The Fairy Flower
This story is called The Fairy Flower by Louisa M. Alcott, adapted and recorded by LibraryCall. In a large and pleasant garden sat little Annie, all alone. She seemed very sad. Drops of tears like dew fell fast upon the flowers beside her. The warm wind lifted up her shining hair, while the sunbeams made little rainbows in her tears. Annie, tell me why you weep,” said a low voice in her ear. Looking up, the child beheld a small figure standing on a vine leaf at her side. A lovely face smiled on her from amid bright locks of hair, and shining wings were folded on a white and glittering robe that fluttered in the wind. “Who are you, lovely little thing?” asked Annie, smiling through her tears. “I am a Fairy, and I come to help and comfort you. Tell me why you weep, and let me be your friend,” replied the spirit, as she smiled “And are you really, fairy, like the ones I’ve read about in my fairy books? Do you ride on butterflies, sleep in flower-cups, and live among the clouds?” “Yes, I do all these things, and much more than you can find in your fairy books. Now, dear Annie,” said the Fairy, bending nearer, “tell me why I found no sunshine on your face. Why are these great teardrops shining on the flower? Why do you sit alone when birds and bees are calling you to play?” The tears began to fall again; “I am not happy. How shall I learn to be a patient, gentle child? Good Fairy, will you teach me how?” “I will help you gladly, Annie. The spell will be difficult, but I believe in you. Let me explain how it works.” The Fairy gave Annie a graceful flower, whose snow-white leaves shone with a strange, soft light. “This is a fairy flower,” said the Fairy, “invisible to every eye except yours. Now listen while I tell you about its power, Annie... When your heart is filled with loving thoughts and you give love to those around you, the flower will reward you with the sweetest, softest fragrance. When an unkind word is on your lips or a cruel deed is done, you will hear the soft, low chime of the flower bell. Listen to its warning. Let the word remain unspoken and the cruel deed undone. When you bring peace and love into the world, the flower will embrace you with its shining light and sweet fragrance.” “Oh kind and generous Fairy, how can I ever thank you for this lovely gift!” exclaimed Annie. “I will be true, and listen to the bell whenever it rings. But will I ever see you again?” “I cannot stay now,Annie,” said the Fairy, “but when Spring returns, I will be here again, to see how well the Fairy gift has done its work. And now farewell, dear child. Be faithful to yourself, and the magic flower will never fade.” Then the Fairy waved goodbye and flew singing up among the white clouds floating in the sky. The pleasant days of Spring and Summer passed, and in Annie’s garden Autumn flowers bloomed everywhere. But the fairy flower, that should have been the loveliest of all, hung pale and drooping on Annie’s heart. Its fragrance seemed gone, and the clear, low music of its warning chime rang often in her ear. When the Fairy had first placed it there, Annie had been pleased with her new gift, and for a while obeyed the fairy bell, and often tried to win some fragrance from the flower by kind and pleasant words and actions. But selfish thoughts would come to tempt her and unkind words would fall from her lips. Then the flower drooped pale and scentless and the fairy bell solemnly rang. Annie would forget her resolution to be kind, and return to being a selfish, willful child. At last she stopped trying, grew angry with the faithful flower. She would tear it from her heart, but the fairy spell still held it fast, and all her angry words made it ring a louder, sadder song. She stopped paying attention to the silvery music sounding in her ear, and each day grew still more unhappy, discontented, and unkind. When the Autumn days came round, she was no better and the constant echo of the mournful music made her heart break. One sunny morning, when the fresh, cool winds were blowing, Annie walked among her flowers, looking for the Fairy to take the magic blossom from her heart and break the spell. “I will not listen to this tiresome music or wear this withered flower any more.” She searched the woods, then the fields, then she traveled up and down the green hillsides. Little Annie looked, searched, and asked the creatures in the forest if one could tell her where to find the Fairy. The birds looked wonderingly at her with their soft, bright eyes, and still sang on. The flowers nodded wisely on their stems, but did not speak, while butterflies and bees buzzed and fluttered away. She searched and called out, but no Fairy came. She walked beside the river, and asked the dragonflies and the cool white lilies if the Fairy had been there. The blue waves rippled on the white sand at her feet, but no one answered her. Weary with her long and useless search, she sat down and fell asleep while watching the crimson evening clouds glowing around the setting sun. As the moon’s silver light shone on the child, the Fairy stood beside her. By Elfin spell and charm, the Fairy sent the sleeping child this dream. Annie dreamed she sat in her own garden, as she had often sat before, with angry feelings in her heart, and unkind words upon her lips. The magic flower was ringing its soft warning, but she paid no attention. She sat, when suddenly a low voice whispered in her ear: “ Annie, look and see the evil things that you are holding onto.” Then Annie saw, with fear and wonder, that the angry words she uttered changed to dark, unlovely forms. The spirits had come from her own heart and taken form before her eyes. At first, they seemed small and weak, but as she looked they seemed to grow and gather strength, and each gained a strange power over her. They seemed to cast shadows all around, to dim the sunshine. Suddenly, the light and perfume of the flower seemed to bring new strength to Annie, and she rose up, saying, as she bent to kiss the blossom on her heart. “Dear flower, help and guide me now, and I will pay attention to my faithful fairy bell.” In her dreams she struggled against the tempting and troubling spirits, but after each new challenge, her magic flower shone brighter and smelled sweeter. The fairy gift was no longer pale and drooping; it was shining like a star upon her heart. The low voice spoke again in Annie’s sleeping ear, “Remember well the lesson of the dream, dear child, and let the shining spirits make your heart their home.” With that voice sounding in her ear, Annie woke to find it was a dream. But she resolved to bring back light and beauty to the magic flower’s faded leaves. Annie went home, holding the dream close to her heart with the fairy flower. As the Autumn flowers dried up and the winter snow fell softly, Annie wastrue to her promise and the fairy light continued to shine. Through the long, cold winter, the smiling spirits of gentleness and love nestled in Annie’s heart, and all was bright again. One day, she sat in the sunny nook where her flowers bloomed, hoping for a glimpse of the fairies. As Anniehe bent to look at her flower, its folded leaves spread wide apart, and, rising slowly from the deep white cup, the smiling face of the lovely Fairy appeared. “Dear Annie, look for me no longer. I am here. You have learned to love my gift, and it has done its work well,” the Fairy said, “As a reward for your gratitude and love, I have brought another gift from Fairy-land,,” she said. The Fairy swirled her shining wand. Suddenly the air was filled with strange, sweet sounds, and all around her floated lovely forms. In every flower sat little smiling fairies, singing happily as they rocked among the leaves. On every breeze, bright, airy spirits came floating by and others rang the flower-bells, making a pleasant rustling among the leaves. The tall trees sang a low, dreamy song, while the waving grass was filled with little voices she had never heard before. Butterflies whispered lovely tales in her ear, and birds sang cheerful songs in a sweet language she had never understood before. Earth and air seemed filled with beauty and music. She had never dreamed of this wonder until now. “Oh, tell me what it means, dear Fairy! Is it another and a lovelier dream?” she asked. “Yes, it is true, dear child,” replied the Fairy, “Not everyone is able to see Fairyland, but we gave you this gift for all the good you brought into the world. The garden where you once sat, weeping sad and bitter tears, is now brightened by your own happiness. The flower on your heart will never fade. Dear Annie, I must go. Every springtime, with the earliest flowers, I will come again to visit you, and bring a fairy gift. Guard the magic flower, I know I will find it shining when I return.” With a kind farewell, the Fairy floated upward until she vanished in the soft, white clouds. Annie stood alone in her enchanted garden, where all was bright and fragrant with the perfume of her fairy flower. The End This story is called The Fairy Flower by Louisa M. Alcott, adapted and recorded by LibraryCall.