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Main > Spain folktales > Fairy tale "The Girl-Fish"

The Girl-Fish

Even at his joy at seeing his mother again, an air of sadness clung to him, and at last the queen could bear it no longer and she begged him to walk with her in the garden. Seated together in a bower of jasmine -- where she had passed long hours as a bride -- she took her son's hand and entreated him to tell her the cause of his sorrow. "For," said she, "if I can give you happiness you shall have it."

"It is no use," answered the prince, "nobody can help me. I must bear it alone."

"At least let me share your grief," urged the queen.

There was a silence between them for a moment, then, turning away his head, the prince answered gently, "I have fallen in love with a beautiful deer!"

"Ah, if that is all," exclaimed the queen joyfully. And she told him in broken words that, as he had guessed, it was no deer but an enchanted maiden who had won back the crown and brought her home to her own people. "She is here, in my palace," added the queen. "I will take you to her."

When the prince stood before the girl, he lost all courage, and stood before her with bent head.

The maiden's eyes, as she looked at him, were the eyes of the deer that day in the forest. She whispered softly, "By your favor let me go, and do not kill me."

And the prince remembered her words, and her eyes, and his heart was filled with happiness. The queen, his mother, watched them both and smiled.

The girl invited her parents to the royal wedding, a three-day feast that everyone enjoyed. And of course, the queen saw to it that the missing blue stones in the Great Arch were restored.

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