THE FAIRY TULIPS
ONCE upon a time there was a good old woman who lived in a
little house. She had in her garden a bed of beautiful
One night she was wakened by the sounds of sweet singing and
of babies laughing. She looked out at the window. The sounds
seemed to come from the tulip bed, but she could see
The next morning she walked among her flowers, but there
were no signs of any one having been there the night before.
 On the following night she was again wakened by sweet
singing and babies laughing. She rose and stole softly
through her garden. The moon was shining brightly on the
tulip bed, and the flowers were swaying to and fro. The old
woman looked closely and she saw, standing by each tulip, a
little Fairy mother who was crooning and rocking the flower
like a cradle, while in each tulip-cup lay a little Fairy
baby laughing and playing.
The good old woman stole quietly back to her house, and from
that time on she never picked a tulip, nor did she allow her
neighbors to touch the flowers.
The tulips grew daily brighter in color and larger in size,
and they gave out a delicious perfume like that of roses.
They began, too, to bloom all the year round. And every
night the little Fairy mothers caressed their babies and
rocked them to sleep in the flower-cups.
The day came when the good old woman died, and the tulip-bed
was torn up by folks who did not know about the Fairies, and
parsley was planted there instead of the flowers. But the
parsley withered, and so did all the other plants in the
garden, and from that time nothing would grow there.
But the good old woman's grave grew beautiful, for the
Fairies sang above it, and kept it
 green; while on the grave and all around it there sprang up
tulips, daffodils, and violets, and other lovely flowers of
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