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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Cunning Ileane"

Cunning Ileane

So she ordered a sugar doll to be made exactly the same size as she was herself, with face, eyes, lips, and figure precisely like Ileane's. When it was finished, she hid it in the bed where she was to sleep that night.

In the evening, when the relatives and friends had gone to rest and Ileane, too, had been asleep, the prince said to his bride:

"Dear Ileane, wait a little while, I'll come back directly." Then he left the room.

Ileane did not hesitate long, but jumped out of bed, left the sugar doll in her place, and hid behind a curtain at the head of the bed.

She had scarcely concealed herself, when the prince returned to the chamber with a sharp sword in his hand.

"Tell me now, my dear Ileane," he said, "did you throw me into the cellar?"

"Yes," said Ileane, behind the curtain. The prince dealt one blow with the sword on the doll's breast.

"Did you drive me out of the country with scorn and mockery?" he asked again.

"Yes," said Ileane.

The prince cut the doll across her face.

"Did you empty my dishes of food?" asked the prince the third time.

"Yes," said Ileane.

The prince slashed the doll from head to foot.

"Did you pour out my wine?" was the prince's fourth question.

"Yes," said Ileane.

The prince cut the figure once across. Ileane began to breathe heavily as if in the agony of death.

"Did you throw me among the knives?" he asked for the fifth and last question.

"Yes," said Ileane.

The prince now thrust his sword into the figure's heart, slashed, and hacked it in all directions, with all his strength, till the tears ran down in streams. As dawn approached he began to sob bitterly. Suddenly a bit of sugar popped into his mouth.

"Ah, Ileane! you were sweet in life, and remain sweet even in death," he said, weeping still more violently.

"Sweet indeed," said Ileane, coming out from behind the curtain, "but from this hour forth I will be a hundred thousand times sweeter."

The prince seemed fairly petrified with delight, when he saw Ileane safe and well.

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