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Sleeping Beauty


An entire kingdom lies asleep for a hundred years, surrounded by a wall of deadly thorns. The evil fairy placed a terrible curse on Sleeping Beauty. It will take the bravest of princes to rescue her


A long time ago there was a king and queen, who said to each other every day of their lives, "We wish we had a child!" and yet they had none.

But one day when the queen was sitting by the river, a frog came out of the water, jumped onto the ground next to her, and said, "Your wish will be granted before a year has gone, you will bring a daughter into the world."

And as the frog had said, it soon happened. The queen had a daughter so beautiful that the king could not contain himself with joy, and he planned a great feast. He invited all his relations and all his friends, and also the thirteen fairies of his kingdom so that they might be kind and favourable to the child. But because he had only provided twelve golden plates for them to eat from, one of them had to be left out. However, the feast was celebrated, and as it drew to an end, the wise fairies stood forward to present to the child their wonderful gifts: one gave her the gift of goodness, one beauty, a third riches, and so on, whatever there is in the world to wish for. And after the eleventh fairy, in came the uninvited thirteenth, burning for revenge, and without greeting or respect, she cried with a loud voice, "When your daughter is fifteen years of age she will prick herself with a needle and fall down dead."

And without speaking one more word she turned away and left the hall. Everyone was terrified. The twelfth fairy came forward to give her gift. Although she could not remove the evil prophecy, she could soften it, so she said, "Do not be afraid. I have not yet given my gift. I cannot undo the wicked spell, but I can soften the evil. The princess will not die, but she will fall into a deep sleep for a hundred years."

Now the king, wanting to save his child even from this bad luck, gave the order that all the needles in his kingdom should be destroyed.

The girl grew up, with all the gifts of the fairies; and she was so lovely, sweet, and kind and clever, that no one who saw her could help loving her.

One day, when she was fifteen years old, the king and queen went away on a journey, and the girl was left behind alone in the castle. She explored the castle, wandering about into all the corners and all the rooms, till at last, she came to an old tower. She climbed the narrow winding stair which led to a little door, with a rusty key sticking out of the lock. She turned the key. The door opened, and there in the little room sat an old woman with an old sewing machine, fixing some sheets.

"Hello," said the princess, "what are you doing?"

"I am sewing, little girl," answered the old woman who was no other than the wicked fairy in disguise.

"What is that thing that spins around so quickly?" asked the girl, reaching for the machine to touch it. But as soon as she had touched it the evil prophecy was fulfilled, and she pricked her finger on the needle.

At that very moment, she fell back on the bed that stood there and lay in a deep sleep. And this sleep fell upon the whole castle. The king and queen, who had returned and were in the great hall, fell fast asleep, and with them the everyone else in the castle. The horses in their stables, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons on the roof, the flies on the wall, even the fire that flickered in the fireplace, became still, and slept like the rest; and the meat on the fire stopped roasting, and the cook, who was going to pull her helper’s hair for some mistake he had made, let him go and went to sleep. And the wind stopped, and not a leaf fell from the trees about the castle.

Then around about that place grew a wall of thorns thicker every year, until at last the whole castle was hidden from view, and nothing of it could be seen but the top of the roof.

A rumour went around in all that country of the beautiful sleeping Rosamond because that was what the princess was called. And from time to time many kings' sons came and tried to force their way through the wall of thorns, but it was impossible for them to do so, because the thorns held fast together like strong hands, and the young men were caught by them, and not being able to get free, they died a painful death.

Many years afterwards a king's son came into that country and heard an old man say, “There is a castle standing behind the wall of thorns, and there is a beautiful enchanted princess named Rosamond. She has slept for a hundred years, with her the king and queen, and the whole court.

I was told by my grandfather that many king's sons had tried to pass the thorns, but they were caught and pierced, and they died a miserable death. “

Then the young man said, "It doesn’t matter. I am not scared to try. I will break through the thorns and see the lovely Rosamond."

The good old man tried to hold him back, but he would not listen.

Now the hundred years were finished, and the day had come when Rosamond should be wakened. When the prince came near the wall of thorns, it was changed into a wall of beautiful large flowers, which parted and bent aside to let him pass, and then closed behind him in a thick hedge.

When he reached the castle yard, he saw the horses and hunting dogs lying asleep, and on the roof, the pigeons were sitting with their heads under their wings. And when he came inside, the flies on the wall were asleep, and the cook in the kitchen had her hand lifted to hit her helper.

Then he went higher, and saw in the hall everyone lying asleep, and above them, on their thrones, slept the king and the queen. And still, he went farther, and all was so quiet that he could hear his own breathing, and at last, he came to the tower, and went up the winding stair, and opened the door of the little room where Rosamond lay. And when he saw her looking so lovely in her sleep, he could not turn away his eyes; and soon he bent over and kissed her, and she awoke, and opened her eyes, and looked very kindly on him. And she got up, and they went out together, and the king and the queen and everybody else woke up and looked at each other with shock and astonishment. And the horses in the yard got up and shook themselves, the dogs sprang up and wagged their tails, the pigeons on the roof drew their heads from under their wings, looked around, and flew into the field, the flies on the wall crept on a little further, the kitchen fire crackled up and blazed, and cooked the meat, and the cook gave her helper such a box on the ear that he roared out.

Then the wedding of the Prince and Rosamond was held, and they lived very happily together until the end of their lives.oiling water.


QUIZ TIME!

Multiple Choice Questions:

  1. What did the frog tell the queen?

  • A) She would have a son

  • B) She would have a daughter

  • C) She would meet a prince

  • D) She would become rich

  1. Why was one fairy left out of the feast?

  • A) She was not invited

  • B) There were only twelve golden plates

  • C) She was away on a journey

  • D) She was not friends with the king

  1. What did the thirteenth fairy say would happen to the princess when she turned fifteen?

  • A) She would fall into a deep sleep

  • B) She would prick herself with a needle and fall down dead

  • C) She would turn into a frog

  • D) She would lose all her gifts

  1. How did the king try to prevent the evil prophecy from coming true?

  • A) He destroyed all the needles in the kingdom

  • B) He locked the princess in a tower

  • C) He asked the fairies for more help

  • D) He moved to another kingdom

  1. How did the prince wake Rosamond?

  • A) By calling her name

  • B) By kissing her

  • C) By playing music

  • D) By shaking her gently

Answers:

  1. Answer: B) She would have a daughter

  2. Answer: B) There were only twelve golden plates

  3. Answer: B) She would prick herself with a needle and fall down dead

  4. Answer: A) He destroyed all the needles in the kingdom

  5. Answer: B) By kissing her

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