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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


When morning came the maiden awoke with a start and said:

"There's some one looking at me! Who is it? Who is it?"

"It's only your poor Danilo," a voice answered.

"Danilo? Who is Danilo?"

"The youth whom you have been treating so cruelly. But though you have treated me cruelly, I love you still!"

"If you love me still," the maiden said, "let me see you."

Danilo took off the magic cap and there he stood, a handsome youth, at the foot of her bed. Then the crafty maiden spoke him fair and Danilo told her about the magic cap, and when she said to him that she repented having treated him so cruelly and asked him to let her see the cap, the poor young man was so dazzled by her beauty and her seeming kindness that he handed it to her at once.

Instantly she clapped it on her head and disappeared. Then she laughed in derision and called out loudly to the guards:

"Ho, there! Take out this young man and drive him forth! Let him return when he has another treasure to offer me!"

So the guards dragged Danilo out and drove him away.

With no more gold, with no more magic cap, Danilo returned to his father's house.

"Perhaps there are other treasures hidden away," he thought. "I'll search further."

In his search he came upon an old pitcher and thinking it might be silver he began rubbing it. Instantly there was a clap of thunder and a company of soldiers appeared. Their captain saluted Danilo respectfully and said:

"We are the servants of that magic pitcher. What does our master wish?"

"Magic pitcher?" stammered Danilo. "And am I your master?"

"Yes," said the captain, "you are our master as long as you hold the magic pitcher in your hands."

"You may disappear now," Danilo said. "I will rub the pitcher when I need you."

Delighted with this unexpected good fortune, he hurried off to the woods to the hut of the old woman who had befriended him before. He showed her the pitcher and demonstrated for her how it worked. Then he asked her to carry a message to Peerless Beauty.

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