Read and listen this interesting short story to check your reading skills.
Once upon a time, in the days when there were fairies, a king and queen reigned in a country far away. Now this king and queen had plenty of money, plenty of fine clothes to wear, plenty of good things to eat and drink and a coach to ride out in every day. However, although they had been married many years, they had no children. This saddened them very much, as they dearly wanted a child.
One day, as the queen was walking by the side of the river at the bottom of the garden, she saw a poor little fish that had thrown itself out of the water and lay gasping and nearly dead on the bank. The queen took pity on the little fish and threw it back again into the river. Before it swam away, it raised its head out of the water and said “I know what your wish is and it shall come true, in return for your kindness to me — you will soon have a daughter.”
What the little fish had said soon happened and the queen had a little girl, so very beautiful, that the king could not stop looking at her he was so happy. He said he would throw a great party and show the child to all the land, so he asked his kinsmen, nobles, friends, and neighbours. But the queen said “I will have the fairies also, that they might be kind and good to our little daughter.”
Now there were thirteen fairies in the kingdom, but as the king and queen had only twelve golden dishes for them to eat out of, they were forced to leave one of the fairies without asking her. So twelve fairies came, each with a high red cap on her head, red shoes with high heels on her feet and a long white wand in her hand. After the feast was over they gathered round in a ring and gave all their best gifts to the little princess. One gave her goodness, another beauty, another riches, and so on till she had all that was good in the world.
Just as eleven of them had done blessing her, a great noise was heard in the courtyard and word was brought that the thirteenth fairy had come, with a black cap on her head, black shoes on her feet and a broomstick in her hand. She quickly came up into the dining-hall. Now, as she had not been asked to the feast she was very angry, scolded the king and queen very much and set to work to take her revenge. So she cried out “The king’s daughter shall, in her fifteenth year, be wounded by a spindle, and fall down dead.”
Then the twelfth of the friendly fairies, who had not yet given her gift, came forward, and said that the evil wish must be fulfilled, but that she could soften its mischief; so her gift was, that the king’s daughter, when the spindle wounded her, should not really die, but should only fall asleep for a hundred years. Continue reading