Prince Darlingpage 2 / 11
"You are quite right," answered the Fairy; "but it is not in my power to make Prince Darling a good man unless he will help me; he must himself try hard to become good, I can only promise to give him good advice, to scold him for his faults, and to punish him if he will not correct and punish himself."
The good King was quite satisfied with this promise; and very soon afterward he died.
Prince Darling was very sorry, for he loved his father with all his heart, and he would willingly have given all his kingdoms and all his treasures of gold and silver if they could have kept the good King with him.
Two days afterward, when the Prince had gone to bed, the Fairy suddenly appeared to him and said:
"I promised your father that I would be your friend, and to keep my word I have come to bring you a present." At the same time she put a little gold ring upon his finger.
"Take great care of this ring," she said: "it is more precious than diamonds; every time you do a bad deed it will prick your finger, but if, in spite of its pricking, you go on in your own evil way, you will lose my friendship, and I shall become your enemy."
So saying, the Fairy disappeared, leaving Prince Darling very much astonished.
For some time he behaved so well that the ring never pricked him, and that made him so contented that his subjects called him Prince Darling the Happy.
One day, however, he went out hunting, but could get no sport, which put him in a very bad temper; it seemed to him as he rode along that his ring was pressing into his finger, but as it did not prick him he did not heed it. When he got home and went to his own room, his little dog Bibi ran to meet him, jumping round him with pleasure. "Get away!" said the Prince, quite gruffly. "I don't want you, you are in the way."
The poor little dog, who didn't understand this at all, pulled at his coat to make him at least look at her, and this made Prince Darling so cross that he gave her quite a hard kick.