The Blue Fairy Book
The Wonderful Sheep
ONCE upon a time--in the days when the fairies lived-- there was a king who had
three daughters, who were all young, and clever, and beautiful; but the youngest
of the three, who was called Miranda, was the prettiest and the most beloved.
The King, her father, gave her more dresses and jewels in a month than he gave
the others in a year; but she was so generous that she shared everything with
her sisters, and they were all as happy and as fond of one another as they could
Now, the King had some quarrelsome neighbors, who, tired of leaving him in
peace, began to make war upon him so fiercely that he feared he would be
altogether beaten if he did not make an effort to defend himself. So he collected
a great army and set off to fight them, leaving the Princesses with their
governess in a castle where news of the war was brought every day--sometimes
that the King had taken a town, or won a battle, and, at last, that he had
altogether overcome his enemies and chased them out of his kingdom, and was
coming back to the castle as quickly as possible, to see his dear little Miranda
whom he loved so much.
The three Princesses put on dresses of satin, which they had had made on
purpose for this great occasion, one green, one blue, and the third white; their
jewels were the same colors. The eldest wore emeralds, the second turquoises,
and the youngest diamonds, and thus adorned they went to meet the King,
singing verses which they had composed about his victories.
When he saw them all so beautiful and so gay he embraced them tenderly, but
gave Miranda more kisses than either of the others.