Our little empire is even smaller than Petaldo’s parents’ kingdom. It’s really only a dairy farm, but we are very happy. Every day, I go to the dairy, and, in addition to making my cheeses, I make a little barley cake and a tiny cream cheese. Then I put them under the rose-tree in the garden for the fairies.
After having six children, I gave birth to a tiny boy with a small red cap on his head. He was very dear to me, and we were all happy together until the day when the fairies came, shrank all my children to their size, and took them away. The mayflies picked up my three daughters, the swallows carried my three sons off on their backs, and a little blue mouse took my red-capped son away in a car drawn by robins.
I don’t know where my children are. I trust that they are in good hands, though I must say, it has been a strange life for a simple milkmaid!
Milkmaid Queen in The Punishment of the Fairy Gangana, Olive Fairy Book. Painting by Johannes Vermeer.