Once there was a young man named Albert. He was a prince who loved to read and spent most of his time in the royal library. When all the other young men were outside spending time with their friends, Albert was spending his time reading about adventures all over the world. One day he would be digging for fossils in Alaska and another day trekking through the rainforest looking for endangered animals.
Albert’s mom and dad were worried that he was spending too much time in the library buried in books. He had no “real” friends, only the ones he had made in the stories. Albert was shy and had trouble making friends. The only place he seemed to be happy was in the library where he could control the stories he read or the adventures he went on.
It was almost time for Albert to find a wife and his parents were worried because he spent all his time in the library, how would he ever find a wife? His parents tried everything to get him to go out and meet people and make friends. After months of trying and trying, his parents gave up. His parents told him that he could spend as much time as he wanted in the library but when they had people coming over he had to be there and be friendly. They were determined to help him find the perfect wife.
The next day Albert was reading a very exciting book about a journey through the jungle when he heard a chirping sound. He quickly lifted his head and looked around and saw a bird sitting on the windowsill. The bird had beautiful green and purple feathers and was staring right at him. Albert had never seen such a beautiful bird before. It looked just like the bird he had been reading about in his book. He put his book down and started moving slowly towards the bird. He was afraid the bird would fly away before he got to the window so he moved slowly and kept looking right at the bird the whole time. As he was walking towards the window the bird started to sing. It was the most amazing sound Albert had ever heard. The song was so amazing that Albert froze. The song lasted for about two mins and when it was finished Albert felt very happy. He smiled at the bird and it looked like the bird was smiling back at him and then it just flew away.
“Albert, it’s time to get ready for dinner,” he heard his mom call. Albert felt like he was in a trance staring at where the bird had been. Was it a dream? Had the bird really been there? As Albert went to get ready for dinner he couldn’t stop thinking about the bird and the song it had sung. All evening he was thinking about the beautiful bird and hoping that he would see it again the next day. His parents noticed that Albert seemed distracted and hadn’t even noticed the people he ate dinner with.
The next morning, Albert ran up to the library quickly to see if the bird was there. He opened the door and there it was sitting on the windowsill. Albert walked slowly towards the window looking at the bird the entire time. The bird was also looking at Albert turning its head from side to side. When Albert was almost to the window the bird started to sing again. It was the same song it had sang yesterday and Albert froze again, staring at the bird as it sang. When the sound was finished Albert waited to see if the bird was going to fly away again. It didn’t fly away so Albert moved closer and sat on a bench by the window and took a piece of paper to try and draw the bird. The bird sat quietly and looked at Albert while he drew.
When Albert finished his drawing the bird sang a new song. It was another beautiful song and after the bird flew away Albert found himself humming the song for the rest of the day. That night at dinner Albert’s parents heard him humming the song and asked where he had heard it. Albert told them about the beautiful bird he had found in the library and the songs it sang. The parents saw how happy this bird made Albert and they decided they would try to catch the bird and put it in a cage in the library so Albert could see the bird and hear it sing whenever he wanted to.
The next day when Albert went to the library the door was locked. His parents told him they were planning a surprise for him so he wouldn’t be able to go to the library for a day or two. Albert thought he would take his book and walk in the garden instead, maybe if he was lucky he would see his beautiful bird again. Albert settled himself on a bench and started reading. He was soon lost in his story and after a while he heard the bird singing again. He raised his head and saw the bird sitting on the library windowsill. He closed his eyes and listened as the bird sang. He was enjoying the song when all of a sudden it stopped. He lifted his eyes to the windowsill and the bird was gone. What had happened? Where did it go?
Albert raced inside and up the stairs to the library. When he got there his parents were coming out of the library carrying a cage. Inside the cage Albert could see the beautiful singing bird. His parents said, “We saw how happy the bird made you so we caught it so you can keep it with you always.” Albert was so happy, he couldn’t believe his luck. He said, “thank you” to his parents and took the beautiful bird for a walk through the gardens, talking to it all the way.
After they walked through the gardens Albert took a break on a bench with his book and the bird and waited for the bird to sing. The bird sat quietly in the cage and so Albert took his book and read for a while and waited. Soon Albert heard his mother calling him for dinner and he realized that hours had passed and the bird had not sang a single note.
Albert put the bird in his room and raced down for dinner. After dinner he fed the bird and set the cage on the windowsill but still the bird didn’t sing. The next day Albert took the bird out again in it’s cage to sit in the garden and listen to him read. He fed the bird the best nuts and seeds but still the bird didn’t sing. Everyday Albert took the bird out into the sunny, beautiful garden, talked and read to it, and fed it very well but the bird never sang.
After two weeks of doing the same thing Albert noticed that the bird’s feathers didn’t look quite so beautiful anymore and that the bird was not eating any food. Albert realized he had been selfish to try and keep this beautiful bird all to himself in this cage and decided to set the bird free the next day. That night Albert played a song that he had written hoping that the bird might sing for him but it didn’t work. Albert sadly went to sleep knowing that tomorrow he had to let the bird go.
Albert woke early the next morning. He was very happy. In his dream he heard the bird singing again and it sounded so happy. He was very excited to let the bird go so it might sing for him again. As soon as the sun started to rise Albert took the cage to the garden and said goodbye to the beautiful bird. He told the bird he was sorry for keeping it in a cage but that he had just wanted to be able to look at it and hear it sing all the time. Albert said he knew it wasn’t fair to keep the bird in a cage and that he was going to let the bird go free. He opened the door to the cage and backed away so the bird could fly out. The bird sat in the cage and turned its head from side to side, looking at the open door. After about three minutes the bird hopped over to the open door and sat on the edge looking at Albert. Just before the bird flew away Albert thought the bird smiled at him.
All that day Albert sat in the garden with his book hoping to hear the bird’s song. But all day long he heard nothing. “Albert, dinnertime,” he heard his mom call so he picked up his book and slowly walked into the castle. During dinner Albert picked at his food but didn’t really eat anything, he asked to be excused and said he was going to take a final walk in the garden before going to bed. His parents were very worried about Albert, they had thought the bird would make Albert happy but he seemed so sad now, they didn’t know how to help.
Albert slowly walked around the garden not noticing the beautiful flowers or the sunset. He walked with his head down, dragging his feet. He was just about to leave the garden and head to his room when he heard the bird singing. He couldn’t believe it, was it really true? Was the bird singing again? He stood still and tried to hear where the song was coming from. Albert listened and realized that he had never heard the bird sing this song before, it was the song that Albert had written. Albert kept listening and he realized that the bird’s sound was also different. He turned back into the garden to try and find the bird. As Albert raced through the garden, getting closer and closer to the song, he realized that it no longer sounded like a bird singing. When he reached the center of the garden where he had sat with the bird that first day, he saw a beautiful girl sitting there wearing a beautiful dress of green and purple singing his song. Albert couldn’t believe his eyes, where had this girl come from? He had never seen her before. And how did she know his song?
Albert slowly walked up to the singing girl and asked her, “Where did you come from? And how do you know this song?” The girl looked at Albert and turned her head from side to side and said, “don’t you recognize me?” Albert looked closely at her eyes and realized there was something familiar about her. The girl started singing again but this time it was the first song that he had heard in the library. Albert realized he was looking at the bird, but she was a girl now.
“How is this possible?” He asked. The girl looked at Albert and said, “when you set me free instead of keeping me, you broke the spell that a dwarf had placed on me and I turned back into a princess. My name is Selina.” Albert looked at Selina and could not believe his eyes. Selina said, “you were so kind to me, taking me for walks, reading to me, and feeding me the best nuts and seeds, how can I ever repay your kindness?” Albert was feeling so happy he said, “be my friend.”
Selina and Albert spent all their time together. Albert would share his favorite stories with Selina and she would take him out to meet new people and try new things. Albert’s parents were very happy that he had finally made such a good friend and he was spending more time out with friends. Albert realized he had never been so happy in his life. Selina and Albert became best friends and after one year they got married and lived happily ever after.