THE FAIRY OF THE DAWN 167
Petru next went to Costan, but did not succeed any better with him.
' Well, well, as everyone else is afraid, I suppose I must do it myself,' observed Petru at length. No sooner said than done ; the boy went straight to his father and put his question.
' May you go blind ! ' exclaimed the emperor in wrath ; ' what business is it of yours ?' and boxed Petru's ears soundly.
Petru returned to his brothers, and told them what had befallen him; but not long after it struck him that his father's left eye seemed to weep less, and the right to laugh more.
' I wonder if it has anything to do with my question,' thought he. 'I'll try again! After all, what do two boxes on the ear matter ?'
So he put his question for the second time, and had the same answer; but the left eye only wept now and then, while the right eye looked ten years younger.
' It really must be true,' thought Petru. ' Now I know what I have to do. I shall have to go on putting that question, and getting boxes on the ear, till both eyes laugh together.'
No sooner said than done. Petru never, never forswore himself.
' Petru, my dear boy,' cried the emperor, both his eyes laughing together, ' I see you have got this on the brain. Well, I will let you into the secret. My right eye laughs when I look at my three sons, and see how strong and handsome you all are, and the other eye weeps because I fear that after I die you will not be able to keep the empire together, and to protect it from its enemies. But if you can bring me water from the spring of the Fairy of the Dawn, to bathe my eyes, then they will laugh for evermore ; for I shall know that my sons are brave enough to overcome any foe.'