The Crows At The Fairies' Ball

: Daddy's Bedtime Bird Stories

"The fairies had one of their fine balls just two evenings ago,"

said daddy.

"Among their guests were the brownies, elves, gnomes, many of the

birds, butterflies, humming-birds, red lizards, grasshoppers, and

crickets. The crickets had arranged to sing for the dancing and the

humming-birds said they would hum the tunes all the time that the

crickets sang. The robins sang some extra songs, and, of course,

other birds joined in the chorus.

"Then came supper time. The table was made of daisies and moss, and such

delicacies! Well, it would have made your mouth water!

"They had the goodies that every guest would enjoy most. Not a guest

was forgotten. There were even little worms for the birds--and the

other guests didn't mind at all, as they knew the robins and orioles

and other bird guests loved little worms. They were given to the birds

in special dishes made of grass.

"But just as all the guests sat down to supper the fairy queen said:

'Come, all my fine waiters!' And as she said this she waved her wand

high in the air.

"Then from far and near the blackest of black crows flew down and

alighted all around the table. They had promised the fairy queen to be

just as good as good could be, and to wait on all the guests before

they had anything at all to eat. They were quite willing to do this,

for they had never been invited to a ball given by the fairies before

and they were highly flattered.

"They all had had their black suits polished and brushed with the

greatest care and they wore very fine aprons and hats made of green

leaves. Every time a guest said 'Thank you' when anything was passed, a

crow would say, 'Caw-caw,' which means 'You're welcome.'

"The crows always say 'Caw-caw' to almost everything, but it is just

the tone they use that makes the 'Caw-caw' mean something quite

different each time they want it to. At the end of the supper, after the

crows had had a feast, too, the fairy queen asked them if they wouldn't

sing the old, old song about blackbirds being baked in a pie.

"At first the crows looked a bit sad, but then they said: 'Why, of

course, we'll be happy to sing it. It's lots of fun to sing about such

things after we have had a feast and know quite well that the fairy

queen wouldn't bake us in a pie.'

"How the guests did laugh to hear the crows singing about blackbirds

being baked in a pie--and stopping every minute to shout out, 'Not us,

though, oh, no!'--and the fairy queen was delighted."