Citation
The forest fairy

Material Information

Title:
The forest fairy Christmas in Switzerland
Running title:
Christmas in Switzerland
Creator:
Brabourne, Edward Hugessen Knatchbull-Hugessen, 1829-1893
Bridgman, L. J ( Lewis Jesse ), 1857-1931 ( Illustrator )
Dana Estes & Company ( Publisher )
Colonial Press ( Publisher )
C.H. Simonds & Co ( Publisher )
Geo. C. Scott & Sons ( Electrotyper )
Place of Publication:
Boston
Publisher:
Dana Estes & Company
Manufacturer:
Colonial Press : C.H. Simonds & Co. ; Electrotyped by Geo. C. Scott & Sons
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
32 p. : col. ill. ; 20 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Fairies -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Magic -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Grandfathers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Fairy tales ( lcsh )
Christmas stories ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Switzerland ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1895 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre:
Fantasy literature ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Citation/Reference:
NUC pre-1956,
General Note:
Frontispiece, illustrations printed in burgundy.
Statement of Responsibility:
by E.H.K. Hugessen ; illustrated by L.J. Bridgman.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
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 (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026820554 ( ALEPH )
ALH2309 ( NOTIS )
12732997 ( OCLC )
13012206 ( LCCN )

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Full Text




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The
Forest Fairy



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| Christmas in Switzerland

BY
E. H. K. HUGESSEN

ILLUSTRATED BY
L. J. BRIDGMAN

BOSTON
- DANA ESTES & COMPANY
PUBLISHERS



Copyright, r896
By Estes & LAuRIAT

Golonial Press ;

C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped by Geo. C. Scott & Sons



THE FOREST FAIRY.

OME people think that there are no Fairies nowadays.
There are so many large towns full of dust and smoke, and
so many railroads, on which trains run snorting and screaming
through the pretty, lovely country places, where the Fairies
used to be found, that a great many people fancy these things
have quite driven the Fairies out, but, indeed, this is not the
case. It isnot so easy to get rid of the Fairies. Even in the
dark, dull towns, there are gleams of Fairy brightness to be
seen sometimes, and scenes of Fairyland float before the eyes
of many a child whose heart is light and whose spirit is pure ;
and the Fairies come in dreams, and take it away to dance
and play with them for a while, and forget the toils and hard-
ships of its every-day life. Ay, and even when the railway train
whistles and screeches through the woods where the Fairies
used to hold their midnight meetings, and over the soft
meadows where they danced so often in the Fairy-ring, it can-
-not drive the little Elves away for good and all. They stop
their ears sometimes, and go further away from the harsh,
screeching sound, but they do not quite desert the place, and
they never will desert it, as long as there are warm and tender
hearts to love their kind ways, and eager little ears to hear all
thé pretty stories of which Fairyland is full, and which help to
make it so pleasant. -
But there was no big town and no railroad in that part of
Switzerland where dwelt the Fairy of whom I am going to tell
you. There was a large wood, full of very tall trees, so thick

5



6 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

with their beautiful foliage that the rays of the sun could
scarcely force their way through in the brightest summer day;
but underneath the boughs it was right pleasant to walk, for
there you found beautiful shade, and the mossy turf beneath
your feet was as soft as velvet. And when the calm, pale
moon shed her mild rays over the earth, peeping in through
the thick foliage, she gave a quiet, holy light to the wood here
and there, and you felt as if you were in some sacred spot,
where you were inclined to speak in whispering tones, lest you
should disturb the solemn silence of the place- 5

One tree — much larger than most of its companions — stood
in the middle of the wood. It was very old, but yet it was not
quite hollow, for its wood was stout and tough. Its great roots
ran out on all sides of it, and you could not look upon it with-
out confessing at once that it was a Royal tree. And in the
crown of this tree dwelt the loveliest little Fairy that any one
had ever set eyes upon. She was about seven inches high, of.
perfect face and form, and with a queenly look about her which
inspired respect, just as her beauty and sweet manners com-
pelled people to love the very sight of her.

But that forest was her kingdom, and that tree was her
palace, and she wore the lightest, prettiest dress you can
imagine. Her greatest pleasure was to do good wherever she
could. If any of the animals in the forest were hurt, they
would often. come moaning up to the tree, and seldom, indeed,
was it that they did not receive assistance; and many of
the poor people who lived near that forest had felt the kind-
ness of the Fairy, and had had pieces of good luck happen to
them, which you may be very sure were all of her doing. 5

She usually drove about the forest in a little wicker carriage,
drawn by six squirrels; and it was the prettiest sight imagi-










CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 9

nable to see her drive the dear little creatures, well broken in
as they were, and dart about through the trees in the most
graceful manner possible. This
was her favorite conveyance; but
sometimes she would ride about
on the back of a squirrel or a
rabbit, and now and then she took
a flight on a wood-pigeon; for
she was not ate all a stay-at-home
Fairy, but loved
to roam about
the country,
and see what
there was to
be seen.
Now it
happened
that at
no great FRANK
distance “¥ Wy
from the
forest
lived an old
man, in a small
cottage, which
was still older
than himself, and
was, therefore, in a sad state of
decay. This old man was by trade
a faggot-seller; for he had the right of cutting wood in the
forest; and he used to cut faggots and sell them to the

























10 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

people around, by which means he earned enough to keep
the pot boiling.

His only companion was his little granddaughter, who was
everything in the world to him, for he had no other relative
or friend. She was as good a little girl as you will find any-
where, and was very fond of her old grandfather, who, also, was
tenderly attached to her. Every morning she would be up
early enough to light the fire and get his bit of breakfast ready
for him before he went out to his work; and when he was
gone, she would sweep the room, and make the place tidy; and
then, when she had finished, it was
time to get his dinner ready, and
she would prepare it very carefully
and then take it out to him in the
forest in a little basket; and right

glad was the old man to see his

little Marie (for so was the child

called) coming along under the
shady trees. He would listen to her
pretty prattle while he ate his din-
ner; and often she would bring her
knitting out, and sit there, in the fine summer afternoons,
until he had finished his work and they could walk home
together.

It was a pretty sight to see the old man and the young
child walking hand in hand, her large, loving, blue eyes turned
up to his old weather-beaten face, and her little tongue asking
him questions about the forest, and the big world beyond it,
of which he knew but little more than she did; for the old
man had passed nearly all his life in the cottage where he
lived, and the little he knew of the wide world was gathered







CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. II

from conversations now and then with neighbours as poor as
himself, but who had been tempted, from time to time, to
roam further from home.

Very happily and contentediy: did Marie and her grand-
father live for some tinie, till she grew to be about eleven
years old, and the old man’s strength began to fail. He
could no longer do such a long day’s work as he used to do,
and seemed to get more tired of an evening, and less and less
inclined to get up early in the morning. But worse than that—
for troubles seldom come alone—he could no longer sell his
faggots so easily as in the old days. People had taken more
and more to burning coal, and he had to go far and wide to
gather the few pence which his faggots would bring him. No
‘other occupation could he get; and all this time the old cottage
got worse and worse. The rain came in, and the cold got
through the walls, and when the high winds blew, it often
seemed as if the whole cottage would be blown down —the
windows rattled in their casements, and the walls seemed to
shake, and everything showed that thé place was hardly
fit to live in. But what distressed the old man more than
anything else in these hard times was the thought of his
little grandchild. What would become of her if he was
to be taken away from her? She could not live alone in the cot-
tage, even if it were better, and stronger, and safer. How would
she live, and where would she go to? These thoughts greatly
troubled him, and he hardly dared to look forward to the future.

Still times got worse— meat became a scarce article in the
cottage, and, save as they could, there was so little to save
from, that. their prospects were very bad. Winter came on,
and the old man felt his heart grow heavier and heavier, as
he thought of the joyous days of his boyhood, when Christmas-



12 : CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

time brought lightness of heart and gladness of spirit to him,
and all seemed so mirthful and happy. Why should Christmas-
time be so different to his little Marie? Not that she was
wanting in cheerfulness, for she was a light-hearted, lively
child; but she had little to make her so, and he could do so
little for her!
These thoughts were in his heart as he sallied forth the
=~ day before Christmas, and walked slowly into
= the forest. He came to the place where
he had been working last, and determined
. that he would try and cut and make
up a few faggots, and forget his
cares in the healthy work before
him. At it he went, and
-. worked steadily on till past
f =—twelve o’clock. The leaves
were crisp under his feet,
and the air was fresh; for
there was frost abroad, but.



















cold; it was the kind of
weather that makes folks genial
and happy in their hearts, and
tingles their fingers, without mak-
ing them more than just so cold

~ s that a hearty rub sends the warm
blood through the veins, and makes them warm and glowing
again. And the old man looked up from his work, and put
down his axe, and rubbed his hands, as he saw Marie coming
slowly along the wood with her little bas’e*. On she came
till she got close to him, . . ©



CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 13

«Poor Gran, there isn’t much dinner, to-day — only potatoes
and a crust of bread; but the salt will make the potatoes taste
nice, and then, how many poor people have no bread at all!”

This was the most cheerful thing that poor Marie could
say, and she was quite right in reminding her grandfather how
many people were worse off than he was. For
I think all of us are much too
fond of comparing ourselves with
those who are better off than we, !
are; and this makes us discon- : s
tented ; whereas, if we would only
think how very many more there iA \
are who are worse off, we should |" he
find we had great reason to be con- af a
tented with our lot. The old AY
man sighed, but he did not wish to “”". Ae
seem sad before Marie, so he tried
to put on a cheerful tone, and proposed
that they should stroll down into the
forest, and find a sheltered nook
where they might eat their dinner. So
they walked down a little way, carry-
ing the basket, till they came to a large
beech-tree, which seemed to offer the very shelter they
sought. Accordingly they sat down close to it, made them-
selves as comfortable as they could, and opened the basket
and began to take out its contents. But scarcely had the
cloth been spread upon the ground and disclosed the pota-
toes that were in it, and scarcely had Marie produced the
dark-coloured* © F hich was to aid the meal, when a
clear, luctle silve .vvve weit heads said, very distinctly :









14 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

«Who is it that eats bread and potatoes for dinner on
Christmas eve?”

Marie and her grandfather both looked up, but could see
nothing but a pretty brown squirrel munching a nut in the
boughs above them; so they looked at each other and stared ;
and then each thought that it must have been a mistake, and
the grandfather put out his hand to take a potato. But, wonder
of wonders! the potato, which, to all appearances, was a vege-



table of unblemished character, duly baked, and only wanting
to be eaten, deliberately rolled away of its own accord, and
was immediately followed by all the others.

Marie and her grandfather were too much astonished to
try and prevent them, but the old man, being uncommonly
hungry after his work, made a rapid snatch at the bread. Back,
however, he drew his hand more quickly than he had put it
out, for, instead of the brown loaf, there was only a hedgehog,
who scuttled off as fast as he could towards a neighbouring
rabbit hole, while, at the same time, the identical voice again
exclaimed :

“Not bread and potatoes on Christmas eve, / think /” and
both Marie and her grandfather jumped up in the greatest












CHRISTMAS [IN SWITZERLAND. 17

astonishment. There, on a large bough of the beech-tree,
immediately above their heads, stood the Forest Fairy. She
was dressed in her winter cloak of mole skin, but so elegantly
was it made, that you could tell at once that it belonged to a
Fairy, even if you had not seen the beautiful diamond buttons,
and the gold and silver braid all over it. She had a branch
of mistletoe in her hand, and a squirrel sat on each side of
her, whilst she stood on the bough, and spoke to her visitors
below. The latter, though startled at first, felt that no harm
was intended, for they had only to look upon the kind expres- -
' sion on the face of the Forest Fairy, to be quite sure that
she had the most friendly feeling towards them.

“Why have you come to my palace, good people?” she
asked; and the grandfather opened his mouth very wide, as
some people always. do when they are asked a question by a
person of higher rank than themselves. But Marie clasped
her little hands, and said at once to the Fairy:

«‘Oh, do not be angry, dear Lady, for we did not know —
Gran and I-—that this was your palace, and we came down
here to eat our dinner quietly under the boughs of the beech.
And, as to our having only bread and potatoes, indeed that
isn’t our choice, but we can get.nothing else, for we are
poor, very poor, Gran and I, and we hardly know one day
whether we can look forward to any dinner at all on the next.
But it is my fault bringing Grn down under the beech, so
pray don’t be angry with Az /’

Then the Fairy smiled sweetly upon the child, and she
said : :
“ Marie!”’ (for Fairies know children’s names by chen
and, if they are good -children, are very partial to them) “I,
am not angry, nor are you so:‘very, very poor; for no one is,



18 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

very poor who has a loving heart like yours, and tries to be
contented. But you shall not dine off: bread and potatoes
to-day. I am obliged to go away on business; but when you
and your grandfather are hungry, look on the other side of
the beech, and if you want anything, rap three times on
the old tree.” .

When she had done speaking, the Fairy gracefully bent her
head, and disappeared immediately. The old man looked at
Marie, and Marie looked at the old man, till at last the former
said :

«But how about our victuals? I’m precious hungry.”

“Oh, Gran!” said Marie, “let’s trust the beautiful Lady,
and look the other side of the beech.”

So they walked round the other side of the beech, and what
do you think they saw? A plain deal table, firmly fixed in
the ground, with a chair on each side of it. Upon it was a
snowy-white tablecloth, and opposite each chair was a plate,
a knife and fork, a piece of bread, and a mug. But, glorious
to behold, in the middle of the table was a magnificent sirloin
of beef, done to a turn, with the fat still crackling from the
fire, and a perfect pool of rich, good gravy all round it. On
one side of it was a dish of smoking hot potatoes, and on
the other, one of tempting looking sausages, whilst a large
carving-knife and fork lay by the dish, and seemed by their
appearance and attitude to invite the strangers to make use
of them without further delay.

Gran wanted no second invitation; seating himself at the
table without the loss of a moment, he only waited until Marie
had said grace for both of them, before he commenced a vig-
orous attack upon the joint before them. You never saw an
old man with such an appetite! Consider, this was the sixth











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CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 21

day he had had no meat, and the clear, cold air, together with
the exercise of chopping wood, had given him a tremendous
capacity for eating. Marie, too, enjoyed her beef thoroughly,
though she continually stopped, and her eyes glistened with
pleasure, as she saw the dear old grandfather so supremely
happy.

Presently, however, he stopped, and, looking round, per-
ceived a jug of cider upon the table, which he had not observed
before. He instantly filled both mugs, and they drank the
Fairy’s health with great glee.

However, in this world nothing lasts forever, and after a
while they seemed to have had as much beef as they wanted.
Marie, who had only had half a mugful of the cider, thought
she should like a glass of water, and modestly knocked three
times at the tree, according to the Fairy’s directions.

_ Instantly there appeared, to her great surprise, four Rabbits,
~ in the livery of the Fairy, that is to say, white breeches with
light “blue stripes, and silver jackets with gold embroidery.
In their hands they bore a large dish, and, having removed
the. beef from the table, they deposited upon it an enormous

pudding, and stood bowing around the table as if. tos invite ©

the company to fall to at once.

This was not to be; and, although Marie resisted all. her
grandfather’s entreaties to do more than just taste the pudding,
the old man fell to with a relish, in which no one could have
believed who had seen him previously tackle the beef. The
pudding removed, the attendant Rabbits at once produced a
magnificent cheese, of which, however, the old man could
partake but sparingly, and in a few minutes the dinner was
over.
When Marie had said grace, she was not quite sure what



22 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

to do next, for it seemed very ungrateful to go away without
thanking the kind Fairy who had given them so good a
dinner in exchange for their bread and potatoes. There was



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no Fairy, however, to be seen, and the Rabbits stood there
bowing so politely, that neither Marie nor her grandfather felt
it right to be sitting there so long and keeping them out



CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 23

in the cold. They slowly rose, therefore, and left the table,
which almost immediately afterwards disappeared, and the
Rabbits also. The well-dined couple stood gazing at the beech-
tree a little time, with a look of lingering affection, and then
walked slowly back to the place where the old man had
been at work.

All of a sudden, Marie remembered that she had left her
basket behind her, with the cloth which had held
the potatoes. So she ran back as quickly as
she could, but neither cloth nor basket
could she see. She looked








about everywhere, but in vain, Gs
and felt quite inclined to / A
cry; but having always been \ (Ch
taught to make the best of S \ AN
everything, she tried to hope f

that these little articles had |









been picked up by some one
still poorer and in greater distress
than her grandfather and she, and
that they might be of great service

to them. Still, she could not help being sorry that she had
lost her property. Her grandfather, however, was not angry
with her, partly because he was too fond of her for chat, and ~
partly because he had eaten such a good dinner, which put
him, as a good dinner puts most people, in a particularly good
humour.

He did not do much more work that day, and when Marie
and he walked home together, the old boy was in better spirits
than he had been for many a long day. He cracked a joke
or two, and laughed at his own jokes (which is generally the





24 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

sign of a contented disposition), and even went so far as to
sing a verse or two of a merry old song, which quite delighted
both the child and himself.

As they got near home, however,
and he began to think how
differently things would look
there to what they had done
under the beech-tree, a kind of
heaviness seemed to steal over
him, which Marie strove to
chase away by cheerful con-.
versation; and so they jour-
neyed on until they turned a
corner which brought them in
full view of their cottage
home.

But what a strange sight
met their eyes! How changed
+1, the appearance of everything!
The fence round the garden,
in front of the cottage, which

\

Ky, \ : y had been quite broken down, had
( \ \\y \ 4 aS disappeared altogether, and a spick

WM

‘

\\\ == and span iron rail fence stood
> there in its place. The weeds, which
Marie had not had time to «nish
plucking up, were gone, every weed of them, and the ga::ien
was as neat and tidy as if a regular gardener had been looking
after it, every day in the week. And then the house! Instead
of leaning a little over on one side as it used to do, tempt-,
ing the cruel wind to drive the cold rain against it, and to

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CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 27

_try to turn it quite over—there it was, upright and firm as
any new model cottage. No casements shook, all were firmly
fixed; and the brown paper, with which many broken panes
of glass had been from time to time replaced, had all dis-
appeared, and new panes appeared in every window. The
door, too, had its broken latch mended, and, instead of the wind
whistling under it, as before, a stout, thick bit of list, care-
fully nailed on, quite put a stop to ¢#at; and as to the
roof! why, there wasn’t a broken tile left upon it, but every

tile was as straight and new
as if it had just been put on,
and well put on, too.

The whole place was so




altered that the
old grandfather
opened his mouth nearly wide enough

to have swallowed it, cottage and all,
while Marie darted forward with a
scream of delight, crying out :

« Oh, the Fairy! the Fairy !— the dear, good | fairy ! ! Tam
sure it is she who has been here.”

The old man stood stock- still in amazement until another
cry from Marie, who had now opened the door, woke him up.
He hurried on to the cottage and entered after her. What
do you think he saw? In the middle of the room in which
they usually lived was a brand-new table, whilst four. new
chairs were placed about in different parts of the room, which



(28 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

had also been newly papered, and had a nice new carpet of
a common but strong and useful sort.

Everything appeared to have been changed, as if by magic,
from being old and worn-out, to new and strong, and there
was an air of comfort about the whole place which was
perfectly delightful.

Nor did the wonders cease Here They opened the door.
which led into the kitchen behind the living-room, and a sight
met their eyes which caused them both to start back. with
astonishment. There, indeed, was the kitchen, the same as
ever, but the grate was evidently new; new saucepans, a bright
and clean row, hung by the side of the wall; a new set of
crockery was ranged upon the shelves ; ti even the big
kitchen poker was bright and clean, and evidently prepared to
start upon a new life, fit for any work that might be
required of him.

But, more marvellous than all, in the middle of the kitchen,
as much at home as if it had been born and bred there, stood
the identical table ‘which had borne the welcome meal which
Marie and her grandfather had enjoyed under the Fairy’s
beech-tree — yes! there was no mistake about it —and a neat,
white tablecloth upon it, marked in the corner “F. F.,” which
plainly stood for “Forest Fairy,” showed whence it came.
Nor was the table empty —the remainder of that noble sirloin
of beef was there, and the magnificent pudding stood by its
side, so tempting as almost to induce the old man to attack
it again, at once. There it was, and there were the knives and
_ forks they had used in the forest, and the very crumbs of the
bread and cheese they had left,— even the sausages and potatoes
had ‘not been forgotten; for the table seemed to have been
transported just as it was, from beneath the beech-tree, except







30 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

that the beef and pudding, which the Rabbit footmen had
taken away, had been put back upon it. And, upon the kitchen

dresser, lo and behold! stood Marie’s basket safe and sound.
“Oh, my dear old basket!” cried the child, and ran up
and took hold of it; when, on lifting up the lid, what do
you think she saw? The cloth was there in which the potatoes
had been wrapped; but, instead of potatoes, there was a fat
goose, all trussed ready for roasting, with a stuffing of sage
and onions which it made

cance th t
eae your mou water to
EZ Ee look at, while close by,

carefully wrapped
up in a cloth, were
two beautiful Led-
Rs : kuchen (Christmas
Wii ‘oe 2 “3 cakes), one for each,









(n=
WM.

S/n :
fi yaa LP fairy’s monogram in

white sugar. A little

parcel lay upon the top

of the cloth, to which was
tied a slip of paper, and on
it was written, “A Christmas-box for Marie.’ She eagerly
opened it, and what do you think was in it? A neat little
work-box with cotton, needles, scissors, and everything that
could make a work-box complete ; and not only this, but a warm -
winter shawl wrapped carefully round the work-box, but
which would be more useful, as the old grandfather wisely
observed, when it was wrapped around Marie’s shoulders on
a cold winter’s day.
Two such happy faces as those of Marie and her grand-





CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 31

father are not to be seen every day in the week, I can assure
you. It was altogether such a happy change from the condi-
_tion in which they had left the cottage in the morning, that
they hardly knew how to believe their own eyes.

“Qh, grandfather!’ exclaimed the child, “the Fairy, the
dear, good, kind Fairy! I know it is all her doing. How I
should like to thank her!”

«So you shall, Marie,” said a pleasant voice at that moment ;
and, looking out of the window, they saw the Forest Fairy
in her squirrel carriage standing at the garden gate. “You
may thank me, Marie,” she went on to say, “but you may
thank yourself, too. All that I have done for you and for your
good grandfather to-day has been done for your sake, because
you have a tender, loving heart, and a contented disposition,
so that it is a real pleasure to make you happy. If it had not
been so, I could have done nothing for you, because we

Fairies have only power to help grateful, loving people, who
try to help themselves and each other. You have done this,
and you have been a good and attentive child to your old
grandfather, and so you see there has come a reward to you
when you did not expect it.”

And the Fairy smiled, oh, so sweetly! upon Marie, and then
she kissed her hand to her, and cracked her little whip, ‘the
handle of which was of the whitest ivory, and the lash made of
skeins of gold thread ; and off darted the squirrels and carried
their mistress back to the green forest and the ancient beech.

And from that day forward Marie and her grandfather

. found that everything went well with them, so that they

lived together as happily as possible, and always remembered
with joy and gratitude that merry Christmas dinner under
the Fairy’s Beech.





32 ) CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

Ah! you will say that we do not see these little Fairies
now. I am not so sure about sat, and I know that people,
small and great, who have loving, tender hearts, who make
sunshine around them by their pleasant ways, are grateful for
the blessings they have, and always make the best of every-
thing, — these are the people most likely to see kind Fairies,
and it is on them that misfortune falls most lightly; their
troubles fly away like magic, and they seem to have found
out some secret of being happy, which is every bit as good
and useful as any that could have been told them by the
Forest Fairy.

THE END















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The
Forest Fairy



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| Christmas in Switzerland

BY
E. H. K. HUGESSEN

ILLUSTRATED BY
L. J. BRIDGMAN

BOSTON
- DANA ESTES & COMPANY
PUBLISHERS
Copyright, r896
By Estes & LAuRIAT

Golonial Press ;

C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped by Geo. C. Scott & Sons
THE FOREST FAIRY.

OME people think that there are no Fairies nowadays.
There are so many large towns full of dust and smoke, and
so many railroads, on which trains run snorting and screaming
through the pretty, lovely country places, where the Fairies
used to be found, that a great many people fancy these things
have quite driven the Fairies out, but, indeed, this is not the
case. It isnot so easy to get rid of the Fairies. Even in the
dark, dull towns, there are gleams of Fairy brightness to be
seen sometimes, and scenes of Fairyland float before the eyes
of many a child whose heart is light and whose spirit is pure ;
and the Fairies come in dreams, and take it away to dance
and play with them for a while, and forget the toils and hard-
ships of its every-day life. Ay, and even when the railway train
whistles and screeches through the woods where the Fairies
used to hold their midnight meetings, and over the soft
meadows where they danced so often in the Fairy-ring, it can-
-not drive the little Elves away for good and all. They stop
their ears sometimes, and go further away from the harsh,
screeching sound, but they do not quite desert the place, and
they never will desert it, as long as there are warm and tender
hearts to love their kind ways, and eager little ears to hear all
thé pretty stories of which Fairyland is full, and which help to
make it so pleasant. -
But there was no big town and no railroad in that part of
Switzerland where dwelt the Fairy of whom I am going to tell
you. There was a large wood, full of very tall trees, so thick

5
6 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

with their beautiful foliage that the rays of the sun could
scarcely force their way through in the brightest summer day;
but underneath the boughs it was right pleasant to walk, for
there you found beautiful shade, and the mossy turf beneath
your feet was as soft as velvet. And when the calm, pale
moon shed her mild rays over the earth, peeping in through
the thick foliage, she gave a quiet, holy light to the wood here
and there, and you felt as if you were in some sacred spot,
where you were inclined to speak in whispering tones, lest you
should disturb the solemn silence of the place- 5

One tree — much larger than most of its companions — stood
in the middle of the wood. It was very old, but yet it was not
quite hollow, for its wood was stout and tough. Its great roots
ran out on all sides of it, and you could not look upon it with-
out confessing at once that it was a Royal tree. And in the
crown of this tree dwelt the loveliest little Fairy that any one
had ever set eyes upon. She was about seven inches high, of.
perfect face and form, and with a queenly look about her which
inspired respect, just as her beauty and sweet manners com-
pelled people to love the very sight of her.

But that forest was her kingdom, and that tree was her
palace, and she wore the lightest, prettiest dress you can
imagine. Her greatest pleasure was to do good wherever she
could. If any of the animals in the forest were hurt, they
would often. come moaning up to the tree, and seldom, indeed,
was it that they did not receive assistance; and many of
the poor people who lived near that forest had felt the kind-
ness of the Fairy, and had had pieces of good luck happen to
them, which you may be very sure were all of her doing. 5

She usually drove about the forest in a little wicker carriage,
drawn by six squirrels; and it was the prettiest sight imagi-

CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 9

nable to see her drive the dear little creatures, well broken in
as they were, and dart about through the trees in the most
graceful manner possible. This
was her favorite conveyance; but
sometimes she would ride about
on the back of a squirrel or a
rabbit, and now and then she took
a flight on a wood-pigeon; for
she was not ate all a stay-at-home
Fairy, but loved
to roam about
the country,
and see what
there was to
be seen.
Now it
happened
that at
no great FRANK
distance “¥ Wy
from the
forest
lived an old
man, in a small
cottage, which
was still older
than himself, and
was, therefore, in a sad state of
decay. This old man was by trade
a faggot-seller; for he had the right of cutting wood in the
forest; and he used to cut faggots and sell them to the






















10 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

people around, by which means he earned enough to keep
the pot boiling.

His only companion was his little granddaughter, who was
everything in the world to him, for he had no other relative
or friend. She was as good a little girl as you will find any-
where, and was very fond of her old grandfather, who, also, was
tenderly attached to her. Every morning she would be up
early enough to light the fire and get his bit of breakfast ready
for him before he went out to his work; and when he was
gone, she would sweep the room, and make the place tidy; and
then, when she had finished, it was
time to get his dinner ready, and
she would prepare it very carefully
and then take it out to him in the
forest in a little basket; and right

glad was the old man to see his

little Marie (for so was the child

called) coming along under the
shady trees. He would listen to her
pretty prattle while he ate his din-
ner; and often she would bring her
knitting out, and sit there, in the fine summer afternoons,
until he had finished his work and they could walk home
together.

It was a pretty sight to see the old man and the young
child walking hand in hand, her large, loving, blue eyes turned
up to his old weather-beaten face, and her little tongue asking
him questions about the forest, and the big world beyond it,
of which he knew but little more than she did; for the old
man had passed nearly all his life in the cottage where he
lived, and the little he knew of the wide world was gathered




CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. II

from conversations now and then with neighbours as poor as
himself, but who had been tempted, from time to time, to
roam further from home.

Very happily and contentediy: did Marie and her grand-
father live for some tinie, till she grew to be about eleven
years old, and the old man’s strength began to fail. He
could no longer do such a long day’s work as he used to do,
and seemed to get more tired of an evening, and less and less
inclined to get up early in the morning. But worse than that—
for troubles seldom come alone—he could no longer sell his
faggots so easily as in the old days. People had taken more
and more to burning coal, and he had to go far and wide to
gather the few pence which his faggots would bring him. No
‘other occupation could he get; and all this time the old cottage
got worse and worse. The rain came in, and the cold got
through the walls, and when the high winds blew, it often
seemed as if the whole cottage would be blown down —the
windows rattled in their casements, and the walls seemed to
shake, and everything showed that thé place was hardly
fit to live in. But what distressed the old man more than
anything else in these hard times was the thought of his
little grandchild. What would become of her if he was
to be taken away from her? She could not live alone in the cot-
tage, even if it were better, and stronger, and safer. How would
she live, and where would she go to? These thoughts greatly
troubled him, and he hardly dared to look forward to the future.

Still times got worse— meat became a scarce article in the
cottage, and, save as they could, there was so little to save
from, that. their prospects were very bad. Winter came on,
and the old man felt his heart grow heavier and heavier, as
he thought of the joyous days of his boyhood, when Christmas-
12 : CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

time brought lightness of heart and gladness of spirit to him,
and all seemed so mirthful and happy. Why should Christmas-
time be so different to his little Marie? Not that she was
wanting in cheerfulness, for she was a light-hearted, lively
child; but she had little to make her so, and he could do so
little for her!
These thoughts were in his heart as he sallied forth the
=~ day before Christmas, and walked slowly into
= the forest. He came to the place where
he had been working last, and determined
. that he would try and cut and make
up a few faggots, and forget his
cares in the healthy work before
him. At it he went, and
-. worked steadily on till past
f =—twelve o’clock. The leaves
were crisp under his feet,
and the air was fresh; for
there was frost abroad, but.



















cold; it was the kind of
weather that makes folks genial
and happy in their hearts, and
tingles their fingers, without mak-
ing them more than just so cold

~ s that a hearty rub sends the warm
blood through the veins, and makes them warm and glowing
again. And the old man looked up from his work, and put
down his axe, and rubbed his hands, as he saw Marie coming
slowly along the wood with her little bas’e*. On she came
till she got close to him, . . ©
CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 13

«Poor Gran, there isn’t much dinner, to-day — only potatoes
and a crust of bread; but the salt will make the potatoes taste
nice, and then, how many poor people have no bread at all!”

This was the most cheerful thing that poor Marie could
say, and she was quite right in reminding her grandfather how
many people were worse off than he was. For
I think all of us are much too
fond of comparing ourselves with
those who are better off than we, !
are; and this makes us discon- : s
tented ; whereas, if we would only
think how very many more there iA \
are who are worse off, we should |" he
find we had great reason to be con- af a
tented with our lot. The old AY
man sighed, but he did not wish to “”". Ae
seem sad before Marie, so he tried
to put on a cheerful tone, and proposed
that they should stroll down into the
forest, and find a sheltered nook
where they might eat their dinner. So
they walked down a little way, carry-
ing the basket, till they came to a large
beech-tree, which seemed to offer the very shelter they
sought. Accordingly they sat down close to it, made them-
selves as comfortable as they could, and opened the basket
and began to take out its contents. But scarcely had the
cloth been spread upon the ground and disclosed the pota-
toes that were in it, and scarcely had Marie produced the
dark-coloured* © F hich was to aid the meal, when a
clear, luctle silve .vvve weit heads said, very distinctly :






14 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

«Who is it that eats bread and potatoes for dinner on
Christmas eve?”

Marie and her grandfather both looked up, but could see
nothing but a pretty brown squirrel munching a nut in the
boughs above them; so they looked at each other and stared ;
and then each thought that it must have been a mistake, and
the grandfather put out his hand to take a potato. But, wonder
of wonders! the potato, which, to all appearances, was a vege-



table of unblemished character, duly baked, and only wanting
to be eaten, deliberately rolled away of its own accord, and
was immediately followed by all the others.

Marie and her grandfather were too much astonished to
try and prevent them, but the old man, being uncommonly
hungry after his work, made a rapid snatch at the bread. Back,
however, he drew his hand more quickly than he had put it
out, for, instead of the brown loaf, there was only a hedgehog,
who scuttled off as fast as he could towards a neighbouring
rabbit hole, while, at the same time, the identical voice again
exclaimed :

“Not bread and potatoes on Christmas eve, / think /” and
both Marie and her grandfather jumped up in the greatest



CHRISTMAS [IN SWITZERLAND. 17

astonishment. There, on a large bough of the beech-tree,
immediately above their heads, stood the Forest Fairy. She
was dressed in her winter cloak of mole skin, but so elegantly
was it made, that you could tell at once that it belonged to a
Fairy, even if you had not seen the beautiful diamond buttons,
and the gold and silver braid all over it. She had a branch
of mistletoe in her hand, and a squirrel sat on each side of
her, whilst she stood on the bough, and spoke to her visitors
below. The latter, though startled at first, felt that no harm
was intended, for they had only to look upon the kind expres- -
' sion on the face of the Forest Fairy, to be quite sure that
she had the most friendly feeling towards them.

“Why have you come to my palace, good people?” she
asked; and the grandfather opened his mouth very wide, as
some people always. do when they are asked a question by a
person of higher rank than themselves. But Marie clasped
her little hands, and said at once to the Fairy:

«‘Oh, do not be angry, dear Lady, for we did not know —
Gran and I-—that this was your palace, and we came down
here to eat our dinner quietly under the boughs of the beech.
And, as to our having only bread and potatoes, indeed that
isn’t our choice, but we can get.nothing else, for we are
poor, very poor, Gran and I, and we hardly know one day
whether we can look forward to any dinner at all on the next.
But it is my fault bringing Grn down under the beech, so
pray don’t be angry with Az /’

Then the Fairy smiled sweetly upon the child, and she
said : :
“ Marie!”’ (for Fairies know children’s names by chen
and, if they are good -children, are very partial to them) “I,
am not angry, nor are you so:‘very, very poor; for no one is,
18 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

very poor who has a loving heart like yours, and tries to be
contented. But you shall not dine off: bread and potatoes
to-day. I am obliged to go away on business; but when you
and your grandfather are hungry, look on the other side of
the beech, and if you want anything, rap three times on
the old tree.” .

When she had done speaking, the Fairy gracefully bent her
head, and disappeared immediately. The old man looked at
Marie, and Marie looked at the old man, till at last the former
said :

«But how about our victuals? I’m precious hungry.”

“Oh, Gran!” said Marie, “let’s trust the beautiful Lady,
and look the other side of the beech.”

So they walked round the other side of the beech, and what
do you think they saw? A plain deal table, firmly fixed in
the ground, with a chair on each side of it. Upon it was a
snowy-white tablecloth, and opposite each chair was a plate,
a knife and fork, a piece of bread, and a mug. But, glorious
to behold, in the middle of the table was a magnificent sirloin
of beef, done to a turn, with the fat still crackling from the
fire, and a perfect pool of rich, good gravy all round it. On
one side of it was a dish of smoking hot potatoes, and on
the other, one of tempting looking sausages, whilst a large
carving-knife and fork lay by the dish, and seemed by their
appearance and attitude to invite the strangers to make use
of them without further delay.

Gran wanted no second invitation; seating himself at the
table without the loss of a moment, he only waited until Marie
had said grace for both of them, before he commenced a vig-
orous attack upon the joint before them. You never saw an
old man with such an appetite! Consider, this was the sixth








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CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 21

day he had had no meat, and the clear, cold air, together with
the exercise of chopping wood, had given him a tremendous
capacity for eating. Marie, too, enjoyed her beef thoroughly,
though she continually stopped, and her eyes glistened with
pleasure, as she saw the dear old grandfather so supremely
happy.

Presently, however, he stopped, and, looking round, per-
ceived a jug of cider upon the table, which he had not observed
before. He instantly filled both mugs, and they drank the
Fairy’s health with great glee.

However, in this world nothing lasts forever, and after a
while they seemed to have had as much beef as they wanted.
Marie, who had only had half a mugful of the cider, thought
she should like a glass of water, and modestly knocked three
times at the tree, according to the Fairy’s directions.

_ Instantly there appeared, to her great surprise, four Rabbits,
~ in the livery of the Fairy, that is to say, white breeches with
light “blue stripes, and silver jackets with gold embroidery.
In their hands they bore a large dish, and, having removed
the. beef from the table, they deposited upon it an enormous

pudding, and stood bowing around the table as if. tos invite ©

the company to fall to at once.

This was not to be; and, although Marie resisted all. her
grandfather’s entreaties to do more than just taste the pudding,
the old man fell to with a relish, in which no one could have
believed who had seen him previously tackle the beef. The
pudding removed, the attendant Rabbits at once produced a
magnificent cheese, of which, however, the old man could
partake but sparingly, and in a few minutes the dinner was
over.
When Marie had said grace, she was not quite sure what
22 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

to do next, for it seemed very ungrateful to go away without
thanking the kind Fairy who had given them so good a
dinner in exchange for their bread and potatoes. There was



Silben,

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no Fairy, however, to be seen, and the Rabbits stood there
bowing so politely, that neither Marie nor her grandfather felt
it right to be sitting there so long and keeping them out
CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 23

in the cold. They slowly rose, therefore, and left the table,
which almost immediately afterwards disappeared, and the
Rabbits also. The well-dined couple stood gazing at the beech-
tree a little time, with a look of lingering affection, and then
walked slowly back to the place where the old man had
been at work.

All of a sudden, Marie remembered that she had left her
basket behind her, with the cloth which had held
the potatoes. So she ran back as quickly as
she could, but neither cloth nor basket
could she see. She looked








about everywhere, but in vain, Gs
and felt quite inclined to / A
cry; but having always been \ (Ch
taught to make the best of S \ AN
everything, she tried to hope f

that these little articles had |









been picked up by some one
still poorer and in greater distress
than her grandfather and she, and
that they might be of great service

to them. Still, she could not help being sorry that she had
lost her property. Her grandfather, however, was not angry
with her, partly because he was too fond of her for chat, and ~
partly because he had eaten such a good dinner, which put
him, as a good dinner puts most people, in a particularly good
humour.

He did not do much more work that day, and when Marie
and he walked home together, the old boy was in better spirits
than he had been for many a long day. He cracked a joke
or two, and laughed at his own jokes (which is generally the


24 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

sign of a contented disposition), and even went so far as to
sing a verse or two of a merry old song, which quite delighted
both the child and himself.

As they got near home, however,
and he began to think how
differently things would look
there to what they had done
under the beech-tree, a kind of
heaviness seemed to steal over
him, which Marie strove to
chase away by cheerful con-.
versation; and so they jour-
neyed on until they turned a
corner which brought them in
full view of their cottage
home.

But what a strange sight
met their eyes! How changed
+1, the appearance of everything!
The fence round the garden,
in front of the cottage, which

\

Ky, \ : y had been quite broken down, had
( \ \\y \ 4 aS disappeared altogether, and a spick

WM

‘

\\\ == and span iron rail fence stood
> there in its place. The weeds, which
Marie had not had time to «nish
plucking up, were gone, every weed of them, and the ga::ien
was as neat and tidy as if a regular gardener had been looking
after it, every day in the week. And then the house! Instead
of leaning a little over on one side as it used to do, tempt-,
ing the cruel wind to drive the cold rain against it, and to

Ve Ae






























———————

—S==
= Me
CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 27

_try to turn it quite over—there it was, upright and firm as
any new model cottage. No casements shook, all were firmly
fixed; and the brown paper, with which many broken panes
of glass had been from time to time replaced, had all dis-
appeared, and new panes appeared in every window. The
door, too, had its broken latch mended, and, instead of the wind
whistling under it, as before, a stout, thick bit of list, care-
fully nailed on, quite put a stop to ¢#at; and as to the
roof! why, there wasn’t a broken tile left upon it, but every

tile was as straight and new
as if it had just been put on,
and well put on, too.

The whole place was so




altered that the
old grandfather
opened his mouth nearly wide enough

to have swallowed it, cottage and all,
while Marie darted forward with a
scream of delight, crying out :

« Oh, the Fairy! the Fairy !— the dear, good | fairy ! ! Tam
sure it is she who has been here.”

The old man stood stock- still in amazement until another
cry from Marie, who had now opened the door, woke him up.
He hurried on to the cottage and entered after her. What
do you think he saw? In the middle of the room in which
they usually lived was a brand-new table, whilst four. new
chairs were placed about in different parts of the room, which
(28 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

had also been newly papered, and had a nice new carpet of
a common but strong and useful sort.

Everything appeared to have been changed, as if by magic,
from being old and worn-out, to new and strong, and there
was an air of comfort about the whole place which was
perfectly delightful.

Nor did the wonders cease Here They opened the door.
which led into the kitchen behind the living-room, and a sight
met their eyes which caused them both to start back. with
astonishment. There, indeed, was the kitchen, the same as
ever, but the grate was evidently new; new saucepans, a bright
and clean row, hung by the side of the wall; a new set of
crockery was ranged upon the shelves ; ti even the big
kitchen poker was bright and clean, and evidently prepared to
start upon a new life, fit for any work that might be
required of him.

But, more marvellous than all, in the middle of the kitchen,
as much at home as if it had been born and bred there, stood
the identical table ‘which had borne the welcome meal which
Marie and her grandfather had enjoyed under the Fairy’s
beech-tree — yes! there was no mistake about it —and a neat,
white tablecloth upon it, marked in the corner “F. F.,” which
plainly stood for “Forest Fairy,” showed whence it came.
Nor was the table empty —the remainder of that noble sirloin
of beef was there, and the magnificent pudding stood by its
side, so tempting as almost to induce the old man to attack
it again, at once. There it was, and there were the knives and
_ forks they had used in the forest, and the very crumbs of the
bread and cheese they had left,— even the sausages and potatoes
had ‘not been forgotten; for the table seemed to have been
transported just as it was, from beneath the beech-tree, except

30 CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

that the beef and pudding, which the Rabbit footmen had
taken away, had been put back upon it. And, upon the kitchen

dresser, lo and behold! stood Marie’s basket safe and sound.
“Oh, my dear old basket!” cried the child, and ran up
and took hold of it; when, on lifting up the lid, what do
you think she saw? The cloth was there in which the potatoes
had been wrapped; but, instead of potatoes, there was a fat
goose, all trussed ready for roasting, with a stuffing of sage
and onions which it made

cance th t
eae your mou water to
EZ Ee look at, while close by,

carefully wrapped
up in a cloth, were
two beautiful Led-
Rs : kuchen (Christmas
Wii ‘oe 2 “3 cakes), one for each,









(n=
WM.

S/n :
fi yaa LP fairy’s monogram in

white sugar. A little

parcel lay upon the top

of the cloth, to which was
tied a slip of paper, and on
it was written, “A Christmas-box for Marie.’ She eagerly
opened it, and what do you think was in it? A neat little
work-box with cotton, needles, scissors, and everything that
could make a work-box complete ; and not only this, but a warm -
winter shawl wrapped carefully round the work-box, but
which would be more useful, as the old grandfather wisely
observed, when it was wrapped around Marie’s shoulders on
a cold winter’s day.
Two such happy faces as those of Marie and her grand-


CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND. 31

father are not to be seen every day in the week, I can assure
you. It was altogether such a happy change from the condi-
_tion in which they had left the cottage in the morning, that
they hardly knew how to believe their own eyes.

“Qh, grandfather!’ exclaimed the child, “the Fairy, the
dear, good, kind Fairy! I know it is all her doing. How I
should like to thank her!”

«So you shall, Marie,” said a pleasant voice at that moment ;
and, looking out of the window, they saw the Forest Fairy
in her squirrel carriage standing at the garden gate. “You
may thank me, Marie,” she went on to say, “but you may
thank yourself, too. All that I have done for you and for your
good grandfather to-day has been done for your sake, because
you have a tender, loving heart, and a contented disposition,
so that it is a real pleasure to make you happy. If it had not
been so, I could have done nothing for you, because we

Fairies have only power to help grateful, loving people, who
try to help themselves and each other. You have done this,
and you have been a good and attentive child to your old
grandfather, and so you see there has come a reward to you
when you did not expect it.”

And the Fairy smiled, oh, so sweetly! upon Marie, and then
she kissed her hand to her, and cracked her little whip, ‘the
handle of which was of the whitest ivory, and the lash made of
skeins of gold thread ; and off darted the squirrels and carried
their mistress back to the green forest and the ancient beech.

And from that day forward Marie and her grandfather

. found that everything went well with them, so that they

lived together as happily as possible, and always remembered
with joy and gratitude that merry Christmas dinner under
the Fairy’s Beech.


32 ) CHRISTMAS IN SWITZERLAND.

Ah! you will say that we do not see these little Fairies
now. I am not so sure about sat, and I know that people,
small and great, who have loving, tender hearts, who make
sunshine around them by their pleasant ways, are grateful for
the blessings they have, and always make the best of every-
thing, — these are the people most likely to see kind Fairies,
and it is on them that misfortune falls most lightly; their
troubles fly away like magic, and they seem to have found
out some secret of being happy, which is every bit as good
and useful as any that could have been told them by the
Forest Fairy.

THE END