When the young man found me, I had been shut away for some time in that remote room in the castle. He did not find me by any ordinary means. The Castle of the Golden Sun is not on any map. Yet, he arrived, and when he came in, he was shocked to see me. My face had gone ashen-grey, my skin had wrinkled, my eyes were bleary, and my red hair had thinned.
“Are you the king’s daughter, whose beauty the whole world praises?” he cried.
“Ah,” said I, “but this is not my form. Human eyes can only see me in this state of ugliness, but if you wish to know what I look like, look in the mirror—it does not let itself be misled—it will show you my image as it is in truth.”
Would he look, I wondered? Or would he run away?
King’s Daughter Who Appears as a Hag in The Crystal Ball, Grimms. Picture by Odilon Redon.