The Dwarf With The Golden Beard
Dobrotek's Princess is stolen from him by a golden bearded dwarf.
This is a vintage fairy tale, and may contain violence. We would encourage parents to read beforehand if your child is sensitive to such themes.
The Princess Beautiful was the daughter of the King of the Silver Mountains, and she was no less lovely than her name. Because of her beauty many heroes and princes came to her father’s kingdom, all seeking her in marriage. The Princess cared for none of them, however, except the young Prince Dobrotek. Him she loved with all her heart, and her father was quite willing that she should choose him for a husband, for the Prince was rich and powerful as well as handsome.
The marriage between them was arranged, and the guests from far and near were invited to attend. Among those asked was a dwarf who had also been a suitor for the hand of the Princess.
This dwarf was a very powerful magician, and as he was very malicious as well as powerful, he was greatly feared by every one. He was scarcely two feet high, and so ugly that it was enough to frighten one only to look at him. His great pride was his beard, which was seven feet long, and every hair of it was of pure gold. Because of its length he wore it twisted round and round his neck like a golden collar. Thus he avoided tripping over it at every step.
When this dwarf heard that the Princess was to marry Dobrotek he was filled with rage and chagrin. In spite of his hideousness he was so vain of his beard that he could not imagine why the Princess should have chosen another instead of himself. He swore that even still she should take him for a husband, and that if she did not do this then she should marry no one. However, he said nothing of this vow to anyone. He accepted the invitation to the wedding, and when the day came he was one of the first of the guests to arrive.
All went to the church and took their places, and when the Prince and Princess stood before the altar they were so handsome that every one was filled with admiration.
The priest opened his book and was just about to make them man and wife when a frightful noise arose outside. It was a sound of whistling and roaring and rending. Then the doors were burst open, and a terrible hurricane swept into the church.
The guests were so frightened that they hid themselves under the seats, but the storm touched none of them. It swept up the aisle and caught up the Princess Beautiful as though she were a feather. The Prince threw his arms about her and tried to hold her. But he could do nothing against such a hurricane. She was torn from his grasp and swept out of the church and away, no one knew whither.
When the storm was over the people came out from under the seats and looked about them, but look as they might they could see no bride. Only the Prince was standing before the altar, tearing his hair with despair because the Princess was lost to him.
And well might he despair, for the hurricane that had carried the Princess away was no common storm. It had been raised by the wicked enchantments of the dwarf, and had swept Princess Beautiful far away, over plain and mountain, over sea and forest, to the very castle of the dwarf himself. There she was lying in an enchanted sleep, and it would be a bold man who could hope to rescue her.
When the King of the Silver Mountains found his daughter gone he was in a terrible rage. “It was for you to save her,” cried he to the Prince. “She was your bride, and you should have lost your life before you allowed her to be torn from you.”
To this the Prince answered nothing, for he thought the same himself. Yet who can stand against magic? Only enchantment, indeed, could have prevailed against him.
“Go!” cried the King, “find her and bring her back to me, or your life shall answer for it.”
The Prince wished nothing better than to go in search of his bride. Life was worth nothing to him without her, and at once he made ready to depart. He was in such haste that he stopped for neither sword nor armour, but leaped upon his horse and rode forth as he was.
On and on he rode, many miles and many leagues, but the farther he rode the less he heard of the Princess, and the more he despaired of ever finding her. At last he entered a forest so dark and vast that it seemed to have no end. As he rode on through the shadows he suddenly heard a sharp and piteous cry. He looked about him to see whence it came, and presently he found a hare struggling in the clutch of a great grey owl.
The Prince had a kind heart. He seized a stick and quickly drove the owl away from its prey. For awhile the hare lay stretched out and panting, but presently it recovered itself.
“Prince,” it said to Dobrotek, “you have saved my life, and I am not ungrateful. I know why you are here and whom you seek. To rescue the Princess Beautiful will be no easy task. It was the Dwarf of the Golden Beard who raised the tempest that carried the Princess away. Even now he holds her a prisoner in his castle. Whoever would rescue her must first overcome the dwarf, and to do this one must be in possession of the Sword of Sharpness.”
“And where is that sword to be found?” asked the Prince.
“On a mountain many leagues away. It is guarded by a dragon who keeps watch over it night and day. Only when the sun is at its highest does the dragon sleep, and then but for a few short minutes. To gain possession of the sword one must ride the wild horse that lives here in the forest and that moves faster than the wind.”
“And can I find that horse and ride him?”
“It can be done. Under yonder rock lies a golden bridle. It has lain hidden there for over a hundred years. With it lies a golden whistle. The sound of that whistle will call the horse, wherever he is. But he is very terrible to look upon, for his eyes are like burning coals, and he breathes smoke and fire from his nostrils. He will come at you as though to tear you to pieces, but do not be afraid. Cast the bridle over his head, and he will at once become quite tame and gentle. Then you can ride him wheresoever you wish. He will bear you to the mountain where the dragon lies and will help you to gain possession of the sword.”
The Prince thanked the hare for its advice. He lifted the rock from its place, and there beneath it lay the golden bridle and the golden whistle. The Prince took up the bridle, and at once the whole glade was filled with light; and no wonder, for the bridle was studded with precious stones and glittered like the sun. He raised the whistle to his lips and blew upon it loud and clear.
At once, from far away in the forest, came a loud sound of neighing, and of galloping hoofs. The wild horse was coming. On and on it came, nearer and nearer. Its eyes shone like coals of fire, and the leaves were withered on either side of it because of its fiery breath.
It rushed at the Prince as though it would tear him to pieces; but he was ready for it, and as soon as it was near enough he threw the bridle over its head. At once the fire faded from its eyes. Its breath grew quiet, and it stood there as gentle and harmless as a lamb.
“Master,” it said to Dobrotek, “I am yours now. Whatsoever you wish me to do, I will do, and I will bear you wherever you wish to go.”
“First, then,” said the Prince, “I wish you to carry me to the mountain where I can find the Sword of Sharpness.”
“Very well, Master, I will do so. But before we start on such a dangerous adventure as that you should be properly armed. Do you enter in at one of my ears and go on until you come out of the other.”
At once it seemed to the Prince as though the horse’s ear were a great cave opening out before him. He entered in and went on and on, though it was very dark there in the horse’s head. Presently he saw another opening before him, and that was the horse’s other ear. He came out through it and found himself in the forest again, but now he was clothed as a warrior prince should be, in shining armour, and he held a sword in his hand.
“That is right,” said the horse. “Now mount and ride, for we have far to go.”
So the Prince said good-bye to the friendly hare and thanked it again. He mounted upon the horse’s back and away they went like the wind. Soon they were out of the forest, and the dark was left behind them. On they went and on they went, until they came within sight of a smoking mountain; there the horse stopped.
“Master,” said he, “do you see that mountain in front of us and the smoke that rises over it?”
Yes, the Prince saw it.
“That smoke is the breath of the dragon that guards the Sword of Sharpness. Just now he is awake, and if we were to venture within reach he would soon scorch us to cinders with his breath. There are, as the hare told you, only a few short minutes at midday when he sleeps, and when we may approach him safely. To gain the sword I must, in those few minutes, cross the plain before us and climb the mountain. Only I, who go like the wind, could do such a thing, and even for me it will be difficult. We may both lose our lives in the attempt.”
“Nevertheless, we must try it,” said the Prince, “for unless I can gain the sword, and free the Princess from the dwarf, life is worth nothing to me.”
“Very well,” answered the horse. “Then we will attempt it, for you are my master.”
So all the rest of that day the horse and the Prince lay hidden, for it was already afternoon. Through the night and the next morning they waited, and the Prince could see the flames and columns of smoke that the dragon breathed forth. But as the sun rose high in the heavens the dragon became sleepy, and the flames burned lower and with less smoke. At last the sun was at its height.
“And now, Master, is our time,” cried the horse. With that he galloped out on to the plain and made for the mountain. On he flew as fast as the wind, and faster. The Prince could hardly breathe, and he could not see at all, so fast the horse went. The plain was crossed, the mountain climbed, but already the dragon was awakening. “Quick, quick! the sword. There it lies beside him!” cried the horse.
The Prince stooped and caught up the Sword of Sharpness, and in that instant the dragon awoke. It reared its head and seemed about to devour the Prince, but when it saw what he held in his hand it dropped its crest and fawned at his feet.
“You are my master,” it said, “for you hold the Sword of Sharpness. But do not kill me. Spare my life, and I will give you advice that may save your own.”
“What is the advice?” asked the Prince.
“When you reach the dwarf’s castle (for I know that you are going there, and why), you may with this sword be able to overcome the dwarf. But after you have done that, you must cut off his beard and carry it away with you. It will serve as proof that you and you alone have slain him. You must also fill a flask with water from the fountain in the midst of the garden. It is the Water of Life, and you will need it. You will need the Cap of Invisibility too that the dwarf sometimes wears upon his head. All three of these things you must have. Do not neglect what I tell you, for if you do evil will certainly come upon you.”
“It is well,” said the Prince. “I will remember what you say, and if no good comes of it, no harm can either.”
So saying, the Prince drew his own sword from its sheath and left it on the mountain, taking the Sword of Sharpness in its place. Then he rode down the mountain and away over the plain. Once he looked back, but he saw neither flame nor smoke behind him. The dragon lay there as harmless as any worm, for with the Sword of Sharpness all its power was gone.
On and on rode the Prince, so fast that the wind was left behind, and at last he and his horse came within sight of a castle all of iron. About it was a wall that was seven times the height of a man, and this also was of iron.
“Look, Prince,” said the horse. “That is the dwarf’s castle that we see before us.”
Then on they went again and never stopped until they reached the castle gate. Beside the gate hung a great brazen war trumpet. The Prince lifted it to his lips and blew upon it such a blast that it was like to split the ears of those who heard it. Again he blew, and once again.
“And now, Master, take out the sword from its sheath and make ready, for the dwarf will soon be here,” said the horse.
Meanwhile the Princess Beautiful had been living behind those iron walls, and she had been not unhappy, though she had often grieved because Prince Dobrotek was not with her.
When the dwarf had caused her to be swept away by the hurricane he had thrown her into an enchanted sleep, and in this sleep she lay until she was safely placed in a room that the dwarf had specially prepared for her. This room was made entirely of mirrors, only divided here and there by curtains of cloth of gold. These curtains were embroidered with scenes from the dwarf’s own life and from the life of the Princess. In the mirrors Beautiful could see her own beauty repeated endlessly. The furniture of the room was all of gold, curiously carved, and the cushions were embroidered with gold and precious stones.
When the Princess opened her eyes and looked about her she did not know where she was. She had no remembrance of the storm that had brought her hither. She remembered only that she had stood beside Prince Dobrotek in the church, and that a great noise had arisen outside. After that she had known nothing until she awoke in this chamber.
She arose from the couch where she was lying and began to examine the room. All the light came from a dome overhead. She could find neither doors nor windows, and she wondered much how she had been brought into a room like this.
While she was looking about her she heard a noise behind her that made her turn quickly. At one side the mirrors had swung apart like doors, and through this opening came a procession of enormous servants bearing a golden throne in their midst. Upon this throne sat the Dwarf with the Golden Beard. The servants set the throne down in the middle of the room and at once withdrew, closing the mirrored doors behind them.
When the Princess saw the dwarf she was very much alarmed. She at once suspected that it was he who had brought her here, and that he meant to keep her a prisoner until she would consent to marry him.
The dwarf stepped down from the throne and approached her with a smiling air, but she shrank away from him into the farthest corner of the room.
The dwarf was magnificently dressed. His beard had been brushed till it shone like glass, and he had thrown it over one arm as though it were a mantle. But in his left hand he carried a cap of some coarse grey stuff that was in strange contrast with the rest of his dress.
“Most beautiful Princess,” said he, “you are welcome indeed in my castle. None could be more so, and I hope to make you so happy that you will be more than content to spend your life here with me.”
“Miserable dwarf!” cried the Princess, “do you really think you will be able to make me stay here with you? Do you not know that Prince Dobrotek will come in search of me soon? He will certainly find me! Then he will punish you as you deserve for your insolence.”
The Princess was trembling now, but with rage rather than fear. The dwarf seemed not at all disturbed by her anger, however.
“Beautiful one,” he said, still smiling, “you are even more beautiful when you are angry than when you are pleased. Let Prince Dobrotek come. I fear him not at all. But do not let us waste our time in talking of him. Instead let us talk of ourselves, and of how pleasantly we will pass our days together.”
So saying, the dwarf came close to the Princess and attempted to take her hand. But instead of permitting this, the Princess gave him such a blow upon the ear that he fairly staggered under it. His beard slipped from his arm, and in trying to steady himself he tripped on it and fell his length upon the floor.
The Princess laughed maliciously. At the sound of her laughter the dwarf became filled with fury. His eyes flashed fire as he scrambled to his feet. “Miserable girl!” he cried. “Do you dare to laugh? The time will come when you will feel more like weeping, if not for me then for yourself. Some day you will be glad enough to receive my caresses. Now I will leave you, and when I come again it will be in a different manner.” So saying, he gathered up his beard and rushed through the mirror door, closing it behind him.
His words, and his manner of going, frightened the Princess. She again began to look about her for some way of escape. Suddenly she saw upon the floor the grey cap that the dwarf had carried in his hand. He must have dropped it when he fell, and he had been too angry to notice that he was leaving it behind. She picked it up and stood turning it thoughtfully in her hands. Then, without considering why she did so, she placed it upon her head. She was standing directly in front of a mirror at the time. To her amazement, the moment she had the cap on her head every reflection of her vanished from every mirror in the room. The Princess could hardly believe her eyes. She might have been thin air for any impression she made upon the glass. She took the cap from her head, and immediately her reflections appeared again in the mirrors. She replaced it, and they vanished from sight. Then the Princess knew that she held the Cap of Invisibility—the cap that causes anyone who wears it to become invisible.
As she stood there with the cap still upon her head, the mirror door was burst open and the dwarf rushed into the room. His dress was disordered and his eyes glared wildly.
He looked hastily about him, but he could see neither the cap nor the Princess. At once he knew that she had found the cap and had put it on.
“Ah, ha!” he cried to the invisible Princess. “So you have found it! You have put it on, and hope so to escape me. But I know you are still here, even though I cannot see you. I will find you, never fear.”
Spreading his arms wide, he rushed about the room, hoping to touch the Princess and seize her, but as he could not see her she was easily able to escape him. Now and then he stopped and listened, hoping the Princess would make some sound that would tell him where she was, but at these times Beautiful too stood still. She did not move, she scarcely breathed, lest he should hear her.
Suddenly the Princess saw something that gave her a hope of escape. The dwarf had neglected to fasten the swinging mirror behind him when he entered. She flew to it and pushed it open. Beyond lay a long corridor. Down this the Princess fled, not knowing where it would lead her.
But the dwarf saw the mirror move, and guessed she had passed out through it. With a cry of rage he sprang after her.
At the end of the corridor was a barred door. Beautiful had scarcely time to unfasten this door and run through before the dwarf reached it. But once outside the door she found herself in a wide and open garden. Here she could pause and take breath. The dwarf had no means of knowing in which direction she had gone. He could not hear her footsteps upon the soft grass, and the rustling of the wind among the leaves prevented his hearing the sound of her dress as she moved.
For a while the dwarf ran up and down the garden, hoping some accident might bring him to the Princess. But he grasped nothing except empty air. Discouraged, he turned back to the castle at last, muttering threats as he went.
After he had gone the Princess began to look about her. She found the garden very beautiful. There were winding paths and fountains and fruit trees and pergolas where she could rest when she was weary. She tasted the fruit and found it delicious. It seemed to her she could live there for ever very happily, if only her dear Prince Dobrotek were with her.
As for the dwarf, in the days that followed the Princess quite lost her fear of him, though he often came to the garden in search of her. After a time she even amused herself by teasing him. She would take off her cap and allow him to see her. Then, as he rushed toward her, she would put it on again and vanish from his sight. Or she would run just in front of him, singing as she went, that he might know where she was. The poor dwarf would chase madly after the sound. Then, when it seemed that he was just about to catch her, she would suddenly become silent and step aside on the grass, and laugh to herself to see him run past her, grasping at the air.
But this was a dangerous game for the Princess to play; she was not always to escape so easily. One day she was running before him, just out of reach, and calling to him to follow, when a low branch caught her cap and brushed it from her head. Immediately she became visible.
With a cry of triumph the dwarf caught the cap as it fell and thrust it in his bosom. Then he seized the Princess by the wrist.
“I have you now, my pretty bird. No use to struggle. You shall not escape again.”
In despair the Princess tried to tear herself loose from his hold, but the dwarf’s fingers were like iron.
At this moment from outside the gate sounded the loud blast of a war trumpet. At once the dwarf guessed that it was Prince Dobrotek who blew it, and that he had come in search of the Princess.
Suddenly, and before Beautiful could hinder him, he drew her to him and breathed upon her eyelids; at the same time he muttered the words of a magic charm.
At once the Princess felt her senses leaving her. In vain she strove to move or speak. In spite of herself her eyes closed, and she sank softly to the ground in a deep sleep.
As soon as the dwarf saw that his charm had worked he caused a dark cloud to gather about him, which entirely hid him from view. Rising in this cloud, he floated high above the iron walls and paused directly over Prince Dobrotek. He drew his sword and made ready to slay the bold Prince who had come against him.
Dobrotek looked up and wondered to see the dark cloud that had so suddenly gathered above him.
“Beware!” cried the wild horse loudly. “It is the dwarf. He is about to strike.”
Scarcely had he spoken when the darkness drew down about them. Through this darkness shot a flash as bright as lightning. It was the dwarf’s sword that had struck at the Prince. But swift as the stroke was, the horse was no less swift. He sprang aside, and the sword drove so deep into the earth that the dwarf was not able to draw it out again.
“Strike! Strike!” cried the horse to Dobrotek. “It is your chance!”
Dobrotek raised the Sword of Sharpness and struck into the cloud, and his blow was so sharp and true that the dwarf’s head was cut from his body and fell at the Prince’s feet.
Dobrotek alighted, and cutting off the dwarf’s beard, he wound it about him like a glittering golden belt. Then, leaving the head where it lay, he opened the gate and went into the garden.
He had not far to go in his search for Beautiful, for she was lying asleep upon the grass close to the gate. Dobrotek was filled with joy at the sight.
“Princess, awake! awake!” he cried. “It is I, Dobrotek. I have come to rescue you.”
The Princess neither stirred nor woke. Her lashes rested on her cheeks, and she breathed so gently that her breast scarcely moved.
“Master,” said the horse, “this is no natural sleep. It is some enchantment. Take up that cap that lies beside her. Then fill your flask at the fountain of the Water of Life and let us go. Do not try to wake her now. When it is time, you can do so by sprinkling upon her a few drops of the water. But first let us make haste to leave this place, for it is still full of evil magic.”
Dobrotek was not slow to do as the horse bade him. He filled a flask with the Water of Life and hid the Cap of Invisibility in his bosom. Then, lifting the Princess in his arms, he mounted the horse and rode back with her the way they had come.
It was not long before they reached the place where the Prince had saved the hare from the owl in the forest. Here the Prince found his own horse. It had not wandered away, but had stayed there, browsing on the grass and leaves and drinking from a stream near by.
“And now, Prince,” said the wild steed, “it is time for us to part. Light down and take the bridle from my head. Put it back again where you found it, and cover it with the rock; but keep the whistle by you. If ever you need me, blow upon it, and I will come to your aid.”
Dobrotek did as the steed bade him. He lighted down and took the bridle from its head. He put it in the hole where he had found it and rolled back the rock upon it. Then the horse bade him farewell, and tore away through the forest, neighing as it went and breathing flames of fire.
After it had gone the Prince felt very weary. He had not yet awakened the Princess, but had laid her, still asleep, upon the soft moss of the forest. Now he stretched himself at her feet, and at once fell into a deep slumber.
Now it so chanced that while he was asleep King Sarudine, the King of the Black Country, came riding through the forest. He too had been a suitor for the hand of the Princess, but he had been refused. When he heard that she had been spirited away, and that Prince Dobrotek had gone to seek for her, he also determined to set out on the same mission. He hoped that he might be the first to find her and so win her for his bride. For the King, her father, had sent out a proclamation that whoever could find the Princess Beautiful and rescue her should have her for his wife.
What was the amazement of Sarudine, as he came through the lonely wood, suddenly to see the Princess lying there asleep, with Dobrotek at her feet.
At first he drew his sword, thinking to kill the Prince; but after a moment’s thought he put it back in its sheath. Then bending over Beautiful he very quietly lifted her in his arms, mounted his horse, and rode away with her.
Dobrotek was so wearied with his adventures that he slept on for some time, not knowing that the Princess had again been stolen from him.
But when at last he woke and found her gone, he was like one mad, so great was his despair. He rushed about hither and thither through the forest, calling her name aloud, and seeking her everywhere, but nowhere could he find her.
Suddenly he bethought him of his golden whistle, and putting it to his lips he blew so loud and shrill that the forest echoed to the sound. At once the great grey horse came galloping through the forest to him.
Dobrotek ran to meet it. “Tell me,” he cried, “you who know all things, where is Beautiful? She has been stolen from me, and I cannot find her.”
“She is no longer here in the forest,” answered the horse. “She has been carried away by King Sarudine. He has taken her back to her father’s castle, and now he claims her as his bride, for he says that he is the one who found and rescued her. But she still sleeps her enchanted sleep, and none can waken her. You alone can do this, for you have the Waters of Life. Hasten back to the castle, therefore, but before you go to waken her, put on the Cap of Invisibility. King Sarudine fears you, and he has set guards about the castle with orders to slay you if you attempt to enter. All their watchfulness will be in vain, however, if you wear the cap upon your head.”
The advice was wise, and Dobrotek at once did as the horse told him. He drew out the cap and put it upon his head. So he became invisible. Then he rode away in the direction of the country of the Silver Mountains.
He rode on and on, and after a while he came to where the first line of guards was set. They heard the galloping of a horse, and looked all about them, but they could see no one, so he passed in safety. Not long after he came to a second line of soldiers, and he went by them unseen also. Then he passed a third line of guards, and after that he was at the palace.
The Prince entered in, and went from one room to another, and presently he came to the great audience hall. There sat the King upon a golden throne. At his right hand sat King Sarudine, and at his left the Princess lay upon a golden couch, and so beautiful she looked as she lay asleep that the Prince’s heart melted within him for love. He lifted the cap from his head, and there they all saw him standing before them.
The King of the Black Mountains turned pale and trembled at the sight of him, but the old King gave a loud cry of surprise. He had thought that Prince Dobrotek had met his death long ago, or that if he lived he would be afraid to return to the Silver Mountain Country without bringing the Princess with him.
“Rash Prince!” he cried; “what are you doing here? Do you not fear to appear before me, having failed in your search?”
“I did not fail,” answered the Prince, “there lies the Princess, and were it not for me she would still be a prisoner in the castle of the Dwarf of the Golden Beard.”
“How is that?” asked the King.
Then Dobrotek told them his story. He told of how he had become master of the wild horse in the forest, of how he had gained possession of the Sword of Sharpness, and then of how he had ridden to the dwarf’s castle and slain him in battle. He also told how he had brought the Princess away with him, how he had fallen asleep in the forest, and of how the King of the Black Country had stolen Beautiful from him while he slept.
The old King listened attentively to all that Dobrotek told him. When the Prince had made an end to his story the old King turned to King Sarudine beside him.
“And what have you to say to this?” he asked. “Is this story true?”
“Much of it is true,” answered Sarudine, hardily, “but still more of it is false. It is true that it was the dwarf who carried Beautiful away. It is true that he kept her a prisoner, and that he was slain by the Sword of Sharpness. But it was I who won the sword and slew the dwarf, and it was I who rescued the Princess. What better proof of this is needed than that it was I who brought her here?”
“That is only proof that you stole her from me,” cried the Prince. “The proof that I can offer is better still. If you slew the dwarf, where is his beard?”
To this the King of the Black Country could answer nothing, for he did not know where the beard was.
“Then I can tell you,” cried the Prince. With these words he threw aside his mantle, and there, wound about him like a glittering girdle, was the golden beard of the dwarf.
When the old King saw the beard he could doubt no longer as to which of the two had slain the dwarf and rescued the Princess. He turned such a terrible look upon Sarudine that the young King trembled.
“So you would have deceived me!” he cried. “You thought to win the Princess by a trick. Away! Away with you! Let me never see your face again; and if ever again you venture into my country, you shall be thrown into a dungeon and remain there as long as you live.”
Then, as Sarudine was hurried away by the guards, the old King turned again to the Prince. “You have indeed rescued the Princess,” he said, “but your task is still only half completed. She sleeps, and none can wake her. Until that is done, no man can have her for wife.”
“That is not such a hard matter, either,” said the Prince. With that he drew from his bosom the flask that held the Waters of Life and scattered a few drops upon the Princess.
At once she drew a deep breath and slowly opened her eyes. As soon as she saw the Prince she sprang to her feet and threw herself into his arms. The enchantment was broken, and she had awakened at last.
Then throughout the palace there was the greatest happiness and rejoicing. There never had been anything like the favours the old King heaped upon Dobrotek. The marriage between him and the Princess was again prepared for, and this time all went well. Nothing happened to interfere with the wedding, and the Prince and Beautiful were made man and wife. They loved each other all the more tenderly for the dangers they had shared, and from that time on they lived in all the happiness that true love brings.
Are you seeking more stories about love to read to your child? Read our review of the Ten Best Children’s Picture Books About Love
1. Dobrotek saved the hare from the clutches of an owl. Why do you think he did this?
2. Would you have done the same? Why or why not?
1. Dobrotek says that without his Princess, his life would mean nothing to him. Why do you think he might say this of a person that he loves?
2. At the end, Dobrotek and his wife are said to love each other all the more for the dangers they had shared. Why do you think this might be the case?