The Brownies’ day out
Here, in “Sunny Australia,” in our very own State of Victoria, we have the beautiful country district of Boronia. Isn’t that a pretty name? It makes you think of the beautiful perfume of the Boronia flowers. Now it was here that a colony of Brownies met together on a beautiful, spring morning. They had met to plan what they would do to make their friends, everywhere, happy on this lovely day.
Well! They decided to, first of all, visit the Gum Nut Babies, who, of course, could not leave the trees; but depended on their friends coming up to see them; so up went the Brownies, and they told the Gum Nut Babies all about the places they had visited, and also of the way they had been able to help everyone (for Brownies are very kind).
Then they told them some jokes about funny things that had happened, and, after swaying on the branches for about two hours, they said, “We must now be going, as we wish to pay a surprise visit to the Gnomes, who live just a little way out of Boronia, and to cheer them up for the day.”
So off they set, skipping and holding hands and singing; but — what do you think? Well! When they reached the place where the Gnomes lived, they were the ones to receive the surprise, for the Fairies had decided to give the Gnomes a banquet, and had brought a most remarkable assortment of Fairyland cooking over to them, and had set it all out on three beautifully made, long tables, which the good Giant had made for the Gnomes from the wood of the trees round about. He had also gone down into the earth and found some gold, which he made into cups, plates and spoons for them.
Now the Giant lived up in the biggest tree in the district, so that he could peep through the branches and see everything that was going on round about.
He was overjoyed to see all the things he had made for the Gnomes being used to give such happiness to all, for there was room enough and food enough for Brownies, Gnomes and Fairies too. After they had enjoyed their repast, the Fairy Queen said, “My Fairies and I must leave you now, and go back to the palace till evening, when we must be on our way to see all the children and make them happy, for they have been very good, and so, to-night, we are taking to them all, beautiful presents, which we will leave on their little beds. Then, when they awake, they will be so happy, because they will know the Fairies have called, and that will make them try to be lovelier than ever.”
So the Fairies went off, and the Brownies helped the Gnomes to clear everything up. Then the Gnomes went a little way with the Brownies, and after that they all went home to rest till evening too, and, up in the tree, the good Giant laughed softly. “Ha! Ha! Ha!”
Eva Oakley, Real Australian Fairy Stories (version 2), Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , pp. 3-4
repast = a meal; food; to feed; the time of eating a meal; the act of taking food
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]