Lake princess 

 

Once upon a time, there were two kingdoms separated by a mountain, with a beautiful lake concealed in the heart of it. In one of the kingdoms, a light-hearted king lived, the one who was given a God’s blessing - the heiress daughter; in the other one, a very irascible and arrogant king ruled, the one who mentored his son and heir in the reign of terror. There were no official visits between the two kings and, fortunately, no mutual warfare. However, when the Prince came of age to marry, having heard much about the neighbouring princess’s beauty and her rich dowry from different wayfarers, his father decided that they should set out on a journey with an offer of marriage.

And what a beauty the king's daughter was! This was known all over the world and the word of this was spread everywhere, so many princes, longing for her beauty, besieged the castle. Yet unfortunately, the terrible Water-Emperor also learned about her beauty. He crossed the seas and oceans in no time, and made the mountain lake his new dwelling.  He did not make this choice by accident – one part of the lake lay within the grounds where the princess would often walk accompanied by her maid.

Lake princessConsequently, one morning before the arrival of another suitor, she sneaked out of the castle with her companion and went down to the lake. Unsuspecting of what danger lurks around, they talked cheerfully. And each topic would begin and end with the suitors, from whom the princess kept her distance, waiting for the one she did not know but hoped he would come. No sooner did they touch the first wave than the terrible Water-Emperor emerged from the water. Rising with unkempt hair and beard, with a sceptre in his hand, he pulled both the princess and her companion to the bottom of his empire.

The news of the tragical incident travelled quickly. When the guests arrived, they found the kingdom in tears and anguish. Thunderstruck and ignorant of what to do, the King and the Prince, wanted to turn back home. But the Prince's servant, from whom he had never parted, took the liberty to advise them to express their condolences to the grieving family - if for nothing else then at least for the sake of good neighbourly relations. Although the king didn’t have much appreciation of the man standing before him for reasons known only to him, he couldn’t find any words to oppose him. He heeded advice and he called his son so that they would both obey, do what befits them and what is upright.

They reached the castle just in time as the church bells and the town crier proclaimed the king'sLake princess announcement:

- The prince who overcomes the Water-Emperor and frees the Princess will receive her hand in marriage and will rule half the kingdom!

Upon hearing this, the neighbouring king became momentarily overwhelmed with vanity, and he suggested that his son should go and rescue the Princess.  The Prince proudly obeyed and left the castle accompanied by his faithful servant, with whom he rode straight into the mountain.

Since it took them a fair number of days to reach the mountain lake, they had to make frequent breaks to rest and recover their strength. One time, when they got tired they sat near a log to regain strength. The Prince lay down and the servant started to sing. His song was so beautiful that the birds fell silent to hear it. At that moment, an old man carrying a fardel on his back was passing by…

 

 

 

Next Fairy Tale:

 

A Tale of the Sower