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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

I can cure your serving maid of her horns provided she confess to me all her misdeeds and hand over to me anything she has that does not belong to her."

Peerless Beauty had him shown to the room where the serving maid lay in bed. The poor frightened girl at once confessed that she had stolen a few of her mistress's grapes and eaten them. Danilo spoke kindly to her, gave her some of the white grape conserve, and as soon as she had tasted it the horns of course dropped off.

Thereupon Peerless Beauty led Danilo to her own chamber, ordered all her people out, and then acknowledged that she, too, was suffering from horns.

"I am sure I can cure you," Danilo told her, "provided you confess to me all your misdeeds and hand over to me whatever you have that belongs to some one else."

"I cheated a foolish young man out of five bags of gold," Peerless Beauty said. "Here they are in this chest. Take them."

Danilo opened the chest and took out his own five bags of gold.

"Is that all?" he asked.

"Yes, that is all."

Danilo gave her some of the red grape conserve and of course, instead of the horns already on her head falling off, more grew on.

"You're not telling me the truth," Danilo said, "and I can't cure you. There's no use my treating you further."

He turned to go and Peerless Beauty, in great fright, begged him to stay.

"I do remember another misdeed," she confessed. "I took by trickery a magic pitcher from the same foolish young man."

She gave Danilo the pitcher and he hid it in his shirt.

"Is that all?"

"Yes, that is all."

Danilo gave her some more of the red grape conserve and, of course, more horns grew out on her head. Then he pretended to get angry.

"How can you expect to be cured when you don't tell me the truth? I told you I could not cure you unless you confessed all!"

Peerless Beauty wanted much to keep the magic cap but when the strange physician thundered and scowled and threatened again to leave her, more horned than ever, she acknowledged that she had taken the cap, too, and handed it over.

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