We tried to have a child for years, and at last we were blessed with a little boy. One day, at the height of a most intoxicating summer, when my son was sleeping in the garden in his golden cradle, and the king and I were absorbed in planning his future, a dark shadow crept towards us. We didn’t see the dragon until it had reared its horrible head over the wall, and had snatched the cradle in its teeth.

I still see those teeth. I cannot sleep at night. Where has our son been taken? Will he ever come home? Will we ever wake from this terrible dream?

Queen Who Loses Her Child in Geirlaug the King’s Daughter, Olive Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

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