How Nelly found the fairies

Material Information

How Nelly found the fairies a grandmother's story
J.B. Lippincott & Co ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
J. B. Lippincott & Co.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
120, [6] p. : ; 17 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Aunts -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adoption -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Fairies -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Sewing school -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Housework -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1871 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1871
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026817076 ( ALEPH )
ALH2159 ( NOTIS )
09605387 ( OCLC )

Full Text

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by


In the ouliec of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.



S little toA E




ONCE upon a time-about fifty years
ago-there came to a certain town to live
a little girl named Nelly. She had light
curly hair and dark-blue eyes, which were
at times rather dreamy-looking. I don't
mean sleepy-looking eyes, by any means;
but eyes that seemed to be looking be-
yond the chairs and tables, pictures, and
other things that make up one's daily
surroundings,-eyes that often seemed to
be looking into a little world of their own,
seeing pleasant sights sometimes, which
would make them wonderfully bright
Nelly had lost her parents, and had
come from a far-distant city to live with
her uncle and aunt. It happened in this


way: Uncle David was her mother's
brother. When her father died he came
to attend the funeral, and after the last
sad rites were over there must be a break-
ing up of the household; so the children,
consisting of Nelly and her three broth-
ers,-one older and two younger than
herself,-were assigned to the different
Uncle David had his heart set on taking
Nelly, though grandpa, whose pet she had
always been, was very unwilling to part
with her; but Uncle David's children
were all boys, and observing Nelly's quiet,
motherly ways with her own brothers, he
felt that her influence would be good
among the noisy little brood he had left
at home. So with assurances that Nelly
"should be well cared for and sent to
school," after some persuasion and many
tears at the separation of the family,
she was taken to his own home.
Nelly felt the change very deeply; if
she had gone to reside with people of an-


other nation there could not have been a
greater contrast in manner and habits
than the family of her relatives presented
to her former home.
They were a family possessing in an
abundant degree all that might have
made a comfortable and pleasant home,
yet sadly lacking in those refinements
and household courtesies that had made
little Nelly the lady she was universally
acknowledged to be.
Aunt Hannah was one of those busy,
bustling housekeepers who think the end
and purpose of life should be to keep
clean. Not a chair was allowed out of
place; not a particle of dust was allowed
a resting-spot where brush or duster did
not find it; not a ray of light was suffered
to come into the best rooms, lest the.flies
should get in also. Some of the neigh-
bors had said the flies held council out-
side of Aunt Hannah's windows, whether
it were safe for one of them to venture in-
side or not; but woe to the unlucky one


who made the experiment. Nothing es-
caped Aunt Hannah's vigilant eyes. She
was like one of those excellent women
spoken of in the book of Proverbs: She
looketh well to the ways of her house-
hold, she eateth not the bread of idle-
ness;" and she took pretty good care that
no one under her roof should regale them-
selves with any of that kind of bread




SUCH was the home into which Nelly
had come to live, and she was soon in-
stalled maid-of-all-work: to run here and
there; to wash and dress the children,
tend the baby, wash dishes, and scour
knives; in short, she was set to do all
sorts of things that she had never so much
as heard of before. Aunt Hannah said,
when her husband urged that Nelly
should be sent to school, As to her
going to school, that is all nonsense-she
has been to school too much already;
that is what makes her the pale, deli-
cate child that she is; she needs exer-
cise, to make her strong and hearty
like other girls of her age. As to book
learning, she has more now than you
and I together: she can read as well
as a minister; can spell and tell the


meaning of half the hard words in the
dictionary; can rehearse to you the names
of all the books in the Bible right straight
along; and is always telling me this word
is not proper, and that not grammar-like.
Why, she has her head crammed full of
books now. She would do nothing but
read the whole day long if she had her
way. She knows enough about books, but
knows no more about the useful things of
life than a born Hottentot."
Uncle David was silenced but not con-
vinced. He was not much of a scholar
himself, yet he hardly thought a little
girl's education could be very thorough
at eleven years, and she was but eleven
when she went home with Uncle David.
All this has little to do with how
Nelly found the fairies. But I wish
you to know just how she was situated,
that you may be able better to sympa-
thize with her in her little trials, which
I shall tell you about by-and-by. As I
said before, Nelly felt very deeply the


change from her own refined and intel-
ligent home to the busy work-a-day life
she was now leading. Yet she was
not sad or unhappy. Uncle David was
always kind and pleasant to her, and
would not allow any annoyance to come
to her that he could prevent. Aunt
Hannah would scold her sometimes, but
never ill treated her in any way, except
working her hard. She never even
"cuffed her ears,"-a dispensation no
other child in the house escaped for a
single day. She often thought of her
father's counsel to her,-"Always be
gentle and pleasant, Nelly. Be kind to
every one, and you will find friends
wherever you go." Very many friends
the little girl found. All the children
soon came to love her dearly, and would
be more quiet with her, listening to
her stories, than they ever were at any
other time: even Aunt 1hannah admit-
ted that. Then no visitors ever came
to the house who were not attracted


at once by her quiet ways and lady-like
Aunt Hannah was vexed sometimes by
the attention shown to her niece by her
visitors. It was more owing to her pale
face and mourning dress, she said, than
anything else. She wondered folks would
be so foolish as to dress children in mourn-
ing. It was a foolish custom, I think,
Aunt Hannah. Folks are wiser nowa-
days, and do not adopt that custom so



NELLY loved to tell the children stories.
She had read a great many books. Fairy
stories had always been her delight. She
had read very many of them to her little
brothers, to keep them quiet; so that
they should not disturb papa during his
long sickness: then the stories were all
repeated to them from her memory after
the children were tucked away in their
little beds at night. Oftentimes the little
talker and listeners would drop to sleep
with fairy promises about to be realized,
and fairy gifts just ready to be bestowed
upon some favored mortal.
When the request would come from the
little cousins, "Tell us a story, Nelly, oh,
tell us a fairy story!" Nelly was always
ready. In the pleasant twilight they
would cluster around her, and she would


draw from her stores of memory for their
benefit; and if the supply was not equal
to the demand, she was never at a loss to
frame a story from her own imagination.
Sometimes many other children of the
neighborhood would join the little group
around the door-steps, and Uncle David
was often found among the audience;
even Aunt Hannah would listen to the
stories as she sat getting baby Charley to
sleep, and wonder how the child ever
got so much crammed into her head,-
she was the most old-fashioned child she
ever came across, she said.
Some of the stories would be from the
"Arabian Nights:" very marvelous all
those stories are. Then some of the boys
would exclaim, "Pooh! I don't believe
that." After various opinions and dis-
cussions as to the existence of magi,
would come up the question of fairies,-
whether there ever were any or not.
Aunt Hannah, when appealed to, would
give as her opinion that there had been


such things as witches, in old times, but
no fairies. Then some little voice would
whisper, "Do you know for certain if
there are any real true fairies, Nelly?
Did you ever see one ?" Nelly's answer
would be, I have never seen any fairies
yet, but I believe there are real true
fairies, and I shall never give up looking
for them and watching for them till I
find them." And she did find them; and
what do you think helped her about find-
ing them? You would never guess; so
I will have to tell you. It was the old
red cow; the most unlikely animal in the
world, one would think, to help in fairy
matters. I don't believe Moollie" ever
had a fanciful thought in her life beyond
having a fancy for the freshest grass and
the shadiest spot on a hot day. Certainly
she was as unfairy-like in her movements
as any living thing could be.
But I will tell you how she helped
Nelly. Not very far from Uncle David's
house was a fine piece of thick woods,


where Moollie was allowed to go every
day for pasturage. Now, she had a trick
of hiding herself in some out-of-the-way
nook or dell, where the boys who were
sent for her could not find her. Nelly
and Moollie were.great friends; so Nelly
undertook the task of finding her, and
succeeded so well that it became her
regular duty to go after the cow." She
soon found all of Mistress Moollie's
haunts, and was so happy in the woods
herself, she almost wished she was Mool-
lie, that she might spend whole days
Nelly had always lived in a city far
from any woods; so she had never been
in real woods before," as she expressed
it, and her delight knew no bounds at the
treasure she found there. Such lovely
green and white mosses! Such quantities
of beautiful wild flowers, that she could
pick as many as she liked!-flowers that
nobody planted Nelly said, many times,
"Oh, it was so nice out in the woods !"



NELLY was sure she should meet fairies
in some of the lovely nooks which she
would often find in her search for Mool-
lie. She looked very much like a wood
nymph herself oftentimes as she went
homeward laden with mosses, wild flow-
ers, and all sorts of trailing vines, Mool-
lie following slowly after with a garland
of shining leaves and bright flowers
around her neck, tossing her head about,
as if proud of her trappings, or trying to
shake them off-I can't tell which. Nelly
sometimes would get sharply scolded for
staying so long in the woods and for
bringing home such quantities of "trash,"
as Aunt Hannah would persist in calling
her treasures. Nelly wondered every-
body did not see the beauty of these
things as she did; but she bore her scold-


ings bravely as long as she was permit-
ted to keep her treasures in a corner of
the wood-shed, and had a broken-nosed
pitcher to keep her flowers in. What
did she want of all these things ?-what
were they good for?"-were questions
often put to her. Her only answer would
be, "Because they are so pretty and I
love them so much."
I will tell you a secret if you will not
disclose it. Nelly is an old woman now;
her once flaxen curls are well sprinkled
with gray, and many little ones call her
grandmother, but she has never got over
that habit of dragging home all sorts of
woodsy treasures. You may find them
all over her house and all about the prem-
ises at any time of the year. Yet I don't
think she has ever answered Aunt Han-
nah's questions, put to her by many dif-
ferent voices since that time, in any other
way than by her first simple answer,-
" Because I love them."
One day she had followed Moollie into


a delightful retreat, where she found an
abundance of ripe, juicy berries; so she
obtained permission the next afternoon
to go and pick some, promising to be home
in good season with Moollie.
Nelly enjoyed picking the berries very
much. She had filled her basket and cov-
ered it with cool green leaves, and, put-
ting it out of Moollie's reach, sat down on
a little mossy knoll to rest herself. The
cow was quietly chewing her cud beneath
the shade of a large maple-tree. The
ground all about the spot was carpeted
with soft green moss and pigeon vines,
with their bright-colored berries peeping
out everywhere; trunks of ancient trees
were covered with lichens and fairy-cups;
clematis hung in graceful festoons from
the bushes, and the birds were singing
merrily overhead. Nelly could not help
saying aloud, as she had often said before,
"Oh, how I wish the fairies would come!
If I could only see one tiny little fairy!
I do believe they must every one be dead,


or they would come in such a lovely place
as this."
All at once from out a little clump
of ferns sprang a queer-looking little bit
of a lady, dressed in green from head to
foot. Nelly was so amazed for a few mo-
ments that she could neither speak nor
move. The little body seemed to enjoy
Nelly's perplexity, and laughingly said,
in a singularly musical and mellow voice,
"Well, little lady, what is your wish?
I have heard you calling for our people
so many times, I concluded to gratify
your desire, for I know you truly believe
in us, and love all that is pure and beauti-
ful in nature."



OH I am so glad-so delighted !" was
all Nelly could say. I always thought
you would come to me. I always knew
I should find the fairies,"-clapping her
hands with delight as she stood looking
at the fairy, whom she noticed had a
pleasant, kindly face, though somewhat
queer and old-looking. "Oh! I am so
glad, because so many have told me there
were no such things as fairies. Now I
can tell everybody I have seen a fairy
with my own eyes."
No, no, little lady, you must not tell
any one what you have seen," said the
fairy. No one would believe you if
you told it; besides, nothing but trouble
seems to come from fairies having any
intercourse with mortals of these latter
generations. It is very seldom that we


reveal ourselves to any one. Very few
have perceptions pure enough or minds
in sufficient harmony with Nature's laws
to understand us. To some we have
been powers of evil, working in darkness
to upset all of mortals' plans, and con-
tinually doing them mischief, when the
truth is we have always been working
for mortals' good, with no power to do
them evil, if we had the desire. But
what do you wish to say to me, now I
have come to you, little Nelly?"
"Oh, I had so many questions I wanted
to ask you," said Nelly; "but now I am
so happy I cannot think of any of them.
But why don't the fairies come to people
now as they used to in olden times, as I
have read about in story-books? I have
sometimes thought the fairies had never
come to this country, but still lived in
those beautiful old places I have read
about, where the woods were so green
and the people all good."
"The woods are as green here," said


the fairy, as they are in any country,
and the people fully as good; the fairies
as plenty here as they ever were in
those famous old countries, where I have
often heard you wishing to be, that you
might find some of us, little Nelly. One
reason why we don't come to people to
help them, as we formerly did, is that
they do not need our personal services so
much as the generations that are past
used to. Don't you know, little lady,
that our great mother Nature has been
laboring these many years to teach mor-
tils to help themselves, imparting to them
the great secrets of her store-house, so
that magic powers are all within their
own control? We work in secret for
mortals as industriously as we ever did,
as you shall see some time. As the sun
is quite high yet, and you have time to
spare, you may sit on your mossy cushion
while I tell you the past history of some
of our people in this 'new country,' as
I have heard mortals call it. Then you


will understand why I said nothing but
trouble came from our people's having
personal intercourse with mortals."
Nelly sat down listening very atten-
tively while the fairy told her the story,
which she said had never been breathed
to mortal before.



"You must know," said the fairy, "a
long, long time ago we were a very numer-
ous and happy people, dwelling in those
'old countries,' where every family, gentle
or simple, had its household fairies, fays,
or sprites, as they were called. Their
office was to watch around the dwellings
of their friends, to give notice of any
hidden danger, and warn them of unseen
evils; to incite a love of all the beautiful
things of nature in their hearts; to make
the sweetest flowers grow up and bud
and blossom for them; to teach the birds
their purest songs to sing around their
homes; to fill little children's lives with
joy and laughter; to bring happy omens
for lovers, and help to bring about all
true marriages; to make the aged cheer-


ful and hopeful, and impart unseen influ-
ences to strengthen and encourage those
who had to bear the cares and burdens of
life. I cannot tell you of the many ways
by which our people accomplished all
these things, nor of the thousand little
acts of usefulness they delighted in."
"Oh, how I wish I could have lived in
those times !" said Nelly when the fairy
paused a moment.
"You can be as happy now as you
could have been in those days," said the
fairy, "if you keep yourself as pure and
natural as you were created to be. Only
a departure from Nature's true laws can
bring real unhappiness on any one: but
to go on with my history. Once upon a
time something occurred; I never could
understand just what it was, but it brought
grief to many families. Their household
treasures were packed up, and many
seemed about to leave their native soil
for a new country. Many fell down on
their knees and offered up prayers, and


kissed the ground they were leaving.
The fairies could not desert their friends
in this hour of their need; so when
they saw them taking leave of their
homes, with prayers and tears, to cross
the great ocean, they would not forsake
"Oh, I know!" said Nelly, clapping
her hands at her bright thought, "it
must have been the pilgrim forefathers
that came over in the Mayflower. I have
read all about it in my 'Child's History.'
Did the fairies come in the Mayflower
too? Tell me all about it, please, good
"The fairies came, little lady,-and
that is enough for you to know,-and
scattered the germs of May-flowers all
about the soil, or you would not now
find them in their forest-beds, I am think-
ing. Our people found plenty of work
to scatter seed, brought from their old
homes, around the new dwellings of the


"How funny!" said Nelly. "I was
reading the other day about those people,
-the early settlers they called them,-
and the book said these people found
plants, twenty or thirty in number, of
the same sort as they had grown in their
own country, springing up spontaneously
around their dwellings. I guess the man
who wrote the book did not know about
the fairies' vork."
"Probably not; very few understand
our work," said the fairy. "We not only
scattered the flower-germs about their
dwellings, but also carried new plants
and flowers into the heart of their forest-
beds; and woods and meadows gladly
received these pilgrim waifs unto their
fostering bosoms, giving warm shelter
and nourishment, till they lifted their
grateful faces to receive the seal of adop-
tion from paternal sunbeams and a New
World baptism from consecrating rain-
drops. We were soon as happy here as
we had been in the Old World, and the


greensward bent as softly to fairy feet, as
they joyed in their moonlight revels and
merry dances, as ever did the green turf
of merry Old England, or the consecrated
soil of German fatherland.



"A STRANGE race of beings soon came
to take possession of these forest wilds,
and the music of fairy voices was drowned
in their savage yells. They were red
men, half naked, frightful in their looks,
and still more frightful in their actions.
They were unlike any other mortals our
people had ever seen.
"They would build big fires in the
most lovely spots the fairies had chosen,
and would dance around them, uttering
the most hideous noises and yells, hurling
heavy and sharp implements about them
in every direction, so that it was unsafe
for a fairy to appear above ground for a
"Sometimes they would bring captives
and fasten them to trees; then dance
around, throwing murderous weapons at
them, and holding such horrid orgies that


the fairies would tremble with terror and
hide themselves for weeks in the deep
ravines and caverns.
"When these noises would cease for
awhile they would venture out, to ap-
proach the dwellings of their friends;
oftentimes to find their houses burned to
the ground, and the sod around wet with
the blood of those inmates they had loved
and cared for.
Many of the bright flowers which you
so much delight in, little Nelly, drew
their deep colors from the blood-bathed
soil around these dwellings. Fairy fingers
planted and watched over the seed-germs,
to give enduring remembrances of these
"Oh, please tell me the names of some
of these memorial flowers," said Nelly,
" that I may love them more when I
meet them."
No, little Nelly, it were better not,"
said the fairy; "the memory would not
be a happy one to a sensitive little being


like yourself. The flowers grew up bright-
ly, so we must receive them as gifts of joy
rather than of sadness. But to go back
to the red men. I do not think it best
to sadden you with the horrid detail, so
will tell you our people became so dis-
gusted with the scenes around them, and
found themselves so powerless to resist
the influences of evil for their friends,
that they at last retreated in despair to
the depths of far-off forests, and hid them-
selves in the unbroken solitudes, and car-
ried on in secret those works of repro-
duction in other soils for the benefit of
coming generations.
But see, little Nelly," continued the
fairy, "the sun has bid us good-night,
and Moollie stands looking very wistfully
at you, as if she thought it were time you
were going. Another day I will give you
a further history of New World fairies,
provided you tell no one of our meeting."
"No, indeed, I will never tell any one
of our meeting till I am an old woman,"


said Nelly: and she kept her promise;
she never did tell till then.
Nelly soon reached home, stopping on
her way to break off a few cardinal flow-
ers, and wondering to herself if the bright
coloring of their petals was drawn from
the red sod the fairy had told her about.
Aunt Hannah was well pleased with her
nice berries, and promised to let her go
for more before long. Her cousins teased
to go with her next time, but Nelly
thought she would rather go alone. She
felt very important with her wonderful
secret, and said she was never lonesome
in the woods. She looked a little con-
scious as she saw Moollie's large eyes
fixed upon her in a knowing manner, but
she knew Moollie could not betray her
secret. She did not believe she would if
she had the power-they were such good
friends. Moollie never got the switch-
ing now she used to get when the boys
drove her home, and made her run till
she nearly lost her breath.



IT rained for several days, so Nelly did
not get to the woods; but she kept on with
her work, thinking all the time of what
the fairy had said to her. She found an
old book in the closet about the Indian
wars, and she did not wonder the fairies
were frightened as she read of their
dreadful doings with the first settlers.
Nelly was often severely reprimanded
for watching the clouds instead of mind-
ing her work," as Aunt Hannah frequently
told her. The days passed very wearily
to the little girl, she felt so impatient to
hear more of the fairy's story. It seemed
as if there were no end to the piles of
dishes to be washed. Then baby Char-
ley" was "getting teeth," as babies usually
are, whenever they are fretful, from the
time they are three months old till they


pass the period when that excuse is no
longer available for their whims and
crossness. Charley insisted on Nelly's
walking about with him; so she would
walk around with him in her arms till
her side would ache badly and her feet
get very tired. If she stopped telling
him stories or singing to him for a
moment, he would begin to cry. Then
Aunt Hannah would sharply call to her,
" Nelly Kinsman, why don't you mind
the baby? What are you dreaming
about ?"
But rainy days usually clear up, and
so do all the little worries and troubles of
life. To Nelly's great joy the clouds
brightened; the raindrops only dripped
from the boughs, and glistened like dia-
monds in the sunbeams.
Oh, I am so glad!" she exclaimed,
with delight, as she saw the bright clouds
lift their shining folds around the setting
sun. It's going to be a pleasant day to-
morrow. I am so glad !"


"Well, I am glad too," said Aunt Han-
nah. "I should like to get the clothes
dried; there is the whole wash soaking
in the tubs since Monday."
It was not of "the wash" Nelly was
thinking, by any means, Aunt Hannah.
Perhaps when she became the good
housekeeper your careful training taught
her to be, she might have thought get-
ting clothes dried as important as seeing
fairies; but she did not think so then.
The sun rose brightly the next morn-
ing, as Nelly had predicted, and she went
about her work as lively as a cricket, for
she had the promise of an afternoon ex-
cursion to the woods, berrying, as a reward
for extra work. Her activity and quick
motions called out the remark from Aunt
Hannah, as she lingered at the dinner-
table with her husband, "You see Nelly
can work as spry as any one if she has a
mind to. There she has been moping
about these three days, and I could hardly
get a bit of work out of her, or a word


either. Now, to-day, she has been flying
about, brisk as a bee, just to get done to
go out in the woods after berries. She is
the strangest child I ever saw."
"Well, Hannah, don't put too much
work on the child," Uncle David said.
" She has never been used to housework,
and it must come hard upon her. I would
ten times rather hire help for you than
have it said we made a drudge of my
sister's child,-and she a delicate child,
"Delicate !-fiddlesticks She always
would have been delicate if she had been
kept at school, as you wanted. She is
growing stout and strong every day,
owing to this work you fuss so much
about. Why, when I was her age,
twelve years old, I could do a woman's
work, and- "
"Yes, yes, Hannah," Uncle David in-
terrupted (probably he had heard the
story of his wife's accomplishments
before), "I know you were a born


worker, but it don't follow every one else
should be. All I want is to do right by
the child, so that I may not be ashamed
to meet her parents in another world.
Sometimes I think they may be watching
us now, to see whether we are doing our
duty to their child. Don't you ever think
of it, Hannah ?"
"Well, I don't often trouble my head
with such -out-of-the-way notions," said
Aunt Hannah. I have all I can do to
keep things straight in this world; and if
the child's parents did not leave what-
ever of common sense they might have
had behind them when they left this
world, I don't believe they will make a
quarrel with me in another world for
trying to bring up their child to be of
some use in this; so you may set your
heart to rest, David Wilson, that while
your niece lives With me I shall teach her
to do whatever I think proper."
Uncle David was silenced, as usual.
He was not permitted to do what he had


intended for his niece's benefit, but wisely
withdrew from further discussion, hoping
time or circumstances would enable him
better to fulfill his intentions. So laying
down his pipe, which he had taken up in
the warmth of his argument, he went
quietly off to his business; Aunt Hannah,
to resume her occupations; and Nelly,
unconscious of the remarks of which she
had been the subject, skipped merrily out
of the house, with her basket on her arm,
delighted with the prospect of an after-
noon in the woods.



NELLY soon found the places where the
berries grew very thickly, and filled her
basket as quickly as possible. She knew if
she got no berries she would not be likely
to get the liberty of a whole afternoon to
herself in the woods very soon. If Aunt
Hannah could have seen how nimbly
those little fingers worked, she would not
have called her a "slow-poke" then. As
soon as she had accomplished her berry
picking, she placed them carefully in a
cool spot, and went to her mossy seat to
wait for her fairy friend. She did not
have to wait long, for soon the ferns were
pushed aside, and the little green lady
stood beside her, with her face smiling
as ever.
"Well, little Nelly," she began, "you
are waiting to hear the rest of my story,


I expect, so I will tell you why we left
our retreats in the deep forest, where we
had fled from sight of the fearful red
"You must know our people were al-
ways of a social nature and loved human
companionship. So, after the tramping
of heavy feet had for a long while ceased
to be heard on the turf over our heads,
and the echoes of savage yells had died
away, our queen held council with her
subjects; and as they desired to be nearer
the abode of mortals, in their sympathy
with humanity, permission being granted,
they issued forth in gay troops from the
heart of the deep forests.
"Great was the astonishment of our
people, as they came near the settlements,
to see what mortals had accomplished
during the years of their absence.
Stately forests had disappeared,
and thriving villages had sprung up.
Churches, school-houses, and other fine
buildings had taken the places of the


rude dwellings of former years. Im-
mense fields and acres of waving grain
were growing in spots where once the
interlacing trees had shut out the bright
"Sleek-looking cattle were grazing on
the green hillsides, and rejoicing in ver-
dant pastures where the smoke of Indian
wigwams had once been the terror of
every living object.
"Flocks of white-winged fowl were
gracefully skimming over the ponds
where the water-lilies had alone starred
their dark-blue surface, inaccessible to
human footsteps in days gone by.
"Industry and thrift were in every
place; yet our people saw they were
lacking in the adornments of home.
There were but few flowers visible around
these new dwellings. It seemed as if
every tree or shrub had been purposely
removed from their neighborhood. Prob-
ably this had been necessary at the first
of their 'clearings,' that no shelter might


be given to their hidden foes, the fierce
and blood-thirsty Indians.
"Our people applied themselves at once
to scatter around these homes the seeds
of such plants, trees, and flowers as might
tend to beautify them and refine the taste
of the people; but they soon found, to
their great sorrow, that the golden link
of sympathy between mortals and fairies
was broken forever, and all their efforts
to reunite the chain were unavailing.
"Unremitting labor, the desire of gain,
and all the sterner elements of life had
taken possession of this new generation,
to the crowding out of the love of the
beautiful, the delights of fancy, and all
enjoyments of those healthful sports and
pastimes, so desirable to soften the cares
of life and smooth its rough passages.
"Labor and care seemed to have left
their impress alike on heart and feature;
so our people had to content themselves
with working out in secret all those influ-
ences which might have a softening and


refining tendency on the lives of other
generations, hoping those good old times
might be restored when old and young,
mortals and fairies, might mingle together
in joyous harmonies with birds and flow-
ers, and all animated life rejoice in the
gift of existence, and each in their own
way render grateful tribute to the Giver.
"You must understand, little Nelly,
that fairies differ in their gifts and dis-
positions much as mortals do, except that
they are never malicious, though often
sportive and sometimes mischievous. So,
many of the younger fays, not fancying
the sober turn affairs had taken, obtained
permission to mingle with the children,
to attract and interest them; this they
would do by sporting amid the butterflies
and dainty little birds, and beguiling the
children into many a frolicksome chase
over hill and dale after them. Some-
times they allowed themselves to be
almost within reach of little hands and
the swinging of ragged caps; then, when


the little ones would set up their shouts
of glee, thinking they were sure of their
captive, they would dart off to alight on
a little girl's sunbonnet; then entice them
on till they reached some lovely spot
where the wild flowers grew in great pro-
fusion. These would often delight the
children, who would form them into
wreaths for hats and bonnets, and toss
them about from one to the other, making
the woods ring with their merry laughter,
then bearing to their homes the bright
and beautiful flowers, which would oft-
times cause the face of some toil-worn
mother to light up for a few moments
with a feeling of pleasure, or some weary
invalid to forget suffering under their
soothing influence.



SOMETIMES the fays would draw the
humming-birds around some cottage win-
dow, to sport amid the red and white
hollyhocks, attracting the eyes of some
fair-faced girl from her spinning-wheel,
till she would stand, wheel-pin in hand,
dreamingly looking out of the window:
perhaps a chiding voice would recall her
from her dreaming and bid her attend
to her work.'"
"Oh, I understand how that is done,"
said Nelly; "Aunt Hannah is always
chiding me in just that way when I am
watching the birds amd wondering what
the bees are saying. But please go on,
good fairy; I could not help speaking, it
seemed so much like Aunt Hannah's way
when I am idling."
"Well," said the fairy, "there soon


grew up a great love for the children in
the hearts of the fays. The old sym-
pathy seemed coming back, and they
were very happy together; but they often
brought their little friends into trouble.
The fays had not the prudence of the
older fairies, so would lead the children
into many pranks and frolics, which
would sometimes draw punishment upon
them. They would go sporting around
their schools, attracting their attention
from their tasks, thus getting them into
many little difficulties.
"There was one day of the week which
proved a particularly unfortunate one for
the fays and children. Fairies, you must
know, pay but little regard to mortals'
division of time. Like all of Nature's
agencies, they fulfill their purposes in all
times and seasons, so could not under-
stand why mortals should feel it to be
wrong to be joyous and happy on this
special day.
"When the people ceased from their


labor on the return of these days, and
went about so solemnly with such grave
faces, and tried to tone down the bright
spirits of their children to their staid and
gloomy ways, the laughing elves would
often bestir themselves more merrily than
ever, tempting the restive little mortals
to look longingly out of the windows upon
the bright fields and meadows, to listen
to the merry little birds, who would not
be restrained in their joyousness, were
mortals ever so sombre.
"The poor little beings would often get
their ears severely pinched, or receive a
rough shaking, for not sitting staid and
grave as their grandsires, listening to
teachings of which they understood not
a word.
"The fays were much annoyed by the
severe treatment of their favorites, and
resolved on some kind of retaliation on
those who were so stern in their manage-
ment of the little ones. So on one of
those delightful June mornings, when all


Nature seemed to be holding high festi-
val, the fays enticed all the birds from
the neighboring woods to the orchard
which stood directly back of the old
"Perched on the blossomed branches
which swept by the opened windows,
they all broke out into their most joyous
carols just as the preacher was about to
commence the morning service; and with
the strains of melody there were wafted
over the waiting congregation clouds of
floral incense, and pink and white blos-
soms were scattered by the zephyrs alike
on youthful forms and hoary heads. The
pastor, a venerable man, paused, and
bent reverently, as if in unison with
Nature's glad refrain. Most of the people
seemed touched with the scene.
Sunnywing, the fay who had planned
this interruption of the regular worship,
was in ecstasies. Our people are always
delighted whenever mortals are brought
into. sympathy with Nature's inspirations.


Poor, foolish little fay! Could she have
foreseen all the sorrow she was bringing
upon herself by her doings she would
have fled in despair.
"Turning her eyes toward the chil-
dren, her pleasure was turned into indig-
nation to notice the pulling little ears
were getting and the vigorous shaking
little bodies were receiving from their
elders, for raising themselves on tiptoe to
look after the birds, or springing from
their seats to grasp the white leaflets,
which floated like snowflakes around
"There was one family in which there
were a number of sprightly, roguish chil-
dren, whose elders were unnaturally strict
and severe with them. Sunnywing was
determined to have her revenge on the
father for his treatment of the children
in church that morning. So when they
were engaged in evening prayer she stole
softly in behind him, and began to slyly
pull his hair and pinch his ears, much to


the stern man's perplexity and distraction
from his devotions.
"The recital of the bewildered man's
distress so amused the fays that they
commenced a series of tricks and pranks
of mischief, not only in this family, but
also in several others; inciting roguish
children to many little performances,
such as making strange noises around
their dwellings while family devotions
were being conducted, dropping things
down the chimneys, hiding away articles
needed for daily use, and putting furni-
ture and household stuff into confusion
generally. The fays were always ready
with their assistance in any plans for
mischief, little thinking to what these
performances were leading.
"The children, elated with the excite-
ment they were causing, were ready for
even more pranks than the fays had
thought of doing.
"The people at length became so
alarmed and excited that the fays found


it was time to desist from their teasing
"But the mischief was done. The
excitement spread from house to house,
while the people listened to the most
foolish and exaggerated stories, the in-
ventions of wicked brains, till fays and
children, terrified at the results of their
frolics, withdrew in silent dismay.



"INSTEAD of seeking to find out the
causes of these disturbances, which they
could easily have done, as the frightened
children were ready to have confessed
their faults, the people attributed them
to the working of evil spirits, and called
those harmless little pranks the doings of
Satan, the prince of darkness. I don't
know who he was, but suppose he might
have been'one of the red men's deities.
The wildest and most absurd tales were
fabricated. All poor and infirm mortals
were accused of being witches, di.;-ii
off to prison, and often to the dreadful
death of the gallows."
"Oh, dear! why couldn't the fairies
have put a stop to such dreadful doings?"
said Nelly. "Why didn't the fays and


children confess what they had done ? I
have heard my grandmother tell about
the Salem witchcraft. Why didn't your
people tell the folks they were not
witches' doings, only thoughtless chil-
dren's pranks ?"
"The people were too much excited to
listen to reason, little Nelly. The chil-
dren were so frightened and bewildered
by the strange stories circulated, and of
the deeds said to be done by unseen forces,
that they hardly knew how much they
had been to blame, or how much of the
mischief they had really done. If one of
our people approached any mortal, that
only made matters worse: the persons
would at once be accused of witchcraft
and of holding intercourse with imps and
evil spirits. So our people were in utter
despair. The fays who had first started
the mischief fled to distant woods and
were not seen for years afterward. The
whole troop of fays were ,forbidden by
their queen ever to hold intercourse with


mortals. After that time I suppose, little
Nelly, you know all I could tell you of the
horrid transactions of the deluded mor-
tals of those days-how old and young
were accused of the most absurd doings-
of the numbers dragged off to shameful
deaths who were innocent of even harm-
ful thoughts. So evil in their suspicions
had many become toward their neighbors
that it became unsafe for a bird to hop
around a dwelling, lest the inmates should
be accused of having familiar spirits.
"The fairies did all they could by un-
seen influences to restore people to the
use of their reason, and at last succeeded;
so when order and cheerfulness took the
place of misrule and terror, our people
withdrew forever from direct communi-
cation with mortals, although in secret
they might always work for their benefit.
Now you understand, little lady, why we
do not visit mortals as we were said to
in story-book times, and why I cautioned
you not to tell of our acquaintance, as


nothing good has seemed to come from
personal intercourse with mortals.
I was drawn to you, little Nelly, by
your pure love of Nature, and permitted
to speak to you because of your strong
faith in fairies. Now, lest I bring harm
upon you by talking so long, you had
better hasten home with Moollie, before
I take it into my head to bewitch her, or
milk her, as the brownies are said to do."
Please, let me ask you one question,"
said Nelly. "Were there ever any such
beings as witches at all?"
"I don't think there ever were, Nelly,"
said the fairy, "because all things that I
ever knew were created for some good
purpose, and I never heard of anything
except evil being attributed to witches;
so I think they are a class of beings that
never existed out of the imaginations of
ignorant and credulous people. Is there
anything else you would like to ask me,
little Nelly, you seem to look wishful ?"
"If you please, I would like to ask if


the fairies have names?" said Nelly.
"You spoke of Sunnywing; I would like
to know your name, good fairy?"
You may call me Green Mantle," said
the fairy; "we all have names according
to our gifts."
Nelly noticed for the first time that the
fairy's dress was all of bright green
leaves; that a mantle of broad, shining
leaves was thrown over her shoulders;
that her hat was a large lily-pad; her
hair also had a greenish tinge, Nelly no-
ticed, as the rays of the setting sun fell
upon it. Nelly thanked the fairy for her
story and for telling her name, and begged
her to meet her often in the woods, as-
suring her no harm could come of their
Nelly ran to get her basket, and as she
came back she had a merry laugh, for
Moollie stood looking at Green Mantle
with such a queer expression on her face,
as if deliberating whether to nip at her
or not,-just as Nelly thought the cow


might have looked that swallowed that
ancient hero of the story-book, Tom
Moollie gave such a nice pail of milk
that night that Nelly was sure fairy or
brownie had not troubled her : the berries
were praised at the supper-table; so Nelly
could not see any harm that was likely
to come from her fairy acquaintance.
After the supper things were cleared
and all her work done, Nelly joined the
children in a game of hide-and-seek out
of doors, and no one would have thought
the merry, laughing girl was the same
demure little maiden that had sat all- the-
afternoon listening so soberly to the
fairy's history of the doings of the early
settlers of her native land.



NELLY thought over all the strange
stories the fairy had told her, and wished
she could write her grandmother about
the cause of the withcraft excitement.
Her grandmother had told her many
times of the strange doings of those
people. She was too wise to believe in
the foolish stories of witches, yet she had
always said "there was something very
mysterious about the whole affair." Nelly
thought it would be so nice to be able to
clear up the mystery and explain the
whole story to her grandmother, but she
would not break her promise to the fairy;
She began to wish she could see others
of the fairy people besides Green Mantle,
and wondered if she should ever receive
fairy gifts from them, as the persons she
had read about in her story-books had


done; so the next time she met her fairy
friend she ventured her request for both
these favors.
So, then, my acquaintance alone does
not satisfy you, little lady!" said the
fairy. How long is it sinceAI heard a
little voice saying, 'Oh, if I could but see
one fairy,-just one tiny fairy,-I should
be so happy'? You are just like all your
race, Nelly,-never satisfied with what is
"Don't be offended, good fairy. I did
not mean that I was not satisfied with
you (and I have been so happy in meet-
ing you and thinking over all you have
told me); but I thought it would be so
delightful to see whole troops of little
fairies at their sports or employments"
said Nelly.
"Your wish shall be gratified some
time," said Green Mantle; "but what
particular gift did you wish of fairy
bestowment, little lady ?"
"Oh, there are so many things I would


like, I hardly know what to ask for,"
said Nelly. I would like very much to
be beautiful,-so beautiful that everybody
would love me, you know."
That is one of the best reasons in the
world for wishing to be beautiful," said
the fairy; "but don't you know, little
girl, Nature has already bestowed upon
you a face that you can always make
charming and beautiful by kindness and
good nature? I think you can do more
for yourself than I can do for you, Nelly,
in this respect. Now, what next is there
so desirable that mortal endeavors cannot
secure ?"
"Well, then," said Nelly, "I would
wish for riches. I would like a purse
like one the fairies once upon a time be-
stowed upon Fortunatus, that he could
take as much money out of as he pleased
and it was never empty. I read the story
in my Book of Fairy Tales."
"What do you want of money, little
puss ?" said the fairy. "You have plenty


to eat, do you not ?-good enough clothes
to wear?-a comfortable bed to sleep in?"
"Oh, yes, I have all those things and
a great many more; but then it is so nice
to be rich, you know; to have a carriage
and fine horses to ride, and such lots of
nice things," said Nelly.
"Why, what is the matter with those
active little limbs that they cannot be as
happy running about as they could riding
in a fine carriage ?" said the fairy.
"Well, at any rate I would not have
to wash dishes if I were rich," said Nelly,
" and that is what I hate to do I would
buy lots of nice books and read all day
long, and have servants to wait upon me,
and be dressed in fine clothes all the
"Oh dear, how vain and indolent we
are getting to be !" said the fairy. "Well,
I don't think it would be wise for me to
bestow the magic purse on you at present.
I think you will develop quite as well
under Aunt Hannah's discipline in the


place where Providence has assigned you,
little Nelly, as you would in luxury and
indolence. Perhaps at some future day
the riches may come when you will have
acquired wisdom to use them."
Nelly saw how selfish she had been in
all her desires, and tried to mend her
mistakes by saying "how much she
should give to poor people if she had
riches, and how many beautiful gifts she
should bestow on friends, and have so
many nice things to show people when
they came to see her."
But the fairy only laughed at her
after-thoughts, as she called them, and
told her she was nothing but a little
specimen of a mortal after all. As to
any beautiful gifts money could buy her,
she doubted if any of the gifts would
give her more joy than the treasures she
had found in the woods. She reminded
Nelly of the pleasure her first bunch of
violets and anemones had given her; of
her delight over the apronful of delicate


bloodroot blossoms she had carried home
one night; of the bunches of scarlet
columbines she had gathered; besides the
bright roses, mosses, and vines, which she
had said were the most beautiful things in
the whole world. Then there were blue
gentians, which Nelly had gone into rap-
tures over, and declared the flowers had
coaxed some of the blue from the sky
into their bosoms, and were afraid to un-
fold their fringed wrappers, lest the blue
might fly off and pass into the sky again.
She bade Nelly remember her pleasure
when her aunt put her gentians in her
best glass pitcher, because Nelly had said
they were just the color of little Charley's
eyes. "What could money buy you,
little Nelly," the fairy added, "that
would make you any happier than you
have been all summer in the enjoyment
of these sweet and lovely productions of
Nature,-gifts which all can have for the
gathering ?"
Nelly said "she had been very happy


in her woodsy treasures, and was sure
there was nothing more lovely; but she
should love these just as well if she were
ever so rich."
Green Mantle told her great riches
often had a tendency to pervert the taste
and change the love for what was pure
and natural into admiration of things
showy and artificial; oftener made mor-
tals selfish and proud than kind-hearted
and amiable. So Nelly concluded she
had not been very wise in her two first
wishes, but was sure the fairy would
think well of her next wish, which was
for a magic ring, like one she had read
of a famous prince receiving from a good
fairy. This ring had a sharp point, con-
cealed by a little spring. Whenever the
prince was about to do a wrong action
the spring would press the sharp point
into his finger. As long as he was guided
by his ring he was wise and good, and
the people all loved him; but at last he
became tired of having his finger pricked


so often, so took the ring from his finger
and threw it into the sea. After that he
grew so bad and did so many wicked
things the people became tired of him
and had him put to death.
"So you would like a ring like that,
little Nelly?" said the fairy, as Nelly fin-
ished her story. "Are you quite sure
you would not become tired of such a gift
and throw it away, as the prince did?
Did it never occur to you, little lady,
that you have such a reminder that you
may not always give heed to?"
Nelly thought the fairy meant the
little, plain gold ring she wore upon her
finger; so, slipping it off, she said, That
was her papa's gift to her on her last
birthday. This has no spring in it," she
continued, "'but a verse with a blessing,'
papa said, when he gave it to me; and
he told me always to remember it.
'Blessed are the pure in heart,' were the
words." Then Nelly told the fairy how
sad her papa looked when he gave her


the ring, saying 'it was the last birth-
day he should ever be with her on earth,
but he should watch over her from his
heavenly home, he trusted, and see her
life ever pure and bright as the gold
and rounding perfectly as this ring.'
I wonder what he meant by my life
rounding ?" said Nelly, thoughtfully.
I suppose he meant becoming perfect
in all its parts and harmonizing; nothing
sharp or rough about it, but every little
action smoothed and rounded into a com-
plete and perfect whole. That is what
I think must have been his meaning;
but you had better ask some wiser person
than I am about that, little Nelly," said
the fairy.
"I never thought of this before, good
fairy," said Nelly. I wonder if my life
is growing like that now ? It is certainly
growing smoother and more pleasant. I
used to feel so lonely and sad when 1 first
came to live with Aunt Hannah: I used
to wish every night papa, would come and


take me up to heaven to live with him
and mamma; but I am a great deal hap-
pier now. Aunt does not scold me nearly
so much as she did; the baby runs alone
now, so I do not have to carry him about
as I used to till my side ached so badly.
Then Uncle David won't let me carry in
water from the pump any more, because
he said it was too hard work for a little
girl; then the boys are kinder to me, and
don't tease me as they used to: they all
have come to love me and help me about
my work. Aunt Hannah lets me keep
my pretty flowers on the mantel and put
pretty vines around the looking-glass.
Then I come to the woods and have
pleasant talks with you. I think I am
very happy now. Don't you think papa
is glad to see me happy, good fairy?"
"I have no doubt that he is, little
girl. Do you know you are doing a
fairy's work in your uncle's family,
bringing them all into loving what is
pure and beautiful, refining their lives


by your gentle ways and kindly man-
ners ? Keep up a brave heart, little lady,
they will all come into harmony with
your ideas by-and-by. You can do them
more good, and have more happiness
yourself, by rightly using the gifts Na-
ture has bestowed upon you, than you
would by any magic powers I might
confer upon you. Your little ring may
become to you a better monitor than the
one the prince received from fairy hands,
if you think of the words of your parent
when the little monitor within your
breast tells you of wrong promptings."
Nelly thanked the fairy for her advice,
but thought it strange she should have
talked her into the belief that she needed
nothing but what she already possessed.
So, throwing back the chain of glossy
leaves she had been putting around
Moollie's neck out of the reach of her
long tongue, she started for home.



"THE wreath was very becoming to
Moollie," Green Mantle said; and as
Nelly had her apron full of all sorts of
bright things, which Aunt Hannah had
told her she might bring home for the
sitting-room fireplace, the fairy told her
laughingly she made a much prettier
sight going home in that manner than
she would have done going home Cin-
derella-fashion in a coach-and-six. "And
I suppose you expected to receive such
gifts from fairies," she added, "instead
of grave talk and advice."
Nelly could not help laughing at the
idea of going home to Aunt Hannah in a
coach with six horses, but she could not
help saying to herself as she went along,
"This is not just what I always thought
to receive from fairies if I ever found


them; but somehow I don't believe things
ever do come just as people expect."
The family all seemed as pleased with
Moollie's trappings as Nelly was. The
boys did not laugh at her as they used
to, and call her a "silly thing" for dress-
ing up a cow, but petted Moollie, and
pulled up fresh carrots for her, till she
began to think herself a very important
personage in the family, and, I am sorry
to say, rather presumed upon her im-
portance, by following the family into
the house, intending, I suppose, to take
supper with them. But she stopped
short of the dining-room, for on the
kitchen table she found a sheet of nice
gingerbread Aunt Hannah had left there
to cool. She treated herself to that, in
perfect appreciation of Aunt Hannah's
cooking, and was about to taste the loaves
of nice white bread which lay there, when
she was discovered at her feast, and had
to make a hasty retreat.
The blame of Moollie's depredations on


the family stores was laid on Nelly's
head, as it was proved on evidence that
she had been in the habit of feeding the
animal with pieces of bread and cake,
thereby creating a love for dainties not
proper for cows to indulge in.
But Uncle David only laughed over
Aunt Hannah's vexation at the loss of
her gingerbread, and said Nelly was just
as her mother used to be when a child.
She was always feeding all the animals
about the place with her cakes and ap-
ples, so they would all follow her. He
remembered one time she got into trouble
by picking all the pink blossoms from a
nice young tree to make garlands for the
neck of a little Bossy" she used to play
with in his father's orchard.
It was not a very long time after this
that Nelly had a good opportunity to test
the charm of her little ring as a restraint
on wrong-doing.
Nelly had among her choicest treasures
a beautiful glass toy she had brought


from her former home. It was an exqui-
sitely-wrought castle of spun glass of for-
eign manufacture. It was ornamented
by towers and minarets of different colors;
had such shining little doors and win-
dows, that might have opened into rooms
where the daintiest of little fairies could
have held their court. There were walks
all around the castle, sparkling little trees,
glass deer, and bright-colored birds. It
was a treasure any child might have cov-
eted. In addition to its attractions, Nelly
had received it as a parting gift from her
grandpapa, whom she had always loved
so dearly. She had often taken the deli-
cate little fabric from the box to show
the children when they were good. Then
she had told them of her dear grandpa,
with his long white hair and pleasant
face; how he had cried when he took her
upon his knees and kissed her so many
times the morning she left him. Then
he had given her the glass house she had
longed so many times for, telling her "he


was an old man, and might never see her
again; but his darling little girl must
come to him some time in that house of
many mansions'-he had often read her
about in his big Bible." Very soon after
she came to live with her uncle's family
her dear grandpa went to that house of
many mansions." So Nelly prized his
gift more than ever, and somehow, in
her childish way, connected the thoughts
of the beautiful home he had gone to in-
habit with the shining mansion he had
given her. Perhaps it was from the
memory of gates of pearl and walls of
jasper and emeralds she had read about
and associated with the glistening colors
of her dear miniature castle. She had
always kept the box containing her
treasure on the highest shelf in her
chamber closet. One stormy day the
children were all at home from school,
and were prowling about house, as boys
usually do at such times, in search of
something to amuse themselves. Nelly


was busy in the kitchen when she heard
something fall overhead, and her name
called in a doleful tone by several voices.
She ran up-stairs very quickly, and, to
her great grief, saw the much-valued
castle lying in a thousand particles on
the floor, while the' children's faces were
pictures of dismay.
Nelly's first impulse was to fly at them
passionately and beat them; but as she
lifted her hand, the sight of her ring (an-
other precious gift) restrained her, and,
clasping her hands tightly, she burst into
such lamentations and sobs the children
were frightened, and Aunt Hannah came
running up to learn what the trouble was.
But she did not mend the matter much
by calling her "a great baby to make
such a fuss about a glass toy!" The
boys, who had expected punishment from
some source, caught the idea of escaping
from blame for their mischief by joining
in sneering at Nelly for crying so bit-
terly; but their mother soon turned the


tables on them, and would have whipped
them soundly for meddling with Nelly's
things had not the little girl interfered in
their behalf, saying, as plainly as her sobs
would allow her, "They did not mean to
break her pretty house, she knew."
"No, indeed, we did not," Cousin Henry
said. "I am so sorry, Nelly. I would
take a whipping in a minute if that would
mend it. I only meant to take it out of
the box for a moment to let the baby
see it, when the box slipped from my
hands, and it broke all to pieces. Don't
cry any more, Nelly; when I am a man
I will go to Antwerp, where your grandpa
bought that, and get you one just like it."
Nelly tried to tell them it was because
it was grandpa's gift that she felt so badly
at losing it: "his last parting gift," she
said, sobbing.
"Well, there, you have cried enough
over it. Take the baby away from there;
he is putting the bits of glass in his
mouth," Aunt Hannah said, adding, "It


was a foolish gift for a child anyway; she
wondered it had not been broken long
Nelly recollected, as she swept up
the broken glass, the remark her grand-
mother had made when the dear old
man brought the gift to her, "That the
treasure had better be kept there for
Nelly till she grew up, as it was so deli-
cate as to require very careful handling,
and would soon be broken if moved about."
What a comfort the memory of his an-
swer would be to her now! "Well," he
said, "the trinket may not last long, but
I think the memory of it may last her
many years, for she will receive it as a
token of grandpa's affection, which could
not deny his little girl any gratification
he could give her."
Nelly wiped her tears, and, kissing the
children for their tender sympathy and
expressions of sorrow, went quietly on
with her work. No one knew of the
tender memories that were stirring that


loving little spirit, or thought of the con-
quest she had gained, which a wiser than
Aunt Hannah had pronounced greater
than taking a city,-the conquest over
one's spirit.



SooN the bright fall days came; those
delicious golden days when it seemed as
if all of summer's glories were condensed
into joy and fragrance, gracefully form-
ing all the beautiful parts of The season's
enjoyment into one magnificent tableau,
that the impression might remain when
winter had dropped the snowy curtain.
It was on an afternoon like this Nelly
came to the woods with a very sad ex-
pression on her usually cheerful face.
Soon Green Mantle met her, and said,
in cheery tones, "Why, what is the mat-
ter, little lady, that you wear a disconso-
late face on such a lovely day as this?
Don't you see how clear the sky is-how
deep the blue is in the arches over your
head-how like rainbows the trees are,
bright with promises of' future spring-


comings? I wonder much that you do
not long for wings to fly upward in this
soft, balmy air, and perch on the very
treetops, as those joyous birds are doing.
It seems to me they must be trying to
charm the goddess of summer into an-
other reign, their strains are so lively and
melodious. Come, you must put on a
brighter face to be in harmony with the
scene, or I shall leave you to yourself and
seek more congenial company."
Nelly told the story of her shattered
castle, and another sad tale of the destruc-
tion of valued possessions in the shape of
a pocket of cherished letters. The pocket
was, I suspect, just like the one the fa-
mous Lydia Locket lost. Nelly's pocket
was safe, however, but her letters had
helped to feed the flames of Aunt Han-
nah's burnt-offerings to the genius of
house-cleaning. Many of them," Nelly
said, "were dear grandpa's letters; those
she never could have any more. There
was one from Aunt Martha, which came


to her when her little brother Willy died,
in which was a lock of his golden hair.
Aunt Martha had cut the little curl from
his sweet head before they put him in
the little casket, and sent it to her with
the tidings that 'Willy had gone to his
papa.' She had not cried much at that
time, because she knew how her papa
had loved little Willy, and never liked
to have him out of his sight before he
went to heaven himself, to join her
mamma, who had left Willy when he
was but three days old. She thought it
best her parents should have their baby
with them. Willy was just four years
old," she said, ending her pathetic little
story with the remark "that she had
nothing left now to remind her of grand-
pa or Willy. Oh! I felt so badly," she
said, "when Aunt Hannah burnt my
letters that I could not help crying as
hard as I could cry. I believe Aunt
Hannah was sorry for what she had done
when she saw how badly I felt; but she


said she thought old letters were nothing
but rubbish."
The fairy sympathized with Nelly's
little misfortunes, and came to a con-
clusion she had often felt in her mind
before, that grown-up mortals were very
unmindful of children's troubles and very
slow to respect their rights." But she
cheered Nelly by telling her she was
wrong in saying she had nothing left of
her treasures. "You have," said she, "a
valuable little casket, full of choice things,
and you can always keep the key your-
self, so that no one can take them from
you: the casket of your memory I mean,"
said the fairy, seeing Nelly's surprised
look. I shall give you a pretty pic-
ture now, to lay away in the casket, if
we don't spend all the afternoon in grave
talk. Come," said she, tripping along,
"I will show you a sight equal to your
story-book wonders."
Nelly followed as fast as she could, but
she could hardly keep in sight of Green


Mantle, whose feet seemed scarcely to
-touch the ground; and Nelly saw, what
she had never suspected before, that the
fairy had little wings peeping out beneath
her mantle.
Soon they came to a large maple-grove.
There was a fine sight indeed! The
whole scene seemed aglow with scarlet
flame. The hedges were all bordered
with bright barberries, with their coral
branches; tall golden-rods held up their
yellow torches; wild sumachs flaunted
their variegated banners, while the trees
presented the appearance of an immense
flower-garden of magnificent growth, so
varied and bright were the colors they
sported. Nelly had never seen the woods
in their autumn glory before; so she was
half wild with delight. When the gentle
zephyrs lifted aside the leaves, she saw
every branch alive with tiny fairies, with
little wands, giving the tints to each leaf,
which only fairy fingers could shade so
delicately, each fairy leaving the hue of her


dress on the leaves she touched; so when
Green Mantle came along, she left bright-
green spots on all her wand passed over.
Oh, how busy all those little fairies were
on that bright autumn afternoon! lHow
busy they must have been for many,
very many days, Nelly thought, to have
colored all the leaves so beautifully!
Then their merry voices seemed to chime
so with the rustling of the leaves, the
hum of the bees and the insects which
were flitting all about her, that the little
girl was in perfect ecstasy at the sights
and sounds, and told Green Mantle "it
was far prettier than any fairy scene she
had ever read about." Then Green
Mantle beckoned still farther on, till
they came to a clearing,-that is, to a
spot where the trees had been cut away,
so that the sun was shining very brightly
on the grassy mounds 'and little slopes
and hollows. There she saw myriads of
tiny fairies sporting about like winged
insects in the sunbeams. Nelly almost


held her breath as they floated by her
with their transparent wings. Some of
them as they passed her blew light down
over her, like down she had seen blown
from thistles, till she looked as if she had
just come out of a feather bed. Others
seemed to scatter little particles of brown
dust from their wings as they passed.
All these were "flower fairies," Green
Mantle said, "and were scattering the
seeds for spring growth. Many of them
had come from far-distant places, and
would be borne on the zephyrs to places
far remote, while others would remain to
watch the little seed in their underground
beds through the long winter."
Nelly saw some of the little fairies
dancing about among the dried leaves;
these would whirl about, making eddies
of leaves, which would be deposited
around the stumps of trees and over the
little knolls and hollows. Green Mantle
told her these were to keep the roots of
the flowers warm in their long winter


naps. By-and-by," she said, "there will
be a downy, coverlet of pure white snow
laid over them. Then the flower sprites
will tuck them in so nicely, and watch
over them and the little brown seed in
their earth-cradles as tenderly as mothers
watch their sleeping infants. There they
will sing to them of coming spring breezes
and warm sunshine. When it is time for
them to awaken, they will whisper gently
in their ears, and the plants will lift their
tiny heads, and the pink and white blos-
soms will smile upon you, looking as sweet
and fresh as just-awakened infants. An-
other wonderful thing I must tell you, lit-
tle Nelly;" said Green Mantle. Showing
her a handful of little brown seeds, she
told Nelly to pick out the different kinds.
Nelly said they were such tiny things
and so much alike she could not tell them
"And yet," said Green Mantle, "if
you place ever so many of these tiny
things in one bed, all huddled together,


each one will know what form to take;
so a hepatica would be no more likely to
come up a violet or anemone than a bed-
ful of children would be to take each
other's forms on awaking in the morn-
How strange, yet how beautiful, all
these things are that you tell me about
the flowers and the fairies and the
leaves!" said Nelly. I wonder if every-
body-that is, if many people-know
what the fairies' work is,-to tend the
seed and watch over the flowers, and all
that? I never heard or thought of the
way in which all these lovely things are
taken care of for us; and I have read so
many fairy stories, too, it is strange they
never told me about what the real true
fairies did for people everywhere."
Mortals are apt to overlook the occur-
rences that are taking place daily before
their eyes, and seek for wonders and mys-
teries afar off," said Green Mantle. No
transformation of story-book fame can be


more perfect and wonderful than many
of Nature's changes, yet they often pass
unnoticed only because they are common
incidents. You wonder if people-gen-
erally, I suppose you meant, little Nelly
-know what the fairies do for them ? I
must tell you learned people have a new
name for us; but we work for them quite
as readily as forces' as we did as fairies."



NELLY had forgotten all about her little
troubles in the afternoon's enjoyment,
and thanked the good fairy ever and ever
so many times for making her so happy,
and said "she should think so much'
about the fairies watching the dear flow-
ers while they slept so sweetly under the
white snow. Oh, how I shall long for
spring-time to come," said she, "when I
shall see them waking up and can gather
bright May-blossoms! Do you know,
good fairy, I have thought so much of
what you told me about the 'pink and
white May-blossoms looking like a just-
awakened infant?' for once when I took
little Willy from his crib when he woke
from his nap and carried him to papa, he
said 'he looked just like a sweet May-
blossom'-as he was, for Willy was born


May morning. I wish I knew if he
looked that way when he waked up in
heaven and papa took him?" said Nelly,
I have no doubt that he did," said
Green Mantle, "and that memory of your
papa's words will be another treasure to
place in your little casket. Now it is
time you were gathering up the bright
things you have collected to take home;
and I hope all your troubles through life,
little lady, may be alleviated by Nature's
kindly influences, as your grief of to-day
has been lightened by her soothing power.
Remember this in all your life-journey,
that no one ever seeks her kindly offices
in vain."
Nelly hastened homeward with a much
lighter heart than she brought to the
woods with her. She had such loads of
bright maple branches and red and yel-
low sumachs, red vines of blackberry
leaves, stems of scarlet alder-berries, and
strings of feathery clematis !-enough to


make a perpetual gleam of brightness on
Aunt Hannah's walls all winter. Aunt
Hannah had rather come to like the effect
of these decorations, I suspect, especially
as all her visitors admired them, and said
they made her rooms look so cheerful;
besides, I think she felt rather disposed to
be indulgent to Nelly for her injudicious
destruction of her cherished letters,
though she had told her husband, by way
of vindicating her doings, "that it was
not good for a child like Nelly to be
pining and moping over such things, and
it was the best thing she could do for
her to destroy them out of her sight."
Nelly kept on going to the woods for
Moollie till the grass became all dried up
and the wind whistled through the leaf-
less branches. Whenever she lamented
over the shorn beauties of the trees, and
said how long the time would seem
through the dreary winter before she
could see them clothed in beauty again,
Green Mantle told her not to despond,-


she might see them looking very beauti-
ful, even before spring came;" told her
the fairies were never idle, even in mid-
winter, and she might think of them as
always busy under their new name of
" Forces." Nelly did not like the change
in their name at all; neither did she
quite understand it, but she supposed
the meaning would come to her in time.
The cold, wintry weather soon came,
when Moollie was contented with the
warm shelter of the barn, and the deep
snow covered the paths to the woods.
Nelly watched the feathery flakes as
they fell so softly, and thought often of
the covering they were spreading over
the sleeping flowers. Sometimes when
the white particles would be whirled
about by the driving storms, and the
surging winds would shriek through the
naked branches, moaning and sighing
around the windows, Nelly would lift
the curtains, after the evening lamps
were lighted, that the storm-fairies which


she thought were abroad might see the
pleasant light and the cheerful glow from
the blazing wood-fire shine out upon the
darkness, radiating human sympathy foi
the revelers in the wintry blast.



AUNT HANNAH had consented to Nelly's
going to school this winter, but it must
be to a sewing-school. As schools of this
kind have almost gone out of fashion in
these days of grammar and high schools,
I must tell you something about the man-
ner in which they were conducted. In
the first place, let me say that all schools
in those days were kept by middle-aged
persons,-the older the teacher, the bet-
ter qualified he or she was supposed to
be. Probably they were thought to be
farther removed from their young days;
so, forgetting they were ever children
themselves, would have less sympathy
with children's restless and active ways.
Mrs. Lane's school, where Nelly was sent,
was a model school of this class. It was
kept in an upper chamber of a large, old-


fashioned house. Long benches, without
backs, were ranged around the room:
some of the larger misses were allowed
chairs. On these benches were usually
seated scores of boys and girls, either
with books or work in their hands; for
the boys were not allowed to be idle, but
had often their patchwork or long sheets
to sew up, or knitting, to keep them out
of mischief.
The girls all had to be provided with
lap-bags, worn like aprons, with the ends
brought up and stitched together. These
were to keep the work from getting soiled,
and hold the thimble, cotton, needles,
scissors, etc. The work, nicely fitted by
Mrs. Lane, was given to each miss, and
every stitch closely scrutinized before
the work was folded for dismissing time.
Woe to the unlucky girl whose stitches
were found overriding or grinning like a
cat's teeth, to use Mrs. Lane's quaint ex-
pressions. She must stay after school,
and pick out every bad stitch and sew it


nicely before she could go home: for-
tunate if she escaped without two or
three smart raps from the big ferule as
punishment for her carelessness. There
were all kinds of plain sewing done at the
school, from the square of patchwork of
the beginner to the nice linen shirt with
ruffled bosom, finished off in the neatest
manner from gusset to button-hole. Pos-
sibly many young ladies nowadays con-
sider their education finished without
being able to exhibit an accomplishment
of this kind.
Mrs. Lane was rather older than a
middle-aged lady,-at least she seemed
so to the young people who attended her
school. She was a large, stout woman,
so that no boy, however unsubmissive,
would have thought of escaping from her
chastisements on account of her age.
Her face was quite fair, and looked very
placid under the neat frill of the Quaker
cap she wore. She was a member of that
fraternity, and no one would have sus-


pected her of deviating from the peace
maxims of her order, if they had not seen
how dexterously she handled the huge
ferule and the long stick, which, when
not in active service, lay on her desk
with her large snuff-box. I have no
doubt there may be living some orator,
astonishing the nation by his powers,
who was taught his first lessons in elo-
cution and received a horror.of yellow
snuff as he stood by Mrs. Lane's knee,
under vigorous raps from her ferule, and
clouds of snuff, which flew from her
thumb and finger, or was shaken from
her silk handkerchief, -as the more
vexed she became, the thicker the snuff-
clouds flew. You would have laughed, I
think, to have seen some of the luckless
little urchins, who were seated on blocks
by her feet,-often pinned to her dress, to
keep them quiet,-winking and sneezing
from the liberal dusting they got in Mrs.
Lane's excitement. The older scholars
would have laughed, had they dared