The beautiful dream
Once there was a dear little girl, very sweet and pretty, and such a good little girl. Now she had to stay in bed for a while, as she had been rather delicate. However she was, all the time, becoming stronger and better. That was because of her lovely spirit, which made her so sure of all things good and beautiful.
One day her mother gave her a book of Fairy Tales, which she simply “devoured,” so to speak. Oh! how she loved those pretty stories. After reading for a while, she went off to sleep, with a sweet smile on her face, and what do you think? Well! she had a beautiful dream, and in it she saw a gleaming, golden table, and on it was an exquisite golden dish, studded with sparkling jewels. On this dish was a very large, snow-white egg.
The little girl was amazed, and wondered who would be sitting at that marvellous table, to eat that extraordinary egg. She even spoke her thoughts aloud, and was astounded to hear the tiniest, sweetest voice say, in answer, “My dear, just keep your eyes fixed on me, and I shall show you all the mystery of this wonderful egg.”
She looked in the direction from which the voice had come, and saw a most beautiful Fairy, with glorious, golden hair reaching past her waist, standing on one corner of the table. So the little girl watched the Fairy Queen (for such she was) as she started to dance, on the tips of her toes, and bend and sway, oh, so perfectly, her lovely little arms and tiny fingers all performing movements, extremely graceful, at the same time, and as she turned towards the little girl, she always smiled so sweetly at her, and the child was completely fascinated.
All of a sudden the Fairy leapt across the table, springing on the tips of her toes, right over to the egg, and the little girl was horrified to see her lift her golden wand and strike the egg across the centre. However her horror soon turned to thrill after thrill of ecstasy, when out of the egg sprang a Fairy Prince, glittering with spangles, and after him came three beautiful little Fairies, followed by two more Princes. They all bowed and curtsied to their Queen, who once more struck the egg, this time on one end of it, and immediately it turned into a snow-white chariot, drawn by two tiny snow-white horses.
All the Fairies, led by the Queen, then danced three times round the chariot. After that they all sprang into it, and away galloped the horses, back to Fairyland, and, as they disappeared, the little girl heard the tiny silver bells on the horses twinkling sweetly in the distance, and growing fainter and fainter.
Just as she heard the last tinkle the big dinner gong sounded through the house, and woke her up, wondering just where she was, but she soon remembered all, and after dinner entertained her mother with the beautiful Fairy Story, which was all her very own.
Eva Oakley, Real Australian Fairy Stories, Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , pp. 15-16
spangle = a small glittering or shiny item, particle, or object; a small thin flat piece of glittering material (often metal or plastic), especially used to sew onto clothing in large numbers for decorative purposes; a sequin; to decorate something with spangles, to bespangle
[Editor: Changed “courtesied” to “curtsied”.]