So she roamed about by herself, and looked at all the rooms and chambers, till at last she came to an old tower, to which there was a narrow staircase ending with a little door. In the door there was a golden key, and when she turned it the door sprang open, and there sat an old lady spinning away very busily.
"Why, how now, good mother," said the princess, "what are you doing there?"
"Spinning," said the old lady, and nodded her head. "How prettily that little thing turns round!" said the princess, and took the spindle and began to spin. But scarcely had she touched it before the prophecy was fulfilled, and she fell down lifeless on the ground.
However, she was not dead, but had only fallen into a deep sleep; and the king and the queen, who just then came home, and all their court, fell asleep too, and the horses slept in the stables, and the dogs in the yard, and the pigeons on the house-top, and the flies on the walls. Even the fire on the I hearth left off blazing, and went to sleep; and the meat that was roasting stood still; and the cook, who was at that moment pulling the kitchen-boy by the hair to give him a box on the ear for something he had done amiss, let him go, and both fell asleep; and so everything stood still, and slept soundly.
A high hedge of thorns soon grew around the palace, and every year it became higher and thicker, till at last the whole palace was surrounded and hidden, so that not even the roof or the chimneys could be seen.
But there went a report through all the land of the beautiful sleeping Briar Rose, for thus was the king's daughter called; so that from time to time several kings' sons came, and tried to break through the thicket into the palace.
This they could never do; for the thorns and bushes laid hold of them as it were with hands, and there they stuck fast and died miserably.
After many, many years there came another king's son into that land, and an old man told him the story of the thicket of thorns, and how a beautiful palace stood behind it, in which was a wondrous princess, called Briar Rose, asleep with all her court.