FEATHERHEAD AND CELANDINE
Featherhead, for it was he, perceiving her at the same moment, rushed, toward her with every demonstration of joy: for he had recognized her, not as the Celandine whom he had slighted, but as the lovely princess whom he had sought vainly for so long. The fact was that the fairy of the beech woods, thinking she had been punished enough, had withdrawn the enchantment from her and transferred it to Featherhead, thereby in an instant depriving him of the good looks which had done so much toward making him the fickle creature he was. Throwing himself down at the princess' feet, he implored her to stay and at least speak to him, and she at last consented, but only because he seemed to wish it so very much. After that he came every day in the hope of meeting her again, and often expressed his delight at being with her. But one day, when he had been begging Celandine to love him, she confided to him that it was quite impossible, since her heart was already entirely occupied by another.
"I have," said she, "the unhappiness of loving a prince who is fickle, frivolous, proud, incapable of caring for anyone but himself, who has been spoiled by flattery, and, to crown all, who does not love me."
"But," cried Prince Featherhead, "surely you cannot care for so contemptible and worthless a creature as that."
"Alas! but I do care," answered the princess, weeping.
"But where can his eyes be," said the prince, "that your beauty makes no impression upon him? As for me, since I have possessed your portrait I have wandered over the whole world to find you, and, now we have met, I see that you are ten times lovelier than I could have imagined, and I would give all I own to win your love."
"My portrait?" cried Celandine with sudden interest. "Is it possible that Prince Featherhead can have parted with it?"
"He would part with his life sooner, lovely princess," answered he. "I can assure you of that, for I am Prince Featherhead."
At the same moment the fairy of the beech woods took away the enchantment, and the happy princess recognized her lover, now truly hers, for the trials they had both undergone had so changed and improved them that they were capable of a real love for each other. You may