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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "Queen Crane"

Queen Crane

And the very first day he shot a great deal, while the others shot but little. Then they bought the game he had shot from him, and gave him a golden apple for it. The same thing happened the second day, and thus he got the other gold apple. But when Peter came home on the evening of the first and second day, he had only a crow dangling from his blunderbuss. And when he met the king, he threw the crow to the ground and cried: "There is my whole bag!"

On the third day all went as before. Sheep-Peter hit everything at which he aimed; but the others scored no hits. Then Sheep-Peter promised them all he had bagged, if they would let him write what he chose on their necks. They agreed to the bargain, and he wrote on the neck of each: "A thief and a rascal." Then all three went home, and again Peter had no more than a crow to show.

At night all three of them slept together in one room. When they woke in the morning, the king came in to them, said good-morning, and asked how they were. But he was much surprised to see that Sheep-Peter was keeping them company. Then the youth said: "I was in the war, and slew all of the enemy!" "Ah!" said the king, "you did not do that, it was an angel from heaven; for you were sitting in the swamp." Then Sheep-Peter drew out the king's handkerchief, and then the king recognized him. Then the herdsman said: "I also delivered the princesses!" But the king would not believe that, and laughed at him. And then the youngest princess came along and told how it all had happened.

And the youth took out the ribands of the other princesses, and the king had to believe that this, too, was true. Then, Peter continued: "I also shot all the game!" And again the king would not believe him and said: "Nonsense, why you never brought home anything of an evening but a wretched crow!" Then Peter produced the golden apples: "I was given this one for the first day, and the other for the second." "And what did you get for the third?" asked the king. Then the shepherd showed him what he had written on the necks of the other suitors.

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