Oh, I was so afraid, don’t you see? Once my husband died, I had no protection at all, and so, when I was caught by the robber chief, what could I do but obey his commands?
“Make me king and kill your son or I will kill you,” he said.
“How can I kill my son?” I cried.
He told me to send him out into a the forest for apples. The wild beasts would tear him to pieces.
I agreed, thinking, Well at least I don’t have to do it myself.
I was cowed by the robber’s commanding presence, but also, I must admit, more than a little enthralled….
The Subjugated Queen in The Prince and Princess in the Forest, Olive Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.