'No! no! I am not going to be duped and deceived,' said the Prince. 'Come! come, my great frogs! I want to depart at once.'

'You cannot depart without my consent, said the Fairy, and she immediately touched his feet and they became glued to the floor.

'I will not,' said the Prince, 'have any other than my Princess Florine; on that I am resolved, and all you say and do will not change me one little bit.'

Soussio became sweet and used every art in her power to induce the Prince to marry Truitonne. Truitonne cried, raved, and begged; but the Prince would not say one single word to her; he only looked at her with indignant eyes and replied not a word to all her overtures.

He passed twenty days and twenty nights like this. At last the Fairy was so tired of it all that she said to the Prince, 'Very well; you are obstinate, and will not listen to reason, and will not keep your word and marry my godchild!'

The Prince, who had not spoken a word, at last replied: 'Do to me what you will, but deliver me from the dullness of this place!'

'Dullness!' cried Truitonne; 'bother you! You have done me a great injury in coming here to my country and giving me your word and then breaking it.'

'Listen to the touching words,' said the Prince in sarcasm. 'See what I have lost in refusing to take so beautiful a woman for my wife.'

'No! no!' replied Soussio, 'she shall never be that, and for your insult to her you shall fly through this window, and remain a Blue Bird for seven years. Do you hear me? - a Blue Bird for seven years.'

Immediately the Prince began to change, and his arms became covered with feathers, and he became a Blue Bird; his eyes became bright, and on his head a great white plume arose like a crown - and he flew away through the window.

In his sad mood he flew from branch to branch, warbling his song of sorrow and his love for Florine, and deploring the awful wickedness of their enemies. He thought that he was doomed for seven years, and that Florine would be married to another.

When Truitonne returned to the Queen and told her all that had happened she flew into a terrible temper. She resolved to punish the poor Florine for having engaged the love of Prince Charming. So she dressed the Princess Truitonne in all her grandeur, and on her finger was the ring given her by the Prince; and, when Florine saw this, she knew that the ring belonged to her Prince. The Queen then announced to all that her daughter was engaged to Prince Charming, and that he loved her to distraction. Florine did not doubt the truth of it all. When she realised that she would never marry her Prince Charming, she cried all the night, and sat at the little window nursing her regrets. And, when the day arrived for the marriage, she shut the window and continued to cry.

During this time the Blue Bird, or Prince Charming, did not cease to fly round the castle. The Princess sat at the window and every night entreated that she might be delivered. 'O wicked Queen!' she cried, 'to keep me shut up like this because of Prince Charming!'

The Blue Bird heard this and did not lose a word, but waited to see who the lady was who had such a sorry plaint. But she shut the window and retired. The Blue Bird, curious to see and to hear some more, came again the following night, and again there was a maiden at the window who was full of regrets.

'Fortune!' said she, 'you have taken from me the love of my father. I have received a blow at a tender age; and it is so much pain that I am tired of living. I demand with all my heart that my fatal destiny may end.'

The Blue Bird

The Blue Bird

The Prince took a carriage drawn by three great frogs with great big wings .... Truitonne came out mysteriously by a little door.

The Blue Bird listened, and then he knew that it was his Princess, and he said: 'Florine, a King who loves you will never love any one but you.'

'A King who loves me!' said she. 'Is this another snare of my enemies?'

'No, my Princess.' And Florine was very much afraid of this bird who spoke with as much spirit as a man. But the beauty of his plumage reassured her.

'Would it be possible to see you, my Princess?' said he. 'Could I taste a happiness so great without dying of joy? But, alas I this great joy would be troubled by your captivity, and the wicked fairy Soussio has done this for seven years.'

'And who are you, charming bird?' said the Princess caressingly.

'You have said my name rightly, and yet you fail to recognise me,' replied the Prince.

'What! The greatest King in the world! The Prince Charming!' cried the Princess. 'Is he the little bird I see?'

'Alas! dear Florine, it is too true! And, if one thing consoles me, it is that I prefer this sorrow rather than renounce the love I have for you.'

'For me!'

And so this went on. The Blue Bird paid visits to Florine every night, and they were as happy as it was possible to be. One evening Prince Charming flew away to his palace, and brought back lovely diamond bracelets, beautiful pearl necklaces and a sweet little pearl watch, and gave them all to Florine.

The Queen could not understand how it was that Florine had such lovely jewels and why she looked so happy, so she questioned her about it. Florine, who knew that if she said the Blue Bird had given them to her, they would not believe her, and would try to drive him away, said she did not know. The Queen said the Evil One must have bought her soul, and decided to watch.

She did so, and discovered that the Blue Bird came every night. Then Truitonne and her mother sought the help of the wicked fairy Soussio; and she, to please her godchild, worked another spell on the poor Blue Bird, so that he could not come any more to see his Florine.

One day his friend the Good Fairy was passing by a certain spot where he was a prisoner in a tree, and she saw a trail of blood and heard a very weak voice calling her, but nowhere could she find the Blue Bird. But she knew it was his blood. Then, after a long time, she found him in his tiny nest, dying.