The Seven Enchanted Princes
Long ago there was a little maid who lived all alone with her grandmother. They were very poor. The girl's name was Honoria.
One day the grandmother sent the girl out to sell some of the oranges from their orange tree.
"You must bring home at least three vintens to me," she said. "Don't dare return without at least that small amount of money."
Honoria went from door to door trying to sell the oranges. Every one seemed to have plenty of them that day. There was nobody who would purchase a single one.
She walked on and on through the town, everywhere obtaining the same answer, "We do not wish to purchase any oranges to-day."
Finally she found herself outside the town and in the forest. There was a house with the door wide open and on the table in front of the door lay three vintens. There was no one in sight and nobody answered Honoria's knock at the door.
"I'll take the money and leave some oranges in place of it," said Honoria. "That will not be stealing."
Accordingly, she selected some of the largest and finest of her oranges and placed them on the table. She put the money away carefully to take to her grandmother. Then she turned to leave, but found that the door was closed.
She tried her best to open it but could not. Neither could she open any of the windows to climb out by that means. The windows were all fastened just as securely as the door.
"What shall I do?" cried the girl, who was now thoroughly frightened.
She did not like the idea of remaining a prisoner in the house in the forest. All day she tried to find some way of escape, but there seemed nothing to do except to wait until somebody came to her aid.
"This house is not far from the city. Surely some one will be passing this way and will come and help me get out," said Honoria. "I hope they'll come before night."
There was nothing to eat in the house and she was thankful enough for the big basket full of juicy oranges.
At last it grew dark. Then Honoria heard footsteps outside the house.