| 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 |
SILVERCAP, KING OF THE FROST FAIRIES
Alice J. Patterson in "The Outlook."
 SILVERCAP lived far up among the white, fleecy clouds
of north. All his life he had played with his brothers
and sisters in the kingdom of his father, King Winter.
But now he was grown, and he looked with disdain upon
childish sports, and he longed for something great to
do. So he was very happy, one day, to have a message
from his father commanding him to come at once to the
council chamber of the palace to discuss plans for a
trip to Earthland.
Silvercap did not waste a minute, but rushed into the
palace, where he found his father sitting upon a
beautiful crystal throne, with all his servants about
him. As soon as Silvercap had taken his place, the
king rose and said:
"I have called you together, my dear subjects, because
my son, West Wind, has just returned from a flying trip
to the Earth. He says that Prince Autumn
 is staying longer than usual this year, so we must hasten
to send him off.
"North Wind, you must start at once. Attack the trees,
and scatter the leaves far and wide, for some of
Autumn's fairies are still at work painting them.
Hurry to the gardens and the fields; snip off the heads
of the goldenrod and aster. You understand your
work—see that you do it well!
"Prince Snow, fill you bags with flakes from the
mountains. Have them ready to-night, so that you may
fly down early in the morning and scatter the crystals
before the sun peeps out."
When King Winter had given orders to Prince West Wind,
Prince Ice, and all the rest, he turned to Silvercap.
"My son," he said, "you are to be King of the Frost
Fairies. They have been idle long enough. Just what
they can do I leave to you; make your own plans, but
never forget that you are a prince, and the son of King
Silvercap made a low bow to King Winter and left the
council chamber. All the rest of the day, he thought.
All night he thought, but in the morning he called the
Frost Fairies together and said:
"My father has made me your king. West Wind has just
returned telling of the wonders he has wrought. He has
pulled the painted leaves from the trees, he has killed
the flowers, and driven the birds away. I am sure he
has made the little Earth-children unhappy. Let us
gather the feathery leaves from our trees and our
dainty crystal blossoms. Let us fill our chariots with
building materials. Perhaps we may be able to make the
children happy again."
The Frost Fairies set up a shout for Silvercap. All
 day they worked filling their chariots, and when
it came twilight they started out for Earthland. They
flew to the trees and decked every bough with leaves of
lace. They covered every plant in the garden, even the
weeds and grasses, with their wonderful feathery
"I don't believe their own twigs and blossoms could
look more beautiful," said Silvercap, as the last twig
"Now for the castles," said the Frost Fairies.
"Let us build them on the windows of the rooms where
the children are sleeping," said Silvercap.
So into the rooms, through chinks and crevices, the
tiny fairies crept. Silently they began to build, not
only grand castles, but high hills covered with silvery
trees and rushing waterfalls, fields filled with rare
ferns and flowers, and flocks of birds flying
Just as the sun began to show in the eastern sky the
last chariot was emptied. "Into your chariots!"
shouted Silvercap. "We must be gone!" And away flew
the Frost Fairies just as the little Earth-children
woke up, crying:
"O, the beautiful trees! O, the wonderful silver
castles! O, the kind, loving Frost Fairies!"
And King Winter was so pleased with their work that he
made Silvercap King of Frostland. Every winter since,
he and his fairies come and work night after night to
make the world beautiful for the little Earth-children.
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