by Louisa May Alcott
by Louisa May Alcott
“Pondering shadows, colors, clouds
Grass-buds, and caterpillar shrouds
Boughs on which the wild bees settle,
Tints that spot the violet’s petal.”
FOR WHOM THEY WERE FANCIED,
THESE FLOWER FABLES
BY HER FRIEND,
Boston, Dec. 9, 1854.
The Frost King: or, The Power of Love
Eva’s Visit to Fairy-Land
The Flower’s Lesson
Lily-Bell and Thistledown
Little Annie’s Dream: or, The Fairy Flower
Ripple, the Water-Spirit
THE summer moon shone brightly down upon the sleeping earth, while
far away from mortal eyes danced the Fairy folk. Fire-flies hung
in bright clusters on the dewy leaves, that waved in the cool
night-wind; and the flowers stood gazing, in very wonder, at the
little Elves, who lay among the fern-leaves, swung in the vine-boughs,
sailed on the lake in lily cups, or danced on the mossy ground,
to the music of the hare-bells, who rung out their merriest peal
in honor of the night.
Under the shade of a wild rose sat the Queen and her little
Maids of Honor, beside the silvery mushroom where the feast
“Now, my friends,” said she, “to wile away the time till the bright
moon goes down, let us each tell a tale, or relate what we have done
or learned this day. I will begin with you, Sunny Lock,” added she,
turning to a lovely little Elf, who lay among the fragrant leaves
of a primrose.
With a gay smile, “Sunny Lock” began her story.
“As I was painting the bright petals of a blue bell, it told me
THE POWER OF LOVE.
THREE little Fairies sat in the fields eating their breakfast;
each among the leaves of her favorite flower, Daisy, Primrose,
and Violet, were happy as Elves need be.
The morning wind gently rocked them to and fro, and the sun
shone warmly down upon the dewy grass, where butterflies spread
their gay wings, and bees with their deep voices sung
among the flowers; while the little birds hopped merrily about
to peep at them.
On a silvery mushroom was spread the breakfast; little cakes
of flower-dust lay on a broad green leaf, beside a crimson
strawberry, which, with sugar from the violet, and cream
from the yellow milkweed, made a fairy meal, and their drink was
the dew from the flowers’ bright leaves.
“Ah me,” sighed Primrose, throwing herself languidly back,
“how warm the sun grows! give me another piece of strawberry,
and then I must hasten away to the shadow of the ferns. But
while I eat, tell me, dear Violet, why are you all so sad?
I have scarce seen a happy face since my return from Rose Land;
dear friend, what means it?”
“I will tell you,” replied little Violet, the tears gathering
in her soft eyes. “Our good Queen is ever striving to keep
the dear flowers from the power of the cruel Frost-King; many ways
she tried, but all have failed. She has sent messengers to his court
with costly gifts; but all have returned sick for want of sunlight,
weary and sad; we have watched over them, heedless of sun or shower,
but still his dark spirits do their work, and we are left to weep
over our blighted blossoms. Thus have we striven, and in vain;
and this night our Queen holds council for the last time. Therefore
are we sad, dear Primrose, for she has toiled and cared for us,
and we can do nothing to help or advise her now.”
“It is indeed a cruel thing,” replied her friend; “but as we cannot
help it, we must suffer patiently, and not let the sorrows of others
disturb our happiness. But, dear sisters, see you not how high
the sun is getting? I have my locks to curl, and my robe to prepare
for the evening; therefore I must be gone, or I shall be brown as
a withered leaf in this warm light.” So, gathering a tiny mushroom
for a parasol, she flew away; Daisy soon followed, and Violet was