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SEPTEMBER seems to me to be the fairy among the I remember telling you, long ago, of Selma months of the year. She is so crowned with gold, Lagerlöf's Swedish story of Little Nils and his so full of play and magic spells, she has no work adventures, as he flew from place to place on the to do, and it is she who transforms the green back of a wild goose. Later on, she wrote another woods and gray marshes to wonderlands of fairy book about him, called, "The Further Adventure fire, and brings the great pale moon back round of Nils,” which, if possible, is even better than and full night after night into the skies. Yes, the first. It begins with the story of a little dog September has a magic!
who came near being shot, and it takes you hither That being agreed, I am going to talk about a and thither over Sweden, which is a beautiful . number of fairy books that I have never seen be- country. Many strange and exciting things hapfore, and which you, too, may have missed, though pen to Nils and his friends of the field and wood some of them have been enjoying themselves in and air; almost do you feel the swish of the wind this world for quite a while. Anyhow, they are in your ears and hear the wild cry of the geese as all good, which is particularly necessary with a you read the pages. Nils was certainly in luck! fairy story, for the bad ones, like the bad fairies, But you are almost as fortunate as he if you have are very bad indeed, and we want nothing what- his book. ever to do with them.
To travel from a country that is sometimes The books I shall speak about contain stories fearfully cold to another that is always warm, is from all over the world, for I suppose there has an easy matter if you chance to possess the magic never been a language spoken that has not been carpet of the prince in the “Arabian Nights," or, used for telling fairy tales. Whether in hot lands not having that, a book of the right kind can or cold, among savages or the most cultivated na- manage the thing excellently for you. So, havtions-why, not a moment passes in which some ing left Nils in his white land, we will go straight one, somewhere, is not telling a fairy tale, or to Cuba, and see what it is that they have to tell listening to one, or reading one, or perhaps writ- us there, among the oranges and hibiscus flowers. ing a new one. Which makes it delightfully prob- "As Old as the Moon” is the name of the book, able that we shall always have them with us, and in it are the stories the Carib and Antilles however scarce the fairies may have made them- Indians told each other when the world was selves in these prosaic and practical days.
younger than it is now, and before the white man
had come to drive them out of existence. In have princesses and younger sons and magic this little book we find out how the sun and the transformations, and all the splendid things one moon came to Cuba, with many other interesting looks for in the real fairy story. The sweet and things. The Indians who left these stories, to the gentle and the lovely and the brave triumph last longer than they themselves have done, were finally over all manner of wicked enchantments a gentle and poetical people, and you will love the or evil witches, which is as it should be, or why stories.
should one read fairy stories? There are two books of Irish stories - Ireland I think you will like particularly the story of being an island, too, made me think of them next Melilot, and of the three frog-men with their -one by Seumas MacManus, “Donegal Fairy eyes that were very, very eager, but not cruel, Tales," the other by Yeats. The Irish were a and with their web-feet. Never a more lovable great deal fonder of fighting than the Caribs, child than little Melilot came to bless a story, and and the stories they tell are full of fights, fights one is glad when things turn out so well for her. between giants and mortals, between good men after her troubles, and wishes one might go with and men who were bad enough to deserve being her when she goes so sweetly out of the story beaten. There is lots of fun in the tales, how- with her soldier beside her. ever, sly Irish wit, many a moment of amusing Then there is the tale of the “Bag of Minutes." trickery, and plenty of fairies and witches, spells You won't find a better in a bag of days! You and transformations.
see, you must certainly ask your parents for Jamaica also has her stories, stories told by the “Fairy Gold” when your next birthday comes negroes in their tiny cabins, some of which have round. come all the way from Africa in the early times I never seem to be able to get entirely away when the slaves were being carried to the West from Howard Pyle when I talk of good stories. Indies as well as to our country. But they came Here is "Twilight Land," which is brilliant, for from a very different part of the Dark Continent, all its dim title, with tales of Oriental people and and the stories told in Jamaica are quite different mysterious adventures. Proud princesses and from those we know through Uncle Remus. adventurous youths in turbans do all sorts of They are animal stories, to be sure, but that is amazing things, helped by genie and clever old their only resemblance.
men whom one does not suspect of being magiPamela Coleman Smith collected a lot of them cians until things point to it too persistently. into a book called "Annancy Stories," Annancy Then there are some delightful pictures, also being the name of the spider, who is the hero of made by Mr. Pyle, good, oh, quite as good as the almost every story. I was in Jamaica part of the stories, for he knew how. time she spent there, and once in a while I went Mr. Pyle had a sister Katherine who also loves with her to the cabins to hear the old women tell to tell fairy stories, and there is a book by her, the tales in their strange English, which you can called, “Where the Wind Blows,” that has ten, hardly understand at first. They would sit cross- each from a different nation. The stories, Miss legged on the floor, and sway a bit back and Pyle says, are almost as old as the Wind himself. forth, and croon their words. They usually had But I think they will be new to you. Germany a duppy-which is a ghost-in the stories, and and Japan and India and England and Greece very afraid of duppies all the Jamaica blacks are, and other lands come with a story to tell. It will I can tell you. But there was fun in the stories, be hard, when you have finished, to say which of too, and the old women would laugh and laugh them all you liked best. Probably you will manwhen they got to the funny parts.
age to get round it by speaking for the one you A book of English fairy tales called “Fairy read last. But if you re-read one of them again, Gold,” by Ernest Rhys, is one of the best I found. you 'll find yourself changing your mind, and The stories are told so charmingly, and are so voting for that one. good themselves. Mr. Rhys has got some very A fairy story that takes a whole book to tell is old and long-forgotten ones, which leads him to "The Flint Heart," by Eden Phillpotts. It is insay that “a fairy tale, like a cat, has nine lives. terested in things that happened about five thouIt can pass into many queer shapes, and yet not sand years ago, and Mr. Phillpotts says that if die. You may cut off its head, and drown it in you think times were dull then, you never made sentiment or sea-water, or tie a moral to its tail; a bigger mistake in your life. "It was the but it will still survive, and be found sitting safe liveliest age before history," he insists, “in fact, by the fire some winter night.”
no one ever had a dull moment." "Fairy Gold” has the best sort of stories, the Nor will you as you read the book, which beones that begin with “Once upon a time," and gins by telling about Brokotockotick, who was
simply called Brok behind his back, and of an- Honey-Bee of Clarides, after whom the book is other man whose name was merely Fum. It is named, with whose good and beautiful mother Fum, however, who makes the flint heart, helped the little Lord George came to live when his own by the Spirit of Thunder. It was a hard and mother died. The two children grew up todangerous heart, and many things happen be- gether, and loved each other so dearly that they cause of it. But in the end you will be glad that never forgot each other. Not though George it was made--and surely glad of the story that was captured by the nixies who lived in the lake, tells its history. It all happens in Dartmoor, and kept a prisoner for many years in a wonEngland, and though the queer stone huts of the derful crystal palace, while Honey-Bee was carNew Stone People have disappeared, the country ried away by the dwarfs to the heart of the mounremains not so unlike what it was in Fum's day, tain, and became their princess, and was loved as you may see for yourselves if you go there. and wooed by their king, a gentle and kindly
I dare say a number of you have read George dwarf with a heart of gold, besides all the treaMacDonald's "At the Back of the North Wind.” sures of the world. I can't imagine any one missing that story; in Of course I am not going to tell you all that fact, one ought to read it more than once, as is happened, nor what it was like in the kingdom of true of all good stories. It is impossible not to the dwarfs, nor in the nixies' palace. Nor how finish it without tears in your eyes, even though King Loc helped George to escape, and what the ending is not really unhappy; but the tears followed upon that escape. For that is just what one sheds over a story do not hurt. Surely the the book tells, and tells so beautifully. little hero must have been glad to get back of the After you have read it all, you will have a new North Wind once more, though he could never idea of the dwarfs, the little, industrious people come here again. And so you close the book half who live under the earth, and of their king, the glad and half sorry, which, very likely, when the noble Loc, who could give away so generously time comes, is the way one closes the Book of what he loved best. The book is like a handful Life. And who can say but that the sorry part is of fragrant flowers, so sweet and fresh and lovely as beautiful as the rest !
it is, and I advise you to go to your book-shelf Now I must speak of one more story, a new and pull it out and read it many times. one last year, at least to us who speak English. This will do for one month. There are as For it was written by a Frenchman, Anatole many good fairy stories as there are yellow leaves France, and translated by Mrs. John Lane into floating in the clear September air when the wind the prettiest English, with little songs running blows, and it is not possible to speak of them all, through it, songs that turn into music right on any more than you can count the leaves. Some the page-"Honey-Bee,” it is called.
of the latter you will bring home to press and This story tells about the young Lord of keep; and so I, too, have brought home to you a Blanchelande and his foster-sister, the exquisite few of the stories, to treasure for all times.
ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN THE AUGUST NUMBER
Primals: Tempest, Othello.
Cross-words: 3. Omega.
4. Tiger 5. Stare. M.
1. Tr-opes. 2. En-tail.
So-lace. 4. Snipe. 5. Edder.
7. Tr-over. 1. Remit. 2. Elite. 3. Miner.
4. Items Terse. III.
5. 1. Roast. 1. Spine. 2. Panel. 3. Inked.
4. Neele. 5 Elder. 1. Roars. 2. Orlop. 3. Alibi. 4. Robin. 5. Spine.
“Come what come may DOUBLE ACROSTIC. Scott. Perry. Cross-words:
Time and the hour run through the roughest day."
1. Syrup. 2. Canoe. 3. Other. 4. Taper. 5. Taffy.
MUSICAL Connected WORD-SQUARES. 1. Fade. Aged. Dead.
Edda. ROYAL Zigzag. Cleopatra. Cross-words:
2. Café. Aged. Feed. Edda.
Bade. Edge. 1. Chest. 2. Plant. Deed.
Bede. Edda. Deaf. 3. Queen. 4. Canoe. 5. Stamp. 6. Cloak.
8. Crate. 9. Altar.
Pı. GEOGRAPHICAL NOVEL ACROSTIC.
The honeysuckle by the porch is sweet, Primals: South Pole. Fourth row: R. Amundsen. Cross-words:
And noisy bees wing on from bloom to bloom, 1. Sparta. 2. Ottawa. 3. Unimak. 4. Tyburn. 5. Hainan. 6. Pindus.
Full loath to leave for yonder windless heat, 7. Odessa.
8. Lamego. 9. Epinac.
The shade and coolness of the fragrant gloom. WORD-SQUARE.
Primal ACROSTIC AND Zigzag. Sir Galahad, King Arthur. Cross1. Boats. 2. Oaten.
4. Tense. 5. Sneer.
words: 1. Skulk. 2. Ionic.
4. Gauge. 5. Alpha. 6.
Learn. 7. Avert. 8. Hythe. 9. Adieu. 10. Dowry. To our PUZZLERS: Answers to be acknowledged in the magazine must be received not later than the 10th of each month, and should be addressed to St. Nicholas Riddle-box, care of The CENTURY Co., 33 East Seventeenth Street, New York City.
ANSWERS TO ALL THE PUZZLES IN THE JUNE Number were received before June 10 from Alfred Hand, 3d—“Midwood”—Doris Clare and Jean Frances-Claire A. Hepner-R. Kenneth Everson—"Marcapan”-George Locke Howe-Wm. T. Fickinger-Judith Ames Marsland.
ANSWERS TO PuzzLES IN THE JUNE NUMBER were received before June 19 from Gavin Watson, 7-Dorothy Belle Goldsmith, 7-Catherine
ANSWERS TO ONE PUZZLE were received from M. A. P.-M. L.-E. M. P.-R. W. S.-L. A.-E. S.-E. H.-K. K. S.-D. H.-N. S. C.-
Night.” 7. A character in "Taming of the Shrew.” 8.
A character in “Othello." 9. The title of a play. 3
ISIDORE HELFAND (age 13), League Member.
A FAMOUS man of Queen Elizabeth's time.
A HEART GREW ILL.
(Silver Badge, St. Nicholas League Competition) BENEDICT JORMULOWSKY (age 13), League Member. CROSS-WORDS: 1. The surname of an American general
who commanded the forces against Burgoyne until suc
ceeded by Gates. 2. The surname of a president of the SHAKSPEREAN DIAGONAL
United States. 3. One of the thirteen original colonies. All the words described contain the same number of 4. An English nobleman for whom one of the original letters. When rightly guessed and written one below colonies was named. 5. The scene of a famous suranother, the diagonal (beginning with the upper left- render in 1781. 6. An American general under whom hand letter and ending with the lower right-hand let- Washington fought. 7. One of the principal naval batter) will spell the name of a character in "Twelfth tles of the Spanish-American War. 8. A famous queen Night."
of England. CROSS-WORDS : 1. A character in "Measure for Meas- The diagonal, from the upper left-hand letter to the ure.” 2. A name assumed by Portia. 3. A courtier in lower right-hand letter, will spell the name of a very "Hamlet." 4. A character in “Antony and Cleopatra." famous Revolutionary battle. 5. A character in "Pericles." 6. A character in "Twelfth
MARY BERGER (age 13).
bread. 2. A masculine name. 3. A variety of quartz. 4. The evil one. 5. Tendency.
IV. Lower LEFT-HAND SQUARE: 1. Established custom. 2. Flavor. 3. A salt of soda. 4. A statue.
V. Lower Right-HAND SQUARE: 1. A play. 2. A noisy feast. 3. To turn aside. 4. To swallow up. 5
HENRY WILSON (age 13).
One letter is suggested by each line.
MARGARET M. DOOLEY (age 16).
NOVEL ACROSTIC All the words described contain the same number of letters. When rightly guessed and written one below another, the primals and another row of letters will each spell the name of a famous composer.
CROSS-WORDS : 1. Fealty. 2. To awaken. 3. A nose. 4. A cloth dealer. 5. What no one likes to make. 6. Insignificant. H. R. LUCE (age 14), League Member.
CROSS-WORDS : 1. In compass. 2. A negative. important island of Europe. 4. A convent. 5. A color. 6. A royal residence. 7. To place securely. 8. To depart. 9. In compass. 10. Thus. 11. A moral fable. 12. A beautiful city of Austria. 13. The river of forgetfulness. 14. To disfigure. 15. To invigorate. 16. To exist. 17. In compass.
From 1 to 2, upright; from 3 to 4, great fear; from 5 to 6, to toss; from 7 to 8, to go in.
Central stars reading downward (nine letters), a famous queen of long ago.
HELENA A. IRVINE (age 12).
DOUBLE ACROSTIC I. UPPER LEFT-HAND SQUARE: 1. A swamp. 2. A port My primals spell a city, and my finals the State in of Peru. 3. Severity. 4. To chide. 5. Robust.
which it is located. II. UPPER RIGHT-HAND SQUARE: 1. A small heron. CROSS-WORDS (of equal length): 1. A vegetable. 2. 2. Rank. 3. Plunder. 4. Prepares for publication. 5. To coax. 3. A defect. 4. To skin. 5. Likewise. 6. An Rigid.
animal's den. 7. A city of West Siberia. III. CENTRAL SQUARE: 1. A substance used in making WINIFRED E. POWELL (age 12), League Member.
THE DE VINNE PRESS, NEW YORK.