there lived a king and queen who were grieved,
more grieved than words can tell, because they had no children.
They tried the waters of every country, made vows and pilgrimages,
and did everything that could be done, but without result.
At last,however, the queen found that her wishes were fulfilled,
and in due course she gave birth to a daughter.
A grand christening was held,
and all the fairies that could be found in the realm (they numbered seven in all)
were invited to be godmothers to the little princess.
This was done so that by means of the gifts which each in turn would bestow upon her
(in accordance with the fairy custom of those days)
the princess might be endowed with every imaginable perfection...
...But just as all were sitting down to table an aged fairy was seen to enter, whom no one thought to invite- the reason being that for more than fifty years she had never quitted the tower in which she lived, and people had supposed her to be dead or bewitched...
...Presently the fairies began to bestow their gifts upon the princess. The youngest ordained that she should be the most beautiful person in the world; the next, that she should have the temper of an angel; the third, that she should do everything with wonderful grace; the forth, that she should dance to perfection; the fifth, that she should sing like a nightingale; and the sixth, that she should play every kind of music with the utmost skill...
It was now the turn of the aged fairy. Shaking her head, in token of spite rather than infirmity, she declared that the princess should prick her hand with a spindle, and die of it. A shudder ran through the company at this terrible gift. All eyes were filled with tears...
But at this moment the young fairy stepped fort from the behind the tapestry. "Take comfort, your Majesties," she cried in a loud voice. " Your daughter shall not die. My power, it is true, is not enough to undo all that my aged kinswoman has decreed. The princess will indeed prick her hand with a spindle. But instead of dying she shall merely fall into a profound slumber that will last a hundred years. At the end of that time a king's son shall come to awaken her."
At the end of fifteen or sixteen years the king and queen happened one day to be away, on pleasure bent. The princess was running about the castle, and going upstairs from room to room she came at length t a garret at the top of a tower, where an old serving woman sat alone with her distaff, spinning. This good woman had never heard speak of the king's proclamation forbidding the use of spinning wheels....Partly because she was too hasty, partly because she was a little heedless, but also because the fairy decree had ordained it, no sooner had she seized the spindle that she pricked her hand and fell down in a swoon.
...At the end of a hundred years the throne had passed to another family from that of the sleeping princess. One day the king's son chanced to go a-hunting that way, and seeing in the distance some towers in the midst of a large and dense forest, he asked what they were...There he encountered the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. Reclining upon a bed, the curtains of which on every side were drawn back, was a princess of seemingly some fifteen or sixteen summers, whose radiant beauty had an almost unearthly luster...At the same moment, the hour of disenchantment having come, the princess awoke, and bestowed upon him a look more tender than a first glance might seem to warrant.
"Is it you, dear prince?"
excerpts from "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood" by Charles Perrault
I wish life was more like my fairy tales.