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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "The Pigeon's Bride - The Story of a Princess Who Kissed and Told"

The Pigeon's Bride - The Story of a Princess Who Kissed and Told

When the enchantment is broken he is coming as a prince to marry me."

"My poor child!" the Queen cried. "Think no more about this Pigeon Prince! The enchantment may last a hundred years and then where will you be!"

"But he is my love!" the Princess declared, "and if I can't have him I won't have any one!"

When the King found that nothing they could say would move her from this resolution, he sighed and murmured:

"Very well, my dear. If it must be so, it must be. This afternoon when your lover comes, bring him down to me that I may talk to him."

But that afternoon the Pigeon did not come. Nor the next afternoon either, nor the next, and then too late the Princess remembered his warning that if she told about him he could never come back.

So now she sat in the tower-room idle and heartbroken, reproaching herself that she had betrayed her lover and praying God to forgive her and send him back to her. And the roses faded from her cheeks and her eyes grew dull and the people about the Court began wondering why they had ever thought her the most beautiful princess in the world.

At last she went to the King, her father, and said:

"As my love can no longer come back to me because I forgot my promise and betrayed him, I must go out into the world and hunt him. Unless I find him life will not be worth the living. So do not oppose me, father, but help me. Have three pairs of iron shoes made for me and three iron staffs. I will wander over the wide world until these are worn out and then, if by that time I have not found him, I will come home to you."

So the King had three pairs of iron shoes made for the Princess and three iron staffs and she set forth on her quest. She traveled through towns and cities and many kingdoms, over rough mountains and desert places, looking everywhere for her enchanted love. But nowhere could she find any trace of him.

At the end of the first year she had worn out the first pair of iron shoes and the first iron staff. At the end of the second year she had worn out the second pair of iron shoes and the second iron staff.

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