Tradition whispers that in the sky is a bird, blue as the sky itself, which brings to its finder HAPPINESS. But everyone cannot see it; for mortal eyes are prone to be blinded by the glitter of wealth, fame and position, and deceived by the mocking Will-o'-the-Wisp of empty honors.
But for the fortunate ones who seek with open eyes and hearts, with the artlessness, simplicity and faith which are richest in childhood, there is an undying promise; and to them the Bluebird lives and carols, a rejoicing symbol of HAPPINESS and CONTENTMENT unto the end.
One Winter's Eve, No Matter Where Or When, There Lived A Little Boy, Tyltyl, And His Little Sister, Mytyl.
These were the children of Daddy Tyl.
And Mummy Tyl.
Just across the way stood the house of The Rich Children.
Close at hand was the humble hut of poor Neighbor Berlingot.
Neighbor Berlingot's little daughter was very ill.
"You told me about the bird that brings happiness. . . . Perhaps if I had Tyltyl's little bird, I'd be well and happy, too. . . ."
"My little sick daughter thinks that your bird might bring her happiness. . ."
"Pick that muffler up! It's the last thing Granny Tyl made for you before she died. . . . And don't hurt it!"
"Hurt it? . . . Can it feel things? . . . Has it got a soul?"
"Look, Mytyl. . . my muffler's got a soul! Maybe bread's got one too! . . ."
"Shh! . . . I guess water's got a soul. . . and sugar, and fire! . . ."
"Daughter, bring the loaf of sugar."
The fabric of Moonbeams.
"What a queer light in the room! . . . It must be from the Rich Children's party. . ."
"Have you the Bird that is Blue?"
"It's not blue enough. You will have to go at once and find me the one I want."
"You think I look like your Neighbor Berlingot, eh? . . . There's not the least resemblance. I am the Fairy Berylune!"
"Come. . . we must start. Get dressed at once!"
"How beautiful the house of The Rich Children is! . . ."
"It's no more beautiful there than here—only you don't know how to see it. . ."
"When you wear this enchanted hat, and turn the diamond, you will see the inside of Things. . . the soul of Bread, of Water, of Fire. . . ."
"That's Fire. . . . Look out; he's dangerous!"
The Pure Spirit of Water.
"At last we can talk, my little deities! I had so much to tell you, and you wouldn't understand my bark and my tail-wag. . ."
The soul of Sugar, made of sweets and with fingers of lollipops.
Kindly, Satisfying Milk.
Light, the most glorious soul of all.
"What's going to happen? . . . Is there any danger?"
"Are those who go with the children must die at the end of the journey. . . ."
"You have no choice now. . . . We must start for the Fairy's palace at once. . ."
"Bread, take the cage in which to put the Bluebird when we find it."
"We must have been dreaming; I see the children sleeping quite peacefully."
The palace of the Fairy Berylune. . . inherited from the late Mr Bluebeard.
"The Fairy has said that the end of the journey will end our lives. . . ."
"It is to our interest, therefore, to prevent the finding of the Bluebird, even if we have to endanger the lives of the children thereby. . . ."
"I love man! . . . If you try to hurt him, I'll choke you first and tell him everything afterwards!"
"Look first for the Bluebird in the Palace of Night, where I may not enter."
The Underground Palace of Night.
"Children of Man come to demand the Bluebird! If they find him, Mother Night, your dread mysteries will be at Man's mercy! . . ."
"Must Man know everything? . . . Already he has banished a third of my Terrors; my Sicknesses are ill; my Ghosts scarcely dare show their noses abroad!"
"Are these your children, Mrs. Night?"
"Yes. . . . This is Sleep."
"And this is Sleep's grim sister. Her name is not pleasant to hear. . ."
"Give me your keys, that I may search for the Bluebird!"
"You open my doors at your own peril. My Ghosts are in there!"
The Wan Sicknesses.
Shades and Terrors.
"Whatever you do, don't open that door! My other secrets are trivial compared to what lies within!"
"Bluebirds! . . ."
"See! We have found many Bluebirds! . . ."
"The true Bluebird never dies. Look! These are dead!"
"Do not eat now, for you are to have supper with your grandparents."
"There is the graveyard where the happy Dead sleep. . . . You will see them at midnight, when you turn the diamond."
"Give me your hand, Little Brother. . . I'm so frightened, and so cold! . . ."
To the tired, disheartened children, the Bluebird seemed farther away than ever.
"Our living grandchildren are thinking of us, for I begin to feel quite strong. They must be coming to see us!"
"It's months now that you have forgotten us, and that we've seen nobody. . ."
"It's your old blackbird! But, look. . . it's blue! Will you give him to me?"
"And where are my little dead brothers and sisters?"
"Now that we have the Bluebird, we must hurry back to the Fairy."
"The cage is empty! . . . the bird is gone!"
Then the search went on to the Palace of Happiness, where the Luxuries and Joys are gathered in charge of Fate.
"I'm the Luxury-of-Being-Rich, and I come with my brothers to beg you to honor our endless repast."
"This is my son-in-law, the Luxury-of-Being-a-Landowner. . ."
The Luxuries of Drinking-When-You-Are-Not-Thirsty, and Eating-When-You-Are-Not-Hungry.
Knowing-Nothing, who is deaf, and Sleeping-More-Than-Necessary.
The Luxury of Satisfied-Vanity.
"No thank you; we are in a great hurry. Do you happen to have the Bluebird?"
"Bluebird? . . . We have Turkey, Ortolan, Roc's eggs, Nightingale's tongues. . . No I'm afraid not. Is he very delicious?"
"Quick! . . . It is dangerous now; the Things are succumbing. Turn the diamond!"
"This is the Palace of Happiness, and I am the Chief Happiness of the Home."
"Through these portals you can see Joys and Happinesses which are all your own. . ."
The Happiness of Pure Air.
The Joy of Loving.
The Joys of Pure Thoughts.
The Happiness of Springtime.
The Joy of Forest Glade and Dell.
The Happiness of Watching The Stars Rise.
"This is the greatest Joy of all. . . Don't you recognize her?"
"Open your two eyes down to the very heart of your soul! . . . for it is your mother's Joy, peerless Maternal Love!"
"Each of your smiles makes me younger by a year, and your kisses put stars in me eyes, my Babies! . . ."
"Will you know me again in my torn dress when you get back to the cottage? . . ."
"I want to stay here in Heaven with you. . ."
"Heaven is where you and I kiss each other. . . ."
"These are the Unborn Children in the Kingdom of the Future, awaiting the hour of their birth. . ."
"How old are you?"
"I shall be born in twelve years. . . Is it nice to be born?"
"This is the invention which I hall take to Earth. . . it will bring comfort and happiness."
"I shall be your brother next year on Palm Sunday. Tell Mummy that I am ready, and tell Daddy to fix the cradle. . ."
"Time calls them 'The Lovers'. . . They will not be able to leave together, so each will cherish through life an ideal love. . ."
"That's Time. . . He's going to open the gates for the children who are to be born today. . ."
"Won't you let me pass? My parents are old, and have been waiting for me so long! . . ."
"No you don't! . . . This is the third time he has tried to be born before his turn! . . ."
"Mr. Time, let me stay behind with her! . . ."
"A sign, a sign! . . . Tell me how to find you! . . ."
"I shall be the saddest thing on Earth . . . you will know me by that!"
"What is it? . . . that wonderful singing in the distance?"
"It is the glad song of the Mothers coming out to meet their little ones. . ."
The end of the journey.
"Your eyes are about to close to the invisible life of Things; but I shall always be there in the pan, your friend. . ."
"I will serve you in the hearth and the oven, cheer you with my red tongue, and warm you in Winter. . ."
"Love the wells and the brooks; I shall always be there, and in the bucket and tap. . ."
"But we haven't the Bluebird! . . ."
"Don't cry. . . for I shall watch over you in every moonbeam, in every star, in the dawn and the lamplight. . . and in every good thought of your soul! . . ."
"Wake up, children! . . . it's a bright, beautiful morning."
"Good morning to everybody. . . I've come to beg a bit of fire, for it's very chilly."
"Fairy Berylune, we could not find the Bluebird of Happiness for your little daughter who is ill. . ."
"Why the bird is BLUE!!! . . . We went so far, and he was here at home all the time! . . ."
"Daddy! Mummy! . . . the house is ever so much prettier than when we went away! And we're so happy, so happy! . . ."
"Never mind . . . don't cry! Our Bluebird of Happiness has been with us, and we'll keep him in our hearts, you and I, always. To have found him is enough!"
"Please, all of you, look for the Bluebird with all your hearts; and if you find him, keep him for yourselves. And be sure to look first in your own homes, WHERE HE IS MOST APT TO BE FOUND!"