Author of The Royal Book of Oz, Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, The Wish Express, "King, King! Double King!" etc.
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, March 4, 1917.
Of course, you know that the fairies live deep down in the gardens of the earth where it is summer always, and no one is unhappy, but DID you know that every month the queen sends a hundred little messenger fairies up into the world to keep US happy?
Well, that is just what she does, and they fly about here and there, finding out all the world news and writing down in their little pink report books just what they have been doing, for all the world like wee visiting nurses.
And, of course, while they are working away at keeping folks happy they must live somewhere. Sometimes they keep house cozily under a teacup and sometimes they board with the dolls, if there are any children in the houses they are visiting; some have been known to live for months in the work basket, being careful to keep out of sight in the daytime.
Well, once a dear little wee speck of a fairy lady named Pear Blossom was sent to comfort a lonely artist. His home was in a side street, the top floor of a dusty old building, but even though he was so very poor, he managed to make the studio beautiful. The little fairy fluttering here and there with her tiny night lamp sighed with content. There were lovely pictures of forest scenes, there were stands and stands of plants. She swung happily to and from on the arch of a little palm tree, then quite suddenly caught sight of it. "Oh - eee!" exclaimed Pear Blossom, flying off the palm like a feather. "Oh! here I shall live!"
It was a garden, tiny trees, just right for fairies to sit under and admire themselves in the little lake. Tall herons stood proudly on its edge and across the bridge, snuggled down between two tremendous fairy mountains, was a tiny little house, and peeping shyly out of the window of the house was - well, what do you s'pose - a tiny little Japanese lady. A little Japanese garden in a bowl and WHAT A HOME FOR A FAIRY!
First Pear Blossom paddled about in the lake, then she touched the lovely herons and they lifted their beautiful wings and drifted lazily overhead. Then dancing over the little bridge, Pear Blossom skipped out into the tiny house, kissed the little Japanese lady and in a trice they were playing hide-and-seek all over the garden.
Next day the artist fell to work with new hope and vigor. And how could he help it, pray, with a saucy little fairy perching invisibly on the end of his brush? And what do you think he was painting? The Japanese garden. Why had he never thought of it before, I wonder? It grew into a real lovely, breathless, BIG garden under his bush. "Strange," he muttered, squinting at one of the herons. "I could almost swear you moved then!" That gave him another idea. Why not make his herons fly? So in the picture the herons came sweeping from the fairy mountains toward the lake. A little noise made him pause again. The Japanese lady had sneezed - yes - he was quite sure of it. Another idea. Why should she not lean out of the window and wave her fan? The little fairy clasped her hands and gazed in delight, but the artist did not seem satisfied. "He needs help!" she decided suddenly. And the next time the artist looked, leaning over the bridge, laughing at her reflection in the water, was Pear Blossom. Lighter than a breeze, misty as a rainbow, mischievous as a sunbeam. He scarcely dared breathe - his brush flew and just as he touched off the gauzy tips of her wings she vanished. "Had she ever been there?" The artist mopped his brow, but smiling out of his picture, the loveliest he had ever painted, was the fairy herself.
For many weeks Pear Blossom lived in the garden until the artist became so successful that she was no longer needed. Then she went away. Dejected, the herons stand in the little lake, seeming ever to be watching; anxiously the little Japanese lady gazes from her window, and I hope, for their sakes, that she will come again, for who has been visited by a fairy never never can be quite happy without her.
The Forgetful Poet met an old witch, and because he stirred her cauldron for her while she went to fetch some faggots she gave him a handful of nuts.
When he opened them he found each one contained a puzzle. There were six. See whether you can guess the answers.
Why is a corn ear like an army?
To what race must one belong to have one's palm truly read?
What pronoun will give a Halloween character?
Low, tab, act. These three words conceal three animals associated with the rites of the evening.
How does a pumpkin feel on Hallowe'en?
What goes out without moving?
The answers to last week's alphabet puzzles were: You and yew tree (u); and the fish in the verse was a pike. The words spelled by sound were:
[Answers next time.]
Copyright © 2012 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.