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IYFTYK_front_Cover_A5_Centered

By Elizabeth Rhodes Jackson

Illustrated by L. E. W. KATTELLE

CH 12his book is for all little boys and girls who love fairies and pixies. Here we have a story about a boy named Wendell, who lives in Boston and likes fairy stories and baseball MUCH more than he likes fractions – but he does like reading and can be found in the children’s section of the library on most days.

He even checked fairytale books out of the library and took them home with him. At night his parents had to take the books away from him as he was quite often found in the early hours of the morning reading a book under his covers with a torch.

Then Wendell reads about the Wishing Stone. On making enquiries he finds it is no longer where his book said it would be and he starts to make enquiries as to its current whereabouts – and so starts Wendell’s adventure across Boston and into the land of Fairydom.

This volume is sure to keep you and your young ones enchanted for hours, if not because of the quantity, then their quality. They will have you coming back for more time and again.

WHO SUMMONS ME SAID THE KOBOLD
ISBN: 9788828373902
DOWNLOAD LINK: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/elizabeth-rhodes-jackson/its-your-fairy-tale-you-know-a-fairytale-adventure/
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KEYWORDS/TAGS: fairy tales, folklore, myths, legends, children’s stories, childrens stories, bygone era, fairydom, fairy kingdom, ethereal, fairy land, classic stories, children’s bedtime stories, happy place, happiness, laughter, Wishing Stone, Pixie Starts It, First Task, Wendell, Unexpected, Ally, Frog, Out Of The Common, extraordinary, Enchanted Maiden, Midnight Spell, Cousin Virginia, Caller, Break, Charm, spell, Giant, House, Cloak Of Darkness, invisibility, Blind Man’s Buff, bluff, Cap Of Thought, Magic Book, Choice, Happy Family, Sammy, Tries His Hand, Acorn, Beacon, Beauteous, Beautiful, Boston, Cap, Cousin, electric, freckle-faced, Kobold, library, magic, Maiden, Mummer, Park, Pixie, riddle, Sammy, school, shape, squirrel, stepmother, Stepsister, telephone, Virginia, Wendell, young

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THERE lived in Constantinople an old Hodja, a learned man, who had a son. The boy followed in his father’s footsteps, went every day to the Mosque Aya Sofia, seated himself in a secluded spot, to the left of the pillar bearing the impress of the Conqueror’s hand, and engaged in the study of the Koran. Daily he might be seen seated, swaying his body to and fro, and reciting to himself the verses of the Holy Book.

The dearest wish of a Mohammedan theological student is to be able to recite the entire Koran by heart. Many years are spent in memorizing the Holy Book, which must be recited with a prescribed cantillation, and in acquiring a rhythmical movement of the body which accompanies the chant.

When Abdul, for that was the young man’s name, had reached his nineteenth year, he had, by the most assiduous study, finally succeeded in mastering three-fourths of the Koran. At this achievement his pride rose, his ambition was fired, and he determined to become a great man.

The day that he reached this decision he did not go to the Mosque, but stopped at home, in his father’s house, and sat staring at the fire burning in the grate. Several times the father asked:
“My son, what do you see in the fire?”
And each time the son answered:
“Nothing, father.”
He was very young; he could not see.
Finally, the young man picked up courage and gave expression to his thoughts.
“Father,” he said, “I wish to become a great man.”
“That is very easy,” said the father.
“And to be a great man,” continued the son, “I must first go to Mecca.” For no Mohammedan priest or theologian, or even layman, has fulfilled all of the cardinal precepts of his faith unless he has made the pilgrimage to the Holy City.

To his son’s last observation the father blandly replied: “It is very easy to go to Mecca.”

“How, easy?” asked the son. “On the contrary, it is very difficult; for the journey is costly, and I have no money.”

“Listen, my son,” said the father. “You must become a scribe, the writer of the thoughts of your brethren, and your fortune is made.”

“But I have not even the implements necessary for a scribe,” said the son.

“All that can be easily arranged,” said the father; “your grandfather had an ink-horn; I will give it you; I will buy you some writing-paper, and we will get you a box to sit in; all that you need to do is to sit still, look wise and your fortune is made.”

And indeed the advice was good. For letter-writing is an art which only the few possess. The ability to write by no means carries with it the ability to compose. Epistolary genius is rare.

Abdul was much rejoiced at the counsel that had been given him, and lost no time in carrying out the plan. He took his grandfather’s ink-horn, the paper his father bought, got himself a box and began his career as a scribe.

Abdul was a child, he knew nothing, but deeming himself wise he sought to surpass the counsel of his father.

“To look wise,” he said, “is not sufficient; I must have some other attraction.”

And after much thought he hit upon the following idea. Over his box he painted a legend: “The wisdom of man is greater than the wisdom of woman.” People thought the sign very clever, customers came, the young Hodja took in many piasters and he was correspondingly happy.

This sign one day attracted the eyes and mind of a Hanoum (Turkish lady). Seeing that Abdul was a manly youth, she went to him and said:

“Hodja, I have a difficult letter to write. I have heard that thou art very wise, so I have come to thee. To write the letter thou wilt need all thy wit. Moreover, the letter is a long one, and I cannot stand here while it is being written. Come to my Konak (house) at three this afternoon, and we will write the letter.”

The Hodja was overcome with admiration for his fair client, and surprised at the invitation. He was enchanted, his heart beat wildly, and so great was his agitation that his reply of acquiescence was scarcely audible.

The invitation had more than the charm of novelty to make it attractive. He had never talked with a woman outside of his own family circle. To be admitted to a lady’s house was in itself an adventure.

Long before the appointed time, the young Hodja—impetuous youth—gathered together his reeds, ink, and sand. With feverish step he wended his way to the house. Lattices covered the windows, a high wall surrounded the garden, and a ponderous gate barred the entrance. Thrice he raised the massive knocker.

“Who is there?” called a voice from within.

“The scribe,” was the reply.

“It is well,” said the porter; the gate was unbarred, and the Hodja permitted to enter. Directly he was ushered into the apartment of his fair client.

The lady welcomed him cordially.

“Ah! Hodja Effendi, I am glad to see you; pray sit down.”

The Hodja nervously pulled out his writing-implements.

“Do not be in such a hurry,” said the lady. “Refresh yourself; take a cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette, and we will write the letter afterwards.”

So he lit a cigarette, drank a cup of coffee, and they fell to talking. Time flew; the minutes seemed like seconds, and the hours were as minutes. While they were thus enjoying themselves there suddenly came a heavy knock at the gate.

“It is my husband, the Pasha,” cried the lady. “What shall I do? If he finds you here, he will kill you! I am so frightened.”

The Hodja was frightened too. Again there came a knock at the gate.

“I have it,” and taking Abdul by the arm, she said, “you must get into the box,” indicating a large chest in the room. “Quick, quick, if you prize your life utter not a word, and Inshallah I will save you.”

Abdul now, too late, saw his folly. It was his want of experience; but driven by the sense of danger, he entered the chest; the lady locked it and took the key.

A moment afterwards the Pasha came in.

“I am very tired,” he said; “bring me coffee and a chibook.”

“Good evening, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady. “Sit down. I have something to tell you.”

“Bah!” said the Pasha; “I want none of your woman’s talk; ‘the hair of woman is long, and her wits are short,’ says the proverb. Bring me my pipe.”

“But, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady, “I have had an adventure to-day.”

“Bah!” said the Pasha; “what adventure can a woman have—forgot to paint your eyebrows or color your nails, I suppose.”

“No, Pasha Effendi. Be patient, and I will tell you. I went out to-day to write a letter.”

“A letter?” said the Pasha; “to whom would you write a letter?”

“Be patient,” she said, “and I will tell you my story. So I came to the box of a young scribe with beautiful eyes.”

“A young man with beautiful eyes,” shouted the Pasha. “Where is he? I’ll kill him!” and he drew his sword.

The Hodja in the chest heard every word and trembled in every limb.

“Be patient, Pasha Effendi; I said I had an adventure, and you did not believe me. I told the young man that the letter was long, and I could not stand in the street to write it. So I asked him to come and see me this afternoon.”

“Here? to this house?” thundered the Pasha.

“Yes, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady. “So the Hodja came here, and I gave him coffee and a cigarette, and we talked, and the minutes seemed like seconds, and the hours were as minutes. All at once came your knock at the gate, and I said to the Hodja, ‘That is the Pasha; and if he finds you here, he will kill you.'”

“And I will kill him,” screamed the Pasha, “where is he?”

“Be patient, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady, “and I will tell you. When you knocked a second time, I suddenly thought of the chest, and I put the Hodja in.”

“Let me at him!” screamed the Pasha. “I’ll cut off his head!”

“O Pasha,” she said, “what a hurry you are in to slay this comely youth. He is your prey; he cannot escape you. The youth is not only in the box, but it is locked, and the key is in my pocket. Here it is.”

The lady walked over to the Pasha, stretched out her hand and gave him the key.
As he took it, she said:

“Philopena!”

“Bah!” said the Pasha, in disgust. He threw the key on the floor and left the harem, slamming the door behind him.

After he had gone, the lady took up the key, unlocked the door, and let out the trembling Hodja.

“Go now, Hodja, to your box,” she said. “Take down your sign and write instead: ‘The wit of woman is twofold the wit of man,’ for I am a woman, and in one day I have fooled two men.”
====================
From TOLD IN THE COFFEE HOUSE – 29 Turkish and Islamic Folk Tales

ISBN: 9788828339441

Formats: Kindle, ePUB, PDF

Price: US$1.99 +/- £1.50, €1.71, A$2.68, NZ$2.89, INR135.08, ZAR26.76

URL: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/told-in-the-coffee-house-29-turkish-and-islamic-folk-tales/

The Story of a Beautiful Maiden – Baba Indaba Children’s Stories

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 19 (Electronic)

In issue 19 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the West African, Hausa folktale about how a chameleon used his brains and outwitted the Hartebeest and other animals to win the hand of the most beautiful maiden in the land. This is in effect the African version of the Tortoise and the Hare.

 

CONTAINS LINKS TO 8 FREE DOWNLOADS
It is believed that folklore and tales are believed to have originated in India and made their way overland along the Silk and Spice routes and through Central Asia before arriving in Europe.

This book also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_THE_STORY_ABOUT_A_BEAUTIFUL_MAIDEN_A?id=aun3CwAAQBAJ

THE stars shine down!

The Northern Lights flash over the sky,

and the Milky Way glows white!

Listen to the song of the Wizard

of the Crystal-Lighted Cavern!

 

AH! BEAUTIFUL was Linda the lovely daughter of Uko. She showed all the skypaths to the little birds, when they came flocking home in the springtime or flew away in autumn. She cared as gently and tenderly for the little birds, as a mother cares for her children. And just as a flower bespangled with a thousand drops of dew shines and smiles in the morning sunshine, so Linda shone while caring for her little winged ones.

 

Thus it was no wonder that all the world loved Linda. Every youth wished her for his bride, and crowds of suitors came to woo her.

 

In a handsome coach with six brown horses, the Pole Star drove up, and brought ten gifts. But Linda sent him away, with hurried words:

 

“You always have to stay in the same place. You cannot move about,” said she.

 

Then came the Moon in a silver coach drawn by ten brown horses. He brought her twenty gifts. But Linda refused the Moon, saying:

“You change your looks too often. You run in your same old way. You do not suit me.

 

Hardly had the Moon driven sorrowfully off, before the Sun drove up. In a golden coach with twenty red-gold horses, he rattled up to the door. He brought thirty presents with him. But all his pomp, shining splendor, and fine gifts did not help him. Linda said:

 

“I do not want you. You are like the Moon. Day after day you run in the same street.”

 

So the Sun went away sorrowful.

 

Then at midnight, in a diamond coach drawn by a thousand white horses, came the Northern Lights. His coming was so magnificent, that Linda ran to the door to meet him. A whole coach-load of gold, silver, pearls and jewelled ornaments, the servants of the Northern Lights carried into the house and his gifts pleased her, and she let him woo her.

 

“You do not always travel in the same course,” said Linda. “You flash where you will, and stop when you please. Each time you appear robed in new beauty and richness, and wear each time a different garment. And each time you ride about in a new coach with new horses. You are the true bridegroom!”

 

Then they celebrated their betrothal. But the Sun, Moon, and Pole Star looked sadly on. They envied the Northern Lights his happiness.

 

The Northern Lights could not stay long in the bride’s house, for he had to hurry back to the sky. When he said farewell, he promised to return soon for the wedding, and to drive Linda back with him to his home in the North. Meanwhile, they were to prepare Linda’s bridal garments.

 

Linda made her bridal robes, and waited and waited. One day followed the other, but the bridegroom did not come to hold the joyous wedding with his beloved. The winter passed, and the lovely spring adorned the earth with fresh beauty, while Linda waited in vain for her bridegroom. Nothing was seen of him!

 

Then she began to grieve bitterly and lament, and to sorrow day and night. She put on her bridal robes and white veil, and set the wreath on her head, and sat down in a meadow by a river. From her thousand tears little brooks ran into the valleys. In her deep heart-felt sorrow she thought only of her bridegroom.

 

The little birds flew tenderly about her head, brushing her with their soft wings, to comfort her. But she did not see them, nor did she take care of them anymore. So the little birds wandered about, flying here, flying there, for they did not know what to do or where to go.

 

Uko, Linda’s father, heard of her sorrow and how the little birds were untended. He ordered his Winds to fetch his daughter to him, to rescue her from such deep grief. And while Linda was sitting alone in the meadow weeping and lamenting, the Winds sank softly down beside her, and gently lifting her, bore her up and away. They laid her down in the blue sky.

 

And there is Linda now, dwelling in a sky-tent. Her white bridal veil spreads round her. And if you look up at the Milky Way, you will see Linda in her bridal robes. There she is, showing the way to little birds who wander.

 

Linda is happy! In winter she gazes towards the North. She waves her hand at the Northern Lights flashing nearer and nearer, then he again asks her to be his bride.

 

But though he flashes very close to Linda, heart to heart, he cannot carry her off. She must stay forever in the sky, robed in white, and must spread out her veil to make the Milky Way.

————————-

From WONDER TALES FROM BALTIC WIZARDS

ISBN: 978-1-907256-58-5

URLs

Paperback: http://abelapublishing.com/wonder-tales-from-baltic-wizards_p23332702.htm

eBook: http://abelapublishing.com/wonder-tales-from-baltic-wizards-ebook_p24838120.htm

Maiden of the Milky Way

This week’s 2nd African tale comes from Ananzi Stories……

THERE were once upon a time three sisters and a brother. The sisters were all proud, and one was very beautiful, and she did not like her little brother, “because,” she said, “he was dirty.” Now, this beautiful sister was to be married, and the brother
begged their mother not to let her marry, as he was sure the man would kill her, for he knew his house was full of bones. So the mother told her daughter, but she would not believe it, and said, “she wouldn’t listen to anything that such a dirty little scrub said,” and so she was married.

Now, it was agreed that one sister was to remain with her mother, and the other was to go with the bride, and so they set out on their way. When they got to the
beach, the husband picked up a beautiful tortoiseshell comb, which he gave to his bride. Then they got into his boat and rowed away over the sea, and when they reached their home, they were so surprised to see their little brother, for the comb had turned into their brother. They were not at all glad to see him, and the husband thought to himself he would kill him without telling his wife. When night came the boy
told the husband that at home his mother always put him to sleep in the blacksmith’s shop, and so the husband said he should sleep in the smithy.

In the middle of the night the man got up, intending to kill them all, and went to his shop to get his irons ready, but the boy jumped up as soon as he went in, and he said, “Boy, what is the matter with you?” So the boy said, when he was at home his mother always gave him two bags of gold to put his head on. Then the man said, he should have them, and went and fetched him two bags of gold, and told him to go to
sleep.

But the boy said, “Now, mind, when you hear me snore I’m not asleep, but when I am not snoring then I’m asleep.” Then the boy went to sleep and began to snore, and as long as the man heard the snoring, he blew his bellows; but as soon as the snoring stopped, the man took his irons out of the fire, and the boy jumped up.
Then the man said, “Why, what’s the matter? why can’t you sleep?”
The boy said, “No; for at home my mother always gave me four bags of money to lie upon.” Well, the man said he should have them, and brought four bags of money. Then the boy told him again the same thing about his snoring, and the man bade him
go to sleep, and he began to snore, and the man to blow his bellows until the snoring stopped.

Then the man took out his irons again, and the boy jumped up,
and the man dropped the irons, saying, “Why, what’s the matter now that you can’t sleep?” The boy said, “At home my mother always gave me two bushels of corn.”
So the man said he should have the corn, and went and brought it, and told him to go to sleep.

Then the boy snored, and the man blew his bellows till the snoring stopped, when he again took out his irons, and the boy jumped tip, and the man said, “Why, what’s it now?” The boy said, “At home my mother always goes to the river with a sieve to bring me some water.” So the man said, “Very well, I will go, but I have a cock here, and before I go I must speak to it.”
Then the man told the cock if he saw any one moving in the house he must crow; that the cock promised to do, and the man set off.

Now when the boy thought the man was gone far away, he got up, and gave the cock some of the corn; then he woke up his sisters and showed them all the bones the man had in the house, and they were very frightened. Then he took the two bags of gold on his shoulders, and told his sisters to follow him. He took them to the bay, and put them into the boat with the bags of gold, and left them whilst he went back for the four bags of money. When he was leaving the house he emptied the bags of corn to the cook, who was so busy eating, he forgot to crow, until they had got quite away.

When the man returned home and could not find them in the house, he went to the river, where he found his boat gone, and so he had no way of going after them. When they landed at their own place the boy turned the boat over and stove it in, so that it was of no use any more; and he took his sisters home, and told their mother all that had happened, and his sisters loved him, and they lived very happily together ever afterwards, and do so still if they are not dead.

From: Ananzi Stories
ISBN: 978-1-907256-52-3
http://www.abelapublishing.com/ananzi-stories_p23332603.htm

Anansi Stories

—————————–
INCREASE YOUR INCOME

Are you retired? Do you have spare time on your hands? Are you looking for work or
wanting to earn that bit extra to make ends meet?

Arrange to read these free stories weekly at local primary schools letting all know that these stories are old, forgotten and out of print Folklore, Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends from the Abela Catalogue and are for sale.
Sell the Folklore, Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends from the Abela Catalogue and earn yourself 10% of the RRP for every Abela book sold.

New titles are being are added all the time!
Contact John Halsted at books@abelapublishing.com for more details.

This is a story about an alliance. A story, a story. Let it go, let it come.

 

Once Upon A Time a chief begat a beautiful daughter; she had no equal in the town. And he said, ‘He who hoes on the day the people come together and whose area hoed surpasses everyone else’s he marries the chief’s daughter. So on the day the chief calls his neighbours to hoe (gayaa), let them come (the suitors) and hoe for him. But he who hoes and surpasses every one else, to him a wife.’

 

Now of a truth the chameleon had heard (about this) for a long time past, (and) he came along. He was eating hoeing medicine. Now when the day of the hoeing came round the chameleon was at home. He did not come out until those hoeing were at work and were far away; then the chameleon came. When he struck one blow on the ground with the hoe, then he climbed on the hoe and sat down, and the hoe started to hoe, and fairly flew until it had done as much as the hoers. It passed them, and reached the boundary of the furrow.

 

The chameleon got off, sat down, and rested, and later on the (other) hoers got to where he was. Then the chief would not consent, but now (said) he who ran and passed every one, he should marry his daughter. Then the hartebeest said he surpassed everyone in running. So they had a race. But the chameleon turned into a needle; he leaped (and) stuck fast to the tail of the hartebeest, and the hartebeest ran until he passed every one, until he came to the entrance of the house of the chief.

He passed it.

 

Then the chameleon let go the hartebeest’s tail; of a truth the chameleon had seen the maiden. So he embraced her, and when the hartebeest came along he met the chameleon embracing the girl. Thereupon the hartebeest began to shed tears, and that was the origin of what you see like tears in a hartebeest’s eyes. From that day he has wept and not dried his tears.

 

Off with the rat’s head!

 

ISBN: 978-1-907256-16-5

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/hausa-folklore_p23332623.htm

Here is a tale from Yaqui Myths and Legends which I have yet to replublish as a book. The Yaqui are an American Indian people.

It is titled THE KU BIRD.

AMONG the Yaquis there was once a bird who, from birth, was very poor. So poor was this little one that he had not one single feather on his whole body. Often he sighed, especially in the winter time, because of his lack of protecting feathers. Many years passed, until one day he spoke to the Owl, saying,
“My brother, do me a favor and I will help you as long as I live. Help me to dress myself by lending me just a few of your feathers, even if they should cover only a part of my body. With the cold weather, I suffer.”
And the Owl answered him. “Have no worry about my helping you. I am going to ask all the birds to lend you one feather. In that way, you may clothe your whole body.”
“You speak well,” said the Ku Bird to the Owl. “When I have many feathers, I shall return a feather to each who lent me one.”
“Good,” said the Owl, “I shall send messengers to all the birds both large and small, to every single bird, in order that not one shall fail to attend the council. By early tomorrow morning we shall all be gathered to consider the matter of your clothes.”
“Many, many thanks,” answered the Ku Bird.
“Good-by for a while,” said the Owl. And he went away to make arrangements with the other birds.

Immediately they all wanted to see Ku Bird. At their petition, although with great shame, he presented himself.
Everyone was very sorry for him. And each bird presented him with one feather. Everyone contributed until Ku’s costume, was complete.
After thanking them all, Ku said, “To brother Owl I shall return all of the loaned feathers. He will return them to each of you in one year.”
A few days later the Ku Bird visited a spring filled with crystal-clear water. Here, many birds with beautiful plumes often came to visit. When the Ku Bird arrived all the birds surrounded him and looked at him in admiration and joy. They believed that he was a prince, and all rendered him homage. They did not recognize him beneath his beautiful, unusual plumage. He looked like a garden of flowers. Some called him the bird of a thousand colors, for he was wonderfully colorful with all his many feathers.

But within a year Ku was lost completely. He was never again seen, although all the birds searched for him, even in distant regions. Never again did he appear.
To this day, the Owl is still hunting for him. He searches and he calls. That is why Owl sings: “Ku, Ku, Ku, Ku,” nothing more. He is not able to say Ku Bird, but he can sing “Ku Ku Ku.”

Many centuries have passed and no one has ever heard anything about Ku. It is said that he is enchanted, that he now dwells in a waterhole which lies west of Potam near the sea. Yaquis say they have been there and heard him singing.
Ku never paid for his shirt, the Ku Bird, the bird of a thousand colors.

So ends the tale.

Everybody knows that though the fairies live hundreds of years they do sometimes die, and especially as they are obliged to pass one day in every week under the form of some animal, when of course they are liable to accident. It was in this way that death once overtook the Queen of the Fairies, and it became necessary to call a general assembly to elect a new sovereign. After much discussion, it appeared that the choice lay between two fairies, one called Surcantine and the other Paridamie; and their claims were so equal that it was impossible without injustice to prefer one to the other. Under these circumstances it was unanimously decided that whichever of the two could show to the world the greatest wonder should be Queen; but it was to be a special kind of wonder, no moving of mountains or any such common fairy tricks would do. Surcantine, therefore, resolved that she would bring up a Prince whom nothing could make constant. While Paridamie decided to display to admiring mortals a Princess so charming that no one could see her without falling in love with her. They were allowed to take their own time, and meanwhile the four oldest fairies were to attend to the affairs of the kingdom.

 

Now Paridamie had for a long time been very friendly with King Bardondon, who was a most accomplished Prince, and whose court was the model of what a court should be. His Queen, Balanice, was also charming; indeed it is rare to find a husband and wife so perfectly of one mind about everything. They had one little daughter, whom they had named ‘Rosanella,’ because she had a little pink rose printed upon her white throat. From her earliest infancy she had shown the most astonishing intelligence, and the courtiers knew her smart sayings by heart, and repeated them on all occasions. In the middle of the night following the assembly of fairies, Queen Balanice woke up with a shriek, and when her maids of honour ran to see what was the matter, they found she had had a frightful dream.

 

‘I thought,’ said she, ‘that my little daughter had changed into a bouquet of roses, and that as I held it in my hand a bird swooped down suddenly and snatched it from me and carried it away.’

 

‘Let some one run and see that all is well with the Princess,’ she added.

 

So they ran; but what was their dismay when they found that the cradle was empty; and though they sought high and low, not a trace of Rosanella could they discover. The Queen was inconsolable, and so, indeed, was the King, only being a man he did not say quite so much about his feelings. He presently proposed to Balanice that they should spend a few days at one of their palaces in the country; and to this she willingly agreed, since her grief made the gaiety of the capital distasteful to her. One lovely summer evening, as they sat together on a shady lawn shaped like a star, from which radiated twelve splendid avenues of trees, the Queen looked round and saw a charming peasant-girl approaching by each path, and what was still more singular was that everyone carried something in a basket which appeared to occupy her whole attention. As each drew near she laid her basket at Balanice’s feet, saying:

‘Charming Queen, may this be some slight consolation to you in your unhappiness!’

 

The Queen hastily opened the baskets, and found in each a lovely baby-girl, about the same age as the little Princess for whom she sorrowed so deeply. At first the sight of them renewed her grief; but presently their charms so gained upon her that she forgot her melancholy in providing them with nursery-maids, cradle-rockers, and ladies-in-waiting, and in sending hither and thither for swings and dolls and tops, and bushels of the finest sweetmeats.

 

Oddly enough, every baby had upon its throat a tiny pink rose. The Queen found it so difficult to decide on suitable names for all of them, that until she could settle the matter she chose a special colour for everyone, by which it was known, so that when they were all together they looked like nothing so much as a nosegay of gay flowers. As they grew older it became evident that though they were all remarkably intelligent, and profited equally by the education they received, yet they differed one from another in disposition, so much so that they gradually ceased to be known as ‘Pearl,’ or ‘Primrose,’ or whatever might have been their colour, and the Queen instead would say:

‘Where is my Sweet?’ or ‘my Beautiful,’ or ‘my Gay.’

 

Of course, with all these charms they had lovers by the dozen. Not only in their own court, but princes from afar, who were constantly arriving, attracted by the reports which were spread abroad; but these lovely girls, the first Maids of Honour, were as discreet as they were beautiful, and favoured no one.

 

But let us return to Surcantine. She had fixed upon the son of a king who was cousin to Bardondon, to bring up as her fickle Prince. She had before, at his christening, given him all the graces of mind and body that a prince could possibly require; but now she redoubled her efforts, and spared no pains in adding every imaginable charm and fascination. So that whether he happened to be cross or amiable, splendidly or simply attired, serious or frivolous, he was always perfectly irresistible! In truth, he was a charming young fellow, since the Fairy had given him the best heart in the world as well as the best head, and had left nothing to be desired but—constancy. For it cannot be denied that Prince Mirliflor was a desperate flirt, and as fickle as the wind; so much so, that by the time he arrived at his eighteenth birthday there was not a heart left for him to conquer in his father’s kingdom—they were all his own, and he was tired of everyone! Things were in this state when he was invited to visit the court of his father’s cousin, King Bardondon.

 

Imagine his feelings when he arrived and was presented at once to twelve of the loveliest creatures in the world, and his embarrassment was heightened by the fact that they all liked him as much as he liked each one of them, so that things came to such a pass that he was never happy a single instant without them. For could he not whisper soft speeches to Sweet, and laugh with Joy, while he looked at Beauty? And in his more serious moments what could be pleasanter than to talk to Grave upon some shady lawn, while he held the hand of Loving in his own, and all the others lingered near in sympathetic silence? For the first time in his life he really loved, though the object of his devotion was not one person, but twelve, to whom he was equally attached, and even Surcantine was deceived into thinking that this was indeed the height of inconstancy. But Paridamie said not a word.

 

In vain did Prince Mirliflor’s father write commanding him to return, and proposing for him one good match after another. Nothing in the world could tear him from his twelve enchantresses.

 

One day the Queen gave a large garden-party, and just as the guests were all assembled, and Prince Mirliflor was as usual dividing his attentions between the twelve beauties, a humming of bees was heard. The Rose-maidens, fearing their stings, uttered little shrieks, and fled all together to a distance from the rest of the company. Immediately, to the horror of all who were looking on, the bees pursued them, and, growing suddenly to an enormous size, pounced each upon a maiden and carried her off into the air, and in an instant they were all lost to view. This amazing occurrence plunged the whole court into the deepest affliction, and Prince Mirliflor, after giving way to the most violent grief at first, fell gradually into a state of such deep dejection that it was feared if nothing could rouse him he would certainly die. Surcantine came in all haste to see what she could do for her darling, but he rejected with scorn all the portraits of lovely princesses which she offered him for his collection. In short, it was evident that he was in a bad way, and the Fairy was at her wits’ end. One day, as he wandered about absorbed in melancholy reflections, he heard sudden shouts and exclamations of amazement, and if he had taken the trouble to look up he could not have helped being as astonished as everyone else, for through the air a chariot of crystal was slowly approaching which glittered in the sunshine. Six lovely maidens with shining wings drew it by rose-coloured ribbons, while a whole flight of others, equally beautiful, were holding long garlands of roses crossed above it, so as to form a complete canopy. In it sat the Fairy Paridamie, and by her side a Princess whose beauty positively dazzled all who saw her. At the foot of the great staircase they descended, and proceeded to the Queen’s apartments, though everyone had run together to see this marvel, till it was quite difficult to make a way through the crowd; and exclamations of wonder rose on all sides at the loveliness of the strange Princess. ‘Great Queen,’ said Paridamie, ‘permit me to restore to you your daughter Rosanella, whom I stole out of her cradle.’

After the first transports of joy were over the Queen said to Paridamie:

‘But my twelve lovely ones, are they lost to me forever? Shall I never see them again?’

 

But Paridamie only said:

‘Very soon you will cease to miss them!’ in a tone that evidently meant ‘Don’t ask me any more questions.’ And then mounting again into her chariot she swiftly disappeared.

 

The news of his beautiful cousin’s arrival was soon carried to the Prince, but he had hardly the heart to go and see her. However, it became absolutely necessary that he should pay his respects, and he had scarcely been five minutes in her presence before it seemed to him that she combined in her own charming person all the gifts and graces which had so attracted him in the twelve Rose-maidens whose loss he had so truly mourned; and after all it is really more satisfactory to make love to one person at a time. So it came to pass that before he knew where he was he was entreating his lovely cousin to marry him, and the moment the words had left his lips, Paridamie appeared, smiling and triumphant, in the chariot of the Queen of the Fairies, for by that time they had all heard of her success, and declared her to have earned the kingdom. She had to give a full account of how she had stolen Rosanella from her cradle, and divided her character into twelve parts, that each might charm Prince Mirliflor, and when once more united might cure him of his inconstancy once and for ever.

 

And as one more proof of the fascination of the whole Rosanella, I may tell you that even the defeated Surcantine sent her a wedding gift, and was present at the ceremony which took place as soon as the guests could arrive. Prince Mirliflor was constant for the rest of his life. And indeed

who would not have been in his place? As for Rosanella, she loved him as much as all the twelve beauties put together, so they reigned in peace and happiness to the end of their long lives.

 


By the Comte de Caylus.


 

From “The Green Fairy Book” collated and edited by Andrew Lang

ISBN: 978-1-907256-79-0

URL http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_gfb.html

 

 

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