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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "The Girl in the Chest - The Story of the Third Sister Who was Brave and Good"

The Girl in the Chest - The Story of the Third Sister Who was Brave and Good

Everybody in court was delighted—everybody, that is, but the Chamberlain who had had hopes of marrying his own daughter to the Prince. His daughter was an ugly ill-tempered girl and the Prince had never even looked at her. The Chamberlain was sure, however, that with a little more time he could arrange the match to his liking. So the appearance of this beautiful girl who came from Heaven knows where threw him into a fearful rage and he decided to do away with her at any cost. Now he had in his employ a great burly Blackamoor. He called this fellow to him and he told him that he must kidnap the girl at once and kill her. The Blackamoor who was accustomed to do such deeds for the Chamberlain nodded and said he would.

So when the palace was quiet that night he stole to the bedchamber where the girl was lying asleep, threw a great robe over her head to stifle her cries, and carried her off. She fainted away from fright and the Blackamoor thinking her dead tossed her into a field of nettles in the outskirts of the town.

Now, as you can imagine, in the morning there was a great uproar in the palace when it was discovered that the Prince's beautiful bride-to-be had disappeared. The Prince was utterly grief-stricken and refused to eat. The King and all the ladies of the court tried their best to comfort him but he turned away from them declaring he would die if his bride were not restored to him.

The rascally Chamberlain put his handkerchief to his eyes and pretended to weep he was so affected by the sight of the Prince's grief.

"My dear boy," he said, "I would that I could find this maiden for you! It breaks my heart to see you sad and unhappy! But I'm sorry to tell you that I hear she was a Vila and not a human maiden at all. You know how mysteriously she came, and now she's gone just as mysteriously. So put the thought of her out of your mind and I'm sure you'll soon find a human maiden who is worthy of your love. Come here, my daughter, and tell the Prince how sorry you are that he is in grief.

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