“This, dear Ilvie, is a very special sweater,” explains the elf queen.

Quickly, Ilvie pulls the sweater over her head. “Wow, it’s so cool! A gift from the land of the elves! In my favorite color!” she rejoices, turning around a few times and putting her hands in the sweater’s pockets. But … what was that? Ilvie feels something in the pocket that is sewn onto the front of the sweater. She looks at Ella quizzically.

“Go on, take it out!” says Ella, smiling. “That’s a secret compartment in which something very valuable is hidden!”

Carefully, Ilvie pulls on the little zipper on the pocket. What could it be?

Slowly, she pulls something silver and shiny from the sweater.

“That is … What is it?” she murmurs sheepishly, turning the shiny thing over in her hands. “Is it … a … mask? A really beautiful, shiny mask?”

“This sweater, dear Ilvie, and especially this mask, have very special powers,” says the elf queen.

“If you need exceptional superpowers because you’re in a tricky situation, or if you really, really, really want something, they will come in handy,” she continues, smiling. “If you need an exceptional amount of courage because you’re a little bit afraid … or if you have to think about something and you have the feeling that you’re up against a big wall and you’ll never find a solution for a problem … or if you’re sad and the world has become a little bit dark and you would like to see everything around you in another light, then pull the mask out of the secret compartment and put it on.”

Ella pauses and looks at Ilvie insistently.

“You won’t be able to fly with it, but you’ll see, wonderful things will happen. Sometimes it will take a while, but if you remain courageous and strong and you don’t let anyone fluster you, it will work. As soon as you’re wearing this mask, all the elves from the land of the elves will be with you and will stand behind you. With it, you will be able to do anything you can imagine.”

Amazed, Ilvie looks at the mask. Is that really true? Could she really get help from the land of the elves even though she’d left and had to give up all of her magical powers at the gate?

The elf queen adds, “And if you can’t put the mask on because there are people around you who wouldn’t understand, then reach into your secret compartment and touch the mask with your hand. That will be almost as powerful.”

“Good luck, dear Ilvie!” says the elf queen, smiling. “Stay strong and wise, and you will see; wonderful things will happen. Now, I must go back to the land of the elves. Be well, my dear human child!”

“Ella! Wait! Please stay a little longer! I want to know how Flora’s doing! And Bimbi! And what’s little Svendula up to? And … Ella!” cries Ilvie quickly. She wants Ella to tell her so much more; she wants …

But the elf queen has nearly disappeared in the light; Ilvie can see only the outline of her figure. The figure drops its hand and the wind begins to blow again. “Unfortunately, I can’t save you from the storm, dear human child,” Ella’s voice sounds from the light. “We elves may not intervene anymore …”

The words sound softly while the light begins to move, slowly at first and then ever faster away from the boat. “Ella!” cries Ilvie. But the light has disappeared. The elf queen is on her way back to the land of the elves...