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Wilkes County, Georgia Newspaper Accounts


Selene Ayers Armstrong

The following story by Miss Selene Armstrong, of Washington, Ga., was selected as the winner of the prize of $5 in gold offered by The Constitution, Jr., two weeks ago to the girl under fifteen years of age sending us the best fairy story. It was considered by the committee chosen to award the prize the best story in over two hundred offered. The story was selected because of its imaginative excellence and the charming style in which it is written. It differs entirely from any of the other stories received and we think our readers will agree with us that it is a beautiful sketch—one that would do credit to a writer twice the age of the young author.

The Death of the Robin.

"Hush! hush! tread lightly," said the Wind to the Leaves the day before Easter.

The Leaves were not in a very good humor and said crossly:

"Pray, what must we do that for, master?"

"Because," answered the Wind sorrowfully, "the Robin, the king of song and the prince of our beautiful wood, lies beneath the willow down by the brook—yes. lies 'neath the willow—a corpse, cold and stiff."

The hearts of the Leaves at once softened, for every year, when cruel winter was about to take the beautiful Leaves from the stately trees and scatter them heartlessly on the ground to become wrinkled, brown and ugly with age, no bird sang so cheeringly for them as the Robin. And when they heard the sad news they began to weep and say: "Oh, how ungrateful we have been to the dear Robin. How much we owe him, and, alas, that we cannot repay him."

"Stop fretting," said the Wind, "yonder goes a beautiful fairy, the fairy of our grove. Come with me. I will blow one of her slippers to the willow and when she finds it she will also find the Robin, and perhaps she will bury him under the oak where the violets grow, and she will plant some on his grave. Now you stay by the grave until winter comes, and, when 'tis cold cover the violets with yourselves that they may live and bloom next Easter."

The Leaves readily agreed and said:

"Ah, master, how kind you are."

So they walked on. The Wind carried them gently along. Again the Leaves spoke and said: "Tell us what killed our prince."

"It is," said the Wind, "a short story, but I'll tell you. You know," he began, "the red bird that dwells at the top of the hill. Well, he wooed and won her and they were to be wedded today, but his future bride proved false and loved another. That is all."

By this time they had reached the fairy and suddenly the Wind blew one of her slippers rapidly to the willow. She ran and recovered it, but lo! the slipper wasn't all she saw. There lay the Robin—dead! She raised him tenderly and caressed him.

"I will bury him," she said, looking around, "under the oak and plant violets on the grave."

So saying this she went to the oak and buried him. The Leaves, true to their promise, watched by the violets until winter was over. But not quite all! When, Easter morning, the Wind was going to the grave—unspoken joy—he found a lily which he bore to the oak and placed at Robin's head. There he found the fairy—singing. T'was this:

"Let the earth with gladness sing."


Washington, Ga.

Atlanta, Georgia, The Atlanta Constitution, 07 April 1894, p. A2.






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