GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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Many more years passed away, and at length another prince came to that part of the country and heard an old man relate the story of the thorn-surrounded castle, in which the wonderful sleep­ing beauty, the king's daughter, lay, and who had already slept for nearly a hundred years, and with her the king and queen and the whole household.
The prince, when he heard his grandfather talk of the fate of former princes who had tried to force their way through the hedge of thorns, and how they were caught by the bushes, and died a miserable death, would say, " It matters not to me, I have no fear; I am determined to discover this beautiful May Blossom." The good old man gave up attempting to dissuade the wilful prince, and said no more.
Just at this time the hundred years had nearly come to a close, and the day at last arrived for May Blossom to be awaked from her long sleep. On this very day the prince started on his enterprise, and on reaching the hedge of thorns, what was his surprise to find it covered with large delicately beautiful flowers, which separated from each other to allow him to pass, and closed again behind him like a wall. And so without difficulty he reached the court of the castle.
Here he saw a dappled grey horse and a stag-hound, sleeping together. On the roof sat the pigeons, with their heads tucked under their wings.
He found the same silence in the castle, the cook, the kitchen-maid, and even the flies on the wall, still slept; and in the saloon he found the king and queen sleeping on their thrones, surrounded by the courtiers and the household, all slumbering peacefully. So deep was the stillness, that he could hear his own breathing; how­ever, he wandered on from room to room, till he reached the tower, where the beautiful princess lay asleep. He stood for awhile transfixed with surprise at the beauty of the sleeping maiden, which the hundred years had not injured or even changed. So strong was the fascination which held him, that he could not resist stooping to kiss her. At the touch May Blossom opened her eyes and awoke, and with her the whole household.
At first they all stared at each other with wide open eyes, but not for long j very soon they resumed the employment in which they had been engaged when the enchantment fell upon them.