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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "The Princess and the Glass Mountain"

The Princess and the Glass Mountain

Then see to it that you take the key from her girdle, and come down and unlock the door. After that you can return the key in the same way, without any one knowing anything about it."

After the wild man had talked to the boy in this way, he finally did as he said, went up to his mother, begged her to comb his hair, and took the key from her girdle. Then he ran down to the cage and opened the door. And when they parted, the dwarf said: "Here is your apple of gold, that I promised to give back to you, and I thank you for setting me free. And another time when you have need of me, I will help you in turn." And with that he ran off on his own way. But the prince went back to his mother, and returned the key in the same way he had taken it.

When they learned at the king's court that the wild man had broken out, there was great commotion, and the queen sent people over hill and dale to look for him. But he was gone and he stayed gone. Thus matters went for a while and the queen grew more and more unhappy; for she expected her husband to return every day. And when he did reach shore his first question was whether the wild man had been well guarded. Then the queen had to confess how matters stood, and told him how everything had happened. But the king was enraged beyond measure, and said he would punish the malefactor, no matter who he might be. And he ordered a great investigation at his court, and every human being in it had to testify. But no one knew anything. At last the little prince also had to come forward. And as he stood before the king he said: "I know that I have deserved my father's anger; yet I cannot hide the truth; for I let out the wild man." Then the queen turned white, and the others as well, for there was not one who was not fond of the prince. At last the king spoke: "Never shall it be said of me that I was false to my vow, even for the sake of my own flesh and blood! No, you must die the death you have deserved." And with that he gave the order to take the prince to the forest and kill him.

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