BUY The Kingdom of the Elves (Complete Series): The Brownies by Palmer Cox and Anna Khvolson HERE

Episode 12

The sprites once more put on their sponge boots and invisible hats and set off. By evening, they came to Brussels, the main city of Belgium. There, as in Holland, they were amazed by the clean and tidy streets and the many gardens and flowers, especially tulips, decorating the houses with their washed windows sparkling in the sun. The Belgian women, as well as the Dutch, wore on their heads enormous bonnets with ribbons.


The elves ran to every corner of the city, climbing curiously into the houses and shops. Finally, they settled in a suburban garden for the night.

“Gentlemen,” said Draggle Tail Sorcerer in a whisper. “I was looking through a crack in the fence and saw something amazing in the next yard. Perhaps we can take a look at what it is, couldn’t we?


“You bet! Of course!” the elves answered.

It was a bright, moonlit evening. The wet grass was fragrant, and the quiet night sky flashed bright stars. Our brownies washed themselves with dew, and refreshed, climbed one by one over the fence to explore the Sorcerer’s surprising discovery.

In the backyard, they found a broken spinning wheel, a spindle, and a flyer to keep the coils during winding.

“Ugh, what junk!” exclaimed Murzilka contemptuously.

“What’s the worry? We’ll fix the junk,” said Father Beardie.

“Yeah, yeah! We’ll fix and mend!” said the elves, jumping about with excitement.

“But it is inconvenient to work here,” said Harelip. “It’s better to move the stuff away where no one will get hurt.”

Instead of answering, hundreds of tiny hands seized the broken items and dragged them with a great effort.


“Oh, seriously, it’s above our strength!” Murzilka groaned, running back and forth, but not touching anything.

Suddenly a heavy wheel tilted on its side and, if the elves had not had their magic power, it would without doubt have killed many of them. All the imps rushed to help, and after much effort they finally managed to put everything in an unused corner of the park, near the river, where no one of the house residents ever came.


Until the morning, the little forest people worked over the wreckage. How happy they were when the broken and worthless objects turned to quite new ones, suitable for work, in their hands.

“What do we do now?” they asked each other.


“Oh, I have an idea!” Draggle Tail exclaimed. “I saw a lot of cotton nearby. You know, the kind which was growing in India in the fields. It’s already washed and dried—quite ready for yarn. Shall we take it and spin it?

“Why do you need thread?” asked grumpy Murzilka.

“Why not? We’ll spin the thread and weave a cotton fabric or make handkerchiefs. You never know what could be made of cotton!” answered Draggle Tail, rushing with several little pixies to the barn where the cotton was stored.

So, the work was humming for our elves!

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Doono and Dunno spun the spindle, Dr. Ointment pulled the thread, Reader wound the yarn, Skipjack and Bear caught the balls, and others helped as much as they could, giggling about the buzzing spindle.

Murzilka, dressed in the latest fashion in a short coat, striped pants, and a newfangled tall hat with a lace handkerchief, ran and bustled among his brothers, pretending hard work.


When all the yarn was ready, the elves moved it into the barn, singing, and locked the door. Then they said goodbye to the floral cups which had sheltered them for the night, and set off, moving from one city to another until they came back to the border.

“Gentlemen,” Harelip asked the others one morning, “Now we need to get to Austria. How do you want to do that? Shall we walk again or should we fly on birds?” “By walking, it’s better to walk,” answered the brownies in one voice.

“The trip is long,” Harelip reminded them. We are in the south, and we need to go through Germany, where we already were, remember?”

“Yes, but then we did not see much in Germany,” said Reader. “I’d really like to meet some scientists.”

“We can stay there a little longer, especially because Murzilka would like to order a new suit in Berlin,” said Harelip.

For many days the elves lived in Berlin, the capital of Germany. They were perfectly settled, especially Murzilka and Reader. The first elf swept all the shops, and the second one visited some German scientist every day, where he enjoyed reading old books.

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