THE children were very much puzzled what to do, for it was Midsummer-night, and they knew that there was a dream belonging to it; but how to come across it they could not tell. They knew that the dream had something to do with fairies, a queen, and all manner of lovely things; but that was all. At first they thought they would sit up with the doors and windows open, and the dog on the steps ready to bark if he saw anything unusual. Then they felt sure that they could not dream while they were wide-awake, so three of them went to bed, and one dozed in a corner of the porch, with her clothes on. Presently the dog barked, and two children in their night-gowns ran out to see, and one took off her night-cap and looked out of window; but it was only old Nurse coming back from a long gossip with the village blacksmith’s wife and mother-in-law. So the dog looked foolish, and Nurse was angry, and put them all to bed without any more ado.
“Oh,” they cried, “but the fairies, and the queen, and the flowers! What shall we do to see them?
“Go to sleep,” said Nurse,” and the dream may come to you; you can’t go to a dream,” she added, for you see she was just a peasant woman, and had never travelled far, or into any land but her own.
So the children shut their eyes tightly and went to sleep, and I think that they saw something, for their eyes were very bright next morning, and one of them whispered to me, softly, “The queen wore a wreath of flowers last night, dear mother, and, oh, she was very beautiful.”