Buttercup Gold and Other Stories

by Ellen Robena Field

“The Lily Sisters”

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1894
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Field, E.R. (1894) Buttercup Gold and Other Stories Bangor: C. H. Glass
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 9.5
  • Word Count: 487
  • Genre: Fairy Tale/Folk Tale
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, children's literature, short stories
  • ✎ Cite This
  • Share |


Once upon a time there were three little sisters dressed in green, who lived together in a beautiful palace which was owned by a Great King. Such a beautiful palace as it was! The ceilings were made of turquoise and opal, and soft, velvety green carpets covered the floors.

Many other children lived with these little sisters, and they had such a kind nurse called Dame Nature, who taught them how to do their work well; for everybody had some work to do for the Great King.

Surely no one could be unhappy in such a wonderful home, and yet, I, am sorry to say, one of the little sisters was always discontented.

She knew, for Dame Nature had told her, that some day the Great King would come to see who had done loving work for him, and would give the good lilies beautiful white robes and golden crowns, but she was not willing to wait until the King was ready and saw fit to do it.

When the Sunbeam children came to play, she would hang down her head and sulk, and after a while they would leave her alone, and play with her sisters.

When Professor Rain’s school was out, and the jolly little raindrops coaxed her to play with them, she would say crossly, “You are too rough, let me alone!” and they would go and play with the happy little sisters as the sunbeams had done; for everybody loved the two good little lily sisters, who were sorry to see how naughty the other lily was.

But they tried to do their best to help her, and kept on growing.

One day the Great King, who had seen how well they tried to do, thought they deserved their robes and crowns, so he sent the sunbeams dancing away to awaken the inhabitants of the palace for the crowning.

Away they went, peeping through the curtains, and flying into the windows of the palace and waking all the little children with kisses.

Then they took off the old green dresses of the sisters, and put pure white robes on them and gave them crowns of pure gold. The other little sister wished then that she had tried to do right, and drooped until she faded away.

Madam Wind and the Bird family gave a grand concert in Maple Tree Park. Everything was full of gladness, and the lily sisters held a reception all day, and many people came to congratulate them upon being crowned. Among their visitors was wee Ruth, who kissed them and took them to a little sick friend. He smiled as she pressed them into his hand, saying: “Take them, please, for Easter,” and in her sweet child language she told the story of Easter, and of the wonderful work the Great King’s Son did for the people of the beautiful palace.