down she filled a bag she was carrying with the shining water and, returning to the castle, wove a crown out of the reflected stars. Then she cried as before:
'Parrot, come to me!' And in the shape of a parrot she entered the presence of the giant.
'Here is the crown you asked for,' she said; and this time the giant could not help crying out with admiration. He knew he was beaten, and still holding the chaplet of stars, he turned to the girl.
'Your power is greater than mine: take the crown; you have won it fairly!'
The parrot did not need to be told twice. Seizing the crown, she sprang on to the window, crying: 'Monkey, come to me!' And to a monkey, the climb down the tree into the courtyard did not take half a minute. When she had reached the ground she said again: 'Ant, come to me!' And a little ant at once began to crawl over the high wall. How glad the ant was to be out of the giant's castle, holding fast the crown which had shrunk into almost nothing, as she herself had done, but grew quite big again when the ant exclaimed:
'Deer, come to me!'
Surely no deer ever ran so swiftly as that one! On and on she went, bounding over rivers and crashing through tangles till she reached the sea. Here she cried: for the last time:
'Fish, come to me!' And, plunging in, she swam along the bottom as far as the palace, where the queen and all the fishes were gathered together awaiting her.
The hours since she had left had gone very slowly — as they always do to people that are waiting — and many of them had quite given up hope.
'I am tired of staying here,' grumbled a beautiful little creature, whose colours changed with every movement of her body, 'I want to see what is going on in the upper world. It must be months since that fish went away.'