In a moment, the ordinary wood had become enchanted, and I was enticed to swim in a sparkling pool. My friends and I stepped into the water, and, while they bobbed on the surface like corks, I sank down into its depths. Before I could become frightened, water nymphs took hold of me and swam me quickly through underground ways to a palace far more splendid than anything my father could have built.

I was seated on a couch, wrapped in a satin robe, and entertained by a young man who whispered the sweetest speeches in my ear. He wanted me to stay in the dream, forever.

Rubezahl’s Princess in Rubezahl, Brown Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.