The Fairies’ Shopping Margaret Deland

Where do you think the Fairies go
To buy their blankets ere the snow?

When Autumn comes, with frosty days
The sorry shivering little Fays

Begin to think it’s time to creep
Down to their caves for Winter sleep.

But first they come from far and near
To buy, where shops are not too dear.

(The wind and frost bring prices down,
So Fall’s their time to come to town!)

Where on the hill-side rough and steep
Browse all day long the cows and sheep,

The mullein’s yellow candles burn
Over the heads of dry sweet fern:

All summer long the mullein weaves
His soft and thick and woolly leaves.

Warmer blankets were never seen
Than these broad leaves of fuzzy green—

(The cost of each is but a shekel
Made from the gold of honeysuckle!)

To buy their sheets and fine white lace
(With which to trim a pillow-case),

They only have to go next door,
Where stands a sleek brown spider’s store,

And there they find the misty threads
Ready to cut into sheets and spreads;

Then for a pillow, pluck with care
Some soft-winged seeds as light as air;

Just what they want the thistle brings,
But thistles are such surly things—

And so, though it is somewhat high,
The clematis the Fairies buy.

The only bedsteads that they need
Are silky pods of ripe milk-weed,

With hangings of the dearest things—
Autumn leaves, or butterflies’ wings!

And dandelions’ fuzzy heads
They use to stuff their feather beds;

And yellow snapdragons supply
The nightcaps that the Fairies buy,

To which some blades of grass they pin,
And tie them ‘neath each little chin.

Then, shopping done, the Fairies cry,
“Our Summer’s gone! oh sweet, good-bye!”

And sadly to their caves they go,
To hide away from Winter’s snow—

And then, though winds and storms may beat,
The Fairies’ sleep is warm and sweet!