THE ENCHANTED CANARY
will come a princess, and you can choose which you like for your wife. Your choice once made, be very careful never to leave your bride for an instant, and remember that the danger which is most to be feared is never the danger we are most afraid of.'
Desire thanked his host warmly, and took the road he pointed out. In less than an hour he arrived at the wall, which was very high indeed. He sprang to the ground, fastened his horse to a tree, and soon found the iron gate. Then he took out his bottle and oiled the hinges, when the gate opened of itself, and he saw an old castle standing inside. The Prince entered boldly into the courtyard.
Suddenly he heard fierce howls, and a dog as tall as a donkey, with eyes like billiard balls, came towards him, showing his teeth, which were like the prongs of a fork. Desire flung him the oat cake, which the great dog instantly snapped up, and the young Prince passed quietly on.
A few yards further he saw a huge oven, with a wide, red-hot gaping mouth. A woman as tall as a giant was leaning over the oven. Desire gave her the brush, which she took in silence.
Then he wrent on to the well, drew up the cord, which was half-rotten, and stretched it out in the sun.
Lastly he went round the castle, and plunged into the orange grove. There he gathered the three most beautiful oranges he could find, and turned to go back to the gate.
But just at this moment the sun was darkened, the earth trembled, and Desire heard a voice crying :
' Baker, baker, take him by his feet, and throw him into the oven !'
' No,' replied the baker; ' a long time has passed since I first began to scour this oven with my own flesh. You never cared to give me a brush ; but he has given me one, and he shall go in peace.'
' Rope, O rope !' cried the voice again, ' twine yourself round his neck and strangle him.'
' No,' replied the rope; ' you have left me for many years past to fall to pieces with the damp. He has stretched me out in the sun. Let him go in peace.'
' Dog, my good dog,' cried the voice, more and more angry, 'jump at his throat and eat him up.'
' No,' replied the dog ; ' though I have served you long, you never