Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

yonder lovely spirit singing with my sister Moonlight? a clover

blossom was her home, and she dwelt unknown, unloved; yet patient and

content, bearing cheerfully the sorrows sent her. We watched and saw

how fair and sweet the humble flower grew, and then gladly bore her

here, to blossom with the lily and the rose. The flowers’ lives

are often short, for cruel hands destroy them; therefore is it our

greatest joy to bring them hither, where no careless foot or wintry

wind can harm them, where they bloom in quiet beauty, repaying our

care by their love and sweetest perfumes.”

“I will never break another flower,” cried Eva; ” but let me go

to them, dear Fairy; I would gladly know the lovely spirits, and ask

forgiveness for the sorrow I have caused. May I not go in?”

“Nay, dear Eva, you are a mortal child, and cannot enter here; but I

will tell them of the kind little maiden who has learned to love them,

and they will remember you when you are gone. Come now, for you have

seen enough, and we must be away.”

On a rosy morning cloud, surrounded by the loving Elves, went Eva

through the sunny sky. The fresh wind bore them gently on, and soon

they stood again beside the brook, whose waves danced brightly as if

to welcome them.

“Now, ere we say farewell,” said the Queen, as they gathered nearer

to the child, “tell me, dear Eva, what among all our Fairy gifts

will make you happiest, and it shall be yours.”

“You good little Fairies,” said Eva, folding them in her arms, for

she was no longer the tiny child she had been in Fairy-Land, “you dear

good little Elves, what can I ask of you, who have done so much

to make me happy, and taught me so many good and gentle lessons,

the memory of which will never pass away? I can only ask of you the

power to be as pure and gentle as yourselves, as tender and loving

to the weak and sorrowing, as untiring in kindly deeds to all. Grant

me this gift, and you shall see that little Eva has not forgotten

what you have taught her.”

“The power shall be yours,” said the Elves, and laid their soft hands

on her head; we will watch over you in dreams, and when you would have

tidings of us, ask the flowers in your garden, and they will tell you

all you would know. Farewell. Remember Fairy-Land and all your

loving friends.”

They clung about her tenderly, and little Rose-Leaf placed a flower

crown on her head, whispering softly, “When you would come to us

again, stand by the brook-side and wave this in the air, and we will

gladly take you to our home again. Farewell, dear Eva. Think of your

little Rose-Leaf when among the flowers.”

Long Eva watched their shining wings, and listened to the music of

their voices as they flew singing home, and when at length the last

little form had vanished among the clouds, she saw that all around her

where the Elves had been, the fairest flowers had sprung up, and the

lonely brook-side was a blooming garden.

Thus she stood among the waving blossoms, with the Fairy garland in

her hair, and happy feelings in her heart, better and wiser for her

visit to Fairy-Land.

“Now, Star-Twinkle, what have you to teach?” asked the Queen.

“Nothing but a little song I heard the hare-bells singing,” replied

the Fairy, and, taking her harp, sang, in a low, sweet voice:–


THERE grew a fragrant rose-tree where the brook flows,

With two little tender buds, and one full rose;

When the sun went down to his bed in the west,

The little buds leaned on the rose-mother’s breast,

While the bright eyed stars their long watch kept,

And the flowers of the valley in their green cradles slept;

Then silently in odors they communed with each otber,

The two little buds on the bosom of their mother.

“O sister,” said the little one, as she gazed at the sky,

“I wish that the Dew Elves, as they wander lightly by,

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Categories: Alcott, Louisa May