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How the Fairy Violet Lost and Won Her Wings   By:

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[Illustration: The Fairy Violet's introduction to the Fire King. ]



Author of "Eva's Victory," "Sybil Grey," &c.







The Fairy Violet lived in the heart of a beautiful forest, where, through the glad spring months, the sun shone softly, and the bright flowers bloomed, and now and then the gentle rain fell in silver drops that made every green thing on which they rested fresher and more beautiful still. At the foot of a stately oak nestled a clump of violets, and it was there the wee fairy made her home. She wore a robe of deep violet, and her wings, which were of the most delicate gauze, glistened like dew drops in the sun. All day long she was busy at work tending her flowers, bathing them in the fresh morning dew, painting them anew with her delicate fairy brush, or loosening the clay when it pressed too heavily upon their fragile roots; and at night she joined the elves in their merry dance upon the greensward. She was not alone in the great forest; near her were many of her sister fairies, all old friends and playmates. There was the Fairy Primrose in a gown of pale yellow, and Cowslip, who wore a robe of the same colour, but of a deeper shade. There was the graceful Bluebell, and the wild Anemone, the delicate Woodsorrel, and the Yellow Kingcup. The Fairy Bluebell wore a robe the colour of the sky on a calm summer's day, Anemone and Woodsorrel were clad in pure white, while Kingcup wore a gown of bright amber. One day, as the Fairy Violet was resting from the noonday heat on the open leaves of her favourite flower, a noisy troop of boys, just set free from school, came dashing at full speed through the forest. "Hallo! there is a nest in that tree," cried one, and he trod ruthlessly on the violets as he sprang up the trunk of the ancient oak. The Fairy Violet was thrown to the ground, with a shock that left her for a time stunned and motionless. When she recovered, the boys were gone, and the flower in which she had been resting lay crushed and dying on the ground. Filled with tender pity at the sight, Fairy Violet hastened to tend her wounded charge, taking no thought for her own injuries. "Dear Violet, be comforted," she whispered softly, as she raised the drooping flower from the ground; "I will try to make you well." Then she took her fairy goblet and fetched a few drops of dew from a shady place which the sun had not yet reached, to revive the fainting flower, and bound up the broken stem with a single thread of her golden hair. But it was all in vain, and the fairy, after wrapping an acorn in soft moss, and placing it for a pillow beneath the head of the fast fading Violet, left it to try her skill on the other flowers. A faint fragrance from the dying flower thanked her, as she turned sadly away to pursue her labour of love. It was not till she had raised and comforted all the drooping flowers and bound up their wounds, that the Fairy Violet thought of herself. Then she discovered that her delicate gossamer wings were gone! Evidently they had been caught on a crooked stick as she fell to the ground and torn violently off, for there the remnants now hung, shrivelled and useless, flapping in the breeze. At this sight the hapless fairy threw herself by the side of the now withered Violet, and wept bitterly. When spring and the spring flowers were gone, and their work was ended, Violet and her sister fairies had been wont to spread their wings and fly back to fairy land, to report to the Queen what they had done, and to receive from her reward or blame, according as they had performed their task well or ill. Now this happy prospect was over for poor Violet. "I shall never see fairy land again!" she murmured, and wept anew at the thought.

The violets whom she had tended so lovingly were very sorry for her grief, and shook their heads gently in the breeze, till their fragrance filled the air, and stole softly round the weeping fairy... Continue reading book >>

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