Page:The Red Fairy Book.djvu/125
THE ENCHANTED PIG
Sister,' said the youngest, 'I cannot think how you can tempt us to break our father's command. When he told us not to go into that room he must have known what he was saying, and have had a good reason for saying it.'
'Surely the sky won't fall about our heads if we do go in,' said the second Princess. 'Dragons and such like monsters that would devour us will not be hidden in the room. And how T will our father ever find out that we have gone in?'
While they were speaking thus, encouraging each other, they had reached the room; the eldest fitted the key into the lock, and snap! the door stood open.
The three girls entered, and what do you think they saw?
The room was quite empty, and without any ornament, but in the middle stood a large table, with a gorgeous cloth, and on it lay a big open book.
Now the Princesses were curious to know what was written in the book, especially the eldest, and this is what she read:
'The eldest daughter of this King will marry a prince from the East.'
Then the second girl stepped forward, and turning over the page she read:
'The second daughter of this King will marry a prince from the West.'
The girls were delighted, and laughed and teased each other.
But the youngest Princess did not want to go near the table or to open the book. Her elder sisters however left her no peace, and will she, nill she, they dragged her up to the table, and in fear and trembling she turned over the page and read:
'The youngest daughter of this King will be married to a pig from the North.'
Now if a thunderbolt had fallen upon her from heaven it would not have frightened her more.
She almost died of misery, and if her sisters had not held her up, she would have sunk to the ground and cut her head open.
When she came out of the fainting fit into which she had fallen in her terror, her sisters tried to comfort her, saying:
'How can you believe such nonsense? When did it ever happen that a king's daughter married a pig?'
'What a baby you are!' said the other sister; 'has not our father enough soldiers to protect you, even if the disgusting creature did come to woo you?'