The Baldwin Library
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IDOUBLEDAYa M'CLURF- Co.:
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Copyright, 1897, by
DOUBLEDAY & MCCLURE CO.
TO MY LITTLE NEPHEW
M. H. H.
THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY
INSCRIBED BY HIS
THE following story was first told under
peculiar circumstances, calculated to tax to the
utmost the imaginative powers of the author.
A little boy, very dear to the writer, was very
ill. The crisis of the disease was reached one
Sunday morning. In order that he might en-
dure the extreme suffering caused by the medi-
cal treatment, it was necessary that his mind
should be diverted from his sufferings on that
day. Before the sun should set he would be
either convalescent or past help.
Uncle Frank," was the early morning greet-
ing on that fateful day, please tell me a fairy-
story, and make it exciting, for it does hurt
Then and there began the recital of the ro-
mance which follows. It was not difficult, as the
story proceeded, to read in the boyish face the
expression of interest or weariness. At times
the admonition to make it exciting" further
stimulated the powers of the narrator. Break-
fast was eaten at the bedside of the sufferer;
the dinner-hour was passed in like manner, the
narrative proceeding between the mouthfuls;
and supper was discussed between conflicts of
Kings Vim and Leo, until at last night came,
and the sick little auditor was quiet in restful
slumber. The crisis had passed, and the battle
had been won. The patient was convalescent.
Is it strange that to him whose suffering occa-
sioned the telling of it, and whose interest in it
encouraged the writing of it, I dedicate this
There were older listeners also. They urged
its publication. Upon them must rest the re-
sponsibility for this book. That it may prove
interesting, and possibly comforting, to other
little ones in need of entertainment, and that
they too, like him for whom it was first told,
may find in its pages relief from pain and weari-
ness, is the hope of their sincere friend,
THE WAVE RIDERS
THE LEAF RIDERS
THE BUBBLE RIDERS
THE MAGIC CHAIR
THE RECOVERY OF THE FAIRY BOY
" Their little, minim forms arrayed
In the tricksy pomp offairy pride."
THE CULPRIT FAY.
Ssea. The cottage in which I
dwelt stood half-way up the
Sside of a high hill. Upon the
THE WAVE RIDERS
y;~ AST summer I was living by the
sea. The cottage in which I
i~l^. dwelt stood half-way up the
side of a high hill. Upon the
highest point of this hill was a
lighthouse, the lamps of which,
every night, sent their beauti-
ful, pale light far out over the
_, ocean, to warn sailors that
I their ships were nearing the
land, and that they must avoid the rocks of the
shore. Far below was the deep blue sea, which
was always, night and day, rolling its waves on
a beach of white sand.
I was very fond of walking on the beach, and
often sat down on the sand, ..
near the water's edge, where I
could watch the waves come
chasing each other in, like chil-
dren at play. On the after-
noon about which I am going
to tell you, I went farther, from
home than usual, down to a
little bay, where the trees grew
close to the beach, and where
no one seemed ever to come.
It was very quiet. The sun
was shining brightly on the
water and the land, and there
was no sound that I could hear,
save the soft whispering of the
waves as they came running in,
one after another, to break into
foam on the clear white sand.
I sat down to watch them. o
While looking at them I
thought I could perceive dif-
ferent colors in the foam, and .S'
that instead of being always
white and frothy, it was some-
times blue, sometimes red, and :,t--
at other times yellow or green.
At last I fancied I could hear
a merry sound, as if the waves
were actually laughing. At times, too, I thought
I heard low, soft music, like the singing of very
THE WA VE RIDERS
small children, far, far away.
It was such a pleasant sound
that I moved nearer to the
waves, so that they came al-
most to my feet. I then dis-
covered that the sounds I
heard were not made by the
waves at all, but by numbers
of little people. They were
dressed in blue and red and
yellow and green silks, and
had white feathers in their
hats, and, some of them, gold
sashes over their shoulders.
They were riding on the tops
of the waves, singing and
laughing, as the water came
rolling up the sand. What
seemed to me very strange
was that they were not at all
wet, but that as each little fellow came riding
in on the top of a wave he ran up on the beach
as dry as a feather. Evidently the water
had no power to wet them or their beautiful
clothing, and they seemed as much at home on
the waves as on the land. After running a
short distance up the beach,-they would rise
softly into the air, apparently without effort,
and, floating out over the sea, would catch a
new wave, and jump laughingly on it, to come
riding in as before. It was very pleasant to see
how much they appeared to enjoy the power of
floating through the air without wings, and of
riding on the waves without getting wet.
While I sat watching them I noticed one
beautiful little fellow, who was dressed so fine
he looked like a prince. I made up my mind
that the little people were fairies, and that he
was their prince or king. At last he came rid-
ing in on the top of a wave which was larger
than usual, and which carried him far up on the
beach where I was lying. It landed him grace-
fully from its crest, quite near my face. As he
stepped daintily down to the sand, he nodded
pleasantly to me, just as if he knew I had been
there all the time, and just as if he had been
acquainted with me all his life. As he was
turning to run back again, I reached out my
hand quickly and caught him. I was careful
not to hurt him, and was surprised and pleased
to find that he was laughing good-naturedly,
was not at all afraid, and evidently was not
angry with me for detaining him. Indeed, he
acted as if it were all a playful joke which he
understood and enjoyed.
Holding him in my hand, upon which, when
I finally opened it, he walked about, I was able
to observe him more closely. Hewas beautifully
and richly dressed. The feather in his hat was
from the wing of a humming-bird, and was
fastened with a diamond, the brightest I had
ever seen. He himself was no larger than my
finger. He had a merry, handsome face, and
long curling hair, which fell over his shoulders
in ringlets of gold. He was dressed throughout
in yellow satin. Over his shoulder was a small
gold chain which held a little trumpet made of
pearl. From a belt about his waist, in a bright
silver scabbard, hung a small sword. All the
buttons of his coat and vest were diamonds,
which, whenever he moved, shone brightly.
Are you afraid? I inquired of him.
He answered quickly, No "; and laughingly
added, "Why should I be?"
I was charmed with his manners and his
courage, and exclaimed, "Why, do you know
Hereplied, "Certainly; you are Uncle Frank."
You may be sure this surprised me not a
He continued: "I have known you a long
time; but if I had never met you before, I
should not be afraid of you. You could not
injure me if you wished to,"
THE WA VE RIDERS
As he spoke, an ugly-looking spider came
running over the sand toward the place where
we were talking, and, supposing the Prince
would be frightened, I lifted him somewhat
higher from the ground, and said, "Don't be
afraid; the spider cannot reach you."
He turned his bright little face toward mewith
such a look of surprise and amusement upon it
that I saw I had made a mistake. Then, plac-
ing both hands upon his sides, he laughed so
long and heartily-such a merry, ringing laugh
-that I could not help smiling at his good
Afraid of a spider!" said he. Why, don't
you know that neither beast nor bird nor fish
nor insect could hurt a fairy! I am their king;
they all have to obey me. I am not afraid of a
lion. If I ordered him to do so, the great, ugly,
roaring fellow would have to carry me about on
his back. I am not afraid of an eagle; I have
had many a bold ride on an eagle."
By this time the spider had crawled to where
we were, and, strange to say, looked as if it
wished to speak to the Prince. Sure enough, it
did. The Prince nodded smilingly to it. "Well,
old Longlegs," said he, "what do you want? "
To my surprise the spider answered:
"Does your Majesty want any swings this
Yes," said the Prince; I want-let me see
-five hundred, right away."
The spider actually made a bow and turned
to go. He was soon out of sight in the woods,
and the fairy asked, "Would you like to go
with me and see the swings? "
I was glad to do so, for I had nothing else to
occupy my time, and we started together. I
was surprised to find that, as we walked side by
side, I a tall man and he a tiny fellow no big-
ger than my finger, he got over the ground
quite as fast as I did, and kept up with me with-
out trouble. It was very strange, for he evi-
dently took no more steps than I did, and
seemed not to hurry in the least. We soon
reached the woods, and I was about to enter
beneath the green trees when I drew back
shuddering, for hanging from the limbs were
THE WA VE RIDERS
hundreds of spiders, some of them great, black,
The Prince, who had been watching me mis-
chievously, quickly perceived my nervousness,
and laughed heartily. "Who is afraid of the
spiders now? said he. Let me pick you up;
don't be afraid; they won't hurt you! He
was repeating almost my very words, and seemed
to enjoy so much having turned the joke upon
me that I could not help smiling at his good
"All joking aside," said he, "you need not
be afraid; they are spinning swings for my peo-
ple, and will soon be through and gone. Then
you will see some fun, for my merry men are
very fond of swinging."
I now looked again, and could see that each
spider was actually spinning a swing. The
busy creature would run out upon a limb of a
tree, and it seemed but a moment before a
beautiful silken rope, formed into a tiny swing,
would be hanging from the limb. Ere long
there were hundreds of these swings hanging
from the trees, of green, blue, and yellow spider-
silk. At last, one by one, the spiders left the
woods, until all had vanished except old Long-
legs, who came up to the Prince and said, The
swings are finished, your Majesty, and we
The Prince nodded approvingly to him, and
lifting the small pearl horn to his lips, blew a
clear, ringing note or two, as sweet as a canary-
bird's song, most pleasant to hear. It went
sounding through the leaves of the trees, out
over the sandy beach, and far across the waves.
It seemed only a moment before I heard the
fairies coming. They came with merry shouts
and ringing laughter. Soon each swing held
one of them, laughing, and swinging until his
little feet kicked the highest leaves of the trees
-they swung so high. The Prince seemed
pleased to see them enjoy themselves so heart-
ily, and after watching them a moment, turned
to me and said, "Do you not think us a good-
natured, happy people, Uncle Frank? "
I replied that I certainly did, and ventured to
ask him where they all lived.
"That would be telling," said he. "We
have a beautiful city not far from here, but no
mortal man ever walked through its streets. I
have half a mind, however, to take you to see
it, and may yet do so if you will promise-hold
up your right hand!" (he said this very seri-
ously)-" solemnly and faithfully never to tell
where it is."
I was very eager to visit his city; so desirous,
indeed, that I was not long in promising. The
Prince reached out his hand to a cobweb bell-
rope, which hung, with its white tassel, out of a
cedar-tree near by, and gave it three gentle
pulls. In a moment I heard the distant tinkling
of a silver bell, and almost instantly there ap-
THE WA VE RIDERS
peared before us a fairy servant. He was dressed
something like waiters I had seen in hotels, with
a long white apron and small white cap, and a
bunch of tiny gold keys suspended from his
waist. He lifted his hat respectfully to the
Prince, and awaited his orders.
Pepin," said the fairy, unlock the door to
the large staircase in the cave."
In a moment the servant departed, and the
Prince, beckoning to me to follow, led the way
through the woods to a place which I could not
remember having ever before seen. After walk-
ing quickly across the sand of the beach, we
came to a large stone.
"You must lift that stone," said he.
I stooped, and using all my strength, for it
was quite large, succeeded in lifting it, and was
surprised to find below it a small staircase lead-
ing down under the sand.
The Prince stepped boldly down before me,
and told me to follow him, and to close the door
after me. I obeyed. It closed more easily
than it had opened. I soon followed him down
the steps. The passageway was cut in solid
rock. For some distance it was quite dark; so
dark, in fact, that I would have found it difficult
to tell the whereabouts of the Prince if he had
not instructed me, from time to time, how to
proceed. The passage grew lighter, however,
as we descended, and at last we came out into
It was a strange but beautiful
country which I now beheld, un-
like any I had ever before seen.
A short distance in front of us
was abeautifulcity. Thestreets
were paved with a sort of pink
stone. The small houses were
of pearl and marble. Many of
the tallest of them were four and
five stories in height, and per-
fect in every respect. As I
walked past them I noticed that
their roofs and chimneys came
no higher than to my waist.
Everything, in fact, was won-
derfully small. The tallest trees,
for instance, reached no higher
than to my vest pockets. The
streets were crowded with lit-
tle people and with numberless
small carriages. The horses
were of different colors, black,
brown, and white, and very handsome and spir-
ited, but not larger than rats. The streets were
very narrow; so narrow, in fact, that two men
as large as myself could not have walked abreast
on the little sidewalks. I had to step carefully
I observed that, while there were many
houses, there were no stores, and I spoke of this
to the Prince. He said fairies had no stores, and
required only houses in which to live, but that
if I would like to visit some little people who
were not fairies, who, though as small as him-
self, were real people like myself, and who lived
in another city not far away, under his protection,
he would take me there some day and I should
see stores enough. These carriages and horses
which you see," he added, "do not belong to
the fairies. We have no use for horses. They
belong to the little people of whom I speak.
Some of them drive over from their city every
By this time we were in front of a beautiful
house, very much larger than the others, built
entirely of pearl, and with wide steps of agate
and carnelian stone leading up to the door. On
each side of the steps was a golden lamp-post.
I was not long in deciding that this was the
palace of the Prince himself, for he ran grace-
fully up the steps, and invited me to follow.
As the house came no higher than to my vest
pockets, and as I should certainly have broken
THE WA VE RIDERS
down the steps if I had placed one of my great
feet upon them, I naturally hesitated. Observ-
ing my hesitation, he turned to me and said,
"Will you not come in and take dinner with
me? I replied that I would be very glad to
do so, but that he had evidently forgotten either
that his house was so small or that I was so
large. He laughed heartily. "Why, sure
enough! he exclaimed. Here I have been
talking and gossiping until I forgot all about
your immense size-but I will soon fix that."
He took from his pocket a small glass bottle.
" Take a drink of that," said he. I reached out
my great hand, and taking the tiny bottle from
him as he stood at the top of the steps, placed
it to my lips. It was a mere drop, but what an
effect it had upon me! In an instant I felt
myself growing smaller. My head commenced
going down toward my feet, as if I had been a
great spy-glass shutting up. My arms grew
shorter, my hands smaller. In less time than
it takes me to write it I was as small as the
Prince himself. He took a step backward and
looked at me approvingly. "I think I am a
little the taller of the two," said he, laughingly.
"That was a big swallow you took."
It was all very funny, but I began to get
frightened. It would be no joke, thought I, if
I were always to stay as small as this. He, how-
ever, only laughed at my discomfiture and at
my little pale face, and said: Don't be afraid;
I can as easily
change you back
again. Come with
me and look at
yourself in the
have had dinner I
will make you as
big and clumsy
and homely and
awkward as you
were a minute ago.
You might as well
be happy for the
short time you are
to be good-look-
He said this so
merrily that it
me, and I was soon
ing that I could
not help myself,
and that I was now
small enoughto go
up the steps and
into the palace,
which, to tell the
truth, I was very
eager to see, I was
THE WA VE RIDERS
soon by his side, and, arm in arm, we entered
the door together. The Prince laughed again
when I stooped on entering the doorway, which
was now much higher than my head. Certainly
he had some excuse for doing so. "I have
always observed," said he, dryly, "that geese
stoop when entering a door, no matter how high
it may be."
We went into the hall. In it were little ser-
vants in livery, who took our hats as the Prince
led the way to the parlor. I had time to ob-
serve, in passing, that the hall floor was inlaid
with small blocks of different-colored stone, and
that a beautiful staircase leading to the upper
floor was of silver with golden balustrades. The
stair carpet was a broad velvet ribbon of a deep
crimson. As the Prince seemed to be im-
mensely rich, and to think very little of expense,
I could not doubt that the silver was real silver
and the gold real gold.
The parlor was quite a large room-I should
say fully three feet long by two feet wide. Itwas,
as I could see at a glance, very richly furnished.
The carpet of bright colors which covered
the floor was soft and pleasant to walk upon.
The sofas and chairs were upholstered in red
and yellow satin. The walls were covered with
beautiful paintings in gold frames, except at
each end of the room, where a large mirror
reached from the ceiling to the floor.
In one of these mirrors I caught sight of my-
self. There I was, no taller, certainly, than a
man's finger, my head no bigger than a cherry,
and with such a wee, round, fairy-like face that
I laughed again and again at my little self. The
Prince, who stood by my side, and who had
evidently been slyly waiting to observe my
astonishment, was actually the taller of the two
by a full half-head!
I felt for my watch to see what time it was,
and discovered that it, too, like myself, had
grown smaller. It was, in fact, no larger than
a shirt-button, and yet in every respect-as per-
fect as before, and was actually keeping time
and ticking away as though nothing had hap-
pened to it. I could not believe my eyes, and
opened the back of it to see if the wheels were
actually moving. I found them all running as
though they had never been any larger. I
returned the watch to my pocket, and soon
found that everything else in my pockets had
changed like the watch. My knife was a most
interesting little affair, the blades as sharp as a
razor and as bright as a sixpence. My keys
were all of them so small that they would not
have unlocked my portfolio at home. My
pocket-book was only about half the size of a
postage-stamp, and the money in it was so small
that I do not believe I could have bought a
penny's worth of candy with the whole of it.
To say that I was astonished would be to say
very little, and yet I was now really more
THE WA VE RIDERS
amused than either surprised or frightened.
The Prince was so good-natured that I could
not doubt that I should have a good time, and
that he would change me back again whenever
I should ask him to.
"I have ordered a cozy dinner for you and
me alone, in a small dining-room," said he, so
that we may not have to meet my entire court
in the large room."
This suited me exactly, and when, a few
minutes later, a servant announced that dinner
was ready, the Prince invited me to follow him
into a very pleasant room, just off the parlor, in
which was a table well filled with beautiful dishes
and inviting food. A hasty glance convinced
me that the dishes, knives, forks, and spoons
were all of gold and silver, and the immense
wealth of the Prince left me no room to doubt
that they were solid.
We took our seats, and several waiters, no
larger than ourselves, commenced to bustle
about and hand us the food. Everything was
delicious. Indeed, I had never eaten any din-
ner so well cooked. The chickens were no
larger than honey-bees, snipe no bigger than
mosquitos, oranges and apples about the size of
huckleberries, bananas smaller than date-seeds,
and everything else in proportion.
"Well," said the Prince at last, "how does
the dinner suit you? "
I replied that everything was delicious, but
-.- ", -I ,' --;-
I ', ......^ -... rt l ", .. ..w' ., ---
that I was very hungry and could not get
enough. To my astonishment the Prince, upon
hearing this, laughed so loud and long that I
*was at a loss to understand what there could be
in my answer which caused him so much
amusement. I could see that he was laughing
at me, and I could not help feeling somewhat
uncomfortable. "What are you laughing at? "
He looked at me without answering, and
placing both hands to his sides, rose from his
chair, and fairly bent over with merriment,
growing so red in the face with laughing and
coughing that I slapped him on the back to
prevent his choking. He would no sooner re-
cover from one attack, and take a look at my
astonished face, than he would have another
attack. Indeed, he seemed so convulsed with
enjoyment of his joke, whatever it was, that at
last I could not help laughing myself, although
I knew that he was laughing at me, and that he
was not treating me as politely or considerately
as a guest should be treated.
THE WAVE RIDERS
~', 'J '^ --, I r --- '-
1 .i 1|(i 1'-'- 1 .' 5
"What in the name of sense are you laugh-
ing at? I demanded again.
Why," said he, "just to think! I forgot to
change your appetite! Here you are a little
scrap of a fellow three inches long with a great
six-foot appetite!" And he held his sides and
laughed again, until I think every one in the
palace, and the town itself, must have heard him.
"Why," he continued, "just think of it! It
is a wonder you did not devour your little self.
I would not carry about with me such an appe-
tite as that of yours for a fortune. However,
I will soon fix that "; and drawing a small box
from his pocket, he took out of it a powder, and
told me to take it in a little water. I did so, and
soon felt that my appetite, like my body, was
We now sat down again to the table, and my
dinner began to satisfy me. I found that I
would be able to get a very good meal.
After the table had been cleared, nuts and
raisins were brought in. While eating them, the
conversation turned upon the city and its people.
I cannot understand, my dear Prince, why
it was that when we walked through the town
the people did not seem at all surprised to see
Those from Weeboro did not see you," said
the Prince-this, he explained, was the name
of the city where lived the people who owned
the horses and carriages I had seen-" and the
fairies themselves," he continued, would not
be surprised because they saw you in my com-
pany. You would be invisible to the people
"Do you mean to say," I exclaimed, "that
I was entirely invisible, and could not be seen
by them at all?"
"That's what invisible usually means, is n't
it?" answered the Prince, mischievously.
"Yes," I replied, somewhat nettled at his
sharpness, and provoked at my own stupidity.
"But what made me invisible to them?"
"I did," said he. You must remember
they are not fairies like us, but real people like
yourself. They would have been frightened
enough if they had seen you, but I have the
power of making myself and others invisible,
and I exercised that power in your case."
But," I inquired, am I invisible now? "
No, not now; they could see you now, but
would think you a fairy like myself; the fairies
alone would know the difference."
"Well," I answered, "it is certainly all very
THE WA VE RIDERS
strange. You must excuse me for asking so
many questions. You said that you had no
stores in the town because you did not need
them; will you please explain why?"
Because we fairies do not have to buy any-
thing; we have everything we need simply by
wishing for it. When you visit the city of
Weeboro you will see stores enough, I promise
you, for they have stores and mills and horses
and carriages and steamboats and railroads, just
like larger people."
I became more and more interested, and
longed to see these little people and their city,
and determined to visit them, if the Prince
would only show me the way.
"May I ask a very impolite question, my
dear little Prince? "
"Certainly," he replied; "but permit me to
remind you that I am half a head taller than
yourself, and am somewhat sensitive about being
called little by such a short fellow."
I begged his pardon with the same good
nature with which he had taken me to task, and
continued: Well, most mighty potentate, I
have taken dinner with you and have enjoyed
it very much,"-he nodded pleasantly,-" and
I would like to know the name of a host who
has shown me such kindness. May I ask your
He looked at me intently for a moment, and
., "Why, no; I
.. .don't know," I re-
plied, astonished at
/ his answer. I am
Assure I never heard
your name in my
/ He laughed
'' name is Uno-
-,, n-o; don't that
4. spell Uno?"
'-' "Ah!" I ex-
claimed, "that is
a very pretty name.
Now, may I inquire
if you are mar-
/ ried ?"
S"Yes," said he;
"and as we have
disposed of the dinner I will conduct you to the
parlor where we shall find the Princess and our
children. They will be very glad to meet you."
We accordingly left the table, he leading the
way, and entered the parlor. A very handsome
little woman, with large dark eyes and bright
golden hair,-a contrast which gave her a very
striking appearance,-rose to receive me. There
were other people in the room, but the Princess
herself was so beautiful, graceful, and pleasant
THE WAVE RIDERS
to look upon that I saw only her. I bowed
"My dear Princess," said Uno, "let me
present to you our old friend, Uncle Frank."
She came forward, and, in the most charming
and friendly manner, held out both hands to me.
I bent my head respectfully and pressed her
hands to my lips.
I am very glad to see you here in our home,
Uncle Frank," she was pleased to say. "It is
not the first time I have met you, however, for
I assure you I am very well acquainted with
you. Let me show you our children "; and she
tripped gracefully across the parlor to bring two
little children who had been looking out of the
"May I ask the name of the Princess?" I
inquired of the Prince.
Certainly," he replied; Ino."
"Of course you do," said I; "but have you
any objection to telling me?"
None whatever," and he laughed heartily.
"What makes you so stupid this evening, my
dear Uncle Frank; her name is Ino-I-n-o;
don't that spell Ino?"
I could not but admit that it did, and when
the lovely Ino returned with her children we
were both of us in rare good humor over my
I thought I had never before seen anything
half so cunning as the two diminutive creatures
who now stood before me. One was a bright
boy with curly hair and laughing eyes; the
other a beautiful girl, the perfect image of her
handsome mother. The boy was the taller of
the two, yet he was certainly not more than one
inch high. To my delight, they did not seem
at all afraid of me. They answered all my
questions in a modest and intelligent manner.
It was pleasant to observe that they were not
at all pert or forward. In this respect they
were models of behavior for some larger children
of my acquaintance, who, when called up before
company, seem to think that the opportunity is
one for attempting to appear smart."
"May I ask, dear Princess, where you ever
met me before? "
Certainly," she replied. I have seen you
many times and in many places. The Prince
and I generally travel together, and we go far
and wide, I assure you. We have been in your
own house many times."
I was surprised at this, but it was, after all,
no more wonderful than everything connected
with these little people. The Princess requested
me to be seated, and as we took chairs, the
children were permitted to run back to the win-
dow. I was disposed to make many inquiries,
especially as all my questions were so pleasantly
answered, either by the Prince or by his wife,
who was particularly witty and agreeable.
Although there were other people in the room,
THE WA VE RIDERS
as I have before stated, I was not introduced to
them. They seemed to be chatting pleasantly
at the other end of the parlor, and were, I be-
lieve, playing some game, so that we were in a
measure alone at our end of the room.
The city of Weeboro was especially interest-
ing to me, and I learned much about it from
the Prince and his wife. To be entertained by
such small fairies was certainly extraordinary,
-every one, however, knows that fairies are
small,-but to see and talk with real people like
one's self, who are no larger than one's finger,
and yet have real houses and real horses and
real steamboats, in every respect as perfect as
the largest in the world, was to me most won-
derful. I determined to see this city of Wee-
boro and to hold the Prince to his promise to
show it to me.
"It must be pleasant," I remarked to the
Prince, "to live so happily as do your people,
who have everything they need to eat and wear
simply by wishing for it, and have nothing to
do but to enjoy themselves."
"There you are mistaken," said he. "We
are happy enough, you may be sure; but we
have enough to do, and I think that is the very
reason that we are happy. Our work consists
in doing good to others, and I have always ob-
served that people are happiest who follow that
You surprise me. I supposed you had only
to enjoy your-
selves," said I.
"May I inquire
what such little
people can find to
much," he replied. "
"It would be a
long story to tell
you all of our
duties, but I will
describe a few of
them. There are'
many kinds of
fairies, who have
each their work to
do. There are the
THE WA VE RIDERS
whose duty it is to help in nursing sick children.
They wear shoes of the softest down, in order
that their footsteps may not be heard in the sick-
room. They always carry fans and delightful
perfumes, and many a sick child finds his fore-
head cooled, he knows not how, and falls gen-
tly to sleep, forgetting pain and fever, never
dreaming that the kind and gentle Sleep Fairies
have been by his bedside all night. In the
morning parents and physician find him better,
but no one understands why. None saw the
gentle fairies touching the weary eyelids and
cooling the feverish and aching head through
the long hours of the night."
It was delightful to hear him.
"And then," he continued, "there are the
'Flower Fairies.' Oh, what a homely world
this would be if it were not for the flowers!
Often a beautiful but helpless flower will be
deprived of its refreshing dew by some great,
rough, overbearing tree or selfish bush. But
the fairies look to that! When the sun goes
down they are at work, and many a tiny cupful
of dew is carried to a flower upon which it could
never fall. In the morning the beautiful flower
is refreshed and bright with new strength to
meet the sunbeams; and only the flower and
the fairies know the reason why. But I would
tire you telling you all that we do," said he.
"Some night I will take you with me."
I accepted his invitation with thanks, and
promised to be ready any night he should
"Are these little ones your only children?"
To my alarm the Princess turned pale and
seemed about to faint; and the Prince himself,
for all that he hurried to her side and seemed
anxious only on her account, looked much dis-
tressed. That I had asked an unfortunate
question was very evident, and words could not
express how greatly I regretted it.
The Princess soon recovered, however, and
after a moment the Prince said sadly: "Is it
possible you have never heard how we lost our
brave boy? But I forget; of course you have
not. At some other time I may be able to tell
you, but not now."
I hastened to change what seemed so painful
a subject, but the recollection of the suffering
my thoughtless question had caused these
charming people made me curious to know the
sad story about which I could not ask. How
strange," I thought, "that grief and trouble
should find their way here! Even this delight-
ful couple, in their splendid palace and with all
their power, are not entirely happy! What
can be the sad story of the bright fairy boy they
seem to love so much, but who is not here?
Of course he cannot be dead." A suspicion of
the truth flitted across my mind. He must
have been stolen from them. But who could
THE WA VE RIDERS
.1-* steal a fairy's child ?
--* Would it be possi-
ble to do such a
thing? I deter-
mined, as soon as
I had made other
Fairyland, to learn
this secret; and if I
S could only help to
restore the little one
o to his parents, how
Gladly would Iserve
this charming pair
whom I had known
lessthan single day
i and had learned to
love so dearly!
The Prince and
the lovely Princess
their gaiety, in ap-
pearance at least.
*' They did all they
-could to make my
evening a pleasant
one. So successful were they in this that when
at last I looked at my watch it was nearly eleven
o'clock, and long past my usual hour for retir-
Rising, I said, I must bid you good evening,
and must trouble your Majesty to show me the
I had turned to take leave of my beautiful
hostess, when she said: "You cannot go home
to-night, Uncle Frank. You must stay with us."
I thanked her, but insisted that I must go.
It is out of the question," said the Prince,
smiling. "You must stay with us. I am un-
able to let you go, and, seriously, I cannot show
you the way to-night, for reasons which I may
He was evidently in earnest, and meant every
word he said, although he smiled pleasantly all
the time. This diminutive, charming fellow, I
had long since learned, was possessed of a will
of his own and was every inch a king. That
was hardly doing him full justice, however, for
he was certainly not over three inches tall.
"We can make you very comfortable," said
the Princess, pleasantly. If you only knew
Uno half as well as I do, you would quietly
submit, being convinced that going home to-
night is out of the question."
What was I to do ? I had left home with the
expectation of returning by supper-time. Now
it was already nearly midnight, and I was with-
out means of sending word to my house. I
realized that I could not help myself. I was
now so small that I should have been afraid to
go home alone, unless the Prince should consent
to change me back to my natural size. Even
THE WAVE RIDERS
if changed, I knew that I could not find the
way without a guide. I did not even know in
what direction lay the mysterious passage
through which, that afternoon, I had entered
Fairyland with the Prince. There was clearly no
help for it.
I determined, however, to try persuasion, and
accordingly said to the Prince: "My dear
Prince, I beg of you, as a special favor, let me
return home to-night. I really cannot stay all
night. If you will let me off this time, I will
come again,-to-morrow, any day you wish,-
prepared to stay as long as you desire. Indeed,
if my visit will be agreeable to yourself and
your charming wife, I shall be glad to return,
for I could spend months with you pleasantly
enough; but to-night I must go home."
He smiled, but answered firmly: My dear
Uncle Frank, I cannot-let-you-go-home
-to-night. Do not give yourself any uneasi-
ness. You will understand all in the morning.
I am really sorry that I cannot explain, but I
may say this: NO MORTAL EVER GETS OUT OF
FAIRYLAND BY BEING SHOWN THE WAY."
It all seemed very strange. His whole man-
ner showed plainly that he would like to tell me
more if he could. At last, convinced that
somehow all would be right, and realizing that
I could not help myself, I determined philo-
sophically to make the best of the situation and
to accept their invitation to remain.
Both the Princeand
S his wife seemed in-
; "- and relieved at my
Princess said laugh-
ingly and mischie-
vously: "You will
not regret yourdeci-
,sion to remain with
S us, believe me. We
cannot help it. I am
a good housekeeper,
and can give you a
pleasant room, and as
comfortable a bed as
everyou slept upon."
THE WAVE RIDERS
She then requested the Prince
to conduct me to my room. Af-
ter bidding her good night, and
pressing a kiss upon her exqui-
site little hand, I turned to follow
Uno, who was already waiting
for me on the stairs. He led the
way into a pleasant front room
didly furnished, with a soft car-
pet, a handsome bureau with a
fine large mirror, an elegant bed-
stead of rosewood inlaid with
gold, and with satin curtains.
The Prince lighted a golden
chandelier which hung from
the center of the ceiling, and,
turning to me, held out his
"I must now bid you good
night," said he. "Do not wor-
ry, my dear fellow; all will be li
as you desire. Do you remem-
ber the way to the place where I first met you
I replied that I did perfectly.
"WELL, BE SURE NOT TO FORGET IT, and
be sure, also, to remember that you are always
welcome to our home. Good night."
I thought it strange that he should say all
this. It seemed to me unnecessary, and that it
would have been so much more appropriate in
the morning, when I should be leaving for home.
" However," thought I, everything is strange
I could not retire until I had examined the
room and its contents. Everything was inter-
esting. I found the little bureau perfect in
every respect. It had a marble top, and small
drawers with good locks and keys, and yet the
whole bureau itself was not larger than the
square glass inkstand on my desk at home. At
one end of the room was a marble wash-stand
with silver faucets and hot and cold water. A
little pink cake of perfumed soap, not larger
than an apple-seed, was to me a great curiosity.
I was tempted to put it in my pocket to take
home with me, but I thought that it would not
be polite for a guest to carry off the soap with
him. I was about to retire when I was inter-
rupted by a knock on the door. The Prince
himself had returned to inquire if there was
anything I needed, and to show me the bell-
pull, a little silken cord with a gold tassel at the
THE WrA VE RIDERS
end of it, to which he had forgotten to call my
attention. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness,
and assured him that I needed nothing more,
but asked if he would kindly have me called in
the morning, as I was retiring much later than
usual and was afraid I should oversleep. To
my great surprise he laughed heartily at my
request, but, observing my astonishment, checked
himself immediately, and said, with a mischiev-
ous look which I could not at the time under-
stand: "Never fear; you will be called at the
proper time." Again bidding me good night,
he bowed very low and gracefully-not so low,
however, as to prevent my observing a roguish
smile upon his face, which I remembered the
I was soon in bed, but what a bed it was!
Never had I stretched my weary limbs on one
so comfortable. The softness of its linen was
soothing and refreshing. In a moment I was
asleep. I slept long and soundly. When I
awoke the sun was shining in at the window.
It was certainly very late, and, after all, I had
overslept. I rubbed my eyes, recalled all the
wonderful things I had seen, and sprang out of
I was in my own room at home. I looked
for the fairy bureau, the beautiful bedstead, the
bright carpet. All were gone. I was standing
in front of the mirror of my own bureau, and I
looked quickly to see how small I would appear
in my own glass. To my surprise I found that
I was as large as I had ever been. How
strange! Had it all been a dream? I felt sure
it had not. How distinctly I remembered
everything, from the moment I saw the fairies
riding the waves to the very last words the
Prince had spoken to me before going to bed:
"YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING IN
THE MORNING," and NO MORTAL EVER GETS
OUT OF FAIRYLAND BY BEING SHOWN THE
I began to suspect the truth. While asleep,
I had been carried by the fairies to my own
room. But how could they carry so large a
man as I? The explanation was simple when
I remembered how small I had been the night
before. They had moved me while I was small,
and had not changed me to my real size until I
was safe and snug in my own bed.
It was all apparent now. The Prince did
not wish me to learn the way out of Fairyland,
and had moved me in my sleep.
.~ >-. ~
"They come from beds of lichen green,
They creep from the mullen's velvet screen."
THE CULPRIT FAY.
THE LEAF RIDERS
At PROCEEDED to dress myself. I
.. was quite perplexed. My mind
Q '9 was filled with recollections of
my experience of the day before.
I had not sufficiently recovered
Smy self-possession to escape the
feeling, a most ludicrous one,
.. that my hands and feet were un-
duly large and awkward, espe-
cially when employed in such tasks as putting
on my shoes and buttoning my.collar. Indeed,
in this latter task it was almost impossible to
resist the impression that my hands and face,
and, indeed, my whole body, were swollen to an
unnatural and clumsy size. Under the influ-
ences of a good breakfast and a refreshing cup
of coffee, however, I soon recovered my normal
Upon retiring to my room after breakfast, I
was still further surprised to discover that my
night-key to the front door was not in the pocket
of my trousers, as usual, but that it had been
in my bureau drawer all the time. How, then,
could the fairies have entered the house? It
was very strange-all very strange.
I remembered the little Princess had said to
me that she had been in my house many times.
How had she entered? It was plain the fairies
had no need of keys, and they must have
brought me into the house in some other way
than through the door, possibly through the
window. It was open, and suggested the idea.
I was very eager to make another trip to
Fairyland, and, after reading my newspaper, I
determined to set out for the little bay by the
sea where I had first met the Prince.
There were no fairies to be seen. I walked
across the beach down to the very edge of the
water; so near, in fact, that I had hard work,
once or twice, to escape a good wetting by the
waves, which were higher than usual at that
hour in the morning. Notwithstanding I
strained both eye and ear to catch sight or
sound of my little friends, there was no evidence
THE LEAF RIDERS
whatever of their presence, and after waiting
several hours I returned to my home quite dis-
The next day, and the day after that, and
every day of the bright and beautiful summer,
I went regularly to the seaside, but could learn
nothing more. Could it be that the fairies
wished to avoid me, and had no desire to con-
tinue their acquaintance with me? I felt cer-
tain that it could not be so. Somehow I felt
sure that the Prince was fond of my company.
Could it be that I had missed the way to the
little bay and had gone to the wrong place?
How was I to find out?
I was always thinking of the dear little boy
who was lost, and always looking for him
through the woods, over the hill, by the sea,
everywhere, but I could learn nothing of him.
One afternoon, when the autumn had begun
and the leaves were falling from the trees, I had
wandered farther from home than usual and
some distance into the woods. At last, being
somewhat tired, I sat down to rest upon the
projecting root of a large tree, and had been
seated but a few minutes when a sturdy boy
passed me, pushing before him a large wheel-
barrow containing a bagful of dried leaves.
I stopped him to inquire for what purpose he
was collecting them, and was informed that he
was storing them in his mother's barn, to be
used as warm bedding for
the cows during the long J-.
and cold winter nights.
He seemed willing enough i .
to have an excuse for rest-
ing from his labor, and sat -
down beside me. I soon '' "'
found him quite pleasant .'
Is that your mother's
barn? I inquired, point-
ing to a large barn that
could be seen through the trees at the foot of the
hill. He informed me that it was, and that, by
the way, it was much larger than his mother had
needed since the death of his father, and served
no other purpose than that of sheltering the
cows which were now her only support.
"Are you often in these woods?" I asked.
"Yes; I am here every day."
Have you ever seen any small, very small,
people when you have been here? "
He had often heard sounds as if very small
THE LEAF RIDERS
people were talking and singing, and sometimes
laughing, but he had never seen any of the lit-
tle people themselves. He had thought that
possibly the sounds were made by birds or
crickets. Once," said he, his face brightening
as he recalled the fact, I did see a large bum-
blebee flying through the air with something
that looked for all the world like a wee little
boy-oh, the very smallest boy you ever saw.
I thought I heard him crying, but I am not
sure. Maybe it was n't a boy; anyhow, I fol-
lowed the bee through the woods until I saw
him go into a hole in a big' tree; but though I
waited an hour or two, he did not come out
again, and I got tired and went home."
I thought at once of the bright boy of my
Fairy Prince. Could this have been his dear
I asked many more questions. Was he sure
it was a humblebee, or rather "bumblebee,"
as he called it? Did he think he could find the
tree and show it to me? No, he could not; he
had often looked for it since that day, but had
never found it. He was not even sure that
what he had seen flying through the air was a
bee; it only looked like one.
I mentally resolved to find this tree myself,
even if, in order to do so, I had to spend every
day in the forest. It might, after all, however,
be a mistake of this boy, thought I; for surely
no bee could steal a fairy. Had not the Prince
;^,y -F---- :-i
himself told me that neither beast
nor bird nor fish nor insect could
;. hurt a fairy ?
While reflecting upon all the
boy had told me, I observed that
the leaves were falling faster than
usual from the trees around us,
and I looked to see if the wind
had arisen. There was not a
.. breath of air stirring, and yet
f the leaves were coming down in
showers. The summer had been
very hot, and they were dry and
Could I be mistaken, or did I
hear the sound of laughter and
/ *" of singing as the leaves fell? I
S listened intently, and was soon
sure that I heard the laughter
.. and shouting of fairies. The
sound seemed to come from the
leaves in the air, and at last, after
watching them steadily for some
Moments, I discovered the fairies
THE LEAF RIDERS
themselves. Some of them were climbing into
the trees and others riding down to the ground
on the falling leaves. They were evidently en-
joying themselves hugely, for they laughed and
shouted and rode races one with another, sitting
upon the leaves as boys do upon sleds. I saw
some of the little fellows, too impatient to wait
for the leaves to fall of their own accord, actually
pull them off the tree, and, jumping on them,
go riding down swiftly to the ground.
It was delightful to watch them enter into the
sport with such evident enjoyment. As soon
as one would reach the ground he would run
quickly back to the tree, and, climbing up into
its branches, would catch a new leaf, or tear
one from the stem, and go riding down as be-
They were the same fairies I had seen riding
the waves, but instead of being richly dressed
in silks of various colors, as on the day when I
first saw them at the
sea, they were now
clothes of the same
color as the leaves of .:'d -
the trees. This ac-
counted for my not .--,
having observed them-
I desired very much --"-"
to find my little friend ,
the Prince, but he was nowhere to be seen.
Perhaps he did not always come out with the
At last, however, I caught sight of the dear
fellow standing under a tree at some distance
from that from which the fairies were riding.
He stood, with arms folded, looking quietly on,
and was clothed in the same rich satin in which
I had at first seen him. His handsome dress,
however, was now almost entirely concealed by
a plain little brown cloak of the same color as
the clothes of the other fairies. As he stood
leaning against the trunk of the tree, the color
of his cloak blended so perfectly with that of
the bark of the tree that it was no wonder I
had not observed him before. I was soon by
his side, and could see that his face was very
sad; indeed, a tear upon his cheek was evidence
that he had been weeping. He is thinking of
his lost boy," I thought. Apparently he did not
observe me until I was directly in front of him.
THE LEAF RIDERS
The moment he recognized me, he quickly
brushed away the tear, and his face was bright
"Ah! my dear Uncle Frank, how I have
missed you! he exclaimed. Where have you
I have been in these very woods every day
this summer looking for you, my dear Prince,"
I answered. I mildly reproached him for having
avoided me, adding that if he had tried half as
hard to find me as I had to find him we would
have met before. He smiled sadly at my re-
proaches, and said: We fairies cannot seek our
mortal friends; they must make the effort to
find us. Much as I wanted to see you, my dear
fellow,"-and he threw a kiss to me with his
hand,-" I could not come to show you the
way. You said you knew the way to the sea-
"I have been there every day for months,"
"And I, too," said he, smiling; "but you
must have gone to the wrong place, Uncle
Frank, or I would have seen you. However, I
will show you the way once more. Who is
your youthful friend? "
I had forgotten the boy, who had been stand-
ing with me when I first saw the fairies, and
who had followed me to where the Prince was
standing. He had evidently not seen or heard
the Prince at all, for he was staring at me with
a most ludicrous expression of countenance, as
if he thought I had gone crazy, and was talking
to myself, or to the tree in front of me. I
could not help smiling at his astonishment, but
answered the Prince: "He is gathering leaves
for his mother's cows, and is carrying them to
the barn which you see at the foot of the hill."
If he is your friend," said Uno, I will help
him do that in less time than he could carry
one bagful to the barn."
He lifted his pearl horn to his lips, and sounded
a clear soft note. In a moment the fairies were
standing respectfully before him. Such a row
of red cheeks and bright eyes I thought I had
never seen. Some of them still held a leaf in
one hand, as a boy would hold a sled, and they
were all out of breath with the excitement of
"This boy," said the Prince, with a dignity
which he seemed to forget when speaking to
me,-" this boy is a friend of Uncle Frank's,
and is carrying leaves into that barn. You
might just as well be useful, while enjoying
yourselves, and ride your leaves into his barn
instead of to the ground. It will be a longer
ride for you, and will save him much hard work."
I turned to look at the boy, to see the effect
upon him of a proposition which was likely to
make his task an easy one. It was plain he had
not seen or heard a single fairy, for he was
regarding me with the same look of astonish-
ment, and evidently thought I had lost my wits.
I could not help laughing at his perplexity,
and turned to see the effect of the Prince's
command to his little band.
With ringing shouts and merry laughter they
started for the tree, and in a moment clouds of
leaves were flying toward the barn. I could
see them enter the barn through the doors and
windows, and even through the cracks between
the boards. The fairies soon returned, and,
taking new leaves from the trees, started for the
barn as if their lives depended upon their speed.
The boy was evidently astonished, and could
not understand it.
"Just look at the leaves! he exclaimed.
" Did you ever see the like! If the wind only
keeps blowing ten minutes more like that, I
won't have to gather another one, for the old
barn will be full."
THE LEAF RIDERS
Fortunately for him, the wind did not stop
blowing, or rather the fairies did not stop
riding, until the barn was full of leaves; and
the delighted boy exclaimed: "I must hurry
down and shut the doors and windows, or the
wind may change and blow them out again;
then I '11 run and tell mother. So good-by! If
that ain't the biggest joke this year! In his
excitement he had run fully half-way down the
hill before I bethought me to call him back and
ask him to continue to look for the tree until
he should find it, and then to watch it for me
whenever he had time. I gave him a piece of
money to pay him for his trouble, and he was
soon once more on his road to the barn.
I turned to the Prince. He had been observ-
ing me, and said pleasantly, "Well, are you
ready to pay me a visit? "
I replied that I was, and remarked that it
was very kind of him to do so much for the
"Oh, that is nothing," he answered. "It
ought to be a pleasure for one to do a kind act.
Have you ever observed," he continued, "that
it is still more pleasant to do a kind act and not
have it known?"
I replied that it ought to be, but that I had
also observed that few were content to do an
act of kindness and not wait to be thanked for
it. Now, that poor boy," said I, evidently
thinks that the wind blew the leaves into the
barn, although if he had had his wits about him
he might have seen that there was not a breath
of wind blowing at the time. He has not the
slightest idea of giving you the credit for it."
And I do not want the credit for it," said
the noble fellow. I think very little of those
who do good only for the sake of getting credit
By this time we were out of sight of the other
fairies, and I inquired if we would not better
wait for them to catch up with us.
He smiled. Oh, no; they know the way
well enough; besides, they have work to do yet."
"You seemed to be invisible to the boy," I
said; "and I observed that though I heard
every word you said, he evidently did not hear
you at all."
Yes," said the Prince; it would not do for
us to let every boy that plays in the woods see
us and our mad frolics. It would empty every
school-house in the neighborhood, and they
would think of nothing but running through
the woods trying to catch a glimpse of my
merry men, just as I have seen the foolish
fellows spend the whole of a summer afternoon
My dear Prince," said I, I found you very
sad this afternoon. I do not wish to pry into
your sorrows, but I would just like to say this
to you: that I wish I could serve you in any
THE LEAF RIDERS
He looked up into my face with the same sad
expression which I had observed when he was
standing in the woods. My dear Uncle Frank,
I know you would; but it is out of your power
to help me. On account of my poor
little wife, I could not tell you, the
other evening when you were with i-
us, the sad story -If our iJ-let b,;.
She has not
strength, al- h
since our : .' ,. ,
brave boy was ...
stolen from. ,
us; and I have ':, .
not spoken to '" -
you of it since,. -
because I have felt that you .- -"
could not help me, and be- .
cause I think we ought to
bear our own burdens of -'
grief and sorrow, and not .' "
thrust them upon other
people. I see, however,
yours is the. true friendship that would help to
bear a friend's burdens."
I pressed his hand in silence. It was as I
suspected, then-the boy had been stolen.
And who could be so wicked as to rob you
of your child?" I asked.
We do not know," said he, but we suspect
a Wood-sprite whom I had punished for some
mischief he had done. He never forgave me,
though I only did my duty as his King. The
little boy was last seen in these very woods;
but though we come here often to look for him,
and though all the Birds and Crickets and Ants
have looked for him every day, ard the Katy-
dids by night, we can learn nothing. The little
fellow must be above ground, or the Ants would
find him; and he must be kept inside of a tree,
or the Birds and Katydids would find him; but
the Squirrels and Woodpeckers are friendly to
the Wood-sprites, and they, who could tell so
much of what is hidden within the trees, will
tell me nothing."
"How strangely," thought I, does all this
correspond with what the boy saw! I must
find that tree. I feel sure that I am on the
right track now. But the Bee!"
"Are the Bees friendly to you ? I inquired
"The Honey-bees are, but the Humblebees
"The boy must have been right, after all,"
thought I. Oh, if I could only find that tree,
what would I not give!"
"Neither the Humblebees, however," the
Prince continued, nor any other insect, could
THE LEAF RIDERS
injure my boy or hurt a fairy in any way.
The most they could do would be to conceal
the place where he is hid."
"Then," thought I, "it could not have been
the little Prince, after all, and the boy must
have been mistaken; for if the most that an
Humblebee could do would be to refuse to tell
the hiding-place of the child, it would require
something more powerful than a Bee to carry
him off." In my perplexity, however, a new
thought occurred to me.
"What does a Wood-sprite look like?" I
Oh, they change their form very often.
When traveling they frequently take the form
of Humblebees-but here we are at the stone
I had not observed that while talking with
the Prince we had been rapidly approaching
the large stone cover to the staircase in the
sand. It was now directly at our feet.
I lifted it as before, without waiting to be
told to do so by the Prince, and we descended,
the stone closing after us, this time apparently
of its own accord.
"Not a word of all this to my dear wife,
Uncle Frank," said the little fellow.
"Never fear; I would not again alarm her
for all the world."
Her sorrow wears upon me almost as much
as the loss of my boy," said he. "I have to
L- _- -- rL --- ^- Ar I
be as cheerful as possible at .
home, to keep her spirits up.
But here we are in Fairy-
land, and I must change you
to a fairy. Drink from
He handed me a little bottle containing the
liquid which before had made me so small.
Placing it to my lips, I took a swallow of its con-
tents, and soon felt myself going down, down,
down, till I was no taller than the Prince him-
self, and could look into his beautiful blue eyes
I like you better this way," he said, taking
my arm in his; "it is so sociable."
We were soon walking in the little city, under
THE LEAF RIDERS
the beautiful trees which
grew on each side of the
previous experience, it
still seemed very strange
to be down so close to
the ground. I was now
no taller than the top of
my shoe had been; in-
deed, I do not think I
could have gotten into
it without a ladder, and
I am certain that, with
all my strength, I could
not have lifted it from
the ground. It would
swered for a
house for one
the Prince, looking into my face. "What makes
you so quiet?"
"I was thinking of the old woman who lived
in her shoe," I replied. I never before could
understand how she could live in her own shoe,
but I think I understand it now."
The Prince laughed mischievously. I don't
think she would have been cramped for room if
her feet had been as big as yours were a mo-
ment ago! "
"And her children no larger than fairy
princes! I replied, smiling at his good humor.
"We would better stop joking," said the
Prince, looking at me archly. "You will be
getting the worst of it, and have your little feel-
ings hurt, if you persist."
It gave me great satisfaction to discover that
the Prince seemed to take pleasure in my society,
and to be disposed to treat me in every way as
his confidential friend. We chatted pleasantly
together until we had reached his palace, and he
had started to run up the steps when he turned
quickly and said:
"Would you like to visit Weeboro to-day ?"
"By all means," said I, enthusiastically.
" How long will it take us to go? I took out
my watch to see what time it was. There it was
again, no larger than a shirt-button, ticking away
as before. It was just two o'clock.
"Well," said the Prince, "let me see. It is
just two o'clock." I had not told him the time,
THE LEAF RIDERS
Evidently he could tell the time without a watch,
for he had named the hour exactly. I have,"
he continued," a long-legged donkey that can get
over the ground easily in about fifteen minutes."
"Well," I said, trot him out, and we will
"We can ride only one at a time," said the
Prince, dryly. "We will find him behind the
He pointed to a forest of trees just outside
the city, and we set off at once. When behind
the trees, where we could not be seen from the
town, he turned to me and said, "I must now
make you large again; swallow this."
He handed me a powder, which I placed upon
my tongue. The effect was magical. I com-
menced to grow larger with prodigious rapidity,
and was soon fully six feet in height.
"Lift me up," said he, "and let me sit on
your shoulder. I will show you the way."
I placed him on my shoulder as directed.
Now," said he, I think we would better go
across lots, so as not to meet any of the Weeboro
people, who would be frightened out of their
little wits if they should see so large and homely
a giant as you are coming down the road. But
we must be off. Step out! "
"But where is the long-legged donkey?" I
"I am going to ride the donkey," said he;
"you will have to walk."
at mry stipidity, t ith:t1iing m niy
great ear and pulling my hair in his
merriment, that, although the joke was all at
the expense of my clumsy self, I could not help
laughing with him, and I believe I enjoyed it as
much as he did. In as good humor as ever were
two mortals setting out on an excursion together,
I commenced my tramp, feeling very much
like a donkey, he pulling one of my ears or
the other, as he desired me to turn right or
left, in showing me the way. It was not diffi-
cult for me to step over fences and ditches
and small hills, and I verily believe that I made
fully one of their small miles in four of my great
steps. At such a tremendous pace we were soon
THE LEAF RIDERS 65
near Weeboro. "We must not go any farther
in this direction," said the Prince. "We will
get behind that mountain which is close to the
city, and, once there, I can make you small
again." I soon reached the place
pointed out, and lifted the
The mountain was several feet higher than my
head, and I was obliged to step on a small hill at
its foot in order to look over its summit at the city
which the Prince informed me was just on the
other side. Fortunately, there was quite a forest
of trees on the mountain-top. By bending one
or two of them aside I could look through them
without myself being seen by the little people
in the city below. They would, I believe, have
been frightened to deathhad they, without warn-
ing or explanation, seen such a formidable ap-
parition as my great face peering at them from
that height. It was a beautiful town, and cov-
ered about as much ground as a large vegetable-
garden. At the foot of the mountain, and
between me and the city, was quite a large river,
about as wide as one of our streets. I learned
afterward they were very proud of this river,
and still more proud of a very fine stone bridge
which spanned it, and which they had been many
years building. It was lighted throughout its
entire length by little lamps, and was really a
fine piece of engineering. There were numbers
of vessels, of all kinds and sizes, in the river, from
the small tugs, which were puffing about from
place to place, to the largest ocean steamers,
which were, some of them, fully ten feet long.
In the center of the city was a large open square,
and in front of it a handsome building, which I
soon concluded was the palace of their king.
What interested me most of all, however, was
THE LEAF RIDERS
a railroad, on which I could see a small train of
cars steaming toward the city. The locomotive
whistled as it came in sight of the depot, and I
could see little men with red flags hurrying to
the crossings and beckoning to the people to get
off the track. The locomotive was certainly not
more than ten inches long, and the cars in pro-
portion. I saw the train stop at the depot, which
was about two feet high and fully five feet
long. I watched the little passengers get off,
one by one, while their diminutive trunks were
taken from the baggage-car by porters and ex-
pressmen. Carriages and omnibuses were in
waiting, and were soon bustling through the
streets on their way to the various hotels.
I was now conscious of something pricking my
feet, as if a pin were being run into my shoe.
Looking down, I saw the Prince sticking his
sword, which was no longer than a pin, and very
sharp, right into my foot. In my astonishment
at seeing the city and its inhabitants, I had for
the moment forgotten all about the little fellow,
and he was endeavoring with right good will to
remind me of his presence and of his claims upon
my attention. I reached down in a hurry, you
may be sure, and, picking him up, placed him
on top of the mountain, where he could stand
on a level with my face.
"Are you deaf?" he exclaimed. I could
not make you hear a word, though I screamed
at the top of my voice. You certainly have no
corns, for I have been kicking your great clumsy
feet for an hour past." And he laughed heartily,
to my great relief, for I feared he was provoked
with me for having neglected him.
Placed in a position where he could point out
and explain the various objects of interest, he
was now of great assistance to me, and as he
knew every building in the city, and was ac-
quainted with the history of the place from
the earliest date, his replies to my numerous
questions were both interesting and instruc-
"Weeboro," he explained, "is quite an old
city, and is governed by a king, a very intelli-
gent and worthy man, whose palace you see near
the square. He is well educated, having been
through college, and governs his people with
much wisdom. He is a good general, too, and
in the wars which are sometimes forced upon
him by the ambitious and proud king of another
little people, who live some thousand miles or
more from Weeboro, he never fails to come off
victorious. That large vessel which you see,"
he continued, pointing to a steamship in the
river, is one of his war-vessels, and is only
one of quite a navy."
By looking intently I could plainly see the
muzzles of cannon in the port-holes in her sides.
I became more and more interested with all that
I saw, and my interest was heightened by his
intelligent explanations. The story of Gulliver's
THE LEAF RIDERS
/ travels among the Lilli-
S putians had always been
interesting to me, but his
.' little folks had neither
Ssteam-vessels nor real
S cannon nor railroads;
they had only bows and
arrows to fight
i with; and a loco-
.'motive and train of
cars such as I had
I just seen would
frightened them to
S"It seems too
bad," I remarked,
"that such a very
c' 7 small people should
find it necessary to
go to war with each
other, my dear Prince. Can you do nothing to
I cannot interfere," he replied thoughtfully;
"they must settle that between themselves.
The most I can do is to protect them from such
giants as you, and that I very easily accomplish
by hiding the staircases. If you wish to visit
the city now, you must lift me down and take a
swallow from the bottle. The little King would
think I had betrayed him to destruction if he
should see me leading so large a giant through
his city! "
I lifted him carefully down, and took a drink
from the bottle. In my anxiety to see the city
I thoughtlessly took a much larger swallow than
usual, and went down so fast that it made me
quite dizzy, and jingled the keys in my pocket.
Indeed, so rapid was my descent that my mouth
closed with a snap, and, as I was just about
making a remark to the Prince, my tongue was
caught between my teeth and received a severe
bite. The Prince laughed heartily at my dis-
comfiture, but I was all right again in a moment,
and, taking his arm, we were soon on our way
to the bridge.
Fortunately, he knew the road, and a short
walk brought us to its entrance. I was surprised
to find soldiers on guard. They were stationed
so they could examine those who desired to
cross. They were handsome fellows, dressed
in red coats trimmed with gold lace, and yellow
trousers. Their horses-for they belonged to
the cavalry-were standing near by, ready sad-
dled and bridled. The Prince explained that
the King of Weeboro was very careful of his
territory, as his enemy was watchful and very
aggressive, and that it was necessary to be con-
stantly on the alert, especially at so important a
place as the bridge entrance.
As I was impatient to see the city, I felt
quite annoyed to think that we would have to
THE LEAF RIDERS 71
be detained for the purpose of answering nu-
merous questions of the soldiers; but as the
Colonel in command stepped forward to examine
us, I felt that we must submit to the delay. To
my surprise, however, he no sooner observed
my companion, the Prince, than he saluted him
with great deference, removing his hat until its
little plume actually trailed in the dust. Then,
calling one of his soldiers, he whispered a few
words to him, and came forward himself to
meet us. The soldier sprang hastily into his
I .' ;.. i
} I' ;... ,. 1 ^
saddle, and was soon rid-
S.ing as fast as his horse
could carry him across
the bridge to the city.
The Colonel did not
return his hat tohishead,
S but 1hel it respectfully in
Sb l-- I ha1 ashe approached
f, 1- lthe Pi F ii,-_e.
jesty is very
Tb'. welcome to
he. "I have
just sent word
'l' to the King of
I i your arrival."
It was not
disturb him, my dear Colonel," said the Prince.
"We are simply taking a walk."
"Will you not wait for the royal carriage?"
asked the Colonel.
Oh, no," replied the Prince. "I think we
prefer to walk across the bridge, and not trouble
his Majesty, King Leo." And bidding him a
gracious good afternoon, the Prince and I started
for the city. It was plain to see that the Prince
was well known, and also greatly respected and
We walked slowly over the bridge, which I
THE LEAF RIDERS
examined carefully at every step. It was re-
markably well built. At every few feet there
were very handsome lamps. It must have
been as light by night as by day. We were
not more than half-way across when I could
hear a band of music approaching. I soon saw
a whole army of little soldiers, with their flags
flying and muskets glistening in the sun, march-
ing toward us. None of them was taller than
the Prince. As they approached us, I could
see several small policemen keeping back the
crowd, to make room for them to march.
Directly behind the advance-guard was a
very elegant open carriage, drawn by four white
horses. As it approached us the door opened,
and a fine-looking man, very richly dressed
in black velvet trimmed with gold lace, and car-
rying carelessly under his arm a handsome sword
with a jeweled hilt, stepped to the ground and
came forward to meet us. His eyes were black,
but his hair slightly gray.
"My dear Prince," said he, "how kind of
you to come and visit me so informally!"
To my surprise, he knelt down gracefully,
and kissed the hand of my companion. "Evi-
dently," thought I, Uno must be a very im-
portant personage, when even this king stoops
to kiss his hand."
The Prince raised him to his feet, and em-
braced him affectionately, saying, "Arise, my
dear Leo; we have only come to make a short
call, as my Uncle Frank, here, desires to make
your acquaintance and to see your beautiful
Any member of your royal family is most
welcome," said the King, turning to me and
extending his hand cordially. We will do our
best to see that he enjoys himself. But you
must both be tired walking; let me assist you
to the carriage."
The Prince turned to me, and motioned for
me to enter. I did so. Both he and the King
followed. No sooner were we seated than the
King nodded to the officer in command, and the
procession started. The band, a very fine one,
struck up a lively march, and it seemed to me
I had never heard better music. It was amus-
ing, however, to observe the musicians. They
had small brass horns, precisely like those of
the larger bands to which I had been accus-
tomed; and as they played upon their instru-
ments, they puffed out their rosy cheeks until
their eyes seemed starting out of their heads.
The bass-drum was no larger than a small pill-
box, and the fife no bigger than a pin.
The streets were full of people, all anxious to
see the Prince, who was evidently a great
favorite. They frequently cheered him lustily,
and pressed so closely at times upon the carriage
that the little policemen had hard work to make
room for us. Uno bowed pleasantly right and
left. I did the same.
THE LEAF RIDERS
I observed that, while the Prince joked freely
and sociably with me when we were alone to-
gether, in the presence of the King he was very
dignified. I was discreet enough to treat him
with as much respect as I saw every one else
We rode through the principal business street.
The small stores, with their goods displayed for
sale, and numerous signs to attract the attention
of the public, were very interesting to me. In
several of the cross-streets I saw railroad tracks
and small horse-cars.
At last the carriage drew up in front of the
palace, and the procession stopped. The soldiers
formed quickly into line, holding their guns
respectfully before them, and King Leo stepped
out. He invited us to enter the palace. As
we reached the top of the steps, he turned for
a moment to say a few words to the people.
They were all attention.
My dear citizens," said he, our good friend,
Prince Uno, with an esteemed relative of his,
has come to visit our city quite informally. In
his walks about the town he naturally does not
wish to attract attention, or to be surrounded
with crowds of people. Since it is his royal
pleasure to move about among us for the time
as a private citizen, I feel certain that you will
accord him that privilege, and see that he is
They removed their hats immediately, and
after giving three enthu-
siastic cheers for Prince
Uno and the King, were
soon on the way to their
homes, having dispersed
in the most orderly man-
ner. I was much im-
pressed with their deco-
rous behavior, and with
the splendid discipline
which seemed to prevail
throughout the entire
We now turned to enter
the palace, and were. met
at the door by the Queen,
to whom I was present-
ed by Prince Uno. She
was a handsome middle-
aged lady, who had most
THE LEAF RIDERS
agreeable manners, and gave us a hearty wel-
My dear Prince," said she, holding out both
little hands to him, how more than glad I am
to see you !-and your friend also," she added
graciously, bowing to me. And how is that
loveliest of women, the Princess Ino? "
"She is quite well, my dear Queen, and
would have come with us had she known of
our trip. The fact is, Uncle Frank was very
eager to see your city, and I, knowing the time
required by you ladies to prepare for even so
short a journey, hesitated to detain him while
that 'loveliest of women' completed her toilet.
So we came away without letting her know
anything about it. I suppose I will receive a
scolding when I return."
"You are not a properly managed and dis-
ciplined husband," said the Queen, archly.
" Leo would not have dared do such a thing.
I must give the Princess a hint or two. But
come in, you two runaways, and see our baby.
You have not yet seen him, my dear Prince,
and he is such a fine fellow, and to be named
for you, too," she added, turning to him. You
surely would not miss seeing your namesake! "
"I certainly would not miss paying my re-
spects to his Royal Highness," said the Prince,
laughing; "so we will ask for an audience
As the Queen led the way, I had a better
opportunity to observe her graceful form. The
charming mother was not over three inches tall.
"What must the baby be?" thought I.
She requested us to take chairs in the parlor
while she ran up-stairs for it.
The room in which we now found ourselves
was a handsome apartment with frescoed ceiling.
The walls were almost covered with elegant
pictures, many of which, I was informed by the
Prince, had been painted by the Queen herself,
who was quite an artist. Indeed, I was delighted
with her handiwork. Adjoining the parlor was
the library, well stored with handsome books,
and provided with easy-chairs and a cheerful
fireplace. I am certain I could not have read
the print of the books if my eyes had not been
exceedingly good. On the parlor mantel were
some exquisite bronzes. They were not larger
than the charms on my watch-chain at home.
Indeed, I would have been delighted to have
had one or two for that purpose.
While examining them the Queen returned.
I shall never forget so long as I live the cunning
wee baby she brought to show to us. It was
dressed in long skirts, and all of its clothes were
handsomely embroidered-by the Queen's own
hand, as I was informed. The sleeves were
caught up at the shoulders with small blue
ribbons. Its head was not larger, I am sure,
than a small pea, and yet its eyes were open,
and it stared at us with them as if it had known
us before, and was trying to recall when and
THE LEAF RIDERS
where it had seen us. I asked to be permitted
to hold it in my arms for a moment, but no
sooner had I received it from her Majesty, the
Queen-mother, than it commenced to cry, and
I was obliged to return it to her. How small
its tiny hands were! It opened and shut them,
however, moving the wee little fingers just as I
have seen larger babies do. Small as the fingers
were, what was my surprise to see on one of
them a gold ring! It was such a tiny ring that
I am sure it would have been difficult to slip it
over a pin! The baby soon grew tired of being
exhibited, and showed its displeasure by doub-
ling its little hands up into fists, and rubbing
its eyes vigorously until it commenced to cry.
The nurse, who had been standing near at hand,
dressed in white apron and cap, then took it
up-stairs to the nursery. We could hear it
crying there for some time afterward, notwith-
standing its proud mother had just claimed for
it that it was the very best baby in the world,
and never gave any trouble."
The King, who had not entered the parlor
with us, owing to some business matters to
which he was obliged to attend, now made his
appearance at the door. Prince Uno, turning
to the Queen, said, "We must now ask your
Majesty to excuse us for an hour or two, as we
wish to make a tour of the city for Uncle
Frank's benefit, and have little time to spare."
"I will not detain you longer," said the
Queen. I feel highly honored by your visit.
Do not fail to call before you return home,
The Prince assured her that he would not, and,
bowing politely, we took our leave, accompanied
by the King, whose carriage was waiting for
Uno, who always seemed to know my wishes
before I expressed them, said, "I think we will
not make use of your carriage, my dear Leo.
Uncle Frank wishes to enter the stores to make
some purchases, and desires to visit some of the
manufactories, as well as the steamers in the
river, and we would have to be continually
getting in and out of the carriage if we rode."
"Just as you prefer," said the King; "but
THE LEAF RIDERS
permit me to go with you, as my acquaintance
with the city will be of some service to you. I
will not dismiss the carriage, however, as after
you have finished your tour of the city, I should
like to have you visit our coal-mine, some three
miles from here. I feel certain it will interest
you, and besides, my dear Prince, I need your
advice about the management of it. It has of
late become so dangerous that every month
some of my poor miners are killed in it."
We replied that we should be very glad to
have his company and assistance, and to visit
his mine. We were soon walking, three abreast,
down the street, slowly followed by the carriage,
which kept us in sight.
You may be sure I used my eyes to good
advantage, and saw all that was to be seen. I
observed that the street was paved with small
blocks of stone, and was a most excellent road-
way. The sidewalks were smooth and wide,
and the stores and other buildings were in all
respects like those I had seen of larger size,
although more neatly finished and more per-
fectly constructed. The majority were built of
bricks, which were about the size of grains of
corn. One very large building was being
erected at the time of our visit. The cellar had
been dug, and a pile of bricks and some small
barrels of lime, about as large as thimbles, were
lying in the street.
We had walked past several blocks of stores
82 PRINCE UNO
when I decided to enter one. It was a dry-
goods store. The shelves were filled with at-
tractive goods, and behind the counter stood
little salesmen, selling silks and cloths which
were not wider than narrow ribbons. After
making one or two purchases, we entered a
grocery store, where I was much interested in
the size of the articles kept for sale as compared
with those of like kind at home. Pumpkins
were no larger than apples, while apples were
no bigger than huckleberries. I should have
THE LEAF RIDERS
been pleased to take with me, as a curiosity,
the small pair of scales on the counter. After
leaving this store, a short walk brought us to
the post-office of the city. It was amusing to
see the people waiting to get the small letters
which the postmaster handed out to them
through the window, which was itself no larger
than one of our postage-stamps. Next to the
post-office was a hardware store, and in we
went. I requested the clerk behind the counter
to show me some pocket-knives. I desired
some six-bladed ones. He displayed a number
of different kinds for me to examine. They
were about as large as grains of wheat, though
perhaps not quite so thick, and perfect in every
respect. I was so delighted with them that I
bought a dozen to take back with me as curiosi-
ties, to the evident satisfaction of the small
storekeeper. The King would not let me pay
for them, but insisted on their being charged
to his account. I protested, but it was of no
We next came to a bank, and I could see the
clerks, with tiny pens behind their ears, bustling
about, some of them counting out money, and
others making entries in the books. There was
an iron safe in which to lock up the money and
the books. I was informed that this safe was
necessary only as a protection against fire. I
was gratified to learn that it was entirely un-
necessary so far as thieves were concerned.
All people in this happy land were honest.
There was no one capable of telling a falsehood,
or of taking anything which did not belong to
The next place of interest was a barber's shop.
I stood at the door and looked in without enter-
ing. Several gentlemen were sitting in small
chairs, being shaved. One of the barbers was
cutting a little boy's hair. If the scissors had
been as large as those used at home, one careless
clip of the shears would have cut the boy's head
After leaving the barber's shop we came to a
drug-store with tiny red and blue bottles in the
window. "They have very fine soda-water in
this store," said the King, and I wish you both
to try a glass with me." We were soon stand-
ing in front of the fountain, which was a beautiful
affair of white marble with silver faucets. I took
lemon, the Prince sarsaparilla, and the King
raspberry. Such little tumblers, all foaming
and running over, as we held to our mouths!
It was exceedingly refreshing-the very best
soda I ever drank. The King paid for it, and
we went out.
A short walk brought us to a small building
which greatly interested me. It was a school-
house. As we entered the door I could see the
little scholars sitting on the benches. They
were very small children, not over an inch long.
In other respects, however, they looked and
THE LEAF RIDERS
behaved very much the same as I had seen
larger children behave in schools at home. I
observed one boy, for instance, while the atten-
tion of the teacher was directed to us, take ad-
vantage of the opportunity to snatch a hasty
bite from a tiny apple which he had concealed
in his desk. The teacher was a determined-
looking little woman wearing spectacles. To
my surprise, she was at the time of our entrance
deliberately putting some small boys into a bag.
The bag, quite a large one, was soon full, and I
could not resist the temptation to inquire the
reason for so strange a proceeding. "It is
my plan of whipping impartially," she replied.
" These boys have none of them learned their
lesson; and that I may not be accused of whip-
ping one more severely than another, I place
them all in this bag, give the bag a good shak-
ing, thus" (and she suited the action to the
word), "to mix them up well, and proceed to
whip the bag soundly." And she did so thor-
oughly, while we looked on. From the noises
which issued from the bag, I could not doubt
that the boys were very impartially and soundly
whipped. As she took them out one by one
they seemed much improved, and evidently
had no fault to find with her fairness. Indeed,
as they walked to their seats I observed that
their faces were entirely free from those expres-
sions of dissatisfaction so common to whipped
scholars of larger schools. I was much edified
and impressed with this system of punishment,
and expressed my approbation of it.
"Oh, it is the only way to manage a school
without being utterly worn out with complaints
from both scholars and parents," said the ener-
getic little woman. "I have had no difficulty
since I adopted the bag plan. It leaves no room
for complaint, if one only shakes the bag thor-
oughly. I think of taking out a patent for it."
We thanked her for her explanation, and,
bidding her good day, left the school.
"I should like to have you examine a new
and very large sawmill which is near at hand,"
said the King.
I expressed my desire to see it. We were
not long in reaching it. The building was pos-
sibly as large as a dry-goods box. As we
entered the door the saws were at work upon
logs which I should think were about as large
as sticks of peppermint candy. The little work-
men had hard work handling them. The saws
were very sharp. Those of a circular form were
about the size of silver dollars. When the
engine was started, they were not long in turn-
ing a good-sized log into very nice little boards.
After spending a few minutes in the sawmill
we visited a large cloth-mill, in which were
hundreds of small looms weaving beautiful cloth
of various colors. In one corner of the mill
were some looms of very intricate workmanship,
which, I was informed, were used for manufac-
THE LEAF RIDERS
turning fish-nets. The i j j
threads of these nets
were so fine that they / i '
were invisible; indeed, i
I should have supposed
the machine to be running upon air, instead of
upon a fabric, if I had not been requested by
the foreman of the mill to feel of the fish-net as
it issued from the loom. To my astonishment,
I could easily feel the meshes, and discovered
that the nets themselves were very strong and
might easily hold the largest fish. How easy,"
thought I, "must it be to catch fish in nets
which they cannot see!"
As we left this interesting mill I found that
we were very near to the river on which I had