Cruise Of The Little Dipper Page 22

Three days later, when the feasting was over, and the hundreds of golden dishes had been washed and dried, Birdling was playing on the beach with the fairies and he saw a ship out at Sea.

“Look,” he said to his friend Trick, “there is a ship just like mine, only a hundred times bigger! That isn’t a fairy ship. How do you suppose she came into these waters?”

“Oh, that is a ship which came here long ago,” said Trick. “Shag caught it and tied it it to the light-house rock. It has been there for years and years. I suppose the storm which Shag made when he was angry at you, must have torn the rope and set the poor vessel free. Do you suppose the people on board are still alive?”

“I’ll go and see,” said Birdling. “Of course I’m very small, but I might be able to help them.” So he took the Little Dipper and sailed out to the schooner.

“Heigh-ho!” he cried, standing up and putting his hands to his mouth. “Heigh-ho!”

Somebody certainly was alive on the ship; a tall captain dressed in oil skins, stood up in the bow and shouted back:

“We are the Big Dipper! Who are you?”

“The Little Dipper! And you must be my father,” cried Birdling, dancing for joy.

At first the Captain could not believe his eyes and ears, but when Birdling stood on his right hand (he had the good ship Little Dipper in the left one) he looked at him very closely, and saw that it really was his son.

“Oh Father, now we can go home together,” exclaimed the boy, hugging his father’s thumb. “But will you wait till I go and say goodby to my fairy friends?”

“Yes, I will wait,” said the Captain, “for you should never leave your friends without saying goodby and thank you.”

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Cruise Of The Little Dipper Page 23

The fairies were sorry to see Birdling go, they let him take along all the treasures he wanted from the King’s storeroom and helped him carry them down to the harbor and put them in his hold. He too…

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