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Flower fairies.

From: The Enchanted Castle A Book of Fairy Tales from Flowerland.

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"Never tread beneath your feet Flowers fair and flowers sweet; Touch us tenderly with care Flowers sweet and flowers fair."

ONE bright sunny morning little Mae went out into the fields to gather a bunch of flowers for her mother. She went happily along, and soon came to a meadow gay with yellow buttercups. She picked a handful and then ran on, for she could see, just over the next wall, the red blossoms of a field of poppies.

Some of these she gathered and put among her buttercups; but she did not stay long in this field, for she knew that a little farther on there was a stream, beside which grew the pretty blue forget-me-nots of which her mother was so fond.

So Mae gathered a big bunch of these, and now held in her hand buttercups, poppies, and forget-me-nots. But after a while she began to get tired, so she sat down on the bank to rest, and presently she heard a soft little voice say: "Do you like butter?"

Mae looked quickly around, and saw before her a pretty little lady, with a crown of gold upon her head and dressed all in yellow. She was very much surprised, but being a polite little girl, replied: "Yes, thank you; and will you please tell me your name?"

"Certainly," said the little lady. "My name is Fairy Yellow, and I am Queen of the buttercups and daffodils, and all the yellow flowers; here come my sisters, Fairy Red and Fairy Blue." And there they were, two more little ladies, one dressed in red and the other in blue.

"Good morning," said Mae. "Good morning," said Fairy Red. "I live among the poppies, and all the red flowers belong to me; poppies, and roses, and the holly-berries, and many more besides." Then Fairy Blue said, "I am mistress of the bluebells, and hare-bells, and forget-me-nots, and all the sweet blue flowers."

"I think you are all very pretty," said Mae, "and I shall always think of you when I look at the flowers; but now I must go home; so good-bye." "But we are going with you," said the fairies, and to Mae's astonishment each crept into a flower and nestled down comfortably; Fairy Yellow in a buttercup, Fairy Red in a poppy, and Fairy Blue in a forget-me-not.

So Mae gathered up her flowers and set off home, and all the way the fairies sang to her the sweetest songs.

The end


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