The Enchanted Island of Yew eBook: Page1
L. Frank Baum (1996)
Produced by John N. White and Dennis Amundson.
The Enchanted Island of Yew
Whereon Prince Marvel Encountered the High Ki of Twi and OtherSurprising People
L. Frank Baum
Author of "The Wizard of Oz," "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus,""The Magical Monarch of Mo," Etc.
1. Once On a Time 2. The Enchanted Isle 3. The Fairy Bower 4. Prince Marvel 5. The King of Thieves 6. The Troubles of Nerle 7. The Gray Men 8. The Fool-Killer 9. The Royal Dragon of Spor 10. Prince Marvel Wins His Fight 11. The Cunning of King Terribus 12. The Gift of Beauty 13. The Hidden Kingdom of Twi 14. The Ki and The Ki-Ki 15. The High Ki of Twi 16. The Rebellion of The High Ki 17. The Separation of The High Ki 18. The Rescue of The High Ki 19. The Reunion of The High Ki 20. Kwytoffle, the Tyrant 21. The Wonderful Book of Magic 22. The Queen of Plenta 23. The Red Rogue of Dawna 24. The Enchanted Mirrors 25. The Adventurers Separate 26. The End of the Year 27. A Hundred Years Afterward
1. "Once on a Time"
I am going to tell a story, one of those tales of astonishingadventures that happened years and years and years ago. Perhaps youwonder why it is that so many stories are told of "once on a time", andso few of these days in which we live; but that is easily explained.
In the old days, when the world was young, there were no automobilesnor flying-machines to make one wonder; nor were there railway trains,nor telephones, nor mechanical inventions of any sort to keep peoplekeyed up to a high pitch of excitement. Men and women lived simply andquietly. They were Nature's children, and breathed fresh air intotheir lungs instead of smoke and coal gas; and tramped through greenmeadows and deep forests instead of riding in street cars; and went tobed when it grew dark and rose with the sun--which is vastly differentfrom the present custom. Having no books to read they told theiradventures to one another and to their little ones; and the storieswere handed down from generation to generation and reverently believed.
Those who peopled the world in the old days, having nothing but theirhands to depend on, were to a certain extent helpless, and so thefairies were sorry for them and ministered to their wants patiently andfrankly, often showing themselves to those they befriended.
So people knew fairies in those days, my dear, and loved them, togetherwith all the ryls and knooks and pixies and nymphs and other beingsthat belong to the hordes of immortals. And a fairy tale was a thingto be wondered at and spoken of in awed whispers; for no one thought ofdoubting its truth.
To-day the fairies are shy; for so many curious inventions of men havecome into use that the wonders of Fairyland are somewhat tame besidethem, and even the boys and girls can not be so easily interested orsurprised as in the old days. So the sweet and gentle little immortalsperform their tasks unseen and unknown, and live mostly in their ownbeautiful realms, where they are almost unthought of by our busy,bustling world.
Yet when we come to story-telling the marvels of our own age shrinkinto insignificance beside the brave deeds and absorbing experiences ofthe days when fairies were better known; and so we go back to "once ona time" for the tales that we most love--and that children have everloved since mankind knew that fairies exist.
2. The Enchanted Isle
Once there was an enchanted island in the middle of the sea. It wascalled the Isle of Yew. And in it were five important kingdoms ruledby men, and many woodland dells and forest glades and pleasant meadowsand grim mountains inhabited by fairies.
From the fairies some of the men had learned wonderful secrets, and hadbecome magicians and sorcerers, with powers so great that the entireisland was reputed to be one of enchantments. Who these men were thecommon people did not always know; for while some were kings andrulers, others lived quietly hidden away in forests or mountains, andseldom or never showed themselves. Indeed, there were not so many ofthese magicians as people thought, only it was so hard to tell themfrom common folk that every stranger was regarded with a certain amountof curiosity and fear.
The island was round--like a mince pie. And it was divided into fourquarters--also like a pie--except that there was a big place in thecenter where the fifth kingdom, called Spor, lay in the midst of themountains. Spor was ruled by King Terribus, whom no one but his ownsubjects had ever seen--and not many of them. For no one was allowedto enter the Kingdom of Spor, and its king never left his palace. Butthe people of Spor had a bad habit of rushing down from their mountainsand stealing the goods of the inhabitants of the other four kingdoms,and carrying them home with them, without offering any apologieswhatever for such horrid conduct. Sometimes those they robbed tried tofight them; but they were a terrible people, consisting of giants withhuge clubs, and dwarfs who threw flaming darts, and the stern Gray Menof Spor, who were most frightful of all. So, as a rule, every one fledbefore them, and the people were thankful that the fierce warriors ofSpor seldom came to rob them oftener than once a year.
It was on this account that all who could afford the expense builtcastles to live in, with stone walls so thick that even the giants ofSpor could not batter them down. And the children were not allowed tostray far from home for fear some roving band of robbers might stealthem and make their parents pay large sums for their safe return.
Yet for all this the people of the Enchanted Isle of Yew were happy andprosperous. No grass was greener, no forests more cool and delightful,no skies more sunny, no sea more blue and rippling than theirs.
And the nations of the world envied them, but dared not attempt toconquer an island abounding in enchantments.