The Fountain of Giant Land
“O my father,” he cried as soon as he was in the king’s presence. “My brother is in trouble. I must go to his aid.”
“You, my son, are only a lad,” said the king. “How can you succeed when your two older brothers have failed? I cannot bear to let you go. You are all I have left. I prefer to remain blind the rest of my days. O, why did I ever listen to the story the little old woman told me about the water of the fountain of Giantland?”
The youngest prince begged so hard to go that at length his father granted his request and prepared a fleet for him. He gave him all the gold he could collect in the kingdom.
The prince set out with brave heart. He sailed on his way steadily although at every harbour there were voices which bade him linger. There were games and feasting and fair maidens.
Soon the youngest prince had reached Giantland. Above him rose the rough steep rocky mountain. Before he started to make the ascent he first stuffed cotton in his ears. Then he carefully placed upon his head a bottle to fill with the water of the fountain of Giantland.
He climbed up the steep mountain looking neither to the right nor to the left. Through the cotton in his ears he could faintly hear the giant voices calling him. From the corners of his eyes he could see the giant forms along the pathway. He resolutely kept his eyes fixed straight ahead and steadily climbed upward though the path was very rough and full of stones. The cotton in his ears prevented him from hearing the voices of his two brothers crying out when the giants beat them.
At length the lad was in sight of the fountain at the summit of the mountain. The little old woman was standing in the path, watching his ascent. As soon as he came near to her he took the cotton out of his ears so that he might hear what she had to say to him.
“You have arrived at a safe moment,” the little old woman told him. “The dragon is asleep.”
The little old woman helped the prince fill the bottle with water from the fountain. Then she said, “The dragon which guards the fountain is an enchanted princess.