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The Prince & the Wild Man

The prince told him, and the creature gave him another little bell. He said, "When you want the wolves to come back, just ring this bell, and they will all come and follow you." Having said this, he went back into the woods, and left the prince alone.

Just before it grew dark, the prince rang his bell. To his great joy all the wolves came rushing up to him from all quarters of the forest, and followed him quietly back to the castle and into their cages.

Seeing this, the false prince was flabbergasted. Acting as if he knew his servant could easily accomplish such impossible tasks all along, he advised the king to release the birds also, and to threaten his supposed servant with the loss of his head if he failed to bring the entire flock back in the morning.

Accordingly, the next morning the king ordered the disguised prince to let out all the wild doves, and to bring them all safely to their cages before nightfall.

The instant the poor young man opened the cage doors the doves rose like a cloud into the air, and vanished over the tops of the trees.

"Surely," thought the prince, "this task is beyond hope, for even if I had a magic little bell the doves will soon be far away and will never hear it."

So the prince sat again on the fallen tree, and he could not help but bewail all his past misfortunes and present miserable fate.

Hardly had he begun to lament, however, before the same wild man came forth from the bushes and asked what fresh trouble had befallen him. The prince told him his sad story. Thereupon the creature gave him a third bell, saying, "When you wish the doves to return to their cages you have only to ring this little bell." And so it indeed happened, for the moment the prince began ringing softly, all the doves appeared from the sky and flocked around him. He walked back to the palace gardens and led them into their different cages without the least trouble.

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