The Enchanted Canary
`No,' replied the baker; `a long time has passed since I first began to scour this oven with my own flesh. YOU never cared to give me a brush; but he has given me one, and he shall go in peace.'
`Rope, O rope!' cried the voice again, `twine yourself round his neck and strangle him.'
`No,' replied the rope; `you have left me for many years past to fall to pieces with the damp. He has stretched me out in the sun. Let him go in peace.'
`Dog, my good dog,' cried the voice, more and more angry, `jump at his throat and eat him up.'
`No,' replied the dog; `though I have served you long, you never
gave me any bread. He has given me as much as I want. Let him go in peace.'
`Iron gate, iron gate,' cried the voice, growling like thunder, `fall on him and grind him to powder.'
`No,' replied the gate; `it is a hundred years since you left me to rust, and he has oiled me. Let him go in peace.'
Once outside, the young adventurer put his oranges into a bag that hung from his saddle, mounted his horse, and rode quickly out of the forest.
Now, as he was longing to see the princesses, he was very anxious to come to a river or a fountain, but, though he rode for hours, a river or fountain was nowhere to be seen. Still his heart was light, for he felt that he had got through the most difficult part of his task, and the rest was easy.
About mid-day he reached a sandy plain, scorching in the sun. Here he was seized with dreadful thirst; he took his gourd and raised it to his lips.
But the gourd was empty; in the excitement of his joy he had forgotten to fill it. He rode on, struggling with his sufferings, but at last he could bear it no longer.
He let himself slide to the earth, and lay down beside his horse, his throat burning, his chest heaving, and his head going round. Already he felt that death was near him, when his eyes fell on the bag where the oranges peeped out.
Poor Desire, who had braved so many dangers to win the lady of his dreams, would have given at this moment all the princesses in the world, were they pink or golden, for a single drop of water.