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Main > Scandinavian folktales > Fairy tale "The magician's daughter"

The magician's daughter


The young man then sat down weeping beside her, and she explained to him that she was the daughter of a magician, on the other side of the mountain, who had sent her out in the shape of a wolf to collect plants from places which, in her own proper form, she could not have reached. It was but in terror she had made that violent spring which the youth had mistaken for an attack on him, when her only wish had been to pass by him.

"But you directly broke my right arm," said she, "though I had no evil design against you."

How she had now regained her proper shape she could not imagine, but to the youth it was quite clear that the picture of St. George and the Dragon had broken the spell by which the poor girl had been transformed.

While the son was thus occupied, the old man returned home, and soon heard all that had occurred, perceiving, at the same time, that if the young pagan wanderer had been released from the spells by which she had been bound, the youth was, in his turn, enchanted and spellbound by her beauty and amiable behaviour.

From that moment he exerted himself to the utmost for the welfare of her soul, endeavouring to convert her to Christianity, while his son attended to the cure of her wounds; and, as their endeavours were on both sides successful, it was resolved that the lovers should be united in marriage, for the youth had not restricted himself by any monastic vows.

The magician's daughter was now restored to perfect health. A day had been appointed for her baptism and marriage. It happened that one evening the bride and bridegroom went to take a pleasure walk through the woods. The sun was yet high in the west, and shone so fervently through the beech-trees on the green turf that they could never resolve on turning home, but went still deeper and deeper into the forest. Then the bride told him stories of her early life, and sang old songs which she had learned when a child, and which sounded beautifully amid the woodland solitude. Though the words were such that they could not be agreeable to the youth's ears (for she had learned them among her pagan and wicked relations), yet he could not interrupt her, first, because he loved her so dearly, and, secondly, because she sang in a voice so clear and sweet that the whole forest seemed to rejoice in her music.

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