The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

250                 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS
' Night came but no prince, and Tezila, who had been the cause of his departure, showed such signs of uneasiness that Thelamis's jealousy was at once awakened. As for me, I cannot tell what I suffered. Not being able to sleep I rose from my bed and wandered into the forest, along the road which he had taken so many hours before. Suddenly I heard in the distance the s,ound of a horse's hoofs, and in a few moments the prince had flung himself down and was by my side. " Ah, how I adore you ! " he exclaimed, " Thelamis's love will never equal mine." The words wrere hardly out of his mouth when I heard a slight noise behind, and before we could turn round both our heads were rolling in front of us, while the voice of Thelamis cried:
'"Perjured wretches, answer me; and you, faithless Tezila, tell me why you have betrayed me like this?"
' Then I understood what had happened, and that in his rage, he had mistaken me for my sister.
; " Alas," replied my head in weak tones, " I am not Tezila, but Dely, whose life you have destroyed, as well as that of your friend." At this Thelamis paused and seemed to reflect for an instant.
' "Be not frightened," he said more quietly, "I can make you whole again," and laying a magic powder on our tongues he placed our heads on our necks. In the twinkling of an eye our heads were joined to our bodies without leaving so much as a scar; only that, blinded with rage as he still was, Thelamis had placed my head on the prince's body, and his on mine!
' T cannot describe to you how odd we both felt at this strange transformation. A\re both instinctively put up our hands he to feel his hair, which was, of course, dressed like a woman, and I to raise the turban which pressed heavily on my forehead. But we did not know what had happened to us, for the night was still dark.
' At this point Tezila appeared, followed by a troop of slaves bearing flowers. It was only by the light of their
Previous Contents Next