Open main menu

Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/22

This page has been validated.

12
PORTUGUESE FAIRY TALES.

chest." So saying, the miller produced the chest which he had concealed until then.

The king was so startled on seeing it that, after crying aloud, "This man is indeed my son!" he immediately fell to the ground and died.

The prince now assumed the reins of government. But the grief he felt at having been the cause of his father's death was such that from much weeping his eyes became totally blind. Every remedy was tried, and physicians from every part of the world were consulted as to the best means of restoring the king's sight, but it was all of no avail; he remained as blind as before.

As a last resource they consulted a witch, who said that the king's sight could only be restored by some one procuring the spittle of the blue bird that had its habitation on the highest tree in the world, which grew in a far off country; but the person seeking it must be a spinster and the daughter of a king.

Many maidens proceeded in search of the blue bird, travelling for miles and leagues; they succeeded in finding the great tree, and saw the bird perched upon it; but the moment they approached it the bird eluded their grasp and flew away to a distance. At last Isabel, the captive Moorish maiden, thought she would try and find it. On reaching the tall tree she looked up its branches, and there saw the bird