The Pigeon's Bride - The Story of a Princess Who Kissed and Told
Her cheeks kept growing pinker, her eyes brighter, her lovely hair more golden.
"I must say sitting at that foolish embroidery agrees with her," the King said.
"No, it isn't that," the Queen told him. "It's the big bowl of milk she drinks every afternoon. You know milk is very good for the complexion."
"Milk indeed!" murmured the Princess to herself, and she blushed rosier than ever at thought of her wonderful secret.
But a princess can't keep growing more and more beautiful without everybody in the world hearing about it. The neighboring kings soon began to feel angry and suspicious.
"What ails this Princess?" they asked among themselves. "Isn't one of our sons good enough for her? Is she waiting for the King of Persia to come as a suitor or what? Let us stand together on our rights and demand to know why she won't consider one of our sons!"
So they sent envoys to the Princess's father and he saw at once that the matter had become serious.
"My dear," he said to the Princess, "your mother and I have humored you long enough. It is high time that you had a husband and I insist that you allow the sons of neighboring kings to be presented to you next week."
"I won't do it!" the Princess declared. "I'm not interested in the sons of the neighboring kings and that's all there is about it!"
Her father looked at her severely.
"Is that the way for a princess to talk? Persist in this foolishness and you may embroil your country in war!"
"I don't care!" the Princess cried, bursting into tears. "I can't marry any of them, so why let them be presented?"
"Why can't you marry any of them?"
"I just can't!" the Princess insisted.
At first, in spite of the pleadings of both parents, she would tell them no more, but her mother kept questioning her until at last in self-defense the Princess confessed that she had a true love who came to her in the tower every afternoon in the form of a pigeon.
"He's a prince," she told them, "the son of a distant king. At present he is under an enchantment that turns him into a pigeon.