Eva's Visit To Fairy-Land
DOWN among the grass and fragrant clover lay little Eva by the brook-side, watching the
bright waves, as they went singing by under the drooping flowers that grew on its banks.
As she was wondering where the waters went, she heard a faint, low sound, as of far-off
music. She thought it was the wind, but not a leaf was stirring, and soon through the
rippling water came a strange little boat.
It was a lily of the valley, whose tall stem formed the mast, while the broad leaves that
rose from the roots, and drooped again till they reached the water, were filled with gay
little Elves, who danced to the music of the silver lily-bells above, that rang a merry peal,
and filled the air with their fragrant breath.
On came the fairy boat, till it reached a moss-grown rock; and here it stopped, while the
Fairies rested beneath the violet-leaves, and sang with the dancing waves.
Eva looked with wonder on their gay faces and bright garments, and in the joy of her
heart sang too, and threw crimson fruit for the little folks to feast upon.
They looked kindly on the child, and, after whispering long among themselves, two little
bright-eyed Elves flew over the shining water, and, lighting on the clover-blossoms, said
gently, "Little maiden, many thanks for your kindness; and our Queen bids us ask if you
will go with us to Fairy-Land, and learn what we can teach you."
"Gladly would I go with you, dear Fairies," said Eva, "but I cannot sail in your little boat.
See! I can hold you in my hand, and could not live among you without harming your tiny
kingdom, I am so large."
Then the Elves laughed gayly, as they folded their arms about her, saying, "You are a
good child, dear Eva, to fear doing harm to those weaker than yourself. You cannot hurt
us now. Look in the water and see what we have done."
Eva looked into the brook, and saw a tiny child standing between the Elves. "Now I can
go with you," said she, "but see, I can no longer step from the bank to yonder stone, for
the brook seems now like a great river, and you have not given me wings like yours."
But the Fairies took each a hand, and flew lightly over the stream. The Queen and her
subjects came to meet her, and all seemed glad to say some kindly word of welcome to
the little stranger. They placed a flower-crown upon her head, laid their soft faces against
her own, and soon it seemed as if the gentle Elves had always been her friends.
"Now must we go home," said the Queen, "and you shall go with us, little one."