mildness of December had tempted Grandfather to
make one more visit to the village, for when the storms came
they were cut off completely from all intercourse with the val-
leys by the deep snow-drifts. He went to buy some food, and
to cross the river to Germantown, where a farmer owed him a
The Snow-Storm. 17
little money. These dollars must be got, and hidden away in
an old pocket-book for the time when Job would be a man.
If Job had gone as well, who would have taken care of the
cow and the fowls?
Next morning Job was awakened by the Angora cat. Pussy
had jumped on his breast, and was licking his cheek with a lit-
tle red tongue. The fact of the matter was, she had been up
a long while, and was becoming very much bored, as well as
hungry. Job sprang out of bed, and ran into the kitchen.
Something strange had happened! The old clock ticked
solemnly in the corner, pointing a hand, as if in reproof, at
the hour of ten. Yes, it was ten oâ€™clock, and Job had never
slept so late before. The kitchen looked just the same. There
was the little table by the window, where Grandfather's large
Bible lay, and the shelf above, with the conch-shell on it. The
fire was out, and it was dreadfully cold. Job pulled aside the
curtain, and peeped out. All the world had grown white. It
was snowing. While he slept the storm had come, filling the
ravines, covering the low shrubbery, and crowning the mount-
ains with fleecy masses. Job was not afraid of the snow; he
was used to it. He kindled a fire, and both he and the cat
warmed themselves. Next he tried to open the house door,
and found it already banked up by a drift. Jobâ€™s face grew
very long. How should he reach the cow? There was food
and wood enough in the house to keep him alive, but the cow
must not starve. The cottage was small and poor, consisting
of two rooms, and an attic above. Job ran up-stairs, and looked
out of the attic window. He there saw a gray sky, the air
misty with falling flakes, and the wide sheet of snow below.
18 The Catskill Fairies.
At the back of the house the snow was not equally deep, the
building being an obstacle to the growing mass. What do
you suppose he did? He went down-stairs again, put on his
boots, wrapped his neck in a woollen comforter, took the shovel,
and jumped out of the window to make a path to the cow-shed.
The poor cow, supposing that she was never to have her
breakfast, mooed dismally. Job worked with all his might.
Sometimes the cat sprang on the window-ledge to watch him,
but she took very good care not to wet her dainty paws by
skipping out-ofdoors. At last the path was finished, and Job
fed the hungry animal. As he did so he heard the flapping
of wings, and the cocks crowed dolefully in the dark hen-
house, where they supposed it was still night. He had forgot-
ten them until that moment. Dear me! what was to be done?
The Old Clock Bewitched. 19
Job could not leave the poor biddies to die, when he had seen
every one of them come from the eggâ€”wee bundles of down.
The hen-house was more difficult to reach than the cowâ€™s
residence. Jobâ€™s arms ached, and his feet were cold, yet he
took up the shovel valiantly, and began to dig again. What
with running to and fro, back to the house to thaw numb
fingers at the fire, getting meals, and continuing to make paths,
it was late in the afternoon before Job had finished his labors.
He was able to throw corn to the chickens only by climbing
on a snow-mound, and scattering it through the small window
of the hen-house. The fowls did not know what to make of
it; they cocked their heads sideways to catch a glimpse of day-
light. While at work Job had been quite happy; when it
was over he began to feel frightened. The storm was in-
creasing, the wind commenced to moan. Grandfather could
not force his way back up the mountain while it lasted, and
that Job very well knew. The boy sat down in Grandfather's
chair, and burst into tears.
â€œYou are too old to cry,â€ said a grave voice.
Job dried his eyes on his sleeve, and looked up.
â€œ Who are you?â€ he asked, curiosity conquering fear.
â€œTam the clock. You should know me by this time.â€
There it stood in the corner, with a brass ship above the
dial that rocked when the pendulum swung.
â€œT didnâ€™t suppose you could talk,â€ laughed Job.
â€œT usually make enough noise, and I am always on the
minute, I hope. I donâ€™t mind telling you what you will find
out sooner or laterâ€”to-night I am bewitched,â€ said the clock,
in a rattling way.
20 The Catskill Fairies.
The Angora cat yawned, curled her whiskers in a military
fashion with both her fore-paws, and added, â€œ Yes, we are be-
â€œWhat has bewitched you, I should like to know?â€ said Job,
now quite at his ease, and wishing to understand matters
â€œ The sea-shell,â€ replied the clock.
Job turned to look at the shell as it lay on the shelf; it
glistened in the dim room like a beautiful pearl. â€œWe are to
talk this evening,â€ murmured the shell. â€œ After all, a little boy
might spend a more lonely night than here with a clock, a cat,
and a shell.â€
â€œ All great travellers,â€ said the clock, proudly.
â€œ And foreigners by birth,â€ said the cat, whisking her tail.
â€œ Besides, I have invited company, and you are to have a pres-
ent before you go to bed.â€
â€œ Oh, what is it?â€ cried Job, with sparkling eyes. â€œ How can
company get here in all the storm when Grandfather canâ€™t
â€œWe shall see,â€ returned Puss, walking to the window, and
listening with her ear to the crack.
â€œWe have no legs to carry us about like the cat,â€ sighed the
clock, half enviously. â€˜â€œ Every one in his place, though.â€
â€œThe wind brings a message to say that they will be here
in an hour,â€ said the cat, returning to the fire. â€œWe must
try to amuse ourselves until they come.â€
â€œWho are Â¢hey ?â€ asked Job.
â€œWe shall see,â€ said Puss again. â€œOne can live anywhere,
I suppose.â€ This she uttered in a dignified way, as if she were
A Cat of Expertence. 21
used to much better things, and indeed that was what she de-
sired every one to think. â€œ The Esquimaux dwell in the snow
and iceâ€”even their houses are built of snow; thousands of
people crowd together in damp cellars of great cities; and
away off in hot countries the natives would not leave their
sandy deserts for any thing. I must be contented here.â€
â€œHow did you come to know so much?â€ inquired the old
clock, very impertinently.
â€œIT am a cat of experience,â€ said the Angora in a genteel
Then the clock knew that it had done something amiss, and
clattered away, sounding the hour to cover up the blunder; only
it grew embarrassed, and struck full fifteen times, like the silly
old clock it was.
â€œTam sorry to make so much noise, but when I am ready I
cannot help it. My little hammer rises up, you know, and
will fall again.â€ Having finished this duty, the time-piece was
prepared to be more agreeable, and immediately proceeded to
tell the following story.
22 The Catskill Fatrtes.
THE OLD CLOCK TELLS A STORY.
â€œTue first sound you ever heard, Job, was the
ticking of my pendulum, and the very first ob-
ject your baby eyes noticed was my brass ship
rocking, always rocking, as it did years before you
lived, and has done ever since. Babies are some-
times born out on the ocean and in strange places,
but I think that the top of a mountain is a droll
place for a cradle. I will tell you
all about it. I am really very an-
cientâ€”quite a grandfather clock,
as you may see from my wooden
case. I was sent over from -Lon-
don in my youth, and once I was
mended here in America by the
grandson of the clock-maker who made me. He knew me
directly, and said, â€˜ Here is my grandfatherâ€™s work. At first I
lived in New York, where I was for sale in a shop, until I was
bought by a man who had me placed on a sloop to be taken
up the Hudson River. It was a long voyage in those days,
I promise you, and we were one week on board of the sloop
before we reached our destination. Now the great steamboats
make the same journey in a few hours. I could tell you the
exact time if I were placed on the â€˜ Daniel Drewâ€™ in running
Unexpected Vesztors. 23
order, and not laid on my back with my pendulum tied. How-
ever, I have no reason to complain. I was purchased by your
grandfather, Job, to place in the new house where he would
bring his bride.
â€œ Dear, dear! It seems only yesterday when the newly mar-
ried couple stepped across the threshold hand in hand. Their
hair was golden, their cheeks like ripe apples, and outside the
door the damask roses bloomed in the sunshine. So long, long
ago, little Jobâ€”as you may tell by my worm-eaten case and
â€œJ remember very well that we had unexpected visitors up
here the day before you were born. There had been no living
soul here for years besides the old man: his wife was dead, and
his only daughter gone away. Well, the door stood open, and
I saw a wagon drive up with two women in it. The younger
one rose, and stretched out her hands to Grandfather, who
stood shading his eyes, and looking at her.
â€œ*Father ! she said, and began to cry.
â€œ*She would come up the mountain to-day,â€™ said the elder
â€œThe last speaker was Grandfather's sister, and the younger
one was your mother, Master Job.
â€œThe visitors were made comfortable. The girl promised to
be good, and return to the farm with her aunt next day, after
she had seen her father once more. She had been wilful, and
married a handsome sailor against her parentâ€™s wishes. Now
the sailor was wrecked, and she had come all this weary way
across the seas to beg forgiveness.
â€œThe wind blew fresh about the lonely house. I struck
24 The Catskill Fairies.
twelve, and before I had ceased the angels had brought you
here to live. What do you think of that?â€
â€œTt is very funny,â€ said Job. He had never thought of be-
ing much smaller than he was then.
â€œYes,â€ said the clock. â€œ But when the angels brought you
they carried away your mother. You never saw her after-
wards. You were a sturdy little fellow, and the aunt did
everything for you. She had a goat brought up here, for you
to drink the rich milk. The goat behaved very well, although
it did not like the quarters much. When the aunt wished to
take you away home, Grandfather shook his head. If he was a
clumsy nurse, you thrived. Bless you! babies thrive anywhere ;â€™
and if you donâ€™t expect them to live, they are sure to do so.
â€œYou had a wee faceâ€”I donâ€™t suppose your face will ever
be as large as mine â€”and bright eyes, and you used to sit
on the floor with your thumb in your mouth staring at my
ship. You never cried much, and soon learned to trot around,
climbing as nimbly as a squirrel. So you see the good God.
sent you as a gift to Grandfather, who lived all alone, and he
has toiled for you day and night. I have watched him many
a time sitting up long after you were sound asleep to sew your
coat or carve a toy. The very least you can do, in return, is
to be a good boy, for he is growing old.â€
Job had never given the matter a momentâ€™s reflection. He
could not decide whether he had been a good boy or not.
Now the old clockâ€™s words made a deep impression on his
mind, and he formed a resolution.
â€œHe shall never saw all the wood again!â€ he exclaimed.
â€œ Sometimes I forget, you know.â€ -
The Sea-Shell Speaks. 25
â€œ That is right,â€ said the clock, heartily.
â€œYou will always be glad if you are thoughtful of others,â€
said the sea-shell.
â€œ Grandfather is a good man; he gives me tender morsels,â€
said the Angora cat gratefully.
The old clock had finished its story, and for a few minutes
nothing was heard in the room but the slow, steady ticking of
the long pendulum as it swung back and forth, and the quiet
purring of the Angora cat. Job was thinking of what the
clock had told him, when the silence was again broken by the
26 The Catskill Fairies.
ADVENTURES OF A SEA-SHELL.
â€œEacu one may tell what he
knows,â€ said the sea-shell, in a
soft, liquid voice.
â€œWhere did you come from?
I mean, where did you grow?â€
asked Job, eagerly.
A sweet little laugh came
gurgling from the depths of the
shell as water bubbles out of a
clear spring hidden among the moss of the woods.
â€œWhere did I grow? You speak as if I was plucked from
the branch of a tree like fruit. Do you not know that a little,
soft, defenceless animalâ€”a molluskâ€”built me for a strong
castle to protect it from foes? Then, being something of an
artist in its own tiny fashion, the mollusk painted and decorated
its house, lining it with pearl, as you see, and adding turrets to
the roof. Yes, and the very best of it was that it had only to
close the door firmly, and no enemy could come in; even the
rough waves might toss the house about with no harm to the
â€œ Where did you live ?â€ persisted Job.
â€œT was only the strong castle remember. The mollusk lived
away off in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. Above
The Islands of Spice-Trees. a4
the sea bloomed the rich islands where the spice-trees grow,
and cruel pirates lurked along the shore to attack foreign ves-
sels. The pirates, in their swift boats, were like the small
sword -fish that dart forth to attack the whale, wounding the
huge creature on all sides.
â€œChinese junks came there, too, in search of the swallow
nests, built in the rock caverns, which they sold in their markets
for the famous bird-nest soup. Down at the bottom of the
ocean crawled the sea-cucumber, a slow creature, with a trans-
parent body, and pretty, feathery tentacles, like plumes, waving
about the mouth, to draw in food. Even the cucumber was
not safe from the sharp Chinese eyes. Whirr! a prong was
hurled through the water, striking the poor thing with unerr-
ing aim, and up came the cucumber to the surface, to be
28 The Catskill Fairies.
packed as the â€˜trepangâ€™ of commerce. If we hide in the
deepest waters, we do not escape; nothing is safe from man.
I left my home one day, with a sudden jerk, just as the tre-
pang did. The mollusk soon died, out of the sea, even as you
would die if your head was held under water. I was left, be-
ing only a shell, and since then I have been a great traveller.
Your mother brought me here in a box. First I was carried
off by a sailor as a gift for his sweetheart at home; yet I never
saw the sweetheart, for the cabin-boy stole me long before we
reached port. The cabin-boy treated me very ill: he traded
me for a gay neck-tie, when I would have really brought him
money if sold for a cabinet. Silly fellow! Then we sailed up
north; I could tell you all about the cold countries.â€
â€œIt is cold enough here,â€ yawned the Angora cat.
â€œT changed owners half-adozen times among sailors. We
were in the Baltic Sea, and I had been left on deck careless-
ly, when a gull came swooping down on me, made bold by
â€œÂ«VYou are as tough as a Tartar, said the gull, pecking at
me to judge if I was good to eat.
â€œÂ¢What is a Tartar? I inquired.
â€œÂ«Donâ€™t be tiresome,â€™ said the gull, pettishly. â€˜My grand-
father knows everything: ask him.â€™ Then it flew away. I
was glad to have the ship lurch just then, and roll me against
the bulwark out of sight. Presently the gull returned, hopping
along cautiously in the hope of stealing a morsel.
â€œÂ« Where is your grandfather?â€™ I asked.
â€œ*Holloa! Are you still there, Mr. Shell?â€™ cried the gull,
cocking its head over its shoulder.
Grandfather Gull. 29
â€œ*]T will make a bargain with you, I said. â€˜If you carry me
to your grandfather, I can tell you where to find food.â€™
â€œ*Â« But you are so heavy,â€™ he objected.
â€œBut you are so hungry,â€™ I said, quietly.
â€œ*T know it, groaned the gull. â€˜I will try to find the old
â€œ Then it flew away again, returning with the grandfather gull,
and I kept my word by showing the birds where they could
obtain food near the cookâ€™s galley. The old gull said he did
not know what the young one meant about Tartars, but he
would tell me a story, if I would excuse his standing on one
leg while speaking, for he had the gout badly in his right
claw. He told me the following tale.
30 Lhe Catskill Fatries.
HOW BIORN DISCOVERED AMERICA.
â€œâ€œTue Northern nations were a roving people long before
their existence was known in Southern Europe. The Goths
crossed the Baltic Sea in three ships, to grow into a mighty
race capable of subduing Rome; the Swedes were rulers on
the ocean, strong in arms and numbers; the Danes boldly
attacked the English coast, and, after being held in check by
Alfred the Great, established four Danish princes on the
throne. A Scandinavian king ruled in Dublin; early con.
quests were made of the Shetland Isles and the Hebrides;
Scotland was visited by them, when Duncan defeated the in-
vaders, the Scots being commanded by Macbeth and Banquo.
â€œ* The country was too small for all the families to be fed and
lodged, so it was agreed that a certain number of children to
each household should go abroad in search of a living. There
were too many birds in the home nest. The father drove out
his sons when they grew to manhoodâ€”except the eldest son,
who was heir to the estate. The sea-kings, or vikings, spread
their sails to discover new lands. Naddod, a Norwegian pirate,
saw one day a dreary looking country, which he named Snow-
land; then Gardar Svarfarson, a Swede, found that it was an
island, and called it Iceland instead, because of its forbidding
aspect. His companions liked the island, and a Norwegian
Jarl took refuge there, founding a colony.
Biornâ€™s Stormy Voyage. ar
â€œ*Then the sea-kings sailed on, and other shores were found
in the Western Atlantic. In the year 982 a Jarl of Norway
went to Iceland, with his son Eric the Red, and Eric left Ice-
land to roam still farther to the south-west, where he espied a
country which he named Greenland, and made his home at
Ericâ€™s Fiord. Heriolf, one of these early colonists, was a trader,
sailing from place to place in partnership with his son Biorn.
â€œ* Now we shall hear! Biorn, who was a sort of salt-water
pedler, had agreed to meet his father at a certain spot, but
missed him on the open ocean. Lo! a terrible gale arose,
driving Biornâ€™s vessel like a feather before the wind. The
little craft bounded lightly over the heaving billows, through
sleet and foamâ€”sent far away from the shelter of Greenland,
until the sailors expected that her prow would touch the end
of the world. At last they saw land, a wide region, thick-
ly wooded. It was a northern cape
of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
â€œ*What do you suppose this stupid
32 The Catskill Fairtes.
Biorn did? He just drifted around the promontory, looked
at it, and, without setting foot on the shore, spread his sails
before a fresh west wind, the storm having abated, and re-
turned to Greenland, where he found his father Heriolf safely
â€œÂ«That is the way Biorn discovered America, quite ignorant
that he was the first European to touch the strand of a won-
derful New World. This happened long before Christopher
Columbus saw the tropical palm-trees and crystal waters of
the West Indies. Biorn went back, and told the story at least.
Eief, a son of Eric the Red, set sail with thirty-five men, reach-
ed the American coast, and steered along it until he found an
inviting anchorage. The region was delightful: fruits and
berries were ripe, and there was salmon in the river. The
Northmen landed, built huts, and called the spot Vinland,
because of the quantities of grapes they found. Lief spent
a winter in Vinland, then sold his vessel to his brother Thor-
wald in the spring, who stayed another year, exploring the
land. The natives came in canoes to oppose him, and Thor-
wald was killed. The other Northmen remained a third win-
ter. The natives were like the Esquimaux, already known in
Â«Tn 1007 a rich Greenlander, Thorfin, emigrated to Vinland
with sixty followers and his wife Gudrida. The ships carried
all kinds of animals and food. Gudrida was the first Euro-
pean woman to see the New World, and her son Snorro, born
at Vinland, was the first child of foreign parents in America.
Thorfinâ€™s expedition prospered. The native tribes came in
great numbers to trade in furs, yet Thorfin went home again.
Puss and the Mouse. 33
â€œ*At the mouth of the St. Lawrence traces of these early
settlers have been found. The savages there were different
in aspect, and they knew the cross when the Jesuit mis-
sionaries showed it to them.â€™
â€œT have told you the truth, whatever else you may hear to-
night,â€ concluded the shell.
â€œSo did I tell the truth,â€ said the clock. â€œI donâ€™t know
what the cat may do.â€
â€œSpeak for yourself, then,â€ said Puss, quite in a huff. â€œI
have had no chance to tell my story yet, if you please; and it
seems to me that both of you are fond of hearing yourselves
talk â€”Oh !â€
A little mouse had crept out of its hole; the cat pounced on
it like a flash.
â€œT canâ€™t imagine why you like those mice,â€ said the clock.
â€œIt makes me tremble in all my wood-work only to see one,
they have such frightfully sharp teeth, and gnaw such dreadful
The Angora cat was terribly excited; her eyes were large,
her whiskers bristled, and she held the poor little mouse be-
tween her paws. One could see how much she was like: those
great relations of hers, the tiger and lion, when they gloat over
â€œWhat have you got to say for yourself,â€ growled Kitty.
â€œMercy!â€ squeaked the little mouse, rolling its eyes towards
â€œLet Mousey go. You have had your supper,â€ said Job.
â€œ Ask me nicely, mouse, and perhaps I will,â€ said the wicked
cat, enjoying the fright of her captive.
34 The Catskill Fairtes.
So the little mouse sat on its hind-legs, and crossed its fore-
â€œTam very young to die. I ran away from the nest behind
the beam of the cellar just to see life. Oh! please donâ€™t look
at me like that!â€ it said faintly.
â€œJT will not eat you if you tell a story,â€ said Puss.
â€œOh, dear!â€ piped the little mouse. â€œHow can I tell a
story? I have no ideas, and I have never been even to a
mouse school yet. I am really a baby. To be sure, we have
gnawed a great many books and papers; still we do not read
the printâ€”we only make nests.â€
â€œDo you stay in the corner of the hearth and think of a
story,â€ said the cat. â€œIf you try to run away I will eat you
in one mouthful. There! I donâ€™t mind your being a baby
mouse at all; your bones will be all the more tender on that
So the little mouse had to sit in the corner, and make the
best of it. When the cat looked at it, the mouse closed its
eyes, pretending to nap, for it wished to appear very much at
ease, but it trembled in every limb for dread of those terrible
jaws and gleaming eyes.
It was now the catâ€™s turn to tell a story.
Puss begins a Story. 35
ONE OF A CATâ€™S LIVES.
â€œIT Know very well that I was born in a palaceâ€”that is, a
palace in comparison with this cottage,â€ said the Angora cat,
stretching herself comfortably on the warm hearthstone.
â€œWhat was it like ?â€ asked Job, glancing around the kitchen.
â€œWell, it must have been a palace, because there was a
lawn and a park, with winding avenues and flowers. Then
the house was beautiful, large, and spacious, with soft carpets
and velvet cushions. The old lady who lived there owned
twenty cats, and people said she was crazy on the subject of
pets. The cats had an easy life. Each morning a servant
bathed the Angora family, combed our fur, and tied a fresh
ribbon about our necks. How much we were caressed! One
day I was taken to the drawing-room for some visitors to ad-
mire my flossy coat, when I saw an ugly face peering in at
the window, and I hid beneath the dress of my mistress. The
butler told the beggar to go away. â€˜Iâ€™m hungry,â€™ said the
man. Now I had never been hungry in my life. After the
visitors left I curled myself up for a nap on the best em-
broidered cushion. Two dirty hands seized me, the ugly face
peered in the window again, and I was hurried away, hidden
from sight beneath the beggarâ€™s ragged coat. In vain I
struggled; he held me firmly until we had crossed the road
behind a hedge, and he took me out to shake mÃ© angrily.
36 The Catskill Fairies.
â€œÂ« You are always fed, if the children do starve,â€™ he muttered,
â€œ He did not kill me, though I was half dead with fright by
the time he reached the miserable hovel where he lived. The
children were hungry, but I was made to rob them of their
scanty portion of milk, because I was to be taken to town and
sold for my beauty. .
â€œ Fortunately some dear, kind ladies bought me, paying the
man a good price, and I hope that he took the money to the
â€œ Wherever the ladies went on their travels, I was carried in
a basket, and people were warned not to hurt Kitty. At this
strangers smiled, but they were all good to me. We crossed
the ocean in a large steamship, and in the summer we came
up to these mountains. When parties rambled in the woods
I was allowed to go, for there were too many children in the
hotel for my comfort. They play strange pranks with the
most superior cats. When the ladies had a picnic I was at-
tracted by a bird that hopped near in search of crumbs. -I
gave chase, the bird flew away, and when the people called
me I hid behind a rock. I was tired of being petted, so I de-
cided to become a hunter, searching for my own food in the
woods. This served very well until the frost came. Then you -
found me, Job. I made a great many acquaintances in the
woods during my rambles, as you will presently see.â€
â€œCrickets and grasshoppers?â€ said Job.
â€œNo such thing,â€ replied the Angora cat. â€œ Here they are!â€
Job could scarcely believe that he was still in his senses,
for in a moment the place was full of Fairies. The wee
The Fairtes Arrive. 37
people came through the keyhole, down the chimney, and
forth from the blazing logs of the fire, with a soft rustle of
wings and a murmur of tiny voices that sounded like the pat-
ter of rain-drops among forest leaves. The boy winked sev-
eral times to make sure he was awake.
At first these visitors looked all alike: their pinions were
spangled like those of a butterfly, and their little forms twin-
kled and hovered about in restless motion; but by degrees they
settled down like fallen blossoms, some on the hearth, others
on the chimney-piece, and two perched on the seashell. The
little mouse moved an inch to run; Puss clapped a paw on it.
Then the Fairies formed a ring around the animal by joining
hands, and danced to their own music. The mouse shivered
with terror; but by degrees it grew brighter, and began to
dance also, hopping on one hind-leg, and nodding its head in
time to the song. That was a droll sight !
Job now saw that the Fairies on the hearth were very plump
and pretty. They wore little petticoats of red rose-leaves, while
their caps and aprons were made from the white roseâ€™s petals.
â€œT am Queen Puff, and we come from the Lowlands,â€ said
one, nodding to Job. â€œYou must excuse us if we keep on
with our work while we pay our visit, because we are busy
housewives. Besides, this is Christmas-eve.â€
With that two of her maidens brought her spinning-wheel
to Queen Puff, and then all her court took their knitting.
Such a spinning-wheel as that was! The frame was a rose-
thorn, the wheel made of horse-hair, and the distaff wrapped
in a tangle of cobweb, which the Queen spun off in fine silk
38 The Catskill Fairies.
â€œ What is it for?â€ asked Job.
â€œ These threads make childrenâ€™s dreams,â€ replied Puff. â€œ Of
course there must be a great supply of dream-thread on Christ-
mas-eve for the children of America alone.â€
Another group was clustered on the handle of the tongs.
These were clad in pale satin.
â€œWe are the Fairies of the Mountain Laurel,â€ they said.
â€œYou will find us in June on the overhanging banks, where
the ferns and mosses drape the rocks, and the rivulets flow ~
down hill. Then we live in our lovely pink houses; but when
our flowers fade we hide beneath the leaves.â€
â€œT know you right well, and how glad I am to see you in
the spring,â€ said Job.
On the window-sill, where Jack Frost had made the panes
like ground glass, a number of delicate forms rested, their robes
of snow-flakes, and their helmets of gleaming ice.
â€œ We are the Winter Fairies, and dare not approach the fire,â€
they murmured. â€œ We live in marble palaces made by our
king, and there are no jewels so splendid as the icicles with
which we hang our halls.â€
â€œWe are the Summer Fairies,â€ said a race that had sprung
from the burning log. They were so radiant that one could
not look at them long; they changed in hue from emerald
green to red and purple, and the flame shone through them.
The Summer Fairies were as unlike Queen Puffâ€™s court as
possible, for their faces were brown, their hair dark like the >
â€œWhere is the Fairy of the Waterfall?â€ inquired the cat.
â€œShe was to bring Jobâ€™s gift.â€
The Fairy Pedler. 39
â€œ Winter has made her a prisoner; but she will beg leave to
come, if the king is in a good-humor. Sometimes he melts.â€
â€œ These are friends I made in the woods last summer,â€ said
the Angora, proudly.
Just then a queer little form dashed down the chimney, up-
set Queen Puffâ€™s spinning-wheel, and flew into the catâ€™s face as
a beetle blunders into the candle-flame.
â€œGracious! I hope that Iâ€™m not late,â€ said the new-comer.
â€œWhere are your manners?â€ cried Queen Puff, putting her
â€œ Beg your pardon, maâ€™am. I was in a hurry to see Job.â€
40 The Catskill Fazrves.
Then he winked at our hero, and began to laugh. This was
Fairy Nip from the Berkshire Hills across the river, and his
garments were made entirely of pumpkin-blossom cloth. He
carried on his back a packâ€”for he was a fairy pedlerâ€”which
he unstrapped and opened.
â€œ Perhaps I may have something to please you, ladies. Here
is the latest thing in jacketsâ€”fly-wings trimmed with dandelion
down ; the effect is quite as good as real lace. My jewelry is
cheap; this set of spiderâ€™s eggs, necklace, bracelet, and ear-
drops, I will sell for a mere song. Want any patent medi- ~
cines? Try the Mountain-dew Tonic to make lazy people
work, or the Strawberry-seed Cordial for the appetite. As
to cosmetics, I can make the plainest fairy beautiful in five
seconds by using this Bee Powder.â€
The Fairies were very much excited; they crowded around:
the tiny pedler, who sold his wares like wildfire. Queen Puff
left her spinning-wheel, and the Winter Fairies ran great risk-
of melting because they masÂ¢ peep at the pretty things. The
Summer Fairies showed the greatest fondness for finery, as
they were Indians. They bought mantles of scarlet poppy,
and strutted about to be admired; while of the spider-egg
chains they could not get enough.
When Nip had emptied his pack, he cut a caper, winked
again at Job, and climbed on the mouseâ€™s back, which was -
a soft, velvet couch. The mouse looked like an elephant to:
The Sprite of the Mountain Laurel began to speak:
â€œThere are fairies in the New World just as much as in _
the Old, and it is time we should be known, Surely nature
The New World Fairy Homes. 41
has given us quite as beautiful homes as those of our sisters
across the seas; we can hold revels in the heart of forests
where man seldom comes; we may wrap ourselves in the
rainbow mist of the waterfall; and if we wish to live in water
mansions, there are plenty of majestic rivers. What sprite
could desire a more beautiful home than our dear Hudson
yonder? People are stupid, and will not see us.â€
â€œ They are too busy, I guess,â€ said Nip. â€œMany a time a
farmer has all but crushed me beneath his foot in my beauti-
ful yellow coat, or I have peeped out of a flower-cup under the
very nose of a man who was too busy thinking about money-
making to see either the flower or Nip. These are the sort
of people who tell the world that there are no fairies.â€
The Laurel Queen said she had a story to tell.
42 Lhe Catskill Fairtes.
1HE OAK-TREE SPRITE.
â€œAr the foot of these mountains an oak-tree once waved
its long branches, and towered above the grass bank which
sloped away to the brink of a little brook. The brook sang
sweet songs to itself all day long, as it rippled about large
rocks, then flowed smoothly among rushes and marsh flowers.
The birds trilled delicious music overhead; but the oak-tree
had no ear for music, although it had lived beside the brook
for years, and might certainly have learned something from
association by this time.
â€œÂ«The summer breeze rustles among my leaves, and the
winter storms clash my branches together,â€™ said the tree. â€˜Is
not that enough noise ?â€™
â€œ*That amounts to just nothing at all,â€™ replied the brook,
the sunshine dimpling its surface with golden sparkles as it
hurried on to swell the broad Hudson, and roll still further
onward to the sea.
â€œAt last something happened.
the poor cottage; the Doctor came with his medicine-box, and
the parents hovered anxiously about the cradle. When morn-
ing dawned the house had grown still, for in the early hours,
before the sun brought returning warmth and brightness to
the glad earth, a little soul had risen on snowy wings to the
gates of heavenâ€”the child was dead.
The Fairy Carpet-Bag. 43
â€œThen the father made a tiny grave beneath the oak-treeâ€™s
shade, and flowers soon bloomed, tended by loving, caretul
â€œOne morning a tall poppy shot up, the
petals unfolded, and from this little red
house out stepped a sprite dressed in the
oak-treeâ€™s livery of green. You might
easily have mistaken him for a grasshop-
per or a locust at a short distance. In
his hand he carried a carpet-bag, stitched
together neatly out of bits of oak-leaf, and
on his head he wore the small end of an
acorn, fashioned into a cap. Altogether
the sprite had a very brisk manner, and
as he came out of the poppy mansion he
gave it a kick, very ungratefully.
â€œJT am just born, and I belong to you,â€™
he said, making a low bow to the oak-tree.
â€œThe tree was delighted with the little
â€œÂ«Shelter yourself in my trunk from the cold, and dance
among my leaves,â€™ it said, cordially.
â€œ*What am I to do for you in return?â€™ asked the sprite.
â€œÂ« You will be my voice,â€™ replied the tree. â€˜The birds shall
teach you to sing,
â€œÂ«Capital! laughed the sprite. â€˜I will hang up my carpet-
bag in a safe corner; I must take good care of that, whatever
â€œÂ« Why ? inquired the oak-tree, much interested.
44 The Catskill Fazrves.
â€œÂ« Because it is a fairy gift.â€™
â€œÂ© A fairy carpet-bagâ€”eh ?â€™ and the tree chuckled.
â€œ The sprite was charmed with the fresh, beautiful world into
which he had been born. He roamed all over the great oak-
tree, which was a long distance for him to travel, and he was
never lonely, as he found no end of delightful society. There
were the ants and spiders to chat with about their own affairs,
and the stupid caterpillars to poke, for the sprite loved his
pranks as well as older children.
â€œThe oak-tree had very sensible ideas about education ;
the sprite must not play all the while.
â€œ Soon the news spread that the oak-tree wished to have its
sprite instructed, and all the creatures came flocking to dis-
cuss the matter, as the tree was a general favorite.
â€œÂ«T can teach the sprite to growl,â€™ said the black bear.
â€œÂ« Thanks! said the tree. â€˜He is such a tiny fellow it does
not seem necessary that he should do anything besides laugh.â€™
â€œÂ«T can teach him to burrow in the ground, or to steal
chickens,â€™ said a little fox.
â€œ*T can teach him to swim,â€™ croaked a frog.
â€œÂ¢ And I to dive below the surface, added a water-rat.
â€œ Now came the beautiful birds, fluttering in a bright cloud
to perch on the branches, ruffling their soft feathers, cocking |
their pretty heads about as they hopped jauntily from twig to
twig. The sprite stroked the birds with his little hands, and
they chirped gayly.
â€œÂ©The oak-tree has sheltered us so often that we will gladly
render a service,â€™ said a swallow.
â€œÂ« Dear little birds! teach me to sing, begged the sprite.
The Birds give a Music-Lesson. 45
â€œÂ« Ves, certainly, replied a robin. â€˜We must begin at once,
and give you some notes to practice while we are off hunting
our breakfast. Listen to meâ€”tra-la-la !â€™
â€œ The other birds set up a clamor before the sprite could re-
peat the notes which had swelled pure and sweet from the
robinâ€™s tiny throat.
â€œÂ« The robin is no singer,â€™ piped a saucy wren.
â€œ*J will show you the way to use your chest notes,â€™ said the
â€œ* Bob-o-link ! bob-o-link ?
â€œ* Peet-tweet !
â€œÂ¢ Chip, chip, chee !
â€œ* The loudest voice is the best,â€™ screamed a handsome crow.
â€œThe oak-tree plainly saw that the sprite would be unable
to make anything out of all this noise, so it shook its trunk so
violently that the birds had to take wing, or tumble to the
â€œ*Qne at a time, if you please,â€™ said the tree, politely. â€˜ The
sprite is so young that he is easily confused.â€™
â€œThen each bird hopped out and sang a song.
â€œ* All the songs are so sweet that I like one as well as the
other, said the wise and prudent sprite.
â€œThe birds were offendedâ€”each wished to have its song
preferred to that of the rest; so they all flew away as sud-
denly as they came, leaving the sprite to repeat, â€˜Caw, caw,
peet-tweet, bob-o-link,â€™ quite out of tune, because his head was
giddy after the lesson.
â€œOne day the sprite noticed a different music. There had
46 The Catskill Fazirtes.
been a storm, and the brook, swollen by mountain torrents,
rushed along noisily, instead of rippling calmly, and the break
of the waters seemed to the sprite the finest melody he had
ever heard. Day by day he listened as the flood gradually
subsided, and quietly sang to himself as the brook sang.
â€œ This delighted the oak-tree beyond measure.
â€œ*Now we have music in ourselves, said the tree, joyously.
â€˜We shall always be happy.â€™
â€œ The tree spoke too soon. Ever since its roots had struck
into the soil it had stood there on the bank, and it naturally Â©
supposed that matters would never be changed.
â€œ Dull blows were heard, and many stately trees toppled over
to the ground.
â€œ* What is it? said the sprite, pausing in his play.
â€œ* The wood-cutters,â€™ said the oak-tree, trembling with fear.
â€˜You will have no home, little sprite, if they fell me.â€™
â€œThe sprite ran quickly, and hung his magic carpet -bag
around his neck. Soon a party of wood-cutters approached,
with their sharp axes over their shoulders, and they paused
before our oak-tree because it was the finest they had seen.
They girdled the brave trunk, and then began their work,
each stroke of the cruel steel cutting deeper into the heart
of the wood, as well as the heart of the sprite, who wept as he
clung to the branch from which he must soon be torn. A
shudder of all the leaves, a slow rocking from side to side, and
the oak sank down upon the green bank never to rise again.
â€œThe sprite, with his bag about his neck, which made him
invisible, sorrowfully watched the men at their labor, while they
stripped the boughs, and cut the trunk into logs, so that there
The Sprite Clings to the Oak. 47
was nothing left but a pile of wood. When they moved these
logs, the sprite took his carpet-bag in his hand and trudged
after. He decided never to leave his dear tree while a stick of
it remained. One of the wood-cutters saw the little man, who
was visible when he took his bag in his hand like a traveller.
â€œ* Ffalloo! is that a grasshopper?â€™ cried the man.
â€œInstantly the sprite jumped into the grass, and hung the
bag around his neck again. From the lumber-yard to the
mill, where sharp saws smoothed and polished the logs, did
the sprite follow the tree, and at last they reached the shore,
where the firm, stout oak was to build a ship. The sprite saw
a great deal of the world in those busy places, and learned
more thanâ€™ the brook or the birds could ever have taught
48 The Catskill Fazrves.
â€œÂ«T was only a baby then, he thought. â€˜Now I must be
â€œ He roamed everywhere while the ship was building, with
the magic bag to protect him. He crept into the old fruit-
venderâ€™s pocket and spilled her snuff; he peeped into the tin
pails which the children brought for their fathers at noon; and
he clambered about the workmen whose hammers kept time
on the shipâ€™s sidesâ€”rat-a-tat-tat.
At last the vessel was finished, and the people gathered to
see her launched. The sprite was on board before any one
else, however, and perched on the bow when the ship slid
gracefully down into the water. There was nothing for the
sprite but to become a sailor, now that the dear oak-tree was
prepared to follow the sea. He enjoyed himself beyond meas-
ure, and he was soon at home in every nook except the medi-
cine-chest. Down in the hold he met the rats, and they were
sharp fellows enough.
â€œÂ«Ha, ha!â€™ laughed the rats. â€˜We like new ships, too, so
we just skipped on board when all was ready.â€™
Life on board Ship. 49
â€œSome of the rats had already made voyages, and these
called themselves â€˜Jolly Tars, and other funny names. They
told the sprite what to do in case of shipwreck; nor did their
good services end in mere empty advice, for they brought him
any dainty in the shipâ€™s stores which their sharp noses could
be poked into, and thus he fared very well.
â€œWhen tired of the rat company he went to the captainâ€™s
cabin, where a lamp swung all night, and the table had its legs
chained to the floor, to keep it from running away in rough
weather. Here he found a respectable old cat, that told him
there were no rats on board, as it was a new ship, therefore
she need do nothing but doze on a rug all day. The sprite
laughed in his sleeve, for the cat was so old that her whiskers
were gray, and she disliked springing about after the nimble rats.
â€œThe captain was a kind-hearted man, and never inflicted
suffering on his crew. The mate was harsh and stern, using
the ropeâ€™s-end or his heavy boot, whenever the captain was
out of sight, to vent his illhumor. The sprite tormented the
wicked mate, and the rats helped him. The sprite stuck pins
into him, pulled his hair, tweaked his nose, tripped him up on
the deck, and tied him in the chair with fine threads, until the
mate feared that he was bewitched.
â€œThe little cabin-boy was homesick. He had run away,
without the consent of his parents, because he fancied that he
should like the sea. Now he discovered how sadly mistaken
he had been. He must work hard and receive many blows
from the surly mate.
â€œOur sprite pitied the cabin-boy, and when he slept at night
in the close forecastle, the elf took off the top of the little ladâ€™s
50 The Catskill Fazries.
head, as you would raise the lid of a tea-pot, and wove dream-
pictures in the sleeperâ€™s brain. Then the sprite, after stocking
thought with bright-colored ideas enough to last through the
next day, just closed the lid of the boyâ€™s head, and marched
off about other business. By this means the cabin-boy grew
happy, and whistled as he worked.
â€œThe ship sailed on, miles and miles, into warm latitudes,
where the soft breeze grew fragrant with the breath of flowers,
and the sea gleamed rosy and green at night like sparkling
showers of diamonds. Land could be seen in the distance,
looming like a faint cloud on the horizon.
â€œÂ«What a beautiful world! said the sprite, climbing the
rigging to admire the clear sky and tranquil water. â€˜That
is the shore over yonder, and soon we shall see strange roofs
and towers, the narrow streets built to shade the people from
a hot sun. The rats told me, and they know.â€™
â€œ The sprite was not as near the curious towns as he thought,
for soon he noticed a cloud rising rapidly, and spreading dark
masses over the whole heavens. The sprite scampered down
from the rigging as the tempest came rushing along, heaping
up the waves into mountains, and washing over the deck. The
surly mate was hurled from the bulwark far out into the heav-
ing waters, and no one heard his death-cry, while the ship
plunged and swayed helplessly from side to side.
â€œThe sprite was terrified; he cowered down in the hold,
and the rats nestled close to him, for they had lost their fine
spirits, too. Suddenly a grinding crash announced that the
vessel had struck on a reef, and was at the mercy of the
Tossed up by the Sea. 51
â€œ*Every one for himself, cried the sprite, catching a splinter
of wood for a float, and throwing himself overboard. This
was what the rats advised in case of wreck, but not one of
them succeeded in reaching shore. The waves bore our hero
along safelyâ€”he was as light as a feather on his oak float;
and finally he was tossed up on the shore more dead than
alive, as a shipwrecked mariner always is, whether sprite or
â€œWhen the suh rose next morning the brave ship was gone,
and all the crew had perished. A little sprite and a bit of
wood alone remained.
â€œ* Ah, if we were only rooted in our home beside the brook,â€™
sighed the bit of wood.
â€œÂ« Are you my tree? cried the sprite.
â€œYes; I have brought you to land, and now you must give
me a decent burial on this foreign shore,â€™ said the last splinter
of the once grand tree.
â€œSo the sprite found a spot high above the waves, and com-
menced to dig a grave with his tiny hands; but he got along
â€œ*T have no patience with such clumsiness!â€™ said a Mother
Careyâ€™s chicken that happened to be strolling past. Then the
bird would have helped to make the grave by scraping the
sand with its claws.
â€œ*No, no!â€™ cried the sprite. â€˜I must bury my own tree
â€œThe bit of wood was dragged to the hole, and a pebble
placed as a head-stone to mark the spot. |
â€œ* The oak-tree is dead,â€™ sobbed the sprite over the grave.
52 The Catskill Fazries.
â€œÂ«That canâ€™t be helped,â€™ said Mother Careyâ€™s chicken, peck-
ing at the carpet-bag, which the sprite had laid out to dry.
The sprite put it around his neck, and disappeared before the
birdâ€™s round eyes; then appeared again, laughing; until Mother
Careyâ€™s chicken did not know what to make of it all. They
got along well together, however, as the sprite had a cosy way
which won friends.
â€œWhat part of the world is this?â€™ he inquired.
â€œ*World? If you ask such hard questions I must take you
to the mussels. They know all sorts of things, which are
brought them by the tide. I have no time for such nonsense,
as I have my living to get.â€™
â€œThey went to the mussels on a steep cliff jutting out into
the sea, where the waves were running so high that when the
mussels opened their mouths to answer the sprite they only
seemed to gurgle instead of speak.
â€œ* What do they say?â€™ asked the sprite.
â€œÂ« They say that you are a great way from your home,â€™ re-
plied the bird, as he could understand the mussel language
much better than the sprite could.
Mischievous Nop. 53
â€œ The friendly chicken brought the sprite all sorts of things
to eat, such as made his own supper, but the delicate stranger
could not touch the food.
â€œÂ«T will call on you in the morning again. With that the
bird flew away.
â€œThe last prank the sprite ever played was to try on the
magic carpet-bag before the amazed Petrel. When the bird
returned at sunrise, an oak-leaf lay on the grave of the tree,
and the sprite had faded from life.â€
When the Laurel Queen ceased speaking, some of her fairy
audience clapped their hands politely.
â€œ Poor little sprite,â€ said Job.
â€œTI knew the oak-tree well,â€ said a Winter Fairy. â€œ How
many times we hung its branches with icicles. It was years
ago, to be sureâ€”but fairies never grow old; the children who
believe in us become men and women, and forget us. We are
always the same.â€
â€œ Will somebody please make Nip behave ?â€ asked the clock,
in an injured tone. â€œI know that he is trying to make mis-
chief with my works by the way he spies through the keyhole
of my case. If he pokes me I shall run down, or come to a
dead-lock in my machinery, and that has never yet happened
Nip, who had been capering around the kitchen while the
Laurel Queen told her story, now assumed the most innocent
â€œDear me, how touchy you are, Clock! I was only trying
to see how you were made. Perhaps I shall invent a time-
54 The Catskili Faztrces.
piece myself one of these fine days. Itâ€™s not uncommon where
I come from,â€ he said.
â€œTf you donâ€™t go away I shall strike, and that will put me
out of order. Be off with you!â€ said the clock.
â€œCome here, Nip,â€™ coaxed Job, holding out his hand. So
Nip flew up and sat in the palm of Jobâ€™s hand, crossing his
legs like a Turk. If Job closed his fingers gently over the
saucy elf, he seemed to hold a velvet insect.
The little mouse still crouched in the corner, not daring
to say its body was its own while the Angora catâ€™s eye was
fixed on it.
â€œIt is my turn to tell a story,â€ said one of the Summer
Fairies, walking up and down the hearth, wrapped in the red
The Elfin Banquet. 57
RAPP, THE GNOME KING.
â€œ Many years ago, before the white race came to live on the
banks of our Hudson, a certain Elf King decided to give a tea-
party on one of these very mountains, and to invite a great
prince. He chose a peak over yonder. Do you see the high
hill on the right now covered with snow? Well, there the Elf
gave his banquet.
â€œNow the guest was no less a person than Rapp, King of
the Gnomes; and if you never heard of him before, it is quite
time he was made known to you. In the first place, he was a
dwarf, with green eyes, a red nose, yellow hair of spun gold,
and a face of copper. His kingdom was in the depths of the
earth ; sometimes he lived in the Rocky Mountains, and again
in the Andes. He did not mind stepping from one continent
to the other in the least. The volcanic fires such as burst
forth from the summits of Vesuvius and Etna were fed by his
subjects, and his domain extended over the rocks which are
richly veined with gold and silver.
â€œWhen Rapp felt illhumored he liked to bury himself in
some remote cavern, and the earth then rumbled with his
anger; but he also enjoyed appearing in the upper world oc-
casionally, to see what every one was about. He graciously
accepted the Elfâ€™s invitation to tea. The clever Elf people had
been very busy with the mountain-peak to make it elegant for
58 The Catskill Fazirves.
that day. They smoothed the rough, sharply pointed rocks
into slender pillars draped in vines; a fountain gushed in spark-
ling jets of spray, and a carpet of velvet moss sloped from the
brink of the fountain, fit for the dainty feet about to trip over
it. A grotto of pure crystal reflected the light in a thousand
glittering pendants, so that it resembled transparent ice. In
this grotto was spread a feast of delicious fruitsâ€”golden or-
anges, ruddy apples and pears in silver vases, crimson peach-
es, and pyramids of amber honey.
â€œÂ«T hope everything is in order, said the Elf King. He was
very small, but he wore a red smoking-cap on his head, and
slippers on his feet, crochetted by the Queen out of milkweed
flax. He wished to appear at his ease before the great Rapp,
yet he was terribly flustered for fear of a blunder being made
in the entertainment. The Queen was pretty and delicate; her
apron had for pockets two wings of the lady-bug.
â€œÂ¢ Tet us dance, cried the young elves.
and you must be ready to make your best bow or courtesy.â€™
â€œ The little Elf ladies spread their gauzy skirts, and bowed
low as Rapp and his Gnomes appeared. Lapp, being in a very
good-humor, winked at them, and one cannot expect more no-
tice than that from a prince.
â€œTt was droll to see the Elf King and Queen seated opposite
to him at table, he was so much larger than they were. The
Elf waiters were obliged to climb silk ladders, which they did
as nimbly as spiders.
Rapp was full of his jokes; he told stories at which the
,merry elves laughed, like the tinkle of bells, and then he rolled
Ln the Charmed Circle. 59
a peach across the board, which knocked the Elf King off his
â€œA childâ€™s voice was heard to join in the mirth this oc-
casioned. Yes, it was a human voice, just beyond the bushes.
The elves looked at each other in dismay; Rapp became ter-
ribly enraged: his copper face glowed with wrath, his gold
hair bristled on end like gilded spikes, and his green eyes
â€œ* What mortal is here?â€™ he cried.
â€œThen a little girl crept out of the ferns, and stood trem-
bling before him. She had entered a charmed circle without
knowing it, and had since watched the elves. She was not
like the little girls one sees here now. Her skin was bronze
in color, her hair hung down her back straight and black, her
feet were shod in moccasins. You only find children like her
in the far Westâ€”she was an Indian.
â€œ*Why do you disturb our feast, child of man? asked
Rapp, very fiercely. â€˜I have only to strike the earth, and my
servants will carry you away to my palace underground for a
â€œThe child began to cry at this threat, and the elves caught
her tears to sprinkle them over the Gnome Kingâ€™s hands, and
thus try to soften his heart, which was in reality made of iron.
â€œÂ«This is my kingdom,â€™ said the Elf King, with dignity.
â€˜You are my guest, King Rapp. The little girl shall not be
â€œ< Tell us your story,â€™ said the Queen, kindly.
â€œ*A story! a story!â€™ cried the elves, clustering about the
stranger, while Rapp leaned back in his seat, and shut one eye.
60 The Catskill Fatrtes.
â€œThen the Indian girl told them all about her life. She
lived with her tribe down in the valley. Her father had been
killed in the chase, and her mother also was dead, so she stayed
in the wigwam with her grandmother on the edge of the wood.
The chief did not like the hunterâ€™s children; he took away the
boys to train them for warriors, and he frowned at the girl, so
that the old grandmother hid her when the chief stalked past,
his feathers and war-paint giving him a savage appearance.
Perhaps he did not like the children because their father had
been called Big Chief. The old grandmother gathered herbs
and simples; she was called to the sick as often as the medi-
â€œThe brothers rode off to earn their first scalp, as they
could not be considered heroes until they had killed an enemy ;
and one day the girl sat weaving her mat in the door of the
wigwam, for the Indian women are very industrious. The old
grandmother came quickly.
â€œÂ«Run to the forest, she whispered. â€˜The chief is in a
bad humor, and, now your brothers are gone, he sends for
â€œ The girl was in a great fright, the chief was so cruel, and
she ran to the forest without once glancing back. Soon she
was lost in the cool, green twilight made by the lofty trees ;
here and there the sunshine shot golden arrows down on her
path, revealing mossy nooks where she discovered berries, ripe
and dewy, among tangled vines. The flutter of a bird rising
from its nest or the crackling of a branch made her heart
jump, so much did she dread seeing one of her own people.
If one had met her he must carry her back to the chief, or
The Magic Pool. 61
perhaps suffer death himself. She climbed the mountain to
get farther away, her only thought being flight. At last she
reached a pool of clear water, high on the mountain-side, where
his highness Rapp was taking tea, and she stooped to bathe
her face. No sooner had the crystal drops sprinkled her fore-
head than she sank down on a bed of grass fast asleep. Then
the ferns spread their delicate sprays over her, and screened
her from sight. She never knew how long her nap might have
been had not Rappâ€™s gruff voice aroused her to peep through
the foliage at the tea-party in the grotto.
â€œThe little people were interested in the girlâ€™s misfortunes.
Rapp pretended not to notice, and caught flies, but he really
meant to assist her.
â€œGo down to my winter palace,â€™ he said to a favorite
62 The Catskill Fatries.
Gnome servant, â€˜and in my dressing-room you will find a
winged jacket. Bring it to me.â€™
â€œThe Gnome servant bowed low, and dived into the earth
as a bather dips in the ocean wave. Presently he returned
with the winged jacket, which the girl put on.
â€œ* Now listen to me, said King Rapp. â€˜You can fly like a
bird in that jacket. If you wish to come into my presence at
any time, you have only to clap the wings thrice, like Chanti-
cleer before crowing, and you will be met by a Gnome, who
will conduct you to my kingdom. You must go to my cham-
ber, and knock on the steel shield at the head of my bed.
Wherever I may be I will answer the summons.â€™
â€œThe Indian girl thanked the terrible Rapp, and dried her
tears. Then the tiny Elf Queen gave her her apron, which
grew larger and seemed made of the finest silk.
â€œWhatever article you desire can be had, if you wish with
your hand in your pocket,â€™ she said.
â€œ Now the Elf King did not choose to be considered behind
the others in kindness, so he took off his slippers, and placed
them on the childâ€™s feet, which they fitted perfectly.
â€œ* The Queen can make me another pair,â€™ he said, capering
about barefooted. â€˜You can run miles in those shoes without
feeling weary, and the best of it is that they will carry you
over the water dryshod.â€™
â€œ The Indian bid them all farewell, and stepped outside the
enchanted circle. Instantly the grotto, the murmuring fount-
ain, the flower-carpet vanished.
â€œ The sun had set, and dark shadows spread along the forest
paths as the girl hastened home. She would creep into the
A Strange Apparition. 63
grandmotherâ€™s wigwam in the darkness, and tell her of the
fairy gifts she had received. The cruel chief need not be
feared when she was the owner of a winged jacket and the elf
slippers. If the grandmother thought best, she would go away in
the morning, and find another tribe that would treat her kindly.
â€œ When she reached the valley where the Indian settlement
was situated it was already night, and so dark that she could
not find her wigwam, while she feared to arouse the sleeping
natives. Down on the river-bank she saw little lights, bright
stars that twinkled, some moving on the water, and others re-
maining still on the land. This sight puzzled her, and she
dreaded to approach near enough to learn what they actually
were. While she was wondering, a great boat passed down
the river, sparkling all over with colored flame which did not
burn, and it panted as it moved like some monster breathing
64. The Catskill Fairies.
heavily. It was as large as one hundred canoes put together.
The girl held her head in both hands, and crouched down on
â€œ More wonderful still! On the other side of the river an-
other terrible creature moved quickly along, with a grinding,
jarring sound. This one was like a serpent, with links to its
body, and it glided over a shining track. The water-demon
only puffed as it moved, this other one uttered a shriek that
startled all the echoes. The Indian girl hid her face on the
bank. She had seen a steamboat and a train of cars.
â€œ These strange sights decided her not to go beyond the
edge of the woods until daylight. So she wished for a tent
in which to pass the night by putting her hand into the apron
pocket. A tent immediately sprang up in the ravine, and
when she had entered it she began to feel hungry.
â€œÂ«T should like a pot of hominy,â€™
â€œLo! a caldron stood before her smoking with the most
delicious hominy, and tasting as if the grandmother had just
taken it from the camp-fire. Then she lay down on the
ground and slept soundly, until the first beams of the rising
sun awakened her.
â€œThe village people were much surprised to see an Indian
girl approach, wearing a curious jacket with little wings on the
shoulders, and glittering slippers on her feet. She was equally
astonished by their white faces and houses. Where was the
lodge of the cruel chief? Where were the patches of maize
tended by the women? Where was the grandmother ?
â€œ*Have my people gone away? Who has conquered them?
â€œ But the villagers did not know what she said, and the rude
The Toad Family. 65
boys formed a ring around her, shouting,â€˜ You are a witch-
child! Letâ€™s catch her.â€™
â€œShe sprang high in the air with one bound, spread her
wings, and flew away before their eyes.
â€œThe people were greatly excited; they ran about gazing
up at the little bird-like form in the sky much as we now
look at a balloon; then they ran to the ravine where the beau-
tiful white tent still stood. While they observed it the tent
â€œ Â«She is an Indian witch, cried the boys.
â€œÂ«Tt is all Rapp and his Gnomes,â€ said an old woman.
â€œ The boys flung burning brands on the spot where the tent
had stood, and the witch-child watched the flames kindle as she
hovered far above. There was nothing to be done further with
the old home; she must search for her own people, and follow
them wherever they had gone. She swept along through the
air with a delightfully easy motion, and did not mind traversing
miles any more than steps on the ground.
â€œAt a great distance from these mountains a toad family
lived at the root of an elm-tree. They were yellow and brown
and ugly, but according to their own ideas the young lady-
toads were quite beautiful. They came forth in the evening
to take the air.
â€œÂ«Bless my spectacles! cried the toad mother. â€˜Here is a
witch-child in a winged jacket. Be very pleasant in your man-
ners, children. We shall see if my Lord Rapp is always to
have his own way!â€™
â€œ Then she hopped to the stranger's feet, she having alighted
for the night, and said blandly:
66 The Catskill Fairtes.
â€œÂ« You must be very tired, my dear. Have you come far?â€™
â€œÂ«Ves, Can you tell me where to find my people ?â€
We are only toads, but we have a guest-chamber.â€™
â€œThe toad family were so kind that the Indian told
them her story; she so much desired to find her own tribe
â€œThe toads blinked and nodded their heads. The toad
mother, after going to the snail which lay in the path, and
tapping on its closed door, presently returned.
â€œÂ« The snail is a hermit; it does not go out into society, but
likes to stay shut up in its own house. However, it will ask
the night moths, and tell you in the morning. Now go to bed,
darling, she said.
â€œ The toad guest-chamber was cool and pleasant, for it was
the grass around the tree. They took off the visitorâ€™s slippers
and apron for her, and tried to coax her out of her jacket as
well, but this the witch-child kept on her back. She was no
sooner asleep than the toad mother waddled out to whisper to
the little garden-snake :
â€œÂ«Run to Mulkgraub as fast as you can, and tell him to
meet me at the toadstool turnpike to-morrow.â€™
â€œÂ«T never runâ€”I glide,â€™ said the snake.
â€œÂ« Fiddle-de-dee, and donâ€™t be silly. Hurry! said the toad.
â€œWhen the witch-child awoke her lovely slippers and apron
were gone, and the toads had also vanished.
â€œ Searching everywhere she came to the marsh.
â€œÂ« What is the matter?â€™ croaked a frog, dressed in green.
â€œÂ« The toads have stolen my magic shoes,â€™ she replied.
A very Mean Trick. 67
â€œ*That is like a toad. You would not catch a frog at such
mean tricks. Besides, Mulkgraub pays them,â€™
â€œÂ© Who is Mulkgraub ? inquired the Indian,
â€œ* An enemy of King Rapp,â€™ said the frog,
â€œÂ« Where can I find my people?â€™ said the child.
â€œ* Ask the eagle, if you are not afraid, returned the frog.
â€œÂ« An Indian is never afraid of bird or beast; itâ€™s only those
pale faces that change everything,â€™ she said, proudly.
â€œ Then she sought the eagle.
â€œ*Go toward the setting sunâ€”always westward,â€™ said the
eagle. â€˜Mind that Mulkgraub does not catch you.â€™
â€œ* Where does he live? inquired our witch-child.
â€œ* He lives in the water, and he cannot go very far on land.
He loves to pour floods over the earth and into Rappâ€™s mines.
They are enemies, because Rapp can quench Mulkgraub with
fire, so that he becomes a vapor-steam.â€™
â€œThe witch-child thanked the great eagle and flew on.
â€œIn the meanwhile the ugly old toad mother met Mulk-
graub at the toadstool turnpike, and gave him the slippers
â€œOne would not have believed him so wicked, for he was
fair and handsome, with a crown of rushes on his head, and
drops of water flowed from his mantle.
â€œ* Perhaps I may drown out Rapp yet, if the rain only helps
me,â€™ he said, and swallowed the slippers and apron as if they
had been pills.
â€œHe proinised to give a wedding outfit to the toad daughter
that married first, and the mother hopped home well satisfied,
like the mean old toad she was.
68 The Catskill Fairies.
â€œThe second evening the witch-child found a beautiful lady
sitting on the border of a lake. She was robed in leaves, and
her long hair was also green; but she was altogether lovely,
even if her look was sad. She seemed very glad to see the
witch-child, and made her sit down beside her, while she held
â€œ*T am chained beneath the waters, and can only rise to the
surface of the lake, she said. â€˜I lived on the mainland very
happily until Mulkgraub carried me off in a great storm.â€™
â€œ*Tet me see your home,â€™ urged the witch-child, curiously.
â€œ* Mulkgraub might come and find you,â€™ hesitated the lady.
â€œÂ«T am not afraid while I wear my jacket.â€™
â€œ*Then you must be prepared to live in the water, or the
first breath you draw will strangle you.â€™ So saying the lady
The [sland Lady's Preson. 69
drew from her girdle a golden clam-shell closed in the form of
a bottle, which contained a perfumed liquid. With this she
bathed her companionâ€™s face, and they dived together into the
lake, where the Indian found that she could breathe as easily
as in upper air.
â€œ Nothing could exceed the beauty of the prison where the
lady lived ; certainly Mulkgraub had given her a handsome resi-
dence, if he was harsh in other respects. It was a large glass
box, with a bell-shaped roof; a broad hall extended from one
entrance to the other, but there was not a dark corner in the
place where one could hide from the Kingâ€™s searching eye.
â€œÂ«He is coming,â€™ cried the lady, hiding the witch-child in the
folds of her robe. Then, as Mulkgraub entered one door, she
darted out of the other, and rising to the lake surface as far
as her chain would allow, placed the Indian on shore safely.
Once out of harmâ€™s way the witch-child began to think of re-
leasing the lady from prison. She must ask King Rapp about
the matter. Accordingly she clapped her wings thrice, and a
Gnome stood at her elbow.
â€œIs King Rapp well?â€™ she asked, politely.
â€œ*Of course,â€™ said the: Gnome, gruffly. â€˜He is made of
â€œThen he stamped on the ground, and away they went down
dark passages, through caves, past silent pools where the sun
never shoneâ€”down, down, until it â€˜seemed as if they must
come out the other side of the world. Here she peeped into
vast treasure-houses of rich ore; there she paused before walls
of. mineral salt; and finally they reached the Gnome palace,
where the atmosphere was hot enough to bake one.
70 The Catskill Fairies.
â€œ A spacious garden surrounded the palace, with winding
paths, arbors, and fountains, and gorgeous birds flitted from
tree to tree. All was fresh and sparkling, but even the trees
and the fruit on the branches were carved from metals or
jewels. The walls of the palace were jasper and malachite,
while the floors were solid gold, polished like glass.
â€œOn they went, through the gates and into the palace, com-
ing to the Gnome Kingâ€™s chamber, which had a ceiling of dia-
mond stars, and a bed of silver, fringed and embroidered with
pearls. At the head of the bed hung the large shield, and the
witch-child tapped on it. Rapp appeared immediately, his eyes
greener, his carbuncle nose redder, and his face more like a
burnished copper kettle than ever.
â€œÂ«T want to help the lady chained in the lake.â€™
â€œShe is an island, said Rapp. â€˜When the lake overflowed
it made her an island by separation from the mainland.â€™
â€œÂ«Mulkgraub is very wicked to keep her a prisoner against
her will, said the witch-child. â€˜Please assist me to set her
free from his bondage.â€™
â€œAs to that, we are sworn enemies ; my weapon is volcanic
fire, and his floods of water. Mulkgraub would make you a
slave, if he could, because I helped you; still, you must remem-
ber that he does a great deal of good in the world, as well as
â€œÂ«What good can he do?â€™ inquired the witch-child.
â€œ*He works hard for man, carrying vessels, pushing rafts,
and turning mill-wheels. If it were not for my precious metals,
he would be of more service than I am. As for this lady isl-
and, we must see.â€™
The Magic Herb. 7%
â€œRapp stroked his beard in profound reflection a moment,
then struck the steel shield seven times. A peal of thunder
seemed to roll over the palace, and a Giant appeared, whose ar-
mor resembled dragon scales, with a helmet of brass on his head.
â€œÂ«T obey your call, King Rapp, he said, in a deep voice.
â€œÂ«What can restore the island lady to her home? asked
of coffee that will make Mulkgraub sleep, I will bring my
brother, Fire, to dry the water between her and the mainland,
her former home,â€™ said the Giant.
â€œÂ« How can the drink be obtained ? demanded Rapp.
â€œÂ«Send a Gnome to the meadow beyond the brook for the
herb which has a scarlet flower and blue leaves. Put this into
a bottle, which the witch-child will give the prisoner. When
Mulkgraub sleeps, the Indian must spring twice over the top of
the pine-tree, calling Fire, softly. I will answer. With this
advice the Giant thundered away again.
â€œRapp sent for the herb with a scarlet flower and blue
leaves, the liquid was distilled into a bottle, and the witch-
child once more stood on the ground in the daylight. There
was the sad island lady dragging her chain, and wishing her-
self home on the mainland. She was given the bottle, and
quickly told what to do when Mulkgraub came to her glass
box for his evening coffee.
â€œThe witch-child hid on the shore, and watched for the sig-
nal which was to assure her that Mulkgraub slept. At last the
lady rose to the surface and waved her hand. Up sprang the
witch-child over the top of the pine-tree, touching the ground
74 The Catskill Fazrtes.
on the other side, and rebounding again like an India- rubber
ball. â€˜Fire! fire! she called very softly, under her breath.
Lo! the earth opened and two giant heads emerged; but if
Wind, already seen by the girl, was terrible, Fire was more
so, for a ruddy glow came from his body, and the grass with-
ered before him. The Giant stood on the bank, and hurled a
burning torch into the lake, between the shore and the place
where the island was chained, and the torch devoured the
water, which rose in a cloud of steam, so that the lady stepped
dry-shod back to the mainland.
â€œ Then there was great rejoicing over her return among the
rocks and trees, and the witch-child received much praise for
â€œÂ« There is a storm coming, shouted Wind. â€˜I go to share
the sportâ€”uprooting trees and whisking off steeples and chim-
â€œÂ« As for me, work is never done in the earth, said Fire.
â€œ Mulkgraub awoke after the mischief was accomplished ;
the glass box exploded like a soap bubble.
â€œThis is your turn, Rapp, he said. â€˜ Wait until the spring
freshets help me to repay you!
â€œ Always seeking her tribe and never finding them, the witch-
child flew on toward the West. Far below she saw lakes, riv-
ers, and cities; then the wide expanse of prairie became visible,
like a sea of waving grain.
â€œÂ«This must be the end of the earth, she thought, and
and the little prairie dogs were sitting on
â€œIt was evening,
top of their mounds to see what was going on, for they were
Always Westward. 75
very curious. When the Indian girl paused to observe them,
they gave a shrill bark, and dived out of sight in their burrows.
â€œÂ«Can you tell me where to find my people ?â€™
â€œ At that all the prairie dogs put out their little noses, and
â€œÂ«The red man has gone beyond; you will find him farther
â€œÂ« Always farther on,â€™ sighed the Indian, wearily.
â€œPerhaps you will tell me something I should very much
like to know, said the prairie dog, again perching on his
mound. â€˜If you made a burrow for yourself and family, would
you enjoy having a white owl and a rattlesnake come to live
with you whether invited or not?
â€œ<Â«T should not, replied the witch-child.
â€œ*Look here, then, and the prairie dog showed her the hole
in the ground where it dwelt, and where the owl and the snake
would lodge too.
â€œÂ«There is room for us all, said the owl, in a comfortable
way, as if the prairie dogâ€™s words did not hurt much.
â€œThe witch-child walked forward. The sky seemed to meet
the horizon in a flat line before her; shadows rippled over the
ripening acres of corn. She very well knew that her race
never planted these fields; a patch to last one summer satisfied
them, and the next year they might select another spot to till.
Not a human being was visible; all the scene was very calm
â€œ At length she reached a stream bordered with cottonwood-
trees, and paused to drink. Hither filed a herd of buffalo to
slake their thirst.
76 The Catskill Fairies.
â€œÂ«We know your people well,â€™ they said. â€˜They hunt and
slay us in great numbers. We may be quietly browsing with-
out thought of danger, when the Indians rush down on us like
the wind, and hurl arrows at us before we know well what we
â€œWhere shall I find them?â€™ the girl asked, eagerly.
â€œÂ«Farther to the west.â€™
â€œ The buffaloes thrust their muzzles in the cooling waters,
and the witch-child also held her brown hands in the stream.
â€œÂ¢Mulkegraub, I begin to love you, she whispered. â€˜ Here
you are no longer terrible and mischievous, but give life and
refreshment to all creatures. Then she saw Mulkgraubâ€™s fair
face laughing up at her from the clear depths, and the next
moment her Elf slippers were tossed on the bank. These she
put on and ran so swiftly that she seemed a sunbeam chased
along the grass by the god of day.
â€œAn emigrant train passed, the white wagons loaded with
household furniture; the mothers and infants riding while the
fathers and sons walked before, on the watch for enemies. The
route was long and full of danger.
â€œThe witch-child presently heard cries of distress, and
mounted on her wings to see what had happened. The
emigrants had paused to search for one of their number, a
The Little Papoose. 7
boy who had strayed away. Nothing can be more terrible
than to be lost in such a place. If savages find the wanderer,
it may be to scalp him or make him a prisoner; hunger and
death come sooner than the savages.
â€œAs soon as she discovered what was the matter, the witch-
child flew back, and saw the boy trying to find the path. He
felt a hand placed on his shoulder which guided him in the
right direction, until he could again behold the white wagons
of the emigrants.
â€œOnce more mounting into the sky, the witch-child came to
a region of furze, sage, and wormwood, with lofty peaks be-
yond. She noticed a smoke as of many fires, and her heart
bounded with the hope that she had found her tribe at last.
Here were lodges and tents, dried venison, and a few horses
near; but the fires came from smouldering ruins of an en-
campment. There had been a battle between warring tribes,
and the place surprised. The witch-child approached sadly,
and what do you suppose she found? A little papoose lying
in a folded blanket unharmed. She took it up to kiss, and
the baby crowed and smiled. What was she to do with it?
Carrying it on her back, Indian fashion, she climbed the first
slopes of the Rocky Mountains, one of King Rappâ€™s homes.
â€œTt was well that she had recovered her Elf slippers, the
baby was so heavy she could not fly. Those were happy days!
She fed the little thing with berries, and sang it to sleep, de-
lighted with the pretty brown face and bright eyes.
â€œOne night she reached a house, a lonely ranch of the bor-
der settler. You would have mistaken her for a thief to see
her steal past the watch-dog into the chamber where the chil-
78 The Catskill Fairtes.
dren slept. Beside these white children she laid the Indian
baby, the last of its tribe, and went away as noiselessly as she
â€œ Fortunately this was a good home for her charge. Next
day as she rested at noon, the loud report of a rifle startled
her, and a wounded mountain- goat came tumbling down into
the valley. She took to her wings in fright; but as she darted
up into the air, the sportsman aimed at her, supposing she was
some strange specimen of bird. Bang! went the weapon, and
she fell. The sportsman hastened to the spot, but found noth-
â€œWhat do you think became of the witch-child? I believe
that King Rapp opened the earth as she sank down, and that
she lives with him in the Rocky Mountains to this day.â€
The Summer Fairy glowed and faded in the radiance of the
â€œThe witch-child was, the last Indian seen in these hills,â€
rustled the other Summer Fairies. â€œ We must always remain
as the summer of the year, ranking first in the season, even as
the red man came first among human beings here.â€
â€œ Mousey, I think it is your turn to speak,â€ said the Angora
cat, wickedly, and stretched out a paw to the captive.
The little mouse hopped in fear as it answered :
â€œTt is such a strain on my mind to try to think of a story
that I shall have a nervous headache for the rest of my life.â€
â€œTut! tut! Remember how sharp my teeth are, and how
very unpleasant it is to have oneâ€™s head nipped off,â€ said the
This made the mouse desperate; never before had it been
Nip Intercedes for Mousey. 79
required to do anything but nibble cheese and bacon rind, and
now the cruel cat would force it to tell a tale, or be eaten alive.
Nip had sat quietly in Jobâ€™s hand while the Summer Fairy
and pretended to doze, with his little head sway-
ing on one side, like a flower-bell. Now he skipped down,
and clasped his arms around the mouseâ€™s neck, whispering in
â€œ Give the mouse time to think,â€ said Nip.
â€œTJ give time,â€ interposed the clock, striking violently.
The clock liked none of the company to use the word time
besides itself, as it was old and cranky in its ways.
â€œWhat change will half an hour make in the mouseâ€™s wits ?â€
growled the cat, and she must have been feeling hungry.
As for Job, he was so much amused by his companions
that he could do nothing but look and listen.
â€œT will tell a story myself, if Queen Puff will stop spinning,
so that I may hear myself speak,â€ said Nip.
80 The Catskill Fatrves.
â€œ Asout the good year 1620 the West Wind stood on her
cloud throne, her fair brow wreathed with ivy tendrils, her clear
gaze brilliant with untold promises, her stately form erect and
instinct with a splendid vitality. She was gazing out over the
â€œThe waves dashed in clouds of spray against granite head-
lands, and a dark line of forest extended inland as far as eye
could see, unbroken by town or any trace of human life. What
was the West Wind looking at? A tiny vessel tossed like a
cockle-shell on the billows, and steering timidly across the wide
waste of waters. This was the cradle of the queerest baby
â€œ Of course, the West Wind knew all about itâ€”this found-
ling was to be cast on her care and protection. He had no
space to grow in the crowded nursery where he was born on
the opposite shore of the ocean. The babyâ€™s godfather was a
great king, but he said, â€˜Let him go, for he is not like the
other children, and will make trouble when he is a big boy.â€™
â€œDo you remember the story about the large, ugly duck-
ling among the little ducks and geese of the barnyard that
would one day become the beautiful swan? Have you ever
heard, Job, that the cuckooâ€™s egg, if allowed to remain in the
nest of the hedge-sparrow, crowds out the other nestlings ?â€
The Wonderful Baby. 81
â€œ Yes, I know that,â€ said Job. â€œGrandfather saysâ€â€”
â€œNever mind what Grandfather says,â€ interrupted saucy
Nip, reclining on his velvet couchâ€”the mouseâ€™s back. â€œI only
intended to make a comparison between the large duckling
and the cuckoo and my hero. Well, the king godfather was
quite right, for this baby was destined to become a giant, and
would have pushed the other children about had it remained
at home in the nursery.
â€œ Nearer and nearer came the cradle-vessel while the beauti-
ful West Wind watched. Now there was peril of wreck on
the sharp rocks of that stern coast, but the West Wind cast
a silk cable and drew it safely to shore. The landing was not
too gentle: the infant was drenched in spray, and, emerging
gasping from the cold bath, felt a new life tingle in every vein.
That was the West Windâ€™s baptism of her charge. Next she
smiled and showed him the gifts stored in her mantle, which
were to be earned, not given away.
soms fell softly on the scented air, like a mist of pink snow;
then he saw sheaves of golden grain, then a cluster of purple
grapes, with crimson autumn leaves. The infant wanderer,
treading for the first time with tender baby feet the soil
of a rugged coast, and extending feeble little hands towards
these treasures, realized. vaguely the greatness of his own
â€œ How the baby throve, to be sure! The cold winds swept
in from the Atlantic, freezing the spray into icicles to festoon
the granite cliffs; Winter seemed to frown on the stranger, yet
â€œGreatest danger of all! Stealthy forms hovered in the dim,
82 The Catskill Fairies.
shadowy forest, and glared with looks of hatred at him. Their
faces were dusky in hueâ€”not at all like the babyâ€™s fair raceâ€”
and they wore gay feathers nodding above their long, black
hair, while their step was as light and swift as that of the shy
wild animals they pursued in the chase. Yes, and these dark
people were not content with frightening the baby by scowling
at him; they gave shrill whoops and cries, and, twanging their
bows, shot arrows at him which pricked smartly. The West
Wind had a cure for these wounds, the balm of courage and
â€œT am speaking about the Indians. Perhaps the Summer
Who was the Baby? 83
Fairies may not like it, but I must tell my story, and they
certainly received the baby very rudely.â€
â€œ How did the baby treat them?â€ cried the Summer Fairies.
â€œWe will ask Jobâ€™s opinion. What if some men came up
the mountain and took your house, saying, â€˜We want to live
here; you can go away.â€™ What would you do ?â€
â€œT would fight â€™em,â€ said Job, promptly.
â€œ That is just what the Indians did,â€ said the Fairies.
â€œ But who was this baby?â€ asked Job.
â€œDonâ€™t be in such a hurry. The world was not made in
a minute,â€ rejoined Nip. â€œIn spite of the Indian enemies,
the cold and storms, this sturdy chap flourished, for he was
made of the best flesh and blood. The forest cleared a
spot here and there, yielding to the strokes of his axe,
where the spring blossoms began to bloom on the fruit-
trees and shower the grass below instead of remaining hid-
den in the folds of the West Windâ€™s mantle, and planted
grain to ripen under the summer sun for the harvest. The
strangest part of it was that the baby was never idle, and his
play was always work, building houses out of bits of wood,
and making bridges and roads.
â€œ* Let those play who come after me,â€™ he said, cheerfully.
â€œSo the forests thinned, the dark enemies retreated as the
bright daylight followed the path he made, chasing away the
gloom of solitude.
â€œ Forward he marched, always following the West Wind, who
beckoned him on to fresh: exertions, and growing from infancy
to childhood as he went on.
â€œÂ« Now we will have a city, I guess, planned the baby. He
84 The Catskill Fatrves.
began to guess in his very babyhood, and well he might, with
a whole new continent before himâ€”all guess-work.
â€œThe West Wind nodded approval, and he built a crooked
little town, with narrow, winding streets. How the baby archi-
tect enjoyed making the buildings climb steep hills, and then
spared fine trees to shade wide avenues, bordered with green
turf in the heart of all the crowded town. â€˜We must have a
bit of country here. So the city was laid out, and the West
Wind beckoned him on to build towns and villages, but he
cherished his first city with a pride that he never felt in any
other, and trotted back, every now and then, to beautify and
improve it, which he has continued to do until the present day.
The baby grew strong and largeâ€”one could see that he would
be a towering giant by and byâ€”and his work only grew with
him. As he strode on he left Industry spinning many-colored
threads in his wake, hammering at forge and anvil, turning
great wheels to stir the tranquil rivers, and before him the
forests thinned, admitting the sunshine, and the dark enemies
melted away, like night shadows, at his approach.
â€œNo obstacle could daunt or discourage him; the rough
path. often wounded his feet, his limbs grew very weary, yet
where the West Wind led he followed. When he came to
broad streams he spanned them with bridges; he linked miles
of space together with an iron band of railway, and then he
looped magnetic wires over hill and valley along which thrilled
messages as rapidly as the lightning flashes.
â€œ* Progress !' whistled the locomotive to the earth, and all
Industryâ€™s wheels turned quicker at the sound ; but the locomo-
tive could not overtake the West Wind or her charge.
Nip Plays a Cunning Trick. 85
â€œ Forward! ever forward! The giant youth saw lakes, and
launched boats on the clear waters, and then he came to the
â€œ Forward! ever forward! The Wind daughter led the way
in her chariot of sunset clouds, so that he might hew a path
through the wilderness, and earn the treasures she would scat-
ter broadcast. Through deserts of wormwood, beyond crags
and cliffs mantled in snow, the giant fought his resolute
way, sowing seeds of future growth, finding precious metals,
until he reached the shores of another ocean and the Golden
â€œIn the full radiance of the present, behold him! He is a
giant, but he is not at all handsome ; his features are sharp; he
cares nothing about his dress, or the color of his necktie. He
talks through his nose, besides. What name did the West
Wind give him? Not a pretty one, but suited to him â€”
â€œYou are a Yankee, yourself,â€ said Queen Puff, starting her
â€œIT am proud of being one. You are a Dutchman,â€ said
Queen Puff laughed at being called a Dutchman.
â€œTt is true, and I came from Holland in a tile,â€™ she con-
â€œJT am tired. Take me to ride around the room, Mousey,â€
â€œT donâ€™t know about that,â€ said the cat, suspiciously.
â€œOnly a little ride,â€ urged Nip, looking very roguish all the
86 The Catskill Fatrtes.
while. â€œIf you Fairies will make a ring, we can perform circus
tricks, mouse and I, equal to those of the Hippodrome.â€
The others were quite ready for the sport, and soon there
was a fairy ring formed on the floor, with Job and the old
clock to look down on it. Nip was to have his own way in
everything ; they must leave an avenue for the mouse to gal-
lop into the circle in style. â€œI am clown, ring- master, and
rider, all in one. I should like somebody to hold bits of news-
paper for hoops for me to jump through, and I will borrow
a poppy cloak to leap over. Do I need spurs to make. you
â€œ No, no,â€ hastily squeaked the mouse.
It did Job good to see Nip perform. The mouse went
around the circle, with the Fairy dancing on his back, now
popping through the paper hoops, now springing over the
cloak. At last they paused to rest.
â€œLet us breathe awhile, and I will show you a trick worth
seeing,â€ said Nip.
â€œ Oh, what is it, Nip? Tell usâ€”do,â€ cried the Fairies.
Nip stood up on the mouseâ€™s back onceâ€™ more, and started
around the circle, faster and faster, until with one bound they
darted out of the ring, and the mouse was safe in its hole be-
fore the Angora cat could wink.
â€œWhat do you think of that? I told you it was the best
trick of all. Oh, you neednâ€™t make big eyes at me, Madam
Cat, and curl your whiskers, I am not afraid of you, and the
dear little mouse is safe,â€ said Nip.
â€œTf the mouse will join us again, I will promise not to eat
it,â€ purred the cat, mildly. -
The Winter Fatries. 89
â€œThank you, I will just watch what happens from my hole,â€
replied the mouse, gayly, poking out its head.
â€œTf it is our turn to speak, we will begin,â€ said the Winter
Fairies from their perch on the window-sill.
â€œYes, do tell me something,â€ said Job, who wished to learn
all that the Fairies could impart. â€œOnly I should like to know
when my present is to be given.â€
â€œ Patience,â€ advised the Angora cat.
Then the first Winter Fairy, leaning against the frosted pane,
go The Catskill Fawries,
THE GREEN BELT.
â€œ Far away in the backwoods, where the lumber comes from,
a poor widow once lived, with her seven sons, the eldest being
eighteen, and the youngest, Peter, a lad of ten years. Peter
was born with a caul drawn over his head, like a funny little
cap, and the old women said he must meet with great good-
fortune in life on this account.
â€œThe father was a hunter, who trapped the beavers and
otters, but he had been killed by a fall down a precipice.
The winter was very severe, and daily the snow-drifts were
piled higher and higher, hedging in the poor cottage from the
nearest neighbor, who lived two miles distant.
â€œOne night when a violent hailstorm was dashing torrents of
icy musketry upon the roof and against the windows, the fami-
ly gathered around the fireâ€”there would always be fuel with
the forest so near at hand.
â€œ<Â«Tt is a great deal to be warm, children, said the mother,
spreading her fingers to enjoy the blaze. â€˜I must tell you
plainly that the meal-chest is nearly empty, and there is but
one sack of potatoes left.â€™
â€œThe children pulled on very long faces; they began to feel
pinched under their jackets with hunger. Just then a distinct
tap, tap, was heard on the door.
A Wonderful Gift. gI
â€œ*Can any poor soul be out such a night?â€™ exclaimed the
â€œShe unbarred the door, and a gust of hail rushed into the
room, but on the threshold stood a little old woman shivering
with cold. The widow led her to the fire, and at once began
to prepare some hot porridge.
â€œIn the meanwhile the children stared at the stranger with
eager curiosity. She wore a cloak made of squirrel fur, tied
about her throat by the fore-paws; her face was like a puck-
ered lemon, and her eyes two diamonds, so rapidly did they
flash and glitter about the place.
â€œ Peter advanced to her side fearlessly.
â€œ* Your slippers are dry, he said.
â€œÂ«That is because my shoemaker fits me with pure ice, my
dear,â€™ replied the old lady; then she patted him on the head.
â€˜You are clever because you are a seventh child,â€™ she added ;
but Peter did not understand one word of such talk.
â€œThe good mother offered the stranger her own bed, the
best she had, and the old woman declared that her fur cloak
was a famous couch as she spread it down in one corner, and
soon the whole family were asleep. In the morning the old
lady had vanished away, and little Peter lay snugly wrapped
in the soft fur, with a green belt beside him. Of course, this
green belt must be a wonderful gift, and the old lady a fairy ;
the family at once decided that to be a fact, yet the belt was
so dingy and faded as to seem useless and only fit to hang on
a peg behind the door, where it was speedily forgotten. The
fur cloak did not vanish away, as they feared it would, and it
was afterwards used by Peter for a bed.
92 The Catskill Fazrtes.
â€œ The snow rose higher and higher, and the sun could not
warm the keen air. At last there were no more potatoes left
in the cottage, and the poor widow was forced to seek some
help from her neighbors, even if the way was blocked with
â€œ Night came on, and the mother did not return. She had
lost her way, and frozen to death in the bitter cold before she
reached the first house. The children watched and waited,
then went to bed supperless. It was very sad that the mother
must perish thus; but such things happen in the winter every
year, especially in the backwoods of which we write.
â€œ Next morning a pretty squirrel rapped on the window-pane
with one paw, and when the casement was open hopped into
the room quite tamely.
â€œÂ«T believe that I will skin and eat you, said the eldest
son, trying to catch the animal.
â€œNot so fast, chattered the squirrel, leaping nimbly up to a
high beam. â€˜I can do you more good alive I am thinking.
Why donâ€™t you go out into the world for yourselves ?
â€œÂ¢T will? cried the eldest brother, and sprang through the
â€œ A bridge of ice reached from the cottage quite to the heart
of the forest, and when he stepped on it he found it firm as
marble. He soon returned, carrying a beautiful little bird in
his hand, which he had found in the path. The bird had a
crest of scarlet feathers on its head, while the wings were vel-
â€œ*Tf you make a nest for the bird, it will lay a pearl egg
every day,â€™ said the squirrel.
The Silver Gridiron. 93
â€œÂ«Tet me see what I can do,â€™ said the second boy, encour-
aged by his brotherâ€™s success; so, crossing the ice-bridge, he
â€œWhen he came back he carried a copper porridge - pot,
which was so brightly polished that it resembled gold. The
hungry children found a handful of meal, and made porridge
in the new vessel. When they poured out the porridge, the
pot was again full.
â€œÂ«Tt will always be filled whenever emptied,â€™ said the squir-
rel, also tasting the dish daintily.
â€œÂ¢* Hurrah! We shall never be hungry after this, said the
second son, hugging the pot in his arms.
â€œ Then the third son crossed the ice-bridge, and in less than
five minutes appeared with a silver gridiron.
â€œWho would like a cake baked on my gridiron? he asked.
â€œ No sooner was one cake taken, crisp and brown, from the
fire than another lay in its place, and the gridiron did not cease
from cooking until the children were well filled. It must have
taken a great many cakes to make a boy say he had eaten
â€œThen the fourth boy said, â€˜I will try my luck ;â€™ and crossed
the bridge as the others had done.
â€œHe found a tiny cask made of rough iron, but it was al-
ways filled with rare, sweet wine, and the supply could never fail.
â€œThe fifth son in his turn found nothing but a delicate white
cloth hanging upon a tree. He entered the cottage with a dole-
ful face and slow step. His portion was only a cloth, when his
brothers had found a bird that would lay pearl eggs, a porridge-
pot always full, a silver gridiron, and a cask of wine.
94 The Catskill Fatrtes.
â€œSpread the cloth on the table,â€™ said the squirrel.
â€œFancy their astonishment when a grand feast appeared on
the magic cloth. Ducks and turkeys dressed with flowers, de-
licious confectionery in sparkling heaps, and tempting fruits.
The fifth boyâ€™s gift was not so poor a one after all.
â€œ Then the sixth son walked out, and directly before him lay
a beautiful gold trumpet. He blew a loud blast, and immedi-
ately all animals responded to the summonsâ€”bears, monkeys,
jaguars, moose, and deer, even wild cats.
â€œ*Fat us up, if you like, or do anything with us; we are
your slaves, growled the animals together.
â€œYes, he had control over all beasts for any service he might
shouted the brothers, beside themselves with delight.
â€œThe pretty squirrel sitting up on the beam with its tail
curled over its back was the fairy all the while.
â€œWhat am I to own? asked Peter, in dismay.
â€œThe seventh son went out across the ice - bridge and
The Green Belt. 95
searched every path, gazing eagerly up into the trees; but he
found just nothing at all. The brothers, in their own joy,
scarcely noticed poor Peterâ€™s disappointment.
â€œÂ«T must seek my fortune out in the wide world,â€™ said the
eldest, taking the scarlet bird in his hand; then with a careless
good-bye he was gone.
â€œ The others quickly followed, until Peter was left alone.
â€œ The little squirrel leaped down, and nestled close beside
the weeping child.
â€œDry your tears; you are the seventh child, and therefore
the most fortunate of all. Here is the caul with which you
were born, to hang about your neck, and that will bring good
luck. The green belt is your gift
â€œThe squirrel had the same clear diamond eyes that the
old woman possessed who visited their cottage on the stormy
â€œPeter took the belt from the peg where it had hung, and,
behold! it was bright in color, and bore these linesâ€”
â€˜You shall have power to change your shape,
To Lion, Tiger, Dog, or Ape ;
To help the good, torment the bad,
To make some gay, and others sad.â€™
â€œPeter danced for joy, and the squirrel skipped also on its
hind feet to keep him company.
â€œ*Put the caul on your head, and you will see just what
your brothers are doing, wherever they go,â€™ said the squirrel.
â€œPeter held the dried skin-cap over his head, and shut his
eyes. The first son travelled far, still holding the scarlet bird
96 The Catskill Fawrves.
in his hand. He entered a city in the East, where there were
mosques with glittering domes, palaces, and bazaars. In the
harbor queerly shaped boats darted about, and the stately ships
had the flags of all nations floating from their masts.
â€œ The first son crossed the court of a magnificent building,
led by black slaves in gorgeous turbans and robes, and entered
a marble-paved hall adorned with pillars and sparkling fount
ains, where a prince sat on his throne, and he bowed low be-
fore him. The prince admired the little scarlet bird, as a
prince has a right to admire a new toy, and he gave to the
owner ten chests of gold coins, a house to live in, and three
trained Arabian horses from the royal stables in exchange
â€œ*My eldest brother will pass his days in idleness and ease,â€™
said Peter. â€˜He will doze on velvet cushions, be refreshed
with delicate perfumes, and smoke a pipe mounted with gems
and amber. His raiment will be the finest linen, the softest
satin and damask. He will forget entirely that he was ever a
poor boy living in the woods.â€™
â€œÂ¢So much for him. Now for the next one.â€ The squirrel
fairy was very polite in listening to the history, although it
knew already everything that would happen, Peter must
learn to like his gift the best, and so he was to see his broth-
â€œThe second son was walking along the road where the
hedges were in bloom and the fields ready for the harvest.
He was ruddy and strong-limbed, as well he might be, for the
porridge -pot never failed. At the farm-house door stood a
pretty maid, as the crimson sunset turned every object to
The Fairy Gifts. 97
red and gold. She was calling the harvest-laborers to their
supper by blowing through the horn; and the second son,
coming among the rest, loved her for her sweet smile and
light footstep as she waited on the table.
â€œÂ«Tt will be love in a cottage,â€™ said Peter. â€˜ They need never
suffer from hunger while they keep the porridge-pot.â€™
â€œ* Who comes next?â€™ inquired the squirrel.
â€œThe third and fourth brothers were together in the city of
Paris, one with his silver gridiron and the other with his table-
cloth, which was always covered with dainties. That was a
famous partnership! They had a cook-shop, called a cafÃ©, with
tables and waiters. Even great noblemen came to taste of the
cakes baked on the gridiron; and where the nobility lead, com-
mon people must follow the fashion, like one sheep after an-
â€œThe fifth son, no less fortunate than his brothers, drew
sweet wine from the tiny cask, and built a warehouse in which
to store his barrels. The fame of his wine went everywhere,
the flavor was so delicate, because it was made from fairy
grapes, and no one could tell the vintage.
â€œ The sixth son went to the South American pampas, where
he gathered immense flocks, for all he had to do was to blow
through the trumpet, and cattle followed the sound.
â€œÂ«T would not choose the place of any of them,â€™ said Peter,
and the squirrel fairy was pleased with this decision. They
left the cottage to visit the Fairies, and in the depths of the
forest the snow had melted away like magic, as if for the tiny
people to hold their sports. The squirrel here became a fairy
lady no longer than one of Peterâ€™s fingers, and her companions,
98 The Catskill Fairies.
dressed in green, so that they resembled moving leaves, wel-
comed her back cordially.
â€œJT was the old woman and the squirrel too,â€™ she laughed.
â€˜I take those forms for travelling about.â€™
â€œÂ«Vour eyes are still diamond clear,â€™ said Peter, and then
he thanked her for all the kindness she had shown to his
â€œÂ«We trained the bird and made all the other gifts,â€™ cried
the Fairies. â€˜ Then we placed them in the pathâ€™
â€œPeter seated himself on the grass to watch the Fairies
dance; they spun around in giddy circles without losing their
breath, until it made the boyâ€™s eyes ache to look at them. The
fairy music was wonderful, the wee musicians being ranged
around a toadstool upon which stood the leader, and they blew
â€˜through dandelion stems for instruments.
The Flousehold Sprite. 99
â€œWhen they ceased dancing they all clustered about Peter,
and the squirrel fairy sat on his shoulder. One little sprite
had a tiny broom made of thistle, and a dust-brush under one
arm, with which she dusted and swept the flowers surrounding
the fairy circle, until not a speck of dust remained. This
sprite had a sharp nose and a prim little waist. One could
plainly see that she was set in her ways.
â€œÂ«T am a household spirit, and my name is Pucker. I steal
through the keyhole of the silent houses at night, and if I find
the rooms untidy, I nip the housemaid in her sleep until she
is black and blue. I am very severe on housekeepers. If I
discover the dishes improperly washed, or egg-shells and bones
lying about in the humblest cottage, I tweak the good wife's
nose, and box her ears soundly. Every one can be clean, and
they must be happier for neat homes. I stand no nonsenseâ€™
â€”and the brisk little Pucker began to dust the flowers again
with renewed energy, until the roses and pinks blushed a
deeper red from sheer anger.
â€œ* Will you let our beautiful faces alone?â€™ they exclaimed.
â€œÂ«My name is Gull, said a merry, romping fairy, dancing on
a spider-web bridge. â€˜I love to play tricks better than to work.
I steal cream and sugar from the closet, and whisk away the
glass of water just as a body is about to drinkâ€”that is capt
tal fun P
â€œ*Â«T am Grim,â€™ said a short, stout elf with a droll face. â€˜I
pull the masterâ€™s beard, and throw him into ditches by the
roadside when he comes home from the public-house at
night. He may lie there until morning, yet I give him no
rest; he is pricked with nettles, pounded with sharp stones,
100 The Catskill Fatrtes.
and his boots filled with cold waterâ€”that is the way to cure
â€œ Peter rose at last.
â€œÂ«T could stay with you forever, dear Fairies, but I must start
on my travels.â€™
â€œ Leaving the forest, he saw three graceful horses in a mead-
ow, now prancing forward with manes and tails streaming on
the wind, now bounding high in the air to vault over the
â€œÂ«T should like to be a horse,â€™ thought Peter. Immediately
he began to prance tooâ€”his coat of the softest black color, his
limbs delicately rounded, and his hair like spun silk. A golden
bridle hung over his arched neck, and his hoofs were also shod
with shining gold. The young farmer who owned the meadow
saw the horse nibbling grass, and apparently as tame as a kit-
ten. Although so rich and owning already many steeds, he
was always envious of other people and their possessions.
â€œÂ«Who has a horse so much more beautiful than any of
mine?â€™ he inquired, frowning angrily.
â€œ He advanced towards Peter, and, as no one seemed to claim
the animal, he determined to have it at all hazards. He just
touched the golden bridle, when Peter shook his head saucily,
and danced away. The farmer ran faster after the stranger
horse, bewitched by its beauty, and Peter played all kinds of
pranks. At last he stood still, and the farmer, overjoyed at
such unexpected docility, mounted, when away dashed Peter as
swift as an arrow shot from a bow, the rider clinging to his
back. Peter enjoyed the race; but when he reached the bank
of a river he determined to punish the envious farmer still fur-
A Friend in Need. IOI
ther, so he plunged into the stream, wished himself a fish, and
slid away from under the rider, leaving him floundering in
â€œ* Perhaps that will teach him a lesson, said Peter, watching
the farmer climb the bank again.
â€œThen he swam to the opposite shore, and became a boy,
with his green belt around his waist.
â€œPresently he came to a house, where all was silent except
the cackling of the fowls in the barn-yard. The door stood
wide open, and on the step lay the dog winking lazily in the sun.
Peter boldly entered, and in the corner he found a young girl
sitting alone, with a pile of flax on the floor and her spinning-
wheel before her.
â€œ* Why do you stay in the dark corner?â€™ asked Peter.
â€œ* Because every one has gone to the county fair, and left me
alone, sobbed the girl. â€˜My mistress said I could not leave
until my work was done, and she very well knew that I could
not finish it before nightfall. Oh! I want to see the fat cattle
and the big vegetables, the bedquilts and prize bread, so much!
â€œ Peter just stepped forward and kissed her on both eyelids,
and she fell asleep.
â€œ*T want the Fairies,â€™ whispered the boy.
â€œ Through the window they fluttered like a cloud of brilliant
butterflies. No need to tell them what to do; for Pucker set to
work on the wheel, which whizzed around without making the
least noise, and the threads were wound off by no less nimble
fingers. Fairy Grim, having no drunken men to trip up, began
to sort the flax, and Fairy Gull dressed the sleeping girl by
changing her cotton gown to cashmere, and twining bright rb-
102 The Catskill Fatries.
bons in her hair. How surprised she was when she opened her
eyes five minutes later to find the work neatly finished, herself
gayly dressed, and a donkey standing before the door, with a
saddle of red leather trimmed with bells on his back, ready to
carry her to the fair!
â€œThis donkey was our friend Peter; and when the poor girl
had mounted his back, away he trotted as fast as his four little
legs would carry him. He did not allow himself to show any
ugly donkey tricks, such as lying down to roll in the dust, or
shying at a stream of water. When they reached the borders
of the town, he left the girl to go on alone, and became a boy,
as he did not like the donkey character much,
Â« After that Peter became a madcap, if ever there was one. He
blew out the farmersâ€™ pipes, overturned the hay-mounds, tied the
dairymaids to the cowsâ€™ tails, and set all the dogs crazy. Then
he went to a city, where he was one day a chimney-sweep, scram-
bling through the flues and sprinkling soot down to make peo-
ple sneeze, and an organ-grinder the next. He pretended to be
a beggar with one leg; he pulled door-bells and ran away; he
laid traps for thieves, so that the police seized them. All this
Peter called seeing life; yet he soon grew weary of it. He went
back to the forest to see the squirrel fairy; and when he entered
the familiar path she ran to meet him gladly. Although Peter
had been gone many years, the squirrel was as young as ever,
with the sparkling diamond eyes.
tell you what to doâ€”you should win glory as a soldier, and
there will soon be a war across the seas.â€™
â€œSo Peter went across seas; and he had no sooner set foot in
An Army of Carrot Soldters. 105
a foreign land than he heard that the Emperor of the country
had declared war on a neighboring Prince. Peter bought a
field of carrots, and when they were ripe he changed them into
an army of splendid soldiers, and placed himself at the head in
a gold uniform to match the yellow colors of the regiments.
â€œÂ«We serve under the Emperor,â€™ he said, drawing up his
men before the Imperial Palace.
â€œÂ«Will you charge the enemy now? asked the Emperor.
â€œThe sooner the better, returned the brave Peter. â€˜The
troops will not wither then; and if they do fall, they are only
vegetable men after all, he added to himself.
â€œPeter and his carrot soldiers attacked the enemy with tre-
mendous vigor, so that they were driven at the point of the bay-
onet into the river, their only choice being to jump into the wa-
ter or become spiked on the weapons like cockchafers.
â€œ After the engagement the carrot troops retired into the for-
est, where they died, and the Fairies buried them in considera-
tion of their valiant deeds.
â€œ Peter was created commander-in-chief of the Imperial forces,
as he was flesh and blood instead of carrot. Of course he could
not be made commander-in-chief without stepping into some
other manâ€™s shoes. General Rub-a-dub did not like the change
at all. He declared that if the Emperor would only have given
him time he could have dug trenches about the enemy, attacked
them by flank movements and other military tactics, until they
were safely bagged, every soldier of them, instead of giving
Peter all the glory.
â€œÂ«Where are your troops?â€™ asked General Rub-a-dub, before
the Emperor himself.
106 The Catskill Fairies.
â€œÂ«They disbanded in the woods,â€™ said Peter.
â€œ<Â«T saw nothing but a pile of carrots, retorted General Rub-
a-dub. â€˜I believe your soldiers were nothing but carrot men.
â€œ*Nonsense!â€™ cried the Emperor, growing purple in the face
with wrath at the idea of his empire being defended by an
army of carrots. â€˜If I believed half that you say, Rub-a-dub, I
would command that every carrot in my dominions should be
pulled up by the roots, and no more be planted for one while.â€™
â€œÂ«T will execute the wise order, if it please your majesty,â€™ Gen-
eral Rub-a-dub hastened to reply. â€˜Without his carrots, you
will find that your new commander-in-chief is not much of an
â€œ Peter was at his witsâ€™ end; but a wasp flew past, and buzzed
in his ear:
â€œ<Â«We will use beets.â€™
â€œ The neighboring Prince gathered new forces, and marched
into the Emperorâ€™s territory, blowing trumpets under his maj-
estyâ€™s nose. General Rub-a-dub drilled his men, and watched
Peter quite fiercely, twirling his mustache. At the very last mo-
ment, when the enemy was preparing to besiege the Imperial
city, Peter stole softly out to the Fairies, and they employed
countless numbers of owls and bats to pull up all the beets in
the kingdom, and bring the vegetables to the edge of the wood.
â€œ When the next morningâ€™s sun rose, Peter turned all the beets
into soldiers, and marched to join the Emperorâ€™s army. The
beet soldiers were infinitely more splendid in appearance than
the carrots had been; they were glowing crimson not only in
uniform, but their faces were of the same hue, and their caps
The Beet Soldters. 107
were green, with nodding plumes. Peter wore a costume of
crimson velvet to match his troops, studded with rubies, and
- his sword-hilt was incrusted with the same jewels.
â€œPeter told the Emperor that he believed in sudden action
and quick movements, like Napoleon. He knew well that the
vegetable men could not press the siege, as they would wither
by sundown, if exposed to intense heat.
â€œ* General Rub-a-dub is an old fogy in his ideas,â€™ whispered
Peter in the Emperor's ear, and the Emperor nodded his
â€œTf the carrot soldiers had fought well, the beet men did ten
times better; and when they were slashed down, they shed real
blood-beet juice. The enemy was again driven back with ter-
rible. slaughter, and the beet men dragged themselves to the
wood, where the Fairies buried them. Rub-a-dub was not sat-
isfied. Peace was, indeed, restored to the country; still it was
all done through the tricks of the new commander-in-chief, he
â€œÂ«There is not a ripe beet left in the kingdom,â€™ complained
this general. â€˜Your last army was beet men.â€™
â€œâ€œHow! cried the Emperor. â€˜Shall I be deprived of my
favorite salad because the beets are gone?â€™
â€œPeter was again bewildered. The wasp buzzed in his
â€œÂ«We must use radishes next time.â€™
â€œSo when the warlike Prince, having been twice defeated, in-
duced two other Princes to join him in fighting against the
Emperor, Peter brought an overwhelming force of radishes,
some in scarlet jackets and others in bright yellow, to the
108 The Catskill Fairies.
rescue. The radish troops were more spirited than the carrots
or beets had been, perhaps because radishes are so peppery. Pe-
ter charged at their head, this time using a silver sword, with an
edge like a razor, and a shield against which blows fell harm-
less. The three Princes fled before the valiant radishes; but
the latter withered in the hot sun, after the victory, before they
could seek the forest shade, and lay in rows along the highway
â€”nothing but wilted radishes.
â€œÂ«They were radishes,â€™ said General Rub-a-dub, scornfully.
The Emperor patted the commanderâ€™s shoulder graciously.
without loss of human life, I shall always employ them. I im- .
plore you not to use beets in the future, and deprive me of my
favorite salad. I make you chief for life.â€™
â€œ<Â«Tf it please your majesty, I must now return home,â€™ said
Peter, bowing low before the throne. â€˜ Your army can be made
of real men by General Rub-a-dub.â€™
â€œThen Peter crossed the seas once more, and lived in the
very cottage where he was born. He hung the green belt on
the peg behind the door; and if
you had happened to pass the
place, you would have seen a
quiet old man, with a squirrel
perched on his shoulder. The
_squirrel had diamond clear eyes.â€
The Winter Fairies clustered
against the frosted pane like
Fob's Picture-Gallery. 109
â€œ All the same, I should like my present,â€ said Job. â€œWhen
well the Fairy of the Cascade come?â€
â€œYou must not be so impatient,â€ rejoined the Angora cat.
She had shown her good-breeding by turning her back on the
mouseâ€™s hole, and behaving as if she had forgotten all about
it, although the mouseâ€™s nose did look tempting.
~â€œ What do you suppose the gift is?â€ asked Queen Puff.
â€œT canâ€™t guess,â€ said Job, staring at the fire with bright eyes,
and nursing his knee. â€œIs it a top?â€
â€œOh, oh !â€”A kite?â€
Something very odd happened. After his circus pranks with
the mouse Nip had been flying around the room. At last he
came to Jobâ€™s picture-gallery. Now I suppose you imagine that
Job was too poor to have a picture-gallery; but he owned a
very good one. The previous summer he had stood by the
roadside when a Mountain House coach came down the hill,
crowded with people, and a golden-haired little girl nodded to
Job in a friendly wayâ€”* Would you like a paper, boy?â€
Before he could reply the golden head vanished, the coach
lumbered on, and he held a â€œ Harperâ€™s Weeklyâ€ in his hand.
What delight the pages afforded simple Job! He ran home
and cut out the pictures with Grandfatherâ€™s shears, then fast-
ened them on the wall with large crooked pins. There were
four big prints, and ever so many little ones, which afforded a
good variety for a gallery. Here was a queer old negro mend-
110 The Catskill Fairies.
ing a shoe at the door of his shop; there a beautiful lady,
with a high satin ruff about her neck and pearls in her dark
hair. The gems of the collection were the two largest wood-
cuts, according to Jobâ€™s ideas, and one of these was a palace,
with gables and pointed roof, and the other a beach, where a
fishermanâ€™s wife waited for the boats to come in.
Nip had bewitched these pictures, and he now sat on the pin
that held the palace to the wall.
The old negro cobbler in the shop door began to workâ€”tap,
tap sounded his hammer; while the parrot in the cage above
scolded a monkey that was slyly stealing its food.
Then the beautiful lady smiled, showing her white teeth, and
unfurled her large fanâ€”one could see that she was a Spaniard ~
from the grace with which she used it. As for the fishermanâ€™s
wife, she took several steps along the beach, shading her eyes
with her hand, and the white sails gleamed off the bar. The
fishing fleet was coming in safely after the storm.
â€œNow look at the palace,â€ said Nip, from his seat on the
large brass pin.
The Old Palace Tells a Story. III
THE HOUSE THAT FACQUES BUILT.
â€œJ am very old,â€ said the Palace in the picture. â€˜â€œ There are
no such strong walls and towers built nowadays, because there
are no robber bands to plunder as they did when I was erect-
ed; and great armies are not as likely to besiege and destroy
â€œYes, I am very old, as I said before, and Jacques Coeur
built me after the quaint fancy of his own mind. I suppose
there never was a palace with as many odd twists and turns
in it as I have.
â€œDo you know who Jacques Cceur was? He lived in France
a great many years ago, and he was called the merchant prince
of his country. He was a good and wise man, but his king
was weak and cruel, and made him suffer for his prosperity.
Those were the days when Joan of Arc saved France, but
Jacques Coeur helped with his money.
â€œHe built his home in the old city of Bourges, which had
narrow, winding streets, where the tall buildings seemed - to
touch overhead, and a grand cathedral stands now just as it
did in Jacques Cceurâ€™s day.
â€œHere you see the front of the palace, which opens on the
street. The wall is richly carved, and the massive gateway has
a large knocker on the door, with a hammer that strikes on a
heart. To the left is a pointed tower, evidently belonging to
I12 The Catskill Fairies.
the kitchen. Over the kitchen door funny little figures are
carved of cooks and scullions busy with brooms and pots, just
like cooks at the present time.
â€œThe rear of the building is like a fortress, with a rampart
and moat, and no windows. There is a round tower overlook-
ing the moat, where Jacques Coeur had an office; and above the
office was a vaulted strong room, secured by an iron door, and
a wonderful lock, that still works after centuries of use. There
he kept his money-bags. There were no safes or police then,
and the burglars were armed bands of rude soldiers.
â€œMore than four hundred years ago Jacques Cceur stood in
this little office, looking through the narrow window out on the
roofs and chimneys, which were ornamented with gilded cockle-
shells and statues of monks. His thoughts must have wander-
ed beyond the moat and the level meadows of the province of
Berri to the blue Mediterranean, where every breeze was waft-
ing along his ships freighted with wealth from the rich ports
of the East. He would serve his king, Charles VIL, faithfully ;
but the wicked monarch would pay the debt by arresting the
merchant and casting him into prison.
â€œJacques Coeur belonged to the people. His father was a
merchant before him, but the son had greater industry. He
sent out travellers in every direction; he regulated the mint of
Paris; he went on a mission to the Pope. When he erected
this palace, he said to himself:
â€œ* This house shall be my tomb, and tell the story of my life
and age. I have earned my gold by working hardâ€”yet it is not
safe for me to be rich; so I must make iron doors and secret
passages, as well as drawing-rooms and chapels, decorated by
Nip begins a Story. 113
Italian artists. Every one shall know that here lived a great
merchant, with wife, sons, and a daughter. He loved Bourges,
and Bourges loved him, for he paid his workmen well. My
motto is a good oneâ€”â€œ To a brave heart nothing is impos-
â€œHere I stand and still tell the story,â€ said the picture, and
Queen Puff was working with all her tiny might.
â€œDear Job, I must finish the childrenâ€™s dreams for Christ-
mas Eve,â€ said the good little thing. â€œI have a story to tell
when I get through with the thread.â€
â€œTake your own time,â€ interposed Nip, swinging his heels
on the pin, as if it had been a cross-bar. â€œI will give you
some of my own experience. I went last year to see a fairy
regatta, and will tell you all about it.â€
114 The Catskill Fazrtes.
THE FAIRY REGATTA.
â€œJ serieve that you are all aware of my place of residence.
I live in the Berkshire Hills, behind a blackberry-bush; and
you may always leave word if I am wanted with the grasshop-
pers near by, for my trade as pedler naturally keeps me ab-
sent a good deal.
â€œWell, I thought I knew the country pretty well, but ji
summer I made a discovery. To tell the truth, I had been
teasing a blackbird, and I told him if I could discover his nest
I would frighten his wife into fits. This was only talk, as my
heart is in the right place, after all; still I must peer about
in search of the nest, to torment the bird.
â€œ Suddenly I found myself at the mouth of a caveâ€”that was
my discovery. I never saw the cave before. The entrance
was so high and wide that it seemed as if a ship might pass in
without touching the lofty arches. I walked in and soon found
that the cavern narrowed more and more; at the farther ex-
tremity there was a mere crack, through which I siipped, and
groped my way onward. It was very dark until a turn in the
passage showed a ray of light in the distance, and I also heard
the murmur of water trickling along a rocky bed beside me.
The light increasing, I soon found myself on the brink of a
small lake, and on the margin where the rushes grew was
moored a little boat of silver, with two oars just large enough
On the Enchanted Lake. 115
for my grasp. Could anything have been more delightful!
The boat seemed waiting for me. Whether it was or not, I
lost no time in jumping aboard, and pushing off from the shore.
I have a great deal of curiosity, and I like to see every place
with my own eyes. No guide-books of travel for Nip, if you
â€œThe radiance resting on the lake was like moonlight, and
as my boat floated along I noticed that the water was quick-
silver, and the lilies on the surface large pearls with emerald
leaves. I rowed swiftly in one direction, and then concluded
to change my course; but when I attempted to turn the boat
around, I discovered that it was drawn straight on as a steel
obeys the magnet. This surprised me, but I was not afraid.
â€˜I suppose I must be going to the opposite shore for some
116 The Catskill Fairtes.
good purpose, whether I wish to or not,â€™ I reflected. The boat
was borne along by the current to an island in the middle of
the lake, where stood a single tree covered with scarlet blos-
soms of great beauty. Out I skipped to examine the strange
tree, and immediately my boat vanished. A winding staircase
of polished brass led around the trunk of the tree, and I climbed
it, as there seemed nothing else to do. When I gained the top,
one of the scarlet blossoms unfolded into a red-velvet arm-
chair; and I had no sooner seated myself in it than the whole
island began to sink slowly below the surface of the lake, car-
rying me down miles into the depths of the earth. When we
stopped, the scarlet blossom puffed me away with a breath of
wind like a feather, and I landed on my feet. Here was an-
other cave, only one altogether splendid, for the walls were
veined with rough gold ore, and a diamond chandelier sparkled
in the dome. Purple-velvet curtains, fringed with gold, shaded
the entrance, and two curious vases stood on each side. I was
greeted by an old magician, with a white beard, who had a
skull-cap on his head.
â€œÂ«T own all this region, he said. â€˜Have you come to join
in the Fairy Regatta, little man?
â€œ*T suppose so, since I am here,â€™ I replied. â€˜I can never win,
though, I fear.â€™
â€œ*We shall see; and the magician led me away from the
cave down to the bank of a stream, where a multitude of little
boats were darting about, some fashioned like swans, others like
dolphins and crabs, guided by the Nixiesâ€™ tiny water-spirits.
â€œÂ«The Nixies have an annual regatta at this spot, explained
the kind magician. â€˜Their Queen is seated under a rose-leaf
Lhe Dragon-Fly Boat. 117
pavilion over yonder, and she will give as a prize the magic
â€œHe then took from his snuff-box a boat made in the form
of a dragon-fly, with outspread wings, which was cut from a
single sapphire. He launched me in this boat, first giving me
three grains of snuff to use if I found it necessary. Away I
sped in my lovely dragon-fly boat to form in line with five oth-
ers; and the Nixy boatman could not object to my trying my
luck with the rest, as the powerful magician had sent me to
join in the race.
118 The Catskill Fairtes.
â€œ The first boat was a ruby grasshopper, on the wherry model;
the second, a pearl snail-shell, of the dory style; the third, a
crystal spider; the fourth, a miniature ebony shark; and the
fifth, a goldfish.
â€œThe Nixy Queen, seated beneath her rose-leaf pavilion,
bowed to the magician on the opposite shore, and gave one tap
on the magic drum, as a signal for the race to begin. Away
shot the little boats, the oars flashing through the water, and
made for the goal, a cork anchored in mid-stream for a buoy.
â€œThe grasshopper boat was named the Dauntless, and its
colors were green.
â€œThe pearl snail-shell was christened Vzxven, with a white
â€œThe crystal spider had A/ermazd written on the stern, and
â€œThe ebony shark was Sea Foam, with dark blue.
â€œ As for my dragon-fly, | dubbed it Wp the Second, with or-
ange colors, as I am so fond of yellow.
â€œ At the tap of the magic drum we got off in good order, the
Dauntless leading, Mermaid second, Vixen and Sea foam in
line. The Nixies showed good training, and their Queen was
delighted with their fine appearance. As for me, it was plainly
to be seen that they considered me of no great account, and
not likely to prove a rival. I thought, â€˜It is a good old prov-
erb that says let him laugh who wins.â€™
â€œThe Dauntless had got the lead, which is an advantage,
and meant to keep it; but I made a fine spurt, and drew along.
side of the Nixy fleet. I could never have kept pace with them
had I not scattered the three snuff-grains given me by the ma-
Nip Wins the Match. 119
gician. This had a very curious effect on my companionsâ€”
each Nixy rested on his oars, bowed his head, and sneezed.
â€œT pulled away while this happened, and gained the cork in
advance of the Dauntless by two boatsâ€™ length. That was a
victory! And the contest was most exciting.
â€œT received the magic drum, which was no larger than a
thimble, and could be slung over the shoulder with a chain.
What do you suppose I did with it? Why, I beat one smart
tune on it, and sold it to the Nixies, who were anxious to keep
it in their possession. Heigh! I almost wish that I had kept
it, for I believe I could have got more for it above ground, if
only as a curiosity.
â€œT went back to the magician, who entertained me very
handsomely, for he was pleased with my success. He wish-
ed me to remain with him down there in the gold cave, and
promised to tell me half of his secrets, which were written on
parchment in a great book fastened with a steel lock; but |
missed my dear home behind the blackberry-bush. I sang
â€˜Home, sweet home,â€™ to the magician; and after that he made
no objection to my departure, partly because I sang it out of
time, I believe.
â€œHe took his large pipe with the porcelain bowl, and when
he had lighted it he told me to step into the pipe, and he
would blow me up to the earthâ€™s surface.
â€œÂ«T am afraid of getting burned,â€™ I objected.
â€œ*T would not hurt you for the world,â€™ said the magician; and
I must say, he was as good as his word.
â€œ He rubbed some sweet ointment over me to keep my skin
from scorching, and while he was doing it he picked my pocket
120 The Catskill Fatrtes.
of the sum I had received from the Nixies for the magic drum.
I did not discover this until I was home; but I call it mean,
as it was a fair trade. So I was popped into the porcelain bowl
of the pipe, the magician blew a cloud of smoke, and away I
went up to the earthâ€™s surface and daylight again.â€
Job was much amused at the idea of Nip rowing a match.
â€œDo you believe you would have won without the snuff?â€
â€œI daresay I could with practice,â€ said Nip. â€œYou should
have seen the Fairy Regatta in line, though!â€
â€œT wish you had kept the drum,â€ said Job.
â€œSo do I. Perhaps I will go to the match next year. I
donâ€™t mind telling you that I practice every spare moment in
a walnut-shell which I keep in the horse-trough.â€
Fairies may have plans for the future, just as mortals say
â€œJT will go to a new school in the spring.â€ Queen Puff had
finished her dream-thread by this time, and set aside her wheel.
â€œ The last of it will serve for morning dreams just before the
children awake to look into their stockings,â€ she said, smooth-
ing her apron and folding her hands in her lap.
Then all kept silence while she told the following story.
Queen Puff begins a Story. 121
THE DOVE MAIDEN.
â€œ A LITTLE boy and girl were
trudging home from school,
swinging their luncheon bas-
ket between them. The little
girlâ€™s face was pretty and good-
humored; the boy had an ugly
habit of frowning and shutting
his mouth firmly when any-
thing did not please him. The
sister had only to find the larg-
est slice of buttered bread in
the luncheon basket to bring this ugly scowl; and the good
schoolmistress said that Otto would make neither a kind nor
generous man if he did not mend that troublesome temper of
â€œThe evening was clear and beautiful. You never saw a coun-
try like that through which these children walked, Job. The
land was very level, and protected by dikes from the overflow
of the sea. The meadows were rich with grass and wild flow-
ers, where large herds of sleek cattle fed; and canals wound in
and out among these fields, with barges floating along on their
clear waters. If you were not an ignorant boy, Job, you would
know at a glance that this country was Holland, where the first
122 The Catskill Fatrtes.
Dutch settlers of New York came from, even as Nipâ€™s Yankee
giant landed on the coast of New England. â€˜The boy and girl,
Otto and Sophia Snyder by name, had entered the wide
meadow which alone separated them from their home.
â€œÂ«TLet us rest awhile, said Otto, throwing himself on the
ground; and Sophia followed his example.
â€œ The grass rose like a green sea all about them. Over against
the sky was the neat village where they lived, the red-roofed
houses shaded by willow-trees. Otto knew Aunt Katrine would
expect him to feed the hens and pigs, as well as to drive the
cows home; still he sat in the grass.
â€œ They talked about the beetles toiling at their feet, the bus-
tling, hurrying ants, and Otto tried to catch a pretty field-mouse
that darted past him to hide in the ground.
â€œÂ¢Tf T could find the nest, what fun it would be to take the
baby mice! exclaimed the boy, crawling along on his hands
and knees to the spot where the mouse had disappeared.
â€œThree storks were roaming by the water-side, among flags
and osiers, in search of frogs.
â€œÂ«Oh, Otto! look up there! cried Sophia, pointing to the sky.
â€œ Otto forgot the hunted mouse in a moment, and sprang to
his feet to gaze in the direction indicated by his sister. High
up in the air were two doves, with feathers of dazzling white-
ness, that soared along unconscious of danger. A large black
hawk was winging its swift flight in keen pursuit of the pretty
doves. At last the birds seemed to become aware of their peril,
for the hawk darted above them, prepared to swoop down on
the helpless mates. The children, who had watched their move-
ments with breathless interest, now saw them circle nearer and
The Hawk and the Doves. 125
nearer to the earth in their terror of the cruel enemy in pur-
â€œ*Dear little birds, I will shelter you, cried Sophia, holding
out her apron in her eagerness to save them.
â€œThe doves sank into the apron, exhausted with fatigue and
fear, and the girl clasped them in her arms. The hawk dashed
down until his sharp beak and glittering eyes were close to
Sophiaâ€™s face; and she screamed with terror, but she did not
drop the doves.
â€œ Now came the ugly frown on Ottoâ€™s face; he seized a stick,
and aimed a blow at the bold hawk.
â€œÂ«The doves belong to us! Let me see you touch them!â€™ he
â€œThe hawk gave a hoarse shriek of rage and disappointment,
then rose slowly in the air, and flew away in search of other
game. The children cautiously uncovered the birds to admire
them, and Otto held one while Sophia carried the other. Never
were such lovely birds seen! Their plumage was snowy on the
wings, and shaded to crimson and emerald green on the breasts.
Around each slender neck was fastened a gold chain studded
with jewels, which flashed in the sun like a circlet of fire.
â€œThe captives were restless to resume their flight after the
danger was over; but the children had no idea of losing such
charming pets, so they carried them home in spite of their fran-
tic efforts to escape.
â€œ The village was as clean as constant scrubbing by the tidy
housewives could make it. You should have seen Aunt Ka-
trine, rain or shine, polish the door-step, just as they do still
in the city of Philadelphia. The village people were already
126 The Catskill Fairtes.
drinking tea, after the dayâ€™s labors, and the children passed
open doors, which afforded glimpses of tables, shelves, and
earthenware, all spotlessly pure.
â€œ Aunt Katrine was surprised to see the prizes the children
had captured at the expense of being late to supper. She put
on her spectacles, and held up her hands. â€˜I never saw doves
with chains around their necks,â€™ she declared.
â€œÂ«T shall take mine off, said Otto, resolutely.
â€œHe untwined the chain, and the dove immediately changed
to a little girl, with soft brown hair, her dress of some delicate
fabric, like a cobweb, embroidered with silver stars, with silver
shoes on her feet, and a cap of silver on her head. She was
unlike any one that Aunt Katrine had ever scen, and the
children thought her an angel.
â€œ The other dove no sooner beheld the transformation of its
mate than it gave a loud note of alarm, and, slipping through
Sophia's fat fingers, soared high in the air. Sophia was staring
so earnestly at the stranger child that she did not recover her
wits until her pet was out of reach.
â€œThe dove child, remaining below, gazed about wonderingly
for a moment, then sprang up into the air, and tried to snatch
the chain from Ottoâ€™s grasp. She nearly succeeded in doing
so, but the boy was larger and stronger, and held it in his grasp.
â€œThis belongs to me, and you do, too, he said, frowning.
â€˜When I am a man I shall take the chain to Rotterdam, and
sell it for a pot of money.â€™
â€œAunt Kate and Sophia were very kind to the stranger.
They stroked her fair hair and admired her dress, while greedy
Otto ran away to hide the precious chain in a particular nook
The Dove Child. r23
behind the beam, where he kept a bird-trap and fishing-rod.
When supper was served, the dove child pecked daintily at the
coarse bread, but she could not talk beyond making little coo-
ing sounds quite like a dove.
â€œAunt Katrine took off her star-spangled robe, and laid it
away carefully for holidays; then she was dressed just like So-
phia in a woollen petticoat and apron, yet she seemed a prin-
cess beside the honest little peasant lass; and you could have
made nothing else of her, she was so delicate and pretty. The
children both learned to love her after their own fashion. Otto
considered that he owned her, and he scolded her as he did
Sophia when she displeased him; yet he would not allow
others to be rude to her, especially in the school, where all
the village children met together.
â€œA long time passed, and the dove child appeared to have
grown quite contented with her new life; she never tried to
find the chain which Otto had concealed so cleverly. One day
she paused in the meadow, and the other dove hovered down
to alight on her hand. She received it with delight, cooing
over it in her own tongue, just as if she had never learned
â€œOtto found them talking together, and bade her catch the
dove; but this she would not do, so the bird flew above the
â€œ*Tf it comes again I will shoot it with a gun, cried Otto,
shaking his fist angrily.
â€œThen the dove child wept, and told her mate what the
naughty boy had said; and the dove went away, not daring
to return. The little girl begged Otto to restore her chain.
128 The Catskill Fatries.
i by 3
| ye :
â€œNo, indeed,â€™ said he. â€˜Your father must be a great king
or prince from your appearance. When he comes to take you
away in a gilded chariot drawn by splendid horses, he must
give me ten chests of silver to make me rich. Then he may
have you, and the chain also.â€™
â€œThe dove child looked at him sadly.
â€œ*You seem to care more for money already than your own
â€œÂ«T wish to have my own way,â€™ cried Otto. â€˜Yes, and I will
have it always!â€™
Aunt Katrine Finds the Chain. 129
â€œShe ran to Aunt Katrine, who always petted and soothed
her, entreating her with many tears to find the chain which
Otto had concealed so long ago.
â€œÂ«What strange enchantment binds you, poor child?â€™ asked
the good woman, hoping to hear a story of magic. The stran-
ger only shook her head sorrowfully, and looked away into
the clear sky where the other dove had flown. After this
she grew discontented and unhappy. Often would she watch
for her mate, but the other never dared to appear, for fear
Ottoâ€™s bullet should pierce its tender breast.
â€œAunt Katrine decided to find the chain, and release the
child, whatever the result might be. She was an amiable old
lady, and she rather dreaded Ottoâ€™s illtemper, so she asked
him nothing about the matter, because she feared he would
only hide the chain somewhere else. Besides, he was already
growing to be a tall, stout lad, and would soon become master
of the house. Accordingly, she chose an hour when the baking
and sweeping were done for the day, the children away at
school, and, putting on her spectacles, deliberately began the
â€œ First she examined the chamber where Otto slept, but there
she found nothing besides a few playthings. Then she remem-
bered that the boy came down the ladder from the attic after
he had run away with the chain on the day when the dove
child was found; so up the creaking ladder went Aunt Katrine,
and it was not long before she placed her hand directly on the
chain as it lay coiled up snugly on the beam behind the bird-
trap. She returned to the kitchen with the treasure, and, seat-
ing herself by the open window, admired the delicate chain, pol-
130 The Catskill Fazrtes.
ishing the jewels on her sleeve the while, just to make them
sparkle and glitter.
â€œA tiny black dwarf crept through the window like a spider,
and perched on the back of Aunt Katrineâ€™s chair, without her
being aware of his presence. The dwarf ncdded and chuckled
as he peered over her shoulder. After a while he drew a bit
of folded paper from his girdle, which grew in size to a large
fan, ornamented with strange figures and smelling of sweet per-
fume, and began gently to fan Aunt Katrine. The perfume was
thus wafted from the paper, and presently she bobbed her head
twice, and sank back in the chair fast asleep. Oh, dear! she
had done more harm than good with the best intentions. Down
hopped the dwarf to the floor, and snatched the chain from
her lap. She opened her heavy eyesâ€™ just as he reached the
Matkcious Skinp. 3a
door, where he took the chain in his mouth; then wings un-
folded from his sides, and he flew away in the shape of the
large black hawk which had first pursued the doves.
â€œThere was no end of mischief done! Aunt Katrine wrung
her hands over her folly in taking the chain from the safe hid-
ing-place, and now some evil fairy had made off with it.
â€œ The children were crossing the meadow at that moment.
â€œÂ«See the hawk up yonder with something in its mouth,â€™
â€œÂ«Tt must be a frog or a snake,â€™ returned Otto, not dreaming
that the precious chain was gone.
â€œAunt Katrine said not a word, like the cowardly old body
she was. What was the use? Otto would sulk for a month,
and the dove child weep herself to death to think that she could
never be restored to her own people, wherever they might be.
â€œNow the hawk was a wicked fairy, Skimp by name, who
felt malice towards every one. When the fairy kingâ€™s third
wife died, leaving him an interesting widower, Skimp expected
to be asked to marry him. Instead of that he chose her young
maid-of-honor, and Skimpâ€™s temper was soured; so she went
about in many shapes, not only tormenting the other fairies,
but any chance mortal besides. In this way she made the
acquaintance of all the giants and hobgoblins in the universe.
â€œ* Before I hide the chain where it cannot easily be found, I
must do a trifle more mischief, she thought, and paused near a
great city where the smoke could be seen curling up from the
chimneys, and the church spires were outnumbered by the masts
of the shipping in the harbor. Here she changed her hawk
dress to the costume of a country girl; a broad hat shaded a
R32 The Catskill Fairies.
rosy, innocent face; she carried herself shyly and awkwardly ;
and no one could have believed that the simple lassie was
shrewd, wicked Skimp, so perfect was her disguise.
â€œShe entered a dingy building, where young men were busy
counting money and writing in books. She wished to see their
master the broker, and soon she was showing the wonderful
chain, which she declared she desired to sell. Of course the
broker wanted it; he would give his head for the diamond
clasp alone; but he did not say soâ€”oh no, he only shut one
eye, and sighed that he could not offer more than two gold
pieces for itâ€”such a trifle! Skimp had been inside his brain,
and whisked around twice to discover his thoughts, although she
seemed to stand opposite all the whileâ€”a simple country girl.
â€œ<*T will take twenty gold pieces,â€™ she said, firmly.
â€œThe broker shook his head in horror; he would give four
gold pieces, and no more. Then the fairy led the greedy broker
a merry dance. Twice she gathered up the chain, and went
out the door prepared to leave without completing the bargain,
and twice the broker called her back, adding another coin to
the pile on the counter. Finally he paid the full sum, pre-
tending to shed tears at his own folly; and all the clerks
paused with quills behind their ears to cry also, because
their great employer did.
â€œSkimp departed with the money, leaving the broker delight-
ed to have obtained the chain so cheaply.
â€œFairies have no need of real money, so Skimp hid oe by
the steps of a cathedral, where a good man found it and dis-
tributed the gold to the poor, which the broker would never
Another Theft of the Dove Chain. Â¥33
â€œ That night a large rat, with bright eyes like two beads, crept
into the chamber where the broker slept. He had the chain
in a stout oak box beneath the bed, and his door was barred,
as he feared robbers. He could not keep out a rat, especially
when that rat was Madam Skimp.
â€œShe gnawed up a quantity of bank-notes to a soft pulp,
which she had adroitly slipped from between the leaves of a
pocket-book. With this she rolled two little balls, and popped
them into the sleeperâ€™s ears, so that he could hear nothing.
Then she attacked the box under the bed; gnaw, gnaw, went
her sharp teeth until a tiny hole was made, through which she
dragged the dove chain, and away she went with it.
â€œÂ«That was well done, said Skimp, changing into a hawk.
â€œWe must now return to Aunt Katrineâ€™s house. The chil-
dren all grew up. Sophia, a blooming maiden of eighteen, mar-
ried a wealthy mill-owner, and went away. |
â€œThe dove child was tall and fair in appearance. She had
long since outgrown the star-spangled robe and tiny shoes she
first wore. The dove mate had never returned to visit her.
â€œOtto did not miss the chain from the hiding-place, for soon
after Aunt Katrine had lost it the cottage caught fire from a
smoking chimney, and the whole building was destroyed. Otto
carried out the furniture, but he supposed the chain must have
been lost in the flames. Aunt Katrine still kept silent, but she
was very kind to the dove child, trying to repair the injury she
had done her.
â€œÂ« After all, she is better off here in a Christian home,â€™ thought
poor Aunt Katrine, and then she looked at the spangled dress,
wondering where the dove maiden really had lived.
134 The Catskill Fairies.
â€œOtto had grown to be a handsome young man. He was
faithful, industrious, and honest, and rebuilt the cottage with his
own hands. Still he must always have his own way. He
wished to marry the dove maiden. Aunt Katrine thought the
girl could not do betterâ€”after she died there would be no one
left to care for her unless she married Otto. So the dove
maiden went into the new cottage as Ottoâ€™s wife, although she
wept many tears that this should be her lot instead of finding
her dove companions once more. Aunt Katrine still scrubbed
and polished, for in that lay her chief happiness, and the dove
maiden was too delicate for such hard work. One fine morn-
ing the good aunt put on her spectacles to admire a pretty
baby which lay in the cradle, as white as milk, with sapphire
eyes. Otto made a good husband enough, and he was proud
of his wife and child, but he was surly and ill-tempered if any
little matter went wrong, even with them. The dove maiden
The Dove Maidenâ€™s Story. 135
was now cheerful and happy; she called the child Snowdrop,
and they gathered flowers together in the meadow, while Aunt
Katrine scrubbed. When the little girl had grown sufficiently
large she was dressed in the star-spangled robe, shoes, and sil-
ver cap which her mother had worn before her. Aunt Katrine
was very much pleased with Snowdrop in this becoming cos-
tume. The dove maiden led her to the meadow, where she
loved to sit near the spot where she had been captured. The
Snyders had never heard a word of her story, but now she de-
cided to tell it to Snowdrop, who listened with bright, intelli-
â€œÂ«T dreamed. about my sister last night, she said. â€˜ Per-
haps if we wait patiently here she will come and pay us a visit.
â€œ*But how will she come?â€™ asked Snowdrop.
â€œÂ«She will fly here with her beautiful white wings, just as I
did, returned the dove maiden with a sigh. â€˜ Attend, my child,
while I tell you about your grandfather and relatives in the
East. The King of Selgrobia is my father. He has a brilliant
court thousands of miles away from here, where the palm-trees
grow. I have a brother who is a Crown Prince, and will some
time be king. My sister and I were the only daughters, and
we were twins. We were born with little gold chains about our
necks, studded with jewels, and clasped with a diamond button.
These were gifts of the fairy king at our birth, and would en-
able us to become doves whenever we wished to fly away. The
Queen, our mother, considered this a very dangerous gift; and,
fearing we would avail ourselves of the chance thus granted us,
she carefully hid the two chains away in a casket. We were
brought up in the palace, yet seldom visited the state apart-
136 The Catskill Fairies.
ments. Ah, that was a happy life! We played in rose-gardens
with our maids, and bathed in marble fountains.
â€œOne day there was a grand reception, in which a Prince
of Ethiopia, black as ebony, and wearing a turban of yellow
satin wound with chains of pearls, was presented to the King.
The Crown Prince, our brother, was present at the ceremony;
but we were too young, although our maids ran away to peep
through the lattice at the wonderful stranger. Left alone, we
rambled into our motherâ€™s magnificent apartments, and began
to examine every rare, costly article of furniture with childish
curiosity. Presently we found a casket in an alcove which con-
tained our chains, and we at once recognized the fairy gifts.
â€œÂ«Â«T et us go out on the balcony,â€ urged my sister.
â€œÂ«So we stepped out, disobeying our mother, and tried our
wings as doves. We flew into the audience-hall, where the
King sat in royal robes, and that was the last time I ever saw
him. We sped up into the clear sky, and after a journey of
many days reached this place. It is a cold region after my
â€œ As the mother ceased speaking, the dove sister came dart-
ing down to visit them. The dove maiden caressed the bird,
shedding warm tears of joy upon its snowy feathers, and even
Snowdrop stroked it with her fat little hands.
â€œÂ«T have been to the fairy king, said the dove. â€˜He says
that the workman who made the chain is dead, and the art
died with him, so we can never have another... The fairy sent
this pearl ring to your daughter. No one can take it from her
finger, and it will grant her wishes.â€™
â€œThe mother and child returned to their humble home,
Snowdrop Takes a Fourney. ie7
where Otto no sooner beheld the pearl ring than he tried to
wrench it off; but the ring held as firmly as steel.
I will have it, he scolded.
â€œThe dove maiden was afraid he would hurt the child, and
secretly made up her mind to send her away in search of her
grandfatherâ€™s kingdom. When Aunt Katrine saw the ring she
was much excited, wishing to know where it came from; and
little Snowdrop told her that a beautiful dove brought it from
the skies. Then the old lady told the dove maiden the truth
concerning the disappearance of the dove chain on the day
when she had taken it from Ottoâ€™s hiding-place under the eaves.
â€œÂ«Never let him know,â€™ she said, earnestly; and the dove
her mother. â€˜Then we can travel to the beautiful country you
have told me about.â€™
â€œSo the mother kissed Snowdrop; and the little girl, wearing
the silver cap and the ring, started forth in search of the dove
chain. She tripped along, humming a gay song to herself.
She had left her dear mamma and Aunt Katrine looking sadly
after her, yet she would soon return. A little robin flew on a
twig, and sangâ€”
â€œ* Donâ€™t get into the boat.â€™
â€œ*What do you say? asked the child, puzzled.
â€œThen a toad hopped across the path, and croaked â€”
â€œÂ«Donâ€™t get into the boat.â€™
â€œÂ«T do not know what you are talking about, laughed Snow-
drop, and found herself on the brink of the canal. Directly be-
138 The Catskill Fazrves.
fore her was a boat, with gilded bows, the inside a soft pink-
and-cream color, like the lining of a conch-shell, and the sail
was like fine white silk. Of course, the little girl forgot the
words croaked by the toad and sung by the robin, as warning,
and stepped into the boat.
Â«JT will not move the anchor; I can just pretend to be sail-
ing on the canalâ€”that is all, she said.
â€œ A large white hand glided along under the boat, and slipped
the chain which held it fastened to the shore. Snowdrop was
delighted; the boat slid along
without the sail being hoisted.
Had she but known it, two large
white hands were pushing it
steadily away from the bank.
â€œShe enjoyed the sail, and
she was also a trifle frightened,
the current of the river seemed
to be so very strong. A hawk
came skimming close to the
boat, holding a crystal bubble in its beak, which the bird drop-
ped on Snowdropâ€™s head. Crack went the bubble, scattering
fine fragments all about, like diamond splinters, and a fragrant
liquid flowed over the little girlâ€™s face. This bath made the
young voyager feel exceedingly queer; she rubbed her eyelids
wearily, her arms drooped, and she sank down into the bottom
of the boat asleep.
â€œThe hawk had a famous trick of putting people to sleep, as
we have seen.
â€™ â€œThe motion of the boat rocked her gently, like the softest
A City under the Sea. 139
cradle, as she glided along more rapidly than ever. The two
strong white hands pushed her past towns and hamlets straight
onward; and if Snowdrop had been awake to peep over the
side she would have seen not only the hands, but two fair arms,
and a head covered with long, floating hair, like tangles of sea-
â€œÂ«T have caught a pretty mouseâ€”a new toy, gurgled a soft
voice down under the waves.
â€œWhen the little girl awoke and raised her head to gaze
about her, there was wide, rolling sea extending from one side
of the sky quite around to the other. The frail cockle-shell of
a boat was tossed high in the air by the rough billows, and
Snowdrop shrieked with terror every time she mounted a crest
to plunge down the other side. Oh, how silly it was to get into
the boat, and go to sleep! How she wished she was safe at
home with her dear mamma and Aunt Katrine! She never
once thought of her fairy ring, although it was on her finger
all the time.
â€œ A large wave towered high before the frightened child; the
boat was upset, and she was caught in the white arms waiting
to receive her, then borne swiftly and safely through the rush-
â€œ Before the bewildered traveller knew what she was about,
she stood at the gates of a city. What surprised her most
was the fact that her starry dress and silver cap were perfectly
dry, although she was in the water all the while. This would
not have been the case had not her fairy ring been on her
â€œ At first the city seemed to be precisely similar to cities on
140 The Catskill Fatrtes.
land: there were shops, squares, and palaces; and the wall was
thickly crusted with oysters and barnacles, like a ship which has
been in the water a long while. On closer inspection Snow-
drop discovered the difference: the avenues were sand, the rows
of buildings large shells. It would be easy to find the residence
of a friend here if one was a stranger. There was a street com-
posed wholly of cowries, another of clam-shells, another of scal-
lops, a fourth of periwinkles, and so on, through all the king-
dom of shells. Snowdrop was not surprised, therefore, to read
on sign-boardsâ€”* Clam-shell Terrace,â€ â€œ Cowry Place,â€ or â€œ Peri-
winkle Avenue.â€ She walked dry-shod through the streets, but
she noticed that the inhabitants darted about swiftly and noise-
lessly, for they all had fish-tails. The city was very bright,
almost as if illuminated with gas, and Snowdrop discovered that
this light was shed from a sun-fish hung on a pole in a large
park of sea-weeds. The sun-fish was phosphorescent, and at
night the watchman was obliged to draw a blind over it, in
order that the people should sleep a wink.
â€œIn the centre of this sea-weed park was a building made of
the bell of a jelly-fish, which was like the most beautiful crystal,
or blown-glass, with pink-and-blue tints on the walls. Snow-
drop could see people moving about inside this palace, and she
approached it. Two sword-fish policemen hovered about the
â€œÂ« This is a prison,â€™ they said, very fiercely.
â€œSnowdrop ran up the steps, and entered the first hall, where
a group of mermaids were playing on coral harps with draped
sea-lettuce. One of these took Snowdropâ€™s handâ€”â€˜I caught
you, little maid, and I shall keep you for a petâ€ The second
Queen Kornor. 141
hall was spacious and beautiful; at the farther end was a throne
of rock, upon which sat a woman who was turned to stone, ail
except her head, and bound with iron chains to her seat.
â€œ Before her were open coffers and curious relics of all sorts,
with piles of silk fabrics, jewels, bars of gold, and coins, such as
are lost in shipwrecks.
â€œA number of young men and maidens, robed in dazzling
white, who were evidently her subjects, sorted the treasure into
chests; but the Queen did not seem to find any amusement
in their employment.
â€œ Snowdrop approached, and was kindly received.
â€œÂ«Have you seen my motherâ€™s dove chain?â€™ asked the child.
â€œ*T am Queen Kornor, said the lady. â€˜This large city was
once located on a beautiful plain, surrounded by hills. The
142 The Catskill Fatrves.
Giant Drubb became angry with me because. I neglected to
invite him to a Christmas dinner, and he made an earthquake
to sink us beneath the sea, while I was chained to the rock.
Nothing but a blow from his iron dagger will release me.â€™
â€œÂ«T may be able to help you, said Snowdrop.
the mountain-side, and she must know all about the dove chain.
The Giant Drubb lives on the borders of the Arabian Desert.
Pause by the well under the palm-tree.â€™
â€œTt was not easy to escape from the mermaid who had caught
Snowdrop. She wished to present her to Neptune, she said,
and she could not afford to lose her. Then Snowdrop clasped
her arms about the neck of the lovely mermaid and kissed her,
entreating that she might be released.
â€œÂ«T must find the dove chain for my mother, who is watch-
ing for me all this long time,â€™ she pleaded; and the mermaid
made not another word of objection, but carried her up to the
shore. The mermaid was only frolicsome.
â€œ How astonished the dove mother would have been to see
her child carried in a mermaidâ€™s arms, with her star-robe crisp
â€œ For the first time Snowdrop remembered to use her ring
by wishing herself at the palm-tree, and she found herself there
sooner than any steamboat could have taken her. She saw
nobody, and looked down into the well. A rose-colored bubble
came up to the surface from the cool depths.
â€œÂ«Donâ€™t pause to eat in the grove, said a voice, and the
â€œ Next a blue bubble appeared.
Blinding Giant Drubo. 145
â€œÂ¢Throw water over Drubbâ€™s heads,â€™ and the second bubble
â€œ Then up came a green bubble.
â€œCarry the enchanted waters of this well.â€™
â€œ Â«What shall I carry it in?
â€œÂ«In me,â€™ replied the green bubble, and popped out of the
well upon the grassâ€”a beautiful flask.
â€œSnowdrop walked through the grove, thinking she would
soon finish the matter. Stately trees arched overhead to form
a cool, green vault; the turf was velvet smooth, and along the
paths were spread tempting fruits.
â€œ Snowdrop recalled the words of the rosy bubble, and walked
on, turning neither to the right nor left.
â€œGiant Drubb was seated in an immense arm-chair, hewn
out of granite, which commanded a fine view of the surround-
ing country, so that he should know what was going on. Just
as Snowdrop crept near, an ostrich ran in front of the giant
and paused. Drubb stared at the ostrich with all the eyes in
all his heads, because it was unusual to see an ostrich there.
â€œÂ«Come a step nearer, and I will catch you in my hand.
You would make me a dainty breakfast,â€™ cried Drubb.
â€œSnowdrop climbed behind him, and sprinkled his first two
heads on the right with the enchanted water. This blinded his
eyes; and always hiding behind the heads already sprinkled,
she contrived to anoint the whole ten.
â€œÂ«Dear me !â€”is it night?â€™ growled Drubb. â€˜I thought the
sun was still hours high. How short the days are growing!â€™
â€œSnowdrop slipped the dagger from its sheath at his side,
and wished herself away from the terrible monster. The mer-
146 The Catskill Fazrtes.
maid had waited for her on the shore, amusing herself by sing-
ing sweet songs to bewitch the fishermen.
â€œ Down they went through the rushing waters, and this time
Snowdrop was not afraid. It was an easy matter to use
Drubbâ€™s dagger on the cruel chain which bound the lady, but
Snowdrop was surprised when the whole city rose toâ€™its place
on the blooming plain, the houses marble and stone, instead of
clam-shells and cowries.
â€œYou see Giant Drubb had made a sort of off-hand earth-
quake to immerse the city; no one ever heard of a town
coming back that had been swallowed by a real, terrible earth-
quake. The Queen was very grateful. She lost no time in
leading Snowdrop up the steep path to the wise woman on
the mountain. They found her in a hut perched on a crag,
where a goat might climbâ€”and, indeed, she was as nimble
and sure-footed as any goat. She liked to live near the stars,
where the thunder crashed and the lightning seemed to leap
from rock to rock.
â€œThe visitors entered her hut, where an owl was perched on
one side of the hearth, and an eagle on the other.
â€œÂ¢Who have we here?â€™ she muttered, peering at Snowdrop.
â€œÂ¢T will give you my ring if you tell me where the dove
chain is,â€™ said Snowdrop, eagerly.
â€œ The wise woman smiled, and smoothed the little girlâ€™s hair.
â€œ*T live nearer the clear heavens than those below. The
stars are my jewels,â€™ she said.
â€œÂ¢This dear child has rescued me from prison, and in re-
turn she desires to find her motherâ€™s dove chain,â€™ said Queen
The Wise Woman. 147
â€œ*Yes, yesâ€”I know. Madam Skimp did all that mischief
because she could not marry the fairy king; and it was his
gift. I hear all the news from my two friends here.â€™
â€œ*T saw Skimp fly away with the chain in the form of a
hawk,â€™ said the eagle.
â€œ The wise woman sprinkled some dried herbs on a brazier,
and a white cloud rose in the hut, so that the two visitors could
not see her at all. When the smoke cleared, she shook her
â€œ*Go to the fairy king. Perhaps Skimp will tell you, aft-
148 The Catskill Fazrtes.
â€œThe eagle offered to carry the guests down the mountain
on his back, and they found the ride very pleasant. Snowdrop
could only think of her lonely mother now, who must watch
anxiously for her return, and so decided to seek the fairy realm
â€œ Everything was in confusion; the fairy queen had been
stung by a gnat, which caused her death, and the king was
again a widower.
â€œ* That comes of marrying beneath his rank. She was only
Skimpâ€™s maid of honor, cried the gossips.
â€œSnowdrop heard them, for she stood behind the bluebell
in which they were swinging.
â€œÂ«Bless me!â€™ exclaimed one, raising her eye-glass, which was
made of the eye-hole of a cambric needle set in steel; â€˜who
comes here? It is Madam Skimp, and no other!
â€œSure enough, it was Skimp, who had heard of the queenâ€™s
death, and decided to return to the court, in hopes of winning
the seat on the throne beside the king.
â€œ Skimp was lovely. She had bathed her face in flower-dew ;
her robe was sewed out of gold leaf, with a boddice formed of
a single ruby, and trimmed with diamond dust. Her hair was
combed into a high waterfall; her hat was made of a beetle,
and her fan was dandelion down. Never was a more charming
toilet seen; the other fairy ladies nearly died of envy when
she minced along, waving her fan in a fashionable manner ;
and in kneeling before the king she showed two little gold
boots, with red heels, to great advantage.
â€œThe king thought he had never seen Skimp look so pretty ;
and when he bade her rise from her knees, he proposed to drink
The Dove Chain Recovered. 149
her health in amber honey, which was served in beech-nut
cups. Although he was still dressed in mourning (a sable
mothâ€™s cloak), as a token of respect for the departed queen,
he had not sipped all of the honey before he made Skimp an
offer of marriage. |
â€œThe honey sweetened her temper wonderfullyâ€”that or pros-
perityâ€”and she began to feel ashamed of her naughtiness.
â€œSnowdrop made her presence known, for the little people
were so much absorbed in their own affairs that they had
not noticed her.
â€œThe king invited her to be seated on the soft moss, as his
chair was too small for a mortal; and you have no idea how
big and clumsy she appeared among the Fairies, quite as great
a contrast as Giant Drubb was to herself.
â€œ*Dear, good Fairies, I have been all over the earth to find
my motherâ€™s dove chain, and I need your assistance.â€™
â€œ*T should be ashamed of my subjects if they did not help
you, replied the king. â€˜Every fairykin must hold up a hand
in token of willingness to aid Snowdrop.â€™
â€œEach one held up a tiny fist, and Queen Skimp raised
hers with the rest. Why not? She was willing to restore the
chain since she had been sweetened with the honey.
â€œÂ«Let by-gones be by-gones, she said. â€˜If I was not the
fourth wife, I am the fifth.â€™
â€œShe flew away on her gauze wings, and returned in a trice,
carrying the chain, which she gave to Snowdrop, and kissed
her in the bargain.
â€œ Snowdrop left the Fairies in the midst of wedding gayeties,
thankful that Skimpâ€™s ambition had been at last gratified, since
150 The Catskill Fazrtes.
this had led her to give up the chain, as well as to become
a good sprite at last.
â€œ Danger was not over for the dove motherâ€™s little daughter.
Scarcely had she quitted the fairy kingdom when she heard
behind her a rumbling like distant thunder. This sound was
caused by Giant Drubb, who was tramping after the bold girl
who had robbed him of his iron dagger to release Queen Kor-
nor from her enchantment under the sea.
â€œSnowdrop, with the aid of her ring, changed herself into a
lily, which held the chain in its cup securely, and the giant
strode on without noticing the flower trembling on its stalk.
Afterwards she resumed her journey, and walked behind the
giant, keeping out of range of his many eyes, that looked
in all directions.
Queen Puff ends her Story. 151
â€œWhen Snowdrop reached the canal and the meadow, Giant
Drubb was still striding forward, looking before him, like a
great many other big people; and perhaps he is still marching
around the world, for Snowdrop saw him no more.
â€œ How quickly she ran across the meadow to the village!
How gladly the dove mother and Aunt Katrine welcomed her !
Otto was still cross over Snowdropâ€™s long absence, of whom he
was fond in his way.
â€œ Next morning he went to his labor in the fields, and Aunt
Katrine stood all the copper pots of the kitchen in a row to be
freshly scoured. At that moment Snowdrop pulled her mother
gently away through the door. Hastily throwing the chain
around the dove motherâ€™s neck, she wished to become a carrier-
pigeon at the same moment, and they rose in the air together.
â€œOtto was binding sheaves, and did not notice that two
birds hovered overhead. A ring fell before him, and he dis-
covered a pile of gold. He missed wife and child, but the pile
of gold remained.
â€œThey then flew towards the sun and their kindred.
â€œAunt Katrine and the village people thought that they
were dead, and had gone to heaven.â€
Queen Puff was in high good-humor with herself and the
rest of the company when she had finished her story.
â€œIt comes from the Old Country, and is all the better for
that, to my fancy. Let me hear what your Indian and Yankee
Fairies have to say after the â€˜Dove Maiden,â€
â€œ Hoighty-toighty! I could make up a better story with my
eyes shut,â€ retorted Nip.
152 The Catskill fairies.
Then Queen Puff grew quite red in the face, and was about
to reply, when the attention of all was diverted.
In Jobâ€™s picture-gallery there was a small print of an oasis
in the desert, where one slender palm-tree towered aloft, shad-
ing the well which afforded refreshment to a company of
Arabs and camels. This palm-tree began to rustle and sway
gently, as if disturbed by a breeze, as indeed it wasâ€”the breeze
of Nipâ€™s influence.
â€œA great deal has been said about America this evening,â€
said the tree. â€œLet me describe how the first cocoa-nut was
The Affitcted Rajah. 153
THE FIRST COCOA-NUT.
â€œA Prince once lived in the East, who fell ill, just like the
poorest of his subjects. The Prince in those countries was
called a Rajah, which means much the same thing. There was
no help for it; disease had entered the Rajahâ€™s house of stucco,
with the teak-wood balconies, as if he were a humble laborer,
living in a hut, and eating a handful of rice a day.
â€œWhat was the matter with him? Nobody knew, and wise
doctors came miles and miles to consult over the mysterious
malady and discover a remedy, but all to no purpose. The
wise doctors, as well as all the subjects, believed that Maha-
Laka, a great demon, had thus afflicted the Rajah because he
was a good man.
â€œThere was really nothing more to be done, since the physi-
clans were at their witsâ€™ end.
â€œ The Rajah did not forget to say his prayers, however great
his sufferings; so he went to the temple, offered a whole pyra-
mid of sweet flowers on the altar, according to the formula
of the Buddhist religion, and repeated the Buddha-Sarana.
â€œ Then he came home to the teak-wood palace, laid down on
his mat, and slept for seven days. Slaves hovered about him,
burning perfumes in braziers, and waving fans of peacock
feathers to cool the chamber, yet none dared to disturb his
154 The Catskill Fazrtes.
â€œ The Rajah was dreaming a wonderful dream all this while.
He saw a beach, and water beyond. Waves broke on the
strand, and a thousand dazzling lights shifted over the sparkling
blue surface. It seemed a curious fact that when the Rajah
dipped his hand into the clear, cool-looking water to drink, the
flavor was salt and disagreeable.
â€œ Gazing around on the strange scene, he discovered a grove
of trees, rooted on the very brink where land and water met
â€”the spray dashed over their trunks. These trees rose in slen-
der columns, like mine, with a crown of graceful foliage at the
top. Yes, it was wonderful! While the Rajah marvelled, a
cobra-de-capello, the snake sacred to the Buddhists, glided to
his side, raised its spectacled hood, thrust out its blue, forked
tongue, bowed its head three times, and lapped water from the
leaf reserved for the Princeâ€™s private use. Then the cobra dis-
appeared in the jungle. This was proof enough of Buddha's
â€œA cloud gathered close about him, which the Prince tried
in vain to pierce, growing darker and darker until it was night.
He was afraid of this cloud, and fixed his eyes anxiously on a
rift which clove the vapor like sunshine. Out of this splendor
grew an old man, whose face was calm, like the moon, and he
sat on the mist with his feet crossed. The Rajah knew that
this must be Maha-Sarana, the father of Buddha; so he fell
on his face, pressing his forehead to the ground in the way
his own subjects did when approaching him.
â€œÂ«This is a sacred tree,â€™ said the old man, pointing to the
grove by the sea. â€˜You have failed, through ignorance, to
show it the respect due to all created things. See! The deeply
The Rajahâ€™s Dream. 155
serrated leaf distinguishes it as the favorite of Buddha. The
snake was kind to Buddha while he was on earth, and there-
fore, since the cobra has drank from your leaf, you shall re-
cover health by obeying my commands.
dred hours will bring you to the trees seen by you in this
vision. Eat of the fruit, which must be your sole diet until the
Great Moon has twice given and refused her light. Disease
shall leave thee, but forget not sweet sacrifice to that Brahma
of all Brahmas to whom even demons pay homage. The fruit,
which is partly a transparent fluid and partly innocent food,
grows on the top; by fire alone can it be obtained.â€™
â€œA sound as of a thousand tomtoms broke on the Rajahâ€™s
ear, and he awoke.
â€œThe pious Prince at once arose, placed the palms of his
hands on his forehead, and bowed himself in prayer to Ossah
Pollah Dewyo, the ruler and creator of all gods and demons,
and of the flat earth besides.
â€œNext an offering of fruits, betel-leaves, and flowers was left
under a Bogaha-tree; and it was proclaimed that the invalid
would make a journey.
â€œ Forth came the retinue of warriors and slavesâ€”forth came
the wife from her zenana, wrapped in shawls and veiled with
gauze, through which twinkled the jewels of a princess, attend-
ed by troops of dancing-girls and waiting- women.
â€œThe Rajah climbed a silver ladder to the velvet howdah
on the elephantâ€™s back; the Princess was seated in her litter
of ivory and fragrant woods, and the royal procession moved in
obedience to the command of the old man seen in the dream.
156 The Catskill Fatrtes.
â€œ Through rivers, forests, valleys, and the tangled jungle our
Rajah made his way to the South.
â€œ At last he saw the wide expanse of sea, the blue waters;
and on the margin the trees with slender pillars of trunk and
feathered crown. This crest served as a parasol to shade the
fruit from the vertical rays of the sun, and directly beneath
hung the purple and yellow clusters. No human being lived
on this wild shore; only leopards, elephants, lions, and sloths
roamed about. Who could climb the tree? No one, sure-
ly. The Rajah had a fire built; flames girdled and sapped
its life with intense heat, until the crown trembled, wavered,
and fell, Out ran innumerable creatures that had found a
home in its branchesâ€”large blue scorpions, brown centi-
pedes, black and green beetles, tarantulas, the polonga, and
â€œ Descending from the elephant, the Rajah approached the
The Rajahâ€™s Gratttude. 157
beach, and tasted the water. It was salt and bitter to the pal-
ate, like it had been in his dream.
â€œThe first cocoa-nut was broken, and forth gushed the milk,
as pure and deliciously cool as crystal. The Rajahâ€™s life was
saved by this food.
â€œIn his gratitude he made known to all the world that he
had discovered a tree the fruit of which was renewed health,
the leaf adapted to making huts, mats, fans, and thread, the sap
a refreshing liquor, and the pith a nutritious meal.â€
In the picture the Arabs watered their camels, and prepared
to cross the desert; but they got no farther in their move-
ments, because they were taken in those attitudes.
â€œT canâ€™t make out all that you say,â€ Job remarked, looking
at the palm-tree. â€œWho was Buddha?â€
â€œTf you have heard of the heathen you know what I mean.
The Rajah was a heathen, and worshipped the god Buddha, as
a great many people do in the East. The missionaries go to
those lands to teach them better, and tell them about Christ.â€
Then the palm-tree became part of the picture again.
The tiny visitors grew restless; as for Nip he appeared and
disappeared continually, now climbing among the old blue ware
of the open cupboard, now dancing on Grandfatherâ€™s spectacle-
case, now seating himself in the steel thimble on the shelf as if
it were a tub. However, Job and the Fairies did not expect Nip
to behave well. The Angora cat gave a leap in the air, and
came down with her fur standing on end.
â€œJt must be time for the Fairy of the Cascade,â€ she purred.
â€œ Bang! bang!â€ went the old clock, as if in answer.
158 The Catskill Fatrves.
Then it seemed to Job that the kitchen wall melted away,
and he saw the fall, framed in the ravine, with the hollowed
space below where he had crept many a time to catch the
spray. The banks were crusted with snow, dazzling and pure;
every tree and shrub sparkled with frozen drops; and the water
did not leap over the crag as in summer, but formed a sheet of
ice, as if Nature had fashioned out of the rocks a great organ,
and these were pipes for the winds to play.
Two hands linked together by an ice chain opened the doors
of the cascadeâ€”it seemed the most ordinary thing possible to
Job just thenâ€”and he looked into the recesses of the hills.
There sat the lovely Fairy of the Cascade bewailing her im-
prisonment by cruel Winter.
â€œHe says it does me good, and makes me value my free-
dom in the spring all the more,â€ she moaned. â€œHow I love
the sun for coming to release me! At present he is busy
in other parts of the world, you know. Winter is the most
suspicious tyrant. He would not allow me to visit you with
the other Fairies, because he did not trust me that I would
not run away and make myself a new channel in some other
Job longed to ask for his present, but was too shy.
Then a little voice behind himâ€”it sounded like Nipâ€™sâ€”
â€œ Where is Jobâ€™s Christmas gift ?â€
The Fairy looked kindly at the boy.
â€œMy gift is the magic pole, to help one leap ravines and
over the largest rocks. I shall save it for some other child,
now, because you already own it.â€
Voices from the Outside World. 159
â€œOh, no I donâ€™tâ€”not even a stick,â€ protested Job.
â€œMy dear Job, the magic pole is cheerfulness, which helps
mortals to jump over trials and sorrows, forgetting their own
selfish pleasure. This you already own.â€
Job was puzzled beyond measure. The chained hands closed
the ice door of the cascade, and the wall of the kitchen was in
its proper place.
â€œBless me! The children will not get their dream-thread
in time,â€ said Puff, bustling about.
â€œA merry Christmas to you, Job,â€ piped all the little
The Summer Fairies mingled with winterâ€™s frosty elves ;
Puff and the Laurel Sprites rose in a brilliant cloud. It made
Job giddy to watch themâ€”red and green and pink in circles
like a dissolving rainbowâ€”until he shut his eyes tight to es-
cape the dazzling radiance. Hark! Who called?
Job was sitting in Grandfatherâ€™s chair, which was drawn up
to the hearth, where the log still flickered; and the friendly sun
was not only peeping in the window, but streaming across his
face. Evidently it was day
and Queen Puff? Gone.
The Angora cat stood at Jobâ€™s feet, staring at him with all
Christmas-day. Where were Nip
her eyes; the shell lay on the shelf, the clock ticked in its
Job roused himself, and went to the window. Snow had
ceased to fall; the sky was blue and clear. He raised the sash.
Outside a white field stretched almost unbroken by line of
fence or bush; the flakes had fallen all night.
â€œ Holloa!â€ came the sound again, echoed by all the hills.
160 The Catskill Fatries.
Jobâ€™s heart began to beat hard. They were calling him!
Was he to be dug out of the drift safely? He put his hands
to his mouth, shaped them like a trumpet, and sent a cheery
shout ringing back. Then he danced around the kitchen;
and, because he must do something in his joy at hearing
voices again, he snatched up the cat, and hugged her until
pussy yelled aloud with wrath.
How about the poor cow and the chickens? Job strove to
trace the path he had made with so much labor the day before,
but the snow had covered it. The cow must wait longer for
her breakfast than on the previous day. In the meanwhile Job
was a hero without knowing it. The night before news had
spread from the village to farm after farm that the boy was
alone on the mountain, and when the snow ceased all were
Grandfather's Arrival. 161
ready to turn out with sleighs and ploughs to force a way
through to rescue him.
Grandfather could neither sleep nor eat for thinking of what
evil might have befallen Job in his absence. Perhaps he had
left the shelter of his home to seek help at some distant house,
and had perished in the storm! The old manâ€™s fears grew with
the drifts, as it were. Many hands make light work; the farm-
ers toiled with a will, and cheered up Grandfather. They found
an unexpected ally where the task seemed most difficult. The
still cold which nipped Jobâ€™s toes as the fire went down per-
formed for him a better serviceâ€”it froze the crust of the snow
so that a sleigh could pass over it. This was the party whose
call Job heard.
There never was a boy quite so glad to see faces again as
Job was, and to have Grandfather among them too. All the
farmers laughed as if it were a great joke, and shook Job by
the shoulders; that was their way of expressing satisfaction.
Grandfather felt of the boy carefully to judge if he were frost-
bitten or hurt; then he sank down into his chair, and ex-
â€œ Wal, this never happened to us afore !â€
You may be sure that the cow and the chickens were
reached in a trice, with all those strong arms to clear the way ;
and by the time that was done the tea-kettle sang merrily,
the table was spread, and Grandfather was engaged in making
some of his famous pancakes. The neighbors stayed for a
while, and the Angora cat felt herself quite in the shade with
so many visitors.
Job stood at the window when the sky had assumed the
162 The Catskill Fairies.
green tinge of a cold twilight. He was thinking of his fairy
visitors, and wishing that they would return.
The Lady of the Cascade was in her winter prisonâ€”one knew
exactly where to find her; but roguish Nip and busy Puff, with
her endless spinning, were gone.
â€œ The Fairies came to see me last nightâ€”because I was lone-
ly, I guess,â€ said the boy, gravely. â€œ They told me, oh, such
wonderful things, if I could remember â€™em all.â€
Grandfather looked at Job over the rim of his spectacles.
To tell the truth, he was afraid that his grandson was a little
â€œThere was Nip from the Berkshire Hills, and the Indian
Fairies who live here stillâ€”they told about the witch child,
â€œ Pooh !â€ interrupted Grandfather, looking down again at the
open pocket-book where lay the money he had brought. â€œ You
were asleep and dreamed it.â€
Job was so astonished and indignant that he could not utter
one word. What did Grandfather know about it? Perhaps the
shell and the cat had not talked! He would be saying that
After Grandfather had gone to bed, our hero stole into the
kitchen to see if there were an elfish company gathered around
the hearth. No, the fire blazed and flickered, and had the chim-
ney all to itself. That was all.
â€œYou know about the Fairies, donâ€™t you?â€ Job whispered to
the old clock.
â€œ Tick, tick, tick!â€ said the clock, which might mean any-
thing, or just nothing at all.
â€œ Pussy, what did Nip say?â€
The Angora cat lay curled in a white ball on the chair.
â€œMiouw!â€ she answered, blinking stupidly.
Job crept away slowly. Was Grandfather right, after all, when
he said it was a dream?
This is our story. If any little boy or girl who visits the
Catskills next summer will look for Job, not many miles from
the Mountain House, he may be found, shy and barefooted,
wearing the jacket made out of Grandfatherâ€™s old plum-colored
coat. If he should not be recognized by this description, the
chances are ten to one that the Angora cat will be close be-
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Life. Being the Second Series of a Descriptive His-| on the Ice-Floe, a History of the Polaris Expedition,
tory of the Life of the Globe. By Eniser Reronvs. | the Cruise of the Tigris, and Rescue of the Polaris
Translated. Mlustrated with 250 Maps or Figures, | Survivors. To which is added a General Arctic
and 27 Maps printed in Colors. Svo, Cloth, Â£6 00. | Chronology. Edited by E, Vann Brake. With
SHAKSPEARE. The Dramatic Works of William Map and numerous Mlustrations. Svo, Cloth, $4 00.
Shakspeare, with the Corrections and Illustrations 5 -
of Dr. Tarnow, G. Srrrvens, and others. Revised RAWLINSONâ€™S MANUAL OF ANCIENT HIS-
Bed tod TORY. A Manual of Ancient History, from the
A itiers Renn. Engravings. 6 vols., Royal 12mo, | Earliest Times to the Fall of the Western Empire.
â€˜loth, $9 00.
SMILESâ€™S LIFE OF THE STEPHENSONS. The | Comprising the History of Chaldea, Assyria, Media,
: Babylonia, Lydia, Phenicia, Syria, Judea, Egypt,
Life of George Stephenson, and of his Son, Robert Carthage, Persia, Greece, Macedonia, Parthia, and
Stephenson; comprising, also, a History of the In-
: Rome. By Grorge Rawitnson, M.A., Camden Pro-
vention and Introduction of the Railway Locomo- | oe oe
3 : ssor of Ancie istory i Jniversi -
tive. By Samuet Suites. With Steel Portraits and foucor p(n Aston in the Univer BUWOLOK
numerous Ilustrations. Svo, Cloth, $3 00. | 3 . ar = a
SMILES'S HISTORY OF THE HUGUENOTS. The | â€œ\iihont Hands: being a Description of the Habits
Huguenots: their Settlements, Churches, and In-| gion. of Animals, classed fecordiog to their Princi
dustries in Englandand Ireland. By Samurr SMines. | i aa Bes 2 G
a ple of Construction. By J. G. Woop, M.A., F.L.S.
pee ad Appendix relating $1 pitts Huguenots in) With about 140 Illustrations. 8vo, Cloth, Beveled
Edges, $4 50.
SMILESâ€™S HUGUENOTS AFTER THE REVOCA- ecigtin =
TION. The Huguenots in France after the Revoca- | BELLOWS'S TRAVELS, |The Old World in its New
tion of the Edict of Nantes; with a Visit to the) Face: Impressions of Europe in 1867, 1863. By
Country of the Vaudois, By SaAmvELSainus. Crown Hesry W. Betrows. 2 vols., 12mo, Cloth, $3 50.
Svo, Cloth, $2 00. HAZENâ€™S SCHOOL AND THE ARMY IN GER-
SPEKEâ€™S AFRICA. Journal of the Discovery of the MANY AND FRANCE. The Schvol and the Army
Source of the Nile. By Captain Jonny Hannine in Germany and France, with a Diary of Siege Life
Seexr. With Maps and Portraits and numerous at Versailles. By Brevet Major-General W. â€˜B. Ha-
Illustrations, chiefly from Drawings by Captain zen, U.S.A., Colonel Sixth Infantry. Crown Svo,
Grant. 8vo, Cloth, uniform with Livingstone, Barth, | | Cloth, $2 50.
Burton, &e., $4 00. | COLERIDGEâ€™S COMPLETE WORKS. The Com-
STRICKLAND'S (Miss) QUEENS OF SCOTLAND. plete Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. With an
Lives of the Queens of Scotland and English Prin- | Introductory Essay upon his Philosophical and The-
cesses connected with the Regal Succession of Great | ological Opinions. Edited by Professor Suepn,
Britain. By Agnes SrrickLann. Â§& vols., 12mo, Complete in Seven Vols, With a fine Portrait. Small
Cloth, $12 00. | 8yo, Cloth, $10 50.
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TargetNamespace.1: Expecting namespace 'http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/', but the target namespace of the schema document is 'http://digital.uflib.ufl.edu/metadata/ufdc2/'.
The element type "div" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "