THE BLUE BIRD.
The princess was very happy when she heard how faithful her lover was, and would never have tired of hearing his loving speeches and explanations, but too soon the sun rose, and they had to part lest the blue bird should be discovered. After promising to come again to the princess' window as soon as it was dark, he flew away and hid himself in a little hole in the fir tree, while Fiordelisa remained devoured by anxiety lest he should be caught in a trap or eaten up by an eagle.
But the blue bird did not long stay in his hiding-place. He flew away and away until he came to his own palace, and got into it through a broken window, and there he found he cabinet where his jewels were kept and chose out a splendid diamond ring as a present for the princess. By the time he got back Fiordelisa was sitting waiting for him by the open window, and when he gave her the ring she scolded him gently for having run such a risk to get it for her.
"Promise me that you will wear it always!" said the blue bird. And the princess promised on condition that he should come and see her in the day as well as by night. They talked all night long, and the next morning the blue bird flew off to his kingdom, and crept into his palace through the broken window, and chose from his treasures two bracelets, each cut out of a single emerald. When he presented them to the princess she shook her head at him reproachfully, saying:
"Do you think I love you so little that I need all these gifts to remind me of you?"
And he answered:
"No, my princess; but I love you so much that I feel I cannot express it, try as I may. I only bring you these worthless trifles to show that I have not ceased to think of you, though I have been obliged to leave you for a time."
The following night he gave Fiordelisa a watch set in a single pearl. The princess laughed a little when she saw it and said:
"You may well give me a watch, for since I have known you I have lost the power of measuring time. The hours you spend with me pass like minutes, and the hours that I drag through without you seem years to me."
"Ah, princess, they cannot seem so long to you as they do to me!" he answered. Day by day he brought more