It has started its prison


Helen S. Woodruff, Really Truly Fairy Stories, Ill. Griselda M. McClure, New York, George H. Duran, 1915, p. 75-76.

There were other smallwater creatures all about busily engaged in building their winter homes ; but the baby-caddis-fly, utterly oblivious of anything save its own comfort, snatched their materials and began to build for itself.

« Oh, look ! » Pyxie said to the fairies, «  it has started its prison ! Isn’t there any way we can stop it ? I do feel so sorry for the poor little thing ! »

« No, Little Maid, it must learn its own lesson just as all selfish folk do, «  the Three-fairies sighed, and all of the fairies, silent and sad, watched as the Caddis-fly continued busily working, snatching tiny sticks and stones away from its neighbours and gluting them together about himself in a long, round prison-cell. »See, see, how smart I be ! » he exclaimed, speaking for the first time and wagging his foolish, vain head. «  A palace I’ll make, from the sticks that I take, and nobody shall use it but me ! » An with that, having completed the task of making its outer walls, he crawled back into it.

No sooner had he done sot han a disagreeable, shrill laugh broke the stillness of the onlookers, and Pyxie saw that Big Wasp once more hovered above the Caddis baby, waving her wand in the air just over the surface of the brook. With a final toss of his selfish head the little Caddis-fly tried to come out to greet her, when lo and behold ! he found he was bound by her curse to the prison he had built and could only leave it at the risk his life !

« Let me out ! » he begged. But laughing her hideous laugther the Evil One only scoffed at his distress, and then flew away and left him, for she saw that her curse had turned him into a helpless prisoner and that none of his birth gifts could help him now.

Many moons later Pyxie was one again playing at the Laughing Brook. The Breez-fairies teased her tofollow them as usual, frolicking with mischief through her hair, the Tress bowed to and fro, and the Flower-fairies gazed at their own reflections in the brook’s mirrored coolness, when suddenly without any warning whatever the Spray-fairies cried out in gladdest glee :


‘Swirl, Whirl, swirl, Whirl ;

Our magic has woorked, Little Girl ! »


And turning quickly towards the brook Pyxie saw the long imprisoned Caddis-fly baby rise up ! up !to the surface of the water and instantly spreading its exquisite Breeze-wings, fly away.

« Oh, God-parent-fairies of woods and streams and fields, look, look ! There goes the little selfish Caddis-bay ! He’s escaped ! » she cried, pointing after him.