The RED Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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154                    THE LITTLE GOOD MOUSE
So Delicia took off the ugly cap, and shook out all her fair shining hair, and bathed her hands and face in clear water from the nearest spring till her cheeks were like roses, and when she was adorned with the diamonds and the splendid robe the Fairy had given her, she looked the most beautiful Princess in the world, and the Fairy with great delight cried :
' Now you look as you ought to look, Delicia: what do you think about it yourself? '
And Delicia answered :
'I feel as if I were the daughter of some great king.'
' And would you be glad if you were ? ' said the Fairy.
' Indeed I should,' answered she.
' Ah, well,' said the Fairy, ' to-morrow I may have some pleasant news for you.'
So she hurried back to her castle, where the Queen sat busy with her embroidery, and cried :
' Well, madam ! will you wager your thimble and your golden needle that I am bringing you the best news you could possibly hear ?'
' Alas ! ' sighed the Queen, ' since the death of the Jolly King and the loss of my Delicia, all the news in the world is not worth a pin to me.
' There, there, don't be melancholy,' said the Fairy. ' I assure you the Princess is quite well, and I have never seen her equal for beauty. She might be a Queen to-morrow if she chose ;' and then she told all that had happened, and the Queen first rejoiced over the thought of Delicia's beauty, and then wept at the idea of her being a Turkey-maiden.
' I will not hear of her being made to marry the wicked King's son,' she said. ' Let us go at once and bring her here.'
In the meantime the wicked Prince, who was very angry with Delicia, had sat himself down under a tree, and cried and howled with rage and spite until the King heard him, and cried out from the window:
' What is the matter with you, that you are making all this dis­turbance ? '
The Prince replied:
' It is all because our Turkey-maiden will not love me !'
'Won't love you? eh!' said the King. 'We'll very soon see about that!' So he called his guards and told them to go and fetch Delicia. ' See if I don't make her change her mind pretty soon !' said the wicked King with a chuckle.
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