Light & Shadows of Chalandor Book of Shadows
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Title: Every Ninth Step
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Autumn_Heather
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(Date Posted:02/08/2009 23:04 PM)
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Every Ninth Step

There was once upon a time a fur-merchant named Skinner who was about to set out on a long trading journey, and on parting he asked his three daughters what gifts he should bring back.

The eldest daughter, Gullbandja, wished for golden arm-bands; the second daughter, Almeta, wished for a pearl, but the third, sweet little Simija, said:

"Dear father, I should like a singing, soaring lark."

Her father said, "Yes, my dear Simija, if I can get it, you shall have it."

He kissed all three of his daughters, and set out, accompanied by his faithful family retainer, the persuasive Snúa.

Soon enough the time turned for Mr Skinner to be on his way home again. He bought golden arm-bands and pearls for Almeta and Gullbandja, the two eldest daughters, but he had sought everywhere in vain for a singing, soaring lark for Simija, the youngest. Mr Skinner was very unhappy about it, for Simija was his favourite child.

The time came for him to set out. His road lay through a forest, the dark Járnwood, and in the midst of it was a splendid castle. Near the castle stood a tree, and there, on the top of the tree, he saw a singing, soaring lark.

"Aha, you come just at the right moment," he said, delighted, and called to his retainer, Snúa, to climb up and catch the little creature.

As Snúa approached the tree, a bear stood up from beneath it, shook himself, and roared till the leaves on the trees trembled.

"He who tries to steal my singing, soaring lark," he cried, in a growly bearish voice, "I will devour."

Mr Skinner said, "I did not know that the bird belonged to you. I will make amends for the wrong I have done and ransom myself with a large sum of money, only spare my life."

The bear said, "Nothing can save you, unless you will promise to give me for my own what first meets you on your return home. If you will do that, I will grant you your life. You shall have the bird for your daughter, into the bargain."

Mr Skinner hesitated and said, "That might be my youngest daughter, Simija, she loves me best, and always runs to meet me on my return home."

Snúa, however, was terrified and said, "Why should your daughter be the very first one to meet you? It might as easily be a cat, or a dog."

Mr Skinner allowed himself to be persuaded by Snúa. He took the singing, soaring lark, and promised to give the bear whatever should first meet him on his return home.

When he reached home and entered his house, the first who met him was none other than his youngest and dearest daughter, Simija, who came running up. She kissed and embraced him.

When Simija saw that he had brought with him a singing, soaring lark, she was beside herself with joy.

Her father, however, could not rejoice. Instead he began to weep, and said, "My dearest child, I have bought the little bird - but at what a cost! In return, I have promised you to a savage bear, and when he has you he will tear you in pieces and devour you!"

And he told her all, just as it had happened, and begged her not to go there, come what may.

Simija consoled him and said, "Dearest father, indeed your promise must be fulfilled. I will go there and talk the bear round, so that I may return to you safely."

Next morning Simija took her leave, and went fearlessly out into the forest.

The bear, however, was an enchanted prince, by the name of Prince Vaskr. By day he suffered under the shape and nature of a bear, and all his people were bears with him, but by night they resumed their natural human shapes.

On her arrival Simija was kindly received and led into the castle. When night came, the bear turned into handsome Prince Vaskr, and their wedding was celebrated with great magnificence. They lived happily together, remaining awake at night, and sleeping in the daytime. Within a year Simija produced a son and heir, and their happiness was complete.

One day Prince Vaskr came and said, "Tomorrow there is a feast in your father's house, Simija, because your eldest sister, Gullbandja, is to be married, and if you are inclined to go there, my bears shall conduct you."

Simija said, "Yes, I should very much like to see my father again."

So off she went, accompanied by the bears.

There was great joy when she arrived, for they had all believed that she had been torn to pieces by the bear. She told them what a handsome and gallant husband the Bear-Prince made, and how well off she was. She remained with them while the wedding-feast lasted, and then went back again to the forest.

When the second daughter, Almeta, was about to be married, and invitations went out for the wedding, Simija said to Prince Vaskr, "This time I will not go alone, you must come with me."

Prince Vaskr, however, said that it was too dangerous for him. "If a ray from a burning candle should happen to fall on me, I will be changed into a dove, and for seven long years I will have to fly about with the doves."

Simija said, "Ah, but do come with me. I will take great care of you, and guard you from all light."

Prince Vaskr looked into her eyes and saw there the earnestness of her love for him. "For you," he said gallantly, "I cannot refuse anything."

So they went away together, and took with them their little child as well.

Simija had a room built. This chamber was made of walls so strong and thick that no ray could pierce through; in this Prince Vaskr was to shut himself up when the candles were lit for the wedding-feast. The door - alas! - was made of warped, green wood, which left a little crack, which no one noticed.

The wedding was celebrated with magnificence, but when the procession with all its candles and torches came back from the sacred grove, and passed by this apartment, a ray touched the Prince Vaskr. He was transformed in an instant, and when Simija came in and looked for him, she could not see him. Instead a white dove sat there.

The dove said to her, "For seven years I am cursed to fly about the world. At every ninth step that you, my dearest Simija, take - a drop of red blood and a white feather will descend from my breast. By means of this trace you will know of my whereabouts. If you follow the trace and manage to keep up, then at the end of those seven years you may release me."

At this the dove flew out of the doorway, and Simija followed him. His words proved to be true. At every ninth step she took, a red drop of blood, and a little white feather, fell down and showed her the way.

So on she went, further and further in the wide world, never looking about her or resting, and as time turned, so the seven years were almost past. At this time she rejoiced and thought that they would soon be saved. Once when they were thus moving onwards, no little feather and no drop of red blood fell, and when she raised her eyes the dove had disappeared.

She counselled herself, "No man can help me in this. So, who could possibly know of the whereabouts of my husband? Who is it that can see into every crevice and over every peak?"

She looked about for a source of wisdom, shading her eyes. Then it came to her. She climbed up to the Sun, and said to him, "You shine into every crevice, and over every peak, have you seen a white dove with a wounded breast flying?"

"No," said the Sun, "I have seen no white dove with a wounded breast. However, since it is such a feat to reach me and petition me in this manner, allow me to present you with a casket. Open it when you are in sorest need."

Then she thanked the Sun, and went back on with her journey. All day she racked her brains, trying to think of whom else to ask. As evening drew on the Moon appeared. Simija then addressed her:

"You shine the whole night through, and on every field and forest - have you seen a white dove with a wounded breast?"

"No," said the Moon. "I have seen no white dove with a wounded breast. Since you have taken the trouble to seek me out - no mean feat in itself! - permit me to give you an egg. Break it when you are in great need."

She thanked the Moon, and went on until the Night Wind came up and blew on her. Then she said to the Night Wind:

"You blow over every tree and under every leaf. Have you seen a white dove with a wounded breast?"

"No," said the Night Wind, "I have seen no white dove with a wounded breast. I will ask the three other winds, perhaps they have seen it."

The East Wind and the West Wind came, and had seen nothing, but the South Wind said:

"I have seen the white dove with a wounded breast. It has flown to the ice sea, where it transformed into a bear, for the seven years are over. The bear is there, fighting with a dragon. The dragon, however, is an enchanted princess."

The Night Wind then related this news to Simija and added:

"Permit me to give you some advice."

"You've been very helpful," admitted Simija. "I will listen to your advice."

"You have many difficulties still to overcome. But do not be cast down. If you heed my wisdom, then you will win through to your husband and child and happiness."

"I will heed your wisdom," replied Simija.

"Go to the ice-sea," continued the Night Wind. "On the cliff shore there are some long icicles. This is what you must do."

The Night Wind then told her about the icicle, the dragon, and the grebe.

"Are you sure you can remember those instructions?"

Simija thought hard and then nodded, smiling a grim determined smile. "I think so."

"In that case," added the Night Wind, "there is nothing left for me to do other than to gift you with this nut. This is the gift you receive when you seek me out for my wisdom. There will come a time when you will know when to use it."

Simija thanked the Night Wind and went on with her journey to the ice sea. There she found a great cliff of ice towering out of the sea. At the base of this cliff, on a shore of bloodied sand, the bear and the dragon were fighting.

"This is just what the Night Wind said," murmured Simija. She looked around and saw a row of icicles. She counted the icicles under the cliff, and cut off the ninth.

Using the icicle as a javelin, Simija cast it into the midst of the melee. The icicle struck the dragon, splitting open its hide of brassy scales. Wounded, the dragon was easy prey. The bear reared up on its hind-legs and struck a might blow with its forepaw.

Blood from the dragon gushed out and lo! - it was a magical fountain. The blood washed away the enchantment from both of them and immediately they both regained their human shapes.

Simija now looked about for the next instruction from the Night Wind. In order for them to escape from this desolation of ice, she had to find a grebe, with black, red, grey and white plumage.

The princess, who had been the dragon, now that she was released from her enchantment, took Prince Vaskr by the arm, seated herself on the grebe, and carried him off with her.

There stood poor Simija who had wandered so far and was again forsaken. She sat down and cried, but at last she took courage. Rising, she said:

"Still I will go as far as the wind blows

And as long as the cock crows,

until I find him!"

Simija went forth by long, long roads, until at last she came to a castle with tall white walls. The local people informed her that Prince Vaskr was living here with Princess Ellar. There she heard that soon a feast was to be held, in which they would celebrate their wedding, but Simija said,

"May the gods still help me!"

She opened the casket that the sun had given her. A dress lay therein as brilliant as the sun itself. So she took it out and put it on, and went up into the castle, and everyone, even Princess Ellar herself, looked at her in astonishment.

The dress pleased Princess Ellar so much that she thought it might do for her wedding-dress, and asked Simija if it might be for sale.

"Not for money or land," Simija answered in a firm voice, with a tilt of her chin and level gaze, "but for flesh and blood."

Princess Ellar asked: "What do you mean by that?"

Simija said, "Let me sleep a night in the chamber where your bridegroom-to-be sleeps."

Princess Ellar immediately exploded. "What you ask is impossible!"

After a moment's consideration, however, she added:

"On the other hand, that is a most beautiful gown. Perhaps," she tapped her finger on her chin, "perhaps you may be able to sleep in the room after all."

Princess Ellar wanted that dress, and so at last she consented to Simija's demand. In order to safeguard her own marital interests, Princess Ellar instructed a servant-boy by the name of Drekka to give Prince Vaskr a sleeping-draught.

When night drew round, Drekka obeyed his mistress and gave to Vaskr a sleeping-draught. When Simija was led into the chamber, Vaskr was already deeply asleep.

She seated herself on the bed and said, "I have followed after you for seven years. I have been to the sun and the moon, and the four winds, and have enquired for you, and have helped you against the dragon. Will you, now, forget me?"

The prince slept so soundly that it only seemed to him as if the wind whistled through the fir-trees.

When day broke, Simija was led out again, and had to give up the golden dress. With that attempt being of no avail, she grew sad. She went out into a meadow, and sat down and wept.

While she was sitting there, she thought of the egg that the moon had given her. She opened it, and there came out a clucking hen with twelve chicks all of gold. They ran about chirping, and crept again under the old hen's wings - nothing more beautiful was ever seen in the world.

Then Simija arose, and drove them through the meadow before her, until Princess Ellar happened to look out of a window.

The little chickens pleased Princess Ellar so much that she immediately came down and asked: "Are they for sale?"

"Not for money or land, but for flesh and blood. Let me sleep another night in the chamber where your bridegroom-to-be sleeps."

Princess Ellar smiled and said "Yes" intending to cheat Simija as on the first evening.

When Prince Vaskr went to bed he spoke to Drekka, the servant-boy. "Last night my dreams were restless and my sleep was filled with the noise of wind through the fir-trees.

Drekka opened his mouth to tell a lie, then looked at the prince. He recalled the words he had heard Simija speak. His heart was moved, and although he knew his mistress would be angry with him, she had not expressly forbidden him to tell the truth to Prince Vaskr.

Drekka told all - that he had been forced to give the prince a sleeping-draught, because a poor girl had slept secretly in the chamber, and that he was to give him another that night.

Prince Vaskr nodded, his face growing thoughtful. "Pour out the draught by the bedside."

As Drekka turned to go, the prince added: "And say nothing of this turn of events to your mistress."

That night, Simija was again led in, and when she began to relate how ill all had fared with her, Prince Vaskr immediately recognized his beloved wife by her voice. He sprang up, crying:

"Now I really am released! I have been as it were in a dream, for Princess Ellar has bewitched me and compelled me to forget you! But the gods have delivered me from the spell at the right time!"

They wept and embraced each other. When they had ceased their fond caresses, they realised that they were in a tricky situation.

"We have to get far away from here!" said Prince Vaskr. "And quickly, too! My future father-in-law is a potent wizard and will take it ill if I am to jilt his daughter!"

"The quickest way would be to fly away on the grebe" said Simija. "I have seen it in the royal lake close by the hunting lodge."

"That's what we'll do," said Prince Vaskr.

They slipped out of the castle secretly in the middle of that night. They made their way to the royal lake and found the grebe there with the multi-coloured plumage. They seated themselves on the huge bird and it spread its vast wings and bore them up into the air.

Soon they came to the ice sea.

The great bird flew on and on, but eventually it became tired. Prince Vaskr said, in a worried voice, "We had this trouble the last time. The sea is too broad for the grebe to make it in one flight."

"What happened?"

"Princess Ellar had magic which caused a tree to grow from the sea, and the grebe landed there and rested until it was ready to fly on."

Simija remembered the nut that the Night Wind had given to her. "I don't know if this will be any good, but trees grow from nuts, so let's hope that this nut will be no different."

She brought out the nut, kissed it and let it fall.

Immediately a tall nut-tree grew up, whereon the grebe rested, and preened its colourful plumage. When it had rested, it flew on once more until it had carried them home to their castle in Járnwood. There they found their son, who had grown tall and handsome, and they all lived happily ever after.

 

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RE:Every Ninth Step
(Date Posted:02/08/2009 23:04 PM)

Note on the Names

  1. Almeta= the middle daughter (from the Danish word for 'pearl')
  2. Drekka=the servant of Ellar (from drekka, the Icelandic word for 'to drink')
  3. Ellar =the princess-sorceress, (from the Icelandic word for 'or'; 'or else'; 'otherwise'; I was trying for something similar to "Mary, Mary, quite contrary")
  4. Gullbandja = the eldest daughter (from gull-band, the Icelandic word for 'gold band')
  5. Járnwood = Járn (from Járn, the Icelandic word for 'iron, weapon', from the Celtic isarno-)
  6. Simija = the youngest daughter (from gør-simi, f., the Icelandic word for 'treasure')
  7. Skinner = the fur-merchant (from skinna-vara, the Icelandic word for 'fur-wares, furs'
  8. Snúa = the manservant (from snúa, the Icelandic word for 'to turn')
  9. Vaskr =Prince Vaskr (from vaskr, the Icelandic word for 'brave, bold, gallant')

Comment from rewrite author

My first reading of this story found it to be quite exasperating. It starts off as a variant of 'Beauty and the Beast' - well-trodden ground. Then it lurches off into a series of adventures, introducing the sun and the moon and the winds as speaking characters. Finally, a new enemy is introduced - the Dragon-Princess. There are characters referred to which are never on stage, for example, the Princess's sorcerer-father. Pity, he sounds like a worthy opponent. And the son and heir merits no more than a throw away line about his birth and then never gets mentioned again!


The original tale from the Grimms has an Oriental flavour as it stands, with references to the Red Sea, but I feel that keeping it within the Norse milieu keeps it at least on-theme.


By naming the characters I hope to bring them out of the undifferentiated morass of stock characters with which the tale abounds. Poring over the text, however, produced a change in my feelings towards it. Despite all the twists and turns in the narrative, there is an impulse in the story which brought me back to it several times over a period of months. The fight between the bear and the dragon feels reminiscent of alchemical imagery. Somehow, this insight made me re-evaluate the presence of the sun and moon in it. Perhaps they do belong.


One of the problems with re-writing ancient tales is to explain a character's motivation. For example, why should Simija suddenly decide to consult the heavenly bodies? This apparently just came out of nowhere, but hopefully I can justify it in some future re-write. Some time in the future, I hope to come back to this story and expand it, perhaps by telling more of it from Princess Ellar's point of view. It has its hooks in me and won't let go.

Based on The Singing, Soaring Lark.
(posted below)

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RE:Every Ninth Step
(Date Posted:02/08/2009 23:05 PM)

The Singing, Soaring Lark
a Grimm Fairy Tale

There was once upon a time a man who was about to set out on a long journey, and on parting he asked his three daughters what he should bring back with him for them. Whereupon the eldest wished for pearls, the second wished for diamonds, but the third said, dear father, I should like a singing, soaring lark. The father said, yes, if I can get it, you shall have it, kissed all three, and set out.

Now when the time had come for him to be on his way home again, he had brought pearls and diamonds for the two eldest, but he had sought everywhere in vain for a singing, soaring lark for the youngest, and he was very unhappy about it, for she was his favorite child. Then his road lay through a forest, and in the midst of it was a splendid castle, and near the castle stood a tree, but quite on the top of the tree, he saw a singing, soaring lark. Aha, you come just at the right moment, he said, quite delighted, and called to his servant to climb up and catch the little creature.

But as he approached the tree, a lion leapt from beneath it, shook himself, and roared till the leaves on the trees trembled. He who tries to steal my singing, soaring lark, he cried, will I devour. Then the man said, I did not know that the bird belonged to you. I will make amends for the wrong I have done and ransom myself with a large sum of money, only spare my life. The lion said, nothing can save you, unless you will promise to give me for my own what first meets you on your return home, and if you will do that, I will grant you your life, and you shall have the bird for your daughter, into the bargain. But the man hesitated and said, that might be my youngest daughter, she loves me best, and always runs to meet me on my return home.

The servant, however, was terrified and said, why should your daughter be the very one to meet you, it might as easily be a cat, or dog. Then the man allowed himself to be persuaded, took the singing, soaring lark, and promised to give the lion whatsoever should first meet him on his return home.

When he reached home and entered his house, the first who met him was no other than his youngest and dearest daughter, who came running up, kissed and embraced him, and when she saw that he had brought with him a singing, soaring lark, she was beside herself with joy. The father, however, could not rejoice, but began to weep, and said, my dearest child, I have bought the little bird dear. In return for it, I have been obliged to promise you to a savage lion, and when he has you he will tear you in pieces and devour you, and he told her all, just as it had happened, and begged her not to go there, come what might.

But she consoled him and said, dearest father, indeed your promise must be fulfilled. I will go thither and soften the lion, so that I may return to you safely. Next morning she had the road pointed out to her, took leave, and went fearlessly out into the forest. The lion, however, was an enchanted prince and was by day a lion, and all his people were lions with him, but in the night they resumed their natural human shapes.

On her arrival she was kindly received and led into the castle. When night came, the lion turned into a handsome man, and their wedding was celebrated with great magnificence. They lived happily together, remained awake at night, and slept in the daytime. One day he came and said, to-morrow there is a feast in your father's house, because your eldest sister is to be married, and if you are inclined to go there, my lions shall conduct you. She said, yes, I should very much like to see my father again, and went thither, accompanied by the lions.

There was great joy when she arrived, for they had all believed that she had been torn in pieces by the lion, and had long ceased to live. But she told them what a handsome husband she had, and how well off she was, remained with them while the wedding-feast lasted, and then went back again to the forest.

When the second daughter was about to be married, and she was again invited to the wedding, she said to the lion, this time I will not be alone, you must come with me. The lion, however, said that it was too dangerous for him, for if when there a ray from a burning candle fell on him, he would be changed into a dove, and for seven years long would have to fly about with the doves. She said, ah, but do come with me, I will take great care of you, and guard you from all light. So they went away together, and took with them their little child as well.

She had a room built there, so strong and thick that no ray could pierce through it, in this he was to shut himself up when the candles were lit for the wedding-feast. But the door was made of green wood which warped and left a little crack which no one noticed. The wedding was celebrated with magnificence, but when the procession with all its candles and torches came back from church, and passed by this apartment, a ray touched him, he was transformed in an instant, and when she came in and looked for him, she did not see him, but a white dove was sitting there. The dove said to her, for seven years must I fly about the world, but at every seventh step that you take I will let fall a drop of red blood and a white feather, and these will show you the way, and if you follow the trace you can release me. Thereupon the dove flew out at the door, and she followed him, and at every seventh step a red drop of blood and a little white feather fell down and showed her the way.

So she went continually further and further in the wide world, never looking about her or resting, and the seven years were almost past, then she rejoiced and thought that they would soon be saved, and yet they were so far from it. Once when they were thus moving onwards, no little feather and no drop of red blood fell, and when she raised her eyes the dove had disappeared. And as she thought to herself, in this no man can help you, she climbed up to the sun, and said to him, you shine into every crevice, and over every peak, have you not seen a white dove flying.

No, said the sun, I have seen none, but I present you with a casket, open it when you are in sorest need. Then she thanked the sun, and went on until evening came and the moon appeared, she then asked her, you shine the whole night through, and on every field and forest, have you not seen a white dove flying.

No, said the moon, I have seen no dove, but here I give you an egg, break it when you are in great need. She thanked the moon, and went on until the night wind came up and blew on her, then she said to it, you blow over every tree and under every leaf, have you not seen a white dove flying. No, said the night wind, I have seen none, but I will ask the three other winds, perhaps they have seen it.

The east wind and the west wind came, and had seen nothing, but the south wind said, I have seen the white dove, it has flown to the red sea, where it has become a lion again, for the seven years are over, and the lion is there fighting with a dragon, the dragon, however, is an enchanted princess. The night wind then said to her, I will advise you, go to the red sea, on the right bank are some tall reeds, count them, break off the eleventh, and strike the dragon with it, then the lion will be able to subdue it, and both then will regain their human form. After that, look round and you will see the griffin which is by the red sea, swing yourself, with your beloved, on to his back, and the bird will carry you over the sea to your own home. Here is a nut for you, when you are above the center of the sea, let the nut fall, it will immediately shoot up, and a tall nut-tree will grow out of the water on which the griffin may rest, for if he cannot rest, he will not be strong enough to carry you across, and if you forget to throw down the nut, he will let you fall into the sea.

Then she went thither, and found everything as the night wind had said. She counted the reeds by the sea, and cut off the eleventh, struck the dragon therewith, whereupon the lion conquered it, and immediately both of them regained their human shapes. But when the princess, who hitherto had been the dragon, was released from enchantment, she took the youth by the arm, seated herself on the griffin, and carried him off with her.

There stood the poor maiden who had wandered so far and was again forsaken. She sat down and cried, but at last she took courage and said, still I will go as far as the wind blows and as long as the cock crows, until I find him, and she went forth by long, long roads, until at last she came to the castle where both of them were living together, there she heard that soon a feast was to be held, in which they would celebrate their wedding, but she said, God still helps me, and opened the casket that the sun had given her. A dress lay therein as brilliant as the sun itself. So she took it out and put it on, and went up into the castle, and everyone, even the bride herself, looked at her with astonishment.

The dress pleased the bride so well that she thought it might do for her wedding-dress, and asked if it was for sale. Not for money or land, answered she, but for flesh and blood. The bride asked her what she meant by that, so she said, let me sleep a night in the chamber where the bridegroom sleeps. The bride would not, yet wanted very much to have the dress, at last she consented, but the page was to give the prince a sleeping-draught.

When it was night, therefore, and the youth was already asleep, she was led into the chamber, she seated herself on the bed and said, I have followed after you for seven years. I have been to the sun and the moon, and the four winds, and have enquired for you, and have helped you against the dragon, will you, then quite forget me. But the prince slept so soundly that it only seemed to him as if the wind were whistling outside in the fir-trees.

When therefore day broke, she was led out again, and had to give up the golden dress. And as that even had been of no avail, she was sad, went out into a meadow, sat down there, and wept. While she was sitting there, she thought of the egg which the moon had given her, she opened it, and there came out a clucking hen with twelve chickens all of gold, and they ran about chirping, and crept again under the old hen's wings, nothing more beautiful was ever seen in the world. Then she arose, and drove them through the meadow before her, until the bride looked out of the window.

The little chickens pleased her so much that she immediately came down and asked if they were for sale. Not for money or land, but for flesh and blood, let me sleep another night in the chamber where the bridegroom sleeps. The bride said, yes, intending to cheat her as on the former evening. But when the prince went to bed he asked the page what the murmuring and rustling in the night had been. On this the page told all, that he had been forced to give him a sleeping-draught, because a poor girl had slept secretly in the chamber, and that he was to give him another that night. The prince said, pour out the draught by the bed-side.

At night, she was again led in, and when she began to relate how ill all had fared with her, he immediately recognized his beloved wife by her voice, sprang up and cried, now I really am released. I have been as it were in a dream, for the strange princess has bewitched me so that I have been compelled to forget you, but God has delivered me from the spell at the right time.

Then they both left the castle secretly in the night, for they feared the father of the princess, who was a sorcerer, and they seated themselves on the griffin which bore them across the red sea, and when they were in the midst of it, she let fall the nut. Immediately a tall nut-tree grew up, whereon the bird rested, and then carried them home, where they found their child, who had grown tall and beautiful, and they lived thenceforth happily until their death.

--The End--

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