The Enchanted Canary
`Ah!' he said to himself. `If only these oranges were real fruit-- fruit as refreshing as what I ate in Flanders! And, after all, who knows?'
This idea put some life into him. He had the strength to lift himself up and put his hand into his bag. He drew out an orange and opened it with his knife.
Out of it flew the prettiest little female canary that ever was seen.
`Give me something to drink, I am dying of thirst,' said the golden bird.
`Wait a minute,' replied Desire, so much astonished that he forgot his own sufferings; and to satisfy the bird he took a second orange, and opened it without thinking what he was doing. Out of it flew another canary, and she too began to cry:
`I am dying of thirst; give me something to drink.'
Then Tubby's son saw his folly, and while the two canaries flew away he sank on the ground, where, exhausted by his last effort, he lay unconscious.
When he came to himself, he had a pleasant feeling of freshness all about him. It was night, the sky was sparkling with stars, and the earth was covered with a heavy dew.
The traveller having recovered, mounted his horse, and at the first streak of dawn he saw a stream dancing in front of him, and stooped down and drank his fill.
He hardly had courage to open his last orange. Then he remembered that the night before he had disobeyed the orders of the old man. Perhaps his terrible thirst was a trick of the cunning witch, and suppose, even though he opened the orange on the banks of the stream, that he did not find in it the princess that he sought?
He took his knife and cut it open. Alas! out of it flew a little canary, just like the others, who cried:
`I am thirsty; give me something to drink.'
Great was the disappointment of Desire. However, he was determined not to let this bird fly away; so he took up some water in the palm of his hand and held it to its beak.
Scarcely had the canary drunk when she became a beautiful girl, tall and straight as a poplar tree, with black eyes and a golden skin.