A Fairy Who Lives in a Rose, a Trip to the Flower Show, and a Dewdrop as a Pillow
The First Rose Beetle
– A Fairy Tale –
MORNING DEW was the Queen of all the flowers. She lived in the very heart of a beautiful pink rose tinged with the faintest yellow, and her home was larger than any other rose in the garden.
It was a lovely old-fashioned garden, with a pergola at the end of a gravel walk, which led down to the tennis-lawn, and from thence to the rose-garden. Now, one day a dreadful thing happened. The gardener came with his scissors and cut off three white, two pink, and two red roses, and among them was the one which Morning Dew lived in.
They were going to the Flower Show the next day, and that night they were put in water to be nice and fresh for the morrow.
Now, at the time when her lovely home had been picked, the little rose fairy-queen was having her afternoon nap, and she did not awake till long after the sun had set. Creeping out of her bedroom, she climbed to the top of the sides of her home, expecting to see what she always saw when she went to get a breath of fresh air. But instead of looking on to the garden with its flowers blooming, her eyes met the dark walls of a large room. The moonlight was streaming through the window, and she could see chairs and a large mahogany table standing in the middle. She looked down.
The vase had been stood on the windowsill, and with great difficulty the little fairy leant forward and looked out. She could see the garden, the tall lilies in which lived her great friend Golden Cap, and the sunflowers, the moon streaming on their big heads.
All that night she sat there, puzzling her brain as to what was going to happen. But when Dawn bade her maidens sweep the sky with their rose-tinted brooms and make it clean for the sun to rise, she found Morning Dew slumbering peacefully, her head turned towards the light.
A few hours later, before the world was quite awake, a yawning maid carried the roses downstairs, and delivered them into the hands of the gardener.
That afternoon at the Flower Show they were much praised, and a big ticket with “First Prize” marked in black letters on it was stood against them.
But as time wore on the tent grew empty, and soon the Flower Show was over and the roses were taken away. But the heat of the tent and the pressure of the crowd had made them fade, and a good many of their petals had been bruised and some knocked off.
Morning Dew sat tending a poor bruised petal. At the Flower Show she had been obliged to crouch down in fear lest someone should push her out of her home, but now a soft breeze came blowing through the window, and with pleasure she watched the moon rise.
“These roses must be thrown away! Look! it is no use keeping them; they are all dying!” were the words that awoke the little rose-queen.
“These roses must be thrown away!” How awful it sounded! Morning Dew reflected and reflected, and presently an idea came to her.
“When the maid comes to carry the vase away,” she thought, “we shall probably pass an open window, and in that case I shall fly out of my house and into the air. There is no open window here, or I would take my departure at once.”
For, you see, Morning Dew had not the power of the “Good People”—a name given to the fairies and witches who could work spells—she could not render herself invisible, and she was but a little flower-sprite, with only a pair of wings to her name.
In half an hour the servant returned, took the roses and went out of the room. But on the way to the kitchen she was met by another maid with a duster and broom in her hand. The two fell to talking. Morning Dew peeped cautiously out to see if there was any way of escape. Yes, the end window of the long corridor had been left a little ajar. Dared she creep out and fly towards it? No, it was safer to wait.
“Yes, as I was saying, it’s a pity to throw them roses away, but they’re so shabby-lookin’!” said the one holding the vase. A rustle of skirts was heard coming round the corner.
“Lawks! It’s the Missus!” said the other. “We’d better be goin’.” And they hastily parted.
“Ah yes, Mary! That’s right. How they have been bruised at the Flower Show. Still, they have won the First Prize. I’m proud to have such roses!”
The rustle of silk grew less loud as the Mistress passed on, and gradually it died away.
They were near the window now. Morning Dew was quite ready; but just as she was about to fly the maid tripped on a piece of loose carpet and fell, spilling the water on the nice clean boards.
The little fairy was carried down with it. It was like a pond to her, and when she again found herself on dry floor she was too exhausted to lift her wings, so she lay there. The maid hurried off to fetch a cloth. Morning Dew could not think of a way to escape before she returned. Presently a Bee came buzzing in at the window, and, seeing the plight the fairy was in, he very kindly offered to help her.
“Get on my back,” he buzzed, “and I will carry you safely away.”
He helped her to climb on to his back just as the maid came down the passage with a cloth in her hand. Out they flew into the fresh air. What a lovely ride that was!
At last the Bee reached the hive where he lived, and Morning Dew was taken into one of the comfortable rooms and given a big drop of honey to appease her hunger. Still she was not satisfied. The hive was very nice, but she had always been used to living in a flower.
When the Bee came home that night with all his companions she begged him to leave her in some flower where she might make a home. He was very tired with his hard day’s work, but instead of grumbling as some people would have done, he let her climb upon his furry back, and he flew out once more into the now gathering dusk. The moon was rising, an orange crescent sailing far above the tall, dark elm-trees; the stars were coming out too. In the west a faint glow of pink told plainly that the sun had only just sunk to rest.
They flew on. The little flower-fairy clung tightly on to the neck of her buzzing steed. They passed a weary butterfly on his way to bed. All the birds were asleep. Only the clear notes of the nightingale as he poured out his sad song of thankfulness broke the solemn stillness of evening.
The Bee now flew over a wooden fence into a beautiful garden. In one corner stood an old log, up which twined beautifully tinted bindweed and roses in great profusion.
Morning Dew, too tired for anything but sleep, flew down and perched upon a rose, but she found that inside was curled up another little rose-fairy in a white frock. This was no home for her. She tried a deep red rose next, and again a pink one, but all were inhabited.
At last, worn out, she could seek no longer. And sinking on the wet grass beneath laid her head on a drop of dew and fell asleep.
Nature was kind to the little homeless fairy. In the night she changed her gently into a tiny beetle with gold and green wings and head. This little beetle crawled about among the roses happy in the fragrant smell of the beautiful petals. Morning Dew was joyful ever after. She was the first Rose Beetle.
This story was taken from the book: