Well, children, to begin this story, I must tell you that sometimes there have been some very naughty Fairies, and they have been called Goblins; they were always a great worry to their Queens, for they were very dreadful, and tried to frighten people by making their queer noises. However, the Queens were always on the lookout for them, and they always caught them; so you see, it does not pay to be naughty.
One evening, some of these Goblins were creeping across a green paddock, and they intended to frighten the people who lived on the other side, and then to hide and laugh at their discomfiture. However, the ever watchful Queen saw them and she felt so sad, because of their wanting to do these very naughty things.
Well, while they were creeping along, close to the ground, thinking they would not be seen, the Fairy Queen spread her lovely gauze wings, and flew over to the other side, and, as she was high up, and they, of course, had their heads down, crawling along, they did not see her. When she reached the other side, she stood behind a lovely bush, which completely hid her from their view.
You see, she knew they would all soon come to this bush, and then go quietly along the path to the nice row of houses. Sure enough, they came nearer and nearer, and just as they all stood up, ready to run along and start their pranks, the Queen sprang in front of them, flashing her torch on them.
Then she waved her wand over them, three times three,
And said, “Now! Be good; or fat mice you will be,
And the cat will come down, and eat you all up;
A fine, tasty meal you’d make, for her to sup.”
The lovely Queen looked terribly angry with them, and they all shuddered at the thought of being turned into mice, and being eaten by the cat. They then bowed to the Queen, and told her they would never be naughty any more if only she would forgive them. The Queen’s heart softened towards them, for she knew they were really her dear, little Fairies, and although they had been so dreadful, she knew that this had been a severe lesson to them, and that they would never do such things again.
She was right; they were so grateful to their Queen for forgiving them, that they made up their minds to be model subjects,
And now, all the country-side feels safe and glad,
And, never again, is the Fairy Queen sad.
Now I must tell you about twenty other Goblins, bold and bad; they too, were slyly creeping off to do mischief. However, their Queen overheard them talking about what they intended doing, and so she ordered her golden coach to be brought round to call for her early, as she intended to go for a drive. When the coach arrived, the Queen gave orders that she was to be driven to the very spot where those Goblins meant to frighten the people, and, just as they arrived, the coach was driven in front of them to block their way, and the Queen said,
“All the people round about are now asleep in bed;
I’ll stop all your naughty ways; I’ll turn you into Frogs,
And then you’ll have to croak all day, and sit on tiny legs;
Then you’ll be so ashamed to be in guise of Frogs arrayed,
’Twill make you good as gold again, to join us in the glade.”
Then twenty shame-faced Goblins begged their Queen to give them another chance. Well, as you know, Fairy Queens are very kind, and, after a moment’s thought, she forgave them, and they tried hard to make up for their naughtiness by becoming very lovely Fairies, setting a good example to all the others.
Now I must write a poem for you, about the little girl who did not know that all the Goblins had become good Fairies again. Here it is:
“FRIGHTENED OF THE GOBLINS.”
A little girl started to cry one fine night,
As soon as her mother had put out the light,
When, into her room, came the Fairies’ loved Queen,
The loveliest Fairy that ever was seen.
She said, “Dear, what ails you? What gave you a fright,
When you should be sleeping, this beautiful night?”
“The Goblins are out; they are under the trees”;
The little girl said, “I heard one of them sneeze.”
“No! No!” said the Fairy, “I’ve made them all good;
There are no bad Fairies now, out in the wood.
’Tis only the rustling of leaves, that you hear,”
And, waving her wand, she said, “Sleep without fear.”
Then, on her soft pillow, down went Curly Head,
And dreamt lovely Fairies were all round her bed.
Eva Oakley, Real Australian Fairy Stories (version 2), Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , pp. 8-11
sup = to eat or drink; imbibe drink or food by drinking or eating in small amounts (small mouthfuls, sips, or spoonfuls), especially liquid foods (such as soup); drink; have supper, eat an evening meal
’tis = (archaic) a contraction of “it is”
’twill = (archaic) a contraction of “it will”
[Editor: Changed “lovliest” to “loveliest”.]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]