A Fairy Story

: Nature Myths And Stories For Little Children

Some fairies once lived in a dark glen in a pine forest.

They were real fairies, many of them not higher than a pin.

Their greatest treasure was a magic cap which had been in the fairy

family for many generations.

The most wonderful thing about the cap was that it fitted exactly any

one who wore it.

When one fairy put it on, he and all the others became invisible.
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A stupid race of giants lived among the mountains near them. They wanted

the fairy cap more than anything else in the world.

One warm day when the elves were away from home, a giant came into the

glen. He was seeking just such a cool place for his afternoon nap.

He was so large and the glen so small that when he lay down he almost

filled the valley.

The music of a fairy brook soon lulled him to sleep.

Perhaps you have heard how a giant snores, and how his breath comes in

great puffs.

The giant was snoring and puffing when the fairies came towards home.

They heard the strange sound and thought a great storm was brewing.

"There has never been such a wind in the glen," said the fairy queen.

"We will not go down into it. We must seek shelter for to-night on this


Just then they came to the giant's ear.

"Here is a fine cavern," the queen said, and she stopped and waved her


A fairy hastened forward to carry the cap to a safe place in the cave,

for that was always their first care.

Just then the giant awoke.

He raised his great head.

Oh, how miserable the fairies were!

They wept and moaned until even the dull ear of the giant heard them.

It was a sound like the tolling of tiny silver bells.

He listened and understood what the wee voice of the prisoner in his ear

was saying.

He was the wisest and most kind-hearted of all the giants.

He helped the little creature gently out into his hand, and looked at

him in wonder.

He had never before seen a fairy.

In vain the brave little fellow tried to conceal the precious cap.

The giant saw the wonderful star and knew at once that he had the

treasure cap of the elves.

He set the fairy carefully upon the ground, and shouted for joy as he

found that the cap exactly fitted his own great head.

The poor fairies could no longer see him, but they heard a sound like

thunder, as he hurried over the stones towards his home.

They were now afraid to move about while the sun shone.

They crept under leaves and into shells and cried bitterly.

By sundown every plant in the glen was wet with their tears.

The sharp eyes of the eagle on the mountain top saw them and a great

pity filled his heart.

"I must help the fairies," he said, "otherwise I should not be worthy to

be called the 'king of birds'."

He went directly to the home of the giants and demanded the cap, but

they refused to give it up.

All that an eagle could do, he did, but as the giants wore the invisible

cap he could not see them. He could only hear their great voices.

He knew however that the giants were proud of their great size and

strength, and liked, above all things, to be seen.

He was sure that they would not wear the cap in battle, and he did not

lose hope.

One day they carefully placed it under a large stone on the mountain

side below them.

The keen eye of the eagle was watching.

He flew fearlessly to the spot as soon as the giants had left it.

He lifted the stone in his great talons, and was soon flying away with

the cap to the fairy glen.

The giants saw him, and knew at once what he was doing.

They began a fierce attack upon him.

The air was filled with flying arrows and sharp rocks. Drops of blood

fell on the mountain side, and many feathers fluttered down, but the

brave eagle was soon out of their reach.

He did not stop until the cap was safe in the fairy queen's lap.

There was great rejoicing among the fairies that day.

They had a feast in the eagle's honor, and healed his wounds with fairy


On the mountain side, wherever the blood and feathers fell, there

sprang up trees with featherlike leaves and blood-red berries.

All the giants, fairies, plants and animals knew why they grew.

The unselfish love in the eagle's blood could not die, but lived again

in the beautiful trees.

But people who did not know how they came there, called them mountain

ash trees.