The king ordered a cover to be laid for her, but it could not be a massive gold one like the others, for only seven had been ordered made. The old fairy thought herself ill-used and muttered between her teeth. One of the young fairies, overhearing her, and fancying she might work some mischief to the little baby, went and hid herself behind the hangings in the hall, so as to be able to have the last word and undo any harm the old fairy might wish to work. The fairies now began to endow the princess. The youngest, for her gift, decreed that she should be the most beautiful person in the world; the next that she should have the mind of an angel; the third that she should be perfectly graceful; the fourth that she should dance admirably well; the fifth, that she should sing like a nightingale; the sixth, that she should play charmingly upon every musical instrument. The turn of the old fairy had now come, and she declared, while her head shook with malice, that the princess should pierce her hand with a spindle and die of the wound. This dreadful fate threw all the company into tears of dismay, when the young fairy who had hidden herself came forward and said:
“Be of good cheer, king and queen; your daughter shall not so die. It is true I cannot entirely undo what my elder has done. The princess will pierce her hand with a spindle, but, instead of dying, she will only fall into a deep sleep. The sleep will last a hundred years, and at the end of that time a king’s son will come to wake her.”
The king, in hopes of preventing what the old fairy had foretold, immediately issued an edict by which he forbade all persons in his dominion from spinning or even having spindles in their houses under pain of instant death.
Now fifteen years after the princess was born she was with the king and queen at one of their castles, and as she was running about by herself she came to a little chamber at the top of a tower, and there sat an honest old woman spinning, for she had never heard of the king’s edict.
“What are you doing?” asked the princess.
“I am spinning, my fair child,” said the old woman, who did not know her.
“How pretty it is!” exclaimed the princess. “How do you do it? Give it to me that I may see if I can do it.” She had no sooner taken up the spindle, than, being hasty and careless, she pierced her hand with the point of it, and fainted away. The old woman, in great alarm, called for help. People came running in from all sides; they threw water in the princess’s face and did all they could to restore her, but nothing would bring her to. The king, who had heard the noise and confusion, came up also, and remembering what the fairy had said, he had the princess carried to the finest apartment and laid upon a richly embroidered bed. She lay there in all her loveliness, for the swoon had not made her pale; her lips were cherry-ripe and her cheeks ruddy and fair; her eyes were closed, but they could hear her breathing quietly; she could not be dead. The king looked sorrowfully upon her. He knew that she would not awake for a hundred years.