“What is the matter?” asked Susie very politely. “Can I help you?”
“Thank you, my dear child,” went on the little old lady. “If you would be so kind as to reach me down a stem of goldenrod, I would be very much obliged to you.”
“What do you want with it?” asked Susie, wondering who the little old lady could possibly be.
“Why, I want it for a fairy wand,” she answered. “I have lost mine.”
“Are you a fairy, too?” asked the little rabbit girl, and she began to wonder what would happen next as she broke off a stem for the old lady.
“Indeed I am,” replied the little old lady. “I am a fairy godmother. I have charge of all the other fairies, the blue fairy and the red fairy and the green fairy, and all the other colors, including the fairy prince, who used to be a mud turtle.”
“But, if you are a fairy,” asked Susie, “why couldn’t you make that goldenrod come down to you, when you weren’t tall enough to reach up to it?”
“Hush!” exclaimed the fairy godmother, for she really was one, as you shall see. “Hush, my dear child! It’s a great secret. Don’t tell any one,” and she put her right hand over her mouth and her left hand over her ear, and held the goldenrod under her arm. “You see, I lost my magic wand,” she went on, “and I couldn’t do any more magic until I got a new one. Now I am all right, and to reward you you may come with me.”
“But I have to get home with the bread and sugar and yeast cake,” said Susie.
“No,” spoke the fairy godmother, “you will not need to be in a hurry. Besides, what I will show you will happen in an instant, and you will get home in time after all.”
So she waved the goldenrod in the air, and once more the silver trumpet sounded: “Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!” and, all of a sudden, Susie found herself lifted up, and there she and the fairy godmother were sailing right through the air on a big burdock leaf. At first Susie was afraid, but she soon got over her fright and enjoyed the ride.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“We are going to where the fairies live,” answered the little old woman, but she seemed larger now, and the old dress she had worn had changed into a cloak of gold and silver with diamonds and rubies on it all over, like frost on a cold morning.
So pretty soon—oh, I guess in about as long as it would take to eat a peanut, or, maybe, two, if they didn’t come to fairyland. At least that’s what Susie thought it was, for there were fairies all about. The red fairy was there, and the green, and the blue one. And the blue fairy asked: “Have you your ring yet, Susie?” Then Susie said she had, but she didn’t want to talk any more, for so many wonderful things were going on.
The fairies were skipping about, leaping here and there, some riding on the backs of birds and butterflies and bumblebees, and some running in and out of holes in the ground.