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Princess Chrystal and Prince Eolus

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"Princess Chrystal and Prince Eolus" is a fantasy story written by Jack Snow in 1942. It is one of the quartet of stories that make up his first substantial work of fiction, Tinkle and Tod. The story was first published in the final issue of Oz-story Magazine, No. 6, in 2000; it displays obvious debts to the works of L. Frank Baum.

Summary

Tinkle wakes up in her bedroom on Blue Bell Farm, to realize that the first snow of winter has fallen. It covers the land like a blanket of white velvet. Her next-door neighbor Tod joins her to play outside in the still-falling snow. After a while they head away from the meadows and toward the forest, where they are propelled by a strong wind. They are surprised to hear a voice in the wind, and have a conversation with Prince Eolus, the wind elemental.

In the forest, the prince appears to them in the form of a handsome 16-year-old boy. He shows them why he has come to this place: he meets Princess Chrystal, a snow princess who dances to the music of his silver-stringed lyre. She is a gossamer figure with hair like spun gold or winter sunlight. Chrystal and her six sisters accompany their father, who rules the snow, whenever he is sending his storms over the Earth; sometimes they rescue small animals that fall victim to their weather. Tod finds an injured rabbit, and brings the creature to Chrystal to be healed. The princess is pleased to meet two human children who are open enough to perceive her and Prince Eolus.

As the snow diminishes, Princess Chrystal rises into the sky; she cannot take the risk of being left behind and stranded on the Earth. Eolus disappears as well, and the children reach home just as a mighty gale begins.

Debts

Tinkle and Tod show clear general resemblances to Twinkle and Chubbins in Baum's The Twinkle Tales, as well as the children in Dot and Tot of Merryland. Chrystal, an elemental spirit and daughter of a powerful father, who descends to the Earth to dance at the risk of being left behind, obviously derives from Baum's Polychrome.

The story also alludes to George MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind.

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