Two whip-poor-wills were uttering their insistent note, hidden somewhere among the thick foliage of the maple and basswood trees that towered above the spring down behind the house where the Ballards lived. The sky in the west still glowed with amber light, and the crescent moon floated like a golden boat above the horizon’s edge. The day had been unusually warm, and the family were all gathered on the front porch in the dusk. The lamps within were unlighted, and the evening wind blew the white muslin curtains out and in through the opened windows. The porch was low,––only a step from the ground,––and the grass of the dooryard felt soft and cool to the bare feet of the children. In front and all around lay the garden––flowers and fruit quaintly intermingled. Down the long path to the gate, where three roads met, great bunches of peonies lifted white blossoms––luminously white in the moonlight; and on either side rows of currant bushes cast low, dark shadows, and here and there dwarf crab-apple trees tossed pale, scented flowers above them. In the dusky eveninglight the iris flowers showed frail and iridescent against the dark shadows under the bushes. The children chattered quietly at their play, as if they felt a mystery around them, and small Betty was sure she saw fairies dancing on the iris flowers when the light breeze stirred them; but of this she said nothing, lest her practical older sister should drop a scornful word of unbelief, a thing Betty shrank from and instinctively avoided. Why should she be told there were no such things as fairies and goblins and pigwidgeons, when one might be at that very moment dancing at her elbow and hear it all? So Betty wagged her curly golden head, wise with the wisdom of childhood, and went her own ways and thought her own thoughts. As for the strange creatures of wondrous power that peopled the earth, and the sky, and the streams, she knew they were there. She could almost see them, could almost feel them and hear them, even though they were hidden from mortal sight. Did she not often go when the sun was setting and climb the fence behind the barn under the great locust and silver-leaf poplar trees, where none could see her, and watch the fiery griffins in the west? Could she not see them flame and flash, their wings spreading far out across the sky in fantastic flight, or drawn close and folded about them in hues of purple and crimson and gold? Could she not see the flying mist-women flinging their floating robes of softest pink and palest green around their slender limbs, and trailing them delicately across the deepening sky? Had she not heard the giants––nay, seen them––driving their terrible steeds over the tumbled clouds, and rolling them smooth with noise of thunder, under huge rolling machines a thousand times bigger than that Farmer Hopkins used to crush the clods in his wheat field in the spring? Had she not seen the flashes of fire dart through the heavens, struck by the hoofs of the giants’ huge beasts? Ah! She knew! If Martha would only listen to her, she could show her some of these true things and stop her scoffing.