[Editor: This short story for children, by Eva Oakley, was published in Real Australian Fairy Stories, version 2 (1950).]
Golden Cap and Dawn of Day
Right in the heart of Fern Tree Gully, there lived, in their beautiful Fairy palace, King Golden Cap and Queen Dawn of Day. The King was handsome, kind and generous, and the Queen was exceedingly lovely and always smiling and doing beautiful deeds, so they were both greatly loved by their subjects, and by all the children, and also by the birds and animals.
The King travelled far and wide on his beautiful, snow-white horse, called Snow-King, just to care for the birds and animals.
As soon as night came, off he went, and sprang up the trees to see that even the humble, little sparrows were safe, and, if he thought they looked hungry, when it was very cold, he would take some crumbs from the bag he always carried with him, and scatter them about where the little birds would see them first thing in the morning. Then he would call at the places where there were animals, and once, when he found a horse whose master was very cruel to it, he turned it into an Elf, and sent it off to join the other Elves, and it was happy ever afterwards. When its master found out that the horse was gone, he knew the Fairy King must have been there, and now, as he could not afford another horse, he would have to do all the carting the best way he could. Of course, he could not do it all, and realised how wrong he had been in treating his horse as he did. He thought if he could only get another one, how kind he would be.
Well! The Fairy King thought he would give him another chance; so one night, he left a fine horse in the man’s stable, and also a note which read, “As I feel that you will now love your horse, I am leaving this beautiful animal for you, and also a bag of food for him to start off.” The man flung his arms round the horse’s neck and wept for joy, and loved the beautiful creature so much, and became so kind and gentle; he was grateful too, because now he knew how wonderful life was made through kindness and gentleness.
After the King had been all round, visiting the birds and animals, he would return to the palace. There the Queen would greet him always with these words, “Ah! There you are, my Beloved! Now I must assemble my dear, little Fairy subjects, so that we, too, may go off to do our good deeds, and I shall tell the Princes that you have arrived and are awaiting them.”
Off went the Queen, and soon the King was surrounded by his admiring Princes, to whom he had always been such a good example. He listened, full of interest, while they told him all they had done, and was always very pleased with them.
Soon all the Fairies returned, and, as it was nearly dawn, took refreshments and went off to bed till evening came again, and then they would all start off afresh to do their beautiful acts of love and charity. Some of the Fairies just took little naps, and went off through the day, helping people and birds and animals everywhere.
“Now! Will you all be like the Fairies, good and kind? Then everyone will love you and will be the same to you, and above all, you will be pleasing God, Who is, all the time, pouring out His love and blessings on you.”
Eva Oakley, Real Australian Fairy Stories (version 2), Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , pp. 5-7
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]
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