After a time, the king thought to visit Talia, to gaze once more upon her beauty. After a time, when he felt that he could no longer bear the guilt of what he had done, the king decided to return to Talia. He was determined to apologise, or if she still slept, somehow make amends for his deeds. He found her awakened, with two beautiful children, who he instantly adored. The king explained to Talia who he was, and over the next few days the two became great friends. When he left, it was with promises to return soon to bring her to live with him in his palace. When he found her awakened, with two children, the king felt horrified by what he had done. Summoning all his courage, the king approached Talia, and told her the terrible, unforgivable, thing he had done. He offered her any compensation she wanted, money, lands, jewels, even marriage.
Talia, however, would hear none of it. She was enraged by the king’s admission, and refused to accept his apology. When he wouldn’t leave, she grew increasingly annoyed and a little bit frightened. Unable to get rid of him by more conventional means, Talia broke the leg off a nearby chair and struck the king over the head with it. She dragged his unconscious body to a nearby glade and had the fairies watch over him to make sure no harm came to him while he slept, and to make sure he did not return once he awoke.
Upon his return, the king continually muttered the names Sun, Moon, and Talia in his sleep. This, combined with his long absence, made the queen suspicious. Determined to discover the truth of things, the queen approached the king’s steward, who always accompanied him, and demanded to know what was going on. When the steward did not wish to answer she reminded him of who she was, and the fact that she could make him a very wealthy man. Motivated by both fear and greed, the steward divulged the king’s secret.
The king’s departure had made the queen suspicious. It was most unlike him to voluntarily go hunting, especially alone, and she worried that something was wrong. Both curious, and concerned for her husband, the queen approached the steward, who best knew the ins and outs of the king’s affairs. She explained her concerns, but the steward did not know why the king had left. At the queen’s insistence, the steward had the king followed. News of her husband’s awful secret reached the queen’s ears before the king had returned.
In anger and jealousy, the queen hatched a plan. She sent the steward to Talia and her children in the name of the king. The steward told her that the king wished to see his children to visit him at the palace, and Talia sent them with great joy. The queen, however, kept the children from their father and ordered the cook to kill them, cook them, and serve them to her husband at the evening meal.
Unbeknownst to the queen, the cook had a tender heart. Rather than killing the children, he sent them to his own wife and asked her to hide them. In their place he killed and cooked two lambs, and poured all of his culinary efforts into the meal. He served the dishes to the king, and the queen watched in delight as the king ate with gusto. As he ate, she taunted him subtly.
“You are eating your own,” she said.
She repeated this phrase, but the king did not understand.
He grew angry and declared, “I know that what I eat is my own, as I own all in this palace.”