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.
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