A Cloudy Day. Bluebonnets near San Antonio, Texas Image Credit


Once upon a time there lived at the foot of a great mountain a beautiful little girl with such blue eyes that she was called Lady Blue Eyes. She was the only child of an old shepherd, and ofttimes she would go and watch her father tend his great herd of sheep that grazed on the mountain side.

One morning, when the sun shone so bright that the little buttercups sparkled like beautiful diamonds in the bright sunshine, and the red roses opened their mouths and drank the sweet fragrance from the air, little Lady Blue Eyes started up the mountain-path toward the old tree where she knew her father often sat and watched his sheep. She was singing softly to herself when she came to where the little buttercups grew in their innocence. Her gentle song entered their hearts. So soft and sweet was the music to their souls that they lifted their drooping heads and swayed to and fro, keeping perfect time with her song. Lady Blue Eyes stopped when she saw the buttercups dancing, and sang her song louder and sweeter, while the flowers nodded backward and forward until their little heads nearly touched the ground.

"O Lady Blue Eyes, teach us your song!" the flowers cried all in one voice, "and we will show you the land where the buttercups bloom."

So Lady Blue Eyes taught her song to the flowers, and they learned so fast that soon they knew the song by heart, and could sing it nearly as beautifully as Lady Blue Eyes herself. After they had learned the sweet song, the tallest of the flowers, in gratitude, gave Lady Blue Eyes a petal from her bloom and said:

"If you eat this petal, dear little child, you will see the land where the buttercups bloom."

Lady Blue Eyes thanked the flowers, and, taking her petal, started up the mountain-path softly singing her sweet song. When she came to where the wild roses grew, they, too, cried out in one joyful voice:

"O Lady Blue Eyes, teach us your song and we will show you the land where the red roses bloom."

So she taught her song to the red roses, and the most beautiful rose gave her a petal from his bloom, saying:

"If you eat this petal, dear little child, you will see the land where the red roses bloom."

She thanked the roses and went on her way up the mountainpath until she came to the old tree, but her father was not there, and his sheep were nowhere to be seen. Blue Eyes seated herself beneath the tree to wait until her father came, as she knew that he was superstitious, and believed that if he did not sit beneath the tree some time during the day that on the day following a sheep would die. So, every day for two years he had sat there and not a sheep had he lost. She laid the petal of the buttercup and the petal of the red rose in her 'kerchief and placed them carefully in her lap, not knowing which to eat first, so she said:

"The one I think of first I will eat."

She closed her eyes and rested her fair head against the trunk of the great tree to see which she would think of first; but while she was thinking a wicked fairy who lived in the tree crept out of her home and stole the petals, placing two evil ones in their place. In the mean time Lady Blue Eyes had thought, "I saw the buttercup first;" then she clapped her hands, crying, "I thought first of the buttercup, so I will eat it."

Little Lady Blue Eyes gently took the buttercup's petal from her handerchief and was about to place it in her mouth when a great rush of wind suddenly blew it from her hand, and the evil fairy's wicked petal went sailing high into the air, soon disappearing from sight.

Blue Eyes felt very sad when the petal was gone, but she did not know that a good fairy had made the wind blow the evil fairy's wicked charm from her hand. As little Lady Blue Eyes went to take the petal of the red rose from her 'kerchief, lo! a little fairy no larger than her finger stepped forth smiling.

"Lady Blue Eyes," said the good fairy, "you are so good, and have never harmed a fly nor robbed a flower of its pure sweet life. Your heart is as gentle as the coo of a dove. Your soul is as tender as a mother to her child. You are so good and kind that I will give you back the petals of the flowers."

"Oh, kind fairy," said little Lady Blue Eyes, "I have the petal of the red rose in my handkerchief." But lo! when she looked, the petal was gone.

The good fairy told her how the evil fairy had changed the petals into evil charms, and had she eaten them she would have been wicked and cruel ever afterward.

Lady Blue Eyes felt very sad at heart, but when the fairy had given her the two real petals, and told her that if she ate them the evil fairy would be compelled to leave the tree and wander aimlessly over the world, and that her father's sheep would never die should he miss sitting beneath the tree, and that she would see the land where the buttercups and the red roses bloomed, she again felt happy. The good little fairy bade her good-bye, and Blue Eyes ate the buttercup's petal and saw the land where the buttercup bloomed. Then she ate the red rose's petal and saw the land where the red rose bloomed.

Shortly after little Lady Blue Eyes had seen the two beautiful countries, where all things were good, her father returned from a long chase of getting his sheep together. She told him all she had seen, but he only laughed and said:

"You have dreamed, dear child, a sweet dream about God's beautiful country, where good little girls go when they die."

Bert W. Wenrich.