THE FAIRY'S NEW YEAR GIFT
BY EMILIE POULSSON (Adapted)
 TWO little boys were at play one day when a Fairy suddenly
appeared before them and said: "I have been sent to give you
New Year presents."
She handed to each child a package, and in an instant was
Carl and Philip opened the packages and found in them two
beautiful books, with pages as pure and white as the snow
when it first falls.
Many months passed and the Fairy came again to the boys. "I
have brought you each another book," said she, "and will
take the first ones back to Father Time who sent them to
"May I not keep mine a little longer?" asked Philip. "I have
hardly thought about it lately. I'd like to paint something
on the last leaf that lies open."
"No," said the Fairy; "I must take it just as it is."
"I wish that I could look through mine just once," said
Carl; "I have only seen one page at a
 time, for when the leaf turns over it sticks fast, and I can
never open the book at more than one place each day."
"You shall look at your book," said the Fairy, "and Philip,
at his." And she lit for them two little silver lamps, by
the light of which they saw the pages as she turned them.
The boys looked in wonder. Could it be that these were the
same fair books she had given them a year ago? Where were
the clean, white pages, as pure and beautiful as the snow
when it first falls? Here was a page with ugly, black spots
and scratches upon it; while the very next page showed a
lovely little picture. Some pages were decorated with gold
and silver and gorgeous colors, others with beautiful
flowers, and still others with a rainbow of softest, most
delicate brightness. Yet even on the most beautiful of the
pages there were ugly blots and scratches.
THE BOYS LOOKED IN WONDER
Carl and Philip looked up at the Fairy at last.
"Who did this?" they asked. "Every page was white and fair
as we opened to it; yet now there is not a single blank
place in the whole book!"
"Shall I explain some of the pictures to you?" said the
Fairy, smiling at the two little boys.
"See, Philip, the spray of roses blossomed on this page when
you let the baby have your playthings; and this pretty bird,
that looks as if it were singing with all its might, would
never have been on
 this page if you had not tried to be kind and pleasant the
other day, instead of quarreling."
"But what makes this blot?" asked Philip.
"That," said the Fairy sadly; "that came when you told an
untruth one day, and this when you did not mind mamma. All
these blots and scratches that look so ugly, both in your
book and in Carl's, were made when you were naughty. Each
pretty thing in your books came on its page when you were
"Oh, if we could only have the books again!" said Carl and
"That cannot be," said the Fairy. "See! they are dated for
this year, and they must now go back into Father Time's
bookcase, but I have brought you each a new one. Perhaps you
can make these more beautiful than the others."
So saying, she vanished, and the boys were left alone, but
each held in his hand a new book open at the first page.
And on the back of this book was written in letters of gold,
"For the New Year."
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics