The featured stamp of Monaco says it all… Let’s go back to our storytimes!
Once upon a time, there lived a good king and his queen. They had no children for many years and were very sad.
Then one day, the queen gave birth to a lovely baby girl and the whole kingdom was happy. There was a grand celebration and all the fairies in the kingdom were invited. But the king forgot to invite an old fairy. She came to the celebrations but was very angry. Soon it was time to gift the baby with special wishes. The good fairies wished her well and said, “May she grow to be the most beautiful girl in the world! She will sing sweetly and dance so well! She will live happily!” All the fairies blessed the baby and gave her beautiful gifts.
When it was the old fairy’s turn, she said, “When the baby is sixteen she will touch a spindle, and die!” The king and queen were shocked and begged the fairy to forgive them and take her words back but the fairy refused to do so. When the other fairies saw the king and queen crying, they said, “We cannot undo what the old fairy has spoken. But we certainly can make it different. Your child shall not die when she touches the spindle. But she will fall into a deep sleep for a hundred years. Then, a prince will come along and wake her up.” Hearing this, the king and the queen were relieved. The king forbade everyone from spinning so that the princess would never touch a spindle.
The princess grew up to be a kind girl and helped people in need. Everybody loved her. Years passed. When the princess was sixteen years old, she was walking in the woods when she saw an old lady spinning. “What is this? May I try?” she asked The old lady said, “Of course, my pretty little child!” And the princess sat down to spin. But the moment she touched the spindle, she fell to the floor in a deep slumber. The old lady took her back to the palace and the king and queen laid her on her bed and tucked her in. They were very sad and called the good fairies. The fairies felt sorry for them and cast a spell over the whole kingdom so that when the princess woke up after a hundred years, she would not be alone in the palace. Everyone, including the guards and the servants and the animals, was now fast asleep. For a hundred years, they all slept soundly.
A hundred years passed. There came a prince from a far off land. He, along with his servants, went deep into the forest and crossed many rivers. Once the prince lost his way and was separated from the rest of the travellers. He came to the sleeping kingdom and was amazed. The guards, the servants, the cats and the cows were all fast asleep and snoring.
The prince reached the palace and entered it. No one moved. The prince then found the sleeping princess. She was such a beautiful girl that the prince kissed her. By that time, a hundred years had passed by and everyone was waking up, one by one. The princess yawned and opened her eyes. She saw the prince and smiled. She asked him “Are you, my prince?” He was happy to hear her speak. The prince and the princess fell in love with each other.
This tale has also been adapted by Disney studios in 1959! Sleeping beauty is our all-time favourite story and we just can’t get enough of it.
Picture Courtesy: My philately