Once there was a royal couple who grieved excessively because they had no children. When at last, after long waiting, the queen presented her husband with a little daughter, his majesty showed his joy by giving a christening feast, so grand that the like of it was never known. He invited all the fairies in the land—there were seven altogether—to stand godmothers to the little princess; hoping that each might bestow on her some good gift, as was the custom of good fairies in those days. After the ceremony, all the guests returned to the palace, where there was set before each fairy-godmother a magnificent covered dish, with an embroidered table napkin, and a knife and fork of pure gold, studded with diamonds and rubies. But alas! as they placed themselves at the table, there entered an old fairy who had never been invited, because more than fifty years since she had left the king's dominion on a tour of pleasure, and had not been heard of until this day. His majesty, much troubled, desi

Dinah Maria Craik was an English novelist and poet. She is best remembered for her novel John Halifax, Gentleman, which presents the mid-Victorian ideas of English middle-class life.

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