[Editor: This short story for children, by Eva Oakley, was published in Real Australian Fairy Stories, version 2 (1950).]
The Bush Fairies, Elves and Pixies
One beautiful, cold, autumn night, when a lovely moon and stars lit up the whole place, the Bush Fairies came tripping through Sherbrooke Forest, and, as they approached the place where the Lyre-birds dance in the daytime, they paused, listened, and then crept noiselessly on, in the direction from whence some lovely, silvery music was coming.
All of a sudden, through the trees, they saw a wonderful sight; the Elves were dancing, and the Pixies were playing their silver whistles for them. The Fairies were so amazed, that not one of them stirred, for they had never witnessed such an exhibition of intricate steps nor listened to sweeter music.
As soon as the dance was over, the Fairy Queen stepped forward, followed by her beautiful Fairies. She addressed the Elves thus, “My friends, we have been watching you and are quite enthralled with your delightful display of dancing and with the music supplied by the Pixies, whom we also congratulate. Now, I see my Princes have arrived, and they have their golden pipes with them, and it will make me very happy if the Pixies will take them for a few minutes and teach them their melodious tunes, and if, while they are doing so, you will be so gracious as to teach my Fairies and myself those wonderful dances.”
Well! The Pixies and the Elves took the Princes and Fairies in hand, and oh, you should have seen the display that followed. Fairy lights appeared and shone on all the Fairies, who were dressed in beautiful pastel shades, and on the Princes, who all joined in, dancing in a ring round about the Fairies, and, at the same time, playing their golden pipes.
The Mushrooms sprang up everywhere, to watch the lovely scene; the Glowworms came round about, and so did the Bunnies, with their funny, little, white bobtails. The Bunnies were very good; they just sat on their haunches, in rows, over near the Elves and the Pixies, and watched.
As soon as it was over, the Queen spoke again, “Let us now go to my palace,” she said, and blew a sweet-toned, bejewelled trumpet. Then there appeared beautiful, golden coaches, drawn by tiny, cream ponies, and driven by immaculate Fairy coachmen. Fairies, Elves and Pixies all sprang into them joyously, and off they were driven, to the Fairy Queen’s beautiful palace.
There they enjoyed themselves for awhile, and then the Queen gave the signal for all to adjourn to the supper room, where they partook of most delicious Fairy cookies, jellies and drinks, and sang the Queen’s praises. She then reminded them that they must not forget that the Fairies had to go off to do their good deeds. “Oh!” cried the Elves and Pixies with one accord, “We would love to accompany you.” “Come, then!” said the Queen, “Let us away!” So off they went.
They visited all the little children round about and kissed them as they slept, and gave them lovely thoughts, and made pretty flowers grow up in their gardens. Then, as the flowers came out, the children took them to the hospitals, where they helped all the people to feel better and fresher.
Now I hope all the boys and girls who read this story will try to be like the Fairies, Elves and Pixies, always beautiful and always doing kindly deeds, for they live forever, and cause others to be happy and to do good.
Eva Oakley, Real Australian Fairy Stories (version 2), Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , pp. 1-3
Sherbrooke Forest = a forest located in the Dandenong Ranges (Victoria)
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]
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