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Main > Brazilian folktales > Fairy tale "The Quest of Cleverness"

The Quest of Cleverness

“To escape we’ll not have to climb the high wall.”

“What of the guard who stands on top of the wall with his head reaching up to the clouds?” asked the princess. “Will he not spy us?”

“My singing bird has put him to sleep, too,” replied the prince. “If we hurry out he will not yet be awake.”

“I have been confined here in this dungeon so long that I fear I have forgotten how to walk,” said the princess.

“Never mind,” replied the prince. “My butterfly will bear you upon his wings.”

With the lovely princess borne safely upon the butterfly’s wings the prince swiftly escaped from the land of the giants. The giant on the wall yawned in his sleep as they looked up at him. “He is good for another hour’s nap,” remarked the prince.

The prince returned to his father’s kingdom as soon as he could find the way back. He took with him the lovely princess, and the singing bird, and the gnawing beetle, and the strong-winged butterfly.

His father and all the people of the kingdom received him with great joy. “Never again will the prince of our kingdom be called stupid,” said the wise men when they heard the account of his adventures. “With his singing bird and his gnawing beetle and his strong-winged butterfly he has become the cleverest youth in the land.”

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