Prince Alphege has disappeared, but I have the strongest feeling that he is still with us. The other day, a green monkey escaped from the palace and sprang through our window. He wouldn’t let anyone else near him but my daughter and me. When I looked into his green eyes, I was sure that the monkey was the Prince. Has he been put under a spell? Last night, I told my daughter Zayda what I suspect, and her eyes filled with tears. She knows it too, and nobody knows Prince Alphege better than we do.

Last night I had a dream that the queen directed me to a marble slab at the foot of the myrtle tree in our garden. Under it, she told me I would find a crystal vase filled with green liquid. “Bathe the monkey in a bath filled with roses and rub him well with the liquid,” she said.

The liquid was there. I am holding it now.

Governess of the Monkey Prince in Alphege, or The Green Monkey, Yellow Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

bath

 

 * * *

 

What if you slept, and what if in your sleep you dreamed, and what if in your dream you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower, and what if when you awoke you had the flower in your hand?

 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge