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The three princesses in the blue mountain

They then took with them as much gold and silver as they thought they could carry and set off on their way home.

As soon as they tugged at the rope the captain and the lieutenant pulled up the Princesses, the one after the other. But when they were safely up, the soldier thought it was foolish of him not to have gone up before the Princesses, for he had not very much belief in his comrades. He thought he would first try them, so he put a heavy lump of gold in the basket and got out of the way. When the basket was half-way up they cut the rope and the lump of gold fell to the bottom with such a crash that the pieces flew about his ears.

“Now we are rid of him,” they said, and threatened the Princesses with their life if they did not say that it was they who had saved them from the trolls. They were forced to agree to this, much against their will, and especially the youngest Princess; but life was precious, and so the two who were strongest had their way.

When the captain and lieutenant got home with the Princesses you may be sure there were great rejoicings at the palace. The King was so glad he didn’t know which leg to stand on; he brought out his best wine from his cupboard and wished the two officers welcome. If they had never been honoured before they were honoured now in full measure, and no mistake. They walked and strutted about the whole of the day, as if they were the cocks of the walk, since they were now going to have the King for father-in-law. For it was understood they should each have whichever of the Princesses they liked and half the kingdom between them. They both wanted the youngest Princess, but for all they prayed and threatened her it was of no use; she would not hear or listen to either.

They then asked the King if they might have twelve men to watch over her; she was so sad and melancholy since she had been in the mountain that they were afraid she might do something to herself.

Yes, that they might have, and the King himself told the watch they must look well after her and follow her wherever she went and stood.

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Category: Arabic folktales
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