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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

By afternoon he reached the castle.

"What do you want?" the guards demanded roughly.

"I want to see Peerless Beauty."

"Have you gold?" they asked him.

Danilo showed them his bag of ducats.

They led him into a hall of the castle and told him to put his gold on a table. If he did so, perhaps Peerless Beauty would show herself and perhaps she wouldn't.

Danilo did as the guards directed and then faced a curtain behind which, they told him, Peerless Beauty was seated. The curtain opened a little, but instead of showing her face Peerless Beauty extended only one finger. However, that finger was so ravishingly beautiful that Danilo almost fainted with delight. He would have stayed gazing on that one enchanting finger for hours if the guards had not taken him roughly by the shoulders and thrown him out of the castle.

"Come again when you've got more gold!" they shouted after him.

Like a man in a dream Danilo rode back to the old woman's hut.

"Now, my son, are you satisfied?" she asked him. "Are you ready now to go home and settle down like a sensible young man?"

"Oh, granny!" Danilo raved. "Such a finger! I must see that finger again if it cost me my whole fortune!"

He slept that night in the old woman's hut and the next day returned to his native village. There he got another bag of the golden ducats which his father had left him and at once started back to the castle of Peerless Beauty.

This time that heartless maiden stripped him again of his gold, showed him two of her enchanting fingers, and as before had her guards throw him out of the castle.

"Come again when you've got more gold!" they shouted after him.

That's exactly what the poor young man did. He went back and back until the fortune that his father had left him was entirely squandered. And all he had seen of Peerless Beauty up to that time were the fingers of one hand! Shouldn't you suppose that now with all his wealth lost he would get over his foolish infatuation? Well, he didn't.

"I must go back again!

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