Twelve dancing princesses in the fairy tale of that name descend a secret stair – not dancing while descending, however 😀 – and pass through three magical woods. Depending on the version in your book, the first glade of trees features leaves of bright copper, the second, flowers of shining silver, and the third, fruits of gleaming gold.
Fifty princes have sought to learn the princesses’ secret and failed.
When a modest gardener boy takes up the quest, he secures an advantage: a cloak of invisibility. Hidden by its powers, he follows the princesses to their midnight revels.
As proof of his journey, when he returns from the underworld, he breaks a twig from a tree in the copper wood.
This branch in my own garden reminds me of the gardener boy’s earliest prize.