Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

Thus to all who needed help or comfort went the faithful Fairies; and

when at length they turned towards Fairy-Land, many were the grateful,

happy hearts they left behind.

Then through the summer sky, above the blossoming earth, they

journeyed home, happier for the joy they had given, wiser for the good

they had done.

All Fairy-Land was dressed in flowers, and the soft wind went singing

by, laden with their fragrant breath. Sweet music sounded through the

air, and troops of Elves in their gayest robes hastened to the palace

where the feast was spread.

Soon the bright hall was filled with smiling faces and fair forms, and

little Eva, as she stood beside the Queen, thought she had never seen

a sight so lovely.

The many-colored shadows of the fairest flowers played on the pure

white walls, and fountains sparkled in the sunlight, making music

as the cool waves rose and fell, while to and fro, with waving wings

and joyous voices, went the smiling Elves, bearing fruit and honey,

or fragrant garlands for each other’s hair.

Long they feasted, gayly they sang, and Eva, dancing merrily

among them, longed to be an Elf that she might dwell forever

in so fair a home.

At length the music ceased, and the Queen said, as she laid her hand

on little Eva’s shining hair:–

“Dear child, tomorrow we must bear you home, for, much as we long

to keep you, it were wrong to bring such sorrow to your loving earthly

friends; therefore we will guide you to the brook-side, and there say

farewell till you come again to visit us. Nay, do not weep, dear

Rose-Leaf; you shall watch over little Eva’s flowers, and when she

looks at them she will think of you. Come now and lead her to the

Fairy garden, and show her what we think our fairest sight. Weep

no more, but strive to make her last hours with us happy as you can.”

With gentle caresses and most tender words the loving Elves gathered

about the child, and, with Rose-Leaf by her side, they led her through

the palace, and along green, winding paths, till Eva saw what seemed

a wall of flowers rising before her, while the air was filled with the

most fragrant odors, and the low, sweet music as of singing blossoms.

“Where have you brought me, and what mean these lovely sounds?”

asked Eva.

“Look here, and you shall see,” said Rose-Leaf, as she bent aside

the vines, “but listen silently or you cannot hear.”

Then Eva, looking through the drooping vines, beheld a garden filled

with the loveliest flowers; fair as were all the blossoms she had seen

in Fairy-Land, none were so beautiful as these. The rose glowed

with a deeper crimson, the lily’s soft leaves were more purely white,

the crocus and humble cowslip shone like sunlight, and the violet

was blue as the sky that smiled above it.

“How beautiful they are,” whispered Eva, “but, dear Rose-Leaf, why

do you keep them here, and why call you this your fairest sight?”

“Look again, and I will tell you,” answered the Fairy.

Eva looked, and saw from every flower a tiny form come forth to

welcome the Elves, who all, save Rose-Leaf, had flown above the wall,

and were now scattering dew upon the flowers’ bright leaves and

talking gayly with the Spirits, who gathered around them, and seemed

full of joy that they had come. The child saw that each one wore the

colors of the flower that was its home. Delicate and graceful were

the little forms, bright the silken hair that fell about each lovely

face; and Eva heard the low, sweet murmur of their silvery voices and

the rustle of their wings. She gazed in silent wonder, forgetting she

knew not who they were, till the Fairy said,–

“These are the spirits of the flowers, and this the Fairy Home where

those whose hearts were pure and loving on the earth come to bloom in

fadeless beauty here, when their earthly life is past. The humblest

flower that blooms has a home with us, for outward beauty is a

worthless thing if all be not fair and sweet within. Do you see

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Categories: Alcott, Louisa May