Princess Bluegreen of the Seven Cities
There was great rejoicing throughout the entire kingdom. Her birth was celebrated by lavish feasts and gay songs and dances.
When the little Princess Bluegreen was only three days old she disappeared from the royal palace. She had been carried away by the fairy to the seven cities which had been constructed to receive her.
Years passed. Every day the king and queen received reports from the fairy. They heard that the little Princess Bluegreen was well, and that each hour she grew lovelier. Sometimes there was almost joy in the palace when King Graywhite chuckled over the quaint sayings of the little princess which were repeated to him, and the queen heard with a tender smile of the tiny blue slippers and the green parasol which the fairy had given her. That day Queen Rosewhite bought new slippers for many little maids in the city.
As time went on, however, the royal palace of Atlantis grew almost as sad as it had been before the Princess Bluegreen had been born. Only to receive reports of their daughter was not enough to make the king and queen happy. They longed to see her with their own eyes and to clasp her in their arms.
As the weeks and months and years rolled by without seeing the little princess, King Graywhite resumed his cruel treatment of his subjects. He was growing old and his nature grew sour with the years. Queen Rosewhite tried to reason with him.
"We must bear this thing with patience," she told him. "We brought it upon ourselves."
The king kept raging against the fairy and did not notice Queen Rosewhite's politeness in saying "we" instead of "you." It was the king who was responsible for all the cruelty. Good Queen Rosewhite had never had a cruel thought in her whole blameless life.
At last the day of the eighteenth birthday of the Princess Bluegreen grew near.
"Are you sure that it is not eighteen years which the fairy said, instead of twenty years?" asked King Graywhite querulously.
Queen Rosewhite assured him that it was twenty years as he well knew.