I have heard many stories from many men. I have heard about their adventures. I have heard their complaints and accusations.

For a long time I have been sitting beneath my seven veils, listening. And listening.

No man ever engaged me.

Then one day, an amusing young fellow came to me. He spoke about the strange countries he had traveled through. Then he joined me in silence, and for some time we sat without words.

After a little while, he said, “I have been forced to hold my peace for so many months that now I really must talk to somebody! I know what I’ll do. I’ll talk to the candlestick. “Oh, fairest of candlesticks, how are you?”

“Very well indeed,” I heard the candlestick say. It went on to describe a problem that the fellow was at a loss to solve.

I knew the solution, and so at last I had reason to speak.

The Silent Princess in The Silent Princess, Olive Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

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