So you see she was a nymph of some importance, and, moreover, it is said she was highly regarded because of her beauty and grace. When she was created she could not have told; Queen Zurline could not have told; the great Ak himself could not have told. It was long ago when the world was new and nymphs were needed to guard the forests and to minister to the wants of the young trees.

"The evil ones are ever cowardly," answered Zurline, "but our friend's slumber shall not be disturbed again." The Queen herself came to the dwelling of Claus that evening and placed her Seal on every door and window, to keep out the Awgwas.

"Their lives are devoted only to evil deeds," said the Prince of the Ryls. "We must destroy them." "They have no conscience, and endeavor to make all mortals as bad as themselves," said the Queen of the Fairies. "We must destroy them." "They have defied the great Ak, and threaten the life of our adopted son," said beautiful Queen Zurline. "We must destroy them." The Master Woodsman smiled.

And under the Seal of Queen Zurline was placed the Seal of the Fairies and the Seal of the Ryls and the Seals of the Knooks, that the charm might become more powerful. And Claus carried his toys to the children again, and made many more of the little ones happy.

She was closely related to the mighty Queen Zurline, and her home was beneath the shade of a widespreading oak. Once every year, on Budding Day, when the trees put forth their new buds, Necile held the Golden Chalice of Ak to the lips of the Queen, who drank therefrom to the prosperity of the Forest.

And you must all eat of the casa plant, to become strong, and of the grawle plant, to become fleet of foot, and of the marbon plant, that you may live long to accompany me on my journeys. Likewise it will be well for you to bathe in the Pool of Nares, which the lovely Queen Zurline declares will render you rarely beautiful.

When good Queen Zurline had touched the golden chalice with her fair lips and it had passed around the circle in honor of the travelers' return, the Master Woodsman of the World, who had not yet spoken, turned his gaze frankly upon Claus and said: "Well?" The boy understood, and rose slowly to his feet beside Necile.

"If Claus does not receive the Mantle it is clear none other can ever claim it," remarked the King of the Light Elves, "so let us have done with the thing for all time." "The Wood-Nymphs were first to adopt him," said Queen Zurline. "Of course I shall vote to make him immortal." Ak now turned to the Master Husbandman of the World, who held up his right arm and said "Yes!"

In addition to the immortals I have named were the King of the Knooks, who had come from his home in the jungles of India; and the King of the Ryls, who lived among the gay flowers and luscious fruits of Valencia. Sweet Queen Zurline of the Wood-Nymphs completed the circle of immortals.

He could sing the songs of the bees, recite the poetry of the wood-flowers and relate the history of every blinking owl in Burzee. He helped the Ryls to feed their plants and the Knooks to keep order among the animals. The little immortals regarded him as a privileged person, being especially protected by Queen Zurline and her nymphs and favored by the great Ak himself.