The Book of Elves and Fairies for Story-Telling and Reading Aloud and for the Children's Own Reading
Books by Frances Jenkins Olcott
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
THE BOOK OF ELVES AND FAIRIES. Illustratedin color by Milo Winter.
TALES OF THE PERSIAN GENII. Illustratedin color by Willy Pogany.
THE RED INDIAN FAIRY BOOK. Illustratedin color by Frederick Richardson.
BIBLE STORIES TO READ AND TELL. Illustratedin color by Willy Pogany.
GOOD STORIES FOR GREAT HOLIDAYS.Illustrated.
THE CHILDREN’S READING.
With Amena Pendleton
THE JOLLY BOOK FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.
THE BOOK OF ELVES
THE BOOK OF
ELVES AND FAIRIES
FOR STORY-TELLING AND READING ALOUD
AND FOR THE CHILDREN’S OWN READING
FRANCES JENKINS OLCOTT
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY MILO WINTER
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
The Riverside Press Cambridge
COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY FRANCES JENKINS OLCOTT
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Published October 1918
THEODORE OLCOTT PHILLIPS
Let a child open the covers of this book, andstraightway he is in that land of all delights—FairyRealm. Here Fairy Godmothers rewardgood children, and punish bad ones; here red-cappedLittle Men yield up their treasures of goldand magic gifts, while Pixies drop silver penniesin water-pails, and merry Spriggans and Fayshold nightly revels in the moonlight. Here, too,a child may dance in Fairy Rings, or hie awayto Elfinland for a year and a day to play withwonder-children, pick Fairy flowers, listen toFairy birds, and be fed on magic goodies.
Old favourites like “Cinderella,” “Toads andDiamonds,” and “Robin Goodfellow,” maycharm the little reader, or other delightful tales,new to most children, such as “Butterfly’s Diamond”and “Timothy Tuttle and the LittleImps,” will fascinate as much as do the oldertales. Stories are here from all lands where Fairiesthrive—Elfin-lore, legends, myths, and wonder-talesfrom China, Japan, the South Seas,England, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and RedIndian land, and from many other Elfin-hauntedspots.
[Pg viii]And every story is about “Fairies black, grey,green, and white,” and every one has been selectedfor delightful humour, fancy, or ethicalteaching. Nearly all have been retold to meetthe needs of story-tellers and to please the children.As far as possible the language of theoriginals has been retained and elements that willterrify little children or teach them that wrongis right, have been eliminated. The French tales—allbut one—have been freshly translated.
A subject index is appended to aid the storytellerin choosing stories dealing with specificsubjects, such as fruits, flowers, seasons, holidays,trees, also with moral qualities like obedience,thrift, honesty, and truth-telling.
To impart true Fairy spirit as well as literaryflavour, many famous Fairy poems by Shakespeare,Ben Jonson, Michael Drayton, and otherpoets are included; so that the volume forms acollection of the best Fairy literature, not merelyplanned to give the children joy, but to be ofreal educational value.
“But of what possible educational value areFairy tales?” asks the practical parent orteacher.
They are essential in the right development ofa child’s mind. They embody the poetic fancy ofthe race. They stimulate a child’s imagination,feed his fancy, and satisfy poetically his groping[Pg ix]after things unseen. His craving for such talesis due to a normal growth of mind. If he be deprivedof Fairy tales in childhood, he is likely, asan adult, to lack the creative imagination whichmakes big-visioned men and women, and leadsto success in literature, art, invention, or in thepractical things of business life. There are, ofcourse, children who do not like Fairy tales, butthey are few and far between, and other forms ofliterature may be found which will, in part, helpto develop their peculiar type of mentality. ButFairy tales are the heritage of the normal child,and if he be judiciously fed on them, in later lifehe will have a more plastic imagination and beable to enjoy more fully the beauties of greatpoetry and other fine literature.
Robert Burns said in a letter to Dr. Moorethat in his infant and boyish days he owed muchto an old woman who lived in his family; forher tales of Brownies, and Fairies, and other wonders“cultivated the latent seeds of poetry” inthe poet’s mind. And even the grave Luthersaid, “I would not for any quantity of gold partwith the wonderful tales which I have retainedfrom my earliest childhood, or have met with inmy progress through life.”
Charles Lamb, and Coleridge too, believedheartily in Fairy tales. “Ought children to bepermitted to read romances, and stories of[Pg x]Giants, Magicians, and Genii?” asked Coleridge.“I know all that has been said against it; but Ihave formed my faith in the affirmative. I knowno other way of giving the mind a love of theGreat and the Whole.... I read every bookthat came in my way without distinction, andmy father was fond of me and used to take meon his knee, and hold long conversations withme. I remember when eight years old walkingwith him one winter evening, ... and he thentold me the names of the stars, and how Jupiterwas a thousand times larger than our world, andthat the other twinkling stars were suns that hadworlds rolling round them; and when I camehome he showed me how they rolled round. Iheard him with a profound delight and admiration,but without the least mixture of wonder orincredulity. For from my early reading of Fairytales and about Genii, and the like, my mindhad been habituated to the Vast; and I never regardedmy senses in any way as the criteria of mybelief.”
Such, then, is the educational mission of theFairy tale, not only to give pure joy, but to enlargethe mind. And as childhood is the onlytime when this miracle takes place in its completeness,every child who so desires should beallowed to wander at will in the land of imaginativedelights, where the King of Fairy Poets,[Pg xi]Shakespeare, loved to wander as a child and as aman. In “The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies”that benign shape answers grisly Time who wouldcut down “all the assembled Fays”:—
Special acknowledgment is here made to theSaturday Magazine of the New York Evening Postfor use of many stories included in this volume,which I have written for its columns.
Grateful acknowledgment is due also to the followingpublishers for material from their books:—
To Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company, for“The Sick-Bed Elves,” from Strange Stories fromthe Lodge of Leisures, by George Souliť; “TheBrown Dwarf of RŁgen,” by John GreenleafWhittier; “The Immortal Fountain,” and “ALittle Knight and Little Maid,” by Lucy Larcom.
To Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Co., for “LittleNiebla,” from The Purple Land, by W. H. Hudson.
Thanks are due to Mrs. Anna Todd Paddockfor “Timothy Tuttle and the Little Imps,” and toMiss Julia Fish for the French stories speciallytranslated for this volume.
|THE FAIRIES’ STORY HOUR|
|“’Tis the Hour of Fairy Ban and Spell,”Joseph Rodman Drake||2|
|Come! Come! to the Fairies’ Story Hour!||3|
|FAIRY-LORE AND ELFIN LEGENDS|
|AROUND! AROUND! IN FAIRY RINGS!|
|“In the Glowing Light of a Summer Sky,” William Jones||8|
|Adventures of Robin Goodfellow, Old English||9|
|The Potato Supper, Irish||15|
|The Milk-White Calf and the Fairy Ring, Irish||20|
|The Wood-Lady, Bohemian||26|
|The Dance of the Fairies, From The Maydes Metamorphosis (1600)||32|
|ELFIN MOUNDS AND FAIRY HILLS|
|“’Tis the Midnight Hour”||34|
|Monday! Tuesday! Irish||35|
|The Greedy Old Man, Cornish||39|
|Legend of Bottle Hill, Irish||44|
|The Brown Dwarf, John Greenleaf Whittier||53|
|LITTLE MEN AND TREASURES OF GOLD[Pg xvi]|
|“And will you come away, my Lad?”||62|
|The Boy who found the Pots of Gold, Irish||63|
|The Ragweed, Irish||66|
|The Bad Boy and the Leprechaun, Irish||70|
|Tom and the Knockers, Cornish||73|
|The Knockers’ Diamonds, Cornish||77|
|The Leprechaun, or Fairy Shoemaker, William Allingham||84|
|GLAD LITTLE, SAD LITTLE, BAD LITTLE ELVES|
|“Saint Francis and Saint Benedict,” William Cartwright (1635?)||90|
|Little Redcap, Irish||91|
|The Curmudgeon’s Skin, Irish||97|
|Judy and the Fairy Cat, Irish||103|
|The Boggart, English||105|
|The Sick-Bed Elves, Chinese||109|
|How Peeping Kate was Piskey-Led, Cornish||111|
|One-Eyed Prying Joan’s Tale, Cornish||121|
|The Fairy Folk, William Allingham||128|
|FAIRY SERVANTS IN THE HOUSE|
|“Their Dwellings be,” From the Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells (1635)||132|
|The Fairy’s Servants, Basque||133|
|The Pixies, English||138[Pg xvii]|
|The Brownie of Blednoch, Scottish||142|
|Elsa and the Ten Elves, Swedish||145|
|Piskey Fine! and Piskey Gay! Cornish||149|
|The Fairy Wedding, Swedish||151|
|The Tomts, Swedish||155|
|Song of the Elfin Miller, Allan Cunningham||157|
|FAYS OF WATER, WOOD, AND MEADOW|
|“Over Hill, over Dale,” Shakespeare||160|
|Kintaro the Golden Boy, Japanese||161|
|The Flower Fairies, Chinese||166|
|The Fairy Island, Cornish||169|
|The Four-Leaved Clover, Cornish||171|
|The Gillie Dhu, Scottish||174|
|How Kahukura learned to make Nets, New Zealand||176|
|Echo, the Cave Fairy, From the Island of Mangaia||179|
|The Isles of the Sea Fairies, Mary Howitt||182|
|AWAY! AWAY! TO FAIRYLAND|
|“But we that live in Fairyland,” Old Ballad||188|
|The Magic Ferns, Cornish||189|
|The Smith and the Fairies, Scottish||194|
|The Coal-Black Steed, English||198|
|The Girl who was stolen by the Fairies, Irish||201|
|The Girl who danced with the Fairies, Irish||203[Pg xviii]|
|Elidore and the Golden Ball, Welsh||206|
|At the Court of Fairyland,|
Selections from Ben Jonson, Michael Drayton, Joseph Rodman Drake,
Shakespeare, and Old Ballads
|FAIRY GODMOTHERS AND WONDERFUL GIFTS|
|“Rap! Rap! Rap!”|