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

The Princess and the Glass Mountain

And they were to bring back the boy's heart as a sign that his command had been obeyed.

Now sorrow unheard of reigned among the people, and all pleaded for the little prince. But the king's word could not be recalled. His serving-men did not dare disobey, took the boy in their midst, and set forth. And when they had gone a long way into the forest, they saw a swine-herd tending his pigs. Then one said to another: "It does not seem right to me to lay hand on the king's son; let us buy a pig instead and take its heart, then all will believe it is the heart of the prince." The other serving-men thought that he spoke wisely, so they bought a pig from the swine-herd, led it into the wood, butchered it and took its heart. Then they told the prince to go his way and never return. They themselves went back to the king's castle, and it is easy to imagine what grief they caused when they told of the prince's death.

The king's son did what the serving-men had told him. He kept on wandering as far as he could, and never had any other food than the nuts and wild berries that grow in the forest. And when he had wandered far and long, he came to a mountain upon whose very top stood a fir-tree. Said he to himself: "After all, I might as well climb the fir-tree and see whether I can find a path anywhere." No sooner said than done: he climbed the tree. And as he sat in the very top of its crown, and looked about on every side, he saw a large and splendid royal castle rising in the distance, and gleaming in the sun. Then he grew very happy and at once set forth in that direction. On the way he met a farm-hand who was ploughing, and begged him to change clothes with him, which he did. Thus fitted out he at last reached the king's castle, went in, asked for a place, and was taken on as a herdsman, to tend the king's cattle. Now he went to the forest early and late, and in the course of time forgot his grief, grew up, and became so tall and brave that his equal could not be found.

And now our story turns to the king who was reigning at the splendid castle.

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