12 THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES
just awoke. Michael held in his hand the golden cup, and he revealed the secret of the holes in the shoes.
' Choose, then,' said the Duke, ' whichever you prefer.' ' My choice is already made,' replied the garden boy, and he offered his hand to the youngest Princess, who blushed and lowered her eyes.
The Princess Lina did not become a gardener's wife ; on the contrary, it was the Star Gazer who became a Prince: but before the marriage ceremony the Princess insisted that her lover should tell her how he came to discover the secret.
So he showed her the two laurels which had helped him, and she, like a prudent girl, thinking they gave him too much advantage over his wife, cut them off at the root and threw them in the fire.
And this is why the country girls go about singing:
Nous n'irons plus au bois, Les lauriers sont coupes,'
and dancing in summer by the light of the moon.