LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS 29
whence they had come ; these must certainly all be flowers from the king's castle yonder. First of all came two glorious roses, and they had little gold browns on ; they were a king and a queen. Then came the prettiest stocks and carnations ; and they bowed in all directions. They had music with them. Great poppies and peonies blew upon pea-pods till they were quite red in the face. The blue hyacinths and the little white snowdrops rang just as if they had bells on them. That was wonderful music ! Then came many other flowers, and danced all together ; the blue violets and the pink primroses, daisies and the lilies of the valley. And all the flowers kissed one another. It was beautiful to look at!
At last the flowers wished one another good night ; then little Ida, too, crept to bed, where she dreamed of all she had seen.
When she rose next morning, she went quickly to the little table, to see if the flowers were still there. She drew aside the curtains of the little bed ; there were they all, but they were quite faded, far more than yesterday. Sophy was lying in the drawer where Ida had laid her ; she looked very sleepy.
' Do you remember what you were to say to me ? ' asked little Ida.
But Sophy looked quite stupid, and did not say a single word.
' You are not good at all ! ' said Ida. ' And yet thej' all danced with you.'
Then she took a little paper box, on which were painted beautiful birds, and opened it, and laid the dead flowers in it.
' That shall be your pretty coffin,' said she, * and when my Norwegian cousins come to visit me by and by, they shall help me to bury you outside in the garden, so that you may grow again in summer, and become more beautiful than ever.'
The Norwegian cousins were two smart boys. Their names were Jonas and Adolphe ; their father had given them two new crossbows, and they had brought these with them to show to Ida. She told them about the poor flowers which had died, and then they got leave to bury