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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Cunning Ileane"

Cunning Ileane

"May this do you much good, little sister," said the prince. "I'm glad to see you in my garden."

"The pleasure is mine," replied Ileane, "since I have so brave and handsome a prince for my companion. Come, climb the tree and help me pick some apples for my dear sisters, who are dangerously ill and have asked for them."

The prince wanted nothing better—he meant to pull Ileane from the tree among the knives.

"You are very kind, Ileane," he replied, "be kinder still and give me your hand to help me up into the tree."

"Your plan is wicked," thought Ileane, "but it shall work your own misfortune." She gave him her hand, pulled him up the trunk to the branches, and then let him drop among the knives, swords, spears and other such things, which had been put there for her own destruction.

"There you are," she said, "now you will know what you meant to do."

The hero with the black soul began to shriek and groan—but nobody came to help him; they left him, according to his own orders, to moan in peace, and he was obliged to bear his terrible sufferings patiently.

Ileane took her apples, carried them home, gave them to her sisters, and then went back to the imperial palace and told the servants to go and rescue their master from his great danger.

The prince, who had been so abominably treated, sent for the most skillful witch in the whole country to come and give him a cure for his wounds. But Ileane had gone to the witch first and offered her a great deal of money to let her, Ileane, go to the court in her place. So Ileane went to the palace disguised as the witch. She ordered a buffalo hide to be soaked in vinegar three days and three nights, then taken out and wrapped around the wounded youth. But the prince's cuts only burned the more, and his sufferings became still more unbearable. When he saw that he was in a bad way, he sent for a priest that he might relieve his heart before he died and give him the sacrament. But Ileane was not idle. She went to the priest, offered him a large sum of money, and induced him to let her go to the palace instead.

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