92 PRINCE PRIGIO.
patches; it could no longer catch birds, nor even mice, and there was nobody to £ive it milk. But cats do not look far into the future ; and this old black cat—Frank was his name— had got a breakfast somehow, and was happy in the sun. The prince stood and looked at him pityingly, and he thought that even a sick old cat was, in some waj's, happier than most men.
" Well," said the prince at last, " he could not live long anyway, and it must be done. He will feel nothing."
Then he drew the sword of sharpness, and with one turn of his wrist cut the cat's head clean off.
It did not at once change into a beautiful young lady, as perhaps you expect; no, that was improbable, and, as the prince was in love already, would have been vastly inconvenient. The dead cat lay there, like any common cat.
Then the prince built up a heap of straw, with wood on it; and there he laid poor puss, and set fire to the pile. Very soon there was nothing of old black Frank left but ashes!
Then the prince ran upstairs to the fairy cupboard, his heart beating loudly with excitement. The sun was shining through the arrow-shot window; all the yellow motes were dancing in its rays. The light fell on the strange heaps of fairy things—talismans and