The wedding of the most beautiful Fairy
Has anyone ever told you of the wedding of the most beautiful Fairy in Fairyland, to the kind little Gnome, who was always doing lovely things for everybody? No! Well I shall tell you all about it now.
The Fairy Queen decided that her loveliest Fairy should choose the one she loved best of all, and be married to him. You see, the Fairy Princes would not choose any of the other beautiful Fairies while the loveliest of all was there; but, once she was married, she would have her own little portion of Fairyland, and live there, and then the Princes would soon see the charms of the others.
When the Princes heard that the Fairy was to choose the one whom she would marry, the handsomest Prince of all came along to offer himself to her; but the Fairy said, “No! I am afraid I cannot think of marrying you, for you are too conceited, and think only about yourself.” So, away he went.
Then, along came the strongest Prince, to offer himself; but the Fairy said, “No! I cannot marry you, for you are always showing off. and making the others feel that they are weaklings, which they are not.” Off went the second Prince.
The third Prince in the Kingdom then came; but the Fairy knew that he had often disobeyed their lovely Queen, who was kind to them all, so she said, “No! I could not bear to marry anyone who has hurt our Queen, as you have.”
The Princes were all thoroughly ashamed, and very downcast, for they knew that everything the Fairy had said was true, so they all resolved to do their uttermost to become what they should be — as good as they were handsome and strong.
In the meantime, a dear little Gnome came along, and humbly asked the Fairy if he might dare hope that she would think of marrying him. “Oh, my dear!’’ said the Fairy, “you do not know how happy you have made me, for I have often watched you performing your good deeds, and making others so happy, and always smiling so kindly. Let us now go, hand in hand, to tell the Queen; she will be so pleased.” So, away they went, and told the Queen, who immediately caused the bells of Fairyland to ring out, with silvery, tinkling sounds.
The Fairies and Princes all came, dancing and flying, to see whatever could be happening. As soon as they heard the news, and saw how happy the Fairy was, the Princes thanked her for having told them their faults, thus causing them to become model Princes, instead of the foolish ones they had been.
Then the Princes asked the Queen if each of them might choose a bride from the other little Fairies. “Yes!” said the Queen, “for I am very pleased with you all, now.”
So once again the bells rang out, and all four weddings took place together, and they all lived happily ever after.
Eva Oakley, Real Australian Fairy Stories, Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , pp. 11-12
uttermost = utmost: of the furthest limit, greatest extent, maximum amount, most extreme, highest degree, or supreme significance (often used to emphasise the importance or seriousness of something, e.g. “of the utmost gravity”, “of the utmost importance”, “to be carried out with the utmost effort”, “try your utmost”); outermost, most outer, furthest out
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]