THE OREEN FAIRY BOOK.
When Helena told her of her stepmother's new demand she said: "Trust to me and I will do your task for you. Lie down and have a sleep in the mean time."
Helena was comforted and lay down, and before you would have believed it possible the fairy roused her gently and told her the pond was empty. Full of joy and gratitude, Helena hurried to her stepmother, hoping that now at last her heart would be softened toward her. But the wicked woman was furious at the frustration of her own evil designs, and only thought of what harder thing she could set the girl to do.
Next morning she ordered her to build before evening a beautiful castle, and to furnish it all from garret to basement. Helena sat down on the rocks which had been pointed out to her as the site of the castle, feeling very depressed, but at the same time with the lurking hope that the kind fairy would come once more to her aid.
And so it turned out. The fairy appeared, promised to build the castle, and told Helena to lie down and go to sleep in the mean time. At the word of the fairy the rocks and stones rose and built themselves into a beautiful castle, ancLbefore sunset it was all furnished inside and left nothing to be desired. You may think how grateful Helena was when she awoke and found her task all finished.
But her stpemother was anything but pleased, and went through the whole castle from top to bottom, to see if she couldn't find some fault for which she could punish Helena. At last she went down into one of the cellars, but it was so dark that she fell down the steep stairs and was killed on the spot.
So Helena was now mistress of the beautiful castle and lived there in peace and happiness. And soon the noise of her beauty spread abroad, and many wooers came to try and gain her hand.
Among them came one, Prince Fickle by name, who very quickly won the love of fair Helena. One day, as they were sitting happily together nnder a lime-tree in front of the castle, Prince Fickle broke the sad news to Helena that he must return to his parents to get their consent to his marriage. He promised faithfully to come back to her as soon as he could, and begged her to await his return under the lime-tree where they had spent so many happy hours. »