Gateway to the Classics: Firelight Stories by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
Firelight Stories by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

How Sugardolly Became Queen of the Dwarfs

I DO not know how long Sugardolly slept by the cave where the brook started, but when she awoke, there at her side, underneath a water plant, sat a little brown dwarf busily fishing for pearls.

He looked very much like Nutcracker, except for his mouth, which was smaller, and his jacket, which was green instead of red.

"Good-day, little lady," said the dwarf to Sugardolly, and Sugardolly, who was a polite little lady, said "Good-day" in reply.

Then the dwarf rolled up his net, and put his pearls in the little sack that hung by his side, and blew a shrill blast upon his tiny silver trumpet.

Out from all the cracks and crevices of the rocks came other, and still other little dwarfs, and they joined hands and danced about Sugardolly, and told her what a pretty little lady she was, and they asked her to be their queen.

"Have you seen my Nutcracker, a little dwarf in red trousers?" asked Sugardolly.

Then all the dwarfs began shaking their little fists, and stamping their little feet, and scowling in a terrible rage.

"Nutcracker was a wicked king," said one of the dwarfs.

"He ate all of our nuts that we had gathered for the winter," said another.

"He stole our bag of gold nuts," said a third, "and he threw them into the brook because he broke his tooth trying to crack one."

"We drove him away from our home," said the first dwarf.

Then Sugardolly began to cry, but the dwarfs forgot their rage to see her so unhappy. They brought her a tiny scepter, and a glittering crown all set with jewels, so Sugardolly decided to be their queen.

And Sugardolly was happier than she had been in a long time. The dwarfs found a fairy baker who brought her every morning jars of honey, and sugar rolls, and sweet, sweet cakes in his basket—all she could eat. The dwarfs made a set of tiny furniture for her, a bed and a chair and a table of sea shells, and inlaid with real gold.

And while the dwarfs were away all day at their work, creeping into the cracks and holes of the earth for gold and silver and jewels, Sugardolly did their housekeeping. She dusted, and polished their dishes, and made their beds, and she always had their tea brewed when they came home with their stores. One day she found their gold nuts in the brook, which made them very happy.

Then, at night, the dwarfs sat about their fire, crosslegged on the floor, warming their toes, and they sang songs to Sugardolly upon her throne, and they told her stories. So, after a while, Sugardolly forgot to be lonely for Nutcracker, and she was very happy indeed, being queen of the dwarfs.

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