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Produced by Juliet Sutherland, David Widger and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team





FRIENDLY FAIRIES

Written & Illustrated by

JOHNNY GRUELLE


1919



To MY MOTHER





CONTENTS:


_Here are the Titles of the Stories in this Book:_

1 The Three Little Gnomes

2 The Happy Rattle

3 Recipe for a Happy Day

4 Grandfather Skeeterhawk

5 Crow Talk

6 The Fairy Ring

7 Mr. and Mrs. Thumbkins

8 The Old, Rough Stone and The Gnarled Tree

9 Sally Migrundy

10 How Johnny Cricket Saw Santa Claus

11 The Twin Sisters

12 Little Thumbkin's Good Deed

13 The Wishbone

14 Tim Tim Tamytam

15 A Change of Coats

[Illustration]

[Illustration]





THE THREE LITTLE GNOMES


A silvery thread of smoke curled up over the trunk of the old tree and
floated away through the forest, and tiny voices came from beneath the
trunk of the old tree.

Long, long ago, the tree had stood strong and upright and its top
branches reached far above any of the other trees in the forest, but the
tree had grown so old it began to shiver when the storms howled through
the branches. And as each storm came the old tree shook more and more,
until finally in one of the fiercest storms it tumbled to the earth with
a great crash.

There it lay for centuries, and vines and bushes grew about in a tangled
mass until it was almost hidden from view.

Now down beneath the trunk of the fallen tree lived three little gnomes,
and it was the smoke from their fire which curled up over the trunk of
the old tree and floated away through the forest.

They were preparing dinner and laughing and talking together when they
heard the sound of a horn.

"What can it be?" one asked.

"It sounds like the horn of a huntsman!" another cried.

As the sound came nearer, the three little gnomes stamped upon their
fire and put it out so that no one would discover their home. Then they
climbed upon the trunk of the tree and ran along it to where they could
see across an open space in the forest without being seen themselves.
And when the sound of the horn drew very close, they saw a little boy
climb through the thick bushes.

As the little boy came out into the open space the three little gnomes
saw that he was crying.

"He must be lost!" said the first little gnome.

"He looks very tired and hungry!" said the second little gnome.

"Let us go and ask him!" said the third little gnome.

So the three little gnomes scrambled down from the trunk of the fallen
tree and went up to where the little boy had thrown himself upon the
ground. They stood about him and watched him, for he had put his face in
the crook of his arm and was crying.

Finally one of the little gnomes sat down in front of the little boy and
spoke to him.

"I am lost!" the little boy said. "My father went hunting yesterday with
all his men and when they were out of sight I took my little horn and
followed them, but I soon lost their track, and I have wandered about
with nothing to eat. Last night I climbed into a tree and slept!"

The three little gnomes wiped the little boy's eyes and led him to their
home under the fallen tree. There they finished preparing the dinner and
sat about until the little boy had eaten and had fallen asleep.

Then the three little gnomes carried him into their house, away back in
the trunk of the tree, and placed him upon one of their little beds.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

When the three little gnomes had finished their dinner they lit their
pipes and wondered how they might help the little boy find his way home.

"Let us go to old Wizzy Owl and see if he can suggest anything!" said
one.

"Yes, brothers," cried another, "Let us go to old Wizzy Owl."

So the three little gnomes went to the home of Wizzy Owl and Wizzy Owl
said he would fly high above the forest and try and see the little boy's
home.

"I can not see his home!" cried Wizzy Owl. "Maybe Fuzzy Fox can tell
you!"

So the three little gnomes went to the home of Fuzzy Fox and Fuzzy Fox
said he would run through the forest and see if he could find the little
boy's home. So Fuzzy Fox ran through the forest, but could not find the
little boy's home. "But," said Fuzzy Fox, "I came upon a wounded deer
who told me that a party of huntsmen had passed through the forest
yesterday and had shot her with an arrow." So the three little gnomes
went to see the wounded deer and they washed the wound the arrow had
made and bound it up for her.

Then the three little gnomes sat upon Fuzzy Fox's back and he ran on
through the forest with them until they came to a wild boar.

The wild boar had been crippled by the huntsmen, he told the three
little gnomes, but had managed to hide himself in the thick bushes and
escape. "It must have been the little boy's father and his men," said
the wild boar. "I am sorry that I am wounded for I would like to help
him!"

Then Fuzzy Fox ran with the three little gnomes through the forest and
they met a wounded bear, and a wounded squirrel, and five or six wounded
bunny rabbits, and they all told the three little gnomes that the
huntsmen had shot them with arrows and that they just managed to escape.

[Illustration]

The three little gnomes felt very sorry for their wounded friends and
helped them all they could by washing their wounds and tying them up.
"We are sorry that we can not go with you and help find the little boy's
home," they all said, "For his mother will miss him and cry for him. And
we know how much a Mamma or a Daddy can miss a little boy or girl, for
we have all grieved for our own little ones that the huntsmen who roam
this forest have killed. That is why we feel sorry that we can not help
you bring him back to his mother."

So Fuzzy Fox ran until he came to the edge of the forest and then the
three little gnomes saw a large castle away in the distance with bright
red roofs on the tall towers.

"That must be the little boy's home!" said one little gnome.

"Let us return at once to our home under the fallen tree and ask the
little boy!" said another. So Fuzzy Fox ran with them back to their home
and the little boy told them it was his home.

Then the kind Fuzzy Fox took the three little gnomes and the little boy
upon his back and ran to the edge of the forest and on the way they
stopped to see the wounded animals, and they were all glad that the
little boy's Mamma and Daddy would soon see him. "Oh, if we could only
see the children who have been taken away from us by the huntsmen!" they
said as they bade the little boy goodbye.

So Fuzzy Fox carried the three little gnomes and the little boy almost
to the castle gate and shook hands with him.

"I will remember the way to your home," the boy told the three little
gnomes, "and I will be back to see you soon!"

The next day when the three little gnomes were preparing dinner they
again heard the little boy's horn, and ran along the trunk of the tree
until they came to where they could see across the open space.

Soon there came a great many people, and riding upon a fine horse in
front of his Daddy was the little boy, but this day he wore fine silk
and satin clothes and they were not torn by the brambles and bushes.
Near him rode a beautiful lady. She was the little boy's Mamma.

So the three little gnomes went out to meet them, and the little boy
slid from the horse and ran to them and threw his arms around them.
"This is my Daddy, and this is my Mamma!" he told them.

The little boy's Mamma and the little boy's Daddy dismounted and came to
the three little gnomes and thanked them for returning the little boy to
them. "We will give you anything you wish for!" said the little boy's
Mamma and Daddy.

"We wish for nothing!" said the three little gnomes, "We live happily
here in the forest and our wants are simple, but if you could send
us some clean white cloths to bind up the wounds you give our forest
friends we would be very grateful!"

"I told Daddy of the wounded creatures!" said the little boy. "Yes," his
Daddy said, "and I have given orders that no one in my country shall
hunt through this forest, and from now on your forest friends will be
unmolested and can always live here in peace and happiness." For the
great king was sorry that he or his men had ever caused any of the
forest creatures any sorrow. And after that the creatures of the forest
were never harmed and they grew up so tame they would wander right up to
the castle, where the king's men would feed them.

The tiny thread of smoke still curls up over the trunk of the fallen
tree, and the voices of the little boy and his Daddy mingle with the
tiny voices of the three little gnomes as they prepare their dinner; for
the great King and the little Prince come often to visit their friends,
the three little gnomes.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]





THE HAPPY RATTLE


Willie Woodchuck sat at the entrance of his burrow home whittling upon a
tiny dried gourd.

"What are you making?" asked Timothy Toad, as he hopped through the
grass and sat in front of Willie.

"Oh, I am just whittling because I have nothing else to do!" replied
Willie Woodchuck.

So Timothy Toad hopped on down the path until he met Eddie Elf.

"Willie Woodchuck is whittling because he has nothing else to do!" said
Timothy Toad.

"I will stop by and see him!" said Eddie Elf. So Timothy Toad hopped
along the path until he met Gerty Gartersnake.

"Willie Woodchuck is whittling because he has nothing better to do!"
said Timothy Toad.

"I will go down that way and see him!" said Gerty Gartersnake, and she
started down the path.

So Timothy Toad hopped down the path until he met Wallie Woodpecker.
"Willie Woodchuck is whittling because he has nothing better to do!"
said Timothy Toad.

"I will fly down and see him!" said Wallie Woodpecker, and away he flew.
Timothy Toad hopped on down the road until he met Billie Bumblebee.

"Willie Woodchuck is whittling because he has nothing else to do!" said
Timothy Toad.

"I will buzz down that way and see him!" said Billie Bumblebee, as he
buzzed away.

When Timothy Toad arrived at his home his wife, Tilly Toad, was sweeping
off the front steps. "What do you think, Tilly?" Timothy Toad cried,
"Willie Woodchuck is, whittling because he has nothing else to do!"

"Dear me! You don't say so!" cried Tilly Toad, as she stood her broom in
the corner and started down the path. "I will hop down and see him!" she
said.

"I will hop back with you, Tilly!" said Timothy Toad.

They had not hopped far before they met Eddie Elf, who was singing
happily to himself as he walked along. "Willie Woodchuck is whittling on
a rattle!" he said, when the two Toads stopped him.

"We are hopping back to see him," said Tilly and Timothy Toad. "I will
go back with you!" said Eddie Elf.

They had not gone far until they met Gerty Gartersnake, singing away
very happily. "Willie Woodchuck is whittling on a beautiful red and
black rattle!" said Gerty Gartersnake.

"We are going back to see him!" said Tilly and Timothy Toad and Eddie
Elf.

"Then I will go back with you!" said Gerty Gartersnake.

They had not gone far until they met Wallie Woodpecker, who also was
singing happily. "Willie Woodchuck is whittling on a rattle and it is
blue, red and black and rattles beautifully."

"We are going back to see him!" said Tilly and Timothy Toad and Eddie
Elf and Gerty Gartersnake.

"Then I will go back with you!" said Wallie Woodpecker.

They had not gone far before they met Billie Bumblebee. "Willie
Woodchuck is whittling on a beautiful yellow and blue and red and black
rattle and it rattles beautifully."

"We are going back to see him!" said Tilly and Timothy Toad and Eddie
Elf and Gerty Gartersnake and Wallie Woodpecker.

"Then I will go back with you!" said Billie Bumblebee, so away they all
went until they came to Willie Woodchuck's home.

"Where is Willie Woodchuck?" they asked of Winnie Woodchuck, his wife.

"He has taken his beautiful new yellow and red and blue and black and
white rattle, which rattles so beautifully, over to show to Grumpy
Grundy, the Owl!" said Winnie Woodchuck.

"Then we will go there!" said the others.

"Then I will go with you!" said Winnie Woodchuck.

Grumpy Grundy, the Owl, was a very cross old creature, and if everything
did not go to suit her all the time, she hooted and howled; in fact she
had cried so much she had made large red rings around her eyes.

When Tilly and Timothy Toad and Eddie Elf and Gerty Gartersnake and
Wallie Woodpecker and Billie Bumblebee and Winnie Woodchuck arrived
at Grumpy Grundy's place they heard merry laughter and whenever the
laughter ceased, they heard the buzz and rattle and hum of Willie
Woodchuck's rattle.

So they went inside.

And there was Willie Woodchuck with the beautiful yellow and red and
blue and black and white rattle, and when he rattled it Grumpy Grundy
rolled on the floor and laughed until the tears ran from her eyes.

So they all lifted Grumpy Grundy on a chair and wiped her eyes and what
do you think! the red rings around them were wiped away and she looked
young and pretty again.

"Oh dear!" said Grumpy Grundy, the Owl. "I have never enjoyed myself so
much before, and I will never be grumpy and be called a Grundy again! No
sir! never!" and her eyes twinkled with merriment.

And all were greatly pleased at the great change in Grumpy Grundy.

Eddie Elf laughed, Tilly and Timothy Toad chuckled, Gerty Gartersnake
giggled, Wallie Woodpecker beat a tattoo on wood, Billie Bumblebee
buzzed and Winnie Woodchuck sang a woodchuck song.

And after that no one could say that Willie Woodchuck had nothing else
to do, for he spent his time making beautiful "happy rattles" which he
gave away to all the creatures, and everyone laughed and made merry
whenever they heard the beautiful yellow and red and blue and black and
white rattles which rattled so beautifully and drove away the grumpies.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]





RECIPE FOR A HAPPY DAY


One morning Marjorie's Mamma called to her several times before Marjorie
answered, for her pretty brown eyes were very sleepy and would hardly
stay open.

"Come, dear! Please hurry, for I want you to run to the grocery before
breakfast!" Mamma called from the foot of the stairs.

"Oh dear!" exclaimed Marjorie, "I don't want to get up!" and keeping her
head on the pillow just as long as she could Marjorie crawled out of bed
backwards.

Her clothes were scattered about the room and her stockings were turned
inside out. Her dress would not fasten and she cried, so that Mamma had
to come upstairs and dress her.

So you see Marjorie's day began all wrong, for everything started
topsy-turvy.

"Now hurry, dear!" Mamma said as she handed Marjorie the basket.

Marjorie slammed the door as she went out and she was so cross she
did not notice the beautiful sunshine nor hear the pretty songs which
greeted her from the tree tops.

"It's so far to the old store!" Marjorie grumbled to herself, as she
pouted her pretty lips and shuffled her feet along the path.

"Hello, Marjorie!" laughed a merry voice.

Marjorie saw a queer little elf sitting upon a stone at the side of the
road. His little green suit was so near the color of the leaves Marjorie
could scarcely distinguish him from the foliage. He wore a funny little
pointed cap of a brilliant red, and sticking in it was a long yellow
feather.

Two long hairs grew from his eyebrows and curled over his cap. He was
hardly as large as Marjorie's doll, Jane.

"Who are you, and where did you come from?" Marjorie cried, for she
thought him the most comical little creature she had ever seen.

"Why, I'm Merry Chuckle from Make-Believe Land!" replied the elf. "And
aren't you very cross this lovely day?"

"I did not want to get up!" cried Marjorie, "and I just hate to go to
the store! It's too far!" She dropped her basket on the ground and sat
down beside the elf on the large stone.

"Isn't it funny?" laughed Merry Chuckle. "There are hundreds of children
just like you who make hard work of getting up when they are called in
the morning and who remain cross and ugly all day long!"

"I really do not mean to be cross, but I just can't help it sometimes!"
Marjorie said.

"Oh, but indeed you can help it, Marjorie!" the elf solemnly said as
he shook his tiny finger at her nose. "And I am going to tell you how.
First of all, when you awaken in the morning you must say to yourself,
'Oh what a lovely, happy day this is going to be!' then raise your arms
above your head and take three long, deep breaths. Jump out of bed
quickly, always remembering to put your toes on the floor first.

"For," continued Merry Chuckle, "Old Witchy Crosspatch is always waiting
for children to get out of bed backwards. And when they do, she catches
them by the heels and turns everything topsy-turvy all day long; but
when you get out of bed toes first, I'll be there to start you on a
pleasant day and Witchy Crosspatch will have to return to Make-Believe
Land and hide her head!" "Sure enough, I did crawl out of bed backwards
this morning!" Marjorie said.

"I know you did, my dear!" Merry Chuckle giggled. "And every time you do
old Witchy Crosspatch makes everything seem disagreeable!"

"But I hate to run errands, Mister Chuckle!" cried Marjorie. "The old
road is so dreadfully long and tiresome!"

"But the longer the road the more happiness you can find along the
way, my dear!" Merry Chuckle replied, quick as a wink, his little eyes
twinkling brightly. "If you look up at the blue sky and the beautiful
sunshine and sing with the birds as you run along you'll find the road
seems too short and you'll be back before you notice it. Just try it and
see."

So Marjorie looked up the road with a smile and, sure enough, it did not
seem so far to the store, and when she turned around, she was sitting
upon the stone alone. The little elf had suddenly disappeared. Marjorie
picked up her basket and skipped down the road singing at the top of her
voice and before she had time to think about how far it was she was back
home telling Mamma all about the queer little elf from Make-Believe
Land.

"You haven't been away long enough to stop and talk with anyone on
the road!" laughed Mamma. "Are you sure you have not been dreaming?"
Marjorie wondered if it really had only been a dream, but the next
morning when the golden sunshine peeped through her bedroom curtains,
Marjorie did as Merry Chuckle had told her the day before. First of all
she woke up and cried, "Oh what a lovely day this is going to be!"
Then she took three long, deep breaths and then she jumped out of bed
quickly, right on her toes. And, sure enough, old Witchy Crosspatch had
to go back to Make-Believe Land and hide her head, so Marjorie spent a
lovely, happy day with Merry Chuckle.

"I hope all children will hear of my recipe for a joyous day," said
Merry Chuckle, "so that each day for them can be filled with sunshine
and happiness!"

[Illustration]





GRANDFATHER SKEETER-HAWK'S STORY


It was a beautiful day in the late summer. Tommy Grasshopper, Johnny
Cricket and Willy Ladybug were playing on a high bank of the river, and
watching the little fish jumping after tiny flies and bugs that fell
upon the surface of the stream.

"Let's go up higher so that we can see them better," Willy Ladybug said.

"Yes, let's climb up on the tall reeds so that we can look right down in
the water," Johnny Cricket said. "But we must be very careful and not
fall, for the fish would soon swallow us, and that would not be very
much fun!" he laughed.

So Tommy Grasshopper and Johnny Cricket caught hold of Willy Ladybug's
four little hands and helped him to climb up the tall reeds, for Willy
was not as old as the other Bug Boys, and might fall in the water if
they did not help him.

From the tall reeds the three Bug Boys could look down in the water and
see the pretty little sun fish and the long slim pickerel darting around
and turning their shiny sides so that the sun would reflect its rays on
them, just as if they were looking glasses.

The Bug Boys watched the fish until they grew tired, and they were just
starting down the tall reed when a great big dragon fly flew upon the
top of the reed and called to them.

Of course all the Bug Boys knew old Gran'pa Skeeterhawk - for it was
he - so the three returned to the reed and sat down again to pass the
time of day with Gran'pa.

Presently Willy Ladybug saw a strange fish in the water.

"What kind of a fish is that, Gran'pa Skeeterhawk?" he asked.

"That's a catfish!" Gran'pa replied. "Queer looking fish, the catfish
are; they do most of their feeding at night since Omasko, the elk,
flattened their heads."

"Dear me! Are their heads flat?" Johnny Cricket asked.

"Flat as a pancake!" Gran'pa Skeeterhawk replied, and then told them
this story:

"I've heard _my_ Gran'pa tell that once the catfish had heads that were
shaped like sunfish," Gran'pa Skeeterhawk said, "and they thought that
they were not only the most beautiful fish but the fiercest fighters in
the world, although they would always swim away as fast as they could
whenever anything came near them. You see, they really were not even a
teeney, weeney bit brave.

"But when the catfish got by themselves and they thought there was no
one else to overhear them, they would make up fairy tales of wonderful
adventures they had gone through, and fierce monsters they had
destroyed. One would say 'I wish I were large enough to drag home the
enormous giant eel I killed today. He was sixteen feet long, and weighed
five hundred pounds.' Another would say, 'Pooh, that is nothing! Why,
you ought to see an Indian who tried to catch me in a net! Why, I not
only pulled him in the water and dragged him all over the bottom, but I
made him promise he would never disturb any of the catfish tribe after
this!'

"Just then a little bird flew over the water and his shadow so startled
the boastful catfish, they buried themselves in the mud at the bottom of
the stream.

"After a while," Grand'pa Skeeterhawk continued, "They got up courage
to peek out of the mud, and as they saw nothing to frighten them, they
formed in a circle and told more tales of their fighting qualities.

"One old catfish who had been the leader because he could tell the
biggest tales and hide under the mud quicker than any of the others
finally said: 'We are the best fish in the water, as you all know, so
I think it will be a good plan to fight everything that comes near the
water from the land!'

"'Shall we fight the big hawk who wades in the water and catches some of
us?' asked a little kitten fish.

[Illustration]

"'Kitten fish should be seen and not heard!' the old chief catfish
answered quickly. I do not believe we should harm the hawk. He is not
large enough. I was thinking of the large beast who comes wading along
the shores and eats the grasses that grow beneath the surface. You know
he has to raise his head every once-in-a-while in order to breathe, so
if we should all hang on to him we could pull him under the water.'

"So the catfish, although they were so frightened that their fins grew
stiff, decided that they would follow their chief, for they expected he
would be the first to hide under the mud when the big beast came.

"Finally old Omasko, the elk, came down to the river to feed, and the
old chief catfish swam out and pulled on Omasko's whiskers, and all the
other catfish cried: 'See how brave and fearless the mighty catfish
are!' and they all swam out and pulled Omasko's whiskers, too. This made
Omasko very angry, for he never harmed any fish in his life.

"He began jumping and pawing with his heavy hoofs, and smashed all the
catfish down in the mud and when they finally came out again, which was
not until two or three days later, their heads were as flat as they are
now!

"That is why all catfish have flat heads," Grandfather Skeeterhawk
finished.

"It served them right for being so boastful!" Johnny Cricket said.

"It served them right for trying to harm someone who never harmed them!"
Gran'pa Skeeterhawk replied, as he darted up in the air and flew over
the tall cat-tails.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]





CROW TALK


"Caw, Caw, Caw," one old crow cried as he faced the other two crows.
"Caw?" asked the second old crow as he plumed his feathers and screwed
his head around to get a better view of the little boy lying under the
tree.

"Caw-AAAAH! Ca - aaaaw!" replied the first crow.

"Those crows must be talking to each other!" Dickie Dorn thought to


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