"Pondering shadows, colors, clouds
TO ELLEN EMERSON,
FOR WHOM THEY WERE FANCIED, THESE FLOWER FABLES ARE INSCRIBED,
BY HER FRIEND,
Boston, Dec. 9, 1854.
THE summer moon shone brightly down upon the sleeping earth, while far away from mortal eyes danced the Fairy folk. Fire-flies hung in bright clusters on the dewy leaves, that waved in the cool night-wind; and the flowers stood gazing, in very wonder, at the little Elves, who lay among the fern-leaves, swung in the vine-boughs, sailed on the lake in lily cups, or danced on the mossy ground, to the music of the hare-bells, who rung out their merriest peal in honor of the night.
Under the shade of a wild rose sat the Queen and her little Maids of Honor, beside the silvery mushroom where the feast was spread.
"Now, my friends," said she, "to wile away the time till the bright moon goes down, let us each tell a tale, or relate what we have done or learned this day. I will begin with you, Sunny Lock," added she, turning to a lovely little Elf, who lay among the fragrant leaves of a primrose.
With a gay smile, "Sunny Lock" began her story.
"As I was painting the bright petals of a blue bell, it told me this tale."
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