Lexile 780L, 826 words This worksheet is aligned with CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1, RL.3.3

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Briar Rose (Grade 3)

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Briar Rose

Once upon a time, a king and queen reigned in a country far away. In those days, there were lots of fairies. Now this king and queen were very wealthy. They had all of the latest fashions and plenty of delicious foods to eat and drink. The one thing they did not have was a child and this made them very sad.

One day the queen was walking along the river when she saw a fish gasping on the riverbank. The fish was nearly dead, but the queen took pity on it and threw it into the water. Before the fish ran away, it lifted its head out of the water and said to the queen, “I know you wish for a child. As a reward for your kindness, you shall soon have daughter.”

Sure enough, the words of the fish soon came true. The queen had a beautiful daughter. She was so beautiful that the king decided to hold a feast to show her off to kingdom. He invited all of his kinsmen, nobles, friends, and neighbors. Before the invitations were finalized the queen said, “Let us invite the fairies too. We want to encourage them to be kind and good to our little girl.”

There were thirteen fairies in the kingdom, but the king and queen only had enough golden dishes to invite twelve. On the night of feast, twelve of the fairies arrived bearing gifts for the princess. One gave the princess goodness. Another gave her beauty. A third gave her riches. Soon the princess had all things that were good in the world.

However, before the twelfth fairy could give her gift, the guests heard a great commotion in courtyard. The thirteenth fairy, who had not been invited to the feast, came into the feast. She was angry and wanted to take revenge, so she cried out a curse: “In her fifteenth year, the king’s daughter will be wounded by a spindle and fall down dead.”

Then the twelfth fairy came forward to present her gift. “Alas, the evil curse must be fulfilled, but I will use my gift to make sure it is not so bad. When the spindle wounds the princess in her fifteenth year, she will not die, but will fall asleep for one hundred years.”

Still, the king did not want to take any chances. He ordered that all the spindles in the kingdom be burned. The other gifts from the fairies were fulfilled at the same time and the princess became so beautiful and so good that everyone loved her.

On her fifteenth birthday, the princess was left alone in the palace. She roamed around and looked in all the rooms. Then she came to an old tower. At the top of the tower was a door with a golden key. The princess turned the key and opened the door. There she found an old woman spinning away.

“What are you doing?” the princess asked.

“Just spinning,” said the old woman.

“It looks wonderful,” the princess said. “May I give it a try?”

As soon as the princess grabbed onto the spinning wheel, it broke and she was pierced with the spindle. She was not dead, but had fallen into a deep sleep. In fact, every living person and animal in the castle fell into a deep sleep. Even the fire in the hearth went out. The whole castle slept soundly.

After some time, a large hedge of thorns covered the palace, so high and thick that the palace was hidden. Not even the chimneys could be seen. However, a rumor went through the land that a beautiful princess was sleeping inside. Several princes came and tried to break into the palace, but they all failed. The thorns would grab hold of them and kill them instantly.

After many more years, another young prince heard the rumor of the beautiful princess. His grandfather told him that many princes had died trying to break through the thicket, but the young prince was not frightened. “I will go and find this princess,” he said.

What the young prince did not know was that the one-hundred year curse had ended on that very day. As he approached the castle, he did not see a hedge of thorn, but rather beautiful flowering shrubs. He entered the castle grounds and saw that everything was still asleep. He passed the sleeping dogs, the sleeping butlers, and the sleeping maid. Then he spotted the old tower.

The young prince climbed the stairs of the tower and opened the door at the top. There he saw the beautiful princess, Briar Rose, asleep by the window. She was so beautiful that he could not help but stoop down and give her a kiss. The moment he kissed her, she opened her eyes and smiled at him. Soon, the entire castle awoke.

Not long after, the prince and princess were married and they lived happily ever after.
What caused the king and queen to feel sad?
  1. They were poor.
  2. They had no children.
  3. Their only child drowned.
  4. Their puppy ran away from them.
The queen placed the fish back into the water. What was the effect of her act of kindness?
  1. The fish swam away happily.
  2. The fish promised her a child.
  3. The fairies showered her with gifts.
  4. The fairies honored her at their meeting.
The king and queen did not invite the thirteenth fairy to the feast. What was the effect of this decision?
  1. The thirteenth fairy stayed home.
  2. They had an extra plate at the feast.
  3. The thirteenth fairy put a curse on the princess.
  4. The other fairies refused to attend the feast without her.
On her fifteenth birthday, the princess fell into a deep sleep. What caused this to happen?
  1. She drank a special potion.
  2. She was injured by a spindle.
  3. The thirteenth fairy closed her eyes.
  4. A lullaby played throughout the kingdom.
What action by the prince caused the princess to wake up?
  1. a kiss
  2. a handshake
  3. a loud cough
  4. a magic spell

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