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IT IS SAID that in the forest, near the meeting of river and lake, certain fairies live in disguise who are only recognised as fairies after they have flown away.

        A Prince went to this forest, and when he came where river met lake he saw a village girl sitting on the bank ruffling the water to make the lilies dance.

        He asked her in a whisper, 'Tell me, what fairy art thou?'

        The girl laughed at the question and the hillsides echoed her mirth.

        The Prince thought she was the laughing fairy of the waterfall.

 

News reached the King that the Prince had married a fairy: he sent horses and men and brought them to his house.

        The Queen saw the bride and turned her face away in disgust, the Prince's sister flushed red with annoyance, and the maids asked if that was how fairies dressed.

        The Prince whispered, 'Hush! my fairy has come to our house in disguise.'

 

On the day of the yearly festival the Queen said to her son, 'Ask your bride not to shame us before our kinsfolk who are coming to see the fairy.'

        And the Prince said to his bride, 'For my love's sake show thy true self to my people.'

        Long she sat silent, then nodded her promise while tears ran down her cheeks.

 

The full moon shone, the Prince, dressed in a wedding robe, entered his bride's room.

        No one was there, nothing but a streak of moonlight from the window aslant the bed.

        The kinsfolk crowded in with the King and the Queen, the Prince's sister stood by the door.

        All asked, 'Where is the fairy bride?'

The Prince answered, 'She has vanished for ever to make herself known to you.'