3 PRINCE PRIGIO.
kisses. And so the fairies were not invited ! It was an extraordinary thing, but none of the nobles could come to the christening party when they learned that the fairies had not been asked. Some were abroad ; several were ill; a few were in prison among the Saracens; others were captives in the dens of ogres. The end of it was that the king and queen had to sit down alone, one at each end of a very long table, arrayed with plates and glasses for a hundred guests — for a hundred guests who never came !
"Any soup, my dear?" shouted the king, through a speaking-trumpet; when, suddenly, the air was filled with a sound like the rustling of the wings of birds.
Flitter, flitter, flutter, went the noise; and when the queen looked up, lo and behold ! on every seat was a lovely fairy, dressed in green each with a most interesting-looking parcel in her hand. Don't you like opening parcels ? The king did, and he was most friendly and polite to the fairies. But the queen, though she saw them distinctly, took no notice of them. You see, she did not believe in fairies, nor in her own eyes, when she saw them. So she talked across the fairies to the king, just as if they had not been there; but the king behaved as politely as if they were real—which, of course, they were.
When dinner was over, and when the nurse