Lily-Bell And Thistledown
ONCE upon a time, two little Fairies went out into the world, to seek their fortune.
Thistledown was as gay and gallant a little Elf as ever spread a wing. His purple mantle,
and doublet of green, were embroidered with the brightest threads, and the plume in his
cap came always from the wing of the gayest butterfly.
But he was not loved in Fairy-Land, for, like the flower whose name and colors he wore,
though fair to look upon, many were the little thorns of cruelty and selfishness that lay
concealed by his gay mantle. Many a gentle flower and harmless bird died by his hand,
for he cared for himself alone, and whatever gave him pleasure must be his, though
happy hearts were rendered sad, and peaceful homes destroyed.
Such was Thistledown; but far different was his little friend, Lily-Bell. Kind,
compassionate, and loving, wherever her gentle face was seen, joy and gratitude were
found; no suffering flower or insect, that did not love and bless the kindly Fairy; and thus
all Elf-Land looked upon her as a friend.
Nor did this make her vain and heedless of others; she humbly dwelt among them,
seeking to do all the good she might; and many a houseless bird and hungry insect that
Thistledown had harmed did she feed and shelter, and in return no evil could befall her,
for so many friends were all about her, seeking to repay her tenderness and love by their
She would not now have left Fairy-Land, but to help and counsel her wild companion,
Thistledown, who, discontented with his quiet home, WOULD seek his fortune in the
great world, and she feared he would suffer from his own faults for others would not
always be as gentle and forgiving as his kindred. So the kind little Fairy left her home and
friends to go with him; and thus, side by side, they flew beneath the bright summer sky.
On and on, over hill and valley, they went, chasing the gay butterflies, or listening to the
bees, as they flew from flower to flower like busy little housewives, singing as they
worked; till at last they reached a pleasant garden, filled with flowers and green, old trees.
"See," cried Thistledown, "what a lovely home is here; let us rest among the cool leaves,
and hear the flowers sing, for I am sadly tired and hungry."
So into the quiet garden they went, and the winds gayly welcomed them, while the
flowers nodded on their stems, offering their bright leaves for the Elves to rest upon, and
fresh, sweet honey to refresh them.
"Now, dear Thistle, do not harm these friendly blossoms," said Lily-Bell; "see how
kindly they spread their leaves, and offer us their dew. It would be very wrong in you to
repay their care with cruelty and pain. You will be tender for my sake, dear Thistle."