196 THE FLOWER QUEEN'S DAUGHTER
the Prince again led the Mother Dragon's mare out into the meadow. But again she vanished before his eyes. Then he took out his little bell and rang it twice.
In a moment the King of the Foxes stood before him and said: 'I know already what you want, and will summon all the foxes of the world together to find the mare who has hidden herself in a hill.'
With these words the King of the Foxes disappeared, and in the evening many thousand foxes brought the mare to the Prince.
Then he rode home to the Mother Dragon, from whom he received this time a cloak made of silver, and again she led him to the ball-room.
The Flower Queen's daughter was delighted to see him safe and sound, and when they were dancing together she whispered in his ear: ' If you succeed again to-morrow, wait for me with the foal in the meadow. After the ball we will fly away together.'
On the third day the Prince led the mare to the meadow again ; but once more she vanished before his eyes. Then the Prince took out his little bell and rang it three times.
In a moment the King of the Fishes appeared, and said to him : ' I know quite well what you want me to do, and I will summon all the fishes of the sea together, and tell them to bring you back the mare, who is hiding herself in a river.'
Towards evening the mare was returned to him, and when he led her home to the Mother Dragon she said to him :
'You are a brave youth, and I will make you my body-servant. But what shall I give you as a reward to begin with ? '
The Prinee begged for a foal of the mare, which the Mother Dragon at once gave him, and over and above, a cloak made of gold, for she had fallen in love with him because he had praised her beauty.
So in the evening he appeared at the ball in his golden cloak ; but before the entertainment was over he slipped away, and went straight to the stables, where he mounted his foal and rode out into the meadow to wait for the Flower Queen's daughter. Towards midnight the beautiful girl appeared, and placing her in front of him on his horse, the Prince and she flew like the wind till they reached the Flower Queen's dwelling. But the dragons had noticed their flight, and woke their brother out of his year's sleep. He flew into a terrible rage when he heard what had happened, and determined to lay siege to the Flower Queen's palace ; but the