The Yellow Fairy Book
Alphege, Or The Green Monkey
Many years ago there lived a King, who was twice married. His first wife, a good
and beautiful woman, died at the birth of her little son, and the King her husband
was so overwhelmed with grief at her loss that his only comfort was in the sight
of his heir.
When the time for the young Prince's christening came the King chose as
godmother a neighbouring Princess, so celebrated for her wisdom and goodness
that she was commonly called 'the Good Queen.' She named the baby Alphege,
and from that moment took him to her heart.
Time wipes away the greatest griefs, and after two or three years the King
married again. His second wife was a Princess of undeniable beauty, but by no
means of so amiable a disposition as the first Queen. In due time a second
Prince was born, and the Queen was devoured with rage at the thought that
Prince Alphege came between her son and the throne. She took care however to
conceal her jealous feelings from the King.
At length she could control herself no longer, so she sent a trusty servant to her
old and faithful friend the Fairy of the Mountain, to beg her to devise some means
by which she might get rid of her stepson.
The Fairy replied that, much as she desired to be agreeable to the Queen in
every way, it was impossible for her to attempt anything against the young
Prince, who was under the protection of some greater Power than her own.
The 'Good Queen' on her side watched carefully over her godson. She was
obliged to do so from a distance, her own country being a remote one, but she
was well informed of all that went on and knew all about the Queen's wicked
designs. She therefore sent the Prince a large and splendid ruby, with injunctions
to wear it night and day as it would protect him from all attacks, but added that