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Once upon a time there was a king and his new queen who were very happy. Nearly a year after they were married the queen gave birth to a beautiful daughter. The king was so proud of his new baby that he ordered the most magnificent christening feast ever seen. The king wanted the good fairies to be godmothers. There were thirteen fairies in the kingdom but one was very old and had not been seen for some time. So only twelve of the fairies were invited.

When the feast was over the fairies went up to the baby girl so they could give their magic gifts. The first fairy said, “You shall have a beautiful face”. The second fairy said, “You shall be loving and kind”. And so it went on until suddenly the thirteenth fairy burst in. She was furious as the king had not invited her. She pointed to the baby and said, “When this child is fifteen years old she will prick her finger on a spindle and fall down dead”. With that she disappeared.

The twelfth fairy had not yet given her wish. She could not undo the evil spell but she could soften it. She said, “When your child is fifteen years old she will not die but rather she will sleep for a hundred years”.

In time the baby grew up to be a beautiful princess. And all the wonderful gifts of the good fairies came true. However she knew nothing of the curse that had been placed on her. And on the morning of her fifteenth birthday she got up early and went to explore the castle. She went through a door and up a winding staircase that she had never climbed before. She opened the door at the top of the staircase and there in the room was and old woman spinning flax into thread. The princess decided that she would try to spin and sat at the spinning wheel. No sooner had she picked up the spindle when the words of the thirteenth fairy came true. She pricked her finger. The princess fell down upon the bed in a deep sleep. And all at once so did every man, woman, child, and animal in the whole kingdom. A hedge of thorns grew round the castle and every year it grew taller and thicker until only the flags on the highest terrace could be seen.

One day a Prince from a far off kingdom heard about Sleeping Beauty and decided to try and wake her. It just so happened that the Prince came to the castle exactly one hundred years to the day that it had fallen under the evil spell. The Prince took out his sward and began to cut the thorn bush. But at each cut the thorns turned to roses and opened to let him through. Once inside this silent castle the Prince soon found Sleeping Beauty. He thought she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and bent over to kiss her. Sleeping Beauty opened her eyes. At the same time every person and animal in the castle began to wake. The Prince took Sleeping Beauty’s hand and together they went to see the king and queen.

Sleeping Beauty and the Prince were soon married and they lived happily ever after.

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