Ha, she’s such a pretty bird, the little queen! So fresh and new. Innocent as the dawn! She sits at the window and weeps because the king has gone away.
“Why don’t you come out into the garden?” I ask, coming to her window and leaning on my staff. “See the butterflies fluttering over the flowers, and listen to the birds sing.” Hah, I’m getting downright poetic. “Watch the sunbeams chase the dewdrops through the rose leaves and lily cups. All that brightness will drive your cares away, my queen!”
There you go, that’s right, pretty bird. Come along. You can’t resist the garden. Come to the pond, and I’ll push you in, and turn you into the silly duck you are!
The Enticing Evil Witch in The White Duck, Yellow Fairy Book. Illustration by Ivan Bilibin.