| For the Children's Hour|
|by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey|
|A choice collection of stories for the preschool child, carefully selected, adapted, and arranged by two veteran kindergarten teachers. Includes nature stories, holiday stories, fairy tales and fables, as well as stories of home life. Emphasis is placed on fanciful tales for their value in the training of the imagination and on cumulative tales for developing a child's sense of humor and appealing to his instinctive love of rhyme and jingle. Ages 4-7 |
THE FAIRY WHO CAME TO OUR HOUSE
C. S. B. By permission of the Phelps Publishing Co.
THERE was once a dear little girl who lived in our
house. She was quite loving, and sweet and truthful.
She would have been a dear, dear little girl,
but for one thing—she was a wee bit careless. It was
just about little things, you know. Perhaps it might
be drying the cups until they shone. Perhaps it might
 be dusting the undermost places, like the rungs of
the chairs and the piano legs. Perhaps it might be
giving fresh milk to Taffy, the black pussy-cat.
Perhaps it might be leaving the old rag doll out in the
weather all night. The old rag doll had rheumatism,
and a night out in the dew made it worse. A dear,
dear little girl would have remembered these things,
but our dear little girl forgot.
One morning she woke very early, but the sun was behind
a cloud, and the fog crept into the nursery. She began
to forget things before breakfast.
"Oh, where is my red hair ribbon?" she said. "And
where is my shoe string?"
After breakfast she wanted to make a little saucer pie
with mother in the kitchen. Just as she put it in the
oven she thought about her unmade bed upstairs. Before
she had half finished the bed she remembered that
grandmother was waiting to have her spectacles found.
Then the doorbell rang, and she just had to run and see
who it was. It was such a short way to the end of the
garden she really had to run to the gate and see if
next-door Helen were at home.
Ah, the broken shoe string was in the way! The dear
little girl tumbled down in the garden path and bumped
her poor little nose. And the saucer pie burned black
in the oven, the bed was not made, and grandmother had
As she sat up in the garden path, crying two big tears,
whom should she see on the stone beside her (there had
been no one there before) but a tiny old woman. I
think she was just three inches high, and she wore a
long red cloak and a little red hood, and she carried a
crooked little cane. Her face was as brown and
wrinkled as a last fall's oak-leaf. She
 rapped on
the stone with her cane, as she said: "What are you
crying about, little girl?"
"Oh," sobbed the dear little girl, "I want to not
forget so many things."
"Run right into the house," said the fairy—for she was
a fairy. "I am going to help you all day long."
The dear little girl rubbed her eyes. There was no
fairy upon the stone—only two wee footprints—so she
jumped up and ran into the house.
The first thing she spied was a pair of shiny
spectacles under the hall rack. Grandmother was so
pleased to have them. As the little girl came
downstairs again she heard a squeaky laugh. There was
a whisk of a red cloak on the staircase and some one
"Hurry, hurry; kitchen trouble,
Kettle wants to boil and bubble."
So the little girl ran down to the kitchen and filled
the old copper tea-kettle who sat fussing upon the
stove, because he was empty. As she put on the cover,
whom should she see standing upon the spout but a
little figure in a red cloak, and this is what she
"Run and set the plates for lunch,
Knives and forks are in a bunch."
Yes, the table did need setting. When it was all done,
there was the fairy on the sideboard, twirling around
like a Japanese top and saying:
"Dolly's things are such a sight!
Put the bureau drawers to right."
So the little girl flew upstairs to the nursery. She
 packed the doll's dresses in the trunk. She
folded all the hair ribbons in the top drawer, and
there was the lost red one at the very bottom.
All day long, the fairy kept reminding her of things to
do. After lunch there she was sitting on the edge of
mother's darning-basket, looking like a red Dutch
cheese, and saying:
"Holes to be mended, and darning begun;
Find mother's needles and pins, every one."
Toward evening there she was on the arm of father's
"Father is coming. Now, quick as can be,
Lay out his slippers and book before tea."
The little girl was very tired by bedtime, but it had
been a busy, happy day. She sat in her little chair by
the nursery fire, and rocked, and wondered if it could
all have been a dream; when—pop—there was the little
old woman in the red cloak, dancing upon a red coal,
"Look in the box on the bureau, my dear;
And try to remember as long as a year."
So the dear little girl looked in the box on the
bureau, and there, inside, was a little gold
wishing-ring, and it said on the bow: "From all the
family in our house, for a dear, dear little girl
who tries to remember."
And the queer little fairy never came again; but that
was because she did not need to.
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