The Golden Key

The Golden Key

3.8 5
by George MacDonald
     
 

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THERE WAS A BOY WHO USED TO SIT IN THE TWILIGHT AND LISTEN TO HIS
GREAT-AUNT'S STORIES. SHE TOLD HIM THAT IF HE COULD REACH THE PLACE
WHERE THE END OF THE RAINBOW STANDS HE WOULD FIND THERE A GOLDEN KEY.


"And what is the key for?" the boy would ask. "What is it the key of?
What will it open?"

"That nobody knows," his aunt would reply… See more details below

Overview

THERE WAS A BOY WHO USED TO SIT IN THE TWILIGHT AND LISTEN TO HIS
GREAT-AUNT'S STORIES. SHE TOLD HIM THAT IF HE COULD REACH THE PLACE
WHERE THE END OF THE RAINBOW STANDS HE WOULD FIND THERE A GOLDEN KEY.


"And what is the key for?" the boy would ask. "What is it the key of?
What will it open?"

"That nobody knows," his aunt would reply. "He has to find that out."

"I suppose, being gold," the boy once said, thoughtfully, "that I could
get a good deal of money for it if I sold it."

"Better never find it than sell it," returned his aunt.

And the boy went to bed and dreamed about the golden key.

Now all that his great-aunt told the boy about the golden key would have
been nonsense, had it not been that their little house stood on the
borders of Fairyland. For it is perfectly well known that out of
Fairyland nobody ever can find where the rainbow stands. The creature
takes such good care of its golden key, always flitting from place to
place, lest any one should find it! But in Fairyland it is quite
different. Things that look real in this country look very thin indeed
in Fairyland, while some of the things that here cannot stand still for
a moment, will not move there. So it was not in the least absurd of the
old lady to tell her nephew such things about the golden key.

"Did you ever know anybody to find it?" he asked, one evening.

"Yes. Your father, I believe, found it."

"And what did he do with it, can you tell me?"

"He never told me."

"What was it like?"

"He never showed it to me."

"How does a new key come there always?"

"I don't know. There it is."

"Perhaps it is the rainbow's egg."

"Perhaps it is. You will be a happy boy if you find the nest."

"Perhaps it comes tumbling down the rainbow from the sky."

"Perhaps it does."

One evening, in summer, he went into his own room and stood at the
lattice-window, and gazed into the forest which fringed the outskirts of
Fairyland. It came close up to his great-aunt's garden, and, indeed,
sent some straggling trees into it. The forest lay to the east, and the
sun, which was setting behind the cottage, looked straight into the dark
wood with his level red eye. The trees were all old, and had few
branches below, so that the sun could see a great way into the forest
and the boy, being keen-sighted, could see almost as far as the sun. The
trunks stood like rows of red columns in the shine of the red sun, and
he could see down aisle after aisle in the vanishing distance. And as he
gazed into the forest he began to feel as if the trees were all waiting
for him, and had something they could not go on with till he came to
them. But he was hungry and wanted his supper. So he lingered.

Suddenly, far among the trees, as far as the sun could shine, he saw a
glorious thing. It was the end of a rainbow, large and brilliant. He
could count all seven colours, and could see shade after shade beyond
the violet; while before the red stood a colour more gorgeous and
mysterious still. It was a colour he had never seen before. Only the
spring of the rainbow-arch was visible. He could see nothing of it above
the trees.

"The golden key!" he said to himself, and darted out of the house, and
into the wood.

He had not gone far before the sun set. But the rainbow only glowed the
brighter. For the rainbow of Fairyland is not dependent upon the sun, as
ours is. The trees welcomed him. The bushes made way for him. The
rainbow grew larger and brighter; and at length he found himself within
two trees of it.

It was a grand sight, burning away there in silence, with its gorgeous,
its lovely, its delicate colours, each distinct, all combining. He could
now see a great deal more of it. It rose high into the blue heavens, but
bent so little that he could not tell how high the crown of the arch
must reach. It was still only a small portion of a huge bow.

He stood gazing at it till he forgot himself with delight--even forgot
the key which he had come to seek. And as he stood it grew more
wonderful still. For in each of the colours, which was as large as the
column of a church, he could faintly see beautiful forms slowly
ascending as if by the steps of a winding stair. The forms appeared
irregularly--now one, now many, now several, now none--men and women and
children--all different, all beautiful.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013775299
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/13/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
953,068
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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