The little old man had been playing with his eyes closed, but as the songs grew louder he opened them and beheld the ring of little figures, with his sister holding hands with two of them. And, rising from the bed, still playing the childhood songs of long ago, he walked to the center of the room. As he did so, the figures rose in the air and seemed to grow lighter and larger. And suddenly the scene changed! He was out in the woods, with lofty trees towering above him, while all about, laughing and talking, were hundreds of little fairies, gnomes and sprites, and there, too, were the playmates of long ago, just as he had seen them when he had closed his eyes and played in the attic.
And there, too, was his sister as she had been when a child. He looked at himself, and lo! he was no longer wrinkled and old. He was young again!
In his gladness he danced with joy, and catching his sister to his breast he kissed her again and again.
And, looking about him with shining eyes, he again drew his bow across the strings and played a tune so lively and full of sweet happiness the childhood friends caught hands and danced in a circle, and the little sprites, elves, gnomes and fairies caught hands and danced around the children, and as they passed before the brother he caught a mischievous glance from the eyes of one of the little fairies, and he knew in a moment she was the one who had played the old woman, and who had given him the iron ring....
The people who lived in the room below the attic room missed the little old man’s shuffling step, and, not hearing it for two days, they told the landlady, a kindly soul who had let the brother and sister have the attic room free of charge, and all went up to investigate....
They rapped upon the attic door. All was quiet within. Timidly they opened the door and looked in. There upon the floor lay an old rusty iron ring. It was the Fairy Ring.
MR. AND MRS. THUMBKINS
Thumbkins ran beneath the bushes and down the tiny path until he came to where Tommy Grasshopper sat upon a blade of grass swinging in the breeze.
“Have you seen Mrs. Thumbkins, Tommy Grasshopper?” Thumbkins called.
“I have been asleep,” replied Tommy Grasshopper, “And I haven’t seen her!”
“Oh dear! Oh dear!” cried Thumbkins. “She has not been home all day!”
“Perhaps she went over to see Granpa Tobackyworm!” suggested Tommy Grasshopper, as he flicked his wings and made the blade of grass swing up and down.
So Thumbkins thanked Tommy Grasshopper and ran over
Granpa Tobackyworm was sitting upon a blade of grass, swinging in the breeze and smoking his old clay pipe.
“Oh, Granpa Tobackyworm! Have you seen Mrs. Thumbkins? She has not been at home all day and I can not find her!” cried Thumbkins.