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

The Princess and the Glass Mountain

"Good-day!" said the wild man, "and why do you sit here so lonely and full of sorrow?" Thereupon the prince replied: "I have no choice but to be sad and joyless. Because of you I am a fugitive from the land of my father, and now I have not even a horse and armor to ride up the mountain and fight for the princess!" "Ah," said the wild man, "if that be all you want, then I can help you! You helped me once before, and now I will help you in turn." Then he took the prince by the hand, led him deep down in the earth into his cave, and there on the wall hung a suit of armor altogether forged of the clearest silver, and so bright that it shone afar. Right beside it stood a snow-white steed, saddled and bridled, pawing the earth with his silver hoofs, and champing his bit till the foam dropped to the ground. The wild man said: "Now get quickly into your armor, ride out and try your luck! In the meantime I will tend your oxen." The prince did not wait to be told a second time; but put on his helmet and armor in all haste, securely buckled on his spurs, hung his sword at his side, and felt as light in his silver armor as a bird in the air. Then he leaped into the saddle so that every clasp and buckle rang, laid his reins on the neck of his steed, and rode hastily toward the Glass Mountain.

The princess's suitors were about to give over the contest, for none of them had won the prize, though each had played a man's part. And while they stood there thinking it over, and saying that perhaps fortune would favor them the next time, they suddenly saw a youth ride out of the wood, straight toward the mountain. He was clad in silver from head to foot, with helmet on head, shield on arm, and sword at side, and he sat his horse with such knightly grace that a braver-looking youth had probably never been seen. At once all eyes were turned toward him, and the people noticed that he was the same knight who had appeared before. But the prince did not leave them much time for wonderment; for no sooner had he reached the plain, than he rose in his stirrups, spurred on his horse, and rode like fire straight up the steep mountain.

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