ONCE upon a time, in a tiny green camp by the roadside,
lived a soldier all alone. He had traveled a long way,
from a dark underground country, bent on
see-  ing the world. The first thing he saw was a broad field
full of waving banners; and he thought: "What a
beautiful place I have come to!" and he pitched his
tent among the green grasses.
The rain drop elves saw how tired and dirty he was from
his long journey northward, and they soothed him with
stories, and refreshed him with a shower bath. Through
the clouds came the sunbeam fairies, bringing him a
handsome uniform of green and gold and quiver of golden
arrows. Then the soldier was very happy and smiled at
the passers-by, cheering everybody with his sunny face.
By and by spring went away over the hilltops. The
birds finished building their nests, and the
butterflies and grasshoppers came to herald the summer.
Then the soldier began to feel tired, and he knew that
he was growing old. His gay uniform had faded, and his
golden arrows had changed to silver, and the wind
fairies shot them far away. So the soldier crept down
among the green grasses, and his little camp was left
But everywhere his arrows fell there blossomed bright,
golden flowers, and the children called them