Katherine Mansfield

(14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923 / Wellington)

Fairy Tale


Now this is the story of Olaf
Who ages and ages ago
Lived right on the top of a mountain,
A mountain all covered with snow.

And he was quite pretty and tiny
With beautiful curling fair hair
And small hands like delicate flowers--
Cheeks kissed by the cold mountain air.

He lived in a hut made of pinewood
Just one little room and a door
A table, a chair, and a bedstead
And animal skins on the floor.

Now Olaf was partly fairy
And so never wanted to eat;
He thought dewdrops and raindrops were plenty
And snowflakes and all perfumes sweet.

In the daytime when sweeping and dusting
And cleaning were quite at an end,
He would sit very still on the doorstep
And dream--O, that he had a friend!

Somebody to come when he called them,
Somebody to catch by the hand,
Somebody to sleep with at night time,
Somebody who'd quite understand.

One night in the middle of Winter
He lay wide awake on his bed,
Outside there was fury of tempest
And calling of wolves to be fed--

Thin wolves, grey and silent as shadows;
And Olaf was frightened to death.
He had peeped through a crack in the doorpost,
He had seen the white smoke of their breath.

But suddenly over the storm wind
He heard a small voice pleadingly
Cry, "I am a snow fairy, Olaf,
Unfasten the window for me."

So he did, and there flew through the opening
The daintiest, prettiest sprite
Her face and her dress and her stockings,
Her hands and her curls were all white.

And she said, "O you poor little stranger
Before I am melted, you know,
I have brought you a valuable present,
A little brown fiddle and bow.

So now you can never be lonely,
With a fiddle, you see, for a friend,
But all through the Summer and Winter
Play beautiful songs without end."

And then,--O she melted like water,
But Olaf was happy at last;
The fiddle he tucked in his shoulder,
He held his small bow very fast.

So perhaps on the quietest of evenings
If you listen, you may hear him soon,
The child who is playing the fiddle
Away up in the cold, lonely moon.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: fairy, animal, lonely, winter, snow, beautiful, friend, summer, happy, hair, moon, child, water, sleep, dream, wind, night, death, kiss, flower

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Fairy Tale by Katherine Mansfield )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 822 Points John Richter (12/4/2014 7:44:00 AM)

    This is an absolute masterpiece! Oh how I wish that I could write like this. I am so glad to have found this author, Katherine Mansfield, on the site's Poem of the Day (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Mother to Son, Langston Hughes
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  10. Invictus, William Ernest Henley

Poem of the Day

poet Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Old Hopes and New Shoes, Charles Hancock
  2. Pressure Of Racism, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Activities of life., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  4. Wanderer at the hills of freedom, ABAYOMI OGUNNIYI
  5. Expressing Self, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. JULEKALENDER # X, Gunnar Mo.
  7. Raise voice against terrorism and racism, Aftab Alam
  8. Passion, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
  9. Immersing Self, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  10. Hymn, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
[Hata Bildir]