The Summer-House 65
or far away, it was so small and yet so clear. He had never seen a fairy, but he had heard of such, and he began to look all about for one. And there was the tiniest creature sliding down the stem of the tulip!
"Are you the fairy that herds the bees?" he asked, going out of the summer-house, and down on his knees on the green shore of the tulip-bed.
" I'm not a fairy," answered the little creature.
" How do you know that?"
" It would become you better to ask how you are to know it."
" You've just told me."
" Yes. But what's the use of knowing a thing only because you're told it?"
" Well, how am I to know you are not a fairy? You do look very like one."
" In the first place, fairies are much bigger than you see me."
" Oh!" said Diamond reflectively; "I thought they were very little."
" But they might be tremendously bigger than I am, and yet not very big. Why, /could be six times the size I am, and not be very huge. Besides, a fairy can't grow big and little at will, though the nursery-tales do say so: they don't know better. You stupid Diamond! have you never seen me before?"
And, as she spoke, a moan of wind bent the tulips almost to the ground, and the creature laid her hand on Diamond's shoulder. In a moment he knew that it was North Wind.
"1 am very stupid," he said; "but I never saw you
(C 145) 5