|Simplified Scientific Christianity|
Peter and Jane Taylor were just six years old. They were twins and they were always together, for when they were apart they were both very lonely and unhappy.
The Taylors lived in a very lonely house far out in the country where there were green meadows to play in during summer and nice hills to slide on when there was snow in the winter. In the spring when the refreshing rains came to wash the earth and all the trees and living things on it, the tiny new flowers began to push out of the earth and spring up here and there. Then the Taylor twins would gather great bunches of them and take them to the house. The servant would place them in vases and the fragrance of them would fill the house and make everyone happy. In the spring there were wild trilliums which really were rather like Easter lilies. Later there were dainty yellow johnny-jump-ups and shy purple violets.
One day in early spring, Peter and Jane went to the woods nearby to gather flowers. The children sat down together for a while to watch some bluebirds building a nest. Suddenly Jane nudged Peter ever so gently. "Do you hear that, Peter?" she whispered.
The children both listened intently. "I think it's a tiny bell tinkling," Peter whispered back.
The tinkling sound grew louder, and suddenly a very tiny fairy maiden stood before them. She bowed graciously and came closer. "I am queen of the flowers," she said in a wee voice, "and these little fairies are the flower people."
And surely enough there were tiny little people with flower faces. They were the trilliums, the johnny-jump-ups, the violets, and many, many others.
"If you will promise never to pick the lovely flowers until they are full grown and never more than you need to make your world beautiful you may come to our flower dance," the flower queen told them.
Peter and Jane could scarcely believe their eyes and ears. "Oh, we do promise!" they both declared breathlessly.
"Very well," the little queen said. "Tonight you must go to sleep as you always do, and when you are in Slumberland, the flower people will come for you." And when the children had promised to do as they were told, the flower queen and her people were gone in a flash.
That evening, soon after their dinner, the Taylor twins were very sleepy and wanted to go to bed at once. This greatly surprised Mrs. Taylor, for usually the twins wanted to romp and be told many stories before they would go to sleep.
After the lights were out, the children both closed their eyes very tightly and soon they were fast asleep. But no sooner were they in Slumberland than the flower people appeared, dainty flower maidens in frocks of lovely colors and tiny flower men in suits of Lincoln green. How merry and gay they were! They gathered in a circle around the twins and carried them off to a splendid green place where a laughing brooklet ran. There, the twins saw, were many, many more of the fairy flower people. Some were singing and some were dancing. All were laughing and happy. Presently the flower queen held up one tiny hand, and all the little flower people were silent. Then they came and gathered in a large circle around the children and drew them toward the brooklet's edge.
"Where are you taking us?" the children asked.
"Fear nothing," the little queen said. "The flower people love yon. They wish to make you happy."
Soon the children were in a little boat made of ferns. They were sailing down the brooklet. How beautiful everything was! Now they were in another land. The boat drifted to the shore, and the flower people took them to a lovely chair made of green, woodsy things. There was music. The brooklet was singing a merry song; there was a tinkling of many bluebells. Some birds were whistling a gay tune.
Now, the daffodils were together. Daintily they danced, and soon the violets and Johnny-jump-ups had joined. All the flowers the children had ever seen were there dancing. How sweet and wild and free they were!
"How sad it is that children sometimes destroy them," Jane thought. "They are so lovely."
Many animals were quietly watching the fairy flower dance, too. There were the squirrels, the woodchucks, chipmunks, and many others.
When the dance was over, there was a great feast. There were fruits and nuts and delicious honey that the bees had brought, for they were there, too.
Suddenly the flower queen appeared before Peter and Jane. "It is late," she said in her tiny voice. And you must return to your land. The flower people will take you."
So the children boarded the fern boat and went back to Slumberland after bidding the queen, the flower people, and all the animals goodbye. In the morning when the Taylor twins awakened, Mrs. Taylor brought a basket of fresh flowers to them.
"These were left on the doorstep," she told them. "It's May Day. Perhaps one of your little friends left them."
But Peter and Jane both knew that the flower queen and her fairy flower people had left them.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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