Saturday, April 9, 2011

Violets and A Story About A Fairy Named Violet

This is a little story about a Fairy named Violet by Caroline Snowden Guild published in 1856: Violet: A Fairy Story.

Chapter 1 Violet's Home

Once there was a gardener who lived in an old hut of a house, with one table inside, and some rough stools, and a large box that served for a bed, all of which he had made himself.

There was one window; but when it stormed the rain beat in so that the old lady, his wife, had to pin her shawl against it, and then the whole house was dark as night.

Every body thought these people poor except themselves; but they had one treasure which seemed to them better than a whole mountain of gold and all the splendid houses and gay carriages in the world. This was their little daughter Violet, whose presence in their home made it beautiful and stately, and whose absence, they thought, would have made a palace dull.

Violet was not as beautiful as some children. She was pale and slender, and her soft, light hair did not curl in ringlets, but floated over her shoulders like a golden veil. But O, she had such beautiful eyes! They were large, and so bright and clear, and such a deep, deep blue! Sometimes they made you think of a brook in the shady wood when gleams of sunshine have found their way to it; sometimes they were like nothing so much as the violets that grew beside the doorway of her own father's hut.

The old man had, besides his daughter, a garden, which was dear to him; and well it might be, for in summer it did one's eyes good to look at the blossoms all tangled together, and sprinkled over with great drops of pearly dew. Roses there were, and lilies, and fox-gloves, and mignonette, and a great many other flowers that had long names, which Violet could not remember. Then there were long, neatly-kept beds of vegetables and sweet herbs, which Reuben—for that was the gardener's name—carried to market.

Now, while Reuben was digging his vegetables, his wife and Violet would gather the prettiest flowers and buds, and tie them into bouquets with so much taste that soon the old gardener became famous for his flowers, and many rich people sought him out, promising to buy all he would bring to their houses.

Flowers only grow in summer time; and all the year round people must eat, and drink, and wear clothes; and then Reuben had to pay rent for his garden; so, notwithstanding their industry, Violet's friends were poor.

But they were happier than a great many rich people, and certainly loved Violet as well as though she had been a queen. They were so kind to her that sometimes the little girl thought, if there were such beings as fairies, they must look into her heart every day, find out her wishes, and tell them to her good parents.

Between you and me, there were two fairies—one named Love and the other Contentment—that lived all the time in Reuben's hut; and though Violet had never seen their faces, and did not even know their names, they were always doing something for her. It was because these excellent friends had touched her coarse garments that they looked fine and soft as velvet to her eyes; it was because they never left the old black hut that it looked so clean and sunny—cheerful as a palace.

You may wonder, if these fairies were so powerful, why they didn't have a palace of their own; but you must remember directly they enter a place it becomes a palace; and besides, Violet possessed a charm so powerful that even the fairies could not fly away unless she gave them leave; and yet—wasn't it queer?—she did not know this herself.
Read the rest of the story here at Violet: A Fairy Story

Lovely free image of violet wreath from Graphics Fairy. I've used it in some of my Spring art coming soon.

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