The Lady's Room
A Story by Eleanor Farjeon
from The Little Bookroom
A lady once lived in a room that was white as snow. Everything in it was white; it had white walls and ceiling, white silk curtains, a soft white sheepskin carpet, and a little ivory bed with a white linen coverlet. The Lady thought it was the most beautiful room in the world, and lived in it as happy as the day was long.|
But one morning she looked out the window and heard the birds singing in the garden, and all at once she sighed a big sigh.
"Oh, dear," sighed the Lady.
"What's the matter with you, Lady?" said a tiny voice at the window, and there, sitting on the sill, was a fairy no bigger than your finger, and on her feet she wore two little shoes as green as grass in April.
"Oh, Fairy!" cried the Lady. "I am so tired of this plain white room! I would be so happy if it were only a green room!"
"Right you are, Lady!" said the Fairy, and she sprang on to the bed, and lay on her back, and kicked away at the wall with her two little feet. In a twinkling of an eye the white room turned into a green one, with green walls and ceiling, green net curtains, a carpet like moss in the woods, and little green bed with a green linen coverlet.
"Oh, Thank you Fairy!" cried the lady, laughing for joy. "Now I shall be as happy as the day is long!"
The Fairy flew away, and the Lady walked about her green room gay as a bird. But one day she looked out of the window and smelt the flowers, growing in the garden, and all at once she began to sigh.
"Oh, dear!" sighed the Lady. "Oh, dear!"
"What's the matter with you, Lady?" asked a tiny voice, and there on the window sill sat the Fairy, swinging her two little feet in shoes as pink as rose-petals in June.
"Oh, Fairy!" cried the Lady, "I made such a mistake when I asked you for a green room. I'm so tired of my green room! What I really meant to ask for was a pink room."
"RIght you are, Lady!" said the Fairy, and jumped on the bed and lay on her back, and kicked at the wall with her two little feet. All in a moment the green room changed into a pink one, with pink walls and ceiling, pink damask curtains, a carpet like rose-petals, and a little rosewood bed with pink linen coverlet.
"Oh, Thank you, Fairy" cried the Lady, clapping her hands. "This is just the room I have always wanted!"
The Fairy flew away, and the Lady settled down in her pink room as happy as a rose.
But one day she looked out her window and saw the leaves dancing in the garden, and before she knew it she was sighing like the wind.
"Oh, dear!" sighed the Lady. "Oh dear, Oh dear!"
"What's the matter with you, Lady?" cried the Fairy's tiny voice, and there was the Fairy hopping on the window sill in a pair of shoes as golden as lime leaves in October.
"Oh, Fairy!" cried the Lady, "I am so tired of my pink room! I can't think how I ever came to ask you for a pink room, when all the time a golden room was what I really wanted."
"Right you are, Lady!" said the fairy, and she leaped on to the little bed, lay on her back, and kicked at the wall with her two little feet. Quicker than you can wink, the pink room turned golden, with walls and ceiling like sunshine, and curtains like golden cobwebs, and a carpet like fresh fallen lime leaves, and a little golden bed with a gold cloth coverlet.
"Oh, thank you, thank you!" cried the Lady, dancing for joy. "At last I have the very room I wanted!" The fairy flew away, and the lady ran around her golden room as light-hearted as a leaf. But one night she looked out the window and saw stars shining on the garden, and fell a-sghing, as though she would never stop.
"Now what's the matter with you, Lady?" said the tiny voice from the window sill. And there stood the Fairy in a pair of shoes as black as night.
"Oh, Fairy!" cried the Lady, "It is all this golden room! I cannot bear my bright golden room, and if only I can have a black room instead, I will never want any other as long as I live!"
"The matter with you, Lady," said the Fairy, "is that you don't know what you want!" And she jumped on the bed and lay on her back and kicked away with her two little feet. And the walls fell through, and the ceiling fell up, and the floor fell down, and the Lady was left standing in the black starry night without any room at all.
The Lady's Room recalls to my mind the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11:7 - 12:7. In particular... "Life is sweet and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness for they will be many. . . . Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say "I find no pleasure in them."
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