THE GARDEN OF PARADISE 155
old Phoenix turned to ashes, but her egg lay red-hot in the fire ; it burst with a great bang, and the young one flew out. Now this young one is ruler over all the birds, and the only Phoenix in the world. It has bitten a hole in the palm leaf I have given you : that is a greeting to the Princess.'
1 Let us have something to eat,' said the mother of the Winds.
And now they all sat down to eat of the roasted deer. The Prince sat beside the East Wind, and they soon became good friends.
1 Just tell me,' said the Prince, ' what Princess is that about whom there is so much talk here ? and where does the Garden of Paradise lie ? '
1 Ho, ho ! ' said the East Wind, ' do you want to go there ? Well, then, fly to-morrow with me ! But I must tell you, however, that no man has been there since the time of Adam and Eve. You have read of them in your Bible history ? '
1 Yes,' said the Prince.
1 When they were driven away, the Garden of Paradise sank into the earth ; but it kept its warm sunshine, its mild air, and all its splendour. The Queen of the Fairies lives there, and there lies the Island of Happiness, where death never comes, and where it is beautiful. Sit upon my back to-morrow, and I will take you with me : I think it can very well be done. But now leave off talking, for I want to sleep.'
And then they all went to rest.
In the early morning the Prince awoke, and was not a little astonished to find himself high above the clouds. He was sitting on the back of the East Wind, who was faithfully holding him : they were so high in the air, that the woods and fields, rivers and lakes, looked as if they were painted on a map below them.
' Good morning ! ' said the East Wind. ' You might very well sleep a little longer, for there is not much to be seen on the flat country under us, unless you care to count the churches. They stand like dots of chalk on the green carpet.'
What he called green carpet was field and meadow.