Annie looked, and saw a multitude of tiny forms moving swiftly around, their numbers increasing as the heat of the fire increased.
"Why, you dear little things!" said she, "what are you doing down there?"
"We are water sprites," answered one, in the clearest voice that can be imagined,
and when this delightful warmth comes all about us, we become so light that we fly off, as you see.
In another moment he had joined a crowd of his companions that were spreading their wings and flying off in curling, white clouds over Annie's head.
But they were so light and thin that they soon disappeared in the air.
She could not see where they went, so she again turned to the basin.
"Does n't it hurt you," she asked one, "to be heated—?" "Not always to two hundred and twelve," said the sprite, mischievously.
"No, no," replied Annie, half-vexed; I remember, that is boiling point—but I mean, to be heated as you all are, and then to fly off in the cold?
"Oh, no," laughed the little sprite; we like it.
We are made to change by God's wise laws, and so it can't hurt us.
We are all the time at work, in our way, taking different shapes. It is good for us.
If you will go to the window, you will find some of my brothers and sisters on the glass.