THE CHRISTMAS-TREE FAIRY
awakened—but not until the day of the Christmas party came did the little fairy open her eyes! She had had such a long sleep! How surprised she was to find herself tucked up cosily in a soft little bed!
" Oh! " cried Jane, when she saw the fairy sit up and rub her eyes. " I knew you were a fairy, and not a doll! "
The two talked together, and Jane told the fairy that her mother had said it would be nice to put the fairy at the top of the Christmas-tree that evening. " You see, Mother thinks you are only a fairy doll," Said Jane. " She doesn't believe in fairies. Will you mind standing at the top of the tree, fairy? "
" Not a bit," said the fairy. " And I'll give each child who believes in me a wish to wish—one that will come true! So you must tell all those who don't believe in fairies to go out of the room, Jane—and I will fly down and hear every child's wish. And then, dear Jane, I must fly away. This is a dear soft little bed, but I have my own home, you know. I will often come and see you again."
" Sh! " said Jane. " Here comes Mother."
Jane's mother carried the fairy doll to the Christmas-tree and put her at the top. How pretty she looked there!
"It's the loveliest fairy doll I've ever seen! " said Mother.
In the middle of the party, when the Christmas-tree was shining with candles, Jane clapped her hands and made every one quiet.
" Please, will you do something for me? " she said. " Will every one who doesn't believe in fairies go out of the room—and all those who do believe in them stay here with me? I have a secret to show to them! "
All the grown-ups except Aunt Susan and Mary, the little housemaid, went out. Two little girls and three boys went out too. Alan, Mollie, Angela, Trixie, Jack, and Jane were left.
" I know your secret! " cried Jack. " It's the doll up there! She's a Christmas-tree fairy—a real live one! I saw her smiling at us just now! "
" Yes—that's my secret," said Jane. " She is going to fly down to each of you and give you a wish. Keep still and think hard what you would like most! "
Each child stood still—and the little fairy flew down on her silvery wings. She listened to every child's wish and nodded her golden head. "It will come true! " she said.