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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "Prince Vivien and the Princess Placida"

Prince Vivien and the Princess Placida

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'"I wish you to take this little Princess to my cousin, the Giant of the Green Castle, at once," she replied, "and beg him from me to make her work day and night upon his beautiful tapestry."

'At these words the great Bird snatched me up, regardless of my cries, and flew off at a terrific pace--'

'Oh! you are joking, cousin,' interrupted Prince Vivien; 'you mean as slowly as possible. I know that horrible Black Bird, and the lengthiness of all his proceedings and surroundings.'

'Have it your own way,' replied Placida, tranquilly. 'I cannot bear arguing. Perhaps, this was not even the same bird. At any rate, he carried me off at a prodigious speed, and set me gently down in this very castle of which you are now the master. We entered by one of the windows, and when the Bird had handed me over to the Giant from whom you have been good enough to deliver me, and given the Fairy's message, it departed.

'Then the Giant turned to me, saying,

'"So you are an idler! Ah! well, we must teach you to work. You won't be the first we have cured of laziness. See how busy all my guests are."

'I looked up as he spoke, and saw that an immense gallery ran all round the hall, in which were tapestry frames, spindles, skeins of wool, patterns, and all necessary things. Before each frame about a dozen people were sitting, hard at work, at which terrible sight I fainted away, and as soon as I recovered they began to ask me what I could do.

'It was in vain that I replied as before, and with the strongest desire to be taken at my word, "Nothing at all."

'The Giant only said,

'"Then you must learn to do something; in this world there is enough work for everybody."

'It appeared that they were working into the tapestry all the stories the Fairies liked best, and they began to try and teach me to help them, but from the first class, where they tried me to begin with, I sank lower and lower, and not even the most simple stitches could I learn.

'In vain they punished me by all the usual methods.

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