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Main > Portuguese folktales > Fairy tale "The Enchanted Palace"

The Enchanted Palace

Now, with the words of the wise woman of Biscoitos to guide them, the youths of Altos Ares organized an expedition to search for their lost playmate. The sons of the magistrate, the rich men, the learned men of the island of Terceira joined this expedition. They searched through the whole island for a place where an enchanted palace might be located.

At last, upon St. John's Day when the days and nights are of equal length, this band of the brave youths of Terceira came to the shores of Lake Ginjal in the interior of the island.

"This is surely the enchanted place. Here in this lake must lie the fairies' palace of marble and ivory and tortoise shell and mother-of-pearl!" somebody cried.

"How shall we be able to approach this magic palace and rescue Perola?" asked one.

"How shall we be able to break her enchantment?" asked another.

"Let us camp here upon the border of the lake and consider how best to proceed," said the leader of the expedition.

Now at that very hour on St. John's Day the mother of Perola was in the church of St. Roque in Altos Ares praying devoutly for her daughter's safe return.

Suddenly she heard a strange voice. These were the words which fell upon her ears:

"Your prayers and the perseverance of the youths of the island have at last triumphed. Go in peace. On the day of St. Peter at the hour of sunset your daughter shall be restored to you. Her enchantment shall be broken and she shall be brought to the bank of Lake Ginjal in a boat of ivory, drawn by a snow-white swan."

When the youths encamped upon the shore of the lake heard these tidings they set up such a shout of joy that it was indeed enough to break any enchantment.

At the time appointed Perola was brought to the bank of the lake in a boat of ivory drawn by a snow-white swan, just as fair and lovely as upon the day when she had vanished from the little village of Altos Ares.

This is the story of the Lake of Ginjal. It is quite probable that the enchanted palace of the water fairies is still there.

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