TEE FAIRY OF THE DAWN
Once upon a time what should happen did happen; and if it had not happened this tale would never have been told.
There was once an emperor, very great and mighty, and he ruled over an empire so large that no one knew where it began and where it ended. But if nobody could tell the exact extent of his sovereignty everybody was aware that the emperor's right eye laughed, while his left eye wept. One or two men of valour had the courage to go and ask him the reason of this strange fact, but he only laughed and said nothing; and the reason of the deadly enmity between his two eyes was a • secret only known to the monarch himself.
And all the while the emperor's sons were growing up. And such sons! All three like the morning stars in the sky!
Florea, the eldest, was so tall and broad-shouldered that no man in the kingdom could approach him.
Costan, the second, was quite different. Small of stature, and slightly built, he had a strong arm and stronger wrist.
Petru, the third and youngest, was tall and thin, more like a girl than a boy. He spoke very little, but laughed and sang, sang and laughed, from morning till night. He was very seldom serious, but then he had a way when he was thinking of stroking his hair over his forehead, which made him look old enough to sit in his father's council!