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THE ENCHANTED DOE

dragon, and have it drest by a young maiden, who, from the mere steam that will come out of the dish, will instantly become in the family way. And as soon as the heart is drest, give it to the queen to eat, and you'll see that what I say will speedily come to pass."

"How is that possible?" replied the king; "to tell you the truth, it seems to me rather hard to swallow."

"Do not be surprised," said the old man; for if you read the fables you will find, that as Juno went through the Olenian fields and passed over a flower, she became pregnant and brought forth a child[1]."

"If that be the case," replied the king, "I must this very moment get the dragon's heart. At the worst I lose nothing by the trial."

So he sent a hundred fishermen out, and they got ready all kinds of fishing-tackle, drag-nets, casting-nets, seine-nets, bow-nets, and fishing-lines; and they tacked and turned, and cruized in all directions, until at last they caught a dragon; then they took out its heart and brought it to the king, who gave it to a handsome young lady to dress. So she shut herself up in a room, and scarcely had she set the heart on the fire, and the steam began to come out of the boiler, when not only did the fair cook herself feel its effects, but all the furniture

  1. See Ovid's Fasti, v. 229, et seq.