1064 THE FLEA AND THE PROFESSOR
' My greatest art,' said the Professoró' to fire a cannon, so that the whole earth trembles, and all the nicest birds of the air fall down cooked ! That makes a noise ! '
I Come with the cannon ! ' said the Princess-father. But in the whole country there was no cannon, except
the one the flea had brought, and that was too little.
' I will make a bigger one,' said the Professor; ' give me only the materials ; I must have fine silk, needle and thread, rope and cord, together with stomach drops for the balloonó they puff up, make lighter and lift up ; they make the explosion in the stomach of the cannon.'
All that he demanded he got.
The whole country came together to see the big cannon. The Professor did not call before he had the balloon quite ready to fill up and to ascend.
The flea sat on the Princess's hand and looked on. The balloon was filled up, it bulged out and could scarcely be held, it was so wild.
II must take it up into the air, so that it may be cooled,' said the Professor, and took his seat in the basket which hung under it. * But I cannot manage to steer it alone. I must have an experienced companion with me to help me. There is no one here but the flea who can do that! '
' I am not willing to allow it ! ' said the Princess, but passed the flea to the Professor, who set it on his hand.
1 Let go the ropes and cords ! ' said he. ' Now the balloon goes off ! '
They thought he said, ' Cannon ! '
And so the balloon went higher and higher, up over the clouds, away from the savage land. The little Princess, with her father and mother and all the people, stood and waited. They wait still, and if you don't believe it, go to the savage land, where every child talks about the flea and the Professor, and believes that they will come again when the cannon is cooled, but they come not, they are at home with us, they are in their fatherland, ride on the railway, first class, not fourth ; they have good fortune and a huge balloon. No one asks how they have got the balloon, or from where they have it; they are well-to-do and honour≠able people, the flea and the Professor.