The Sleeping Beauty
Edited by Watty Piper
Once upon a time there was a king and queen who for a very long
time had no children, and when at length a little daughter was born
to them they were so pleased that they gave a christening feast to
which they invited a number of fairies. But, unfortunately, they
left out one rather cross old fairy, and she was so angry that she
said the princess should die when she reached the age of sixteen,
by pricking her hand with a spindle.
All the other fairies present, except one, had already given the
princess their beautiful gifts, and this last one said she could
not prevent part of the wicked wish coming true; but her gift
should be that the princess should not really die, but only fall
into a deep sleep, which should last for a hundred years, and at
the end of that time she should be awakened by a king's son.
It all happened as the fairies had predicted. When the princess
was sixteen years old she saw an old woman spinning and took the
spindle from her to try this strange new work. Instantly she
pricked her hand and fell into a deep sleep, as did everyone else
in the palace. There she lay in a bower of roses, year after year,
and the hedge around the palace garden grew so tall and thick that
at last you could not have told that there was a castle at all.
At the end of the hundred years a king's son heard of the castle
and the enchanted princess who lay asleep there and determined to
rescue her. So he cut his way through the thick prickly hedge and
at length he came to the princess. When he saw how lovely and how
sweet she looked he fell in love with her and, stooping, kissed her
At once she awoke and with her the king and queen and all the
courtiers, who had fallen asleep at the same time.
As the princess was as much taken with the prince's appearance
as he was with hers, they decided to be married. And so the wedding
was celebrated the same day with great pomp and ceremony.