“The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed” eBook is HERE!

Cursed eBook cover

The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed is available now at both barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com for the low introductory price of $2.99 (USD). This price will only be around until the paperback and hardcovers are released on December 27th (the physical copies will have six beautiful in-book illustrations not included in the eBook version). If you order the eBook before December 6th and message us with a proof of purchase, we’ll give you $3.00 off either a paperback or hardcover version (your choice) of The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed OR The Prince of Prophecy Vol. I: Destined when you order the physical copies through Nautilus Press’s website!

For those of you who haven’t read the first book, The Prince of Prophecy Vol. I: Destined, paperback, hardcover, and eBook copies are available at giftkone.com (paperback only), nautiluspress.comamazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com. The books have gotten rave reviews so far, so come see what all the fuss is about by ordering a copy (the price is definitely right!). These books also make great Christmas and Hanukkah presents for the young (10-18) and young at heart (18+)!

Thanks for checking out my blog, and happy reading!

For new Prince of Prophecy, fairy tale, and writer’s corner updates every Wednesday and Saturday, follow this blog!

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Lewis Carroll’s “Misunderstandings”

Lewis-Carroll_4

If such a thing had been my thought,

I should have told you so before,

But as I didn’t, then you ought

To ask for such a thing no more,

For to teach one who has been taught

Is always thought an awful bore

 

Now to commence my argument.

I shall premise an observation,

On which the greatest kings have leant

When striving to subdue a nation.

And e’en the wretch who pays no rent

by it can solve a hard equation.

 

Its truth is such, the force of reason

Can not avail to shake its power,

Yet e’en the sun in summer season

Doth not dispel so mild a shower

As this, and he who sees it, sees on

Beyond it to a sunny bower–

No more, when ignorance is treason,

Let wisdom’s brows be cold and sour

 

For new fairy tales and poems every Wednesday and Saturday, follow this blog! Also The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed will be launching in eBook format this Saturday (November 29th, 2014), so be sure to check it out!

“The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed” UPDATE

Cursed eBook cover

I am happy to announce that The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed will be launching in eBook format on the 29th of November, 2014! That’s one week from today, everyone, so mark your calendars! In this action packed sequel, Destan must face more challenging foes than ever before–and the clock is ticking!

 

Cursed summary:

Months after his encounter with the Snow Queen, Destan finds himself longing for adventure once more. Word has spread about his and his friend’s triumph over Queen Isole, and everyone is calling him a hero. This would be wonderful, if only he believed that himself.

With the pressure of the crown weighing more heavily upon him with each and every day, Destan begins to wonder what it would be like to cast away his princely life and pursue the adventures that he longs for. Perhaps then he could prove to himself and the rest of the world that he is truly a hero worthy of recognition.

With the help of the mysterious Herr Drosselmeyer—his cousin’s new court magician—Destan’s dream of a different life becomes a reality. However, like most magic, his wish comes with precious price.

In this frightening new world filled with suave mercenaries, obsessive witches, and blood-thirsty ogres, he can’t be sure who he can trust—not even the people he used to call friends. Destan realizes—perhaps a little too late—that he should have been more careful about what he wished for.

 

As I said above, The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed will be released in eBook format on November 29th for the low introductory price of $2.99! This price will only be around until the paperback and hardcovers are released in December (the physical copies will have six beautiful in-book illustrations not included in the eBook version). If you order the eBook before December 6th and message Nautilus Press with a proof of purchase, they’ll give you $3.00 off either a paperback or hardcover version (your choice) of “The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed” OR “The Prince of Prophecy Vol. I: Destined” when you order through their website! That’s a pretty sweet deal, guys!

This book was edited by the amazing Samantha Cook (who offers professional editing services through her website, for anyone interested), and illustrated by the super talented Enrica Eren Angiolini (you’re not going to want to miss her beautiful illustrations for Cursed)!

Stay tuned for more artwork–I’ve got plenty more amazing illustrations for The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed to come!

 

For new Prince of Prophecy, fairy tale, and Writer’s Corner updates every Wednesday and Saturday, follow this blog!

Rudyard Kipling’s “Shiv and the Grasshoppers”

grasshopper_hq_wallpaper-HD

(The song that Toomai’s mother sang to the baby)

Shiv, who poured the harvest and made the winds to blow,
Sitting at the doorways of a day of long ago,
Gave to each his portion, food and toil and fate,
From the King upon the guddee to the Beggar at the gate.

    All things made he--Shiva the Preserver.
    Mahadeo!  Mahadeo!  He made all,--
    Thorn for the camel, fodder for the kine,
    And mother's heart for sleepy head, O little son of mine!

Wheat he gave to rich folk, millet to the poor,
Broken scraps for holy men that beg from door to door;
Battle to the tiger, carrion to the kite,
And rags and bones to wicked wolves without the wall at night.
Naught he found too lofty, none he saw too low--
Parbati beside him watched them come and go;
Thought to cheat her husband, turning Shiv to jest--
Stole the little grasshopper and hid it in her breast.

    So she tricked him, Shiva the Preserver.
    Mahadeo!  Mahadeo!  Turn and see.
    Tall are the camels, heavy are the kine,
    But this was Least of Little Things, O little son of mine!

When the dole was ended, laughingly she said,
Master, of a million mouths, is not one unfed?"
Laughing, Shiv made answer, "All have had their part,
Even he, the little one, hidden 'neath thy heart."
From her breast she plucked it, Parbati the thief,
Saw the Least of Little Things gnawed a new-grown leaf!
Saw and feared and wondered, making prayer to Shiv,
Who hath surely given meat to all that live.

    All things made he--Shiva the Preserver.
    Mahadeo!  Mahadeo!  He made all,--
    Thorn for the camel, fodder for the kine,
    And mother's heart for sleepy head, O little son of mine!

For new fairy tale updates every Wednesday and Saturday, follow this blog!

Nautilus Press Editing Services

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NOTE: The blog and essay copyedit prices can also be applied to short stories. Please contact me for prices if you require content edits and full edits for short stories.

 

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If you are interested in any of the services above, please email me at NautilusPress@AOL.com. In your email, include the service(s) you are interested in purchasing along with the length of the work you want edited (word count), and any questions you may have for me. All inquiries will be answered within 24 hours.

 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional editor which is why I charge so little for my services. However, I am an author and currently majoring in English, thus I have extensive knowledge of plot development, characterization, grammar/punctuation rules, and writing in general. I have edited manuscripts in the past and worked closely with professional editors. So, if you’re looking for affordable and competent service, I’m your girl!

Writer’s Corner: Creating Characters

NOTE: Every writer has their own system for creating characters. If you don’t already have a system, I encourage you to use this article and other articles like this to create a process that works for you. The following is a (hopefully) simplified explanation of what I do to create characters that are memorable, deep, and well-rounded.

 

Introduction

When it comes to creating characters (heroes, villains, and supporting characters alike) I have a very organic process that allows me to get to know the characters as I write for them instead of planning every detail before I begin. I know there are a lot of authors out there that write out a whole birth to death biography for each of their characters before they even begin to write; however, I’ve always found this method to be very restrictive. What I start out with is a character sheet. Character sheets are great for constructing characters, and can be used as reference sheet for the future—they really come in handy for when you forget a character’s middle name, or birthday, or general back-story.

Below is the Character Sheet I made for the main Character of my Prince of Prophecy book series. This sheet is for the first book—I’ve had to modify a few things on the sheet for subsequent books.

 

CHARACTER SHEET:

 

Name: Destan Gustav Von Diederich

Gender: Male

Age: 12

Birthdate: 03/23/1802

Birthplace: Rosenstaat, Germany

The above sections, I feel, are pretty self-explanatory. Name, gender, age (at the beginning of the book), birthdate (helps you keep track of the time), and birthplace (if it’s important to the story).

 

Height: 4’11”

Weight: 98 pounds

Eye Color: Light blue

Hair: Long, wavy, golden-blonde hair

Skin Tone: Fair

The above section is for general physical characteristics. Give your character an eye color, hair color, and skin tone. Even if you never reveal those characteristics to the reader, it’s good to have a concrete visual image of your characters when you’re writing for them. Height and weight aren’t really important unless you’re writing for a child who grows over the course of the story (my case), or if height and weight play key roles in your book (for instance if you’re writing a novel about a profession wrestler). Again, you don’t necessarily need to mention these characteristics in your writing, but it really helps to flesh out the characters in your mind.

 

Basic Description 1:

Face: Oval shaped face, high cheek bones, defined jaw, plush lips, proportionate and straight nose, large blue eyes, manicured eyebrows, long and dark eyelashes.

Hair and Skin: fair skin, golden blonde, long wavy hair (healthy), usually tied back in a ponytail to keep it out of his face.

Physique: Four feet, eleven inches tall, 98 pounds, skinny but is showing signs of developing muscle mass.

Appearance Considerations: Frequently assumed younger than he actually is due to his height.

Voice: Pleasant, speaks in a clearly audible tone.

The first part of the basic description is solely to flesh out the physical appearance of your character. These details aren’t exactly necessary, but writing out what my characters look like gives my other characters things to notice besides eye and hair color—which can make a story really monotonous if that’s all you list when introducing new characters.

 

Basic Description 2:

General Characteristics: Curious, open-minded, persistent, integral, vital, kind, fair, humble, prudent, appreciates beauty, gracious, stubborn, hopeful, has a sense of humor, tries to follow the rules but often finds himself straying, responsible, dutiful, studious, easily absorbed in ideas, lacks self-confidence, short-tempered, book smart, lacks proper street smarts, courageous, has trouble letting things go, naïve, has a hard time trusting and opening up to people, bottles his emotions, confidence can be shaken with some prodding, imaginative, unable to turn to others for help, susceptible to intense self-scrutiny and self-doubt, an inability to depend on others, charming, oblivious at times, constantly attempts to prove himself, adventurous, risk-taker.

Basic Description 2 is where you really start decide who your characters are. I modified this list over the course of the first book, starting with just a few general characteristics to get the ball rolling (you definitely don’t want to begin your story with this section completely empty or your character’s probably going to be all over the place). As I get to know more about my characters by writing for them, I add more to the list, thereby making the character more well-rounded and relatable. It doesn’t matter how long or short you make this part, just so long as you stick to the characteristics you wrote down during your first draft. On a last not, make sure you don’t put any contradictory characteristics on the list like: brave and cowardly, or stubborn and agreeable—things like that will just trip you up and confuse your readers by sending mixed signals.

 

Bad Habits / Vices: Impatient, short-tempered, does not like sharing his feelings, blunt at times, his own worst critic, sometimes gullible, holds grudges, has a weakness for pretty things.

Phobias / Fears: That he will never be able to be who he truly wants to be, Nicholas, that he will have to marry Klara, his grandfather dying, not being a good king, making wrong decisions, disappointing his friends and family, disease amongst his friends and family, being weak.

Quirks: Hates snow, fascinated by flowers, clears his throat when he’s uncomfortable or would like to change the topic.

These sections are, by far, what I believe to be the most important when creating a character. Some authors forget that in order for characters to be relatable, they must have flaws. No one’s perfect so your characters shouldn’t be either. Besides, who likes a character who always makes the right decision, never makes mistakes, and fears nothing? Give your protagonist a gambling problem, anger issues, a weakness, an insecurity he/she has to overcome, a phobia of water, or flying, or dogs, or cats, or blue birds—anything to make them feel like real people.

 

Character Role: Main hero (Protagonist)

Occupation: Crown Prince

Culture: German Royalty

Cultural Background: German culture is very strict and formal. Germans are hard workers, firm and to the point.

Ethnic Background: German

Native tongue: German

This section is less for your readers and more for you. Filling in these sections will help you decide how much or how little influence a character’s culture and background have on him/her. Doing a bit of research on this part may prove to be very useful and it will definitely help to make your writing more believable.

 

Hobbies: Strolling the palace gardens, exploring the old castle ruins, exploring his secret room, reading, visiting the village, spending time with his friends, playing tennis, pallie mallie, and golf, reading Greek mythology.

Skills: Sword fighting, novice archer, horseback riding, can fluently speak German and French (in the process of learning English), ballroom dance, knows how to play, tennis, pallie mallie, and golf, knows the names of various plants and flowers, adequate at chess.

Deciding what your character is good at and what he/she does in his/her free time also help to make your character more realistic. After all, we all have interests, things we are good at, and things we do in our spare time—so should your characters.

 

Living Arrangements: Lives at the Palace of Rosenstaat with his grandfather, King Gregory.

Education: Homeschooled by his tutor, Herr Christof.

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual

Family: Gregory Marcellus Von Deiderich (Maternal Grandfather Alive), Nadja Olivia Engelhertz (Maternal Grandmother Dead), Claudius Eisenmann (Paternal Grandfather Dead), Isabella Eisenmann (Paternal Grandmother Dead), Kristiane Margarete Von Deiderich (mother Dead), Klaus Bernhard Eisenmann (Father Dead), Bastian Alfonse Eisenmann (Uncle Alive), Gabriele Brigitta Eisenmann (Aunt Alive),  Philipp Heinrich Abendroth (Uncle by Marriage Alive), Nicholas Sebastian Abendroth (Cousin Alive), Kaspar Johannes Goldschmidt (Step-Cousin Alive), Maria Alexandra Goldschmidt (Step-Aunt Alive).

Relationship with Family: Gets along well with his Grandfather and his Uncle, Bastian. He loved his parents when they were alive and was very close to them; he loves and misses them still. Has a rivalry with his cousin Nicholas—they have never gotten along. Doesn’t speak communication to his Aunt Gabriele and His Uncle Philipp, but gets the feeling that they aren’t very fond of him.

Key Family / Relatives: Gregory, Nicholas *full list omitted for spoilers*

Friends: *list omitted for spoilers*

Relationship with Friends: *omitted for spoilers*

Key Friends: *list omitted for spoilers*

Love interest(s): *omitted for spoilers*

The above section is for a character’s personal information and his/her relationships with his/her friends and family. This may or may not be important to document depending on the story (I’ll leave that up to you), but I like to keep track of things like this—you never know what information you may need to recall as the story progresses. It may also be good to document these things to give your story direction or to develop mini plotlines from.

 

Allies: *list omitted for spoilers*

Enemies: *list omitted for spoilers*

Keep track of who’s on your character’s side and who isn’t—if you have as many characters as I do, trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

 

Key Childhood Experiences: Both his mother and father spent a lot of time with him when he was a child and showered him with love and affection. Both of his parents died from a mysterious disease when he was 7 years old.

Key Teenage Experiences: *omitted for spoilers*

Key Adult Experiences: None yet

Better than reading over the whole character biography, organizing your character’s key experiences will allow you to keep track of what’s important. Use this for information that you intend to revisit frequently in your writing. Be as thorough or as vague as you’d like with this—this is just for your reference.

 

Favorite food: Chocolate cake

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite clothing item: Red Riding Cape (although he doesn’t get the chance to wear it often).

Jewelry: Bellum and a key on a gold chain which he always wears around his neck

Favorite accessories: His father’s sword.

The above section is mostly for fun—you can add these tidbits into your story or keep them out. Deciding upon your character’s favorite things can help you get to know him/her better, thereby making it easier to write for them. By filling this section out you may end up uncovering hidden faucets to their personality (sentimentality, obsessive behavior, immaturity, etc.).

 

Ruling Passion: Living a life he chooses for himself.

Every character should have a ruling person—something that they strive for above all else. Choosing a ruling passion for your characters will help to keep the story focused and moving towards something.

 

Morality / Ethics: Strongly believes that all people should be treated equally (whether they be royalty or not), follows his heart rather than his head, perseveres no matter what (determined).

Use this section to document your character’s morals and ethics—the personal rules which he/she lives by. This establishes boundaries for your characters and lines which they will never cross. Knowing how far your characters will go and how they will react in dire situations is important for many reason. The main reason I feel this section is important is because it helps you to keep your character from acting ‘out of character’ in a stressful situation (that can throw readers off, not to mention annoy them).

 

A Brief History: *omitted for spoilers*

What I do for character bios is write a summary of what happens from the beginning of the character’s life to the start of the story. I wrote Destan’s history after I was finished writing the first draft of the story (which I don’t really recommend). Even if you get to know characters organically by writing for them (like me), it’s a good idea to at least write down a summary of the character’s back-story BEFORE you begin writing for them—believe me, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble on revising the second draft if you do.

 

If you’ve got questions or comments about this post—or if you’d like to contribute your own character creating process—please leave me a message in the comments section below! I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

 

For new Writer’s Corner and fairy tale updates every Wednesday and Saturday, follow this blog!

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s “The Skillful Huntsman”

Gebr¸der Grimm.Quelle: PG 0681f866

There was once a young fellow who had learnt the trade of locksmith,
and told his father he would now go out into the world and seek his
fortune. Very well, said the father, I am quite content with that,
and gave him some money for his journey. So he traveled about and
looked for work. After a time he resolved not to follow the trade of
locksmith any more, for he no longer liked it, but he took a fancy
for hunting.

Then there met him in his rambles a huntsman dressed in green, who
asked whence he came and whither he was going. The youth said he was
a locksmith’s apprentice, but that the trade no longer pleased him,
and he had a liking for huntsmanship, would he teach it to him. “Oh,
yes,” said the huntsman, “if you will go with me.” Then the young
fellow went with him, apprenticed himself to him for some years, and
learnt the art of hunting. After this he wished to try his luck
elsewhere, and the huntsman gave him nothing in the way of payment
but an air-gun, which had, however, this property, that it hit its
mark without fail whenever he shot with it. Then he set out and
found himself in a very large forest, which he could not get to the
end of in one day. When evening came he seated himself in a high
tree in order to escape from the wild beasts.

Towards midnight, it seemed to him as if a tiny little light
glimmered in the distance. Then he looked down through the branches
towards it, and kept well in his mind where it was. But in the first
place he took off his hat and threw it down in the direction of the
light, so that he might go to the hat as a mark when he had
descended. He got down and went to his hat, put it on again and went
straight forwards. The farther he went, the larger the light grew,
and when he got close to it he saw that it was an enormous fire, and
that three giants were sitting by it, who had an ox on the spit, and
were roasting it. Presently one of them said, “I must just taste if
the meat will soon be fit to eat,” and pulled a piece off, and was
about to put it in his mouth when the huntsman shot it out of his
hand. “Well, really,” said the giant, “if the wind has not blown the
bit out of my hand,” and helped himself to another. But when he was
just about to bite into it, the huntsman again shot it away from him.
On this the giant gave the one who was sitting next him a box on the
ear, and cried angrily, “Why are you snatching my piece away from
me?” “I have not snatched it away,” said the other, “a sharpshooter
must have shot it away from you.”

The giant took another piece, but again could not keep it in his
hand, for the huntsman shot it out. Then the giant said, “That must
be a good shot to shoot the bit out of one’s very mouth, such an one
would be useful to us.” And he cried aloud, “Come here, you
sharpshooter, seat yourself at the fire beside us and eat your fill,
we will not hurt you, but if you will not come, and we have to bring
you by force, you are a lost man.”

On this the youth went up to them and told them he was a skilled
huntsman, and that whatever he aimed at with his gun, he was certain
to hit. Then they said if he would go with them he should be well
treated, and they told him that outside the forest there was a great
lake, behind which stood a tower, and in the tower was imprisoned a
lovely princess, whom they wished very much to carry off. “Yes,”
said he, “I will soon get her for you.” Then they added, “But there
is still something else, there is a tiny little dog, which begins to
bark directly any one goes near, and as soon as it barks every one in
the royal palace wakens up, and for this reason we cannot get there,
can you undertake to shoot it dead?” “Yes,” said he, “that will be
quite fun for me.” After this he got into a boat and rowed over the
lake, and as soon as he landed, the little dog came running out, and
was about to bark, but the huntsman took his airgun and shot it dead.

When the giants saw that, they rejoiced, and thought they already had
the king’s daughter safe, but the huntsman wished first to see how
matters stood, and told them that they must stay outside until he
called them. Then he went into the castle, and all was perfectly
quiet within, and every one was asleep. When he opened the door of
the first room, a sword was hanging on the wall which was made of
pure silver, and there was a golden star on it, and the name of the
king, and on a table near it lay a sealed letter which he broke open,
and inside it was written that whosoever had the sword could kill
everything which opposed him. So he took the sword from the wall,
hung it at his side and went onwards, then he entered the room where
the king’s daughter was lying sleeping, and she was so beautiful that
he stood still and, holding his breath, looked at her. He thought to
himself, “How can I give an innocent maiden into the power of the
wild giants, who have evil in their minds?” He looked about further,
and under the bed stood a pair of slippers, on the right one was her
father’s name with a star, and on the left her own name with a star.
She wore also a large scarf of silk embroidered with gold, and on the
right side was her father’s name, and on the left her own, all in
golden letters. Then the huntsman took a pair of scissors and cut
the right corner off, and put it in his knapsack, and then he also
took the right slipper with the king’s name, and thrust that in. Now
the maiden still lay sleeping, and she was quite sewn into her
night-dress, and he cut a morsel from this also, and thrust it in
with the rest, but he did all without touching her.

Then he went forth and left her lying asleep undisturbed, and when he
came to the gate again, the giants were still standing outside
waiting for him, and expecting that he was bringing the princess.
But he cried to them that they were to come in, for the maiden was
already in their power, that he could not open the gate to them, but
there was a hole through which they must creep. Then the first
approached, and the huntsman wound the giant’s hair round his hand,
pulled the head in, and cut it off at one stroke with his sword, and
then drew the rest of him in. He called to the second and cut his
head off likewise, and then he killed the third also, and he was well
pleased that he had freed the beautiful maiden from her enemies, and
he cut out their tongues and put them in his knapsack. Then thought
he, “I will go home to my father and let him see what I have already
done, and afterwards I will travel about the world, the luck which
God is pleased to grant me will easily find me.”

But when the king in the castle awoke, he saw the three giants lying
there dead. So he went into the sleeping-room of his daughter, awoke
her, and asked who could have killed the giants. Then said she, “Dear
father, I know not, I have been asleep.” But when she arose and would
have put on her slippers, the right one was gone, and when she looked
at her scarf it was cut, and the right corner was missing, and when
she looked at her night-dress a piece was cut out of it. The king
summoned his whole court together, soldiers and every one else who
was there, and asked who had set his daughter at liberty, and killed
the giants.

Now it happened that he had a captain, who was one-eyed and a hideous
man, and he said that he had done it. Then the old king said that as
he had accomplished this, he should marry his daughter. But the
maiden said, “Rather than marry him, dear father, I will go away into
the world as far as my legs can carry me.” But the king said that if
she would not marry him she should take off her royal garments and
wear peasant’s clothing, and go forth, and that she should go to a
potter, and begin a trade in earthen vessels.

So she put off her royal apparel, and went to a potter and borrowed
crockery enough for a stall, and she promised him also that if she
had sold it by the evening, she would pay for it. Then the king said
she was to seat herself in a corner with it and sell it, and he
arranged with some peasants to drive over it with their carts, so
that everything should be broken into a thousand pieces. When
therefore the king’s daughter had placed her stall in the street, by
came the carts, and broke all she had into tiny fragments. She began
to weep and said, “Alas, how shall I ever pay for the pots now.” The
king, however, had wished by this to force her to marry the captain;
but instead of that, she again went to the potter, and asked him if
he would lend to her once more. He said, no, she must first pay for
what she already had.

Then she went to her father and cried and lamented, and said she
would go forth into the world. Then said he, “I will have a little
hut built for you in the forest outside, and in it you shall stay all
your life long and cook for every one, but you shall take no money
for it.” When the hut was ready, a sign was hung on the door whereon
was written, to-day given, to-morrow sold. There she remained a long
time, and it was rumored about the world that a maiden was there who
cooked without asking for payment, and that this was set forth on a
sign outside her door.

The huntsman heard it likewise, and thought to himself, that would
suit you. You are poor, and have no money. So he took his air-gun
and his knapsack, wherein all the things which he had formerly
carried away with him from the castle as tokens of his truthfulness
were still lying, and went into the forest, and found the hut with
the sign, to-day given, to-morrow sold. He had put on the sword with
which he had cut off the heads of the three giants, and thus entered
the hut, and ordered something to eat to be given to him. He was
charmed with the beautiful maiden, who was indeed as lovely as any
picture. She asked him whence he came and whither he was going, and
he said, “I am roaming about the world.” Then she asked him where he
had got the sword, for that truly her father’s name was on it. He
asked her if she were the king’s daughter. “Yes,” answered she.
“With this sword,” said he, “did I cut off the heads of three
giants.” And he took their tongues out of his knapsack in proof.
Then he also showed her the slipper, and the corner of the scarf, and
the piece of the night-dress.

Hereupon she was overjoyed, and said that he was the one who had
delivered her. On this they went together to the old king, and
fetched him to the hut, and she led him into her room, and told him
that the huntsman was the man who had really set her free from the
giants. And when the aged king saw all the proofs of this, he could
no longer doubt, and said that he was very glad he knew how
everything had happened, and that the huntsman should have her to
wife, on which the maiden was glad at heart. Then she dressed the
huntsman as if he were a foreign lord, and the king ordered a feast
to be prepared. When they went to table, the captain sat on the left
side of the king’s daughter, but the huntsman was on the right, and
the captain thought he was a foreign lord who had come on a visit.
When they had eaten and drunk, the old king said to the captain that
he would set before him something which he must guess. “Supposing
someone said that he had killed the three giants and he were asked
where the giants, tongues were, and he were forced to go and look,
and there were none in their heads. How could that have happened?”
The captain said, “Then they cannot have had any.” “Not so,” said the
king. “Every animal has a tongue,” and then he likewise asked what
punishment should be meted out to anyone who made such an answer.
The captain replied, “He ought to be torn in pieces.” Then the king
said he had pronounced his own sentence, and the captain was put in
prison and then torn in four pieces, but the king’s daughter was
married to the huntsman. After this he brought his father and mother,
and they lived with their son in happiness, and after the death of
the old king he received the kingdom.

 

Sorry this is a little late guys–I’ve been working so hard on The Prince of Prophecy Vol. II: Cursed, that I nearly forgot to update! For new fairy tale updates every Wednesday and Saturday, follow this blog! New Cursed details to come soon! ;D

Writer’s Corner: Taking Criticism LIKE A BOSS

No matter what kind of artist you are—painter, sculptor, animator, musician, and, of course, writer—you’re going to receive criticism at some point in your career. In fact, you’re going to receive criticism as long as you are creating something that is subjective to each individual who crosses the path of your works. I’m not going to lie, the criticism will hurt, and sometimes it’s going to hurt so badly you’ll question what you’re doing and even consider quitting. There are some talented artists out there who have quit due to someone else’s critical remarks.

I’m not here to tell you that the criticism is going to magically disappear someday, or that everyone will come to know the genius of your work in time, because that simply isn’t the case. You, my friend, are an artist, and as such that title comes with certain harsh realities. With the possibility of great success there is also the possibility of great failure—you’ve just got to learn how to pick yourself up after you’ve been knocked down.

So, how do you, a talent artist, take other people’s negative comments about your work in stride? Understand that what you do is subjective to the tastes of others—some people may love your work and others may hate it. That’s art. I know it’s difficult, but you can’t let yourself be discouraged by the opinions of others.

So you found someone who hates your work; you’ll find ten others who’ll think it’s absolutely brilliant. You’ve just got to keep on keeping on and you’ll find people who will appreciate your hard work.

 

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

 

Once you get the hang of it, sloughing off negative comments about your work becomes easy; however, there is a certain type of criticism that one should not take so lightly. It’s not much of a punch line after the bold heading above, but what I’m talking about is constructive criticism. Speaking as an author who has gone through the editing process twice, it’s sometimes difficult to be told “I don’t like when your character does this” or “this part really slowed down the story and made it less interesting” (Ugh! My poor heart!).

But again, even suggested content edits are subjective. One person may really like a scene, while another person may think it slows down the pace of the book. If you don’t completely agree with the constructive criticism being offered, get the opinions of others. My rule is, if I hear the same piece of constructive criticism from two different people I consider changing it. If I hear the same piece of constructive criticism from more than two people, I will change it.

Remember, first and foremost, constructive criticism is not meant to discourage you, it’s meant to help you improve. Take what you learn and apply it to make your writing even more awesome than it already is—you’ll be surprised at how much your stories will improve once you do!

 

As far as mean comments go, ignore them. “Haters gonna hate”, as they say. Never let anyone discourage you from doing the things that you love because there are people out there who will appreciate your tireless efforts—all you have to do is keep working hard and never give up! On a less cheesy note, your haters are going to feel really stupid about dissing you once you’re rich and famous. ;D

 

For new fairy tale and writer’s corner updates every Wednesday and Saturday, follow this blog!

Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Garden of Paradise”

dulac_garden4_branches

THERE was once a king’s son who had a larger and more beautiful collection of books than any one else in the world, and full of splendid copper-plate engravings. He could read and obtain information respecting every people of every land; but not a word could he find to explain the situation of the garden of paradise, and this was just what he most wished to know. His grandmother had told him when he was quite a little boy, just old enough to go to school, that each flower in the garden of paradise was a sweet cake, that the pistils were full of rich wine, that on one flower history was written, on another geography or tables; so those who wished to learn their lessons had only to eat some of the cakes, and the more they ate, the more history, geography, or tables they knew. He believed it all then; but as he grew older, and learnt more and more, he became wise enough to understand that the splendor of the garden of paradise must be very different to all this. “Oh, why did Eve pluck the fruit from the tree of knowledge? why did Adam eat the forbidden fruit?” thought the king’s son: “if I had been there it would never have happened, and there would have been no sin in the world.” The garden of paradise occupied all his thoughts till he reached his seventeenth year.

One day he was walking alone in the wood, which was his greatest pleasure, when evening came on. The clouds gathered, and the rain poured down as if the sky had been a waterspout; and it was as dark as the bottom of a well at midnight; sometimes he slipped over the smooth grass, or fell over stones that projected out of the rocky ground. Every thing was dripping with moisture, and the poor prince had not a dry thread about him. He was obliged at last to climb over great blocks of stone, with water spurting from the thick moss. He began to feel quite faint, when he heard a most singular rushing noise, and saw before him a large cave, from which came a blaze of light. In the middle of the cave an immense fire was burning, and a noble stag, with its branching horns, was placed on a spit between the trunks of two pine-trees. It was turning slowly before the fire, and an elderly woman, as large and strong as if she had been a man in disguise, sat by, throwing one piece of wood after another into the flames.

“Come in,” she said to the prince; “sit down by the fire and dry yourself.”

“There is a great draught here,” said the prince, as he seated himself on the ground.

“It will be worse when my sons come home,” replied the woman; “you are now in the cavern of the Winds, and my sons are the four Winds of heaven: can you understand that?”

“Where are your sons?” asked the prince.

“It is difficult to answer stupid questions,” said the woman. “My sons have plenty of business on hand; they are playing at shuttlecock with the clouds up yonder in the king’s hall,” and she pointed upwards.

“Oh, indeed,” said the prince; “but you speak more roughly and harshly and are not so gentle as the women I am used to.”

“Yes, that is because they have nothing else to do; but I am obliged to be harsh, to keep my boys in order, and I can do it, although they are so head-strong. Do you see those four sacks hanging on the wall? Well, they are just as much afraid of those sacks, as you used to be of the rat behind the looking-glass. I can bend the boys together, and put them in the sacks without any resistance on their parts, I can tell you. There they stay, and dare not attempt to come out until I allow them to do so. And here comes one of them.”

It was the North Wind who came in, bringing with him a cold, piercing blast; large hailstones rattled on the floor, and snowflakes were scattered around in all directions. He wore a bearskin dress and cloak. His sealskin cap was drawn over his ears, long icicles hung from his beard, and one hailstone after another rolled from the collar of his jacket.

“Don’t go too near the fire,” said the prince, “or your hands and face will be frost-bitten.”

“Frost-bitten!” said the North Wind, with a loud laugh; “why frost is my greatest delight. What sort of a little snip are you, and how did you find your way to the cavern of the Winds?”

“He is my guest,” said the old woman, “and if you are not satisfied with that explanation you can go into the sack. Do you understand me?”

That settled the matter. So the North Wind began to relate his adventures, whence he came, and where he had been for a whole month. “I come from the polar seas,” he said; “I have been on the Bear’s Island with the Russian walrus-hunters. I sat and slept at the helm of their ship, as they sailed away from North Cape. Sometimes when I woke, the storm-birds would fly about my legs. They are curious birds; they give one flap with their wings, and then on their outstretched pinions soar far away.”

“Don’t make such a long story of it,” said the mother of the winds; “what sort of a place is Bear’s Island?”

“A very beautiful place, with a floor for dancing as smooth and flat as a plate. Half-melted snow, partly covered with moss, sharp stones, and skeletons of walruses and polar-bears, lie all about, their gigantic limbs in a state of green decay. It would seem as if the sun never shone there. I blew gently, to clear away the mist, and then I saw a little hut, which had been built from the wood of a wreck, and was covered with the skins of the walrus, the fleshy side outwards; it looked green and red, and on the roof sat a growling bear. Then I went to the sea shore, to look after birds’ nests, and saw the unfledged nestlings opening their mouths and screaming for food. I blew into the thousand little throats, and quickly stopped their screaming. Farther on were the walruses with pig’s heads, and teeth a yard long, rolling about like great worms.”

“You relate your adventures very well, my son,” said the mother, “it makes my mouth water to hear you.

“After that,” continued the North Wind, “the hunting commenced. The harpoon was flung into the breast of the walrus, so that a smoking stream of blood spurted forth like a fountain, and besprinkled the ice. Then I thought of my own game; I began to blow, and set my own ships, the great icebergs sailing, so that they might crush the boats. Oh, how the sailors howled and cried out! but I howled louder than they. They were obliged to unload their cargo, and throw their chests and the dead walruses on the ice. Then I sprinkled snow over them, and left them in their crushed boats to drift southward, and to taste salt water. They will never return to Bear’s Island.”

“So you have done mischief,” said the mother of the Winds.

“I shall leave others to tell the good I have done,” he replied. “But here comes my brother from the West; I like him best of all, for he has the smell of the sea about him, and brings in a cold, fresh air as he enters.”

“Is that the little Zephyr?” asked the prince.

“Yes, it is the little Zephyr,” said the old woman; “but he is not little now. In years gone by he was a beautiful boy; now that is all past.”

He came in, looking like a wild man, and he wore a slouched hat to protect his head from injury. In his hand he carried a club, cut from a mahogany tree in the American forests, not a trifle to carry.

“Whence do you come?” asked the mother.

“I come from the wilds of the forests, where the thorny brambles form thick hedges between the trees; where the water-snake lies in the wet grass, and mankind seem to be unknown.”

“What were you doing there?”

“I looked into the deep river, and saw it rushing down from the rocks. The water drops mounted to the clouds and glittered in the rainbow. I saw the wild buffalo swimming in the river, but the strong tide carried him away amidst a flock of wild ducks, which flew into the air as the waters dashed onwards, leaving the buffalo to be hurled over the waterfall. This pleased me; so I raised a storm, which rooted up old trees, and sent them floating down the river.”

“And what else have you done?” asked the old woman.

“I have rushed wildly across the savannahs; I have stroked the wild horses, and shaken the cocoa-nuts from the trees. Yes, I have many stories to relate; but I need not tell everything I know. You know it all very well, don’t you, old lady?” And he kissed his mother so roughly, that she nearly fell backwards. Oh, he was, indeed, a wild fellow.

Now in came the South Wind, with a turban and a flowing Bedouin cloak.

“How cold it is here!” said he, throwing more wood on the fire. “It is easy to feel that the North Wind has arrived here before me.”

“Why it is hot enough here to roast a bear,” said the North Wind.

“You are a bear yourself,” said the other.

“Do you want to be put in the sack, both of you?” said the old woman. “Sit down, now, on that stone, yonder, and tell me where you have been.”

“In Africa, mother. I went out with the Hottentots, who were lion-hunting in the Kaffir land, where the plains are covered with grass the color of a green olive; and here I ran races with the ostrich, but I soon outstripped him in swiftness. At last I came to the desert, in which lie the golden sands, looking like the bottom of the sea. Here I met a caravan, and the travellers had just killed their last camel, to obtain water; there was very little for them, and they continued their painful journey beneath the burning sun, and over the hot sands, which stretched before them a vast, boundless desert. Then I rolled myself in the loose sand, and whirled it in burning columns over their heads. The dromedarys stood still in terror, while the merchants drew their caftans over their heads, and threw themselves on the ground before me, as they do before Allah, their god. Then I buried them beneath a pyramid of sand, which covers them all. When I blow that away on my next visit, the sun will bleach their bones, and travellers will see that others have been there before them; otherwise, in such a wild desert, they might not believe it possible.”

“So you have done nothing but evil,” said the mother. “Into the sack with you;” and, before he was aware, she had seized the South Wind round the body, and popped him into the bag. He rolled about on the floor, till she sat herself upon him to keep him still.

“These boys of yours are very lively,” said the prince.

“Yes,” she replied, “but I know how to correct them, when necessary; and here comes the fourth.” In came the East Wind, dressed like a Chinese.

“Oh, you come from that quarter, do you?” said she; “I thought you had been to the garden of paradise.”

“I am going there to-morrow,” he replied; “I have not been there for a hundred years. I have just come from China, where I danced round the porcelain tower till all the bells jingled again. In the streets an official flogging was taking place, and bamboo canes were being broken on the shoulders of men of every high position, from the first to the ninth grade. They cried, ‘Many thanks, my fatherly benefactor;’ but I am sure the words did not come from their hearts, so I rang the bells till they sounded, ‘ding, ding-dong.’”

“You are a wild boy,” said the old woman; “it is well for you that you are going to-morrow to the garden of paradise; you always get improved in your education there. Drink deeply from the fountain of wisdom while you are there, and bring home a bottleful for me.”

“That I will,” said the East Wind; “but why have you put my brother South in a bag? Let him out; for I want him to tell me about the phoenix-bird. The princess always wants to hear of this bird when I pay her my visit every hundred years. If you will open the sack, sweetest mother, I will give you two pocketfuls of tea, green and fresh as when I gathered it from the spot where it grew.”

“Well, for the sake of the tea, and because you are my own boy, I will open the bag.”

She did so, and the South Wind crept out, looking quite cast down, because the prince had seen his disgrace.

“There is a palm-leaf for the princess,” he said. “The old phoenix, the only one in the world, gave it to me himself. He has scratched on it with his beak the whole of his history during the hundred years he has lived. She can there read how the old phoenix set fire to his own nest, and sat upon it while it was burning, like a Hindoo widow. The dry twigs around the nest crackled and smoked till the flames burst forth and consumed the phoenix to ashes. Amidst the fire lay an egg, red hot, which presently burst with a loud report, and out flew a young bird. He is the only phoenix in the world, and the king over all the other birds. He has bitten a hole in the leaf which I give you, and that is his greeting to the princess.”

“Now let us have something to eat,” said the mother of the Winds. So they all sat down to feast on the roasted stag; and as the prince sat by the side of the East Wind, they soon became good friends.

“Pray tell me,” said the prince, “who is that princess of whom you have been talking! and where lies the garden of paradise?”

“Ho! ho!” said the East Wind, “would you like to go there? Well, you can fly off with me to-morrow; but I must tell you one thing—no human being has been there since the time of Adam and Eve. I suppose you have read of them in your Bible.”

“Of course I have,” said the prince.

“Well,” continued the East Wind, “when they were driven out of the garden of paradise, it sunk into the earth; but it retained its warm sunshine, its balmy air, and all its splendor. The fairy queen lives there, in the island of happiness, where death never comes, and all is beautiful. I can manage to take you there to-morrow, if you will sit on my back. But now don’t talk any more, for I want to go to sleep;” and then they all slept.

When the prince awoke in the early morning, he was not a little surprised at finding himself high up above the clouds. He was seated on the back of the East Wind, who held him faithfully; and they were so high in the air that woods and fields, rivers and lakes, as they lay beneath them, looked like a painted map.

“Good morning,” said the East Wind. “You might have slept on a while; for there is very little to see in the flat country over which we are passing unless you like to count the churches; they look like spots of chalk on a green board.” The green board was the name he gave to the green fields and meadows.

“It was very rude of me not to say good-bye to your mother and your brothers,” said the prince.

“They will excuse you, as you were asleep,” said the East Wind; and then they flew on faster than ever.

The leaves and branches of the trees rustled as they passed. When they flew over seas and lakes, the waves rose higher, and the large ships dipped into the water like diving swans. As darkness came on, towards evening, the great towns looked charming; lights were sparkling, now seen now hidden, just as the sparks go out one after another on a piece of burnt paper. The prince clapped his hands with pleasure; but the East Wind advised him not to express his admiration in that manner, or he might fall down, and find himself hanging on a church steeple. The eagle in the dark forests flies swiftly; but faster than he flew the East Wind. The Cossack, on his small horse, rides lightly o’er the plains; but lighter still passed the prince on the winds of the wind.

“There are the Himalayas, the highest mountains in Asia,” said the East Wind. “We shall soon reach the garden of paradise now.”

Then, they turned southward, and the air became fragrant with the perfume of spices and flowers. Here figs and pomegranates grew wild, and the vines were covered with clusters of blue and purple grapes. Here they both descended to the earth, and stretched themselves on the soft grass, while the flowers bowed to the breath of the wind as if to welcome it. “Are we now in the garden of paradise?” asked the prince.

“No, indeed,” replied the East Wind; “but we shall be there very soon. Do you see that wall of rocks, and the cavern beneath it, over which the grape vines hang like a green curtain? Through that cavern we must pass. Wrap your cloak round you; for while the sun scorches you here, a few steps farther it will be icy cold. The bird flying past the entrance to the cavern feels as if one wing were in the region of summer, and the other in the depths of winter.”

“So this then is the way to the garden of paradise?” asked the prince, as they entered the cavern. It was indeed cold; but the cold soon passed, for the East Wind spread his wings, and they gleamed like the brightest fire. As they passed on through this wonderful cave, the prince could see great blocks of stone, from which water trickled, hanging over their heads in fantastic shapes. Sometimes it was so narrow that they had to creep on their hands and knees, while at other times it was lofty and wide, like the free air. It had the appearance of a chapel for the dead, with petrified organs and silent pipes. “We seem to be passing through the valley of death to the garden of paradise,” said the prince.

But the East Wind answered not a word, only pointed forwards to a lovely blue light which gleamed in the distance. The blocks of stone assumed a misty appearance, till at last they looked like white clouds in moonlight. The air was fresh and balmy, like a breeze from the mountains perfumed with flowers from a valley of roses. A river, clear as the air itself, sparkled at their feet, while in its clear depths could be seen gold and silver fish sporting in the bright water, and purple eels emitting sparks of fire at every moment, while the broad leaves of the water-lilies, that floated on its surface, flickered with all the colors of the rainbow. The flower in its color of flame seemed to receive its nourishment from the water, as a lamp is sustained by oil. A marble bridge, of such exquisite workmanship that it appeared as if formed of lace and pearls, led to the island of happiness, in which bloomed the garden of paradise. The East Wind took the prince in his arms, and carried him over, while the flowers and the leaves sang the sweet songs of his childhood in tones so full and soft that no human voice could venture to imitate. Within the garden grew large trees, full of sap; but whether they were palm-trees or gigantic water-plants, the prince knew not. The climbing plants hung in garlands of green and gold, like the illuminations on the margins of old missals or twined among the initial letters. Birds, flowers, and festoons appeared intermingled in seeming confusion. Close by, on the grass, stood a group of peacocks, with radiant tails outspread to the sun. The prince touched them, and found, to his surprise, that they were not really birds, but the leaves of the burdock tree, which shone with the colors of a peacock’s tail. The lion and the tiger, gentle and tame, were springing about like playful cats among the green bushes, whose perfume was like the fragrant blossom of the olive. The plumage of the wood-pigeon glistened like pearls as it struck the lion’s mane with its wings; while the antelope, usually so shy, stood near, nodding its head as if it wished to join in the frolic. The fairy of paradise next made her appearance. Her raiment shone like the sun, and her serene countenance beamed with happiness like that of a mother rejoicing over her child. She was young and beautiful, and a train of lovely maidens followed her, each wearing a bright star in her hair. The East Wind gave her the palm-leaf, on which was written the history of the phoenix; and her eyes sparkled with joy. She then took the prince by the hand, and led him into her palace, the walls of which were richly colored, like a tulip-leaf when it is turned to the sun. The roof had the appearance of an inverted flower, and the colors grew deeper and brighter to the gazer. The prince walked to a window, and saw what appeared to be the tree of knowledge of good and evil, with Adam and Eve standing by, and the serpent near them. “I thought they were banished from paradise,” he said.

The princess smiled, and told him that time had engraved each event on a window-pane in the form of a picture; but, unlike other pictures, all that it represented lived and moved,—the leaves rustled, and the persons went and came, as in a looking-glass. He looked through another pane, and saw the ladder in Jacob’s dream, on which the angels were ascending and descending with outspread wings. All that had ever happened in the world here lived and moved on the panes of glass, in pictures such as time alone could produce. The fairy now led the prince into a large, lofty room with transparent walls, through which the light shone. Here were portraits, each one appearing more beautiful than the other—millions of happy beings, whose laughter and song mingled in one sweet melody: some of these were in such an elevated position that they appeared smaller than the smallest rosebud, or like pencil dots on paper. In the centre of the hall stood a tree, with drooping branches, from which hung golden apples, both great and small, looking like oranges amid the green leaves. It was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, from which Adam and Eve had plucked and eaten the forbidden fruit, and from each leaf trickled a bright red dewdrop, as if the tree were weeping tears of blood for their sin. “Let us now take the boat,” said the fairy: “a sail on the cool waters will refresh us. But we shall not move from the spot, although the boat may rock on the swelling water; the countries of the world will glide before us, but we shall remain still.”

It was indeed wonderful to behold. First came the lofty Alps, snow-clad, and covered with clouds and dark pines. The horn resounded, and the shepherds sang merrily in the valleys. The banana-trees bent their drooping branches over the boat, black swans floated on the water, and singular animals and flowers appeared on the distant shore. New Holland, the fifth division of the world, now glided by, with mountains in the background, looking blue in the distance. They heard the song of the priests, and saw the wild dance of the savage to the sound of the drums and trumpets of bone; the pyramids of Egypt rising to the clouds; columns and sphinxes, overthrown and buried in the sand, followed in their turn; while the northern lights flashed out over the extinguished volcanoes of the north, in fireworks none could imitate.

The prince was delighted, and yet he saw hundreds of other wonderful things more than can be described. “Can I stay here forever?” asked he.

“That depends upon yourself,” replied the fairy. “If you do not, like Adam, long for what is forbidden, you can remain here always.”

“I should not touch the fruit on the tree of knowledge,” said the prince; there is abundance of fruit equally beautiful.”

“Examine your own heart,” said the princess, “and if you do not feel sure of its strength, return with the East Wind who brought you. He is about to fly back, and will not return here for a hundred years. The time will not seem to you more than a hundred hours, yet even that is a long time for temptation and resistance. Every evening, when I leave you, I shall be obliged to say, ‘Come with me,’ and to beckon to you with my hand. But you must not listen, nor move from your place to follow me; for with every step you will find your power to resist weaker. If once you attempted to follow me, you would soon find yourself in the hall, where grows the tree of knowledge, for I sleep beneath its perfumed branches. If you stooped over me, I should be forced to smile. If you then kissed my lips, the garden of paradise would sink into the earth, and to you it would be lost. A keen wind from the desert would howl around you; cold rain fall on your head, and sorrow and woe be your future lot.”

“I will remain,” said the prince.

So the East Wind kissed him on the forehead, and said, “Be firm; then shall we meet again when a hundred years have passed. Farewell, farewell.” Then the East Wind spread his broad pinions, which shone like the lightning in harvest, or as the northern lights in a cold winter.

“Farewell, farewell,” echoed the trees and the flowers.

Storks and pelicans flew after him in feathery bands, to accompany him to the boundaries of the garden.

“Now we will commence dancing,” said the fairy; “and when it is nearly over at sunset, while I am dancing with you, I shall make a sign, and ask you to follow me: but do not obey. I shall be obliged to repeat the same thing for a hundred years; and each time, when the trial is past, if you resist, you will gain strength, till resistance becomes easy, and at last the temptation will be quite overcome. This evening, as it will be the first time, I have warned you.”

After this the fairy led him into a large hall, filled with transparent lilies. The yellow stamina of each flower formed a tiny golden harp, from which came forth strains of music like the mingled tones of flute and lyre. Beautiful maidens, slender and graceful in form, and robed in transparent gauze, floated through the dance, and sang of the happy life in the garden of paradise, where death never entered, and where all would bloom forever in immortal youth. As the sun went down, the whole heavens became crimson and gold, and tinted the lilies with the hue of roses. Then the beautiful maidens offered to the prince sparkling wine; and when he had drank, he felt happiness greater than he had ever known before. Presently the background of the hall opened and the tree of knowledge appeared, surrounded by a halo of glory that almost blinded him. Voices, soft and lovely as his mother’s sounded in his ears, as if she were singing to him, “My child, my beloved child.” Then the fairy beckoned to him, and said in sweet accents, “Come with me, come with me.” Forgetting his promise, forgetting it even on the very first evening, he rushed towards her, while she continued to beckon to him and to smile. The fragrance around him overpowered his senses, the music from the harps sounded more entrancing, while around the tree appeared millions of smiling faces, nodding and singing. “Man should know everything; man is the lord of the earth.” The tree of knowledge no longer wept tears of blood, for the dewdrops shone like glittering stars.

“Come, come,” continued that thrilling voice, and the prince followed the call. At every step his cheeks glowed, and the blood rushed wildly through his veins. “I must follow,” he cried; “it is not a sin, it cannot be, to follow beauty and joy. I only want to see her sleep, and nothing will happen unless I kiss her, and that I will not do, for I have strength to resist, and a determined will.”

The fairy threw off her dazzling attire, bent back the boughs, and in another moment was hidden among them.

“I have not sinned yet,” said the prince, “and I will not;” and then he pushed aside the boughs to follow the princess. She was lying already asleep, beautiful as only a fairy in the garden of paradise could be. She smiled as he bent over her, and he saw tears trembling out of her beautiful eyelashes. “Do you weep for me?” he whispered. “Oh weep not, thou loveliest of women. Now do I begin to understand the happiness of paradise; I feel it to my inmost soul, in every thought. A new life is born within me. One moment of such happiness is worth an eternity of darkness and woe.” He stooped and kissed the tears from her eyes, and touched her lips with his.

A clap of thunder, loud and awful, resounded through the trembling air. All around him fell into ruin. The lovely fairy, the beautiful garden, sunk deeper and deeper. The prince saw it sinking down in the dark night till it shone only like a star in the distance beneath him. Then he felt a coldness, like death, creeping over him; his eyes closed, and he became insensible.

When he recovered, a chilling rain was beating upon him, and a sharp wind blew on his head. “Alas! what have I done?” he sighed; “I have sinned like Adam, and the garden of paradise has sunk into the earth.” He opened his eyes, and saw the star in the distance, but it was the morning star in heaven which glittered in the darkness.

Presently he stood up and found himself in the depths of the forest, close to the cavern of the Winds, and the mother of the Winds sat by his side. She looked angry, and raised her arm in the air as she spoke. “The very first evening!” she said. “Well, I expected it! If you were my son, you should go into the sack.”

“And there he will have to go at last,” said a strong old man, with large black wings, and a scythe in his hand, whose name was Death. “He shall be laid in his coffin, but not yet. I will allow him to wander about the world for a while, to atone for his sin, and to give him time to become better. But I shall return when he least expects me. I shall lay him in a black coffin, place it on my head, and fly away with it beyond the stars. There also blooms a garden of paradise, and if he is good and pious he will be admitted; but if his thoughts are bad, and his heart is full of sin, he will sink with his coffin deeper than the garden of paradise has sunk. Once in every thousand years I shall go and fetch him, when he will either be condemned to sink still deeper, or be raised to a happier life in the world beyond the stars.”

 

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