The Princess's King-Papa 105
"I mean the Queen Irene that lives up in the tower—the very old lady, you know, with the long hair of silver."
The king only gazed at his little princess with a look which she could not understand.
" She's got her crown in her bedroom," she went on; " but I've not been in there yet. You know she's here, don't you?"
"No," said the king, very quietly.
"Then it must be all a dream," said Irene. "I half thought it was; but I couldn't be sure. Now I am sure of it. Besides, I couldn't find her the next time I went up."
At that moment a snow-white pigeon flew in at an open window and settled upon Irene's head. She broke into a merry laugh, cowered a little, and put up her hands to her head, saying—
" Dear dovey, don't peck me. You'll pull out my hair with your long claws if you don't mind."
The king stretched out his hand to take the pigeon, but it spread its wings and flew again through the open window, when its whiteness made one flash in the sun and vanished. The