Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

left alone.

Then she spread the table afresh, and to it came fearlessly the busy

ant and bee, gay butterfly and bird; even the poor blind mole and

humble worm were not forgotten; and with gentle words she gave to all,

while each learned something of their kind little teacher; and the

love that made her own heart bright shone alike on all.

The ant and bee learned generosity, the butterfly and bird

contentment, the mole and worm confidence in the love of others;

and each went to their home better for the little time they had been

with Violet.

Evening came, and with it troops of Elves to counsel their good Queen,

who, seated on her mossy throne, looked anxiously upon the throng

below, whose glittering wings and rustling robes gleamed like

many-colored flowers.

At length she rose, and amid the deep silence spoke thus:–

“Dear children, let us not tire of a good work, hard though it be

and wearisome; think of the many little hearts that in their sorrow

look to us for help. What would the green earth be without its

lovely flowers, and what a lonely home for us! Their beauty fills

our hearts with brightness, and their love with tender thoughts.

Ought we then to leave them to die uncared for and alone? They give

to us their all; ought we not to toil unceasingly, that they may

bloom in peace within their quiet homes? We have tried to gain

the love of the stern Frost-King, but in vain; his heart is hard as

his own icy land; no love can melt, no kindness bring it back to

sunlight and to joy. How then may we keep our frail blossoms

from his cruel spirits? Who will give us counsel? Who will be

our messenger for the last time ? Speak, my subjects.”

Then a great murmuring arose, and many spoke, some for costlier gifts,

some for war; and the fearful counselled patience and submission.

Long and eagerly they spoke, and their soft voices rose high.

Then sweet music sounded on the air, and the loud tones were hushed,

as in wondering silence the Fairies waited what should come.

Through the crowd there came a little form, a wreath of pure

white violets lay among the bright locks that fell so softly

round the gentle face, where a deep blush glowed, as, kneeling at

the throne, little Violet said:–

“Dear Queen, we have bent to the Frost-King’s power, we have borne

gifts unto his pride, but have we gone trustingly to him and

spoken fearlessly of his evil deeds? Have we shed the soft light

of unwearied love around his cold heart, and with patient tenderness

shown him how bright and beautiful love can make even the darkest lot?

“Our messengers have gone fearfully, and with cold looks and

courtly words offered him rich gifts, things he cared not for,

and with equal pride has he sent them back.

“Then let me, the weakest of your band, go to him, trusting

in the love I know lies hidden in the coldest heart.

“I will bear only a garland of our fairest flowers; these

will I wind about him, and their bright faces, looking lovingly

in his, will bring sweet thoughts to his dark mind, and their

soft breath steal in like gentle words. Then, when he sees them

fading on his breast, will he not sigh that there is no warmth there

to keep them fresh and lovely? This will I do, dear Queen, and

never leave his dreary home, till the sunlight falls on flowers

fair as those that bloom in our own dear land.”

Silently the Queen had listened, but now, rising and placing her hand

on little Violet’s head, she said, turning to the throng below:–

“We in our pride and power have erred, while this, the weakest and

lowliest of our subjects, has from the innocence of her own pure heart

counselled us more wisely than the noblest of our train.

All who will aid our brave little messenger, lift your wands,

that we may know who will place their trust in the Power of Love.”

Every fairy wand glistened in the air, as with silvery voices

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Categories: Alcott, Louisa May