THE ENCHANTED CANARY
' Do you like blue eyes ? ' said the Princess ; but Desire thought it was a good opportunity to find out what was in her heart, so he did not answer.
' And no doubt,' went on the Princess, ' one of them is your intended bride ? '
Still he was silent, and Zizi drew herself up proudly.
' No,' he said at last. ' None of the girls of my own country are beautiful in my eyes, and that is why I came to look for a wife in the land of the sun. Was I wrong, my lovely Zizi ? '
This time it was Zizi's turn to be silent.
Talking in this way they drew near to the castle. When they were about four stone-throws from the gates they dismounted in the forest, by the edge of a fountain.
' My dear Zizi,' said Tubby's son, ' we cannot present ourselves before my father like two common people who have come back from a walk. We must enter the castle with more ceremony. Wait for me here, and in an hour I will return with carriages and horses fit for a princess.'
' Don't be long,' replied Zizi, and she watched him go with wistful eyes.
When she was left by herself the poor girl began to feel afraid. She was alone for the first time in her life, and in the middle of a thick forest.
Suddenly she heard a noise among the trees. Fearing lest it should be a wolf, she hid herself in the hollow trunk of a willow tree which hung over the fountain. It was big enough to hold her altogether, but she peeped out, and her pretty head was reflected in the clear water.
Then there appeared, not a wolf, but a creature quite as wicked and quite as ugly. Let us see who this creature was.
Not far from the fountain there lived a family of bricklayers. Now, fifteen years before this time, the father in walking through the forest found a little girl, who had been deserted by the gypsies. He carried her home to his wife, and the good woman was sorry for her, and brought her up with her own sons. As she grew