THE BLUE BIRD. 25
was a rose-colored rat, the postilion a gray one, and the carriage was occupied by the tiniest and most charming figures, who could dance and do wonderful tricks. Fiordelisa clapped her hands and danced for joy when she saw this triumph of magic art, and as soon as it was evening went to a shady garden path down which she knew Turritella would pass, and then she made the mice gallop and the tiny people show off their tricks, and sure enough Turritella came, and the moment she saw it all cried:
"Little kitchen-maid, little kitchen-maid, what will you take for your mouse-carriage ?"
And the queen answered:
"Let me sleep once more in the Chamber of Echoes."
"I won't refuse your request, poor creature," said Turritella condescendingly.
And then she turned to her ladies and whispered:
"The silly creature does not know how to profit by her chances. So much the better for me."
When night came Fiordelisa said all the loving words she could think of, but, alas! with no better success than before, for the king slept heavily after his draught. One of the pages said:
"This peasant-girl must be crazy." But another answered :
"Yet what she says sounds very sad and touching."
As for Fiordelisa, she thought the king must have a very hard heart if he could hear how she grieved and yet pay her no attention. She had but one more chance, and on breaking the last egg she found to her great delight that it contained a more marvelous thing than ever. It was a pie made of six birds, cooked to perfection, and yet they were all alive and singing and talking, and they answered questions and told fortunes in the most amusing way. Taking this treasure, Fiordelisa once more set herself to wait in the great hall through which Turritella was sure to pass, and as she sat there one of the king's pages came by and said to her:
"Well, little kitchen-maid, it is a good thing that the king always takes a sleeping-draught, for if not he would be kept awake all night by your sighing and lamenting."
Then Fiordelisa knew why the king had not heard her, and taking a handful of pearls a»d diamonds out of her sack she said