|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)|
|Trove Title||Gladys and the Fairies|
Gladys and the Fairies.
"Ohl if only I could go too," murmured Gladys, heavy tears rolling down her face. Near the veil stood one of the rose dreeeed fairies, who had preceded the chariot, and in heT ¿>reat longing the child stretched forth a timid trembling little hand and touched her. " Piease, please might I come in too,*' she asked piteously,-you are so happy there,-ah ! let me come too." But the fairy shook her golden head sorrowfully and in silence pointed to a silver pool of water that lay near. Gladys looked into its depths and saw reflected there the fairy figure and herself, the fairy so witchingly beautiful, eo dainty and, sweet and fresh-herself so dirty and dusty,-such a woe-begone tear stained face, such a dishevelled, untidy figure.. In an agony of shame she dropped her corner of the Golden Veil and stood up outside, " 1*11 go home-1 won't stay here,", she muttered, and turned to go. On the ground beside her lay the elf's cap and wand. " Ah, ah,-I can be a fairy too," she thought, almost wild with joy «. I'll do all sorts of wonderful things on earth,'' and with a piad little cry she picked them up-put the cap on her head -the wand in her hand and set off run- ning as fast as her legs would carry her. She held her wand as she had seen the elf do, and it bore her swiftly along out of Dreamland. On the boundary of Shadow- land she stayed for a moment and looke<l back-behold theelf,capless, wandless, was coming after her at full speed. And now arose a wild race-on, on Gladys sped i'over cliffs, valleys, hills wrapped in clouds --on came the elf panting and puning behind-on Gladys went, straight over Steel Drop Fall, along past the picture wall, past the Lion Skin Brook to the shore of Shadowland. Ah I. joy-lhere was a tiny cloud-boat moored against the shore, fas- ten öd by one gossamer thread-in Gladys sprang just as the breathless Elf bounded ;on to the beach. " Give me my cap-give me my wand," he shout d in loud angry tones, not at all like his former bell-like voice. But Gladys only laughed, a joyful, -exulting little laugh, took off the little
cap with a graceful, mocking bow, and proceeded to let out the gossamer cord that lowered the boat to earth. " Ah ! ah 1 -what would you do?" she cried suddenly in a voice, sharp with terror, for glancing up she ssw him kneeling down and biting the gossamer thread with his sharp little teeth ; with a sudden snap it broke, and the cloud-boat fell swiftly, swiftly through space ; half way down it turned straight over throwing out its burden, and dizzy with, terror and pain Gladys found herself falling down, down, . -oh I the terrible feeling,-would she
never stop ?-had she got past the world ? -was it Hying along without her, leaving her falling, falling through space P Sud- denly with a severe shock she came to the earth and lay there in silence with closed eyes for some minutes., At last slowly and painfully she opened hei eyes and gazed around. She was lying beneath the pear tree among the pillow« and shawls. " Surely I can't have beer asleep," ehe bought.sitting straight up "I cannot have been dreaming." Ah I no on ber head was a withered pear blossom
and tightly clutched in her hand was the wand-the waad that looked so strangely like a knitting needle-and up, far up in the sky sailed a tiny rosy cloudlet. " No, it was all true," she seid, in a quiet, awed voice, " and oh how-"
" Hullo, lazy-boots, awake at last?" called out Bertie's voice as be dropped easily out of the pear-tree. " I thought you would never wake up."
" I haven't been to sleep this afternoon Bertie," said Gladys indignantly,-" how can you say such a thing."
** 0, come now, come now, Glad,-con- sidering I saw you." You didn't, you did- n't, and you're a bad, horrid boy to say so," said Gladys almost crying with vexation. -** 1*11 just show you I haven't been asleep," and as well as her weakness would allow her she crawled from her nest up to where Archie lay stretched on the grass. " I say, old woman, what are you up to," he said pitting up in alarm for Gladys was swaying slowly over him what he in Lis ig- norance took to be a knitting need IP-" you are not going to put my eyes out are you P" But Gladys with excited face was looking expectantly from the wand to Bertie and from Bertie to the wand. " I am going to transform you, oh ! mortal," she said in quiet impressive tones and passing the wand over hie head,-" I will take YOU to Shadowland, to the land of fancies and dreams and fairies, for Bert rie " and she rose io h*>r feet almost majestically, " Bertie, I am a fairy."
" You're a goose," said Bertie laughing, a trifle nervously, however, for he feared she was light-headed again. *' I'll send mother put to you," and he stood up. But over Gladys pale little fatso came a look of doubt, that changed to incredulity and then despair. Ber ie stood their life size,
the wand would not work with ber.
With a passionate cry she flung the needle from her and threw herself down crying bitterly in her keen disappointment. «. Go away, go away, Bertie," she sobbed,
" I want Miss Hotham."
But Bertie knelt . down by his little sister's side, and tried to wipe away the hot tears. rolling down her oheeks-"I want Miss Hotham," she repeated, pushing away his hands;
" She has gone home-her little brother is dying,'' said Bertie, standing up and looking away from her. Gladys lifted up her poor pale little face-" Dying ! and it's all my fault. Oh ! take me to her," she cried wildly, and tried to stagger to her
But the effort was too much and without another word she fell to the ground in a
* # * *
Little Dick did not die,-on the contrary he grew much stronger and better, and Gladys was never so happy as when she could send some toy or little delicacy to the sick child. You would not know Gladys now. Mibs Hotham says it is a pleasure to teach her, and she is altogether sb much altered for the better, that I am sure even the sturdiest disbeliever in fairies
will agree with me that for once they did some good, and that -
Far away and yet BO near us is a land where all
have been :
Flayed in dreams besides its waters, roamed
along its meadows green ;
Where this noisy world we live io, its turmoils
Like the echoes of a tempest, or the shadows of a
[THE END ]