“Do you hear laughter and singing, brother?” asked Hunor.
“Do you see fairies dancing, brother?” asked Magyar.
As if their question had drawn a veil from their eyes, an enchanting scene opened before them. The white birch trees formed a ring enclosing a smooth green carpet of grass and flowers. Dancing in this ring were two beautiful maidens, as fair as none whom Hunor and Magyar had ever seen before. Their long hair was pale gold like the moon. They wore wreaths of flowers in their hair and were clad in pure white garments. All around under the trees sat gay little dark men, coaxing sweet music out of their reed pipes.
The eyes of Hunor and Magyar flashed.
“Moonmaidens,” whispered Magyar.
Moonmaidens, those strange changeling fairies who lived in birch trees and were never seen in the daylight; moonmaidens who, if caught by the grey hour of dawn, could never go back to fairyland again; moonmaidens, who brought good luck to men.
“We must detain them. The ghost hour is waning, ” whispered Hunor.
Silently they dismounted and tiptoed closer to the dancing fairies. They were inside the ring of trees when a shivering sigh went through the branches and the music stopped abruptly. Somewhere a cock crowed. The two fairies stood motionless in the ring, gazing at Hunor and Magyar with frightened eyes. A scurrying, scampering sound came from the underbrush. Where the little dark musicians had been a moment ago were only gnarled roots and the stumps of trees.
- The White Stag by Kate Seredy 1937