Midas hurried back to the palace with the pitcher of water, and the first thing he did was to sprinkle it by handfuls all over the golden figure of his little daughter. You would have laughed to see how the rosy color came back to her cheeks, and how she began to sneeze and choke, and how surprised she was to find herself dripping wet and her father still throwing water over her.
You see she did not know that she had been a little golden statue, for she could not remember anything from the moment when she ran to kiss her father.
King Midas then led his daughter into the garden, where he sprinkled all the rest of the water over the rose-bushes, and the grass, and the trees; and in a minute they were blooming as freshly as ever, and the air was laden with the scent of the flowers.
There were two things left, which, as long as he lived, used to remind King Midas of the stranger’s fatal gift. One was that the sands at the bottom of the river always sparkled like grains of gold: and the other, that his little daughter’s curls were no longer brown. They had a golden tinge which had not been there before that miserable day when he had received the fatal gift, and when his kiss had changed them into gold.
ADAPTED BY C.E. SMITH
Cadmus, Phoenix, and Cilix, the three sons of King Agenor, were playing near the seashore in their father’s kingdom of Phoenicia, and their little sister Europa was beside them.
They had wandered to some distance from the King’s palace and were now in a green field, on one side of which lay the sea, sparkling brightly in the sunshine, and with little waves breaking on the shore.
The three boys were very happy gathering flowers and making wreaths for their sister Europa. The little girl was almost hidden under the flowers and leaves, and her rosy face peeped merrily out among them. She was really the prettiest flower of them all.
While they were busy and happy, a beautiful butterfly came flying past, and the three boys, crying out that it was a flower with wings, set off to try to catch it.
Europa did not run after them. She was a little tired with playing all day long, so she sat still on the green grass and very soon she closed her eyes.
For a time she listened to the sea, which sounded, she thought, just like a voice saying, “Hush, hush,” and telling her to go to sleep. But if she slept at all it was only for a minute. Then she heard something tramping on the grass and, when she looked up, there was a snow-white bull quite close to her!
Where could he have come from? Europa was very frightened, and she started up from among the tulips and lilies and cried out, “Cadmus, brother Cadmus, where are you? Come and drive this bull away.” But her brother was too far off to hear her, and Europa was so frightened that her voice did not sound very loud; so there she stood with her blue eyes big with fear, and her pretty red mouth wide open, and her face as pale as the lilies that were lying on her golden hair.