Abeille, the human girl, was carried to me by the gnomes on a litter made of moss and twigs. She had wounded her foot. She was very big, and very beautiful, and I declared that I would grant her every wish. What did she want? A pair of shoes, she said. I struck the earth with my lance, and a gnome sprang up with a lovely pair of silk shoes, embroidered with pearls. The girl said she did not think they were sturdy enough to carry her back home to her mother.
“The shoes are not meant for the rocky paths of the outer mountain,” I said. “They are meant for the smooth paths of the inner mountain.”
I knew she was intrigued by our world. I told her I would send her mother a dream so that she would know she was safe. Then I proceeded to show her the wonders of the earth.
Little King Loc Meets a Human Girl in The Story of Little King Loc, Olive Fairy Book (from the original Abeille, or Honey Bee by Anatole France). Illustration by Carl Gehrt.