The Elfin Queen
An unpublished Fairy-tale for aspiring children and wise adults by J Michaud PhD
DEEPLY HIDDEN WITHIN A MYSTIC FOREST, on a sunny plain, stood the Elfin Queen's Castle. It was an edifice of wondrous beauty resembling a huge precious stone, a veritable jewel, amidst the graceful and exquisite flowers which grew around it in every direction. There were sweet scented roses, and jasmine on golden stems with gleaming silver leaves, and gigantic ferns, which wafted cool, refreshing air towards each other. The pale mauve wood anemone, the white sorrel of the forest and the purplish blue of the tufted vetch, all mixed their happy colours; and thousands of other flowers, small and large, in all varieties of hue and shape flourished profusely in the beds and borders which were planted everywhere around the Castle by little gnomes, who served the Elfin Queen, their Mistress. For they worshipped her with all the might of their devoted hearts, and no trouble was too much for them if only they could give her pleasure and floral surprises. It is nearly impossible to imagine or describe how incredibly beautiful the Castle and its gardens really were; only those whose hearts and minds have not yet lost the fairy touch can behold such glories within themselves.
The Castle had twelve great gates, each with two lofty towers, and each tower was crowned with an enormous opal which shot flames in every colour right up into the sky and all around. Fantastic designs, made of blazing diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds covered these towers from top to bottom, whilst festoons of rosy, blue and green pearls, each as large as an egg, linked all the towers and blended their shimmering soft gleams with adorable suavity. The window frames were made of that scarce jewel coral, which only the servants of the great Sea Gods can find and which the mighty Tritons of the Ocean had sent to the Elfin Queen as a token of their homage when her wondrous Palace was being built. The walls were of the finest marble, and round the whole of the Castle ran a gallery of fluted pillars of rose quartz, malachite, chrysoprase and lapis lazuli, the capitals of which were sculptured into all sorts of fanciful designs of birds, flowers and fairies. When the playful rays of the early morning sun enveloped the Castle with a golden sheen, it was as if a cloud of unbelievable beauty ascended to the heavens. When later on the inquisitive sun rays peeped slyly though the mullioned window panes of mountain crystal, and, after entering the rooms, danced a merry gavotte upon the walls, tapestried with petals and blossoms, the pretty Elfin Queen awoke smilingly. She arose from her couch of pansy leaves, put on her silvery robe, walked into her garden, and with her eyes of forget-me-not blue gazed with quiet dignity on her domain. She then unfolded her glittering wings and flew round the gardens, while the proud roses and the tall iris bowed their lovely heads, and all the other flowers joined in respectful greeting.
The Elfin Queen then flew to the main Castle Gate and entered her coach, which the gnomes had prepared for the morning ride, so that she might gladden the hearts of all her subjects with her divine presence. This enchanted equipage consisted of a large, rose-tinted hollow pearl, lined with pure silk, spun by a special race of fairy silkworms, and woven by gorgeously coloured butterflies; and it contained a soft, sweet-scented seat made of delicate rose petals, sewn together with silvery strands of gossamer and filled with the fine down of cygnets. At the back of the pearl was a silver seat upon which sat a beautiful and stately moth, who, with pliable wings, shimmering with colour, fanned the Elfin Queen. In front, on a magnificent golden box, sat a solemn looking bronze-coloured beetle who, with a long whip knitted from the stamens of lilies of the valley, kept in order the eight little golden beetles, which pulled along the wonderful conveyance.
The wheels were made of countless tiny golden sequins, plucked by the elves from the upright rays of the sun at the noon hour, and welded together in the underground workshops of the gnomes at midnight amidst the merry song of their anvils and hammers. On each corner of the coach was a tiny lantern, made of transparent flowers which grow in all the fairy dingles and dells, and each contained a little firefly. When at evening the Queen rode sometimes around her kingdom, these lanterns spread a soft, magic green light; and along the whole of the road on each blade of waving grass a phosphorous-blue glow-worm sat, surrounded by rays of witching dreamy light, just as if clouds of silvery moon dust had descended up on the landscape. One would imagine that the Queen of such a wonderful Kingdom would always feel happy amidst such beautiful surroundings, beloved as she was by her people — but, alas, this was not so.
She would spend days in dreams filled with wistful longings, pining for she knew not what. At such times she had no eyes for the serene joys which encompassed her, and even the little gnomes could hardly ever win one little smile from her, no matter how they tried. For the joyful garden of her mind had become a struggling wilderness of despondency. In vain her faithful subjects tried to cheer her, but nothing succeeded and day by day she pined away, like unto one who is wrapped in the garments of grief, ensnarled in the musky lasso of desire.
At last the chief of the gnomes called a meeting of the eldest and wisest of his companions, so that they might find a remedy which would end the sad mood of the beloved Queen. But just as the meeting started, the sound of cheering voices and martial music sounded from the distance, for a deputation from a neighbouring State, over which the King of the Flowers reigned, was now arriving to pay the King's respects to the Elfin Queen and bring her presents in token of his friendship and admiration. The Queen received the brilliant throng of young noblemen with great kindness, and for a moment it seemed as if she were happy again, but soon the old wistful look returned and she became very quiet. After the deputation had been lavishly entertained they returned home, loaded with presents. The little gnomes resumed their meeting, and one of the oldest stood and addressed the others:
"For a long time we have all seen our poor Queen languishing and becoming paler day by day. All we have done to brighten her life has failed and it is not necessary to say how deeply we all take this to heart. I have thought long and believe that today I have found a plan whereby we can restore happiness to our Queen and bring the prosperity of gladness to the land once more. You have all seen the noble throng of young knights who paid the Flower King's respects to our dear Queen. When I beheld that brilliant procession I suddenly remembered that the King's younger brother was here at the head of a similar deputation. His noble bearing must have made a deep impression upon the heart and mind of our beautiful Queen whose soul is yearning for companions of her own age and rank. Her loneliness began when the Prince and his entourage returned home again last year, for the twain were much together while the visit lasted; and it is true that he was her equal in youth and beauty, as well as goodness of heart.
"So I feel sure that if we could send a secret embassy to the King of the Flowers and tell him how melancholy our Queen is these days, he will understand and suggest the only possible remedy, and I need not say what that is. Moreover, one of the nobles in today's deputation told me that the young Prince spends a great deal of time looking wistfully in the direction of our country. This worries his brother, the King greatly who sees the Prince getting paler every day and as listless as our beloved Queen. For this reason he would not give permission for the Prince to accompany this year's delegation. With all their wisdom the famous and learned doctors of the Flower Land, such as the wise Owl and the sagacious Crane, have failed in spite of all their secret and magical herbs and potions to restore the young Prince's health and vigour. It will therefore be plain to all of you that our lovely Queen and the noble Prince are both pining away with love for One another, and that it is our duty to do what we can to bring them together. Let us go forth and disentangle their knotted skein of desire and rend their robes of disquiet."
After a short period of deliberation it was agreed that three of the eldest and wisest gnomes, including the speaker, would go as ambassadors to the King. And so the three gnomes departed on their mission which, to conceal their purpose from the Queen, would lead them through the secret underground passages which connect all the realms of Fairyland. They were well armed and very well prepared though who can ever say with certainty that his best precautions cannot be prejudiced by the pranks of frolicsome fate, but let that pass. After travelling for several miles in pitch darkness, which was only relieved by means of the inexhaustible magic torches made of condensed Starlight which the gnomes always carry, they arrived at the underground City of the Sylphs, who are the fairies of the air and live in the eastern part of the earth. They are not made of the same material as human beings, but composed of the purest atoms of air only. They are very graceful beings, but cruel, wilful and wild. Their bodies are transparent and shimmer with soft opalescent colours. Long, flowing gauzy robes flutter around them in the currents of air and they can move as fast as a thought, which is even faster than light. They permit no one to invade their dominions; neither above nor below the earth's crust, for below the earth's crust there are vast empty spaces too! Sylphs can see further than eagles and keep watch on the other sorts of fairies, and whenever they manage to catch one they blow it up with air until it bursts. Our gnomes did not relish such a fate, so they crept along very carefully and stealthily as only gnomes know how to do, keeping in the shadows as much as possible; but when they were nearly through the City, a group of floating sentries espied them, and with a terrific SWOOP they dashed down and surrounded our trio. Fortunately the gnomes knew the right spell to paralyse the Air Sylphs, and by breathing heavily towards the East, the West, the North and the South they put the Sylphs to flight and made good their escape.
After travelling further they arrived at the Land of underground Rivers and Lakes in the West where the Water Nymphs and Undines dwell. As long as the gnomes remained on dry earth the Nymphs could not harm them, but, as there were several streams and a great lake to be crossed, the utmost care was needed to avoid the Water Nymphs, who are made entirely of tiny particles of vapour. Should they be captured, the Water Nymphs would drag them down into their watery kingdom and place them as curiosities in one of their crystal museums, or, if out of temper, they might cut them up into very small pieces and feed them to their pet fishes. On the whole Water Nymphs are more gentle than the Sylphs of the Air, but there are some who are less kindly than others, and if one of these should capture the gnomes no one could say what might happen. There are all sorts of weird and unexpected surprises in Fairyland and it is advisable to always be very careful. At first everything went well and several streams had been crossed without mishap, until they arrived at the great Lake. But when they were in the middle, crossing on a small raft made from dry rushes, they were seen, and from all sides the Undines rose up from below the waves and surrounded the frail craft. Some of them took hold of the raft, and shaking it with all their might tried to dislodge our three friends so that they would be able to drag them under. But our little gnomes were equal to the situation, and opening a bag they had with them, took out handfuls of ashes of incense, and throwing this far and wide in all directions blinded the Water Nymphs who cannot withstand this powerful magic. And so our friends, rowing as fast as they could, reached the other side of the great Lake before the bad tempered fairies could recover their presence of mind. Their perilous quest now led to the North and the land of the Earth Goblins.
Although the gnomes were also inhabitants of the inner earth, they spent most of their time on the surface, and being an entirely different race great enmity existed between them and the goblins, who are a mean and spiteful, jealous folk, made entirely of particles of Earth, slime and mud. They have horrible, grey bodies which smell like stale and damp dungeons, and their bulging eyes have the same expression as those of a dead codfish. The gnomes knew that if the goblins captured them, all would be lost, and this made them more careful than ever. They did not dare to descend into the subterranean galleries which go right down to the centre of the earth and are filled with goblins who guard the great treasures of precious metals, minerals and rare jewels of all kinds. Their only chance lay in staying on the surface of the Goblin country (if one could call it a surface, being so deep down in the earth), but although they managed to escape from the goblins themselves, they could not evade the watchfulness of the vigilant and ferocious red and green dragons. These monstrous creatures are kept by the goblins like humans keep guard dogs. Unluckily one of the gnomes trod on a dry twig which was heard by a savage dragon (fortunately chained up) who at once gave the alarm. The gnomes quickly took out their magic flutes, for dragons can be charmed into silence with music. Softly the gnomes piped away, but it was too late. Swarms of goblins came rushing along from all sides, and in a few moments they were surrounded, firmly bound with strong fetters and carried off in triumph to a deep cave.
They looked at each other in despair, for it seemed that they had failed in their mission. After they had been in their dank prison for a while, a prey to dismal reflections, they suddenly heard a soft tapping coming from the back of the cave. The gnomes and their friends and allies, the pixies and brownies, have a special code of taps or raps by means of which they can talk to each other across vast distances in their underground galleries, and it now appeared that help was at hand. A pixie spy had witnessed their capture from a secret spot, and he was now signalling to the gnomes, saying that he had sent for help and that soon a large army of his friends and the brownies would come to the rescue. After a little while a distant sound of shouting was heard, and the tumult grew in volume as it came nearer and nearer. The pixies and brownies were fighting the goblins and killing them in great numbers, and although the goblins lit great fires in which they burned a death-dealing incense made of sulphur, scammony and asafoetida, trying to drive back the invaders, the pixies and brownies got nearer and nearer, until a last stand was made outside the cave by the goblins.
Meanwhile our three gnomes had managed to escape from their bonds and were watching the battle anxiously. The pixies were now throwing garlands, twined of Cyprus, ash, and hellebore at the goblins, and as these garlands are very poisonous, the goblins realized that the fight was lost, but not wishing to give up their prisoners, they sent three executioners to the cave to slay the gnomes. But these wicked killers did not know that the gnomes had broken their bonds and when they entered the cave, the three gnomes stretched forth their death-dealing rings, set with onyx (which will kill any goblin), and the executioners fell as if struck by lightening. The battle was over, and with great rejoicings the pixies and brownies escorted our three gnomes to the borders of the Goblin country. After thanking their rescuers, they went on their way to the South, towards the country of the Fire Salamanders.
Now commenced the most dangerous part of their journey, for the Salamanders are entirely made of atoms of red-hot fire which nothing can withstand, and they are even swifter than thought in their flights, whilst little escapes the penetrating gaze of their great glowing eyes. The gnomes hoped they would pass this trial too, aided by their knowledge of various magical exorcisms. Just as the Earth Goblins can be destroyed if you sprinkle them with water, which turns them into mud, the Salamanders can be killed by casting upon them a mixture of salt, incense, sulphur, camphor, and white resin. This magic recipe is the only thing which affects them, and only the fairies know the right spells that go with the mixture when it is cast. The gnomes had been taken by surprise by the Goblins, but this time they were prepared for anything, and they kept the bags of the deadly medicine to hand for instant use.
For a time all went well, but when our friends reached the middle of the Salamander country, and were running swiftly through a narrow gorge between two rocky escarpments, the ground suddenly gave way and they tumbled into a large, deep hole it was impossible to climb out from. Now it really seemed that all was lost. The precious contents of the poison bags were scattered in their fall and they were now utterly defenceless. Neither could they reckon on any help from friends or allies, for no one dares to enter the country of those fierce Salamanders or give them battle. Soon the gnomes were discovered and dragged forth to appear before the dreadful king of the Fire-sprites who was called Dzin. He sat on a white-hot throne, fanning himself with a huge flame, his breath hissing dreadfully, blowing forth billowing clouds of hot scalding steam, and his red incandescent eyes glared frightfully all around his dread domain. Turning to the prisoners he hissed menacingly, his voice rising to a bellowing roar: "What are you miserable earth worms doing in MY country?" Trembling, the poor little gnomes told him that they were only passing through on a peaceful mission to the King of the Flowers. As the king did not immediately reply the eldest of the gnomes addressed him eloquently on bended knees: "Oh, dust of roses, divine king of the eternal flambeau, lord of the flames and the fire, master of the blaze, who resembles the fresh young cypress, the rustling of whose beautiful leaves is like a vintage wine of melody when thou speakest, covering with honey of sweet honour the humble traveller who passes through thy seraphic domain, each of thy words is perfumed with the auspicious odour of thy wisdom. We are but harmless voyagers who crave thy regal indulgence to pass on towards our distant goal." Thus he tried to play the Chess of Fate within the Banquet Hall of Evil — vainly hoping for at least a stalemate.
"Ha, Ha," cried the king in a voice like a maddened bullfrog, suffering from the unbearable pangs of unrequited passion of an evasive lady of the same species. "You prater of pernicious piffle, you silvery-tongued serpent of smooth hypocrisy, I see through your play of flattering cajoleries and am not deceived by the fluency of your elocution; but tell me: where is your permit to pass through Our country?"
"Alas, we haven't one, your Majesty," was the reply, knowing full well that even if they had asked they would never have been given permission.
"Then you are telling lies," shrieked the king. "You have come to spy on us and Our People. All the spies we catch are barbecued on a slow fire, and we collect the fat that we fry out of them to make a magic ointment, which we rub ourselves with when we feel the cold. You shall become the fuel for my fire, the fat of my leanness — HAH!! We shall uproot your tree of craftiness, thou malodorous minions, submerged in the abyss of discovered deceit! You shall satisfy the cravings of my ardency and become the warp and woof of my carpet of desire upon which my royal foot will step in prideful condescension, and you shall squirm beneath the weight of my disdain. Take them away and fry them at once," he commanded in a thunderous voice, and slaked his everlasting thirst with a draught of molten gold.
The three gnomes threw themselves down in front of the throne, and the eldest said: "We know the justice of your verdict, Oh divine and mighty king, and we submit to your will, because there is nothing else for us to do, but as we travelled a long way and are covered with dust and perspiration, would your great Majesty graciously give us permission to wash ourselves before we are fried, so that the magic ointment you make from our fat shall be all the more pure and efficacious?"
"Very well," said the King, "your prayer is granted, for there is some truth in what you say this time, but you shall wash yourself in OUR presence, for We are well aware of your low and artful cunning and you need not think that We shall allow you out of our sight so that, perchance, you might hoodwink our trusted subjects." Whereupon, he ordered that a pail full of water should be brought in at once. No sooner had it been placed in front of the throne, than the gnomes all jumped in together and with a big splash disappeared without trace. King Dzin screamed with rage and stamped his feet so hard in his frenzy that fiery sparks flew in all directions and his faithful subjects fled in terror. But it was no use; the three gnomes were gone and he never saw them again.
What happened to our three friends? You will remember that they had been chosen to go on this mission to the King of the Flowers because they were very wise. Being wise they had at their command all sorts of wonderful magic, as you will have noted already, but there was one special spell that might only be used in cases of dire emergency when there was no other hope of escape. That was the disappearing-in-the-water magic which you have just witnessed, and when next we see the gnomes they have arrived safely at the court of the King of the Flowers. They were soon admitted into the beautiful rose-coloured marble palace, surrounded by lovely cool fountains. A multicoloured carpet of blossoms covered all the paths, and they were everlasting, as were those of the peaches and nectarines that grew in profusion on rustic porches and arcades, scenting the atmosphere with their heavenly perfume. And so our ambassadors entered the palace, which had thousands of beautiful rooms, peopled with the flowers of the whole earth, and beyond, and every flower had a face. For in the Realm of the Flower King all the flowers have human, or even animal forms; and some had smiling faces like the mischievous pansy, others had adoring countenances like those of the sunflowers when they gaze in admiration upon their Lord in the sky, and the faces of some were filled with love, like the rose which peeps between velvet leaves, awaiting the coming of her gallant. But still they retained all their floral characteristics, geometric perfection and splendour.
A number of wood violets were running busily to and fro. They were the special servants of the King and now and then they made joking or teasing remarks to the coy white-crowned daisies, who were the maids to the Queen. Pretty eyebrights flirted with dignified cuckoo flowers, and shiny golden dandelions eyed the modest wallflowers with merry glances, while the pale green clematis brought our three friends refreshing drinks made of the sweet nectar of the honeysuckle in the snowy cups of the water lily. After a while our gnomes were taken to a large dining room and regaled with a wonderful repast, consisting of delicious cakes, made from the pollen of wild berry blossoms and all sorts of differently scented salads of winter purslane and miner's lettuce from the cool mountain streams. There were many other delicacies, and after the magnificent meal, feeling entirely refreshed, they were led at last into the presence of the King. He was also known to be a great Master of Wisdom to whom all the divine mysteries of nature had been revealed. His mighty brow was encircled by a shining platinum band in the middle of which, just above his forehead, was fastened a luminous brilliant as large as a chestnut in its case, and it was dazzling to behold.
Bowing with deep respect, the gnomes approached the throne, knelt before the King and kissed the hem of his purple, gold-engirdled cloak, but he raised them up immediately and spoke to them kindly, saying: "What has given us the great privilege of receiving an embassy from the Realms of Our beloved Elfin Queen?" The leader of the gnomes then spoke and sketched in a few dignified words the happiness in which the subjects of the Elfin Queen had hitherto lived, and how she was now pining away without anyone being able to relieve her sorrow. And he added: "We have come without her knowledge in the hope that the wisdom of your Majesty may suggest a remedy." The King listened with sympathy and understanding and a kindly gleam shone from his eyes. When he was further informed of the time when the trouble commenced it was obvious that he had arrived at a decision. When the chief ambassador had ended his speech, the King answered that it gave him much pleasure to be able to say that he knew of a sure antidote for all these ills, which would certainly restore health and happiness to the Elfin Queen and her subjects.
Of course, the three gnomes understood quite well what he meant, and they were overjoyed to know that their mission had been successful. After receiving presents and other tokens of goodwill they returned to their own country, but overland this time, and their comrades received them with gladness when they heard the good news; and our three friends, especially the leader, received their full share of honours and thanks. Meanwhile the King of the Flowers had given orders to prepare one of his special Airships for a most important journey. This marvellous vehicle consisted of a beautiful gondola, constructed entirely from the lightest flower petals and drawn with gossamer threads by a team of a thousand dragonflies. A rose and light blue flower fairy was its pilot, looking very sumptuous, and the passengers were several courtiers who, when they arrived at the Queen's Castle, presented a letter from the King to the Elfin Queen. In this letter he asked for her hand in marriage on behalf of his younger brother, the charming Flower Prince, and the blushing Elfin Queen handed the messengers her acceptance. Now commenced a time of great excitement and busy preparations for the coming wedding, and in both kingdoms every one was in a festive mood in anticipation of the royal event. The Queen had fully recovered her health and the young Prince was once again in possession of his youthful vigour. The wise doctor Owl and the learned doctor Crane were highly mystified at this seeming miracle and kept on shaking their erudite heads in great astonishment to the amusement of the whole court.
At last the auspicious day dawned and the King of the Flowers arrived, for he intended to conduct the ceremony himself. During the morning a procession formed at the Gates of the Elfin Queen's Castle led by a deputation of the most eminent representatives of the gnomes, stepping forth in a very dignified manner and feeling thoroughly pleased with their own importance. Our three old friends headed this group of course and were greeted with loud cheers by the admiring onlookers, for, after all, it was entirely due to their devotion to the Queen that this marvellous festival was made possible. Next came a group of courtiers from the King's entourage while high overheard flew his numerous Airships. Some were drawn by bees, some by ladybirds, some by jewelled humming birds, and others by all sorts of butterflies. Behind the King's courtiers followed the King with his Queen in their resplendent coach, drawn by twelve green lizards, sweeping their long and sinuous tails in sensuous delight, just as if they themselves were going to their own weddings. At last came the Elfin Queen's wonderful coach of rosy pearl, containing the happy and radiant bride, surrounded by a great swarm of lovely Elfins, whose shining wings reflected the golden sunlight. A regiment of the Queen's army, consisting of huge blue, green and red monster beetles armed with formidable horns, formed the guard of honour and closed the procession.
The bride was dressed in a gown resplendent with the satin from lilies and the pale pink of azaleas, trimmed with thousands of little seed pearls and glittering blue sequins. Her bridal veil was spun by the Elves from the finest thistledown, and shone like the moon on a summer night; and she was altogether divine. On the borders of the mystic fairy wood the gnomes had built a wonderful chapel. Here the whole of the happy populace and the guests gathered together to witness the solemn nuptials. When the long procession arrived a deafening cheer went up, which was acknowledged by the Elfin Queen with tears of gladness in her lovely eyes of blue. There the Flower Prince awaited her; a very Knight indeed, such as only can be found in Fairyland. When the people beheld him renewed cheering broke out, which he accepted and acknowledged with quiet and simple dignity. Rushing forth he assisted his Bride from her coach and she looked like a star — a Moon —— nay....a SUN of Beauty, her eyes filled with the diamond dew of Love, utterly delightful and bewitching. After he had led his Bride into the Chapel, the King of the Flowers made a speech in which he wished the young couple a future full of happiness, prosperity, health, and everlasting youth and power.
When this was over, the Prince placed a magnificent ring on the Bride's finger, and the King joined their hands and gave them his Blessing. The Bride and bridegroom now walked down the aisle, to the strains of the most perfect Fairy Wedding March that was ever composed, and it was accompanied by a choir of million birds, singing as if their hearts would burst with ravishment. The whole congregation now joined the procession, after the bridal pair had entered the coach, and proceeded to the reception at the Castle to which the Elfin Queen had invited as many of the people as it would hold. When they left the Chapel, the huge laburnum trees which lined the route shed aureate showers of soft petals upon the happy pair. An omen of the Sun-like perfection of their future life together. The inner rooms of the castle had all been decorated with purple sage, white hawthorn, yellow buttercups, red poppies, and white ones, mixed with the mauve of wild thyme, and everything looked very festal and superb.
Before the festivities commenced, the Elfin Queen commanded our three old friends, the gnomes, to present themselves to her. Her face was radiant with happiness, and in her right hand she held a sceptre of silver birch, beset with brilliants. The whole gathering looked on in breathless expectation as the three gnomes knelt before her with bowed heads. To eldest of the three she said: "In gratitude for your great services and your sagacity we invest you with the Knighthood of the Order of 'Wisdom', and we appoint you keeper of Solomon's Seal, and we bestow upon you the Order of the 'Golden Rod'. Rise, Sir Knight." To the second gnome she said: "In consideration of all you have done for us, we invest you with the Knighthood in the order of 'Service'. And bestow upon you the Star of the Pink sainfoin. Rise, Sir Knight." The third gnome she addressed thus: "As you have shown yourself a true Servant to Us, we invest you with the Knighthood in the Order of 'Loyalty'. And we grant to you the diamond Cross of the Yellow Celandine. Rise, Sir Knight." Deafening cheers now broke out from the whole assembly, and our three dear friends retired in great confusion!
The spectacular Banquet now commenced and a plenitude of all good things flowed forth. The feast continued all day, and in the evening of the day the busy gnomes gave a great firework display and there was little sleep that night for anybody, and the very Pleiades shone like crescent moons and full. Thus it happened that two loving hearts were united in eternal happiness through the Wisdom, the unselfish Service and the Loyalty of three who risked their lives to bring gladness and content to others, and this is the finest wisdom of all. The good wishes of the King of the Flowers came true, and as there is no such thing as 'death' amongst the Elves in Fairyland as long as they are happy, the fortunate Queen of the Elves and her husband are still alive today, and they reign over a magical land whose inhabitants worship them from morning till night, and from night till morning.
Perched upon the beams of heaven's golden Light, like a Bird of Paradise, the great god of all the fairies keeps his eternal Vigil, pouring joy and good fortune upon that happy Realm and everlasting Life. For the Harmony of the Soul and Mind is ever reflected in our environment, like a mirror may become the reservoir of those archetypal beatitudes towards which its external part is directed, pouring back that glory upon the veiled Universe of Fairies...and, mayhap, upon some awakened beings in the world of Man.
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