The three princesses of Whiteland
But don’t forget to turn the toes of the shoes this way.”
The King was full of thanks, got on the shoes, and when he came to the man who was lord over the fish of the sea, he turned the toes round, and so off they went home like the other pair. After that, he asked again after Whiteland.
So the man called the fish with a blast, but no fish could tell where it lay. At last came an old pike, which they had great work to call home, he was such a way off. So when they asked him he said:
“Know it? I should think I did! I’ve been cook there ten years, and to-morrow I’m going there again; for now the queen of Whiteland, whose king is away, is going to wed another husband.”
“Well!” said the man, “as this is so, I’ll give you a bit of advice. Hereabouts, on a moor, stand three brothers, and here they have stood these hundred years, fighting about a hat, a cloak, and a pair of boots. If any one has these three things he can make himself invisible, and wish himself anywhere he pleases. You can tell them you wish to try the things, and, after that, you’ll pass judgment between them, whose they shall be.”
Yes! the King thanked the man, and went and did as he told him.
“What’s all this?” he said to the brothers. “Why do you stand here fighting for ever and a day? Just let me try these things, and I’ll give judgment whose they shall be.”
They were very willing to do this; but, as soon as he had got the hat, cloak, and boots, he said:
“When we meet next time, I’ll tell you my judgment,” and with these words he wished himself away.
So as he went along up in the air, he came up with the North wind.
“Whither away?” roared the North Wind.
“To Whiteland,” said the King; and then he told him all that had befallen him.
“Ah,” said the North Wind, “you go faster than I—you do; for you can go straight, while I have to puff and blow round every turn and corner. But when you get there, just place yourself on the stairs by the side of the door, and then I’ll come storming in, as though I were going to blow down the whole castle.