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FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.

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FOR BOYS AND GIRLS. THE CURL FAIRY. By H. M. Brandon. There once lived a farmer who, in time of war rendered good service to his Queen (who was' really a fairy) and as a reward she pro- mised to^tand Godmother to his first child. The farmer was delighted, and on the day of the christening there was great excitement at ^TheMFarmer's wife and neighbours worked so well to make the farm worthy of a visit from the Queen that it looked almost equal to the Queen's palace. The guests arrived dressed in their best. the servants stood round trying not to look ner- vous, the baby was sleeping in a silken cradle, when a great shouting was heard, and amid much excitement the Queen drove up. She waved her wand over the child (Fairy Godmothers always do), saying The child Is to be called Beta. She will grow up very beautiful, and when her hair grows long she will have a little curl right down the middle of her forehead, in which will dwell a tiny fairy whom she must obey, and who will keep her safe from harm." Then giving a sum of money to the Farmer Ihe Queen departed and the guests made merry tmong themselves. By the time Beta was five years old she had lovely long hair and one little curl would stray over her forehead as the fairy had said. One day, she slipped out without being noticed, and trotting into the baker's asked for some cakes. She ate a lot, and when she had finished the said "that's very nice—Beta'Il come again." Where's your money, my dear ?" said the baker. She offered him a bright farthing. "That's no use," said he. and picking her liP. carried her into a room and locked the door. She was frightened and began to cry, when » vnce cried, little girl, do not cry—only obey me and all will be well." At first Beta could see nothing, and before her there flew a fairy, smaller than a fly, with fcreen and yellow wings. "Iam your Curl Fairy," said she, "and ipe are going to have some fun together Follow me., and we must not let the baker sec us." The Fairy touched the wall with her wand Hid there appeared a large hole through which She flew and Beta scrambled through after her. They walked ,until they were stopped by a closed door. It flew open with a touch nf the wand and there in front of them stood the baker—they were in the bakehouse. The Fairy whispered, Quick! into this flour tub," and they popped into a barrel of Hour that stood near, and no one saw. Now it so happened that that very barrel was Bent with a lot more to the house of a Grand Duke who lived a long way off. So they were piut into a cart and driven over jolting stones until poor Beta began to feel quite ill. At last fchey stopped and the barrels were taken out of the cart, when a woman's voice said, "Bring that one in here, I shall want to open it to-day." And Beta's barrel was bumped heavily down. And all was quiet. I don't like being here. I want to get out— you nasty Curl Fairy. I wish 1 hadn't followed you—it:s all your fault." Don't grumble at me," answered the Fairy, later on you will bless the day on which you hopped into a flour-tub." At that moment someone opened the barrel ind commenced taking out the flour with a icoop. Bang it came, right on to Beta's head, then igain, and Beta screamed. Dear me," said a scared voice, there's a funny noise coming out of this barrel—what- ever can it be ?" Please it's me—I want to come out," eried Beta waving her arms and scattering the flour in all directions. Mercy on us It's something alive Jereamed a voice, and Beta scrambled to the top, rubbing the flour out of her eyes just in time to see a pleasant faced servant girl fall to the floor in a faint. Oh, dear, that lady's gone dead," said Beta. She had never seen anyone faint be- fore. Sfte was in a large kitchen and two maids and portly cook were staring at her in amazement. Are you an elf, a goblin, or what ?" said I)ne, edging farther away. Don't be silly," said cook," can't you see It's a little girl Yes, and I'se very hungry," said Beta. Just think of that now, but yon shall have tave something to eat, so you shall," ex- claimed the cook. I'se so tired," said Beta, as soon as she £ ad finished her cake and milk, and they laid her on a couch, and she was soon fast asleep, where we will leave her for the present. Now, being clever children, you will already Aave guessed that Beta was in the house of the Grand Duke I mentioned belore. It was his ton Tambour's tenth Birthday, and this is why they were so busy making cakes, tarts, and all sorts of nice things for his party. The news of the arrival of a beautiful child in a no or tub soon reached the ears of the duke and duchess, and they commanded her to be brought to them. Tambour took to her at once and begged that she might be invited to his party, but the duchess said she can't go in those clothes." At these words the Curl Fairy appeared, and laid, With your Grace's permission, I will gee that Beta is properly dressed." Very well," replied the duchess, I see she is under the protection of the Fairies." Just before the party began the fairy trans- formed Beta's plain white frock into the most lovely robe of glittering gauze it was possible to imagine, and she made a pretty picture. I must pass over all the children did at the party-all the games they played and the Itmny things they said, else you might long to be there too. Afterwards, as Tambour was sayjng" Good- night to Beta, he whispered, I will have you for my little wife some day." So Beta, stayed at the Duke's house, doing lessons and playing with Tamboar all day long. But after some years a war broke out in the land, and Tambour put on armour and joined in the fighting. He was so clever and brave that he soon became leader and killed all who opposed him. And the enemy begged him to stop fighting, but he would not until he had killed their king. Then the people acknowledged him as their king, and cheered, throwing their caps into the air, shouting Long live the King," and doing a.ll the things that it is proper to do when a new King is crowned. As soon as he became king he made a lot of wise laws, after which he returned to his own country covered with glory. Everyone made a great fuss of him, but when Beta heard of all the great deeds he had done, she was afraid to meet him, for she thought I have never done anything great and he will think me stupid and dull." But the did not know how beautiful she was. Whpn Tambour saw her he said in all my travels I have never seen anyone so good or beautiful," and he asked her to marry him Boon. The news of the approaching wedding glad- dened the hearts of the people around, for Beta and Tambour were loved by all. The wedding was celebrated with great pomp, and what puzzled the people so was that a swarm of butterflies followed Tambour and his bride, and they said They must in- deed be good for even the butterflies to love them so. But then you see, they didn't know anything about the Curl Fairy, and how could they guess ,that it was a lot of fairy friends come to wish them joy ? Scattering gold coins among the people, ^.mg Tambour crossed to his new country withtus bride, and as they stood side by side, listen- ing to the cheers of their new subjects he said I have a surprise for you—I have made your father a Duke, and he and your mother are coming to live near us." Oh," said Beta, I am so happy. 1 do in- deed bless the day that I hid in a flour ™b. At that the Curl Fairy came before them again and promised to help them in any trouble and give them good advice. And they both said they would try "to be good always. Now you know, when people try to be good, they are always happy, so I need not tell you that Beta and Tambour lived to a good old mc, doing good every day of their lives, rul- ing wisely and beloved by all their subjects. And when at last they died, people always rooke of them as Good King Tambour and Queen Beta."

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