Milley BrewingtonContributing columnist

June 14, 2012

One of the loveliest stories I know is about a little brownie. I wish I knew the author and source so I could give proper credit. The little brownie was deformed and ugly and he did so want to become a fairy. One day he heard the fairies saying that if one did kind and lovely things, he would turn into a fairy.

This brownie had two possessions he treasured. One was a little wheelbarrow which he began using to haul slugs and snails out of people’s gardens. No one knew about this; he just did it because it was a kind thing to do. Also, he went through the woods collecting nuts which he put in the hollows of the trees for the squirrels to eat.

The other possession was a little green blanket. One day the queen of all the fairies was driving through the woods and the blanket fell out of her chariot. The little brownie saw it fall and picked it up, meaning to take it back to her, but he didn’t. It was so nice and warm and, though he knew it did not rightfully belong to him, he did not want to give it up.

Not only did the little brownie want to be a fairy, but he wanted to see the king of all the world. The fairies had told him he could not sing like the birds nor be beautiful like the flowers until he had seen the king of all the world. They told him that the king came through the forest every morning at dawn. He tried so hard to waken by dawn, but he was never in time to see the king.

One day, the brownie was sitting on a log when a shepherd came through the forest with a lamb. The brownie saw him and asked, “O shepherd, have you seen the king of all the world?”

“Why do you ask?” replied the shepherd. “Because,” said the brownie, “I want to see him but I can never wake up in time.” Then the shepherd smiled, “I wonder if it is because of your little green blanket?”

The Brownie had a great fight with himself. He wanted to keep the little green blanket, but he could not forget the shepherd. Now a new desire was born in his heart as strong as his desire to see the king of all the world. He would like to be a shepherd boy and live with the shepherds always. He suddenly picked up the little blanket and ran through the forest until he came to the palace of the queen. He quickly gave it to her and ran back home.

That night it was so cold in the hollow tree where he lived that he could not sleep. He did not have his blanket to keep him warm. Yet inside he felt a happiness and peace he had not had for a long time. He was awake for the dawn the next morning and it was a wonderful sight. Soon he saw the king of all the world coming through the forest.

The hair of the king was like gold and his eyes shone like stars. His face was fairer that the sunlight. The brownie gazed in wonder. The king came to the brownie’s tree, took him in his arms and held him close until he was warm. Then the king said, “Little brownie, would you like to be my shepherd boy?” He transformed the little, ugly, deformed brownie into the finest, strongest shepherd boy of all. They say that today the brownie’s is the most glad song in fairyland and that his face shines with the glory of the king.

But first, he had to carry back the little green blanket! Isn’t that a fine story? We, too, have desires. We would like to see the King, we would like to be fairer and happier. But I wonder if with many of us there is not some little green blanket? An apology we need to make, or someone we need to forgive? A sin we need to confess, a habit we need to change, a wrong we need to right? However hard it may be to give up the little green blanket, the brownie would tell us to do it and latter on we will be mighty glad we did.

By faith I keep pressing on.