Once upon a time there was a king and queen who for a very long time

had no children, and when at length a little daughter was born to them

they were so pleased that they gave a christening feast to which they

invited a number of fairies. But, unfortunately, they left out one

rather cross old fairy, and she was so angry that she said the

princess should die when she reached the age of sixteen, by pricking

her hand with a spindle.

All the other fairies present, except one, had already given the

princess their beautiful gifts, and this last one said she could not

prevent part of the wicked wish coming true; but her gift should be

that the princess should not really die, but only fall into a deep

sleep, which should last for a hundred years, and at the end of that

time she should be awakened by a king's son.

It all happened as the fairies had predicted. When the princess was

sixteen years old she saw an old woman spinning and took the spindle

from her to try this strange new work. Instantly she pricked her hand

and fell into a deep sleep, as did everyone else in the palace. There

she lay in a bower of roses, year after year, and the hedge around the

palace garden grew so tall and thick that at last you could not have

told that there was a castle at all.

At the end of the hundred years a king's son heard of the castle and

the enchanted princess who lay asleep there and determined to rescue

her. So he cut his way through the thick prickly hedge and at length

he came to the princess. When he saw how lovely and how sweet she

looked he fell in love with her and, stooping, kissed her lips.

At once she awoke and with her the king and queen and all the

courtiers, who had fallen asleep at the same time.

As the princess was as much taken with the prince's appearance as he

was with hers, they decided to be married. And so the wedding was

celebrated the same day with great pomp and ceremony.

The Slaying Of The Tanuki The Sleeping Beauty facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail