A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 21- The Princess Who Never Smiled to The Prince and Princess in the Forest

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Of course, given that so many forgotten fairy tales exist, there was no way I could get to them all. After all, what I show is only a fraction of the infinite amount of tales told throughout the world. Anyway, in this installment, I give you another 10 forgotten fairy tales for your reading pleasure. First, is a Russian tale of a princess who never smiles. Second, we come to European stories of a magic swan and a frog princess. Third, are 2 Italian tales about a man who wins a princess by making her laugh and an innkeeper jealous of her daughter’s looks. After that, we got an Armenian tale of a poor little rich girl who discovers a sleeping prince, followed by a French story of a girl who befriends dragons and doesn’t go batshit crazy like Mad Queen Daenerys and a Greek one of a girl who’s taken in by the Months after her sisters abandon her. Then there’s a North African story about a girl with 7 big brothers as well as a Danish tale of a prince and princess in the forest.

201. The Princess Who Never Smiled

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In the Russian fairy tale, The Princess Who Never Smiled, a princess never smiles and laughs. So the king makes it a challenge that who can do so will win her hand. Fortunately a worker steps right up to the king’s dismay.

From: Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki.
Best Known Version: The Afanasyev version, naturally.
Synopsis: A princess never smiles or laughs. So her dad promises that whoever could make her smile can marry her. Many try but none succeed. Across town, an honest worker works hard for his master. At the year’s end, the master puts a sack of money in front of his worker and allows him to take as much as he wants. Because he doesn’t want to take too much, the worker only takes a coin. When he goes to drink at a well, he drops the coin and loses it. The same thing happens to him the next year. The third year, the worker takes the same amount of coin as before. But when he drinks from the well, he doesn’t lose the coin and the other 2 coins float up to him. So he decides to see the world. A mouse asks for alms and he gives it a coin. He does the same with a beetle and a catfish.

The worker comes to the castle and sees a princess looking at him. Astounded, he falls in the mud. The mouse, beetle, and catfish come to his aid. The princess laughs at their antics, pointing out to the man. When he’s brought to the castle, he’s turned into a handsome man and marries the princess.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Doesn’t really have much of a plot.
Trivia: N/A

202. The Magic Swan
From: Europe
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Hermann Kletke.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Green Fairy Book.
Synopsis: 2 older brothers abuse the youngest son, Peter. An old woman advises him to run away. When Peter does, she tells him to go to a certain tree where he’d find a sleeping man and a swan tied to it. He must take the swan without waking the man, and everyone would fall in love with its plumage. But when they touch it, he can say “Swan, hold fast,” and they’d be his prisoners. With this, he can get a chuckle out of a princess who never laughs. Peter collects a string of people and the princess laughs at the sight. The king offers him a choice of land or gold and he takes the land. Peter then traps the princess with the swan and wins her as a wife. But the swan flies off.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: There‘s not much of a plot.
Trivia: N/A

203. Peruonto

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Peruonto is an Italian fairy tale about a guy who wins a princess by making her laugh. But when her dad finds out, they’re put out to sea and are forced to flee.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Written by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 work, the Pentamerone. Kind of reads like something from Game of Thrones.
Best Known Version: The Basile version, obviously.
Synopsis: A widow named Ceccerella has an ugly idiot son named Peruonto. One day, she sends him to gather wood. He sees 3 men sleeping in the sun and makes them a shelter of branches. They wake and being fairy sons, give him a charm that whatever he asks for would be done. As he carries wood back, Peruonto wishes the wood would carry him, and he rides it back like a horse. The king’s daughter Vastolla, who never laughs, sees it, and bursts out laughing. Peruonto wishes she’d marry him and he’d cure her of her laughing. However, Vastolla is already engaged to marry a prince. But she refuses, wishing to only marry the guy riding the wood. The king proposes putting her to death but his councilors suggest going after the man instead. The king holds a banquet with all the lords and nobles, thinking Vastolla would betray which man it is, but she doesn’t recognize any of them. The king wants her put to death at once, but the councilors suggest a banquet for those still lower in birth. Peruonto’s mom urges him to go, which he does. Vastolla recognizes him at once and exclaims. The king has her and Peruonto shut up in a cask and thrown out to sea. Vastolla worms the story out of Peruonto and tells him to turn the cask to a ship. Then she has him turn it to a castle. Then she has him transform into a handsome and well-mannered man. They marry and live happily for many years.

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Here Peruonto and Vastolla go out to sea. At least Vastolla turned the cask they’re thrown in into a ship.

The king grows old and sad. His councilors encourage him to hunt to cheer him up. One day, he comes upon a castle where he finds 2 little boys welcoming him and bringing him to a magic banquet. The next morning, he wishes to thank them. Not only the boys, but their mom and dad, Vastolla and Peruonto also appear. The reconcile, the king brings the m back to their castle, where the feast of celebration lasts 9 days.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Having your daughter and her boyfriend shut up in a cask and thrown to sea because she didn’t want to marry the guy you wanted her to is a classic example of bad parenting.
Trivia: N/A

204. Bella Venezia
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Italo Calvino in his Italian Folktales. It’s like Snow White but without the dwarves.
Best Known Version: The Calvino version, of course.
Synopsis: An innkeeper named Bella Venezia asks her customers whether they had seen a more beautiful woman than herself. When they say no, she cuts the stay price in half. But one day a traveler that he had seen such a woman: her daughter. Bella Venezia doubles the price for his stay instead of halving it. She then has her daughter shut in a tower with a single window. But the daughter escapes and wanders until she sees 12 robbers order a cave open and shut: “Open up, desert!” and “Close up, desert!” She sneaks inside and cleans up the place, before stealing some of their food before hiding. The robbers set watch. But as each robber stays outside for the person to sneak in so they don’t catch her. Until the chief robber waits inside and sees her. He tells her don’t be afraid, offering she could stay and be their little sister. But one day, one robber goes to Bella Venezia’s inn and tells her the girl they have with them is more beautiful than Bella herself.

A witch begs every day from the inn. Bella Venezia promises her half her fortune if she can kill her daughter. The witch goes into the forest as a peddler, persuading the girl to let her in. While showing her a hair pin, the witch thrusts it into the girl’s head. The robbers find her body, cry, and bury her in a hollow tree. One day, a prince goes hunting. His dogs sniff out a tree where the girl’s buried in. He takes her body back to the castle and can’t bear to be away from her. His angry mom says she could at least fix her hair, revealing the pin. Once the queen pulls it out, the girl wakes up and the prince marries her.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features necrophilia.
Trivia: N/A

205. Nourie Hadig

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Nourie Hadig is an Armenian fairy tale of a girl who’s abandoned by her sisters and stumbles upon a house with all kinds of treasures and a sleeping prince. If she can serve him for 7 years, he’s hers.

From: Armenia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Susie Hoogasian-Villa in 100 Armenian Tales.
Best Known Version: Guess the Hoogasian-Villa version.
Synopsis: A rich man has a beautiful wife and daughter, Nourie Hadig. Every month, the girl’s mother asks the new moon if she’s the prettiest. However, the moon finally says her daughter is prettier. She takes to her bed and tells her husband he must get rid of their daughter and bring back her bloody shirt as proof. Instead of killing the girl, the dad abandons Nourie Hadig in the woods. The girl finds a house. When she goes in, the door closes behind her. She finds rooms full of treasure and a sleeping prince. A voice tells her to cook for the prince for 7 years, and leave the food beside the bed. At the next new moon, the moon tells Nourie Hadig’s mom her daughter is still prettier. The wife realizes her daughter didn’t get killed and is determined to find and murder her. The husband admits he didn’t kill her and doesn’t know where she is. The wife sets out to find her. Every new moon, she asks the moon again about her daughter, hearing every time the daughter is prettier.

After 4 years, gypsies come by the house where Nourie Hadig is. She buys a girl from them and they both serve the prince. Once the 7 years are up, the prince wakes up. Because the gypsy girl’s tending him, he thinks she had served him all these 7 years, so he decides to marry her. While wedding arrangements progress, the prince goes into town and tells Nourie Hadig that she must’ve helped some. So he’ll buy her something. She asks for the Stone of Patience. He buys it. The stonecutter tells him that if one’s troubles are great, the stone will swell until it bursts from sorrow on hearing them. But if the person makes much of a little, they would swell and burst. So he must watch and ensure that the servant asking for it doesn’t burst. He gives Nourie Hadig the stone and she tells it her story. It swells and is about to burst when the prince breaks in and insists on marrying her, rather than the gypsy.

The next new moon, the moon says that the Princess of Adana is prettier, so her mom knows where her daughter is. She has a beautiful ring made that will put its wearer to sleep. And she has the witch bring it to her daughter, pleading her mom had been out of her mind when she ordered her death. The gypsy girl persuades Nourie Hadig to wear the ring and she falls down dead. The prince refuses to bury his wife and resolves to tend her as she tended him. Many doctors can’t heal her. Though one tries stealing the ring. Just as the princess gets out of her ring-induced coma, he slides it back on and gets the prince to promise him rewards for healing his wife. He then takes the ring off, restoring Nourie Hadig to life. However, when the ring was on the princess, the moon tells the wife she’s the prettiest. But after the ring’s removed, it says Nourie Hadig is. The wife gets so angry that she dies.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Offensive Roma stereotypes. Also, the heroine participates in human trafficking.
Trivia: N/A

206. La Petite Toute-Belle

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The French fairy tale, La Petite Toute-Belle centers around a girl so beautiful that her jealous mom has a servant push her in a well. Don’t worry, she befriends a trio of dragons.

From: France
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Paul Sébillot in Contes des landes et des grèves. Comes from Brittany.
Best Known Version: The Sebillot version, I guess.
Synopsis: A woman has a daughter who’s so pretty that people call her Toute-Belle (Very Beautiful). Her mom’s jealous of her beauty. They have a kleptomaniac servant who hates Toute-Belle who snitches on her thievery. So she eventually convinces the girl’s mom that her daughter’s stealing shit. When the mom finds her jewels stolen, she promises to reward whoever will rid her of Toute-Belle. The servant promises to push Toute-Belle into a well in a way that’ll look like an accident. The next day, the servant pretends seeing a beautiful flower in the well. Toute-Belle bends over the edge and the servant pushes her. But instead of drowning, Toute-Belle finds herself in a pretty room where 3 dragons live and ask how she came. She tells them her story and they decide to keep her with them.

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Toute-Belle’s mom tries to get her killed 3 times. But each time the dragons intervene. Until a fairy gives the girl a poisoned red dress to put on. Don’t worry, she gets better.

The next day, the servant goes to the well to draw water and Toute-Belle greets her. She goes to the mom, telling her Toute-Belle is alive. The mom asks an evil fairy how to kill her daughter. The fairy gives her red almonds, saying that Toute-Belle will die if she eats them. The next morning, the servant gives Toute-Belle the almonds. But when the girl wants to eat them, the dragons intervene, saying they’re poisoned. The mom asks the fairy to kill Toute-Belle, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t succeed. The fairy reluctantly gives her a red dress, saying Toute-Belle will die as soon as she slips it on. The following morning, the servant gives Toute-Belle the dress and the girl decides putting it on so the dragons would see how pretty she is. But no sooner has she slips on the poisoned dress that she falls down and loses consciousness.

When the dragons find her, they think she’s dead and put her in a shrine, which they put on the beach. When the tide rises, the shrine floats away as the dragons watch it, crying. When it disappears, they think it’s sunk. However, the shrine floats until it stops on rocks, near a castle. A young king sees it and asks his servant to bring it to him. When he opens it, he finds Toute-Belle and thinking she’s too fresh-looking to be dead. He starts a chimney fire and tries waking her up. m

Wondering why her son’s staying in his bedroom, the queen mother thinks he’s sick and asks her maid to look through the keyhole. The maid says the king’s holding a girl in his arms. The angry queen breaks the door down but when she sees Toute-Belle, she takes pity on her. The maid claims the girl is too fresh-looking and pretty to be dead, and that they should take off her dress and warm her up. As soon as they take the dress off, Toute-Belle wakes up and tells her story. The king sends for the 3 dragons whom he rewards. He then declares he’ll marry Toute-Belle if she agrees before inviting the girl’s mom and servant. He asks the mom if she has a marriageable daughter. The mom says yes, but she died very suddenly. The king confronts her with the truth and condemns her and the servant to be burned at the stake.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Two women get burned at the stake. Also, contains good dragons and evil fairies which most people aren’t used to.
Trivia: N/A

207. Myrsina
From: Greece
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Georgios A. Megas in Folktales of Greece.
Best Known Version: The Megas version, obviously.
Synopsis: Myrsina is the youngest of 3 orphaned sisters. The sun declares her the prettiest 3 times. Her jealous sisters tell her it’s time to honor their mom with a memorial or rebury her. They make the traditional food, go to her grave in the forest, and exclaim they forgot the shovel and so can’t plant flowers nor can they exhume her for reburial. The 2 oldest must go back for it, and Myrsina watch the food. In the evening, Myrsina realizes they won’t return and cries. This wakes the trees, one telling her to roll her bread down the hill and follow it. She does and lands in a pit with a house. She hides there doing housework while the owners, the Months, are about. The Months wonder who’s doing it until the youngest stays behind and hides. He catches her and the Months take her as their sister.

Word reaches the older sisters. They come to her with a poisoned cake, claiming they couldn’t find her. Myrsina gives part of the cake to the dog and it dies. When the older sisters hear she’s still alive, they return. But she won’t open the door to them. But they claim to have a ring that their mom said must go to Myrsina. Since she can’t defy her mom’s wishes, Myrsina puts on the ring and falls to the floor. The Months return, lament her, and keep her body in a golden chest. A prince comes by, and they give him their best room so that he sees the chest. He pleads for it and they finally give it to him on condition he never open it. He gets sick and doesn’t want to die without knowing what’s in the chest. He opens it, wonders at Myrsina, and thinks the ring may reveal who she is. He takes it off and Myrsina comes back to life. She has the ring thrown into the sea and marries the prince. One day, the sisters come to harm her. The prince has his soldiers deal with them.

Other Versions: Other variants collected by Anna Angelopoulou.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

208. Udea and Her Seven Brothers

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Udea and Her Seven Brothers is a North African fairy tale of a girl who goes searching for her missing siblings who disappeared shortly after her birth. Her mom sends her off with a camel and 2 servants who are complete jerks.

From: North Africa
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Hans von Stumme in Märchen und Gedichte aus der Stadt Tripolis.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang translation for his The Grey Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A man and his wife have 7 sons. One day, the sons set out hunting. They tell their aunt their mom has a daughter, to wave a white handkerchief and they’ll return at once. But if it’s a son, a sickle and they will keep on. It’s a girl, but the aunt wants to get rid of the boys so she waves a sickle. Named Udea, the daughter grows up not knowing about her brothers. One day, an older child taunts her for driving her brothers away, who are forever roaming the world. She asks her mom and sets out to find them. Her mom gives her a camel, some food, a cowrie shell around the camel’s neck as a charm, an African named Barka, and his wife to take care of her. On the second day, Barka tells Udea to get off the camel so his wife can ride in her place. The mom’s nearby and tells Barka to leave Udea alone. On the third day, Barka tells Udea to let his wife ride the camel in her place, but her mom’s too far away to hear and command Barka. Udea calls out for her mom but no avail and Barka throws the girl to the ground. The wife climbs onto the camel and Udea walks on the ground, her feet cut up due to the stones on the path.One day, the pass a caravan, where they’re told of a castle where the brothers live. Barka lets Udea ride the camel but smears her with pitch so her brothers won’t recognize her. However, they accept her without question since they don’t know what she looks like anyway. Udea’s joyous tears leave white marks on her face. One alarmed brother takes a cloth and rubs the mark until the pitch is gone. The brother asks her who painted her skin black, but Udea doesn’t answer fearing Barka’s anger. She finally relents, describing the treatment she received during her travels. Outraged, her brothers behead Barka and his wife.

The brothers go on a week-long hunting trip, instructing Udea to lock herself up in the castle with only the cat who grew up with the house. They return and find her well. The brothers then tell her of the castle elves and pigeons, who Udea can call to fetch them if she’s in any danger. The pigeons have a week’s worth of food and water the brothers leave during each hunting trip. Udea asks why they don’t have her feed the feeding the pigeons every day. Since food laid out wouldn’t be fresh after a week. They agree and tell her that any kindness toward the pigeons would be considered kindness toward themselves. On the brothers’ third hunting trip, Udea’s cleaning the castle. Forgetting instructions for a moment, she finds a bean and eats it. The cat demands half. Udea says she can’t since she already ate it and offers 100 beans to make up for it. The cat only wants the bean the girl ate. To punish her, the cat puts out the fire in the kitchen. With no way to cook, Udea climbs up the castle, sees a fire in the distance, and leaves to find its source. She asks for a lump of burning coal from an elderly man tending the fire, but he’s actually a “man-eater” (cannibal) and demands a strip of blood from her hear to her thumb in return. She bleeds all the way home and doesn’t notice the raven following her back until she approaches the castle door. Startled, Udea curses the raven, hoping it to startle it as well. It asks why she’d wish harm to one who’s done her a favor. It flies off, along with the dirt it’s used to cover a trail of blood. The cannibal follows this path to the castle, breaking 6 doors in 6 nights, intending to attack and eat Udea. On the last day, with one door in place, she sends a letter to her brothers with the castle pigeons’ help. The brothers immediately come home and trap the cannibal in a burning pit.

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After being driven out by the castle’s cat, Udea meets an old man who demands her blood in exchange for a lump of coal. But she leads a trail of blood and the cannibal’s actually a man-eater. You can see she didn’t think this through.

As the cannibal burns, only his fingernails are left behind, blowing towards and stabbing Udea under her own fingernail. She collapses, lifeless. Her brothers put her on a bier and the bier on the camel, setting it off to their mom. They order the camel to avoid capture and stop only when someone says, “string.” During the journey, 3 men chase after the camel. But only when claims his sandal string is broken up does it stop. The man takes Udea’s hand and tries pulling off, freeing the cannibal’s fingernail from it, and she wakes full of life. The camel returns her to her joyful brothers, and all siblings set out to see their parents again. On the fourth day after their reunion, the oldest brother tells their parents of their aunt’s treachery and the adventures they encounter.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: There might be racism in this. Also features decapitation, body mutilation, cannibalism, and burning someone alive.
Trivia: N/A

209. The Frog Princess

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The Frog Princess is a European fairy tale about a king who has his sons find wives by shooting an arrow. Where the arrow lands, he’ll find his bride. Unfortunately, the youngest prince finds a frog instead of his dream girl.

From: Russia, Italy, and Greece
Earliest Appearance: The Russian variants seem to be the earliest with “Tsarevna Frog,” and “Vasilissa the Wise.” Alexander Afanasyev collected variants in his Narodnye russkie skazki.
Best Known Version: The Russian version. In this one, Prince Ivan and his 2 older brothers shoot arrows in different directions to find brides. The older brothers’ arrows land on houses of daughters of an aristocrat and a wealthy merchant. While Ivan’s arrow ends up in frog’s mouth in a swamp, who’s a princess by night. Named Vasilissa the Wise, she’s a beautiful, intelligent, and skilled girl who’s forced to spend 3 years in frog’s skin for disobeying Koschei. Her final test may be to dance at the king’s banquet. The Frog Princess sheds her skin but the Ivan burns it to her dismay. For had the prince been patient, the Frog Princess would’ve been free. But instead, he loses her. He then sets out to find her again and meets with Baba Yaga, whom he impresses with his spirit, asking why she hasn’t offered him hospitality. She tells him Koschei’s holding his bride captive and explains how to find the magic needle necessary to rescue his bride. In another version, the prince flies into Baba Yaga’s hut as a bird. The prince catches her, she turns into a lizard, and he can’t hold on. Baba Yaga rebukes him and sends Ivan to her sister, where he fails again. However, when he’s sent to the third sister, he catches her and no transformations can break her free again. In some versions, the Frog Princess’ transformation is a reward for her good nature. In one version, the witches transform her for their amusement. In yet another version, she’s revealed to have been the enchanted princess all along.

Synopsis: The king wants his 3 sons to marry. To accomplish this, he creates a test to help them find brides, telling each prince to shoot an arrow. According to the king’s rules, each prince will find a bride where the arrow lands. A frog picks up the youngest son’s arrow. The king assigns his 3 prospective daughters-in-law various tasks like spinning cloth and baking bread. In every task, the frog outperforms the 2 other lazy brides-to-be. Still the young prince is ashamed of his frog bride until she magically transforms into a human princess.

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Fortunately for the prince, his frog bride doesn’t disappoint and accomplishes each task with gusto. While the other prospective daughters-in-law prove to be quite lazy.

Other Versions: Andrew Lang included an Italian variant in his The Violet Fairy Book called “The Frog.” In his version, the parent with 3 sons is an old woman instead of a king. While Italo Calvino included another Italian variant from the Piedmont called “The Prince Who Married a Frog.” In this version, the princes uses slings instead of bows and arrows. Georgias Megas included a Greek variant in his Folktales of Greece called “The Enchanted Lake.” In this version, the princes set out to find brides one by one. While the older 2 are already married by the time the youngest prince starts his quest. In some versions, the frog uses magic to accomplish the tasks, and though the other brides try emulating the frog, they can’t perform magic. Another variation has the brothers chop down trees and headed in the direction pointed by them in order to find their brides.
Adaptations: Made into 2 Soviet films in 1939 and 1977 as Vasilissa the Beautiful, which shouldn’t be confused with the one where Baba Yaga acts as fairy godmother and sets a house on fire.

Why Forgotten: It’s not necessarily forgotten since it’s very popular in Russia. But when we think of a frog princess we with think of Tiana from The Princess and the Frog since she’s turned into one. Except that she’s not since it’s a Disney adaptation of The Frog Prince.
Trivia: N/A

210. The Prince and Princess in the Forest
From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Evald Tang Kristensen in Æventyr fra Jylland (Danish, “Tales from Jutland”) in 1881.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Olive Fairy Book.
Synopsis: After the king of Denmark dies, the queen is so inconsolable that her only child, the prince, suggests they should go to a place on the other side of the forest. They get lost in the woods, but come upon 2 houses. The first contains a mail shirt and a sword, with a note saying they’ll keep a man safe from all danger, which the prince, unbeknownst to his mom, takes. The second house contains a food and a bed (granting them both food and a place to sleep). Unfortunately, it’s a robbers’ den. The next morning, when the prince is out hunting, the queen is surprised by the robber chief, telling her if she wants to live, she must make him king in her husband’s place and must kill her son. When the queen protests she can’t do this, the robber chief tells her to fake sick and send her son after some apples in a forest a mile away, knowing that it, “was full of wild animals who would tear to pieces any traveler who entered it.”

The forest “was full of lions and tigers, and bears and wolves, who came rushing towards him; but instead of springing on him and tearing him to pieces, they lay down on the ground and licked his hands.” Once the creatures no longer pose a threat, the prince finds an apple tree. When his sword brushes against it, 2 apples fall. After taking the apples, he starts leaving the woods. But a little black dog leads him to a tiny hole in the hill, which the sword enlarges enough for the prince to enter. He finds an Arabian princess chained to an iron pillar. 12 robbers have captured her and are fighting over who’ll marry her. She further says she’s been imprisoned here for 20 years. A touch from the prince’s sword breaks the chains. He leads her through the forest to a port containing a ship bound for Arabia, pledging that if he’s still alive next year, he’ll come to Arabia and marry her. She gives him a ring as a pledge of their promise, and sails home.

The robber smells the apples when the prince is still far away, deciding that only powerful magic could’ve saved the prince from the animals, orders the queen to tell the prince that she dreamed of him being attacked by wild animals and to ask how he survived. The prince tells her about the magic mail shirt and the magic sword, which the queen passes on to the robber chief who roofies the prince with a sleeping draught, and steals the sword and mail shirt, claiming they’re his brother’s. When the prince wakes up, the robber gives him a choice: either die or be blinded and left in the forest. Knowing that his mom betrayed him, he chooses blindness. The robber and queen go to Denmark, where they marry and the robber becomes king. The prince wanders until he arrives to a port, where there’s a ship bound for Arabia. Pitying the blind man, the captain offers to take him there. Once reaching his destination, the prince goes to the public baths, where the ring slips from his fingers. The slave finds it and brings it to a friend in the palace, who recognizes it as the princess’ ring. The friend passes it onto his daughter, who’s the princess’ favorite servant. On seeing it, the princess identifies it as her betrothed’s ring. And despite her dad’s objections since he doesn’t want a blind guy to rule after him, the prince and princess marry.

One day, the prince overhears 2 ravens saying that dew falls in a certain part of the garden on Midsummer’s Eve, restoring sight to those with bad eyes, or even no eyes at all. The prince tries it, and to his and his new wife’s delight, finds that he can see again. As the princess falls asleep due to heat, the prince sees a small shining lamp on a chain around her neck. The prince unfastens the chain and examines the lamp, but he drops its pendant, which a hawk instantly snatches it up. The prince chases the hawk for so long that he ends up in the same woods as before. When the princess wakes up, she follows him and gets captured by the same robbers.

The prince finds 12 youths seeking service. He joins them, and they all go to work for a troll who tells them they have to care for his house for a year and then answer 3 questions. Those who succeed will receive a sack of gold. Those who fail will be turned into beasts. After that year, the prince overhears the troll chatting with another troll, saying he’d ask how long they’d been there (the 12 young men being so busy partying that the troll’s sure they don’t know a year’s passed), what shines on the roof (the lamp the troll stole from the princess while slept), and where their food comes from (the king’s table). When the troll asks these questions, the others don’t know. But the prince answers all of them correctly. So they all receive their gold and leave. On the way, they meet an old beggar asking for some money for a poor man. The prince gives him the whole sack. However, the beggar is the troll in disguise but he gives the prince the lamp he stole, telling him the princess is in the same cave where the prince found her. The prince disguises himself as a peddler and orders a great many pots and pans from a goldsmith, using them to distract his mom while he searches for and reclaims the sword and mail shirt. When the robber chief returns, the prince strips him of his fine clothes and sends him into the forest, “where the wild beasts tore him to pieces,” and sends his mom back to her country. He rescues his wife and they reign over both their countries.

Other Versions: One version just has the prince fight the forest creatures and win.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features eye mutilation, and a man getting stripped naked and torn to pieces by wild beasts Ramsay-Bolton style. Also, it’s incredibly long.
Trivia: N/A

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