GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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took a fancy into her head that she would explore the castle. So she walked from room to room, through galleries and passages, till she came at last to an old tower.
She ascended the narrow, winding staircase, till at length she came to a little door. In the lock was stuck a rusty key, and as she turned it the door sprang open, and there, in a small room, sat an old woman spinning flax.
11 Good morning, old lady," said the princess; " what are you doing ?"
" I am spinning," she replied, nodding her head.
"And what is this funny thing that pumps about so?" the princess asked, at the same time taking the spindle in her hand and trying to spin. Scarcely had she given the wheel one turn, when the bad fairy's prophecy was fulfilled—the point of the spindle stuck into her finger. At the same moment the king's daughter fell back on a bed which stood near, while a deep sleep came upon her, and not only on the princess, but on the whole of the inhabitants of the castle, the king and queen, who had re­turned and were in the state chamber, and all their household with them.
This deep sleep fell also on the horses in the stable, the dogs in the outer court, the pigeons on the roof, the flies on the wall— yes, and even the fire that flickered on the hearth became still and slept; the meat roasting before the fire stayed its frizzing; the cook in the kitchen, who was just going to box the ears of the scullion, let his hand drop and sank to sleep.
Outside, the wind lay calmly at rest, and upon the trees which surrounded the castle not a leaf stirred. In a few hours there sprung up around the castle a hedge of thorns which year after year grew higher and higher, till at last nothing could be seen of the castle above it, not even the roof, nor the flag on the tower.
And so the years went by, and a report spread over the country of the "sleeping beauty," as the king's daughter was called And from time to time the sons of kings came to the spot, and tried to penetrate through the protecting hedge of thorns. But many found it impossible, and gave up the attempt; added to this, the thorns had hands, with which they seized the young men who persisted, and held them so fast that they could not free themselves, and died a miserable death.