The third fairy, who must have had some spite against either the king, queen, or the other two fairies, said, with a malicious smile, "My gift to this precious prince shall be a pair of ass's ears, as a set off to his beauty."
The fairies then flew away on various other errands of good and evil, and instantly the ass's ears appeared on the prince's head. When the king saw this he was filled with grief, and in his distress ordered a cap to be made at once, that should hide the ears, and ever after no one in the palace saw the prince without his cap.
The young prince meanwhile grew in comeliness and manliness, which were only surpassed by his excellence and wisdom; thus all the blessings of the two good fairies were fulfilled, and no one at Court had the least suspicion that the prince had ass's ears.
When his beard grew, and it became necessary that he should be shaved, the king sent for a barber, and told him to shave the prince, but on no account to reveal to any one that his son had ass's ears, for if he did he should be punished with death.
When the barber left the palace, his head was completely turned with the magnitude and importance of the secret intrusted to him by the king; he felt a burning desire to divulge a matter which would cause such a sensation among his majesty's subjects, and would enable him to boast of the royal favour in con-