Friday, September 13, 2013
The Stars In The Sky adapted by Ethel Johnston Phelps in her book The Maid of the North
There once was a girl who wanted to touch the stars in the sky.
On clear nights, when she looked through her bedroom window, the stars twinkled and glittered in the velvet blackness of the sky above. Sometimes the stars seemed like diamonds, sometimes like tears, and sometimes like merry eyes.
One summer evening the lass set off to seek the stars. She walked and walked until she came to the dark, satiny surface of a millpond.
"Good evening," said she. "I'm seeking the stars in the sky. Can you help me?"
"They're right here," murmured the pond. "They shine so brightly on my face that I can't sleep nights. Jump in, lass. See if you can catch one."
The lass jumped into the pond and swam all around it. But never a star did she find.
She walked on across the fields until she came to a chattering brook.
"Good evening," said she. "I'm off to find the stars in the sky. Do you know how to reach them?"
"Yes, yes. They're always dancing about on the stones and water here," chattered the brook. "Come in and catch one if you can."
The lass waded in, but not a star could she find in the brook.
"I don't think the stars come down here at all!" she cried.
"Well, they look as if they're here," said the brook pertly. "And isn't that the same thing?"
"Not the same thing at all," said the girl.
She walked on until she met a host of Little Folk dancing on the grass. No taller than herself, they seemed very elegant in their clothes of green and gold.
"Good evening to you, Little Folk of the Hill," she called, taking care to be polite. "I'm seeking the stars in the sky."
High, silvery voices rang out. "The shine on the grass here at night. Come dance with us if you want to find one."
The lass joined the round ring dance of the Little Folk and danced and danced. But although the grass twinkled and gleamed beneath their fee, not a star did she find.
She left the dancers and sat down beyond the ring. "I've searched and searched, but there are no stars down here," she cried. "Can't you tell me how to reach the stars?"
The dancers simply laughed. Then one of the company came over to her and said, "Since you're so set on it, I'll give you this advice. If you won't go back, go forward. Keep going forward; and mind you take the right road. Ask Four-Feet to carry you to No-Feet-At-All. Then tell No-Feet-At-All to carry you to the Stairs Without Steps. If you can climb them."
"If I can, will I be up among the stars in the sky at last?" she asked.
"If you're not there, you'll be somewhere else," said the Little Man, and he ran back to join the dancers.
With a light heart, the lass stood up and went forward. Just as she was beginning to doubt that she was on the right road, she came to a silver-gray horse beneath a rowan tree.
"Good evening," said the lass. "I'm seeking the stars in the sky and my feet are weary. Will you carry me along the way?"
"I know nothing about stars in the sky," said the horse, "I am here to do the bidding of the Little Folk only."
"I've just been dancing with them, and I was told to ask Four-Feet to carry me to No-Feet-At-All."
"In that case, climb on my back," said the horse. "I am Four-Feet, and I will take you there."
They rode on and on until they left the woods behind and came to the edge of the land. Before them on the water, a wide, gleaming path of silver ran straight out to sea. And in the distance, a wonderful arch of brilliant colors rose from the water and went right up into the sky.
"I've brought you to the end of land," said the horse. "That's as much as Four-Feet can do for you. Climb down now; I must be off."
The lass slid from the horse and stood on the shore, looking about her. A large fish swam in from the sea.
"Good evening, fish," she called. "I'm looking for the stars in the sky. Can you show me the way?"
"Not unless you bring the word of the Little Folk," said the fish.
"I can indeed," she answered. "Four-Feet brought me here, and I was told No-Feet-At-All would carry me to the Stairs Without Steps."
"In that case," said the fish, "I will take you. Sit on my back and hold tight."
Off he swam with the girl on his back, straight along the silver path toward the bright arch of many colors. As they came to the foot of it, she saw the broad stairs of color rising steeply into the sky. At the far end of it were the merry, glittering stars.
"Here you are," said the fish. "These are the Stairs Without Steps. They're not easy to climb. Climb if you can, but mind you hold fast and don't fall!"
So she started off. It was not easy at all to climb the bright-colored light. She climbed on and on, and it seemed she moved very slowly. Although she was high above the sea, the stars were still far away.
She was very weary but she thought, "I've come this far. I won't give up now."
On and on she went. The air grew colder, the light more brilliant, until at last she reached the top of the arch. All about her the stars darted, raced, and spun in dazzling flashes of light. Below her, stretching down into darkness, were the brilliant colors of the Stairs Without Steps.
She had reached the stars in the sky at last, and she stood transfixed with joy at the sheer wonder of it all.
After a time she became aware that the air was icy cold, and the hard, brilliant light of the spinning stars made her dizzy. Shading her eyes with her hand, she tried to see the earth below, but all was in darkness. No warm flicker of hearth or candlelight could be seen.
Then, in one last yearning effort, she stretched out her hand to touch a flashing star. She reached farther, farther--until suddenly she lost her balance. With a sigh--half of regret, half of contentment--she slid down, down, faster and faster into the darkness below, and all sense left her.
When she opened her eyes it was morning. The sun shone warm and golden on her bed.
"I did reach the stars!" she thought with joy. But in the safe stillness of her room she wondered, "Or did I dream it?"
Then she opened her tightly curled right hand, and on her palm lay a brilliant speck of stardust.
two above image credits: vintage pegasus print and star illustration found at a wonderous shop online by missquitecontrary
Sunday, September 8, 2013
"Another source of fun is for the little peoples to tell
a circle of friends a tale which is made up. The idea
is to make it more and more improbable and wild.
A sort of contest in the imaginary sets in, with perfectly
hilarious results mixed with sudden moments of
The most recent colors of undergear is bright and yet
earthly by means of the vibrant flowers. The birds are
nostalgic in that once a time ago, there was a man.
This man had drawn birds on his sketchbook and
decided to share them in our company. He carefully
cut them out from the textured paper and pasted them
to the backdrop, mind you this was an urban alleyway.
We all admired his sense of beauty even if surrounded
by rocks, trash, and very tall buildings.
He handed us nature.
As time passes by, those birds had no idea they were to
return to my view. So here, I will continue to share the
wildness in nature, from in the leaves to under the root.
Thank you, dearest man. I love you eternal.