THE LITTLE HOUSE
The reason she felt no more fear was that it was now night-time, and in the dark, you remember, Maimie was always rather strange.
They were now loth to let her go, for, ' If the fairies see you,' they warned her, ' they will mischief you—stab you to death, or compel you to nurse their children, or turn you into something tedious, like an evergreen oak.' As they said this they looked with affected pity at an evergreen oak, for in winter they are very envious of the evergreens.
'Oh, la!' replied the oak bitingly, 'how deliciously cosy it is to stand here buttoned to the neck and watch you poor naked creatures shivering.'
This made them sulky, though they had really brought it on themselves, and they drew for Maimie a very gloomy picture of the perils that would face her if she insisted on going to the ball.
She learned from a purple filbert that the court was not in its usual good temper 90