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of birds of all colors, and with many different
Within the tower the princesses sprang to songs, were singing gladly to welcome it.
their feet, listening with shining eyes, and when “I have a splendid plan,” exclaimed Prince the last trill died away, they sang in answer: Dawn. “Let us send two birds to sing to the princesses. They can fly over the mist, and when
“O little bird, you sing of light,
From stars and moon and sun so bright; the maidens hear their song, they themselves
The fra nce of flowers fills your song, will surely sing for joy."
You bring us the hope for which we long." “That is a fine idea !” answered Prince Nightwind. “Let us choose the most beautiful birds As their voices rose, sweet and clear, a queer here to break the spell which imprisons our be- rumbling sound was heard, and at the last note loved princesses."
the tower crumbled and faded away, while the So they chose a bright blue and a gorgeous mist lifted,- for the charm was broken! orange bird, and quickly they flew away over the The wicked queen was driving in the royal mist. But when they reached the little tower coach with the king at that moment; but, being a window, all their notes had died away. They witch, she knew what had happened, and fearing could sing beautifully in the sunrise light, but in that when the king found what she had done, he a dark gray fog, they forgot their song, and would shut her up in prison, she turned into an slowly and sadly they flew back to tell the princes ugly old hag, and flew away on a broomstick. of their failure.
Oh, how surprised the king and all his people For a moment, Prince Night-wind and Prince were ! But an instant later, they had another Dawn stood silent and puzzled. Then, beside surprise, and a pleasanter one. For up the street, them, a little brown bird, a song-sparrow, twit- on a fine, black horse, rode Prince Night-wind tered: “The darker the day, and the deeper the with the Princess Night behind him, and beside mist, the sweeter is my song. Do-send-me!" them, on his white horse, rode Prince Dawn, with The last words were sung in three long, sweet the Princess Day. notes, after which the sparrow gave a trill so gay Then all the bells were rung again, wildly and and bright that even the sunrise itself was not happily this time, and the people danced in the more joyful.
streets while the king danced in his palace. The orange bird and the blue bird flapped their For his dear daughters had come home again, wings scornfully, but the princes were delighted. more beautiful and loving than ever, and with
"Dear little sparrow!” they cried. “Sing like them had come the princes who had saved them, that to the princesses, and they will surely answer whom they married that very day.
And what music do you suppose they had for So off over the gray mist and down to the tiny the wedding ? window flew the song-sparrow. On the window- Not an organ, or fiddle, or flute; nothing but a sill it perched, and then, although the mist was chorus of little, brown song-sparrows; but the grayer and colder than ever, it sang and sang, folks who were there say that never in all their as if all the glory of the sunrise was around it. lives had they heard music so sweet and joyous.