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A Garden Fantasy
by Maude H. Wilkinson
The Moon came slowly up over the hill and looked down on a mass of gaily colored flowers which were growing in an old-fashioned garden.
When the Moon saw the Blue Dragon-fly, for whom she was looking, her round face beamed brighter, and she said: "Blue Dragon-fly, it is time to get up."
Blue Dragon-fly was asleep in the heart of Pink-rose, but when the Moon spoke to him, he moved his wings a little, and went to sleep again.
"Is that the way you behave when I take the trouble to call you?" chuckled the Moon, as she looked at her dainty little friend of whom she was very fond. "I must make a brighter light and see if that will rouse you," she added as she sent a stronger ray to him.
Blue Dragon-fly opened one eye; closed it again, and went back to sleep.
The Moon looked very much puzzled and said: "Dear me, I wonder if there is anything the matter with him? He usually gets up at once when I call him."
"No, he is all right," replied Pink-rose, in whose heart Blue Dragon-fly was sleeping. "I wished him to stay here, so I have given him a large dose of perfume to make him sleep for a long time; then when I waken him, lie will have forgotten all about his work, and will stay with me. So please go away and leave us alone."
Pink-rose drew herself together in such a way that the Moon saw it was of no use to argue with her, for the little rose had folded her soft petals round Blue Dragon-fly like a curtain, which completely hid him from view.
"Well, well," mused the Moon to herself, "of course I do not blame Pink-rose for loving the little fellow, for we all do, but that is no reason why she should wish to keep him all to herself. I had no idea Pink-rose was so selfish. Anyway, seeing that Blue Dragon-fly asked me to awaken him, I must do so, and see that he goes to his work; but how shall I do it?"
The Moon remained quiet for a few minutes, wondering who might be able to help her. Then her eyes turned in the direction of a small village a short distance away.
"Hello, Breezie," she said, addressing a small puff of wind, "I see you are at your pranks as usual."
"Yes," replied Breezie laughing, "I am trying to blow this old man's hat off. Look!" and he gave a sharp puff that nearly did the trick. However, the old man was too quick for him, and caught his hat in time.
But Breezie was a persistent little fellow, and always liked to have his own way. He laughed and said: "Good for you, old fellow, but I shall get your hat yet." So after waiting a few seconds Breezie gave another unexpected puff; but again, the old man was too quick for him, and the wind did not get his hat.
After watching him a few minutes, the Moon whispered mysteriously: "Breezie, I know someone with whom you can have a better time."
"Indeed," replied Breezie, turning to the Moon for a moment. "I think that is hardly possible, for I am having a wonderful time right here."
Then the Moon beamed brighter, for she saw something that Breezie did not see. Just then the old man went up the steps leading to a large house, opened the door, and went in.
Now the Moon loves a joke, and a merry twinkle crept into her eyes as she remarked: "Perhaps you had better remain here, for you certainly are having great fun. I shall find your cousin instead."
Breezie turned a somersault as he replied: "Yes, I think so too, but thanks for the offer. Good-bye," he called, as he blew round to continue his pranks. When he saw the old man was not there, he became very boisterous, and roared: "Shivering icicles, here has he gone?"
"Behind that green door at the top of those steps," said the Moon with an unusually sweet smile. "Now you can come with me."
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Breezie twisted and turned for a few seconds, in a very bad mood, but seeing nothing could be done, he burst out laughing and replied: "It is all right with me. Now I am ready to give someone the best teasing he ever had," and he gave several more wild twists and turns.
"That is good," said the Moon, "I want you to waken Blue Dragon-fly, to whom Pink-rose has given an over-dose of perfume. You must creep around him and make him shiver. Then maybe his soft couch will not seem quite so comfortable. He lives a few miles from here in Mrs. Brown 's garden; I am sure you have been there many times."
Breezie shook with laughter as he said: "Indeed I have. I had a great time last winter teasing that nice fat old lady. I am only too glad to have an excuse to go there again, and renew our acquaintance. I will be there in a few minutes."
"Very good," said the Moon, as she turned toward the garden. A few seconds later Breezie blew in, full of mischief, and went from one flower to the other calling: "Blue Dragon-fly, where are you?"
The Moon watched Breezie's wild capers for a few minutes, and then said: "It is quite possible I can tell you where Blue Dragon-fly is."
"Of course you can," Breezie replied, as he danced lightly round a rose, "but I do not want you to tell me, for I am having a splendid game of hide and seek." Then he bounded off to another rose which he shook quite roughly, saying: "Is Blue Dragon-fly's perfumed couch hidden in your heart, Regal-rose?"
"No, Blue Dragon-fly did not favor me with his company. Go your way, you are disturbing my petals," Regal-rose replied in a peevish tone.
"My dear," Breezie whispered in a tantalizing way, "you look far more attractive when you are slightly ruffled. I really must loosen your petals a little more," and he gave her another playful shake.
"Go away, you rude fellow, or I shall prick you," said Regal-rose with a toss of her head.
"My dear, your prickly temper cannot hurt me. In fact, the more you prick me, the better I like it, for then I want to go on teasing you," and Breezie shook her so hard, that her silly dignity fell from her.
Breezie danced merrily round Regal-rose saying: "Now you look more like a regal rose. But I must go, for if I stayed with you, I might like you too well, and it would never do for Breezie to fall in love with anyone. Good-bye, my dear," Breezie called airily as he blew off to continue his pranks somewhere else.
"What a wild little fellow he is," thought the Moon. It may be a long time before he finds Blue Dragon-fly; perhaps it was not the wisest thing to have brought him here. There is no telling what damage he may do. I wonder what I had better do?"
The Moon looked around the garden hoping to find a solution to her problem. Suddenly she caught sight of the garden lawyer, Brown Owl, standing at the door of his house in the hollow stump of an old oak tree.
"Why of course he is the one to give me advice," thought the Moon. Then she called: "Brown Owl, I wonder if you can spare me a few minutes of your valuable time on a matter of great importance ?"
Brown Owl drew himself up with great dignity and blinking his eyes several times by way of a bow, replied slowly: "I am always glad to be of service to you, Madam Moon. What is the trouble ?"
"Thank you," said the Moon, "I felt sure you could help me. A terrible thing has happened. Blue Dragon-fly has been drugged by Pink-rose, who has suddenly turned very selfish and wishes to keep him to herself. She has locked him up in her heart and keeps him asleep with her perfume."
The owl settled himself comfortably, and fixing his large round eyes thoughtfully on the Moon remarked: "You did quite right in coming to me; this is a very serious matter, and will need much careful thought. I am the one to handle such a delicate affair. Please go away; I must be alone to deliberate over the case quietly and carefully."
Knowing that Brown Owl prided himself on his "slow but sure" method of thinking, the Moon after thanking him added most emphatically: "Blue Dragon-fly has most important work to do, and must be awakened within the next half-hour."
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Drawing himself up a little straighter, the Owl remarked: "Please do not try to hurry me, for it is against my nature to think a matter over quickly. I am sure Blue Dragon-fly did not take time to think, before he entered Pink-rose's heart. I have often told him he was too hasty, and I ...."
Once started on that subject, the owl would go on for hours, if he could get anyone to listen, and realizing that time was precious. the Moon hastened to interrupt him; "Yes, I know how you feel on that subject, Brown Owl, but I repeat, that if you do not find a solution of the problem in thirty minutes, your thinking will have been of no use," and she turned away quite annoyed.
With a look of mournful wonder in his big yellow eyes, the owl slowly shook his head and sedately entered his house to ponder over the matter in his own way.
Just then the Moon caught sight of Honey-bee, whom she was amazed to see about at that hour.
"What on earth are you doing out of your hive, Honey-bee?" called the Moon. "All good bees should be at home this time of night."
"Hush," whispered Honey-bee. "Please do not speak so loud. I know what you say is true, but I am so tired of making honey that I am playing hookey."
Looking very serious, the Moon remarked: "What would happen if Mother Nature saw you?"
"Oh, please do not mention it to her," pleaded Honey-bee, looking around nervously.
The Moon smiled, saying: "I never tell tales, unless I am obliged to. But probably it is a good thing you did leave the hive, for I need someone to help me, and perhaps you will do."
"Yes, indeed, if I can help you in any way, I shall be glad to do it," replied Honey-bee, very much relieved.
Then the Moon told her about Blue Dragon-fly, adding: "If you could get inside Pink-rose 's petals, and buzz loud enough, I believe you could awaken him."
"Dear me," the little bee replied flippantly, "what strange creatures roses are; you never know what they are going to do next. We certainly must do something at once. The situation needs quick action and thought, and I am the one to do it. I shall fly right over and demand that Pink-rose release Blue Dragon-fly at once. If she refuses I shall tell her that no bee will ever visit her again, and that will be a great disgrace." And off she flew.
The Moon watched her go with a look of despair.
"I am sure she will never succeed," mused the Moon sadly. "Honey-bee acts too quickly, and the Owl too slowly; what a pity they cannot be put in a bag and shaken up together. There is only one thing to do; I must try and find someone else to help me."
After a moment 's thought, her round face beamed with pleasure.
"How stupid of me, to have wasted all this precious time," she exclaimed. "Why did I not think of Love-bird? He is the very one to help me. He is always so charming, and has such coaxing ways with him, that he does more to keep the garden in order than anyone else."
Turning her bright rays on the slender drooping branches of a beautiful weeping-willow tree in the corner of the garden, the Moon called softly: "Love-bird, I am sorry to disturb you, but there is a serious matter which needs straightening out; you have always been so good in helping us when things went wrong, that I felt I must come to you."
Love-bird looked up at the Moon, and replied in a soft, happy little voice: "You know, Madam Moon, there is nothing I really enjoy better than unraveling tangles; tell me all about it."
As Love-bird listened, a sad look crept into his eyes, and putting his head on one side he remarked: "Poor Pink-rose, does she not realize that keeping Blue Dragon-fly to herself will never really make her happy? I will go over at once, have a quiet talk with her, and show her a better way." So, kissing his little mate, and telling her where he was going, Love-bird flew off.
"At last, I have found the right one," beamed the Moon breathing a great sigh of relief.
When Love-bird reached Pink-rose, he could hear Honey-bee as she talked, buzzed, and threatened Pink-rose; but the more noise she made the closer Pink-rose drew her petals together and refused to listen. Finally, Honey-bee turned to the Moon, saying in a disgusted voice: "I have done all I can to make Pink-rose listen to me. If I cannot do anything with her, no one else can, so I think you are foolish to waste any more time trying to save Blue Dragon-fly. Anyway, I have other matters to attend to, so good-bye," and she sailed away.
"Good-bye," said the Moon. "I hope Mother Nature does not see you," she added thoughtfully.
Love-bird perched on a branch near Pink-rose and began cooing softly, After a few minutes, Pink-rose unfolded her petals a bit, and sent a waft of perfume to him, by way of a friendly greeting. Love-bird took no notice, but went on quietly cooing. He seemed to have a magic power, for Pink- rose gently opened her petals saying: "How charming you are, little bird; your singing is very soothing. I cannot understand what you are saying but I am sure it is something wonderful."
"Yes, love is always wonderful," gently replied Love-bird.
"Love? What do you know about it?" asked Pink-rose in a dejected voice.
"A great deal, and it makes me very happy," Love-bird answered, coming a little closer.
Pink-rose gave a deep sigh and whispered sadly: "I, too, was very happy before I loved Blue Dragon-fly. I locked him up in my heart, because I was afraid someone would take him from me, and since then I have been very unhappy." Pink-rose gave another sigh and two dewdrops fell from her eyes.
"My dear," said Love-bird, "the reason you are so unhappy is because you have tried to keep Blue Dragon-fly all to yourself. That is a very selfish thing to do; and you know selfishness will rob you of your beauty, and you will become bad-tempered, withered, and have no more delightful perfume to send to your admirers. Then Blue Dragon-fly will leave you.
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"If you will take my advice, my dear, send Blue Dragon-fly back to her work; for we must all help to keep our garden beautiful. While he is away, send out your sweetest perfume, and you will grow more charming, for that is the work Mother Nature has planned for you. Then Blue Dragon-fly will come back. When he sees how busy you have been, how well you have done your work he will love you more than ever."
"Can that be true?" Pink-rose whispered hopefully.
"Yes, it is very true," smiled Love-bird. "And now that you know the secret of happiness, and how to keep your beauty, I must bid you good-bye, Pink-rose," and Love-bird flew away.
As Pink-rose watched Love-bird disappear over the tree-tops, a radiant light shone in her face. Then unfolding her petals very gently, she let the cool night air lightly touch her little lover. After a moment she whispered tenderly, "Blue Dragon-fly, it is time to go to your work."
"Dear me," said Blue Dragon-fly drowsily, "I suppose it is. Do you know, Pink-rose, I really believe you must have some magic power, for I have never had a more refreshing sleep." With an admiring glance, he added: "I wonder if you know how lovely you look in the moonlight, or how very sweet your perfume is? When I have finished my work, I should like to come back and see you again, if I may, Pink-rose."
Pink-rose was so happy that she did not even hear Breezie as he came puffing along. Finally he blew into her face, saying: "Perhaps you are the rose, my beauty, who has locked Blue Dragon-fly in her heart, and will not let him go to his work. Do you realize what, a wrong thing that is to do?" continued Breezie giving Pink-rose a gentle shake.
"I did not realize how wrong it was, until someone showed me a better way," answered Pink-rose quietly. "Then l let him go."
Breezie twisted and turned, working himself into a terrible fury as he roared: "There, I have been fooled again. Now I will play the very mischief!" and he blew away.
As Pink-rose watched Breezie going off in such a temper, she sent her sweetest perfume to him, and with a wise look she smiled to herself saying: "I hope Love-bird pays you a visit before long, "Breezie. I am sure it would do you a world of good."
No sooner had Breezie disappeared, than up flew Brown Owl and settled himself on a nearby tree. Turning his mournful eyes upon Pink-rose, he announced solemnly; "Pink-rose, I hear that you have broken a garden law, by keeping Blue Dragon-fly from his work, and after much careful thought I..
"I am sure what you are about to say is very wise, Garden Lawyer, "interrupted Pink-rose sweetly, "but you are too late. Love-bird has been here ahead of you. He told me the right thing to do, in a kind and beautiful way, so I have released Blue Dragon-fly, that he may go to his work."
Brown Owl blinked his yellow eyes in a bewildered way, and after taking time to think over Pink-rose's reply, he remarked in a dejected voice: "All my careful thinking is wasted. Too-Whoo to you." And he flapped heavily back home wondering why it was that someone always got ahead of him.
Pink-rose could not help feeling a little sorry for Brown Owl. "It does seem too bad that all Lawyer Owl's thinking should be of no use," she added with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.
Then she looked up at the Moon and sent a waft of sweetest perfume to her as she whispered: "I have kept you busy, Madam Moon, but I do not feel badly about it. I know that you always enjoy making lovers happy, so you also have had your enjoyment out of trying to help us."
With a merry twinkle in her eyes the Moon replied: "You are right, my dear, but remember: keep busy yourself, and you will keep your beauty. So good-night, little Pink-rose."
With a broad smile on her round placid face the Moon disappeared behind the tallest tree in the old garden.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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