AMUSEMENTS FOR EVERYBODY 113
of his hand, and when he looks up after stooping to get it, he sees before him a tiny man, dressed in red from top to toe.)
Wood Sprite.—Your wish shall be granted, my good fellow (with a jaunty strut, clasping a wooden sword in his hand), on condition that you tell no one whence your riches come.
Woodman.—That I can safely promise.
Wood Sprite (laughing elfishly).—Don't be too sure. You may live to repent your words. However, in a nest over yonder you will find a tiny egg; if ever your riches get you into trouble, break it, and I shall appear. Now you can go home and need work no more.
(Exit Wood Sprite, dancing and twirling gaily.)
Woodman (rubbing his eyes).—Have I been dreaming? Anyhow, I'll go and look for the egg. (Goes and looks, and returns with a small egg in his hand.) Here it is, sure enough, and so home I'm going to see if the rest is as true. (As he goes he puts his hand in his pocket and pulls it out again full of money.) Fairy comes forward and sings:—
"Mid pleasures and palaces, where'er I may roam, Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home, A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there, Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere. An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain, O, give me my lowly thatched cottage again, The birds singing gaily that came at my call, Give me them—and the peace of mind, dearer than all.
(Enter Woodman looking very ill at ease in a fine suit of clothes, a top hat, large collar and cuffs, and top boots.)
Woodman.—These things are very uncomfortable, and yet Belinda insists upon my wearing them; she says I must now I'm rich. Anyhow, I'll take these cuffs and collar and coat off now. (Takes them off carefully, and then, heaving a sigh of relief, looks around in a weary way as he hears a noise.)
Wood Fairy sings:—
I'd be a butterfly born in a bower,
Where roses and lilies and violets meet,
Roving forever from flower to flower,
And kissing all buds that are pretty and sweet.