Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

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


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,

old trees.

“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

and hungry.”

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

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Categories: Alcott, Louisa May