The Lassie and her godmother
” Now the Lassie cried her eyes out, and begged and prayed so prettily; but it was all no good.
“Nay! but I must punish you!” said her Foster-mother; “but you may have your choice, either to be the loveliest woman in the world, and not to be able to speak, or to keep your speech, and to be the ugliest of all women; but away from me you must go.”
And the Lassie said, “I would sooner be lovely.” So she became all at once wondrous fair; but from that day forth she was dumb.
So, when she went away from her Foster-mother, she walked and wandered through a great, great wood; but the farther she went, the farther off the end seemed to be. So, when the evening came on, she clomb up into a tall tree, which grew over a spring, and there she made herself up to sleep that night. Close by lay a castle, and from that castle came early every morning a maid to draw water to make the Prince’s tea, from the spring over which the Lassie was sitting. So the maid looked down into the spring, saw the lovely face in the water, and thought it was her own; then she flung away the pitcher, and ran home; and, when she got there, she tossed up her head and said, “If I’m so pretty, I’m far too good to go and fetch water.”
So another maid had to go for the water, but the same thing happened to her; she went back and said she was far too pretty and too good to fetch water from the spring for the Prince. Then the Prince went himself, for he had a mind to see what all this could mean. So, when he reached the spring, he too saw the image in the water; but he looked up at once, and became aware of the lovely Lassie who sate there up in the tree. Then he coaxed her down and took her home; and at last made up his mind to have her for his queen, because she was so lovely; but his mother, who was still alive, was against it.
“She can’t speak,” she said, “and maybe she’s a wicked witch.”
But the Prince could not be content till he got her. So after they had lived together a while, the Lassie was to have a child, and when the child came to be born, the Prince set a strong watch about her; but at the birth one and all fell into a deep sleep, and her Foster-mother came, cut the babe on its little finger, and smeared the queen’s mouth with the blood; and said:
“Now you shall be as grieved as I was when you let out the star;” and with these words she carried off the babe.