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The Fairy Spring
by [?]

“So do I,” said Skip, going to sit by his friend and watch for the child, while Brownie peeped through a chink in the wall that she might not be frightened at sight of him, small as he was.

“She is coming! she is coming!” called Iris, who had flown to the railing of the rustic bridge, and danced for joy as a little figure came slowly down the winding lane.

A pretty child, with hair like sunshine, eyes blue as the sky, cheeks like the wild roses nodding to her on either side of the way, and a voice as sweet as the babbling brook she loved to sing with. May was never happier than when alone in the woods; and every morning, with her cup, and a little roll of bread in her basket, she wandered away to some of her favorite nooks, to feast on berries, play with the flowers, talk to the birds, and make friends with all the harmless wood-creatures who soon knew and welcomed her.

She had often wondered what the brook sang, and tried to catch the words it seemed to be calling to her. But she never quite understood till this day, for when she came to the bridge and saw her friends–blue-bird, squirrel, and dragon-fly–waiting for her, she smiled, and waved her hand to them, and just at that moment she heard the song of the brook quite plainly,–

“I am calling, I am calling,
As I ripple, run, and sing,
Come up higher, come up higher,
Come and find the fairy spring.
Who will listen, who will listen
To the wonders I can tell,
Of a palace built of sunshine,
Where the sweetest spirits dwell?–
Singing winds, and magic waters,
Golden shadows, silver rain,
Spells that make the sad heart happy,
Sleep that cures the deepest pain.
Cheeks that bloom like summer roses,
Smiling lips and eyes that shine,
Come to those who climb the mountain,
Find and taste the fairy wine.
I am calling, I am calling,
As I ripple, run, and sing;
Who will listen, who will listen,
To the story of the spring?”

“Where is it; oh, where is it?” cried May, when the song ended; for she longed to see this lovely place and enjoy these beautiful things.

“Go up higher, go up higher,
Far beyond the waterfall.
Follow Echo up the mountain,
She will answer to your call.
Bird and butterfly and blossom,
All will help to show the way;
Lose no time, the day is going,
Find the spring, dear little May,”

sung the brook; and the child was enchanted to hear the sweet voice talking to her of this pleasant journey.

“Yes, I will go at once. I am ready, and have no fear, for the woods are full of friends, and I long to see the mountain top; it must be so lovely up there,” she said, looking through the green arches where the brook came dancing down over the rocks, far away to the gray peak, hidden in clouds.

There lay the fairy spring, and she was going to find it. No one would miss her, for she often played all day in the forest and went home with the lambs at night. The brook said, “Make haste!” so away she went over the wall, with Skip leaping before her, as if to show the safest stones to set her little feet on. Iris waved the raspberry-sprays, to attract her with the ripe fruit, and when the basket was nearly full, Blue-bird flew from tree to tree to lead her on further into the wood. Brownie dodged behind the rocks and fallen logs, waiting for his turn to come, as he had a fine surprise for the little traveller by and by.