“Its Autumn!” said Bumble. “What will you do when Winter comes?”
“I don’t know. What do the birds do?” “They go to the Fairy Islands.”
“Mayn’t I go?”
“You aren’t a bird or a fairy,” objected the visitor.
“But I’m fairyish, you know.”
“Then you may, I suppose.”
Birdling got up, ready to start at once.
“How do the birds get there, Bumble?” “They fly.”
“But I can’t fly!”
“Then you can’t go.”
“But you said I could if I was fairyish!”
“No, I said you might. You may, but you can’t. See?”
Birdling shook his head.
“Where are the Fairy Islands?” he asked.
“Beyond the Deep Sea.”
“Could one go in a boat?”
Then Birdling remembered the Little Dipper, lying forlorn on the sands, beyond the reaches of the tide. Perhaps some boy had picked her up, or perhaps the waves had taken her—or perhaps she was still in her harbor!
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Neatly he folded some mullen-leaves, for sailors need warm clothes and blankets, and with these over his arm, he began the long journey from the hill-top to the harbor. It was ten fairy-miles of rathe…