Fairies, Fairy Tales, Fairy Books

Fairies and Fairy Tales

Fairies, Fairy Tales, Fairy Books
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Japanese fairy tales


A Woodman once dwelt with his wife at the edge of the forest, under the shadow of the Honorable Mountain. The two were industrious and good, but though they loved each other they were not happy. No children had come to bless them and this the wife mourned deeply.
The husband pitied her and treated her very kindly, yet still she was sad. As she gazed upon the snows of Fujiyama her heart swelled within her and she prostrated herself and said, "Fuji no Yama, Honorable Mountain, my heart is heavy because no childish arms encircle my neck, no little head nestles in my bosom. From thy eternal purity send some little white soul to comfort me!"
The Honorable Mountain spoke not; yet as she prayed, lo, from its heights there sparkled and glowed a tiny light. Fitful and gleaming it seemed, yet it had a silver radiance as of the moon.
The woodman's wife beheld it, and she called to her husband eagerly, "Come hither, I pray you. See the strange light which comes from Fuji San. I seem to see a face smiling at me. It is the face of a little child!"
Then her husband smiled at her fancy, but, because he loved her, he said indulgently, "I will go and see what it is."
"I thank you, my lord; go quickly!" she replied.
So, quickly he went to the forest, and as he neared a mountain stream, with Fuji gleaming cold and white in the moonlight, he saw the strange light, which seemed to hover and rest upon the branches of a tall bamboo. Hastening thither he found there a moon child, a tiny, fragile, fairy thing, more beautiful than any child he had ever seen.
"Little creature," he said. "Who are you?"
"My name is Princess Moonbeam," she answered sweetly. "My mother is the Moon Lady, and she has sent me to Earth because every Moon Child must do some good thing, else will its silvery light become pale and wan and be of no avail."
"Little Princess," he said eagerly, "the best of good deeds is to comfort a sad heart. Come home with me and be a child to my wife, who weeps for children. Thus will your beams grow bright."
"I will go with you," said the little Moonbeam, and, rejoicing greatly, he bore her tenderly to his wife.
"I bring you a treasure," he said, "The Moon Lady sends you this beam of light to lighten your sad heart."
Then was his wife much overjoyed and she took the little creature to her bosom and cared for her.
Lovelier grew the Moon Child every year and much she rejoiced the hearts of her foster parents. Her hair was like a golden aureole about her face. Her eyes were deep and tender, her cheeks were pale and delicate, and about her there was a subtle and unearthly charm. Every one loved her, even the emperor's son, who, hunting in the forest, saw her lighting up the humble cottage with her heavenly light. He loved her dearly and she loved him, but alas! she could not marry him because her life upon the earth could be but twenty years. Then she must return to her home in the moon, for so willed her mother the Moon Lady.
At last the day came when she must go. Her parents wept, and could not be consoled; and her lover, who was now the emperor, could not keep her, although he besought High Heaven to spare her.
Her mother caught her up in a silver moonbeam;
and all the way to the Moon the littlePrincess wept
silvery tears. As the tears fell from her eyes, lo! they
took wings and floated away looking for the form of
her beloved, the emperor, who might see her no more.
But the silver-bright tears are seen to this day floatJapanese Stories—6
ing hither and yon about the vales and marshes of fair Nippon. The children chase them with happy cries, and say, "See the fireflies! How fair they are! Whence came they?"
Then their mothers relate to them the legend and say, "These are the tears of the little Princess, flitting to seek her beloved "; and over all, calm and eternal, smiles the Honorable Mountain.

Fairies, Fairy Tales, Fairy Books


Fairies, Fairy Tales, Fairy Books