The Princess Who Lost Her Rings
Long ago there lived a lovely princess who owned the most beautiful rings in the whole world. She had rings set with diamonds and rings set with pearls. She had rings set with rubies and rings set with sapphires. She had rings set with emeralds and turquoises and amethysts and every other kind of precious stone. She had rings which had no precious stones in them, but which were wonderfully decorated with fine and delicate carving, wrought with great skill.
This princess lived in a magnificent palace surrounded by a high wall. Her own apartments opened upon a pleasant balcony. From the balcony she could see the blue waters of the ocean and the tall trees of the forest. Here she liked to pass her days.
In a corner of the balcony there was a basin and pitcher of silver always kept filled with water in order that the princess might wash her hands on the balcony instead of having to go inside the house. Whenever she washed her hands she always removed the ring she was wearing that day. Some days it was one ring and other days it was another, but, whatever ring it happened to be, the princess always took it off carefully when she washed her hands.
One day a pretty white rabbit came up to the balcony to play with the princess. That day the princess was wearing her best diamond ring. She removed it very carefully when she washed her hands. Then it disappeared. She knew that the rabbit must have stolen it.
The next day the rabbit came again and that day the princess lost her best emerald ring. She was very sure that the rabbit must have stolen that, too. However, she liked to play with the rabbit, so she said nothing to her father, the king, about the lost rings.
Every day the rabbit came and every day there was a ring missing. The princess had a large box full of rings, in the beginning, but one morning she opened the box and saw that it was entirely empty. She remembered then that she had put on her last ring, one set with a sapphire, the morning before.
The princess became so sad that she would not go out to the balcony to play with the white rabbit.