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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

" he kept telling himself.

His gold was gone but he still had his father's house. It was a big old house with garrets and cellars.

"Perhaps if I hunt I shall find some treasures hidden away in odd corners," Danilo said.

So he hunted upstairs and down. He opened old boxes and rummaged about among the dark rafters. One day he came upon a funny looking little cap.

"I wonder whose this was," he thought to himself.

He went to a mirror and tried the cap on. Then a strange thing happened. The moment the cap touched his head, Danilo disappeared.

"Ah!" he cried, "it's a magic cap and the moment I put it on I become invisible! Now I can slip into Peerless Beauty's chamber and see her lovely face!"

With his magic cap pulled tightly down over his forehead, he set off once more for Peerless Beauty's castle. Sure enough he was able to pass unseen the guards at the gate, he was able to go boldly into the great hall, and beyond it through the curtain into Peerless Beauty's own chamber.

The Beauty was seated with her back to the curtain and a serving maid was combing out her hair for the night. It was lovely hair and it fell down over Beauty's shoulders like a mantle of gold. At mere sight of it Danilo was so overcome with emotion that he sighed.

"What's that?" Beauty cried. "There's some one in my chamber!"

The serving maid looked under the bed and behind the chairs and in the corners.

"There's no one here, my lady."

"That's strange!" Beauty said. "I feel as though some one were looking at me."

When Danilo saw the actual face of the enchanted maiden, it was all he could do to keep from crying aloud. She was so unutterably beautiful that he almost swooned away in ecstacy.

Presently the maiden went to bed and fell into an uneasy sleep. The light of a single candle shed a faint radiance over her face making it lovelier than ever. Through all the long hours of night Danilo stood perfectly still, gazing at her, afraid almost to breathe lest he should disturb her.

"Unless I win her for wife," he thought to himself, "I shall nevermore be happy!

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