The Fairy Detestable
Rosalie looked in eagerly. The little house was dark; she could see nothing but she heard the little voice:—
"Thanks, Rosalie, it is to you that I owe my deliverance."
The voice seemed to come from the earth. She looked, and saw in a corner two brilliant little eyes gazing at her maliciously.
"My cunning trick has succeeded, Rosalie, and betrayed you into yielding to your curiosity. If I had not spoken and sung you would have returned with the key and I should have been lost. Now that you have set me at liberty, you and your father are both in my power."
Rosalie did not yet fully comprehend the extent of the misfortune she had brought about by her disobedience. She knew, however, that it was a dangerous foe which her father had held captive and she wished to retire and close the door.
"Stop, Rosalie! It is no longer in your power to keep me in this odious prison from which I never could have escaped if you had waited until your fifteenth birth-day."
At this moment the little house disappeared entirely, and Rosalie saw with the greatest consternation that the key alone remained in her hand. She now saw at her side a small gray mouse who gazed at her with its sparkling little eyes and began to laugh in a thin, discordant voice.
"Ha! ha! ha! What a frightened air you have, Rosalie! In truth you amuse me very much. But it is lucky for me that you had so much curiosity. It has been nearly fifteen years since I was shut up in this frightful prison, having no power to injure your father, whom I hate, or to bring any evil upon you, whom I detest because you are his daughter."
"Who are you, then, wicked mouse?"
"I am the mortal enemy of your family, my pet. I call myself the fairy Detestable and the name suits me, I assure you. All the world hates me and I hate all the world. I shall follow you now for the rest of your life, wherever you go."
"Go away at once, miserable creature! A mouse is not to be feared and I will find a way to get rid of you."
"We shall see, my pet!