|The Fairy Book|
|by Dinah Maria Mulock|
|One of the earliest collections of fairy tales from different countries, first published in 1863. Carefully selected and rendered anew in language close to the oral tradition. Includes old English tales, such as Jack the Giant-killer and Tom Thumb, as well as German stories from Grimm, and French tales of Perrault and Madame d'Aulnoy, and many other delightful and time-honored fairy tales. Numerous black and white illustrations by Louis Rhead complement the text. Ages 6-9 |
THE BLUE BIRD
POWERFUL and wealthy king, having lost his wife, was
so inconsolable, that he shut himself up for eight
entire days, in a little cabinet, where he spent his
time in knocking his head against the wall, until the
courtiers were afraid he would kill himself! They
accordingly placed stuffed mattresses over every wall,
and allowed all his subjects, who desired, to pay him a
visit, trusting that something would be said to
alleviate his grief. But neither grave nor lively
discourse made any impression upon him; he scarcely
heard what was spoken. At last there presented herself
before him a lady, covered from head to foot in a long
crape veil, who wept and sobbed so much that the king
noticed her. She told him that she did not come, like
the rest, to console him, but rather to encourage his
grief. She herself had lost the best of husbands, and
here she began to weep so profusely, that it was a
wonder her eyes were not melted out of her head. The
king began to weep in company, and to talk to her of
his dear wife—she did the same of her dear husband:
in fact they talked so much, that they talked their
sorrow quite away. Then, lifting up her veil, she
showed lovely blue eyes and dark eyelashes. The king
noticed her more and more—he spoke
 less and less of
the departed queen; by and by he ceased to speak of her
at all. The end was, that he courted the inconsolable
lady in the black veil, and married her.
By his first marriage he had one daughter, called
Florina, or the little Flora, because she was so fresh
and lovely; at the time of his second marriage she was
quite fifteen years old. The new queen also had a
daughter, who was being brought up by her godmother,
the fairy Soussio—her name was Troutina, because her
complexion was all spotted like a trout's back. Indeed,
she was altogether ugly and disagreeable; and when
contrasted with Florina, the difference between the two
made the mother so envious, that she and Troutina
spared no pains to make the princess's life unhappy,
and to speak ill of her to her father.
One day the king observed that both girls were now old
enough to be married, and that he intended to choose
for one of them the first prince who visited his court.
"Be it so," said the queen; "and as my daughter is
older, handsomer, and more amiable than yours, she
shall have the first choice." The king disputed
nothing; indeed, he never did—the queen ruled him in
Some time after, news came that King Charming would
shortly arrive, and that he was as charming as his
name. When the queen heard this news, she sent for
milliners, dressmakers, jewellers, and decked Troutina
from head to foot; but to Florina she allowed not a
single new frock.
 The poor princess had to put on her
old one, which was very old and shabby indeed; she was
so much ashamed of it that she hid herself in a corner
of the saloon, lest King Charming should see her. But
he did not, being overwhelmed with the ceremonious
reception given him by the queen, who presented to him
Troutina, all blazing with jewels, yet so ugly that
King Charming involuntarily turned away his eyes.
"But, madam, is there not another princess, called
They pointed to the corner where Florina was hidden,
and she came out, blushing so much, that the young king
was dazzled with her beauty, in spite of her shabby
gown. He rose, and made her a profound reverence,
paying her besides so many elegant compliments, that
the queen became very much displeased. King Charming
took no heed, but conversed with Florina for three
hours without stopping. Indeed, his admiration of her
was so plain, that the queen and Troutina begged of the
king that she might be shut up in a tower during the
whole time of his visit; so, as soon as she had
returned to her apartment, four men in masks entered,
and carried her off, leaving her in a dark cell, and in
the utmost desolation.
Meantime King Charming eagerly awaited her
re-appearance, but he saw her no more; and by the
queen's orders, every one about him spoke all the evil
they could of poor Florina, but he refused to believe
one word. "No," said he, "nature could not have united
a base nature to such a
 sweet innocent face. I will
rather suppose that she is maligned by her stepmother
and by Troutina, who is so ugly herself that no wonder
she bears envy towards the fairest woman in the world."
Meanwhile Florina, shut up in her tower, lamented
bitterly. "Ah, would I had been sent here before I saw
this amiable prince, who was so kind to me! It is to
prevent my meeting him again, that the queen treats me
so cruelly. Alas! the little beauty I have has cost me
The queen, to win King Charming for her daughter, made
him many presents; among the rest an order of
knighthood, a golden heart, enamelled in flame-colour,
surrounded with many arrows, but pierced by one only,
the motto being "She alone." The heart was made of a
single ruby, as big as an ostrich's egg. Each arrow was
a diamond, a finger's length, and the chain was of
pearls, each weighing a pound. When the young king
received this very handsome present, he was much
perplexed, until they told him it came from the
princess whom he had lately seen, and who requested him
to be her knight.
"Florina!" cried he, enchanted.
"Then I am sorry I cannot accept the honour," replied
King Charming. "A monarch is surely at liberty to form
his own engagements. I know what is a knight's duty to
his lady, and should wish to fulfil it; as I cannot
fulfil it to Troutina, I would rather decline the
favour she offers me than become unworthy of it."
 Civil as this answer was, it irritated the queen and
her daughter exceedingly; and when, since in all his
audience with their majesties he never saw Florina, he
at last inquired where the younger princess was, the
queen answered fiercely, that she was shut up in
prison, and would remain there till Troutina was
"And for what reason?" asked King Charming.
"I do not know; and if I did, I would not tell you,"
replied the queen, more angrily than ever; so that King
Charming quitted her presence as soon as ever he could.
When he was alone, he sent for one of his attendants
whom he trusted very much, and begged him to gain
information from some court lady about the princess
Florina. This scheme succeeded so well, that Florina
was persuaded to promise she would speak to him for a
few moments next night, from a small window at the
bottom of the tower. But the faithless lady-in-waiting
betrayed her to the queen, who locked her up in her
chamber, and determined to send her own daughter to the
window instead. The night was so dark that King
Charming never found out the difference, but made to
Troutina all the tender speeches that he meant for
Florina offering her his crown and his heart, and
ending by placing his own ring on her finger, as a
pledge of eternal fidelity. He also made her agree to
fly with him next night, in a chariot drawn by winged
frogs, of which a great magician, one of his friends, had
made him a present. He thought
 she talked very little,
and that little not quite so pleasant a voice as
formerly; still, he was too much in love to notice
much, and departed very joyful in having obtained her
Next night Troutina, thickly veiled, quitted the palace
by a secret door. King Charming met her, received her
in his arms, and vowed to love her for ever. Then he
lifted her into the fairy chariot, and they sailed
about in the air for some hours. But as he was not
likely to wish to sail about for ever, he at last
proposed that they should descend to earth, and be
married. Troutina agreed with all her heart, but wished
that the ceremony should be performed at her
godmother's, the fairy Soussio. So they entered
together into the fairy-palace, and she told her
godmother privately how all had happened, and how she
had won King Charming, begging the fairy to pacify him
when he found out his mistake.
"My child," replied the godmother, "that is more easily
said than done; he is too deeply in love with Florina."
Meantime the king was left waiting in a chamber with
diamond walls, so thin and transparent, that through
them he saw Troutina and Soussio conversing together.
He stood like a man in a dream: "What! am I betrayed?
Has this enemy to my peace carried away my dear
How great was his despair, when Soussio said to him in
a commanding voice, "King Charming, behold the princess
Troutina, to whom you have promised your faith: marry
 "Do you think me a fool?" cried the king; "I have
promised her nothing. She is—"
"Stop—if you show me any disrespect—"
"I will respect you as much as a fairy deserves to be
respected, if you will only give me back my princess."
"Am not I she?" said Troutina. "It was to me you gave
this ring; to me you spoke at the window."
"I have been wickedly deceived!" cried the king; "come,
my winged frogs, we will depart immediately."
You cannot," said Soussio; and, touching him, he found
himself fixed as if his feet were glued to the
"You may turn me into stone!" exclaimed he; "but I will
love no one, except Florina."
Soussio employed persuasions, threats, promises,
entreaties. Troutina wept, groaned, shrieked, and then
tried quiet sulkiness; but the king uttered not a word.
For twenty days and twenty nights he stood there,
without sleeping, or eating, or once sitting down—they
talking all the while.
At length, Soussio, quite worn out, said, "Choose,
seven years of penitence and punishment, or marry my
"I choose," answered the king; "and I will not marry
"Then fly out of this window, in the shape of a Blue
Immediately the king's figure changed. His arms formed
themselves into wings; his legs and
 feet turned black
and thin, and claws grew upon them; his body wasted
into the slender shape of a bird, and was covered with
bright blue feathers; his eyes became round and beady;
his nose an ivory beak; and his crown was a white plume
on the top of his head. He began to speak in a singing
voice, and then uttering a doleful cry, fled away as
far as possible from the fatal palace of Soussio.
But, though he looked only a blue bird, the king was
his own natural self still, and remembered all his
misfortunes, and did not cease to lament for his
beautiful Florina. Flying from tree to tree, he sang
melancholy songs about her and himself, and wished he
were dead many a time.
The fairy Soussio sent back Troutina to her mother, who
was furious. "Florina shall repent having pleased King
Charming!" cried she; and dressing her own daughter in
rich garments, with a gold crown on her head, and King
Charming's ring on her finger, she took her to the
tower. "Florina, your sister is come to see and bring
you marriage presents, for she is now the wife of King
Florina, doubting no more her lover's loss, fell down
in a swoon, and the queen immediately went to tell her
father that she was mad for love, and must be watched
closely lest she should in some way disgrace herself.
The king said, her stepmother might do with her exactly
what she pleased.
When the princess recovered from her swoon,
 she began
to weep, and wept all night long, sitting at the open
window of her tower. The Blue Bird, who kept
continually flying about the palace, but only at night
time, lest any one should see him, happened to come and
perch upon a tall cypress opposite the window, and
heard her; but it was too dark to see who she was, and
at daylight she shut the window. Next night, it was
broad moonlight, and then he saw clearly the figure of
a young girl, weeping sore, and knew that it was his
When she paused in her lamentations, "Adorable
princess," said he, "why do you mourn? Your troubles
are not without remedy."
"Who speaks to me so gently?" asked she.
"A king, who loves you, and will never love any other."
So saying he flew up to the window, and at first
frightened the princess very much, for she could not
understand such an extraordinary thing as a bird who
talked in words like a man, yet kept still the piping
voice of a nightingale. But soon she began stroking his
beautiful plumage, and caressing him.
"Who are you, charming bird?"
"You have spoken my name. I am King Charming, condemned
to be a bird for seven years, because I will not
"Ah! do not deceive me. I know you have married
Troutina. She came to visit me with your diamonds on
her neck, and your ring on her finger, wearing the
golden crown and royal mantle which you had given her,
while I was laden with iron chains."
 "It is all false," sang the Blue Bird, and told her his
whole story, which comforted her so much that she
thought no more of her misfortunes. They conversed till
daybreak, and promised faithfully every night to meet
Meantime the princess could not sleep for thinking of
her Blue Bird. "Suppose sportsmen should shoot him, or
eagles and kites attack him, and vultures devour him
just as if he were a mere bird and not a great king?
What should I do if I saw his poor feathers scattered
on the ground, and knew that he was no more?" So she
grieved all day long.
The beautiful Blue Bird, hid in a hollow tree, spent
the hours in thinking of his princess. "How happy I am
to have found her again, and found her so engaging and
so sweet." And as he wished to pay her all the
attentions that a lover delights in, he flew to his own
kingdom, entered his palace by an open window, and
sought for some diamond ear-rings, which he brought
back in his beak, and, when night came, offered them to
Florina. So night after night he brought her something
beautiful, and they talked together till day, when he
flew back to the hollow tree, where he sang her praises
in a voice so sweet that the passers-by thought it was
not a bird but a spirit. Rumours went about that the
place was haunted, and no one would go near the spot.
Thus, for two years, Florina spent her time, and never
once regretted her captivity. Her Blue Bird visited her
every night, and they loved one another dearly. And
though she saw nobody,
 and he lived in the hollow of a
tree, they always found plenty to say to one another.
The malicious queen tried with all her might to get
Troutina married, but in vain. Nobody would have her.
"If it were Florina, now," said the kings, or the
kings' ambassadors, "we should be most happy to sign
"That girl thwarts us still," said the queen. "She must
have some secret correspondence with foreign suitors.
But we will find her out and punish her."
The mother and daughter finished talking so late that
it was midnight before they reached Florina's
apartment. She had dressed herself as usual, with the
utmost care, to please her Blue Bird, who liked to see
her lovely; and she had adorned herself with all the
pretty things he had given her. He perched on the
window-sill, and she sat at the window, and they were
singing together a duet, which the queen heard outside.
She burst the door open, and rushed into the chamber.
The first thing Florina did was to open her little
window that the Blue Bird might fly away. But he would
not. He had seen the queen and Troutina, and though he
could not defend his princess, he refused to leave her.
The two rushed upon her like furies. Her wonderful
beauty and her splendid jewels startled them. "Whence
came all these ornaments?" cried they.
"I found them," replied Florina, and refused to answer
"Some one has given them to you that you might
 join in
treason against your father and the kingdom."
"Am I likely to do this? I, a poor princess, kept in
captivity for two years, with you as my gaoler?"
"In captivity," repeated the queen. "Why, then, do you
dress yourself so fine, and adorn your chamber with
"I have leisure enough: I may just as well spend some
of it in adorning myself, instead of bemoaning my
misfortune—innocent as I am."
"Innocent, indeed!" cried the queen, and began to
search the room. In it she found all King Charming's
presents—diamonds, rubies, emeralds, amethysts—in
short, jewels without end. Meantime, from the window,
the Blue Bird, who had the eye of a lynx, sang aloud,
"You see, madam," said Florina, "even the spirits of
the air take pity upon me."
"I see that you are in league with demons; but your
father shall judge you;" and, very much frightened, the
queen left her, and went to hold counsel with Troutina
as to what was to be done. They agreed to put in
Florina's chamber a waiting-maid, who should watch her
from morning till night. When the princess learnt this
she was in great grief.
"Alas!" cried she, "I can no longer talk with my bird
who loved me so; and our love was consolation for all
our misfortunes. What will he do? What shall I do?" And
she melted into floods of tears.
 She dared not open the window, though she heard
continually his wings fluttering round it. For more
than a month she waited; but the serving-maid watched
her night and day. At last, overcome with weariness,
the girl fell asleep, and then Florina opened her
little window, and sang in a low voice—
"Blue Bird, Blue Bird,
Come to my side."
The Blue Bird flew to the window-sill, and they
lavished on one another a hundred caresses, and talked
together till dawn. Next night it happened the same,
till they began to hope that the waiting-maid, who
seemed to enjoy her sleep so much, would sleep every
night to come. But on the third night, hearing a noise,
she wakened, and saw by the light of the moon the
Princess Florina sitting at the window with a beautiful
Blue Bird, who warbled in her ear and touched her
gently with his beak. The spy listened and heard all
their conversation, very much astonished that a
princess could be so fond of a mere bird. When day
came, she related all to the queen and Troutina, who
concluded that the bird could be no other than King
Charming. They sent the girl back, told her to express
no curiosity, but to feign sleep, and to go to bed
earlier than usual. Then the poor deceived princess
opened her little window, and sang her usual song—
"Blue Bird, Blue Bird,
Come to my side."
But no Blue Bird appeared. The queen had caused sharp
knives to be hung outside the
hol-  low of the tree: he
flew against them and cut his feet and wings, till he
dropped down, covered with blood.
"Oh, Florina, come to my help!" sighed he. "But she is
dead, I know, and I will die also."
At that moment, his friend, the magician, who, since he
had seen the chariot with flying frogs return without
King Charming, had gone eight times round the world in
search of him, made his ninth journey, and came to the
tree where the poor Blue Bird lay, calling out, "King
Charming, King Charming!"
The king recognised the voice of his best friend:
whereupon the magician took him out of the hollow tree,
healed his wounds, and heard all his history. He
persuaded King Charming that, overcome with fear and
cruel treatment, Florina must have betrayed him.
"Then do as you will with me!" cried the king. "Put me
into a cage and take me back with you. I shall at least
be safe there for the five years that are to be
"But," said the enchanter, "can you remain five years
in so undignified a position? And you have enemies who
will assuredly seize on your kingdom."
"Why can I not return and govern it as before?"
"I fear," replied his friend, "that the thing is
difficult. Who would obey a Blue Bird?"
"Ah, that is too true!" cried the king sadly. "People
only judge by the outside."
Meantime Florina, overcome with grief, fell
 dangerously sick, and in her sickness she kept singing, day and
night, her little song—
"Blue Bird, Blue Bird,
Come to my side."
But no one regarded her.
At last a sudden change took place in her fortunes. The
king her father died, and the people, who knew she was
his heir, began to inquire, with one accord, where was
the Princess Florina? They assailed the palace in
crowds, demanding her for their sovereign. The riot
became so dangerous that Troutina and her mother fled
away to the fairy Soussio. Then the populace stormed
the tower, rescued the sick and almost dying princess,
and crowned her as their queen.
The exceeding care that was taken of her, and her
longing to live in order to see again her Blue Bird,
restored Florina's health, and gave her strength to
call a council and arrange all the affairs of her
kingdom. Then she departed by night, and alone, to go
over the world in search of her Blue Bird.
The magician, who was King Charming's friend, went to
the fairy Soussio, whom he knew, for they had
quarrelled and made it up again, as fairies and
magicians do, many times within the last five or six
hundred years. She received him civilly, and asked him
what he wanted. He tried to make a bargain with her,
but could effect nothing, unless King Charming would
consent to marry Troutina. The enchanter found this
bride so ugly that he could not advise. Still, the Blue
Bird had run
 so many risks in his cage: the nail it was
hung upon had broken; and the king suffered much in the
fall; Minetta, the cat, had glowered at him with her
green eyes; the attendants had forgotten his hemp-seed
and his water-glass, so that he was half dying of
hunger and thirst; and a monkey had plucked at his
feathers through the wires as disrespectfully as if,
instead of a king, he had been a linnet or a jay. Worse
than all, his next heir spread reports of his death,
and threatened to seize on his throne.
Under these circumstances the magician thought it best
to agree with Soussio that King Charming should be
restored to his kingdom and his natural shape for six
months, on condition that Troutina should remain in his
palace, and that he should try to like her and marry
her. If not, he was to become again a Blue Bird. So he
found himself once more King Charming, and as charming
as ever; but he would rather have been a bird and near
his beloved, than a king in the society of Troutina.
The enchanter gave him the best reasons for what had
been done, and advised him to occupy himself with the
affairs of his kingdom and people; but he thought less
of these things than how to escape from the horror of
Meanwhile the Queen Florina, in a peasant's dress, with
a straw hat on her head, and a canvas sack on her
shoulder, began her journey: sometimes on horseback,
sometimes on foot, sometimes by sea, sometimes by land,
wandering evermore after her beloved King Charming. One
 day, stopping beside a fountain, she let her hair fall
loose, and dipped her weary feet in the cool water,
when an old woman, bent, and leaning on a stick, came
"My pretty maiden, what are you doing here all alone?"
"Good mother," replied the queen, "I have too many
troubles to be pleasant company for anybody."
"Tell me your troubles, and I may be able to soften
Florina obeyed, and told her whole history, and how she
was travelling over the world in search of the Blue
Bird. The little woman listened attentively, and then,
in the twinkling of an eye, became, instead of an old
woman, a beautiful fairy.
"Incomparable Florina, the king you seek is no longer a
bird; my sister Soussio has restored him to his proper
shape, and he reigns in his own kingdom. Do not afflict
yourself; happiness will yet be yours. Take these four
eggs, and whenever you are in trouble, break them, and
see what ensues." So saying, the fairy vanished.
Florina, greatly comforted, put the eggs in her sack,
and turned her steps towards the country of King
Charming. She walked eight days and nights without
stopping, and then came to a mountain made entirely of
ivory, and nearly perpendicular. Despairing of ever
climbing it, she sank down at the foot, prepared to die
there, when she bethought herself of the eggs. "Let me
see," said she, "if the fairy has deceived me
 or not."
So she broke one, and inside it were little hooks of
gold, which she fitted on her feet and hands, and by
means of which she climbed the mountain with ease.
Arrived at the summit she found new difficulties; for
the valley below was one large smooth mirror, in which
sixty thousand women stood admiring themselves. They
had need, for the charm of the mirror was that each saw
herself therein, not as she was, but as she wished to
be; and the grimaces they made were enough to cause a
person to die of laughter. Not one of them had ever
gained the top of the mountain; and when they saw
Florina there, they all burst into angry outcries, "How
has this woman got up the hill? If she descends upon
our mirror her first footstep will crack it into a
The queen, uncertain what to do, broke the second egg,
and there flew out two pigeons harnessed to a fine
chariot, in which Florina mounted, and descended
lightly over the mirror to the valley's foot. "Now, my
pretty pigeons," said she, "will you convey me to the
palace of King Charming?" The obedient pigeons did so,
flying day and night till they reached the city gates;
when the queen dismissed them with a sweet kiss, which
was worth more than her crown.
How her heart beat as she entered, and begged to see
the king! "You!" cried the servants, mocking. "Little
peasant-girl, your eyes are not half good enough to see
the king. Besides, he is going to-morrow to the temple
with the Princess Troutina, whom he has at last agreed
 Florina sat down on a door-step, and hid her face under
her straw hat and her drooping hair. "Alas!" she cried,
"my Blue Bird has forsaken me."
She neither ate nor slept, but rose with the dawn, and
pushed her way through the guards to the temple, where
she saw two thrones, one for King Charming, and the
other for Troutina. They arrived shortly; he more
charming and she more repulsive than ever. Knitting her
brows, Troutina exclaimed, "What creature is that who
dares approach so near my golden throne?"
"I am a poor peasant-girl," said Florina. "I come from
afar to sell you curiosities." And she took out of her
sack the emerald bracelets which the Blue Bird had
"These are pretty trinkets," said Troutina; and going
up to the king she asked him what he thought of them.
At sight of the ornaments he turned pale, remembering
those he had given to Florina.
"These bracelets are worth half my kingdom; I did not
think there had been more than one pair in the world."
"Then I will buy these," said Troutina; but Florina
refused to sell them for money: the price she asked was
permission to sleep a night in the Chamber of Echoes.
"As you will; your bargains are cheap enough," replied
Troutina, laughing: and when she laughed she showed
teeth like the tusks of a wild boar.
 Now the king, when he was a Blue Bird, had informed
Florina about this Chamber of Echoes, where every word
spoken could be heard in his own chamber; she could not
have chosen a better way of reproaching him for his
infidelity. But vain were her sobs and complainings;
the king had taken opium to lull his grief; he slept
soundly all night long. Next day, Florina was in great
disquietude. Could he have really heard her, and been
indifferent to her sorrow; or had he not heard her at
all? She determined to buy another night in the Chamber
of Echoes; but she had no more jewels to tempt Troutina;
so she broke the third egg. Out of it came a chariot of
polished steel, inlaid with gold, drawn by six green
mice, the coachman being a rose-coloured rat, and the
postilion a grey one. Inside the carriage sat little
puppets, who behaved themselves just like live ladies
When Troutina went to walk in the palace garden,
Florina awaited her in a green alley, and made the mice
gallop, and the ladies and gentlemen bow, till the
princess was delighted, and ready to buy the curiosity
at any price. Again Florina exacted permission to pass
the night in the Chamber of Echoes; and again the king,
undisturbed by her lamentation, slept without waking
The third day, one of the palace valets, passing her
by, said, "You stupid peasant-girl, it is well the king
takes opium every night, or you would disturb him by
that terrible sobbing of yours."
 "Does he so?" said the queen, now comprehending all.
"Then if you will promise to-night to keep the opium
cup out of his way, these pearls and diamonds," and she
took a handful of them from her sack, "shall
assuredly be yours."
The valet promised; and then Florina broke her fourth
egg, out of which came a pie composed of birds, which,
though they had been plucked, baked, and made ready for
the table, sang as beautifully as birds that are alive.
Troutina, charmed with this marvellous novelty, bought
it at the same price as the rest, adding generously a
small piece of gold.
When all the palace were asleep, Florina for the last
time, hoping King Charming would hear her, called upon
him with all sorts of tender expressions, reminding him
of their former vows, and their two years of happiness.
"What have I done to thee, that thou shouldst forget me
and marry Troutina?" sobbed she; and the king, who this
time was wide awake, heard her. He could not make out
whose voice it was, or whence it came, but it somehow
reminded him of his dearest Florina, whom he had never
ceased to love. He called his valet, inquired who was
sleeping in the Chamber of Echoes, and heard that it
was the little peasant-girl who had sold to Troutina
the emerald bracelet. Then he rose up, dressed himself
hastily, and went in search of her. She was sitting
mournfully on the floor, with her hair hiding her face,
and her eyes swollen with tears; but he knew at once
his faithful Florina. He fell on his knees before her,
 her hands with kisses, and they embraced and
wept together. For what was the good of all their love
when they were still in the power of the fairy Soussio?
But at this moment appeared the friendly enchanter,
with a fairy still greater than Soussio, the one who
had given Florina the four eggs. They declared that
their united power was stronger than Soussio's, and
that the lovers should be married without further
When this news reached Troutina, she ran to the Chamber
of Echoes, and there beheld her beautiful rival, whom
she had so cruelly afflicted. But the moment she opened
her mouth to speak, her wicked tongue was silenced for
ever; for the magician turned her into a trout, which
he flung out of the window into the stream that flowed
through the castle garden.
As for King Charming and Queen Florina, delivered out
of all their sorrows, and given to one another, their
joy was quite inexpressible, and it lasted to the end
of their lives.
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics