12 THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
seeing his beloved princess, but had not dared to go too near the windows for fear of being seen and recognized by Turritella. When night fell he had not succeeded in discovering where Fiordelisa was imprisoned, and, weary and sad, he perched upon a branch of a tall fir tree which grew close to the tower and began to sing himself to sleep. But soon the sound of a soft voice lamenting attracted his attention, and listening intently he heard it say:
"Ah! cruel queen! What have lever done to be imprisoned like this? And was I not unhappy enough before, that you must needs come and taunt me with the happiness your daughter is enjoying now she is King Charming's bride?"
The blue bird, greatly surprised, waited impatiently for the dawn, and the moment it was light flew off to see who it could have been who spoke thus. But he found the window shut and could see no one. The next night he was on the watch, and by the clear moonlight he saw that the sorrowful lady at the window was Fiordelisa herself.
"My princess! have I found you at last?" said he, alighting close to her.
"Who is speaking to me?" cried the princess in great surprise.
"Only a moment since you mentioned my name, and now you do not know me, Fiordelisa," said he sadly. "But no wonder, since I am nothing but a blue bird and must remain one for seven years."
"What! Little blue bird, are you really the powerful King Charming?" said the princess, caressing him.
"It is too true," he answered. "For being faithful to you I am thus punished. But believe me, if it were for twice as long I would bear it joyfully rather than give you up."
"Oh! what are you telling me?" cried the princess. "Has not your bride, Turritella, just visited me, wearing the royal mantle and the diamond crown you gave her? I cannot be mistaken, for I saw your ring upon her thumb."
Then the blue bird was furiously angry and told the princess all that had happened—how he had been deceived into carrying off Turritella, and how, for refusing to marry her, the fairy Mazilla had condemned him to be a blue bird for seven years.