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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Cunning Ileane"

Cunning Ileane


"That I can!" said the prince.

"Then that shall be your fruit!" replied the beautiful and cunning Ileane. "Sit down at the table."

The prince took his place. Ah! but Ileane was indeed cunning Ileane. Ere he had fairly seated himself, he dropped, chair and all, into the deep cellar where the emperor's treasures were kept.

Ileane now began to scream: "Help!" and when all the servants came rushing in to see what had happened, she told them she had heard a noise and was afraid that some one had got into the cellar to rob the emperor of his treasures. The servants did not waste many words, but instantly opened the iron door and went into the cellar, where they found the prince and brought him in disgrace to be sentenced.

Ileane pronounced judgment.

Twelve girls under punishment for some offense were to carry him out of the country, and when they had reached the frontier with him, each one was to give him a kiss.

The order was obeyed. When the prince reached home and joined his brothers, he told them the whole story, and after every thing had been related their hearts were filled with rage. So they sent word to the two older princesses that they must arrange to have Ileane go to the three princes' court, so that they might revenge themselves upon her for the insult she had offered them. When the oldest daughter received this message from the prince she pretended to be sick, called Ileane to her bedside, and told her that she could not get well unless Ileane brought her something to eat from the princes' kitchen.

Ileane would have done any thing for her sister's sake, so she took a little jug and set off for the court of the three princes, to beg or steal. When she reached the palace, she rushed breathlessly into the kitchen and said to the head-cook:

"For heaven's sake, don't you hear the emperor calling you? Make haste, and see what is the matter."

The cook took to his heels and ran as fast as he could, as though he had received an imperial command. Ileane, left alone in the kitchen, filled her jug with food, emptied all the dainty dishes that were on the fire upon the floor, and went away.

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