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Main > Brazilian folktales > Fairy tale "The Fountain of Giant Land"

The Fountain of Giant Land

One can approach it only when the dragon is asleep. Many princes have tried this quest and all have failed. If you should be able to send a prince brave enough and wise enough to succeed, there at the top of the mountain he will find a little old woman who will tell him whether or not the dragon is asleep.”

With these words the little old woman withdrew from the royal presence. The king pondered over her advice. Then he sent for the three princes and told them the story.

“O my father, I am brave and wise,” said the eldest prince as soon as he had heard his father’s words. “I will go upon this quest. I will bring you a bottle of the water of the fountain of Giantland that your sight may be restored.”

The king ordered a great fleet to be prepared to sail up the river to Giantland. He collected an enormous sum of money to provide for the prince. The whole kingdom buzzed with preparation for the journey.

The prince planted an orange tree in the palace garden and said to his younger brother, “Keep close watch of this tree. If its leaves begin to wither you will know that some evil has befallen me. Come to my aid.”

The eldest prince set out with a great fleet and his pockets lined with gold. He anchored in many harbors along the way. The prince was very fond of gaming and there were many opportunities to play. Before he had reached Giantland he had lost the golden linings from his pockets.

After the prince had sailed up the great river which leads to Giantland he saw the steep rocky mountain towering before him. He set a bottle for the water of the fountain of Giantland carefully upon his head and slowly ascended the steep path. He kept his eyes fixed straight ahead.

Soon, however, he heard giant voices shouting at him. From the corners of his eyes he could see giant forms along the pathway. He forgot that he must look neither to the right nor to the left.

The moment the prince turned his eyes a giant immediately seized him and made him his slave. “You shall be my slave for ever and a day,” said the giant, “unless you have gold enough in your pockets to pay your ransom.

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