nce upon a time, a miser lived in a tower along with all his gold. He loved gold, and loved running his fingers through the golden coins in his treasure chest. He ate off of gold plate, and wore golden silk robes, but he still wanted more gold.
A fairy was flying by the tower, and was lost. She was on her way to a meeting of fairies in a nearby glade. Looking through the tower window, she saw the miser in his gleaming robes, and thought to ask him the way. She flew as lightly as a feather through the window, and asked the miser, “Dear man, could you tell me the way to the glade where the fairies are meeting?” The miser looked at the fairy, his eyes glittering when he saw her shimmering, gold-sprinkled wings and her gold-spun hair. He happened to know where the glade was, but hoped to turn the fairy’s confusion to his benefit. “I will tell you where the glade is . . . if . . .” he paused. “If what?” asked the fairy. “As you can see, I love gold,” said the miser, smoothing his robes. The fairy could see where this was going. “Only ask, and it shall be yours,” she said softly. “Then give me gold . . .” Before he could finish, hundreds of goldfinches flew through the tower window. They nipped at the miser’s golden hat, and whirled him around by his golden robes.
“I want gold . . . ” but before the miser could finish, golden flowers grew up from the floor, tickling his feet and making him sneeze.
Piles of bananas rained down upon him, almost crushing him to death. “Not bananas,” he shrieked. Make them go away!” They vanished, leaving behind only some puddles of milk and Cheerio crumbs.
He knew there was no reasoning with the fairy, and that he must tell her what she wished to know. “You must go beyond the darkness of the moon, and turn left at a glittering cairn of diamonds and emeralds. You will find your blasted fairy friends.”