and that humility alone can bring true happiness to flower and Fairy.
You shall come next, Zephyr.”
And the little Fairy, who lay rocking to and fro upon a fluttering
vine-leaf, thus began her story:–
“As I lay resting in the bosom of a cowslip that bent above the brook,
a little wind, tired of play, told me this tale of
LILY-BELL AND THISTLEDOWN.
ONCE upon a time, two little Fairies went out into the world, to
seek their fortune. Thistle-down was as gay and gallant a little Elf
as ever spread a wing. His purple mantle, and doublet of green, were
embroidered with the brightest threads, and the plume in his cap
came always from the wing of the gayest butterfly.
But he was not loved in Fairy-Land, for, like the flower whose
name and colors he wore, though fair to look upon, many were the
little thorns of cruelty and selfishness that lay concealed by his
gay mantle. Many a gentle flower and harmless bird died by his hand,
for he cared for himself alone, and whatever gave him pleasure must
be his, though happy hearts were rendered sad, and peaceful homes
Such was Thistledown; but far different was his little friend,
Lily-Bell. Kind, compassionate, and loving, wherever her gentle face
was seen, joy and gratitude were found; no suffering flower or insect,
that did not love and bless the kindly Fairy; and thus all Elf-Land
looked upon her as a friend.
Nor did this make her vain and heedless of others; she humb]y dwelt
among them, seeking to do all the good she might; and many a houseless
bird and hungry insect that Thistledown had harmed did she feed and
shelter, and in return no evil could befall her, for so many
friends were all about her, seeking to repay her tenderness and love
by their watchful care.
She would not now have left Fairy-Land, but to help and counsel her
wild companion, Thistledown, who, discontented with his quiet home,
WOULD seek his fortune in the great world, and she feared he would
suffer from his own faults for others would not always be as gentle
and forgiving as his kindred. So the kind little Fairy left her home
and friends to go with him; and thus, side by side, they flew beneath
the bright summer sky.
On and on, over hill and valley, they went, chasing the gay
butterflies, or listening to the bees, as they flew from flower to
flower like busy little housewives, singing as they worked; till
at last they reached a pleasant garden, filled with flowers and green,
“See,” cried Thistledown, “what a lovely home is here; let us rest
among the cool leaves, and hear the flowers sing, for I am sadly tired
So into the quiet garden they went, and the winds gayly welcomed them,
while the flowers nodded on their stems, offering their bright leaves
for the Elves to rest upon, and fresh, sweet honey to refresh them.
“Now, dear Thistle, do not harm these friendly blossoms,” said
Lily-Bell; “see how kindly they spread their leaves, and offer us
their dew. It would be very wrong in you to repay their care with
cruelty and pain. You will be tender for my sake, dear Thistle.”
Then she went among the flowers, and they bent lovingly before her,
and laid their soft leaves against her little face, that she might see
how glad they were to welcome one so good and gentle, and kindly
offered their dew and honey to the weary little Fairy, who sat among
their fragrant petals and looked smilingly on the happy blossoms, who,
with their soft, low voices, sang her to sleep.
While Lily-Bell lay dreaming among the rose-leaves, Thistledown went
wandering through the garden. First he robbed the bees of their
honey, and rudely shook the little flowers, that he might get the dew
they had gathered to bathe their buds in. Then he chased the bright
winged flies, and wounded them with the sharp thorn he carried for a
sword; he broke the spider’s shining webs, lamed the birds, and soon
wherever he passed lay wounded insects and drooping flowers; while