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Main > Norway folktales > Fairy tale "The three princesses of Whiteland"

The three princesses of Whiteland

Do you know, I scarce think she’s so good-looking as mine.”

“Would to Heaven,” said the young King, “she were standing here, then you’d see what she was like.” And that instant there she stood before them.

But she was very woeful, and said to him:

“Why did you not mind what I told you; and why did you not listen to what your father said? Now, I must away home, and as for you, you have had both your wishes.”

With that she knitted a ring among his hair with her name on it, and wished herself home, and was off.

Then the young King was cut to the heart, and went, day out day in, thinking and thinking how he should get back to his Queen. “I’ll just try,” he thought, “if I can’t learn where Whiteland lies;” and so he went out into the world to ask. So when he had gone a good way, he came to a high hill, and there he met one who was lord over all the beasts of the wood, for they all came home to him when he blew his horn; so the King asked if he knew where Whiteland was.

“No, I don’t,” said he, “but I’ll ask my beasts.” Then he blew his horn and called them, and asked if any of them knew where Whiteland lay. But there was no beast that knew.

So the man gave him a pair of snow-shoes.

“When you get on these,” he said, “you’ll come to my brother, who lives hundreds of miles off; he is lord over all the birds of the air. Ask him. When you reach his house, just turn the shoes so that the toes point this way, and they’ll come home of themselves.” So when the King reached the house, he turned the shoes as the lord of the beasts had said, and away they went home of themselves.

So he asked again after Whiteland, and the man called all the birds with a blast of his horn, and asked if any of them knew where Whiteland lay; but none of the birds knew. Now, long, long after the rest of the birds came an old eagle, which had been away ten round years, but he couldn’t tell any more than the rest.

“Well, well,” said the man, “I’ll lend you a pair of snow-shoes, and, when you get them on, they’ll carry you to my brother, who lives hundreds of miles off; he’s lord of all the fish in the sea; you’d better ask him.

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