{Laure Claire Foucher - Ireland}

Yellow Lily

Once upon a time, when fairies were as plentiful as dandelions in the meadow, there dwelt in Ireland a mighty king and his good queen. The names of these great rulers have long since been forgotten by writers of history, for they lived hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

They ruled over Erin, and lived in a great stone castle built high upon a cliff overlooking the sea. Erin was the most beautiful part of Ireland, for its forests and great stretches of land were as green as the emerald, and its skies and waters were as blue as the turquoise.

This king and queen had but one child, who was known as the Prince of Erin. He was a bright, handsome boy, but he cared only to have a good time. His father had often told him how wrong it was for him to make bets, but the lad gave no heed to his advice.

One day the prince went out in the wood to hunt for deer. He tramped about all day long, carrying his bow and arrows, but no deer could he find. At last he sat down to rest.

He was almost asleep when he heard a shrill whistle behind him and the tramping of heavy feet upon the fallen timbers.

“Who are you?” cried a loud, gruff voice.

The prince turned quickly and saw a giant striding towards him down the hill. He was almost as tall as the tallest tree, and his face was frightful to see. His eyes were like balls of fire and his nostrils belched forth black smoke.

“Woe is me; it is the Giant of Loch Lein!” cried the prince. He wanted to run away as fast as he could, but his feet would not move. He stood trembling in every limb, for he knew that the Giant of Loch Lein hunted in the wood for boys just as the boys hunted for game. Many a lad had been seized by the terrible creature, taken to his castle in the heart of the forest, and had never returned to his parents.

“Who are you?” again roared the giant.

“I am the son of the King of Erin,” replied the boy, trying to be brave.

“I have been waiting for you a long time,” said the giant with a laugh that sounded like a thunder clap. “I have never eaten a real prince, although I have heard that their meat is very tender.”

The prince turned away, weak with fright; but the giant seized him and said:

“Do not be frightened. As you are a son of the Ruler of Erin, I will give you a chance to escape. I understand that you can play fine games, and that you are fond of betting. Let us play a game on this hillside. If I win, I will take you to my castle, never to return to your home again.”

The prince was so fond of playing games that, even in his fright, he agreed to do as the giant wished.

“I have two fine estates, each containing a castle,” said the giant. “They are yours if you beat me at the game.”

“And I also have two estates which shall be yours, if you beat me,” replied the prince. “No man in Erin has ever beaten me at any game.”

So they played until dusk, the prince quite forgetting his fear of the giant. Although the Giant of Loch Lein was a skillful player, the Prince of Erin beat him badly.

“You may go,” grumbled the giant when the game was at an end. “You are surely a wonderful player—the best in all the land.”

Most of the old historians agree that the Prince of Erin did not tell his parents anything about his narrow escape from the giant. As soon as he reached home, he climbed to the top of the tallest tower where he could gaze at the forest in the distance, in which stood the castle of the giant.

“I will go again tomorrow and beat the giant, for it will be huge sport,” he said to himself. “Even if I be beaten, the giant dare not destroy the son of the King of Erin, for my father’s army will search for me and tear down the castle of the giant when I am found. Besides, I understand that he has three beautiful daughters, the fairest girls in all the land. I should like to see them.”

On the next morning, while the prince was preparing to go hunting, the wisest old man in the court, whose name was Glic, went to the king and said:

“The prince is about to go hunting. I beg you not to let him go, for I fear that some great danger will befall him.”

The king commanded his son to stay inside the palace all day; but when no one was looking, the prince stole away to the hillside near the forest. Again he heard a shrill whistle that shook the boughs of the trees like a gale, and in a few moments he saw the giant striding towards him.

“Ho, ho, my young prince!” cried the giant. “I knew that you would come back today. Let us have another game. What will you wager that you can beat me playing?”

“I will wager my herd of cattle,” said the prince, not so much frightened as before.

“And I will wager five hundred bullocks with gold horns and silver hoofs,” said the giant. “I am quite sure you cannot beat me again.”

“Agreed,” said the prince, and at once they began to play.

In a short time the prince won the game, and the giant set up a howl of rage. Turning towards the forest he whistled loudly three times, and five hundred bullocks with gold horns and silver hoofs came forth.

“They are yours,” said the giant. “Follow them to your palace gate and come again tomorrow.”

The prince, filled with the delight of triumph, followed the cattle to the palace gate where the king’s herder took charge of them. Then he hastened to his father and mother and bade them go to see the costly wager he had won from the Giant of Loch Lein.

The king and queen and all the court were delighted with the cattle, whose gold horns and silver hoofs shone in the sunlight.

On the third morning the Prince of Erin again put on his hunting clothes and started to the forest; but Glic, the fortune teller, again stopped him.

“No good can come from this gaming, for the giant will beat you at last, and you will never return to us again,” said Glic.

“I am not afraid,” laughed the prince, “for if he take me prisoner, I will have his head.”

So he set forth again, singing a merry tune. Hardly had he seated himself upon the hillside when he heard the giant’s whistle. The prince was not at all frightened, although the giant scowled with anger because he had been obliged to give up his herd of cattle.

“What will you wager today?” roared the giant.

“I will wager my head against yours,” said the prince boldly.

“Ha, ha! you have grown quite brave,” laughed the giant mockingly. “I will wager my head that I can beat you today. If you lose the game, I will have your head before the sun rises to-morrow.”

They played on the hillside till dusk. The game was a close one, full of breathless interest and excitement; but the prince was beaten. With a shout of triumph the giant danced about, trampling down small trees and bushes.

The prince was indeed sorry that he had wagered such a useful piece of property as his head, but he did not complain.

“You are an honest lad, even though you are rash,” he said presently. “I will let you live one year and one day longer. Go home to the palace, but do not tell anyone that I am to have your head. When the time has passed by, come back again to the hillside to pay your wager.”

Then the giant vanished, leaving the poor prince alone, very sick at heart. He did not go home but wandered about, not caring whither he went.

Finally he found that he was in a strange land far beyond the border line of Erin. On each side were green pasture lands, and in the distance were high green hills; but not a house could be seen.

He wandered on and on, weak from hunger till he came to an old hut that stood at the foot of a hill. It was lighted by a candle. He entered and came face to face with an old woman who had been bending over a fire. Her teeth were as long as the staff he carried and her scant hair hung loosely about her face.

Before the prince could speak, the old woman said:

“You are welcome in my house, son of the King of Erin.”

Then she took him by the hand, led him into a corner of the room, and told him to wash his face and hands. In the meantime she made him some hot porridge and bade him eat a hearty meal.

The prince was much surprised because she knew his name, and he wondered why she remained so quiet. He thought she must be a witch; but hungry boys, no matter how high their station, are apt to forget danger when a good supper is set before them. After he had eaten and drunk all he wanted, he sat by the fire until she took him to a bedroom and told him to go to bed.

On the next morning he was awakened by the witch, who bade him rise and eat his breakfast of bread and milk.

He did as he was told, without so much as bidding her good morning.

“I know what is bothering you, son of the King of Erin,” she said. “If you do as I bid you, you will have no cause for regret. Here is a ball of thread. Hold to one end of the thread and throw the ball before you. When you start on your journey the ball will roll; but you must keep following it and winding the thread all the time or you will be lost again. You were with me last night; you will be with my sister tonight.”

The prince took the ball of thread; threw it before him, and began walking slowly and winding the thread into another ball. With each step that he took, the ball moved further and further away from him. All day long he trudged up hill and down dell, faster and faster, until his feet and hands were so tired he could scarcely move them. At last the ball of thread stopped at the door of a hut that stood at the foot of a high hill. A candle flickered in the window. He picked up the ball and ran to the door where he met another old witch whose teeth were as long as crutches.

“Welcome, son of the King of Erin!” she cried. “You were with my youngest sister last night; you will be with me tonight; and tomorrow you will be with my eldest sister.”

She took him into the hut, bade him wash his hands and face, gave him a hearty supper of porridge and cakes, and sent him to bed.

The next morning she called him to breakfast. When he had finished eating, she gave him a ball of thread and told him to follow it as before.

The prince followed it through field and over common, hurrying faster and faster every minute, until late on the following evening, when it stopped at the door of a hut that stood at the foot of a hill. A candle sputtered in the window as if to welcome him. A witch, more homely than the others, stood by the fire making porridge.

She greeted the prince as her sisters had done, bade him wash his face and hands, gave him his supper, and sent him to bed. On the following morning after breakfast she gave him a ball of thread and said:

“Son of the Prince of Erin, you have lost your head to the Giant of Loch Lein, who lives near by in a great castle surrounded by spikes. Some day you will lose your head to his daughter. Follow this ball of thread to the lake behind the castle. When you reach the lake at midday, the ball will be unwound. In a few minutes more the daughters of the cruel Giant of Loch Lein will come to the lake to bathe. Their names are Blue Lily, White Lily, and Yellow Lily. The latter is the wisest and most beautiful of the three. Steal her clothing and do not give it up until she promises to help you, for she is the only person in the world that can outwit the Giant of Loch Lein.”

The prince thanked the witch for her advice, and followed the ball of thread to the Castle of Spikes, which was a dark, gloomy building hidden from view by great trees. When he reached the lake behind the castle, the ball of thread vanished.

He stood for a time looking at the lake, which looked like a brilliant turquoise in the sunshine. Presently he heard girlish shouts of laughter. He concealed himself behind a clump of bushes where he could see without being seen. Three beautiful girls came tripping down to the edge of the water, where they stopped to look all about them.

It was very easy for the prince to make out their names. The tallest one, who wore a gown of pale blue, had eyes as blue as the skies above; he knew that she must be Blue Lily.

One of them was so fair that she looked as though she were carved from marble; he was sure that she was White Lily. But Yellow Lily was small and slender, with hair that shone like gold in the sunlight. She was wonderfully graceful and beautiful.

Yellow Lily threw off her robe of spun gold and stood dressed in a bathing suit of the same material. With a joyous shout she leapt into the water, followed by her sisters.

The Prince of Erin darted forth from his hiding-place, and seized the robe of spun gold. Yellow Lily saw him and cried at the top of her voice:

“Give me back my golden robe. My father will kill me if I lose it. Please do not run away.”

“What will you give me for it?” asked the prince, moving slowly backward from the pool.

“Anything that you wish, for I am guarded by a fairy godmother who makes all things possible,” replied Yellow Lily.

“I have come to give myself up to your father, the Giant of Loch Lein, according to my promise,” said the prince. “I would ask you to have him set me free. Here is your gown.”

He laid the robe upon the grass and walked away up the hill towards the castle. In a few moments he was joined by Yellow Lily dressed in her golden robe.

“You are the son of the King of Erin,” she said smiling sweetly, and catching step with him. “If you do as I say, you will not lose your head; but in the future I hope that you will never become so foolish as to wager your head or any other trifle you may have.”

“I promise you that I will not,” said the prince, looking at her admiringly. “If your father had wagered your pretty golden head, I believe I could have beaten him at the game.”

Yellow Lily tossed her curls and laughed merrily, saying: “Father has a soft bed for you in a deep tank; but do not worry, for I will help you.”

They passed in silence through the stone gates of the Castle of Spikes. The great stone courts, balconies, and battlements were quite deserted. Yellow Lily took the prince into the kitchen, which was the largest one he had ever seen. The floor was made of white cobblestones, and a brass caldron boiled over the flames in the great fireplace. Yellow Lily hid the prince behind a curtain in one corner of the room.

Presently the Giant of Loch Lein appeared and sank down into a chair before the fireplace. He began to sniff the air and finally roared:

“The son of the King of Erin is here! Fetch him hither, Yellow Lily.”

The girl did as she was bidden. The prince could not keep from trembling as he stood before the fierce giant, although he felt that Yellow Lily would keep her promise.

“You must be very tired,” roared the giant, so loudly that the dishes on the shelves rattled. “I have a nice soft bed for you.”

He seized the prince, carried him across the kitchen, opened a tank, and threw him in. Splash! The prince fell head-first into three feet of water.

What was still more terrible, the giant fastened down the lid of the tank. The prince feared the dark far more than he did the water, but he did not cry out. He stood shivering for more than an hour, wondering if Yellow Lily had forgotten him, and wishing that he was safe at home in his bed of silk and gold.

At last the lid was raised, and Yellow Lily peeped down at him, smiling roguishly.

“Shall I steal your clothes and run away, as you tried to do today?” she said softly.

“No, do not let me stay in this place. I will do anything you may want me to do,” pleaded the prince, with chattering teeth.

“Then climb out; put on these dry, warm clothes I have for you; and have some supper,” she said.

It did not take the prince long to get out of his soft bed. He found the giant sound asleep before the fireplace, snoring loud enough to drown the most terrible crash of thunder.

Yellow Lily spoke not a word, but gave the prince some dry clothing and told him to stay in the corner until she returned. Before long she came back with a tempting supper smoking upon a tray, and told him to eat. He was very hungry and ate very heartily. Then she took him to another corner of the room and raised a curtain that hung there.

He saw a soft, white bed and a table that held fresh water and towels. Yellow Lily wished him happy dreams and hastened away.

At break of day she returned and said excitedly:

“Awaken, Prince of Erin! Do not lose a moment or we are lost. Put on the clothes you wore yesterday and follow me.”

The prince rose and dressed himself as quickly as possible. Then he drew back the curtain that hid his bed, and followed the girl.

“When the chickens begin to cackle, father will awaken,” she whispered. “Leap back into the tank and I will shut down the lid.”

The prince hesitated.

“Do as I say, or we are both lost,” said the girl.

The prince jumped into the tank, and Yellow Lily closed the lid. The splash aroused the giant, who stretched his heavy limbs, rubbed his nose, and yawned. Then he opened his eyes, gazed all about him, strode across the room, opened the tank, and shouted:

“Good morning, Prince of Erin; how did you like your nice soft bed last night?”

“I never slept better, thank you,” truthfully answered the prince.

“Then climb out,” commanded the giant.

The prince obeyed.

“Since you have slept so soundly, you shall do some hard work to-day,” said the giant. “I will spare you your head if you will clean out my stables. They contain five hundred horses and they have not been cleaned for seven hundred years. I am anxious to find my great-grandmother’s slumber-pin which was lost somewhere in these stables. The poor old soul never slept a wink after losing it, so she died for want of sleep. I want the slumber-pin for my own use, as I am a very light sleeper.”

“I will do my best to get the pin,” said the prince, almost discouraged, for he had never so much as cleaned the tips of his boots.

“Here are two shovels, an old one and a new one,” said the giant gruffly. “You may take your choice. Dig away until you find the slumber-pin. I shall expect it when I come home to-night.”

The prince took the new shovel and followed the giant to the stables where hundreds of horses began to neigh, making a most deafening noise.

“Remember, Prince of Erin, I will either have the slumber-pin or your head,” said the giant, as he walked away.

The prince set to work, but every time he threw a shovelful out of the window, two shovelfuls came flying in to take its place. At last, tired and discouraged, he sat down to rest.

At that moment Yellow Lily appeared, more beautiful than ever in another gown of gold and silver, with yellow flowers in her golden hair.

“What are you trying to do, Prince of Erin?” she asked, dimpling with laughter.

“I am trying to find your great-great-grandmother’s slumber-pin,” was the pitiful reply.

“You are a mighty prince and my father is a mighty giant, yet you are both foolish as all men are,” she said. “How do you suppose my great-great-grandmother could lose her slumber-pin in the stables? I have the slumber-pin myself; here it is. I put it in father’s pocket last night so he could not wake up and catch us.”

“What a useful girl you are!” cried the Prince, beside himself with joy and admiration.

All day long they visited until Yellow Lily said that she must go, for she heard her father’s footsteps a league away, and he would be there in two minutes.

When the giant saw that the prince had found the slumber-pin, he was greatly surprised.

“Either my daughter, Yellow Lily, has aided you, or else it was the Evil Spirit,” he muttered.

Before the prince could reply, the giant picked him up, carried him back to the kitchen, and again threw him into the tank. Then he sat down by the fire, holding the slumber-pin. Soon he began to snore like a thousand locomotives.

Up went the lid of the tank, and Yellow Lily, sweet and smiling, shouted down at the top of her voice:

“Get up from your soft bed, Prince of Erin; eat the supper I have prepared, and talk as loudly as you wish, for father has gone to sleep holding great-great-grandmother’s slumber-pin.”

The evening they spent together was a merry one, and after Yellow Lily had joined her sisters in the watch-tower, the prince again slept in the soft bed in the corner of the kitchen. At dawn Yellow Lily again awakened him and told him to hurry back to the tank.

Up went the lid of the tank, and Yellow Lily sweet and smiling.

As soon as the lid was closed, Yellow Lily rushed to her father’s side, seized the slumber-pin, and threw it upon the floor. The giant gave a roar and fell sprawling upon the cobblestones.

“Who woke me up?” he growled, trying to gain his feet.

“I did, dear father,” said the girl meekly. “You would have slept forever had I not pulled the slumber-pin from your grasp. It is very late.”

“You are a good, trustworthy daughter,” said the giant. “I will get you something pretty.”

He went to the tank and commanded the prince to get out of his nice, soft bed.

“You have lain in bed so long, you must work still harder to-day,” he added. “My stables have not been thatched for many years, and I want you to do it to-day. They cover many acres, but if you finish them before dark I will spare you your head. They must be thatched with feathers, to be put on one at a time, and no two of them must be alike.”

The prince was again cast down, but he said that he would do his best.

“But where shall I find the birds?” he asked after a period of helpless silence.

“Where do you suppose? I hope you would not try to find them in the frog pond,” was the impatient answer. “Here are two whistles, an old one and a new one. You may take your choice.”

“I’ll take the new one,” said the prince, and the giant gave him a whistle that looked as though it had never been used.

“Some day you will learn that old things are best,” said the giant scornfully.

When the giant had gone, the prince blew the whistle until his lips were puckered out of shape, but not a fowl came to his rescue. At last he sat down upon a rock, almost ready to cry.

But Yellow Lily came again, lovelier than ever in another yellow gown trimmed with the wings of dragon flies, and with pearls in her glorious hair.

“Why do you sit whistling instead of working?” she asked. “Poor prince, you must be hungry. Here is a little table set for two under this big tree. When things worry you, don’t give up. The man who keeps his appetite has no cause to despair.”

So they sat down and ate peacock tongues and frosted cakes and almonds and many other delicacies, and were happier than ever.

“But it is growing late, and the stable is still unthatched!” cried the prince, suddenly remembering his task as soon as his appetite was satisfied.

“Look behind you,” said the girl.

The prince, to his utter surprise, saw that the stables were thatched with downy bird feathers, no two of them alike.

“You are a wonder,” he said, grasping her hands in gratitude.

“Not at all,” she replied. “How could the birds work for you while you stood there blowing that terrible whistle? Birds would be as good friends to people as dogs are, if people did not frighten them so. But say no more. I hear father drinking at the spring two miles away, and he will be here in four minutes.”

She drew her skirts closely about her and with a sweet smile hastened into the castle.

“Who thatched that roof?” shouted the giant as soon as he arrived.

“My own strength did it,” said the prince humbly, feeling that he had not told a falsehood, for Yellow Lily was even more than strength to him.

The giant, instead of thanking him for his services, seized him again, and threw him headlong into the kitchen tank. Then he sat down by the fire. No sooner had his head begun to nod than Yellow Lily placed the slumber-pin over his nose to be sure that he could not wake up. Then she set the prince free, and they spent the evening as before, except that there was much more merriment.

On the following morning the giant opened the tank and ordered the prince to climb out.

“I have a task for you to do that even a prince cannot do,” he said. “I am sure that I shall have your head before night. Near the castle is a tree nine hundred feet high. It has but one branch and that is near the top. This branch contains a crow’s nest. In the nest is one egg. I want that egg for supper tonight. If you do not get it, you will be sorry.”

The giant took the prince to the tree, which rose like a great pillar of smooth glass, so slippery that not even an ant could crawl upon it without sliding off.

When the giant had gone, the prince tried a dozen times to climb to the top, but each time he slipped back to the earth quicker and harder than before. He was glad indeed when Yellow Lily came.

And now comes the bloodcurdling part of the tale that I would rather omit; but I must tell it all to you just as the dear little Irish children heard it centuries ago, or I should feel that I had marred this ancient bit of fairy folklore.

Yellow Lily, as usual, brought something to eat, and after they had eaten, she, for the first time, turned upon the prince a sorrowful face.

“I am sorry father gave you this task to do; but we must submit to what cannot be helped,” she said. “Alas! dear prince, you must kill me.”

“Kill you!” he cried in horror. “Never! I would rather lose my head a thousand times.”

“But, if you are careful, I shall come to life again,” persisted the girl. “My fairy godmother will care for me. You will find it easy to strip off my flesh, for you have only to say, ‘Yellow Lily of Loch Lein.’ Say it again and my bones will all separate. You will find that my bones will stick to this tree like little steps. On the ladder of bones you can climb to the top of the tree. Get the egg and climb down carefully, each time pulling one of my bones from the tree until you have reached the earth. Then pile the bones in a heap upon my flesh and say, ‘Come back, Yellow Lily of Loch Lein,’ and lo! I will be myself again. But be careful—be careful not to leave one of my bones on the tree.”

For a long time the prince refused to obey her request until Yellow Lily grew vexed and said:

“Then I will tell father that I have been helping you, and he will kill us both. Make haste, for the time is short.”

“Yellow Lily of Loch Lein!” shouted the prince, without looking at her. “Yellow Lily of Loch Lein!” he shouted again.

Then he looked down and saw at his feet a stack of little white bones. He gathered them up and, climbing slowly, made a little ladder by sticking them against the tree. He soon reached the crow’s nest, found the egg, placed it in his pocket, and climbed down again, plucking the bones from the tree as he went. Then he piled them upon the flesh and garments of the girl and, with tears in his eyes, shouted:

“Come back, Yellow Lily of Loch Lein.”

And immediately Yellow Lily stood before him, but no longer smiling.

“Wretch!” she cried. “You have made me a cripple for life! You are nothing but a careless boy after all.”

“Oh, what have I neglected to do?” cried the prince, sick with fear.

“There is one of my little toes still hanging to the tree. Oh, what an awkward creature a prince is!”

The prince on his knees begged her pardon, and finally Yellow Lily broke into her old, sweet smile and said:

“I am thankful it is no worse. What a sight I would be if you had forgotten my backbone!”

So they became merry and talkative again until it was time for the giant to arrive. Then Yellow Lily went to her tower and the prince took his stand at the castle gate holding the crow’s egg.

“You are certainly a magician!” gasped the giant when he saw the prince. “I cannot take your head, lest a worse fate befall me. Go home at once. Do not linger here a minute.”

The prince wanted to bid farewell to Yellow Lily, but of course, that was impossible, so he hastened home as fast as he could.

When he reached the Palace of Erin, the king, the queen, old Glic, and all the court ran out to greet him. Never before had there been such rejoicing there. For days they feasted and danced to melodious music, and a tournament was held in which the best archers in the kingdom tested their skill.

A year later, old Glic, who was always making trouble, told the king that it was time for the prince to marry some noble lady of great wealth. The prince would have liked to marry Yellow Lily, but the king said that he must choose a princess whose rank was equal to his own. In despair the prince told Glic to select him a wife soon or he would go roaming again and never return.

“I have found a suitable lady,” said Glic. “Her father is the King of Loch Lein, the kingdom that is next to ours. Her father is powerful, her family is famous, her wealth cannot be counted, and she is as beautiful as the Queen of the Fairies.”

“If she will have me, I will marry her,” said the prince, “but I will not seek her myself.”

The king sent Glic to the court of Loch Lein, bearing rich gifts and guarded by soldiers and attendants. In a few weeks he returned and told the King of Erin that the King of Loch Lein had consented to give the prince his daughter in marriage.

Preparations were at once made for a great wedding. All kinds of sports, several dances, and other amusements were to be enjoyed at court, and the royal families of many different kingdoms, even from the isles of the sea, were to be present.

The prince himself finally grew much interested in getting ready for the great event. In fact he almost forgot about Yellow Lily and the help she had given him to save his head. Yet he bade his father invite the Giant of Loch Lein to be present at the feast to be given before the day of the wedding. It was also agreed to invite Blue Lily, White Lily, and Yellow Lily, and to treat them as princesses of the royal blood.

In time the King of Loch Lein, who was an aged man, arrived with his daughter and a shipful of attendants. The gatekeeper blew his bugle and the whole court of Erin ran out to greet them. The King and Princess of Loch Lein were taken into the reception hall where the Queen and Prince of Erin welcomed them.

The prince was much disappointed when he beheld the princess, and was very angry with Glic, for she was haughty and not at all pretty. She seemed to be more pleased with the costly furniture and tapestries than with the prince.

The day of the feast came at last. The table in the banquet hall was loaded with fruits and costly meats of all kinds to be served upon plates of solid gold. Every one appeared to be happy, especially old Glic, who was to receive a large sum of money for finding the prince a wife.

At the close of the feast, the King of Erin sang a ballad and the King of Loch Lein told a story. In those days the people were fond of deeds of magic, so the prince requested Glic to call the mighty Giant of Loch Lein, that he might perform some tricks.

In a few moments the giant entered the room, bowing sternly as the people clapped their hands and cheered. He did not look at the prince but bowed low to the two kings.

“Your Majesties,” he said, “it is my daughter who is the real magician. I know that she will be glad to entertain you for a short time. In fact she has consented to take my place.”

Just then Yellow Lily entered the room in a gown of gold that swept the floor. Her golden hair shone like the sun. No one present had ever seen such glorious hair nor such a beautiful face and form. All were too much amazed at her beauty and elegance to utter a word of welcome.

Yellow Lily sat down at the table and threw two grains of wheat into the air. They lit upon the table and turned into a male and a female pigeon. Immediately the former began to peck at his mate, almost driving her from the table. To the surprise of all, the female pigeon shrieked:

“You didn’t treat me thus on the day I cleaned the stable for you and found the slumber-pin.”

Yellow Lily laid two grains of wheat before them, but the male pigeon greedily devoured them and continued to abuse his mate.

“You would not have done that to me the day I thatched the stables for you with the feathers of birds, and no two of them alike,” shrieked the female pigeon.

When some more wheat was laid before them, the male pigeon ate more greedily than before, and after he had eaten every grain he pushed his mate off the table. She fluttered to the floor screaming:

“You wouldn’t have done that the day you killed me and took my bones to make steps on the glass tree nine hundred feet high, to get the crow’s egg for the supper of the Giant of Loch Lein—and forgot my little toe, and made me lame for life!”

The Prince of Erin rose to his feet, red with shame, and turning to the King of Loch Lein, said:

“When I was younger I roamed about hunting and playing games. Once while away from home, I lost the key to a valuable chest. After a new key was made I found the old one. Which of the two keys should be kept, the old one or the new one?”

The King of Loch Lein looked puzzled, but he answered promptly:

“Keep the old one by all means, for it will fit better and you are more accustomed to it.”

“I thank you for your sound advice,” continued the prince with a smile. “Yellow Lily, the daughter of the Giant of Loch Lein, is the old key to my heart, and I will wed no other girl. Your daughter, the princess, is the new key that has never been tried. She is only my father’s guest, and no more; but she will be better for having attended my happy wedding in Erin.”

Great astonishment of both royal families and their guests when the prince took Yellow Lily by the hand and led her to a seat beside him. But when the musicians began to play a brilliant air, the palace re-echoed from tower to dungeon with joyous shouts of “Long live the Prince of Erin and his future bride, Yellow Lily of Loch Lein!”

{Tang Dynasty China}

The Legend of Chang'e

Once upon a time, in a very distant village, a large tree overlooking the Eastern Ocean, the tree was so large and tall that its branches reached the sky.

On this tree lived 10 crows which had the onerous task of raising the Sun into the sky. Each raven had its own Sun and every day, in turn, a different raven with a different Sun rose in flight.

Life was in perfect balance, the village men loved the Sun, it gave them energy and food. One day, however, the unthinkable happened, for no reason all the crows rose in flight with each of their Suns.

With the heat of all 10 Suns in the sky, the Earth began to dry up. The heat was too great for the lives of men, lakes and rivers began to dry up, the earth no longer gave food, various blazes devastated the forests and men along with animals could not survive.

Faced with this chaos, the emperor asked for help from the god Dijun, god of eastern paradise, who decided to send the best celestial archer, Hou Yi, to his aid. Hou Yi took his red bow with his white arrows and his wife Chang’e, and went down to the Land of men.

Hou Yi initially tried to make the 10 crows reason, but they did not want to hear reasons and all 10 remained in heaven. At that point in Hou Yi annoyed by the arrogance of the crows he decided to shoot them with his arrows.

He took the first arrow and flung it at the first crow, which fell to the ground with his own Sun. Then he took a second arrow and hit the second crow, then the third and so on, up to the ninth crow. Hou Yi left only one crow alive with his own Sun, necessary to give heat and energy to the Earth.

The god Dijun, when he learned that Hou Yi had killed 9 of his 10 children, got so angry that Hou Yi and his wife Chang’e were forever chased from their heavenly abode and he made them remain forever on Earth by taking away the gift of immortality.

Hou Yi liked life on Earth, taught the art of archery and was a hero of various challenges, but only one thing was missing, his immortality. With the passage of time he began to feel guilty for having forced his beautiful wife Chang’e to give up her immortality forcing her to an earthly life full of hardships.

Hou Yi had to find a way to return to heaven and to regain their immortality.

One day, he learned that a certain lady, the Queen Mother of the West, possessed an elixir of immortality. Then Hou Yi crossed seas and mountains until he reached the presence of the Queen Mother of the West, who knew the fame of the archer and his heroic exploits, and so she immediately gave him the last bottle of the elixir.

Hou Yi now had a great question before him: “what to do? I can’t drink the elixir and go up to heaven alone and leave Chang’e here, but I also can’t go up to heaven alone. What should I do?”

Tormented by a thousand questions, Hou Yi, once back home decided to hide the elixir.

Days later, Chang’e discovered her husband’s secret and, despite the love for her beloved, she was fed up with that life so, on the night of August 15, Chang’e secretly drank the elixir.

Immediately after drinking it, Chang’e began to feel her body to be lighter and lighter and she started to float up into the sky. Chang’e was frightened and started to cry and called her beloved, but when Hou Yi arrived, she had already climbed into the sky floating towards the big bright Moon.

Since that famous night, Chang’e has lived a lonely life on the Moon in her large Guanhangong palace with only one friend: “the Jade rabbit” (Yu Tu).

{Tang Dynasty China}

The Lady of the Moon

In the days of the Emperor Yau lived a prince by the name of Hou I, who was a mighty hero and a good archer. Once ten suns rose together in the sky, and shone so brightly and burned so fiercely that the people on earth could not endure them. So the Emperor ordered Hou I to shoot at them. And Hou I shot nine of them down from the sky. Besides his bow, Hou I also had a horse which ran so swiftly that even the wind could not catch up with it. He mounted it to go a-hunting, and the horse ran away and could not be stopped. So Hou I came to Kunlun Mountain and met the Queen-Mother of the Jasper Sea. And she gave him the herb of immortality. He took it home with him and hid it in his room. But his wife who was named Tschang O, once ate some of it on the sly when he was not at home, and she immediately floated up to the clouds. When she reached the moon, she ran into the castle there, and has lived there ever since as the Lady of the Moon.

On a night in mid-autumn, an emperor of the Tang dynasty once sat at wine with two sorcerers. And one of them took his bamboo staff and cast it into the air, where it turned into a heavenly bridge, on which the three climbed up to the moon together. There they saw a great castle on which was inscribed: “The Spreading Halls of Crystal Cold.” Beside it stood a cassia tree which blossomed and gave forth a fragrance filling all the air. And in the tree sat a man who was chopping off the smaller boughs with an ax. One of the sorcerers said: “That is the man in the moon. The cassia tree grows so luxuriantly that in the course of time it would overshadow all the moon’s radiance. Therefore it has to be cut down once in every thousand years.”

And she called for her attendants, who came flying up on white birds, and sang and danced beneath the cassia tree. A pure clear music floated through the air. Beside the tree stood a mortar made of white marble, in which a jasper rabbit ground up herbs. That was the dark half of the moon. When the dance had ended, the emperor returned to earth again with the sorcerers. And he had the songs which he had heard on the moon written down and sung to the accompaniment of flutes of jasper in his pear-tree garden.

Note: This fairy-tale is traditional. The archer Hou I (or Count I, the Archer-Prince, comp. Dschuang Dsi), is placed by legend in different epochs. He also occurs in connection with the myths regarding the moon, for one tale recounts how he saved the moon during an eclipse by means of his arrows. The Queen-Mother is Si Wang Mu (comp. with No. 15). The Tang dynasty reigned 618-906 A.D. “The Spreading Halls of Crystal Cold”: The goddess of the ice also has her habitation in the moon. The hare in the moon is a favorite figure. He grinds the grains of maturity or the herbs that make the elixir of life. The rain-toad Tschan, who has three legs, is also placed on the moon. According to one version of the story, Tschang O took the shape of this toad. {The Chinese Fairy Book}

{The Brothers Grimm - Germany}

The Tale of Snow White

Once upon a time in the middle of winter, when the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing, and the frame of the window was made of black ebony. And whilst she was sewing and looking out of the window at the snow, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell upon the snow. And the red looked pretty upon the white snow, and she thought to herself, “Would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window-frame.” Soon after that she had a little daughter, who was as white as snow, and as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony; and she was therefore called Little Snow-white. And when the child was born, the Queen died. After a year had passed the King took to himself another wife. She was a beautiful woman, but proud and haughty, and she could not bear that any one else should surpass her in beauty. She had a wonderful looking-glass, and when she stood in front of it and looked at herself in it, and said–“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all?”

The looking-glass answered —“Thou, O Queen, art the fairest of all!” Then she was satisfied, for she knew that the looking-glass spoke the truth. But Snow-white was growing up, and grew more and more beautiful; and when she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the day, and more beautiful than the Queen herself. And once when the Queen asked her looking-glass —“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all?” it answered– “Thou art fairer than all who are here, Lady Queen. But more beautiful still is Snow-white, as I ween.”

Then the Queen was shocked, and turned yellow and green with envy. From that hour, whenever she looked at Snow-white, her heart heaved in her breast, she hated the girl so much. And envy and pride grew higher and higher in her heart like a weed, so that she had no peace day or night. She called a huntsman, and said, “Take the child away into the forest; I will no longer have her in my sight. Kill her, and bring me back her heart as a token.” The huntsman obeyed, and took her away; but when he had drawn his knife, and was about to pierce Snow-white’s innocent heart, she began to weep, and said, “Ah, dear huntsman, leave me my life! I will run away into the wild forest, and never come home again.” And as she was so beautiful the huntsman had pity on her and said, “Run away, then, you poor child.” “The wild beasts will soon have devoured you,” thought he, and yet it seemed as if a stone had been rolled from his heart since it was no longer needful for him to kill her. And as a young boar just then came running by, he stabbed it, and cut out its heart and took it to the Queen as proof that the child was dead. The cook had to salt this, and the wicked Queen ate it, and thought she had eaten the heart of Snow-white. But now the poor child was all alone in the great forest, and so terrified that she looked at every leaf of every tree, and did not know what to do. Then she began to run, and ran over sharp stones and through thorns, and the wild beasts ran past her, but did her no harm. She ran as long as her feet would go until it was almost evening; then she saw a little cottage and went into it to rest herself. Everything in the cottage was small, but neater and cleaner than can be told. There was a table on which was a white cover, and seven little plates, and on each plate a little spoon; moreover, there were seven little knives and forks, and seven little mugs. Against the wall stood seven little beds side by side, and covered with snow-white counterpanes. Little Snow-white was so hungry and thirsty that she ate some vegetables and bread from each plate and drank a drop of wine out of each mug, for she did not wish to take all from one only. Then, as she was so tired, she laid herself down on one of the little beds, but none of them suited her; one was too long, another too short, but at last she found that the seventh one was right, and so she remained in it, said a prayer and went to sleep. When it was quite dark the owners of the cottage came back; they were seven dwarfs who dug and delved in the mountains for ore. They lit their seven candles, and as it was now light within the cottage they saw that some one had been there, for everything was not in the same order in which they had left it. The first said, “Who has been sitting on my chair?” The second, “Who has been eating off my plate?” The third, “Who has been taking some of my bread?” The fourth, “Who has been eating my vegetables?” The fifth, “Who has been using my fork?” The sixth, “Who has been cutting with my knife?” The seventh, “Who has been drinking out of my mug?” Then the first looked round and saw that there was a little hole on his bed, and he said, “Who has been getting into my bed?” The others came up and each called out, “Somebody has been lying in my bed too.” But the seventh when he looked at his bed saw little Snow-white, who was lying asleep therein. And he called the others, who came running up, and they cried out with astonishment, and brought their seven little candles and let the light fall on little Snow-white. “Oh, heavens! oh, heavens!” cried they, “what a lovely child!” and they were so glad that they did not wake her up, but let her sleep on in the bed. And the seventh dwarf slept with his companions, one hour with each, and so got through the night. When it was morning little Snow-white awoke, and was frightened when she saw the seven dwarfs. But they were friendly and asked her what her name was. “My name is Snow-white,” she answered. “How have you come to our house?” said the dwarfs. Then she told them that her step-mother had wished to have her killed, but that the huntsman had spared her life, and that she had run for the whole day, until at last she had found their dwelling. The dwarfs said, “If you will take care of our house, cook, make the beds, wash, sew, and knit, and if you will keep everything neat and clean, you can stay with us and you shall want for nothing.” ”Yes,” said Snow-white, “with all my heart,” and she stayed with them. She kept the house in order for them; in the mornings they went to the mountains and looked for copper and gold, in the evenings they came back, and then their supper had to be ready. The girl was alone the whole day, so the good dwarfs warned her and said, “Beware of your step-mother, she will soon know that you are here; be sure to let no one come in.” But the Queen, believing that she had eaten Snow-white’s heart, could not but think that she was again the first and most beautiful of all; and she went to her looking-glass and said–“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?” and the glass answered–“Oh, Queen, thou art fairest of all I see, But over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, Snow-white is still alive and well, And none is so fair as she.”

Then she was astounded, for she knew that the looking-glass never spoke falsely, and she knew that the huntsman had betrayed her, and that little Snow-white was still alive. And so she thought and thought again how she might kill her, for so long as she was not the fairest in the whole land, envy let her have no rest. And when she had at last thought of something to do, she painted her face, and dressed herself like an old pedlar-woman, and no one could have known her. In this disguise she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs, and knocked at the door and cried, “Pretty things to sell, very cheap, very cheap.” Little Snow-white looked out of the window and called out, “Good-day, my good woman, what have you to sell?”

“Good things, pretty things,” she answered; “stay-laces of all colours,” and she pulled out one which was woven of bright-coloured silk. “I may let the worthy old woman in,” thought Snow-white, and she unbolted the door and bought the pretty laces. “Child,” said the old woman, “what a fright you look; come, I will lace you properly for once.” Snow-white had no suspicion, but stood before her, and let herself be laced with the new laces. But the old woman laced so quickly and laced so tightly that Snow-white lost her breath and fell down as if dead. “Now I am the most beautiful,” said the Queen to herself, and ran away. Not long afterwards, in the evening, the seven dwarfs came home, but how shocked they were when they saw their dear little Snow-white lying on the ground, and that she neither stirred nor moved, and seemed to be dead. They lifted her up, and, as they saw that she was laced too tightly, they cut the laces; then she began to breathe a little, and after a while came to life again. When the dwarfs heard what had happened they said, “The old pedlar-woman was no one else than the wicked Queen; take care and let no one come in when we are not with you.” But the wicked woman when she had reached home went in front of the glass and asked–“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?” and it answered as before —“Oh, Queen, thou art fairest of all I see, But over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, Snow-white is still alive and well, And none is so fair as she.” When she heard that, all her blood rushed to her heart with fear, for she saw plainly that little Snow-white was again alive. “But now,” she said, “I will think of something that shall put an end to you,” and by the help of witchcraft, which she understood, she made a poisonous comb. Then she disguised herself and took the shape of another old woman. So she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs, knocked at the door, and cried, “Good things to sell, cheap, cheap!” Little Snow-white looked out and said, “Go away; I cannot let any one come in.”

“I suppose you can look,” said the old woman, and pulled the poisonous comb out and held it up. It pleased the girl so well that she let herself be beguiled, and opened the door. When they had made a bargain the old woman said, “Now I will comb you properly for once.” Poor little Snow-white had no suspicion, and let the old woman do as she pleased, but hardly had she put the comb in her hair than the poison in it took effect, and the girl fell down senseless. “You paragon of beauty,” said the wicked woman, “you are done for now,” and she went away. But fortunately it was almost evening, when the seven dwarfs came home. When they saw Snow-white lying as if dead upon the ground they at once suspected the step-mother, and they looked and found the poisoned comb. Scarcely had they taken it out when Snow-white came to herself, and told them what had happened. Then they warned her once more to be upon her guard and to open the door to no one. The Queen, at home, went in front of the glass and said–“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?” then it answered as before–“Oh, Queen, thou art fairest of all I see, But over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, Snow-white is still alive and well, And none is so fair as she.” When she heard the glass speak thus she trembled and shook with rage. “Snow-white shall die,” she cried, “even if it costs me my life!” Thereupon she went into a quite secret, lonely room, where no one ever came, and there she made a very poisonous apple. Outside it looked pretty, white with a red cheek, so that every one who saw it longed for it; but whoever ate a piece of it must surely die. When the apple was ready she painted her face, and dressed herself up as a country-woman, and so she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs. She knocked at the door. Snow- white put her head out of the window and said, “I cannot let any one in; the seven dwarfs have forbidden me.”

“It is all the same to me,” answered the woman, “I shall soon get rid of my apples. There, I will give you one.”

“No,” said Snow-white, “I dare not take anything.”

“Are you afraid of poison?” said the old woman; “look, I will cut the apple in two pieces; you eat the red cheek, and I will eat the white.” The apple was so cunningly made that only the red cheek was poisoned. Snow-white longed for the fine apple, and when she saw that the woman ate part of it she could resist no longer, and stretched out her hand and took the poisonous half. But hardly had she a bit of it in her mouth than she fell down dead. Then the Queen looked at her with a dreadful look, and laughed aloud and said, “White as snow, red as blood, black as ebony-wood! this time the dwarfs cannot wake you up again.” And when she asked of the Looking-glass at home–“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?” it answered at last–“Oh, Queen, in this land thou art fairest of all.”

Then her envious heart had rest, so far as an envious heart can have rest. The dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found Snow-white lying upon the ground; she breathed no longer and was dead. They lifted her up, looked to see whether they could find anything poisonous, unlaced her, combed her hair, washed her with water and wine, but it was all of no use; the poor child was dead, and remained dead. They laid her upon a bier, and all seven of them sat round it and wept for her, and wept three days long. Then they were going to bury her, but she still looked as if she were living, and still had her pretty red cheeks. They said, “We could not bury her in the dark ground,” and they had a transparent coffin of glass made, so that she could be seen from all sides, and they laid her in it, and wrote her name upon it in golden letters, and that she was a king’s daughter. Then they put the coffin out upon the mountain, and one of them always stayed by it and watched it. And birds came too, and wept for Snow-white; first an owl, then a raven, and last a dove. And now Snow-white lay a long, long time in the coffin, and she did not change, but looked as if she were asleep; for she was as white as snow, as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony. It happened, however, that a king’s son came into the forest, and went to the dwarfs’ house to spend the night. He saw the coffin on the mountain, and the beautiful Snow-white within it, and read what was written upon it in golden letters. Then he said to the dwarfs, “Let me have the coffin, I will give you whatever you want for it.” But the dwarfs answered, “We will not part with it for all the gold in the world.” Then he said, “Let me have it as a gift, for I cannot live without seeing Snow-white. I will honor and prize her as my dearest possession.” As he spoke in this way the good dwarfs took pity upon him, and gave him the coffin. And now the King’s son had it carried away by his servants on their shoulders. And it happened that they stumbled over a tree-stump, and with the shock the poisonous piece of apple which Snow-white had bitten off came out of her throat. And before long she opened her eyes, lifted up the lid of the coffin, sat up, and was once more alive. “Oh, heavens, where am I?” she cried. The King’s son, full of joy, said, “You are with me,” and told her what had happened, and said, “I love you more than everything in the world; come with me to my father’s palace, you shall be my wife.” And Snow-white was willing, and went with him, and their wedding was held with great show and splendour. But Snow-white’s wicked step-mother was also bidden to the feast. When she had arrayed herself in beautiful clothes she went before the Looking-glass, and said–“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?” the glass answered–“Oh, Queen, of all here the fairest art thou, But the young Queen is fairer by far as I trow.”Then the wicked woman uttered a curse, and was so wretched, so utterly wretched, that she knew not what to do. At first she would not go to the wedding at all, but she had no peace, and must go to see the young Queen. And when she went in she knew Snow-white; and she stood still with rage and fear, and could not stir. But iron slippers had already been put upon the fire, and they were brought in with tongs, and set before her. Then she was forced to put on the red-hot shoes, and dance until she dropped down dead.

{Giambattista Basile - Italy}

Sun, Moon, and Talia {Italian Sleeping Beauty}

It is a well-known fact that the cruel man is generally his own hangman; and he who throws stones at Heaven frequently comes off with a broken head. But the reverse of the medal shows us that innocence is a shield of fig-tree wood, upon which the sword of malice is broken, or blunts its point; so that, when a poor man fancies himself already dead and buried, he revives again in bone and flesh, as you shall hear in the story which I am going to draw from the cask of memory with the tap of my tongue.

There was once a great Lord, who, having a daughter born to him named Talia, commanded the seers and wise men of his kingdom to come and tell him her fortune; and after various counsellings they came to the conclusion, that a great peril awaited her from a piece of stalk in some flax. Thereupon he issued a command, prohibiting any flax or hemp, or such-like thing, to be brought into his house, hoping thus to avoid the danger.

When Talia was grown up, and was standing one day at the window, she saw an old woman pass by who was spinning. She had never seen a distaff or a spindle, and being vastly pleased with the twisting and twirling of the thread, her curiosity was so great that she made the old woman come upstairs. Then, taking the distaff in her hand, Talia began to draw out the thread, when, by mischance, a piece of stalk in the flax getting under her finger-nail, she fell dead upon the ground; at which sight the old woman hobbled downstairs as quickly as she could.

When the unhappy father heard of the disaster that had befallen Talia, after weeping bitterly, he placed her in that palace in the country, upon a velvet seat under a canopy of brocade; and fastening the doors, he quitted for ever the place which had been the cause of such misfortune to him, in order to drive all remembrance of it from his mind.

Now, a certain King happened to go one day to the chase, and a falcon escaping from him flew in at the window of that palace. When the King found that the bird did not return at his call, he ordered his attendants to knock at the door, thinking that the palace was inhabited; and after knocking for some time, the King ordered them to fetch a vine-dresser’s ladder, wishing himself to scale the house and see what was inside. Then he mounted the ladder, and going through the whole palace, he stood aghast at not finding there any living person. At last he came to the room where Talia was lying, as if enchanted; and when the King saw her, he called to her, thinking that she was asleep, but in vain, for she still slept on, however loud he called. So, after admiring her beauty awhile, the King returned home to his kingdom, where for a long time he forgot all that had happened.

Meanwhile, two little twins, one a boy and the other a girl, who looked like two little jewels, wandered, from I know not where, into the palace and found Talia in a trance. At first they were afraid because they tried in vain to awaken her; but, becoming bolder, the girl gently took Talia’s finger into her mouth, to bite it and wake her up by this means; and so it happened that the splinter of flax came out. Thereupon she seemed to awake as from a deep sleep; and when she saw those little jewels at her side, she took them to her heart, and loved them more than her life; but she wondered greatly at seeing herself quite alone in the palace with two children, and food and refreshment brought her by unseen hands.

After a time the King, calling Talia to mind, took occasion one day when he went to the chase to go and see her; and when he found her awakened, and with two beautiful little creatures by her side, he was struck dumb with rapture. Then the King told Talia who he was, and they formed a great league and friendship, and he remained there for several days, promising, as he took leave, to return and fetch her.

When the King went back to his own kingdom he was for ever repeating the names of Talia and the little ones, insomuch that, when he was eating he had Talia in his mouth, and Sun and Moon (for so he named the children); nay, even when he went to rest he did not leave off calling on them, first one and then the other.

Now the King’s stepmother had grown suspicious at his long absence at the chase, and when she heard him calling thus on Talia, Sun, and Moon, she waxed wroth, and said to the King’s secretary, “Hark ye, friend, you stand in great danger, between the axe and the block; tell me who it is that my stepson is enamoured of, and I will make you rich; but if you conceal the truth from me, I’ll make you rue it.”

The man, moved on the one side by fear, and on the other pricked by interest, which is a bandage to the eyes of honour, the blind of justice, and an old horse-shoe to trip up good faith, told the Queen the whole truth. Whereupon she sent the secretary in the King’s name to Talia, saying that he wished to see the children. Then Talia sent them with great joy, but the Queen commanded the cook to kill them, and serve them up in various ways for her wretched stepson to eat.

Now the cook, who had a tender heart, seeing the two pretty little golden pippins, took compassion on them, and gave them to his wife, bidding her keep them concealed; then he killed and dressed two little kids in a hundred different ways. When the King came, the Queen quickly ordered the dishes served up; and the King fell to eating with great delight, exclaiming, “How good this is! Oh, how excellent, by the soul of my grandfather!” And the old Queen all the while kept saying, “Eat away, for you know what you eat.” At first the King paid no attention to what she said; but at last, hearing the music continue, he replied, “Ay, I know well enough what I eat, for YOU brought nothing to the house.” And at last, getting up in a rage, he went off to a villa at a little distance to cool his anger.

Meanwhile the Queen, not satisfied with what she had done, called the secretary again, and sent him to fetch Talia, pretending that the King wished to see her. At this summons Talia went that very instant, longing to see the light of her eyes, and not knowing that only the smoke awaited her. But when she came before the Queen, the latter said to her, with the face of a Nero, and full of poison as a viper, “Welcome, Madam Sly-cheat! Are you indeed the pretty mischief-maker? Are you the weed that has caught my son’s eye and given me all this trouble.”

When Talia heard this she began to excuse herself; but the Queen would not listen to a word; and having a large fire lighted in the courtyard, she commanded that Talia should be thrown into the flames. Poor Talia, seeing matters come to a bad pass, fell on her knees before the Queen, and besought her at least to grant her time to take the clothes from off her back. Whereupon the Queen, not so much out of pity for the unhappy girl, as to get possession of her dress, which was embroidered all over with gold and pearls, said to her, “Undress yourself—I allow you.” Then Talia began to undress, and as she took off each garment she uttered an exclamation of grief; and when she had stripped off her cloak, her gown, and her jacket, and was proceeding to take off her petticoat, they seized her and were dragging her away. At that moment the King came up, and seeing the spectacle he demanded to know the whole truth; and when he asked also for the children, and heard that his stepmother had ordered them to be killed, the unhappy King gave himself up to despair.

He then ordered her to be thrown into the same fire which had been lighted for Talia, and the secretary with her, who was the handle of this cruel game and the weaver of this wicked web. Then he was going to do the same with the cook, thinking that he had killed the children; but the cook threw himself at the King’s feet and said, “Truly, sir King, I would desire no other sinecure in return for the service I have done you than to be thrown into a furnace full of live coals; I would ask no other gratuity than the thrust of a spike; I would wish for no other amusement than to be roasted in the fire; I would desire no other privilege than to have the ashes of the cook mingled with those of a Queen. But I look for no such great reward for having saved the children, and brought them back to you in spite of that wicked creature who wished to kill them.”

When the King heard these words he was quite beside himself; he appeared to dream, and could not believe what his ears had heard. Then he said to the cook, “If it is true that you have saved the children, be assured I will take you from turning the spit, and reward you so that you shall call yourself the happiest man in the world.”

As the King was speaking these words, the wife of the cook, seeing the dilemma her husband was in, brought Sun and Moon before the King, who, playing at the game of three with Talia and the other children, went round and round kissing first one and then another. Then giving the cook a large reward, he made him his chamberlain; and he took Talia to wife, who enjoyed a long life with her husband and the children, acknowledging that—

“He who has luck may go to bed,
And bliss will rain upon his head.”

{The Brothers Grimm - Germany}

Briar Rose

A long time ago there were a King and Queen who said every day, “Ah, if only we had a child!” but they never had one. But it happened that once when the Queen was bathing, a frog crept out of the water on to the land, and said to her, “Your wish shall be fulfilled; before a year has gone by you shall have a daughter.”

What the frog had said came true, and the Queen had a little girl who was so pretty that the King could not contain himself for joy, and ordered a great feast. He invited not only his kindred, friends and acquaintance, but also the Wise Women, in order that they might be kind and well-disposed towards the child. There were thirteen of them in his kingdom, but, as he had only twelve golden plates for them to eat out of, one of them had to be left at home.

The feast was held with all manner of splendour, and when it came to an end the Wise Women bestowed their magic gifts upon the baby: one gave virtue, another beauty, a third riches, and so on with everything in the world that one can wish for.

When eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thirteenth came in. She wished to avenge herself for not having been invited, and without greeting, or even looking at any one, she cried with a loud voice, “The King’s daughter shall in her fifteenth year prick herself with a spindle, and fall down dead.” And, without saying a word more, she turned round and left the room.

They were all shocked; but the twelfth, whose good wish still remained unspoken, came forward, and as she could not undo the evil sentence, but only soften it, she said, “It shall not be death, but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess shall fall.”

The King, who would fain keep his dear child from the misfortune, gave orders that every spindle in the whole kingdom should be burnt. Meanwhile the gifts of the Wise Women were plenteously fulfilled on the young girl, for she was so beautiful, modest, good-natured, and wise, that every one who saw her was bound to love her.

It happened that on the very day when she was fifteen years old, the King and Queen were not at home, and the maiden was left in the palace quite alone. So she went round into all sorts of places, looked into rooms and bed-chambers just as she liked, and at last came to an old tower. She climbed up the narrow winding-staircase, and reached a little door. A rusty key was in the lock, and when she turned it the door sprang open, and there in a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, busily spinning her flax.

“Good day, old dame,” said the King’s daughter; “what are you doing there?” “I am spinning,” said the old woman, and nodded her head. “What sort of thing is that, that rattles round so merrily?” said the girl, and she took the spindle and wanted to spin too. But scarcely had she touched the spindle when the magic decree was fulfilled, and she pricked her finger with it.

And, in the very moment when she felt the prick, she fell down upon the bed that stood there, and lay in a deep sleep. And this sleep extended over the whole palace; the King and Queen who had just come home, and had entered the great hall, began to go to sleep, and the whole of the court with them. The horses, too, went to sleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons upon the roof, the flies on the wall; even the fire that was flaming on the hearth became quiet and slept, the roast meat left off frizzling, and the cook, who was just going to pull the hair of the scullery boy, because he had forgotten something, let him go, and went to sleep. And the wind fell, and on the trees before the castle not a leaf moved again.

But round about the castle there began to grow a hedge of thorns, which every year became higher, and at last grew close up round the castle and all over it, so that there was nothing of it to be seen, not even the flag upon the roof. But the story of the beautiful sleeping “Briar-rose,” for so the princess was named, went about the country, so that from time to time kings’ sons came and tried to get through the thorny hedge into the castle.

But they found it impossible, for the thorns held fast together, as if they had hands, and the youths were caught in them, could not get loose again, and died a miserable death.

After long, long years a King’s son came again to that country, and heard an old man talking about the thorn-hedge, and that a castle was said to stand behind it in which a wonderfully beautiful princess, named Briar-rose, had been asleep for a hundred years; and that the King and Queen and the whole court were asleep likewise. He had heard, too, from his grandfather, that many kings’ sons had already come, and had tried to get through the thorny hedge, but they had remained sticking fast in it, and had died a pitiful death. Then the youth said, “I am not afraid, I will go and see the beautiful Briar-rose.” The good old man might dissuade him as he would, he did not listen to his words.

But by this time the hundred years had just passed, and the day had come when Briar-rose was to awake again. When the King’s son came near to the thorn-hedge, it was nothing but large and beautiful flowers, which parted from each other of their own accord, and let him pass unhurt, then they closed again behind him like a hedge. In the castle-yard he saw the horses and the spotted hounds lying asleep; on the roof sat the pigeons with their heads under their wings. And when he entered the house, the flies were asleep upon the wall, the cook in the kitchen was still holding out his hand to seize the boy, and the maid was sitting by the black hen which she was going to pluck.

He went on farther, and in the great hall he saw the whole of the court lying asleep, and up by the throne lay the King and Queen.

Then he went on still farther, and all was so quiet that a breath could be heard, and at last he came to the tower, and opened the door into the little room where Briar-rose was sleeping. There she lay, so beautiful that he could not turn his eyes away; and he stooped down and gave her a kiss. But as soon as he kissed her, Briar-rose opened her eyes and awoke, and looked at him quite sweetly.

Then they went down together, and the King awoke, and the Queen, and the whole court, and looked at each other in great astonishment. And the horses in the court-yard stood up and shook themselves; the hounds jumped up and wagged their tails; the pigeons upon the roof pulled out their heads from under their wings, looked round, and flew into the open country; the flies on the wall crept again; the fire in the kitchen burned up and flickered and cooked the meat; the joint began to turn and frizzle again, and the cook gave the boy such a box on the ear that he screamed, and the maid plucked the fowl ready for the spit.

And then the marriage of the King’s son with Briar-rose was celebrated with all splendour, and they lived contented to the end of their days.

{Charles Perrault - France}

The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods

Once upon a time there was a king and a queen, who were very sorry that they had no children,–so sorry that it cannot be told.

At last, however, the Queen had a daughter. There was a very fine christening; and the Princess had for her godmothers all the fairies they could find in the whole kingdom (there were seven of them), so that every one of them might confer a gift upon her, as was the custom of fairies in those days. By this means the Princess had all the perfections imaginable.

After the christening was over, the company returned to the King’s palace, where was prepared a great feast for the fairies. There was placed before every one of them a magnificent cover with a case of massive gold, wherein were a spoon, and a knife and fork, all of pure gold set with diamonds and rubies. But as they were all sitting down at table they saw a very old fairy come into the hall. She had not been invited, because for more than fifty years she had not been out of a certain tower, and she was believed to be either dead or enchanted.

The King ordered her a cover, but he could not give her a case of gold as the others had, because seven only had been made for the seven fairies. The old fairy fancied she was slighted, and muttered threats between her teeth. One of the young fairies who sat near heard her, and, judging that she might give the little Princess some unlucky gift, hid herself behind the curtains as soon as they left the table. She hoped that she might speak last and undo as much as she could the evil which the old fairy might do.

In the meanwhile all the fairies began to give their gifts to the Princess. The youngest gave her for her gift that she should be the most beautiful person in the world; the next, that she should have the wit of an angel; the third, that she should be able to do everything she did gracefully; the fourth, that she should dance perfectly; the fifth, that she should sing like a nightingale; and the sixth, that she should play all kinds of musical instruments to the fullest perfection.

The old fairy’s turn coming next, her head shaking more with spite than with age, she said that the Princess should pierce her hand with a spindle and die of the wound. This terrible gift made the whole company tremble, and everybody fell a-crying.

At this very instant the young fairy came from behind the curtains and said these words in a loud voice:–

“Assure yourselves, O King and Queen, that your daughter shall not die of this disaster. It is true, I have no power to undo entirely what my elder has done. The Princess shall indeed pierce her hand with a spindle; but, instead of dying, she shall only fall into a deep sleep, which shall last a hundred years, at the end of which a king’s son shall come and awake her.”

The King, to avoid the misfortune foretold by the old fairy, issued orders forbidding any one, on pain of death, to spin with a distaff and spindle, or to have a spindle in his house. About fifteen or sixteen years after, the King and Queen being absent at one of their country villas, the young Princess was one day running up and down the palace; she went from room to room, and at last she came into a little garret on the top of the tower, where a good old woman, alone, was spinning with her spindle. This good woman had never heard of the King’s orders against spindles.

“What are you doing there, my good woman?” said the Princess.

“I am spinning, my pretty child,” said the old woman, who did not know who the Princess was.

“Ha!” said the Princess, “this is very pretty; how do you do it? Give it to me. Let me see if I can do it.”

She had no sooner taken it into her hand than, either because she was too quick and heedless, or because the decree of the fairy had so ordained, it ran into her hand, and she fell down in a swoon.

The good old woman, not knowing what to do, cried out for help. People came in from every quarter; they threw water upon the face of the Princess, unlaced her, struck her on the palms of her hands, and rubbed her temples with cologne water; but nothing would bring her to herself.

Then the King, who came up at hearing the noise, remembered what the fairies had foretold. He knew very well that this must come to pass, since the fairies had foretold it, and he caused the Princess to be carried into the finest room in his palace, and to be laid upon a bed all embroidered with gold and silver. One would have taken her for a little angel, she was so beautiful; for her swooning had not dimmed the brightness of her complexion: her cheeks were carnation, and her lips coral.

It is true her eyes were shut, but she was heard to breathe softly, which satisfied those about her that she was not dead. The King gave orders that they should let her sleep quietly till the time came for her to awake. The good fairy who had saved her life by condemning her to sleep a hundred years was in the kingdom of Matakin, twelve thousand leagues off, when this accident befell the Princess; but she was instantly informed of it by a little dwarf, who had seven-leagued boots, that is, boots with which he could stride over seven leagues of ground at once. The fairy started off at once, and arrived, about an hour later, in a fiery chariot drawn by dragons.

The King handed her out of the chariot, and she approved everything he had done; but as she had very great foresight, she thought that when the Princess should awake she might not know what to do with herself, if she was all alone in this old palace. This was what she did: she touched with her wand everything in the palace (except the King and Queen),–governesses, maids of honor, ladies of the bedchamber, gentlemen, officers, stewards, cooks, undercooks, kitchen maids, guards with their porters, pages, and footmen; she likewise touched all the horses which were in the stables, the cart horses, the hunters and the saddle horses, the grooms, the great dogs in the outward court, and little Mopsey, too, the Princess’s spaniel, which was lying on the bed.

As soon as she touched them they all fell asleep, not to awake again until their mistress did, that they might be ready to wait upon her when she wanted them. The very spits at the fire, as full as they could hold of partridges and pheasants, fell asleep, and the fire itself as well. All this was done in a moment. Fairies are not long in doing their work.

And now the King and Queen, having kissed their dear child without waking her, went out of the palace and sent forth orders that nobody should come near it.

These orders were not necessary; for in a quarter of an hour’s time there grew up all round about the park such a vast number of trees, great and small, bushes and brambles, twining one within another, that neither man nor beast could pass through; so that nothing could be seen but the very top of the towers of the palace; and that, too, only from afar off. Every one knew that this also was the work of the fairy in order that while the Princess slept she should have nothing to fear from curious people.

After a hundred years the son of the King then reigning, who was of another family from that of the sleeping Princess, was a-hunting on that side of the country, and he asked what those towers were which he saw in the middle of a great thick wood. Every one answered according as they had heard. Some said that it was an old haunted castle, others that all the witches of the country held their midnight revels there, but the common opinion was that it was an ogre’s dwelling, and that he carried to it all the little children he could catch, so as to eat them up at his leisure, without any one being able to follow him, for he alone had the power to make his way through the wood.

The Prince did not know what to believe, and presently a very aged countryman spake to him thus:–

“May it please your royal Highness, more than fifty years since I heard from my father that there was then in this castle the most beautiful princess that was ever seen; that she must sleep there a hundred years, and that she should be waked by a king’s son, for whom she was reserved.”

The young Prince on hearing this was all on fire. He thought, without weighing the matter, that he could put an end to this rare adventure; and, pushed on by love and the desire of glory, resolved at once to look into it.

As soon as he began to get near to the wood, all the great trees, the bushes, and brambles gave way of themselves to let him pass through. He walked up to the castle which he saw at the end of a large avenue; and you can imagine he was a good deal surprised when he saw none of his people following him, because the trees closed again as soon as he had passed through them. However, he did not cease from continuing his way; a young prince in search of glory is ever valiant.

He came into a spacious outer court, and what he saw was enough to freeze him with horror. A frightful silence reigned over all; the image of death was everywhere, and there was nothing to be seen but what seemed to be the outstretched bodies of dead men and animals. He, however, very well knew, by the ruby faces and pimpled noses of the porters, that they were only asleep; and their goblets, wherein still remained some drops of wine, showed plainly that they had fallen asleep while drinking their wine.

He then crossed a court paved with marble, went up the stairs, and came into the guard chamber, where guards were standing in their ranks, with their muskets upon their shoulders, and snoring with all their might. He went through several rooms full of gentlemen and ladies, some standing and others sitting, but all were asleep. He came into a gilded chamber, where he saw upon a bed, the curtains of which were all open, the most beautiful sight ever beheld–a princess who appeared to be about fifteen or sixteen years of age, and whose bright and resplendent beauty had something divine in it. He approached with trembling and admiration, and fell down upon his knees before her.

Then, as the end of the enchantment was come, the Princess awoke, and looking on him with eyes more tender than could have been expected at first sight, said:–

“Is it you, my Prince? You have waited a long while.”

The Prince, charmed with these words, and much more with the manner in which they were spoken, knew not how to show his joy and gratitude; he assured her that he loved her better than he did himself. Their discourse was not very connected, but they were the better pleased, for where there is much love there is little eloquence. He was more at a loss than she, and we need not wonder at it; she had had time to think of what to say to him; for it is evident (though history says nothing of it) that the good fairy, during so long a sleep, had given her very pleasant dreams. In short, they talked together for four hours, and then they said not half they had to say.

In the meanwhile all the palace had woke up with the Princess; every one thought upon his own business, and as they were not in love, they were ready to die of hunger. The lady of honor, being as sharp set as the other folks, grew very impatient, and told the Princess aloud that the meal was served. The Prince helped the Princess to rise. She was entirely and very magnificently dressed; but his royal Highness took care not to tell her that she was dressed like his great-grandmother, and had a high collar. She looked not a bit the less charming and beautiful for all that.

They went into the great mirrored hall, where they supped, and were served by the officers of the Princess’s household. The violins and hautboys played old tunes, but they were excellent, though they had not been played for a hundred years; and after supper, without losing any time, the lord almoner married them in the chapel of the castle. They had but very little sleep–the Princess scarcely needed any; and the Prince left her next morning to return into the city, where his father was greatly troubled about him.

The Prince told him that he lost his way in the forest as he was hunting, and that he had slept in the cottage of a charcoal-burner, who gave him cheese and brown bread.

The King, his father, who was a good man, believed him; but his mother could not be persuaded that it was true; and seeing that he went almost every day a-hunting, and that he always had some excuse ready for so doing, though he had been out three or four nights together, she began to suspect that he was married; for he lived thus with the Princess above two whole years, during which they had two children, the elder, a daughter, was named Dawn, and the younger, a son, they called Day, because he was a great deal handsomer than his sister.

The Queen spoke several times to her son, to learn after what manner he was passing his time, and told him that in this he ought in duty to satisfy her. But he never dared to trust her with his secret; he feared her, though he loved her, for she was of the race of the Ogres, and the King married her for her vast riches alone. It was even whispered about the Court that she had Ogreish inclinations, and that, whenever she saw little children passing by, she had all the difficulty in the world to prevent herself from falling upon them. And so the Prince would never tell her one word.

But when the King was dead, which happened about two years afterward, and he saw himself lord and master, he openly declared his marriage: and he went in great state to conduct his Queen to the palace. They made a magnificent entry into the capital city, she riding between her two children.

Soon after, the King made war on Emperor Cantalabutte, his neighbor. He left the government of the kingdom to the Queen, his mother, and earnestly commended his wife and children to her care. He was obliged to carry on the war all the summer, and as soon as he left, the Queen-mother sent her daughter-in-law and her children to a country house among the woods, that she might with the more ease gratify her horrible longing. Some few days afterward she went thither herself, and said to her head cook:–

“I intend to eat little Dawn for my dinner to-morrow.”

“O! madam!” cried the head cook.

“I will have it so,” replied the Queen (and this she spoke in the tone of an Ogress who had a strong desire to eat fresh meat), “and will eat her with a sharp sauce.”

The poor man, knowing very well that he must not play tricks with Ogresses, took his great knife and went up into little Dawn’s chamber. She was then nearly four years old, and came up to him, jumping and laughing, to put her arms round his neck, and ask him for some sugar-candy. Upon which he began to weep, the great knife fell out of his hand, and he went into the back yard and killed a little lamb, and dressed it with such good sauce that his mistress assured him she had never eaten anything so good in her life. He had at the same time taken up little Dawn and carried her to his wife, to conceal her in his lodging at the end of the courtyard.

Eight days afterwards the wicked Queen said to the chief cook, “I will sup upon little Day.”

He answered not a word, being resolved to cheat her again as he had done before. He went to find little Day, and saw him with a foil in his hand, with which he was fencing with a great monkey: the child was then only three years of age. He took him up in his arms and carried him to his wife, that she might conceal him in her chamber along with his sister, and instead of little Day he served up a young and very tender kid, which the Ogress found to be wonderfully good.

All had gone well up to now; but one evening this wicked Queen said to her chief cook:–

“I will eat the Queen with the same sauce I had with her children.”

Now the poor chief cook was in despair and could not imagine how to deceive her again. The young Queen was over twenty years old, not reckoning the hundred years she had been asleep: and how to find something to take her place greatly puzzled him. He then decided, to save his own life, to cut the Queen’s throat; and going up into her chamber, with intent to do it at once, he put himself into as great fury as he possibly could, and came into the young Queen’s room with his dagger in his hand. He would not, however, deceive her, but told her, with a great deal of respect, the orders he had received from the Queen-mother.

“Do it; do it,” she said, stretching out her neck. “Carry out your orders, and then I shall go and see my children, my poor children, whom I loved so much and so tenderly.”

For she thought them dead, since they had been taken away without her knowledge.

“No, no, madam,” cried the poor chief cook, all in tears; “you shall not die, and you shall see your children again at once. But then you must go home with me to my lodgings, where I have concealed them, and I will deceive the Queen once more, by giving her a young hind in your stead.”

Upon this he forthwith conducted her to his room, where, leaving her to embrace her children, and cry along with them, he went and dressed a young hind, which the Queen had for her supper, and devoured with as much appetite as if it had been the young Queen. She was now well satisfied with her cruel deeds, and she invented a story to tell the King on his return, of how the Queen his wife and her two children had been devoured by mad wolves.

One evening, as she was, according to her custom, rambling round about the courts and yards of the palace to see if she could smell any fresh meat, she heard, in a room on the ground floor, little Day crying, for his mamma was going to whip him, because he had been naughty; and she heard, at the same time, little Dawn begging mercy for her brother.

The Ogress knew the voice of the Queen and her children at once, and being furious at having been thus deceived, she gave orders (in a most horrible voice which made everybody tremble) that, next morning by break of day, they should bring into the middle of the great court a large tub filled with toads, vipers, snakes, and all sorts of serpents, in order to have the Queen and her children, the chief cook, his wife and maid, thrown into it, all of whom were to be brought thither with their hands tied behind them.

They were brought out accordingly, and the executioners were just going to throw them into the tub, when the King, who was not so soon expected, entered the court on horseback and asked, with the utmost astonishment, what was the meaning of that horrible spectacle.

No one dared to tell him, when the Ogress, all enraged to see what had happened, threw herself head foremost into the tub, and was instantly devoured by the ugly creatures she had ordered to be thrown into it to kill the others. The King was of course very sorry, for she was his mother; but he soon comforted himself with his beautiful wife and his pretty children.

{Charles Perrault - France}

The Little Glass Slipper

Once there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former husband, two daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife, a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world.
No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the stepmother began to show herself in her true colors. She could not bear the good qualities of this pretty girl, and the less because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. She employed her in the meanest work of the house. She scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and cleaned madam's chamber, and those of misses, her daughters. She slept in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed, while her sisters slept in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, on beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking glasses so large that they could see themselves at their full length from head to foot.

The poor girl bore it all patiently, and dared not tell her father, who would have scolded her; for his wife governed him entirely. When she had done her work, she used to go to the chimney corner, and sit down there in the cinders and ashes, which caused her to be called Cinderwench. Only the younger sister, who was not so rude and uncivil as the older one, called her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, notwithstanding her coarse apparel, was a hundred times more beautiful than her sisters, although they were always dressed very richly.

It happened that the king's son gave a ball, and invited all persons of fashion to it. Our young misses were also invited, for they cut a very grand figure among those of quality. They were mightily delighted at this invitation, and wonderfully busy in selecting the gowns, petticoats, and hair dressing that would best become them. This was a new difficulty for Cinderella; for it was she who ironed her sister's linen and pleated their ruffles. They talked all day long of nothing but how they should be dressed.

"For my part," said the eldest, "I will wear my red velvet suit with French trimming."

"And I," said the youngest, "shall have my usual petticoat; but then, to make amends for that, I will put on my gold-flowered cloak, and my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the most ordinary one in the world."

They sent for the best hairdresser they could get to make up their headpieces and adjust their hairdos, and they had their red brushes and patches from Mademoiselle de la Poche.

They also consulted Cinderella in all these matters, for she had excellent ideas, and her advice was always good. Indeed, she even offered her services to fix their hair, which they very willingly accepted. As she was doing this, they said to her, "Cinderella, would you not like to go to the ball?"

"Alas!" said she, "you only jeer me; it is not for such as I am to go to such a place."

"You are quite right," they replied. "It would make the people laugh to see a Cinderwench at a ball."

Anyone but Cinderella would have fixed their hair awry, but she was very good, and dressed them perfectly well. They were so excited that they hadn't eaten a thing for almost two days. Then they broke more than a dozen laces trying to have themselves laced up tightly enough to give them a fine slender shape. They were continually in front of their looking glass. At last the happy day came. They went to court, and Cinderella followed them with her eyes as long as she could. When she lost sight of them, she started to cry.

Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was the matter.

"I wish I could. I wish I could." She was not able to speak the rest, being interrupted by her tears and sobbing.

This godmother of hers, who was a fairy, said to her, "You wish that you could go to the ball; is it not so?"

"Yes," cried Cinderella, with a great sigh.

"Well," said her godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will contrive that you shall go." Then she took her into her chamber, and said to her, "Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin."

Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could help her go to the ball. Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, leaving nothing but the rind. Having done this, she struck the pumpkin with her wand, and it was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.

She then went to look into her mousetrap, where she found six mice, all alive, and ordered Cinderella to lift up a little the trapdoor. She gave each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, and the mouse was that moment turned into a fine horse, which altogether made a very fine set of six horses of a beautiful mouse colored dapple gray.

Being at a loss for a coachman, Cinderella said, "I will go and see if there is not a rat in the rat trap that we can turn into a coachman."

"You are right," replied her godmother, "Go and look."

Cinderella brought the trap to her, and in it there were three huge rats. The fairy chose the one which had the largest beard, touched him with her wand, and turned him into a fat, jolly coachman, who had the smartest whiskers that eyes ever beheld.

After that, she said to her, "Go again into the garden, and you will find six lizards behind the watering pot. Bring them to me."

She had no sooner done so but her godmother turned them into six footmen, who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their liveries all bedaubed with gold and silver, and clung as close behind each other as if they had done nothing else their whole lives. The fairy then said to Cinderella, "Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball with; are you not pleased with it?"

"Oh, yes," she cried; "but must I go in these nasty rags?"

Her godmother then touched her with her wand, and, at the same instant, her clothes turned into cloth of gold and silver, all beset with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the whole world. Being thus decked out, she got up into her coach; but her godmother, above all things, commanded her not to stay past midnight, telling her, at the same time, that if she stayed one moment longer, the coach would be a pumpkin again, her horses mice, her coachman a rat, her footmen lizards, and that her clothes would become just as they were before.

She promised her godmother to leave the ball before midnight; and then drove away, scarcely able to contain herself for joy. The king's son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody knew, had arrived, ran out to receive her. He gave her his hand as she alighted from the coach, and led her into the hall, among all the company. There was immediately a profound silence. Everyone stopped dancing, and the violins ceased to play, so entranced was everyone with the singular beauties of the unknown newcomer.

Nothing was then heard but a confused noise of, "How beautiful she is! How beautiful she is!"

The king himself, old as he was, could not help watching her, and telling the queen softly that it was a long time since he had seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.

All the ladies were busied in considering her clothes and headdress, hoping to have some made next day after the same pattern, provided they could find such fine materials and as able hands to make them.

The king's son led her to the most honorable seat, and afterwards took her out to dance with him. She danced so very gracefully that they all more and more admired her. A fine meal was served up, but the young prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing on her.

She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand civilities, giving them part of the oranges and citrons which the prince had presented her with, which very much surprised them, for they did not know her. While Cinderella was thus amusing her sisters, she heard the clock strike eleven and three-quarters, whereupon she immediately made a courtesy to the company and hurried away as fast as she could.

Arriving home, she ran to seek out her godmother, and, after having thanked her, she said she could not but heartily wish she might go to the ball the next day as well, because the king's son had invited her.

As she was eagerly telling her godmother everything that had happened at the ball, her two sisters knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran and opened.

"You stayed such a long time!" she cried, gaping, rubbing her eyes and stretching herself as if she had been sleeping; she had not, however, had any manner of inclination to sleep while they were away from home.

"If you had been at the ball," said one of her sisters, "you would not have been tired with it. The finest princess was there, the most beautiful that mortal eyes have ever seen. She showed us a thousand civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons."

Cinderella seemed very indifferent in the matter. Indeed, she asked them the name of that princess; but they told her they did not know it, and that the king's son was very uneasy on her account and would give all the world to know who she was. At this Cinderella, smiling, replied, "She must, then, be very beautiful indeed; how happy you have been! Could not I see her? Ah, dear Charlotte, do lend me your yellow dress which you wear every day."

"Yes, to be sure!" cried Charlotte; "lend my clothes to such a dirty Cinderwench as you are! I should be such a fool."

Cinderella, indeed, well expected such an answer, and was very glad of the refusal; for she would have been sadly put to it, if her sister had lent her what she asked for jestingly.

The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderella, but dressed even more magnificently than before. The king's son was always by her, and never ceased his compliments and kind speeches to her. All this was so far from being tiresome to her, and, indeed, she quite forgot what her godmother had told her. She thought that it was no later than eleven when she counted the clock striking twelve. She jumped up and fled, as nimble as a deer. The prince followed, but could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which the prince picked up most carefully. She reached home, but quite out of breath, and in her nasty old clothes, having nothing left of all her finery but one of the little slippers, the mate to the one that she had dropped.

The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had not seen a princess go out. They replied that they had seen nobody leave but a young girl, very shabbily dressed, and who had more the air of a poor country wench than a gentlewoman.

When the two sisters returned from the ball Cinderella asked them if they had been well entertained, and if the fine lady had been there.

They told her, yes, but that she hurried away immediately when it struck twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the king's son had picked up; that he had done nothing but look at her all the time at the ball, and that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful person who owned the glass slipper.

What they said was very true; for a few days later, the king's son had it proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, that he would marry her whose foot this slipper would just fit. They began to try it on the princesses, then the duchesses and all the court, but in vain; it was brought to the two sisters, who did all they possibly could to force their foot into the slipper, but they did not succeed.

Cinderella, who saw all this, and knew that it was her slipper, said to them, laughing, "Let me see if it will not fit me."

Her sisters burst out laughing, and began to banter with her. The gentleman who was sent to try the slipper looked earnestly at Cinderella, and, finding her very handsome, said that it was only just that she should try as well, and that he had orders to let everyone try.

He had Cinderella sit down, and, putting the slipper to her foot, he found that it went on very easily, fitting her as if it had been made of wax. Her two sisters were greatly astonished, but then even more so, when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper, and put it on her other foot. Then in came her godmother and touched her wand to Cinderella's clothes, making them richer and more magnificent than any of those she had worn before.

And now her two sisters found her to be that fine, beautiful lady whom they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg pardon for all the ill treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella took them up, and, as she embraced them, said that she forgave them with all her heart, and wanted them always to love her.

She was taken to the young prince, dressed as she was. He thought she was more charming than before, and, a few days after, married her. Cinderella, who was no less good than beautiful, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace, and that very same day matched them with two great lords of the court.

Moral: Beauty in a woman is a rare treasure that will always be admired. Graciousness, however, is priceless and of even greater value. This is what Cinderella's godmother gave to her when she taught her to behave like a queen. Young women, in the winning of a heart, graciousness is more important than a beautiful hairdo. It is a true gift of the fairies. Without it nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.
Another moral: Without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them. However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother.

{The Brothers Grimm - Germany}

Cinderella

A rich man's wife became sick, and when she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, "Dear child, remain pious and good, and then our dear God will always protect you, and I will look down on you from heaven and be near you." With this she closed her eyes and died.

The girl went out to her mother's grave every day and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white cloth over the grave, and when the spring sun had removed it again, the man took himself another wife.



This wife brought two daughters into the house with her. They were beautiful, with fair faces, but evil and dark hearts. Times soon grew very bad for the poor stepchild.

"Why should that stupid goose sit in the parlor with us?" they said. "If she wants to eat bread, then she will have to earn it. Out with this kitchen maid!"

They took her beautiful clothes away from her, dressed her in an old gray smock, and gave her wooden shoes. "Just look at the proud princess! How decked out she is!" they shouted and laughed as they led her into the kitchen.

There she had to do hard work from morning until evening, get up before daybreak, carry water, make the fires, cook, and wash. Besides this, the sisters did everything imaginable to hurt her. They made fun of her, scattered peas and lentils into the ashes for her, so that she had to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked herself weary, there was no bed for her. Instead she had to sleep by the hearth in the ashes. And because she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella.

One day it happened that the father was going to the fair, and he asked his two stepdaughters what he should bring back for them.

"Beautiful dresses," said the one.

"Pearls and jewels," said the other.

"And you, Cinderella," he said, "what do you want?"

"Father, break off for me the first twig that brushes against your hat on your way home."

So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls, and jewels for his two stepdaughters. On his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the twig and took it with him. Arriving home, he gave his stepdaughters the things that they had asked for, and he gave Cinderella the twig from the hazel bush.

Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother's grave, and planted the branch on it, and she wept so much that her tears fell upon it and watered it. It grew and became a beautiful tree.

Cinderella went to this tree three times every day, and beneath it she wept and prayed. A white bird came to the tree every time, and whenever she expressed a wish, the bird would throw down to her what she had wished for.

Now it happened that the king proclaimed a festival that was to last three days. All the beautiful young girls in the land were invited, so that his son could select a bride for himself. When the two stepsisters heard that they too had been invited, they were in high spirits.

They called Cinderella, saying, "Comb our hair for us. Brush our shoes and fasten our buckles. We are going to the festival at the king's castle."

Cinderella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have liked to go to the dance with them. She begged her stepmother to allow her to go.

"You, Cinderella?" she said. "You, all covered with dust and dirt, and you want to go to the festival?. You have neither clothes nor shoes, and yet you want to dance!"

However, because Cinderella kept asking, the stepmother finally said, "I have scattered a bowl of lentils into the ashes for you. If you can pick them out again in two hours, then you may go with us."

The girl went through the back door into the garden, and called out, "You tame pigeons, you turtledoves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to gather:

The good ones go into the pot,
The bad ones go into your crop."
Two white pigeons came in through the kitchen window, and then the turtledoves, and finally all the birds beneath the sky came whirring and swarming in, and lit around the ashes. The pigeons nodded their heads and began to pick, pick, pick, pick. And the others also began to pick, pick, pick, pick. They gathered all the good grains into the bowl. Hardly one hour had passed before they were finished, and they all flew out again.
The girl took the bowl to her stepmother, and was happy, thinking that now she would be allowed to go to the festival with them.

But the stepmother said, "No, Cinderella, you have no clothes, and you don't know how to dance. Everyone would only laugh at you."

Cinderella began to cry, and then the stepmother said, "You may go if you are able to pick two bowls of lentils out of the ashes for me in one hour," thinking to herself, "She will never be able to do that."

The girl went through the back door into the garden, and called out, "You tame pigeons, you turtledoves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to gather:

The good ones go into the pot,
The bad ones go into your crop."
Two white pigeons came in through the kitchen window, and then the turtledoves, and finally all the birds beneath the sky came whirring and swarming in, and lit around the ashes. The pigeons nodded their heads and began to pick, pick, pick, pick. And the others also began to pick, pick, pick, pick. They gathered all the good grains into the bowls. Before a half hour had passed they were finished, and they all flew out again.
The girl took the bowls to her stepmother, and was happy, thinking that now she would be allowed to go to the festival with them.

But the stepmother said, "It's no use. You are not coming with us, for you have no clothes, and you don't know how to dance. We would be ashamed of you." With this she turned her back on Cinderella, and hurried away with her two proud daughters.

Now that no one else was at home, Cinderella went to her mother's grave beneath the hazel tree, and cried out:

Shake and quiver, little tree,
Throw gold and silver down to me.
Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver. She quickly put on the dress and went to the festival.
Her stepsisters and her stepmother did not recognize her. They thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought it was Cinderella, for they thought that she was sitting at home in the dirt, looking for lentils in the ashes.

The prince approached her, took her by the hand, and danced with her. Furthermore, he would dance with no one else. He never let go of her hand, and whenever anyone else came and asked her to dance, he would say, "She is my dance partner."
She danced until evening, and then she wanted to go home. But the prince said, "I will go along and escort you," for he wanted to see to whom the beautiful girl belonged. However, she eluded him and jumped into the pigeon coop. The prince waited until her father came, and then he told him that the unknown girl had jumped into the pigeon coop.

The old man thought, "Could it be Cinderella?"

He had them bring him an ax and a pick so that he could break the pigeon coop apart, but no one was inside. When they got home Cinderella was lying in the ashes, dressed in her dirty clothes. A dim little oil-lamp was burning in the fireplace. Cinderella had quickly jumped down from the back of the pigeon coop and had run to the hazel tree. There she had taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them on the grave, and the bird had taken them away again. Then, dressed in her gray smock, she had returned to the ashes in the kitchen.

The next day when the festival began anew, and her parents and her stepsisters had gone again, Cinderella went to the hazel tree and said:

Shake and quiver, little tree,
Throw gold and silver down to me.
Then the bird threw down an even more magnificent dress than on the preceding day. When Cinderella appeared at the festival in this dress, everyone was astonished at her beauty. The prince had waited until she came, then immediately took her by the hand, and danced only with her. When others came and asked her to dance with them, he said, "She is my dance partner."
When evening came she wanted to leave, and the prince followed her, wanting to see into which house she went. But she ran away from him and into the garden behind the house. A beautiful tall tree stood there, on which hung the most magnificent pears. She climbed as nimbly as a squirrel into the branches, and the prince did not know where she had gone. He waited until her father came, then said to him, "The unknown girl has eluded me, and I believe she has climbed up the pear tree.

The father thought, "Could it be Cinderella?" He had an ax brought to him and cut down the tree, but no one was in it. When they came to the kitchen, Cinderella was lying there in the ashes as usual, for she had jumped down from the other side of the tree, had taken the beautiful dress back to the bird in the hazel tree, and had put on her gray smock.

On the third day, when her parents and sisters had gone away, Cinderella went again to her mother's grave and said to the tree:

Shake and quiver, little tree,
Throw gold and silver down to me.
This time the bird threw down to her a dress that was more splendid and magnificent than any she had yet had, and the slippers were of pure gold. When she arrived at the festival in this dress, everyone was so astonished that they did not know what to say. The prince danced only with her, and whenever anyone else asked her to dance, he would say, "She is my dance partner."
When evening came Cinderella wanted to leave, and the prince tried to escort her, but she ran away from him so quickly that he could not follow her. The prince, however, had set a trap. He had had the entire stairway smeared with pitch. When she ran down the stairs, her left slipper stuck in the pitch. The prince picked it up. It was small and dainty, and of pure gold.

The next morning, he went with it to the man, and said to him, "No one shall be my wife except for the one whose foot fits this golden shoe."

The two sisters were happy to hear this, for they had pretty feet. With her mother standing by, the older one took the shoe into her bedroom to try it on. She could not get her big toe into it, for the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, "Cut off your toe. When you are queen you will no longer have to go on foot."

The girl cut off her toe, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the prince. He took her on his horse as his bride and rode away with her. However, they had to ride past the grave, and there, on the hazel tree, sat the two pigeons, crying out:

Rook di goo, rook di goo!
There's blood in the shoe.
The shoe is too tight,
This bride is not right!
Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was running from it. He turned his horse around and took the false bride home again, saying that she was not the right one, and that the other sister should try on the shoe. She went into her bedroom, and got her toes into the shoe all right, but her heel was too large.
Then her mother gave her a knife, and said, "Cut a piece off your heel. When you are queen you will no longer have to go on foot."

The girl cut a piece off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the prince. He took her on his horse as his bride and rode away with her. When they passed the hazel tree, the two pigeons were sitting in it, and they cried out:

Rook di goo, rook di goo!
There's blood in the shoe.
The shoe is too tight,
This bride is not right!
He looked down at her foot and saw how the blood was running out of her shoe, and how it had stained her white stocking all red. Then he turned his horse around and took the false bride home again.
"This is not the right one, either," he said. "Don't you have another daughter?"

"No," said the man. "There is only a deformed little Cinderella from my first wife, but she cannot possibly be the bride."

The prince told him to send her to him, but the mother answered, "Oh, no, she is much too dirty. She cannot be seen."

But the prince insisted on it, and they had to call Cinderella. She first washed her hands and face clean, and then went and bowed down before the prince, who gave her the golden shoe. She sat down on a stool, pulled her foot out of the heavy wooden shoe, and put it into the slipper, and it fitted her perfectly.

When she stood up the prince looked into her face, and he recognized the beautiful girl who had danced with him. He cried out, "She is my true bride."

The stepmother and the two sisters were horrified and turned pale with anger. The prince, however, took Cinderella onto his horse and rode away with her. As they passed by the hazel tree, the two white pigeons cried out:

Rook di goo, rook di goo!
No blood's in the shoe.
The shoe's not too tight,
This bride is right!

After they had cried this out, they both flew down and lit on Cinderella's shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, and remained sitting there.
When the wedding with the prince was to be held, the two false sisters came, wanting to gain favor with Cinderella and to share her good fortune. When the bridal couple walked into the church, the older sister walked on their right side and the younger on their left side, and the pigeons pecked out one eye from each of them. Afterwards, as they came out of the church, the older one was on the left side, and the younger one on the right side, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye from each of them. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived.

Gilded Lily Iced Latte
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Gilded Lily Iced Latte

This latte is just as delicious as it is magical. It is made with our Gilded Lily Irish breakfast tea, agave syrup, and cream. We decided that the ...

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