Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty Part III
The prince saw the guard asleep at the palace door.
The prince saw the guard asleep at the palace door.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Below is the third part of "Sleeping Beauty."

"I will put you to sleep, too," said the fairy, "and everyone in the castle with you."

"What good will that do?" asked the queen. "How will that help us?"

"You will not have to wait in sorrow for your daughter to awaken," answered the fairy. "You will awaken the moment she does. Then you, and everyone she knows and loves, will be here for her."

The queen thought for a moment. "If we all have a chance to be happy again, I am willing to take that chance," said the queen. The queen went to her bedroom. "Now, kind fairy, cast your spell on me and my people," she said.

With a sigh, the queen fell asleep in her bed. The guards and servants fell asleep at their posts. The cooks dropped to sleep on the kitchen floor. All the people in the castle fell into a deep sleep.

There was no one left to care for the castle. Outside, the castle's courtyards became overgrown. Weeds sprouted up around the castle. Thorny bushes grew over the weeds. Trees grew over the bushes.

One hundred years passed. A dense, dark forest grew around the silent castle. One day, in this deep, dark forest, a young, handsome prince arrived on ­horseback. He enjoyed exploring places of mystery and ­wonder, but he had never heard a word about the woods he found ­himself in now.

"Very mysterious, indeed," he said to his horse. "We are the first creatures to pass through this forest in many years."

The brush became too thick for his horse to walk through. The prince stepped down and climbed through the wild woods. At last he came to a large mound of moss and vines. He pulled at the vines to find a heavy stone wall buried beneath them.

"A hidden castle!" he said.

The prince scraped away a tangle of vines at the ­castle doors. When he pushed, the door creaked open. Inside, the castle was dark, damp, and cold. The prince tripped over something on the ground. Looking down, he saw a palace guard, sleeping peacefully.

Continue to the next page to find out how the story ends.

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