The Red Fairy Book

Author: Andrew Lang


They went down, down, down, till at last they came to a passage with a door at one end, which was only fastened with a latch. The eldest Princess opened it, and they found themselves immediately in a lovely little wood, where the leaves were spangled with drops of silver which shone in the brilliant light of the moon.

They next crossed another wood where the leaves were sprinkled with gold, and after that another still, where the leaves glittered with diamonds.

At last the Star Gazer perceived a large lake, and on the shores of the lake twelve little boats with awnings, in which were seated twelve princes, who, grasping their oars, awaited the princesses.

Each princess entered one of the boats, and Michael slipped into that which held the youngest. The boats glided along rapidly, but Lina’s, from being heavier, was always behind the rest. `We never went so slowly before,’ said the Princess; `what can be the reason?’

`I don’t know,’ answered the Prince. `I assure you I am rowing as hard as I can.’

On the other side of the lake the garden boy saw a beautiful castle splendidly illuminated, whence came the lively music of fiddles, kettle-drums, and trumpets.

In a moment they touched land, and the company jumped out of the boats; and the princes, after having securely fastened their barques, gave their arms to the princesses and conducted them to the castle.


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Chicago: Andrew Lang, "VII," The Red Fairy Book, ed. Altemus, Henry in The Red Fairy Book Original Sources, accessed March 29, 2023,

MLA: Lang, Andrew. "VII." The Red Fairy Book, edited by Altemus, Henry, in The Red Fairy Book, Original Sources. 29 Mar. 2023.

Harvard: Lang, A, 'VII' in The Red Fairy Book, ed. . cited in , The Red Fairy Book. Original Sources, retrieved 29 March 2023, from