The King and the Queen lived in a city which was on the top of a hill, and had a wall round it, and the King's palace was in the middle of it. In the springtime Rainbow was taken to a high tower which looked on to the little round city, and from her window you could see the spires of the churches, the ramparts, and the broad green plain beyond. But a curtain made of canvas was fastened outside Rainbow's window, so that she could see nothing, and she was not allowed to go outside her tower until the springtime was over. Rainbow grew up into a most beautiful Princess, with grey eyes and fair hair, and until she was sixteen all went well, and nothing happened to interfere with her happiness. It was on her sixteenth birthday, which was in April, and she was sitting alone in her room, looking at her birthday presents, when she began to wonder for the first time why she was shut up in her tower during three months of the year, and why a curtain was placed outside her window, so that she could see nothing outside. Her mother and her nurse had told her that this was done so that she might not fall ill, and she had always believed it; but on that day, for the first time, she began to wonder whether there might be any other reason as well. It was a lovely Spring day, and the sun shone through the canvas curtain which was stretched outside Rainbow's open window; a breeze came into her room from the outside world, and Rainbow felt a great longing to tear aside the curtain and to see what was happening out of doors.
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