The Princess of the Springs
Once, long ago, the Moon Giant wooed the beautiful giantess who dwells in the Great River and won her love. He built for her a wonderful palace where the Great River runs into the sea. It was made of mother-of-pearl with rich carvings, and gold and silver and precious stones were used to adorn it. Never before in all the world had a giant or giantess possessed such a magnificent home.
When the baby daughter of the Moon Giant and the Giantess of the Great River was born it was decreed among the giants that she should be the Princess of all the Springs and should rule over all the rivers and lakes. The light of her eyes was like the moonbeams, and her smile was like moonlight on still waters. Her strength was as the strength of the Great River, and the fleetness of her foot was as the swiftness of the Great River.
As the beautiful Spring Princess grew older many suitors came to sing her praises beneath the palace windows, but she favoured none of them. She was so happy living in her own lovely palace with her own dear mother that she did not care at all for any suitor. No other daughter ever loved her mother as the Spring Princess loved the Giantess of the Great River.
At last the Sun Giant came to woo the Spring Princess. The strength of the Sun Giant was as the strength of ten of the other suitors of the fair princess. He was so powerful that he won her heart.
When he asked her to marry him, however, and go with him to his own palace, the Spring Princess shook her lovely head. “O Sun Giant, you are so wonderful and so powerful that I love you as I never before have loved a suitor who sang beneath my palace window,” said she, “but I love my mother, too. I cannot go away with you and leave my own dear mother. It would break my heart.”
The Sun Giant told the Spring Princess again and again of his great love for her, of his magnificent palace which would be her new home, of the happy life which awaited her as queen of the palace. At length she listened to his pleadings and decided that she could leave home and live with him for nine months of the year.