My mother called me to come to her room and look in the mirror that showed us the whereabouts of the true King Lino. He was chained in the prison tower of a powerful magician. Still, he was alive—and in every way as noble a man as I had imagined him to be.

Then a hideous girl came into the room and asked him for some favor, which he refused. She left in a fury, but that was not the end of it. Four strong men came in and they beat the king senseless. I dropped the mirror and my mother caught it, saying, “Control yourself, my child. We will need all our wits to rescue the king from the power of those wicked people.”

Hermose, Daughter of the Swan Fairy in The Blue Parrot, Olive Fairy Book. Painting by John Dicksee.

hermose