The Fairy's New Year Gift
by Emilie Poulsson
Two little boys were at play one day
Fairy suddenly appeared before them and said, "I
have been sent to give you New Year presents."
She handed to each child a package,
and in an
instant was gone.
Carl and Philip opened the packages and found
in them two beautiful books, with pages as pure
and white as the snow when it first falls.
Many months passed and the Fairy came again
to the boys. "I have brought you each another
book?" said she, "and will take the first ones back
to Father Time who sent them to you."
"May I not keep mine a little longer?" asked
Philip. "I have hardly thought about it lately.
I'd like to paint something on the last leaf that
"No," said the Fairy; "I must take it just as it
"I wish that I could look through mine just
once," said Carl; "I have only seen one page at a
time, for when the leaf turns over it sticks fast,
and I can never open the book at more than one
place each day."
"You shall look at your book," said the Fairy,
"and Philip, at his." And she lit for them two
little silver lamps, by the light of which they saw
the pages as she turned them.
The boys looked in wonder. Could it be that
these were the same fair books she had given
them a year ago? Where were the clean, white
pages, as pure and beautiful as the snow when it
first falls? Here was a page with ugly, black spots
and scratches upon it; while the very next page
showed a lovely little picture. Some pages were
decorated with gold and silver and gorgeous
colors, others with beautiful flowers, and still
others with a rainbow of softest, most delicate
brightness. Yet even on the most beautiful of the
pages there were ugly blots and scratches.
Carl and Philip looked up at the Fairy at last.
"Who did this?" they asked. "Every page was
white and fair as we opened to it; yet now there is
not a single blank place in the whole book!"
"Shall I explain some of the pictures to you?"
said the Fairy, smiling at the two little boys.
"See, Philip, the spray of roses blossomed on this
page when you let the baby have your playthings;
and this pretty bird, that looks as if it were singing
with all its might, would never have been on
this page if you had not tried to be kind and
pleasant the other day, instead of quarreling."
"But what makes this blot?" asked Philip.
"That," said the Fairy sadly; "that came when
you told an untruth one day, and this when you
did not mind mamma. All these blots and
scratches that look so ugly, both in your book
and in Carl's, were made when you were naughty.
Each pretty thing in your books came on its page
when you were good."
"Oh, if we could only have the books again!"
said Carl and Philip.
"That cannot be," said the Fairy. "See! they
are dated for this year, and they must now go back
into Father Time's bookcase, but I have brought
you each a new one. Perhaps you can make these
more beautiful than the others."
So saying, she vanished, and the boys were left
alone, but each held in his hand a new book open
at the first page.
And on the back of this book was written
in letters of gold, "For the New Year."