76 The Princess and the Goblin
"No! Did you? How was it?"
"Never you mind how it was. She didn't know I saw them. And what do you think! — they had toes!"
"Toes! What's that?"
"You may well ask! I should never have known if I had not seen the queen's feet. Just imagine! the ends of her feet were split up into five or six thin pieces!"
"Oh, horrid! How could the king have fallen in love with her?"
"You forget that she wore shoes. That is just why she wore them. That is why all the men, and women too, upstairs wear shoes. They can't bear the sight of their own feet without them."
"Ah! now I understand. If ever you wish for shoes again, Heifer, I'll hit your feet—I will."
"No, no, mother; pray don't."
"Then don't you."
" But with such a big box on my head------"
A horrid scream followed, which Curdie interpreted as in reply to a blow from his mother upon the feet of her eldest goblin.