The Book of Elves and Fairies for Story-Telling and Reading Aloud and for the Children's Own Reading

The Book of Elves and Fairies for Story-Telling and Reading Aloud and for the Children's Own Reading
Category: Fairy tales
Title: The Book of Elves and Fairies for Story-Telling and Reading Aloud and for the Children's Own Reading
Release Date: 2018-04-03
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 19
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Books by Frances Jenkins Olcott

PUBLISHED BY
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.

STORY-TELLING POEMS.

THE CHILDREN’S READING.

With Amena Pendleton

THE JOLLY BOOK FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.


THE BOOK OF ELVES
AND FAIRIES

“THIS IS MAB, THE MISTRESS FAIRY” (page 209)



THE BOOK OF
ELVES AND FAIRIES

FOR STORY-TELLING AND READING ALOUD
AND FOR THE CHILDREN’S OWN READING

BY
FRANCES JENKINS OLCOTT
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY MILO WINTER

BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
The Riverside Press Cambridge
1918


COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY FRANCES JENKINS OLCOTT
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published October 1918


TO
THEODORE OLCOTT PHILLIPS

Good luck befriend thee, son; for, at thy birth,
The FAIRY LADIES danced upon the hearth;
The drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them spy
Come tripping to the room, where thou didst lie,
And sweetly singing round about thy bed
Strew all their blessings on thy sleeping head!
MILTON

[Pg vii]

FOREWORD

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”:—

These be the pretty Genii of the flow’rs,
Daintily fed with honey and pure dew—
Midsummer’s phantoms in her dreaming hours,
King Oberon, and all his merry crew,
The darling puppets of romance’s view;
Fairies, and Sprites, and Goblin Elves we call them,
Famous for patronage of lovers true;—
No harm they act, neither shall harm befall them,
So do not thus with crabbed frowns appall them.

Likewise to them are Poets much beholden
For secret favours in the midnight glooms;
Brave Spenser quaff’d out of their goblets golden,
And saw their tables spread of prompt mushrooms,
And heard their horns of honeysuckle blooms
Sounding upon the air, most soothing soft,
Like humming bees busy about the brooms,—
And glanced this fair Queen’s witchery full oft,
And in her magic wain soared far aloft.

’Twas they first school’d my young imagination
To take its flights like any new-fledged bird,
And show’d the span of wingd meditation
Stretched wider than things grossly seen or heard.
With sweet swift Ariel how I soar’d and stirred
The fragrant blooms of spiritual bow’rs!
’Twas they endear’d what I have still preferr’d,
Nature’s blest attributes and balmy pow’rs,
Her hills and vales and brooks, sweet birds and flow’rs!

[Pg xii]


[Pg xiii]

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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 Souli; “TheBrown Dwarf of Rgen,” 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.

F.J.O.

[Pg xiv]


[Pg xv]

CONTENTS

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THE FAIRIES’ STORY HOUR
“’Tis the Hour of Fairy Ban and Spell,”Joseph Rodman Drake2
Come! Come! to the Fairies’ Story Hour!3
PART ONE
FAIRY-LORE AND ELFIN LEGENDS
AROUND! AROUND! IN FAIRY RINGS!
In the Glowing Light of a Summer Sky,” William Jones8
Adventures of Robin Goodfellow, Old English9
The Potato Supper, Irish15
The Milk-White Calf and the Fairy Ring, Irish20
The Wood-Lady, Bohemian26
The Dance of the Fairies, From The Maydes Metamorphosis (1600)32
ELFIN MOUNDS AND FAIRY HILLS
“’Tis the Midnight Hour34
Monday! Tuesday! Irish35
The Greedy Old Man, Cornish39
Legend of Bottle Hill, Irish44
The Brown Dwarf, John Greenleaf Whittier53
LITTLE MEN AND TREASURES OF GOLD[Pg xvi]
And will you come away, my Lad?62
The Boy who found the Pots of Gold, Irish63
The Ragweed, Irish66
The Bad Boy and the Leprechaun, Irish70
Tom and the Knockers, Cornish73
The Knockers’ Diamonds, Cornish77
Skillywidden, Cornish79
The Leprechaun, or Fairy Shoemaker, William Allingham84
GLAD LITTLE, SAD LITTLE, BAD LITTLE ELVES
Saint Francis and Saint Benedict,” William Cartwright (1635?)90
Little Redcap, Irish91
The Curmudgeon’s Skin, Irish97
Judy and the Fairy Cat, Irish103
The Boggart, English105
Ownself, English107
The Sick-Bed Elves, Chinese109
How Peeping Kate was Piskey-Led, Cornish111
One-Eyed Prying Joan’s Tale, Cornish121
The Fairy Folk, William Allingham128
FAIRY SERVANTS IN THE HOUSE
Their Dwellings be,” From the Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells (1635)132
The Fairy’s Servants, Basque133
The Pixies, English138[Pg xvii]
The Brownie of Blednoch, Scottish142
Elsa and the Ten Elves, Swedish145
Piskey Fine! and Piskey Gay! Cornish149
The Fairy Wedding, Swedish151
The Tomts, Swedish155
Song of the Elfin Miller, Allan Cunningham157
FAYS OF WATER, WOOD, AND MEADOW
Over Hill, over Dale,” Shakespeare160
Kintaro the Golden Boy, Japanese161
The Flower Fairies, Chinese166
The Fairy Island, Cornish169
The Four-Leaved Clover, Cornish171
The Gillie Dhu, Scottish174
How Kahukura learned to make Nets, New Zealand176
Echo, the Cave Fairy, From the Island of Mangaia179
The Isles of the Sea Fairies, Mary Howitt182
AWAY! AWAY! TO FAIRYLAND
But we that live in Fairyland,” Old Ballad188
The Magic Ferns, Cornish189
The Smith and the Fairies, Scottish194
The Coal-Black Steed, English198
The Girl who was stolen by the Fairies, Irish201
The Girl who danced with the Fairies, Irish203[Pg xviii]
Elidore and the Golden Ball, Welsh206
At the Court of Fairyland,
Selections from Ben Jonson, Michael Drayton, Joseph Rodman Drake,
Shakespeare, and Old Ballads
209
 
PART TWO
FAIRY STORIES
FAIRY GODMOTHERS AND WONDERFUL GIFTS
Rap! Rap! Rap!