Blondine's Awakening Beau-minon

: Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon
: Old French Fairy Tales

Blondine slept calmly all night; no ferocious beast came to trouble her

slumbers. She did not suffer from the cold and awakened at a late hour

in the morning. She rubbed her eyes, much surprised to see herself

surrounded by trees, in place of being in her own room in the palace,

and upon her own bed.

She called her nurse and a soft mewing was the only response. Astonished

and almost frightened, she looked
around and saw at her feet a superb

white cat, looking gently upon her and continuing to mew plaintively.

"Ah! pretty puss! how beautiful you are!" cried Blondine, placing her

little hand caressingly upon the soft fur, white as snow. "I am so happy

to see you, pretty puss, for you will conduct me to your home. I am

indeed very hungry and I have not the strength to walk much further

without food."

Blondine had scarcely uttered these words, when the white pussy mewed

again and pointed with her little paw to a small package lying near her,

wrapped neatly in fine white linen. She opened the parcel and found it

contained bread and butter which she found delicious. She gave the

crumbs to pussy, who munched them with seeming delight.

When they had finished their simple meal, Blondine leaned over towards

her little companion, and said, caressingly:

"Thanks, pretty puss, for the breakfast you have given me. Now, can you

conduct me to my papa, who is certainly in despair because of my


Pussy, whom Blondine named Beau-Minon, shook her head and mewed


"Ah! you understand me, Beau-Minon," said Blondine. "I entreat you to

have pity upon me and lead me to some house before I perish with hunger,

cold and terror in this vast forest!"

Beau-Minon looked at the princess fixedly and made a sign with her

little graceful white head which seemed to say, "I understand you." She

rose, advanced a few steps and paused to see if Blondine followed her.

"I am here, Beau-Minon; I am following you gladly," said Blondine; "but

how can we pass through these bushy thickets? I see no path."

Beau-Minon made no reply but sprang lightly into the thicket which

opened of itself to allow Blondine and Beau-Minon to pass, and then

closed up immediately.

Blondine walked on for about half an hour. As she advanced, the forest

became lighter, the grass was finer and the flowers more abundant. She

saw many pretty birds singing melodiously and graceful squirrels,

bounding along the branches of the trees.

Blondine, who had no doubt that she was about to leave the forest and

see her dear father again, was enchanted with all that she saw; she

wished to pause and gather the lovely wild flowers; but Beau-Minon

advanced steadily and mewed plaintively whenever Blondine relaxed her


In about an hour Blondine perceived an elegant castle. Beau-Minon led

her to the gilded grating. However, Blondine did not know how to enter.

There was no bell and the gate was closed. Beau-Minon had disappeared

and Blondine was once more alone.