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to tree, her mother was so frightened lest her child should fall that she could not help screaming out, and Gossamer set her gently on the ground and seemed angry, and flew away. But still she used sometimes to come and play with her little friend, and would soon have done so perhaps the same as before, had not Mary one day told her husband the whole story, for she could not bear to hear him always wondering and laughing at their little child's odd ways, and saying he was sure there was something in the fir-grove that brought them no good. So to show him that all she said was true, she took him to see Hfie and the fairy ; but no sooner did Gossamer know that he was there (which she did in an instant), than she changed herself into a raven and flew ofi* into the fir-gi^ova
Mary burst into tears, and so did Elfie, for she knew she should see . her dear friend no more: but Martin was restless and bent upon following up his search after the fairies ; so when night came he stole away towards the grove. When he came to it nothing was to be seen but the gloomy firs and the old hovels ; and the thunder rolled, and and the wind groaned and whistled through the trees. It seemed that all about him was angry ; so he turned homewards frightened at what he had done.
In the morning all the neighbours flocked around, asking one another what the noise and bustle of the last night could mean ; and when they looked about them, their trees looked blighted, and the meadows parched, the streams were dried up, and everything seemed troubled and sorrowj^ul ; but they all thought that somehow or other the fir-grove had not near so forbidding a look as it used to have. Strange stories were told, how one had heard flutterings in the air,, another had seen the fir-grove as it 'were alive with little beings that flew away from it. Each neighbour told his tale, and all wondered what could have happened ; but Mary and her husband knew what