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Main > Poland folktales > Fairy tale "The whirlwind"

The whirlwind

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Prince Dobrotek sounded a challenge three times, and the dwarf, as we have seen, flew up into the air, so as to swoop down upon his antagonist, unperceived of him.

All at once the prince heard a murmuring sound above him, and he saw when he looked up, the dwarf soaring above him, like an eagle in the clouds—for he had the magic power of increasing his size and strength—with his sword drawn, ready to fall upon him.

The prince sprang aside, and the dwarf came down, with such an impetus, that his head and neck were rammed into the ground.

The prince dismounted, seized the dwarf by the beard, wound it about his left hand, and began to sever it with the All-Cutting Sword.

The dwarf saw that he had to do with no feather-bed knight; so he tugged with all his strength, and flew up again into the clouds; but the prince, holding fast with his left hand to the beard, kept on severing it with his sword, so that he had nearly cut half of it through; and the dwarf became weaker and weaker the more hair he lost, so he began to cry for mercy.

"Drop down to the ground, off which you took me," said the prince.

The dwarf dropped down slowly, but the prince cut off the remainder of his beard and threw him—when thus deprived of his charms and his strength alike—on to the ground, wreathed the severed beard round his own helmet, and entered the palace.

The invisible servants of the dwarf, seeing their master's beard, wreathed about the prince's helmet, threw open all the doors to him at once.

He went through all the rooms; but not finding his princess anywhere, went into the garden, traversing all the paths and lawns, and calling her name. He could find her nowhere.

But thus running from one place to another he chanced to touch the invisible cap; he caught hold of it, and pulled it away from where it was, on the head of the princess, and saw her at once in all her loveliness, but fast asleep.

Overcome with joy, he called her by her name; but she had been cast into such a deep sleep by the dwarf's poisonous breath, that he could not rouse her.

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