I was singing by the water and smoothing the feathers on the shafts of my arrows when the princess found me.
I said, “Are you surprised to find me with my eyes open? I’m not always blind, you know!”
Anyway, I don’t need eyes to know what she is seeking. I let one of my darts fly on the day she met the emperor, and now he’s dying of his wounds. Since I sent the arrow, I am duty-bound to provide the cure.
I give the princess a bottle of salve with which to dress the emperor’s wounds. First, she must find her way to him, and then she must get into his room, and she had better hurry because he’s dying, and time is life!
The Boy with the Arrow in The Satin Surgeon, Olive Fairy Book. Cupid. Illustration by H.J. Ford.