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 took a bag of gold for his father and a little one for himself, besides the oyster-locket with the golden chamber inside, which he had won from Shag, and a little pearly crown for his friend the Bumble-bee at home. He even took a gold thimble for his great-aunt and a little silver bell for the Cat, to show that he bore no malice.

“And here is some fairy wine you must drink when you are safely aboard your father’s ship,” said the King, handing Birdling a tiny vial just as he said goodby. “It will make you grow up again and be as big as other boys. We will miss you, Birdling. Farewell!”

So Birdling, a life-sized boy once more, went home with his father whistling happy songs. As his whistle died away in the distance, the Fairy Islands sank down into the water, the waves closed over them, and you could not even guess where the three snowy peaks and the green plains and sunny harbors had been.

And no one has ever seen them since.

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