The Blue Fairy Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 414 pages of information about The Blue Fairy Book.

All the Court cried:  “Long live Queen Miranda!” after him, and the young Queen’s two sisters came running up, and threw their arms round her neck, and kissed her a thousand times, and then there was such a laughing and crying, talking and kissing, all at once, and Miranda thanked her father, and began to ask after everyone—­particularly the Captain of the Guard, to whom she owed so much; but, to her great sorrow, she heard that he was dead.  Presently they sat down to the banquet, and the King asked Miranda to tell them all that had happened to her since the terrible morning when he had sent the Captain of the Guard to fetch her.  This she did with so much spirit that all the guests listened with breathless interest.  But while she was thus enjoying herself with the King and her sisters, the King of the Sheep was waiting impatiently for the time of her return, and when it came and went, and no Princess appeared, his anxiety became so great that he could bear it no longer.

“She is not coming back any more,” he cried.  “My miserable sheep’s face displeases her, and without Miranda what is left to me, wretched creature that I am!  Oh! cruel Ragotte; my punishment is complete.”

For a long time he bewailed his sad fate like this, and then, seeing that it was growing dark, and that still there was no sign of the Princess, he set out as fast as he could in the direction of the town.  When he reached the palace he asked for Miranda, but by this time everyone had heard the story of her adventures, and did not want her to go back again to the King of the Sheep, so they refused sternly to let him see her.  In vain he begged and prayed them to let him in; though his entreaties might have melted hearts of stone they did not move the guards of the palace, and at last, quite broken-hearted, he fell dead at their feet.

In the meantime the King, who had not the least idea of the sad thing that was happening outside the gate of his palace, proposed to Miranda that she should be driven in her chariot all round the town, which was to be illuminated with thousands and thousands of torches, placed in windows and balconies, and in all the grand squares.  But what a sight met her eyes at the very entrance of the palace!  There lay her dear, kind sheep, silent and motionless, upon the pavement!

She threw herself out of the chariot and ran to him, crying bitterly, for she realized that her broken promise had cost him his life, and for a long, long time she was so unhappy that they thought she would have died too.

So you see that even a princess is not always happy—­especially if she forgets to keep her word; and the greatest misfortunes often happen to people just as they think they have obtained their heart’s desires![1]

[1] Madame d’Aulnoy.

LITTLE THUMB

There was, once upon a time, a man and his wife fagot-makers by trade, who had several children, all boys.  The eldest was but ten years old, and the youngest only seven.

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The Blue Fairy Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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