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Harold's Fairy Tale

Harold can’t sleep, so he dreams up his very own fairy tale. Drawing his way to an enchanted garden, he discovers that the garden is flowerless. Determined to find out why this should be, Harold draws his way through the mystery until his imagination and his trusty purple crayon conquer all obstacles bring the garden back to life.
Harold can’t sleep, so he dreams up his very own fairy tale. Drawing his way through an enchanted garden, he notices how nothing grows in the garden. It doesn’t look like a garden at all! Off to the king to find out what’s wrong, Harold draws a castle, but the draw-gate is closed, keeping him out. Being resourceful, the clever Harold draws a mouse hole to get into the castle to find out that an invisible giant, or witch—or perhaps an invisible giant witch—is to blame. Harold uses his imagination and purple crayon to draw a story. What story do you want to draw? What color crayon will you use?
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One evening Harold got out of bed, took his purple crayon and the moon along, and went for a walk in an enchanted garden. Nothing grew in it. If he hadn’t known it was an enchanted garden, Harold scarcely would have called it a garden at all. To find out what the trouble was, Harold decided to ask the king. Kings live in large castles. Harold had to make sure the castle was big enough to be the king’s. He didn’t want to waste time talking to any princes or earls or dukes. This was a king’s castle all right. It had tall towers and a big draw-gate to keep out people the king didn’t want to see. But when the draw-gate was drawn closed, it kept Harold out too. Harold shouted for the king to come down and let him in. But the gate didn’t open. He walked along the edge of the enchanted garden beside the smooth wall of the castle— until he thought of his purple crayon. A person smaller than a very small mouse would be able to get in. Without even bending, he walked into a very small mouse hole. He walked through the mouse hole into the castle. He invited the mouse in too, but the mouse preferred to stay outside. As he gazed around inside the big castle, Harold felt very tiny. And a king might not pay much attention to anybody who was smaller than a mouse. So Harold used his purple crayon again. He made sure he was as tall as four and a half steps of stairs, his usual height. Then he climbed up the stairs, looking for the king. He went up and up and up, until he got so tired he couldn’t climb another step. Luckily, there were no more steps. He had reached the top. He still couldn’t find the king. But he remembered kings sat on thrones. The king’s throne looked very comfortable. Harold thought the king wouldn’t mind if he rested a few minutes. He sat on the throne, wondering what it was like to be a king and wear a crown. He tried it with the king’s crown. It was all right for a while, but the crown began to feel heavy. So Harold put it on the king’s head. As he thanked the king for the loan of the crown, he noticed the king looked sad— no doubt because of the garden. He asked the king if the trouble was due to a witch or a giant. The king couldn’t say which. He looked sad and helpless. Evidently, the giant, or witch—if the king couldn’t tell which it was—was invisible. But Harold told the king not to worry. He set off to find the invisible witch or giant, brandishing his purple crayon. And—accidentally—it made a hole in the wall. The accident embarrassed Harold. But the hole was the handiest way out of the castle, and he climbed through it. When he looked down from the other side of the hole, he realized he had forgotten how high up he was. He needed something tall to climb down on, something as tall as a steeple. To fill the hole in the castle, Harold put a handsome and useful clock in it. He was surprised to see how late it was. He slid down the steeple to find the invisible witch or giant right away. It wasn’t a steeple. It was a pointed hat. It was a GIANT WITCH. The purple crayon made it plain— it was an invisible giant witch. Well, no wonder nothing grew in the enchanted garden. How could anything grow, Harold said to himself, with a giant witch tramping around with big feet. Now that he saw what the trouble was, all Harold had to do was drive the witch out of the enchanted garden. Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes, Harold knew, will drive anybody out of a garden. The mosquitoes drove out the witch. They also were driving Harold out of the garden. He had to make smoke to get rid of the mosquitoes. And he had once heard somebody say that where there’s smoke, there must be fire. To put out the fire, he first thought of fire engines. But he decided to make it rain. Rain was easier. The rain soaked everything—Harold too. But, he said, it’s good for the flowers. He was right. Soon there were flowers. Beautiful flowers popped up all over the enchanted garden, more than Harold was able to count, all in gorgeous bloom. Harold thought how delighted and happy the king would be when he looked out from the castle in the morning. And then, amazingly, the last flower turned out to be not a flower at all—but a lovely fairy. She held out her magic wand as fairies always do when they’re giving somebody wishes that will come true. Harold couldn’t think of a thing to wish for. But, to be polite, he took one wish and told the fairy he’d use it later. Besides, Harold thought, as he started on his long walk home, a wish might come in handy sometime. After all the excitement, he suddenly felt tired, and he stopped to rest awhile. He sat on a small rug because the ground was still somewhat damp from the rain. And he wished— he wished the rug was a flying carpet. At once Harold felt it rise in the air. It flew fast and high. But when it went so fast it left the moon behind, Harold realized he didn’t know how to stop the carpet or even slow it down. He wished he’d taken two wishes from the fairy, so he could wish the flying carpet would land. But he did have his purple crayon. He landed the flying carpet in his living room, right behind the high-backed chair his mother sat in, knitting. And he asked her to read him a story before he went back to bed.
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