The king has been looking for a wife for some time, and he did not believe that he would ever fall in love until today. We were traveling through the woods when suddenly we heard the most awful shrieking of cats, and then we saw an extraordinary hunt. A lady, mounted on a tiger, came riding through at full speed, leading a legion of creatures—huge Spanish cats, apes riding mastiffs, and dwarves mounted on wolves. No one was riding a horse, I noticed.

We made our way to her castle and we have joined her for supper. The king is completely smitten. He likes her good looks, her pride, and her dignity. I say she’s hard. She has a fierce nature which is not yet fully apparent. Not a word falls from her lips, but wait until she is married. Then everyone who serves her will hear plenty of rude speeches.

The King’s Equerry in An Impossible Enchantment, Grey Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

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