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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "The Twins With the Golden Star"

The Twins With the Golden Star

Once upon a time something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told.

There was an emperor, who ruled over a whole world, and in this world lived an old shepherd and shepherdess, who had three daughters, Anna, Stana, and Laptitza(Little Milk-white).

Anna, the oldest sister, was so beautiful that the sheep stopped feeding when she went among them; Stana, the second, was so lovely that the wolves watched the herd when she was the shepherdess, but Laptitza, the youngest, who had a skin as white as the foam of milk, and hair as soft as the wool of the lambkins, was as beautiful as both of her sisters put together, beautiful as only she herself could be.

One summer day, when the sunbeams were growing less scorching, the three sisters went to the edge of the forest to pick strawberries. While searching for them, they heard the tramp of horses' hoofs, as if a whole troop of cavalry were dashing up. It was the emperor's son, hunting with his friends and courtiers, all handsome, stately youths, sitting their horses as if they were a part of their steeds, but the handsomest and proudest of all rode the most fiery charger, and was the emperor's son himself.

When they saw the sisters, they curbed their horses and rode more slowly.

"Listen to me, sisters," said Anna; "if one of those youths should choose me for his wife, I'd knead a loaf of bread which, when he had eaten it, would make him always feel young and brave."

"And I," said Stana, "would weave my husband a shirt, in which he could fight against dragons, go through water without being wet, or fire without being burned."

"But I," said Laptitza, the youngest sister, "would give my husband two beautiful sons, twin boys with golden hair, and on their foreheads a golden star, a star as bright as Lucifer."

The youths heard these words, and turning their horses dashed toward the maidens.

"Sacred be thy promise, thou shalt be mine, fairest empress," cried the emperor's son, lifting Laptitza with her berries upon his horse.

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