62 THE SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOOD
of little Day cooked up a young kid, very tender, which the Ogress found to be wonderfully good.
This was hitherto all mighty well; but one evening this wicked Queen said to her clerk of the kitchen:
' I will eat the Queen with the same sauce I had with her children.'
It was now that the poor clerk of the kitchen despaired of being able to deceive her. The young Queen was turned of twenty, not reckoning the hundred years she had been asleep; and how to find in the yard a beast so firm was what puzzled him. He took then a resolution, that he might save his own life, to cut the Queen's throat; and going up into her chamber, with intent to do it at once, he put himself into as great fury as he could possibly, and came into the young Queen's room with his dagger in his hand. He would not, however, surprise her, but told her, with a great deal of respect, the orders he had received from the Queen-mother.
' Do it; do it' (said she, stretching out her neck). ' Execute your orders, and then I shall go and see my children, my poor children, whom I so much and so tenderly loved.'
For she thought them dead ever since they had been taken away without her knowledge.
' No, no, madam ' (cried the poor clerk of the kitchen, all in tears); ' you shall not die, and yet you shall see your children again I but then you must go home with me to my lodgings, where I have concealed them, and I shall deceive the Queen once more, by giving her in your stead a young hind.'
Upon this he forthwith conducted her to his chamber, where, leaving her to embrace her children, and cry along with them, he went and dressed a young hind, which the Queen had for her supper, and devoured it with the same appetite as if it had been the young Queen. Exceedingly was she delighted with her cruelty, and she had invented a story to tell the King, at his return, how the mad wolves had eaten up the Queen his wife and her two children.
One evening, as she was, according to her custom, rambling round about the courts and yards of the palace to see if she could smell any fresh meat, she heard, in a ground room, little Day crying, for his mamma was going to whip him, because he had been naughty ; and she heard, at the same time, little Morning begging pardon for her brother.
The Ogress presently knew the voice of the Queen and her children, and being quite mad that she had been thus deceived, she