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Overheard in Fairyland by  Madge A. Bingham
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[61] SOMETIMES I try to think which I like the best,—fairies or brownies or pixies.

Sometimes I say fairies, because they can change themselves into anything they please. And sometimes I say brownies, because they are so very funny. And then, again, I say pixies, because they are so very small they can live in the flowers.

And so I really cannot tell which I do like best.

But one thing I know, and that is, the pixies have a very good chance to find out where the good children live, because their little flower houses are so often pulled and put into vases, just in the very room where the children play, you see.

Now pixies really enjoy having their flower houses pulled and carried into the children's homes, if only people remembered to pull the flowers with long stems, so that [62] they may have no fear of dropping into the water when their flower houses are placed in vases to keep them fresh.

Now there was a little pixie once who wandered back to fairyland with every thread of his pretty silken clothes dripping wet.

He said a little boy had pulled his pansy house while he was beneath the velvet petals fast asleep. And the little boy had not only pulled his house with a very short stem, but had actually dropped him down into a great, large rose jar, instead of a small pansy vase, and when the little pixie woke up, why, he was floating around on the top of the water, and his white velvet suit, and his violet sash and cap, and his white slippers were spoiled and dripping wet.

He tried his best to scramble up the smooth side of the rose jar, but he slipped back every time until a dear little girl, who must have seen him, lifted the pansy up out of the jar, and placed it in a pretty, little blue vase. And the little pixie skipped out of the window as fast as ever [65] he could, and hurried off to fairyland to get a new suit of clothes.

But he didn't forget about the little girl who helped him out of the jar. Her name was Princess Wee,—because she was little, and because she was kind and good like a real princess. All of the pixies loved her and wanted to do something for her because she had helped the little pansy pixie out of the water.

"To-morrow is the little Princess Wee's birthday," said the pansy pixie, flying from flower to flower, with his new, blue velvet clothes on. "I heard her mother say so, and she is coming into the woods to gather wild flowers. Let us all watch for her."

"Oh, you have the days mixed up," said a little daisy pixie, in white silk suit and yellow sash. "I can see her coming across the grass now. What a light, quick step she has,—what soft white hands!"

Then all the tiny flower pixies laughed with joy, waving gaily to her from their flower homes, and throwing kisses,—one, two, three,—as on she passed. "Come, pull our blossom homes," they [66] cried; "we know your hands are gentle, and you pull long stems. Stay and play with us in happy pixie land."

So the little Princess Wee smiled with joy at their kind invitation, and seated herself on a flowery bank with her lap full of clovers and daisies and shy, wild violets.

Then from every pretty flower a pixie jumped, and catching hands they danced gaily round the little Princess Wee, their sashes of brown and purple and yellow fluttering in the breeze. Pixies always wear sashes and slippers to match the colours of the flowers in which they live.

Oh, but it is a beautiful sight to watch these pixies dance round and round a pixie ring! Anyone who has sharp eyes can find the print of their tiny feet in the woods, going round and round in the circle.

So swiftly and so lightly did they trip around the Princess Wee that she fell fast asleep while watching them. And then each little pixie placed his fingers to his lips, and the daisy pixies said, "Hush, she is asleep! We will be very quiet and let her rest."

[67] Then they fanned her cheeks with perfumed flower petals, and some of them hurried away and found a great, big toadstool umbrella, and placed it over the Princess Wee's head, so that the sunshine might not awaken her.

"Come," said the clover-blossom pixies, "we will gather ferns and leaves and make a coverlet for her feet too, so that she may not catch a cold while sleeping in pixie land."

"And, oh!" whispered the pansy pixie, let us make a surprise for her when she awakes. Let us make the little Princess Wee a play-house."

"Yes, let's do!" said the violet pixies. "We will build it all around her while she sleeps."

And so they did. With pink shells and smooth, white pebbles they marked off the rooms, and in every room they placed a carpet of soft green moss, fit for a princess to tread upon, and there were gray granite stones with mossy cushions too, which made delightful chairs.

And then the pixies peeped beneath the toadstool umbrella, but still the pretty blue [68] eyes of the princess were closed and her lips were parted in a smile—perhaps she dreamed of the pixies, who knows?

"Come! said the violet pixie, we have made the playhouse, but where are the playthings? Perhaps she would like a doll and a tea-party."

"Yes, yes!" replied the daisy pixies, "and a large, flat rock will do for the table. Let us search for dishes,—where shall we find them? Hurry, before she wakes!"

Then up the tall oak trees they scampered to find the largest acorns, whose caps made beautiful saucers for green acorn cups scooped out by the pixies,—as smooth and delicate as the finest china.

Nasturtium leaves were round like plates, and matched the cups and saucers; and beneath the roots of the heartleaves they searched for dainty, hidden brown pitchers, which held fresh water, cool and sweet.

The bees gave honey for the party, and there was pixie cake and fruit and candy, made from pollen and nectar juice. But where was the doll, if it was to be a doll-party?

[69] The violet pixies looked at the daisy pixies and the daisy pixies looked at the clover pixies,—but only for a moment; then they all scampered off to the fields of waving corn and found, oh, so many little corn babies, with long silken dresses and charming little faces which the pixies marked themselves—eyes and nose and mouth.

And only guess what they made from the corn stalks! Doll beds and doll chairs and doll cradles!

Surely these would make Princess Wee clap her hands in joy.

And when they came back,—yes, the princess was rubbing her eyes, and when she sat up and looked around, she opened her eyes very wide, because she was so surprised to see such a beautiful play-house built all round her, and a doll-party, and all the corn-silk babies waiting for her at the table.

So Princess Wee sat at the head and held the smallest baby, and poured fresh water from the heartleaf pitchers, and drank from the tiny acorn cups, and ate pixie cake and [70] fruit and candy from dainty green leaf plates.

Now wasn't that a beautiful birthday party that the flower pixies gave to the Princess Wee, because she was so kind and good?

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