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The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (1) [Princess and Gardener]

The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (1)

There was once an old King with one daughter.

The King grew ill and it seems as if the end of his life was coming, but he discovered that the apples from his garden made him better.
So the King became angry when a strange, brightly colored bird flew into his garden one evening and began to steal the apples.

The King called his gardener.
" You must guard my apple tree day and night, for a bird is coming into the garden and stealing all the fruit. "

" I will set my three sons to guard the tree. And if the bird comes near, they will shoot it with their bows and arrows, " replied the gardener.

The gardener's eldest son stood guard by the apple tree.
The night went on and soon he was asleep at the foot of the tree.

At midnight, the bird flew into the garden and removed an apple.

The King heard the bird, for he was a light sleeper, and dashed to his window.
The bird was taking off with the finest apple in his beak.

" Wake up ! " he shouted at the gardener's son.

The lad grabbed his bow and arrow, but the bird had got away.



The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (2) [Princess and Gardener]

The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (2)

The next night, the gardener's second son was on guard.

Again the lad was asleep when the bird came to steal an apple.

Again the King roared at the gardener's boy, but the bird had flown away, and another of King's finest, most succulent apples was gone from the tree.

The King began to despair.

On the third evening, it was the youngest son's turn.
He was determined to gain credit with the King.

As usual the bird arrived and the boy let loose one arrow at the bird as it flew.

The bird did not fall, but as the allow fell, one of the bird's feathers fell too.

The King was pleased, for the bird had not had the chance to steal an apple, and the King was fascinated by the feather.
It was made of the finest beaten gold.

The King decided to catch the bird with the golden feathers.
He offered half his kingdom, plus the hand of his daughter in marriage, to any man who capture the bird.

All the young men of King's household, including the gardener's sons, wondered how they could find the bird.


The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (3) [Princess and Gardener]

The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (3)

The gardener's first son was out one day when he met a fox.

" If you want to find the golden bird, " said the fox, " go along this road and take lodging with the poor man and his wife. "

So the boy went along the road, but opposite the poor man's house was a house with people drinking and dancing, and the gardener's first son went there for some fun.

The same thing happened to the gardener's second son, and he joined his brother.

When the third son met the fox, the animal gave him the same advice.
Unlike his brothers, the young lad listened to what the fox had to say, and sought lodgings with the poor couple ; and the next morning went on his way.

Soon he met a fox once more.

" Well done for taking my advice, " said the fox.
" Do you know where to find the golden bird ? "

" I have no idea, " said the young man.

" She is in the palace of the King of Spain, some two hundred miles from here, " said the fox.

The gardener's son was sad to hear that the journey was to be so long.

" Do not despair, " said the fox.
" Hop on my tail, we shall soon be there. "

So off they went.
To the young gardener's surprise, they soon got to the King od Spain's palace.

The fox turned the lad again and told him where in the palace to find the golden bird.
" Get the bird out quickly, and do not look for the other treasure, " said the fox.
" Then you will be safe. "


The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (4) [Princess and Gardener]

The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (4)

The youth entered the palace and found the bird in a dull iron cage.

Next to it was a fine golden cage, which the lad thought would be the better home for the marvelous bird.

So he tried to tempt the creature into the golden cage.

But all that happened was that the bird let out a terrible squeal, and the palace guards came running.
Soon, the boy found himself in front of the King of Spain himself.

"I should hang you for a thief ? " said the King.
" But you have a chance to win your life, and the golden bird too. Get me the bay filly belonging to the King of Morocco, a horse that runs faster than any other. Then you shall have the golden bird. "

The young man found his friend the fox, and they went on their way to find the King of Morocco.

They arrived there and the fox spoke sternly to the lad.
" When you get into the stables, do not touch a thing. Lead out the bay filly, and all will be well. "

When he entered the stable, the boy saw a fine golden saddle, much better than the leather one on the filly's back, so he decided to change it over.

But palace guards appeared from every quarter, and the King of Morocco himself soon arrived.
" I should hang you for a thief, " said the King.
" But there is one thing that I want, and if you help me, then I let you go, and the bay filly with you. "

The King explained that he wanted to marry Golden Locks, the daughter of the King of Greece, and asked the gardener's boy to go to Greece and bring back the princess.


The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (5) [Princess and Gardener]

The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (5)

The lad and the fox set off, and again the speed of the fox was such that by nightfall they arrived at the King's palace.
" Do not let her touch anything or anyone as you come out. "

The lad found the princess and quickly explained why he wanted to take her to Morocco.

At first, she was unwilling go with him, but as she looked at the young gardener, her heart began to melt and she agreed.
" Only let me kiss my father goodbye, " she said.

The princess promised not to waken him, but as soon as her lips touched her father's he let out a great cry, and guards came running.

The King listened to the young gardener's story.

He was sad to let his daughter go.
" I will only let her go if you will clear up a great heap of clay in front of my palace, " said the King.

The heap had got larger every time a shovel of clay that was removed. 

To everyone's great astonishment, including that of young gardener, the pile of clay was cleared.
The lad knew that the fox had something to do with it.

So the young gardener, the princess, and the fox went on their way.


The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (6) [Princess and Gardener]

The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (6)

By the time they arrived at the King of Morocco's palace, the young gardener and the princess were in love.

The King brought out his bay filly in exchange for the princess, and the pair looked longingly at each other.
" Please let me say farewell to the princess before I depart, "said the lad.

When the King was distracted, the pair jumped up on the horse and rode off to the King of Spain's palace where the fox was waiting for them.

Before they entered the palace the fox said, " If you give the King the filly, I will have carry you all home. I am not strong enough, so when you hand over the horse, go up to the creature and stroke it, as if you are saying farewell. When the king is distracted, jump on the filly's back and ride away at top speed. "

The King brought out the golden bird, and gave it to the gardener's boy.
Then, to his amazement, the boy rode the filly, out of the palace gate where the boy met up with the fox and the princess again, and the three returned to the home of the young gardener.


The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (7 完) [Princess and Gardener]

The Greek Princess and the young Gardener (7)

They reached the spot where the lad and the fox first met, and he turned to the creature to thank him for all his help.

" Now will you help me ? " asked the fox.
" Take your sword and chop off my head and tail. "

The young man could not do this to his friend, but his eldest brother, who knew nothing about the fox, dealt the two blows.

A young man appeared and the Greek princess recognized her brother, who ahd been bewitched.

The Greek princess and the young gardener were overjoyed and they longed to share their joy with the King.

So the three of them went to see the old King and his daughter, gave the King his golden bird, and told them the whole story.

The Greek princess married the young gardener, and the Greek prince married the daughter of the old King.

The King was so enchanted with his golden bird that he even shared with it some of the apples from his favorite tree.

(7/7 完)


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