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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Youth Without Age and Life Without Death"

Youth Without Age and Life Without Death

The hero shot an arrow and one of her heads fell, but when he was going to strike off another, the Scorpion Witch entreated him to forgive her, she would do him no harm, and to convince him of this she gave him her promise, written in her own blood.

Like the Woodpecker Fairy, she entertained the prince, who returned her head, which grew on again, and at the end of three days he resumed his travels.

When the hero and his horse had reached the boundaries of the Scorpion Witch's kingdom they hurried on without resting till they came to a field covered with flowers, where reigned perpetual spring. Every blossom was remarkably beautiful and filled with a sweet, intoxicating fragrance; a gentle breeze fanned them all. They remained here to rest, but the horse said:

"We have arrived so far successfully, master, but we still have one great peril to undergo and, if the Lord helps us to conquer it, we shall really be valiant heroes. A short distance further on is the palace where dwell Youth without Age and Life without Death. It is surrounded by a high, dense forest, where roam all the wild animals in the world, watching it day and night. They are very numerous, and it is almost beyond the bounds of possibility to get through the wood by fighting them; we must try, if we can, to jump over them."

After resting about two days they prepared to continue their journey, and the horse, holding its breath, said:

"Buckle my girth as tight as you can, and when you have mounted hold fast to my mane and press your feet close to my neck, that you may not hinder me." The prince mounted, and in a moment they were close to the forest.

"Master," said the horse, "this is the time that the wild beasts are fed; they are all collected together, now we'll jump over."

"Forward," replied the handsome prince, "and may the Lord have mercy on us."

They flew upward and saw the palace, which glittered so that it would have been easier to look at the sun. They passed over the forest, and, just as they were descending at the palace steps, one of the horse's hoofs lightly touched the top of a tree, which put the whole woods in motion.

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