THE BLUE BIRD-
So the spy was ordered to go back and pretend to sleep as soundly as ever, and indeed she went to bed earlier than usual and snored as naturally as possible, and the poor princess ran to the window and cried:
"Blue bird, blue as tbe sky, Fly to me now—there s nobody byl"
But no bird came. All night long she called, and waited, and listened, but still there was no answer, for the cruel queen had caused the fir tree to be hung all over with knives, swords, razors, shears, bill-hooks, and sickles, so that when the blue bird heard the princess call and flew toward her his wings were cut and his little black feet clipped off, and all pierced and stabbed in twenty places, he fell back bleeding into his hiding place in the tree, and lay there groaning and despairing, for he thought the princess must have been persuaded to betray him to regain her liberty.
"Ah! Fiordelisa, can you indeed be so lovely and so faithless?" he sighed. "Then I may as well die at once V And he turned over on his side and began to die. But it happened that his friend the enchanter had been very much alarmed at seeing the frog chariot come back to him without King Charming, and had been round the world eight times seeking him, but without success. At the very moment when the king gave himself up to despair, he was passing through the wood for the eighth time, and called, as he had done all over the world:
"Charming! King Charming! Are you here?"
The king at once recognized his friend's voice and answered very faintly:
"I am here."
The enchanter looked all round him, but could see nothing, and then the king said again:
"I am a blue bird."
Then the enchanter found him in an instant, and seeing his pitiable condition, ran hither and thither without a word until he had collected a handful of magic herbs, with which and a few incantations he speedily made the king whole and sound again.
"Xow," said he, "let me hear all about it. There must be a princess at the bottom of this,"