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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "Beauty and the Horns - The Story of an Enchanted Maiden"

Beauty and the Horns - The Story of an Enchanted Maiden

This time Danilo gave her some of the white grape conserve and as soon as she had eaten it all the horns fell off and her head shimmered and shone as of old with her beautiful hair.

Then Danilo told her who he was and at once the maiden sought to ensnare him again with her wiles.

"What a wonderful man you are, Danilo! I could love you now if you loved me, but I know of course that you will never love me again after the cruel way I have treated you!"

"But I do love you!" Danilo cried. "I do love you!"

"No, you don't!" she said, and she pretended to weep. "If you did love me, you'd tell me where you found those red grapes and what this magic conserve is made of. But of course you don't love me enough to tell me."

Because she looked more beautiful than ever with the tears on her lovely cheeks, Danilo was about to tell her what she wanted to know when he remembered the old woman's warning. That was enough. He hardened his heart and declared:

"No! I'll never tell you! Do you hear me: I'll never tell you!"

She wept and implored him and used all her wiles, but Danilo remembering the past was firm. And presently he had the reward that a man always has when he's firm, for as soon as it was evident that she could no longer befool him, the evil enchantment that bound her broke with a snap and Peerless Beauty became a human maiden as gentle and sweet and loving as she was beautiful.

She knelt at Danilo's feet and humbly begged his pardon and promised, if he would still marry her, to make him the most dutiful wife in the world.

So Danilo married Peerless Beauty and with the servants of the magic pitcher transported her and her castle and her riches together with the old woman who had befriended them both to his own native village. There he still lives happy and prosperous.

His uncle and all the old men in the village take credit to themselves for the success of his adventures.

"It is due entirely to us," they tell any one who will listen to them, "that Danilo went out in search of Peerless Beauty in the first place.

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