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

Beau-Minon had entered by a little passage, which seemed made expressly

for him and had probably given notice to some one at the castle, as the

gate opened without Blondine having called.

She entered the court-yard but saw no one.

The door of the castle opened of itself. Blondine entered the vestibule

which was of rare white marble. All the doors of the castle now opened

like the first and t
e princess passed through a suite of beautiful


At last, in the back part of a charming salon, furnished with blue and

gold, she perceived a white hind, lying upon a bed of fine and fragrant

grasses. Beau-Minon stood near her. The pretty hind saw Blondine, arose,

and approached her.

"You are most welcome, Blondine," said she. "My son Beau-Minon and I

have expected you for a long time."

At these words, Blondine was much frightened.

"Take courage, princess; you are with friends. I know the king your

father and I love him and I love you also."

"Oh, madam," said Blondine, "if you know the king my father, I pray you

to take me to him. My absence must make him very wretched."

"My dear Blondine," said the hind, whose name was Bonne-Biche, sighing,

"it is not in my power to conduct you to your father. You are in the

hands of the magician of the Forest of Lilacs. I myself am subject to

his power which is superior to mine but I can send soft dreams to your

father, which will reassure him as to your fate and let him know that

you are safe with me."

"Oh, madam!" said Blondine, in an agony of grief, "shall I never again

see my father whom I love so tenderly? My poor father!"

"Dear Blondine, do not distress yourself as to the future. Wisdom and

prudence are always recompensed. You will see your father again but not

now. In the meantime be good and docile. Beau-Minon and I will do all in

our power to make you happy."

Blondine sighed heavily and shed a few tears. She then reflected that to

manifest such grief was a poor recompense for all the goodness of

Bonne-Biche. She resolved, therefore, to control herself and to be


Bonne-Biche took her to see the apartment they had prepared for her. The

bedroom was hung with rose-colored silk embroidered with gold. The

furniture was covered with white velvet worked with silks of the most

brilliant hues. Every species of animal, bird and butterfly were

represented in rare embroidery.

Adjoining Blondine's chamber was a small study. It was hung with

sky-blue damask, embroidered with fine pearls. The furniture was covered

with silver moire, adorned with nails of turquoise. Two magnificent

portraits, representing a young and superbly handsome woman and a

strikingly attractive young man, hung on the walls. Their costumes

indicated that they were of royal race.

"Whose portraits are these, madam?" said Blondine to Bonne-Biche.

"I am forbidden to answer that question, dear Blondine. You will know

later;--but this is the hour for dinner. Come, Blondine, I am sure you

are hungry."

Blondine was in fact almost dying of hunger. She followed Bonne-Biche

and they entered the dining-room where she saw a table strangely served.

An enormous cushion of black satin was placed on the floor for

Bonne-Biche. On the table before her was a vase filled with the choicest

herbs, fresh and nutritious and near this vase was a golden bucket,

filled with fresh and limpid water.

Opposite Bonne-Biche was a little stool for Beau-Minon while before him

was a little porringer in gold, filled with little fried fish and the

thighs of snipes. At one side was a bowl of rich crystal full of fresh


Between Beau-Minon and Bonne-Biche a plate was placed for Blondine. Her

chair was of carved ivory covered with crimson velvet attached with

nails of diamonds. Before her was a gold plate richly chased, filled

with delicious soup made of a young pullet and fig-birds, her glass and

water-bottle were of carved rock-crystal, a muffin was placed by her

side, her fork and spoon were of gold and her napkin was of linen, finer

than anything she had ever seen.

The table was served by gazelles who were marvellously adroit. They

waited, carved and even divined the wishes of Blondine, Bonne-Biche and

Beau-Minon. The dinner was exquisite--the chicken was splendid, the game

and fish most delicate, the pastry and bonbons superlative. Blondine was

hungry so she ate of all and found all excellent.

After dinner, Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon conducted the princess into the

garden. She found there the most delicious fruits and lovely walks.

After a charming walk, Blondine entered the castle with her new friends,

much fatigued. Bonne-Biche proposed that she retire, to which she agreed


Blondine entered her chamber and found two gazelles waiting to attend

her. They disrobed her with grace and adroitness, placed her in bed and

seated themselves by her couch to watch over her.

Blondine was soon peacefully asleep--not, however, without having first

thought of her father and wept bitterly over her cruel separation from