After they had eaten all their fairy cakes and tea—which were not in the least like anything they had ever tasted before, but were much better than anything they had ever known—Zuzu and Lulu told the Fairy Queen about their journey and how they had happened to undertake it. They told her what the Black Fairy had said to them, and how they had taken off the wooden leg of the Dragon, and how they had started down the Golden Ladder. Neither Zuzu nor Lulu had heard of the King’s losing his shadow, but in some way the Fairy Queen had heard of this, and now she told them of it, to their great surprise.
“This,” said she, “was the work of the Wicked Fairy Gobo, whom I have warned never to interfere in matters outside of his own home in yonder mountain. Had you only telephoned to me by the White Cricket instead of the Black Cricket, all would have been well, for in that case I should have sent the Bumblebee Express quite up to the top of the ladder for you, and should have commanded the Dragon to let you pass; but at any rate, here you are, my dears, and I think no one will be the worse off for that, except the Wicked Fairy Gobo, who knew very much better than to use the Fairy Telephone Line. Him I shall punish for this act in due time. But we must not be angry or unhappy over these things. After you have finished your supper, we will have a short sail upon the lake, and make a visit to some of the floating islands.”
So they all went out sailing upon the Fairy lake, in a beautiful pale-green boat, which moved very gently through the water under the oars of a crew of Fairy dwarfs, who used oars made of wheaten straws, rowing so gently that the boat hardly made a ripple on the water. They had also a sail of white silk, which was hoisted at the bow of the boat, and which was filled by a gentle wind that blew across the lake. The Queen sat on the high seat at the stern of the boat, with Lulu and Zuzu at her feet. After some time they landed at the edge of one of the floating islands, which the Twins were sure was one of the most beautiful places they had ever seen in all the world.
As they moved from the shore they found themselves in a grove of trees, and a short distance ahead in this grove they saw gleaming the sides of a sort of small temple, surrounded by a fence. To their great surprise they found that this fence was built of red and white and blue rails, laid up like any rail fence; but that these rails were sticks of candy instead of wood.
“Come now, my children,” said the Fairy Queen, “and let us be seated at yonder temple or kiosk, and have some more cakes and tea.” So they all went to a little table in the kiosk, and the Queen touched a tiny bell. Some very small Fairies brought cakes and tea of the finest sort imaginable, of which it seemed they could not eat so much as to injure themselves, and which no matter how much they ate always tasted as good as they had before.
“Now,” said the Queen, “I see that you still have the Royal Wishing Wands which the good King of Gee-Whiz has given to you. Why do you not wish for something, if there is anything you would like to have?”
“That is very nice of you,” said the Queen, “but now let me assure you that your Wishing Wands are meant for use in the kingdom of Gee-Whiz, and not in the kingdom of the Fairies. While you are with me you can have anything you like as often as you like, by only wishing for it, if I am not mistaken in thinking that my Fairies are able to do anything I ask of them.”
“I wish,” said Zuzu, “that I had a sled that would run up hill.”
“A very good and sensible wish,” said the Queen, “and one which is easily granted. Here is your sled, with your name on it in nice red color, and with low sharp runners; and I assure you it will run up hill just as well as down; which has never been the case in your country, and which is a great objection to all sleds used there.”
“Now,” said Lulu, clapping her hands and jumping up and down, “we must have some snow! But I wish it could be warm snow, for cold snow is not pleasant, and makes one’s hands red.”
Again the Queen smiled and waved her wand and lo! as she did so soft snow began to fall all about them, so that the ground was soon quite white. Almost afraid to test it, Lulu put her hand into the snow, but withdrew it again with a cry of delight. To her great surprise the snow was quite warm and nice.
“I think you will find this sort of snow very comfortable,” said the Queen.
“I don’t see how anything so cold as snow can be warm,” said Zuzu, only half believing that this could be true.
“You do not remember,” said the Fairy Queen, “that this country is more or less tropical, so that here snow might be expected to be warm.”
“At any rate,” said Zuzu, “I find it very nice, and with a sled that runs up hill, and snow that does not get cold, I don’t see what more any one could ask. I don’t think I’ll wish any more, because I can’t think of anything to wish.”
“I know what I’d like!” cried Lulu.
“And what is that, my dear?” asked the Queen.
“I’d like a doll.”
“What sort of doll, my dear? We have many very fine ones.”
“I’d like a new doll—no, I wouldn’t, because that would be leaving my old dolly, and I am sure I like my old dolly as much as I could any new one, yet I want a new one, too. Now, what can I do, when I want both a new doll and an old one?”
“That is very easy,” said the Queen. “I will get you a doll which is both old and new.” And again she waved her wand.
Lulu looked down, and almost cried aloud; for there in her arms was a brand new doll, the finest she had ever seen, that could laugh and talk and eat, which was quite new, but which, to her great surprise, was also quite old! She felt free to love it quite as much as she liked, and so she did love it very much. As she stood with the doll in her arms, to her great surprise the Enchanted Banjo began to play and the doll began to sing, and the song it sang was called:
I’M THE DOLLY YOU LOVE BEST
With battered eyes and broken nose, With tattered ears and worn-out toes; With one pulled-out and stringy arm Where you have swung me to my harm, I am the dolly you love best, The doll that's dearer than the rest. Your own old dolly Whose smile is ever jolly, Who never sighed or cried when you would fling her at the wall; Your old, worn dolly, Your best-loved dolly,— The dolly that you always thought the fairest one of all. I am the doll who heard you weep Because she would not go to sleep; I am the doll who helped you play At going calling every day; With frowsled hair, in tatters dressed; I am the dolly you love best. Your own old dolly Whose smile is ever jolly, Who never moaned or groaned when you would idly let her fall; Your old, old dolly, Your best, best dolly— The dolly that you always thought the fairest one of all.
“I am very happy here, indeed,” said Lulu, “and I can’t think of another thing to wish. I feel a little thirsty from eating so much cake.”
The Queen smiled again. “There is no need to wish for a drink,” said she, “for if you will only take a cup and step to the spring, I think you will find that it is made of very good lemonade.”
“Now,” said the Queen, “suppose we walk farther into the island, and see what we call our Candy Land.”
So they walked on deeper into the wood, and as they did so they looked all about them, and behold! all the trees were Christmas trees, hung full of shining things—toys and books and parcels, everything most inviting in appearance. Not one Christmas tree was there, but hundreds, and every way they looked they saw still more Christmas trees, so many they could hardly count them in a day, had they done nothing else but count.
“This,” said the Queen, “is what we call the Christmas tree forest. It is here that Santa Claus, one of my best friends, gets all the Christmas trees which he uses in the winter-time. They grow here in hundreds, and of just the right size. But that is only a part of what I was going to show you.”
Now they came to a long row of houses like shops, in two rows like the shops in what is called an Arcade; but to their great surprise everything they saw here was made of candy. The houses, the people and everything in the shops proved to be made of candy. There was nothing in the world one could have thought of which was not there, and one might have furnished a large house from top to bottom; but every article was made of candy—candy rocking-chairs and tables and pianos, and knives and forks, and everything else, so that Lulu and Zuzu hardly knew what to do, it all seemed so strange to them.
“These things are not so durable as though made of gold or gems,” said the Fairy Queen, “because one is always tempted to eat off the arm of a chair or to bite a piece out of the table or the clock. But you need not mind about that; bite all you please, for there are plenty more of these things. The good Candy Man will bring more, I am sure, for that is why we have him here.”
So Lulu and Zuzu sat down in candy chairs at a candy table, and soon there came up to them a quaint looking little man whom they knew to be the Candy Man. He smiled and smiled as he approached. “You will excuse me, my good young friends,” said he, “if I do not come and sit down with you, but you see I am made of candy, and if I get too near the fire my face melts, so I have to be very careful. But if you see anything here, help yourselves, and I will get some more for you, if you like.”
As they looked at the Candy Man, the Twins observed to their surprise that he had only one arm. “Oh! poor man,” said Lulu, “you have only one arm. That’s too bad. Will you tell us how you happened to lose your arm? Did you fall down and break it?”
“No,” said the Candy Man, “I did not break it, but lost it; and yet though I lost it, I still have it, so that though I miss it, I do not regret it.”
“Why, how can that be?” inquired Lulu.
“Well, the truth is,” said the Candy Man, “I ate it.”
“How awfully sad!” exclaimed Lulu.
“Not in the least, my dear,” the Candy Man said. “Such events are not unusual in this country. If you think I am badly off, you ought to see my brother. Did you never hear the story about when he was a boy? Ask the Banjo.”
So the Banjo told them the story.
THE CANDY BOY
Oh, list to the tale of the Candy Boy— The boy that turned to candy. He was his mamma's pride and joy, And sweet things were too handy. He ate and ate and ate and ate Mint sticks and peanut brittles— Just candy, it is sad to state, Made all of this boy's victuals. One day he noticed that his hair In taffy drips was streaming, And that upon his fingers there Were bright red stripes a-gleaming. He bit his finger, and he found That it was flavored sweetly From having candy all around He'd turned to it completely! Oh, dear! Oh, dear! This tearful tale I really should not finish. He ate his arms without a wail At seeing them diminish. From eating so much candy, see How things resulted direly: That boy is no more here, for he Ate up himself entirely!
“Is there anything more that you would like?” asked the Fairy Queen after this entertaining story.
“No,” said Lulu, sighing and hugging tight her new-old doll. “I am so happy and contented that I can not think of anything else to wish for myself; but I was just thinking how badly the poor King must be feeling all this time without his shadow, while here are we, to whom he gave these Fairy Wishing Wands, having so good a time. I wish he could be happy and contented, too.”
“Ah, so do I,” said the Fairy Queen Zulena. “I have wished that for many years.”
The Twins looked at her and for the first time they saw a shade of sorrow cross her sweet face. “The truth is, my children,” said the Fairy Queen, “I have often wanted again to see the King. Once, very long ago, we were children here together in this country, until he fell partly under the influence of Wicked Fairies and began to care more for gold and jewels and the like than for anything else. It was the Wicked Fairies who changed his nature; but I am always hoping that he will grow to be a great and good king even yet, so that we may together rule over the same land.”
“Why,” said Zuzu, “that is precisely what the King has said to us very many times!”
The face of the Fairy Queen flushed a little at this, but she sighed. “Alas, I think that can not be,” she said. “True, I aid him as I can, and whenever he telephones to me for gold, I give it to him, because certainly we have more gold than we can use, and many gems as well; but I can not go up to the Island to meet him, and so can only telephone, which I do not find wholly satisfactory. Against certain Wicked Fairies not even I, the Queen, can prevail in all cases. Thus, I am sad to say, I could not even secure the King’s shadow from the Wicked Fairy Gobo, if it be true that he has taken it and hidden it at his cave in the mountain. That could only be done by a good child who wished it very hard, and who used the Wishing Wand which is proper for the Island of Gee-Whiz, where the shadow came from.”
“That,” said the Queen, smiling now happily, “is very kind of you, and I am sure if only we can find the shadow here in the valley, the Wicked Fairy will be obliged to let it go. It is quite likely that he has also taken the White Cricket of the King. If we could restore both of these to the rightful owner, I should be very happy and contented myself.”
“But what shall we do to-morrow?” asked the Queen of the Twins as she arose and started out from the Candy Man’s place.
“I should above all things like to see the place where the Fairies find all the gold,” said Zuzu.
“Very well,” said the Queen, “we will go to-morrow, and I will show you where all the gold comes from; but now let us go back to the palace, and go to sleep for the night.”
As she spoke, she again touched a little bell, and soon there came a little Fairy, smiling and bowing before her.
“Dimi,” said the Queen, “please to have the wind changed so that it shall blow back toward the city, instead of in this direction. We must be going home now, and I do not wish my oarsmen to become at all weary.”
Dimi bowed and smiled, with his hands spread wide apart, and as the Twins and the Fairy Queen now walked down toward the Fairy-boat, to their great surprise Lulu and Zuzu saw that the wind was beginning to blow gently and softly in the opposite direction. Soon they were gliding silently and steadily over the crystal waves of the Fairy sea.