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The True Bride (pages 13 & 14)

After two years had passed, there came a proclamation that the king’s daughter was to be wed. Elise sat with her calf each day and watched as numerous travelers went by on their way to the palace. One day, by chance, she saw her beloved prince come riding up the road. She sang her song to the little calf.

Little calf, come kneel down
Do not forget your shepherd maid
Like the kind and handsome prince

Who forgot the promise he had made
The prince heard her song and stopped his horse. He looked down at the girl with her calf as if trying to remember some forgotten dream. Having not remembered the girl, however, he continued on his way.
Elise felt as though she had been stabbed in the heart. "My beloved prince has forgotten me," she cried. She trudged home, forgotten and forlorn. When she reached her humble home, she wept as she had never wept before, with a broken heart. "What troubles you so dear maid, for I have not yet seen you so distressed." Elise looked up at the table top and saw before her the little mouse that had helped her so. "Sweet mouse, my love has left and forgotten me and I fear I shall feel my heart break a thousand times a day till my time comes to an end." "Do not fret," replied the mouse, "For I have come to help you."


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