With the summer came the Summer Fairy. She said: "The sun is high in
the sky; at noon-day the air shimmers with the heat. The flower garden
is gay with roses and poppies and Canterbury bells, the lawns and
clipped hedges are like green velvet.
"Down in the vegetable garden the peas and beans are filling their
pods, and the cabbage soldiers have all grown hearts. The mother
potatoes are feeding their little ones with their own white bodies; the
turnips and carrots are swelling as fast as they can. Under the ground
some of the caterpillars have coiled themselves up and gone to sleep;
others have finished their sleep and have flown out on many-hued wings
as butterflies or moths.
"In the fruit garden the trees are green. The flowers have long ago
dropped their petals and shut their doors while they made their seeds.
The strawberries and cherries are nearly over, the gooseberries and
currants and raspberries are ripe, but the apples and pears and plums
are green and hard on the trees. The bees have left the orchard and
betaken themselves to the flower garden, but the birds are feasting
royally in the gooseberry and currant bushes.
"I peeped into the pool below the fruit garden. The young gnats and
dragon-flies have crept up the bushes for their great change, and from
there have flown away, when this was over, to earn their living like
the rest of the world.
"In the wheatfield the green corn stands high, and waves its tasselled
flowers in the summer breezes. The grasses and weeds on the roadside
are all in flower. In the meadows the lambs have grown big, and the
sheep are gladly being shorn of their hot woolly coats. The young
birds are leaving their nests in the trees and learning to fly, the
fathers and mothers teach them with infinite love and care.
"There was a great commotion in the bee-hive this morning, for a young
queen had wakened from her chrysalis sleep, and the old queen in her
jealousy would have stung her to death. There was much running about
and loud buzzing. Everybody was too excited to think of going out to
look for honey; but at last they came to an agreement, and some of the
bees went with the old queen to look for a new home while the rest
stayed in the hive with the new queen. The old queen flew to an
apple-tree in the orchard; her people surrounded her in a dense mass to
protect her till a hive was brought and they were safely housed.
To-morrow they will be as busy as can be, making their new honeycomb.
Already they have started."