“We dwelt once in Fairy-Land, and O how happy were we then! But alas!
we were not worthy of so fair a home, and were sent forth into the
cold world. Look at our robes, they are like the withered leaves;
our wings are dim, our crowns are gone, and we lead sad, lonely lives
in this dark forest. Let us stay with you; your gay music sounds
like Fairy songs, and you have such a friendly way with you, and speak
so gently to us. It is good to be near one so lovely and so kind; and
you can tell us how we may again become fair and innocent. Say we may
stay with you, kind little maiden.”
And Bud said, “Yes,” and they stayed; but her kind little heart
was grieved that they wept so sadly, and all she could say could not
make them happy; till at last she said,–
“Do not weep, and I will go to Queen Dew-Drop, and beseech her
to let you come back. I will tell her that you are repentant,
and will do anything to gain her love again; that you are sad, and
long to be forgiven. This will I say, and more, and trust she will
grant my prayer.”
“She will not say no to you, dear Bud,” said the poor little Fairies;
“she will love you as we do, and if we can but come again to our lost
home, we cannot give you thanks enough. Go, Bud, and if there be
power in Fairy gifts, you shall be as happy as our hearts’ best love
can make you.”
The tidings of Bud’s departure flew through the forest, and all her
friends came to say farewell, as with the morning sun she would go;
and each brought some little gift, for the land of Fairies was
far away, and she must journey long.
“Nay, you shall not go on your feet, my child,” said Mother
Brown-Breast; “your friend Golden-Wing shall carry you. Call him
hither, that I may seat you rightly, for if you should fall off
my heart would break.”
Then up came Golden-Wing, and Bud was safely seated on the cushion
of violet-leaves; and it was really charming to see her merry little
face, peeping from under the broad brim of her cow-slip hat, as
her butterfly steed stood waving his bright wings in the sunlight.
Then came the bee with his yellow honey-bags, which he begged she
would take, and the little brown spider that lived under the great
leaves brought a veil for her hat, and besought her to wear it,
lest the sun should shine too brightly; while the ant came bringing a
tiny strawberry, lest she should miss her favorite fruit. The mother
gave her good advice, and the papa stood with his head on one side,
and his round eyes twinkling with delight, to think that his
little Bud was going to Fairy-Land.
Then they all sang gayly together, till she passed out of sight
over the hills, and they saw her no more.
And now Bud left the old forest far behind her. Golden-Wing
bore her swiftly along, and she looked down on the green mountains,
and the peasant’s cottages, that stood among overshadowing trees;
and the earth looked bright, with its broad, blue rivers winding
through soft meadows, the singing birds, and flowers, who kept their
bright eyes ever on the sky.
And she sang gayly as they floated in the clear air, while her friend
kept time with his waving wings, and ever as they went along all grew
fairer; and thus they came to Fairy-Land.
As Bud passed through the gates, she no longer wondered that the
exiled Fairies wept and sorrowed for the lovely home they had lost.
Bright clouds floated in the sunny sky, casting a rainbow light on
the Fairy palaces below, where the Elves were dancing; while the
low, sweet voices of the singing flowers sounded softly through the
fragrant air, and mingled with the music of the rippling waves, as
they flowed on beneath the blossoming vines that drooped above them.
All was bright and beautiful; but kind little Bud would not linger,