There was once
a king who was also a very powerful wizard. When the time came for
him to marry he chose a wife who was as clever as she was beautiful and
he loved her greatly. Soon she gave birth to a beautiful child, a
boy, who was the apple of his father's and his mother's eyes.
the queen had a secret. As a child, she had been entrusted into the
care of a fairy godmother, who watched over her ever after. She could
not tell the wizard king about this because, as everyone knows, there has
always been great rivalry between fairies and wizards, and the queen did
not want to make her husband angry.
So, when the baby was only a few weeks old, she took him in secret to visit,
the fairy, who blessed him with two gifts: the power of pleasing everyone
he met, and the power of learning everything he was taught with the greatest
ease. The little prince grew into a handsome young man, as clever
as he was popular.
when he was nineteen years - old his mother, the queen, died quite suddenly.
The prince was heartbroken but his grief was nothing to that of his father.
The wizard king was inconsolable. Everywhere he looked he saw things
that reminded him of the queen. And so he decided to travel to distant
lands, so that he! might see nothing but new and unfamiliar things. Changing
himself into an eagle, he flew for and wide over land and sea.
Then one day he come to a most wonderful country where the sun always seemed
to shine and the scent of jasmine filled the air. The wizard king
flew down and settled in the topmost branches of a tall tree. All
around him stretched the most beautiful gardens, filled with rare flowers
and fountains that shot great jets of silvery water into the air.
There, floating on the surface of an artificial lake, was a golden barge
and in the barge sat the most beautiful princess the wizard king had ever
seen. He fell in love with her at once, and without a further thought
he flew down in his eaglets form and, gripping her in his huge talons,
carried her off. The princess cried and cried, and struggled and struggled,
but the wizard king flew onward until he was in sight of his own land.
There he landed in the midst of a flowery meadow and turned himself back
into his own shape.
"Do not weep, I beg you," he said. "I have brought you here to be
my queen and to rule over my kingdom with me. My only wish is to
make you happy."
the princess began to weep all the harder. "If you truly want to
make me happy," she cried, "take me home."
wizard king only looked at her sadly and said, "I shall care for you
always. You will be happy in time."
he took the form of an eagle again and carried the princess to a place
near his own palace. There, with his magic, he made a wonderful dwelling
for her, a tower of ivory and glass, beautifully furnished. And he
summoned maidens to wait upon her, a wonderful talking parrot to entertain
her and the finest food that was ever seen. Then he left her, for
in his heart he believed that, in time, she would grow to love him.
day the wizard king visited the princess, bringing her gifts and speaking
kind and gentle words to her. But there were no doors in the tower,
and the princess knew that she was a prisoner. So she felt only hatred
for the wizard king, and longed to be set free. At first the wizard
king was patient, but as time passed and the princess remained as cold
and sad as the day he had brought her home, he began to grow suspicious.
"Perhaps," he thought,
"she has seen my son, who is
so handsome and accomplished. She must have fallen in love with him."
wizard king decided to send his son away to travel and learn more of the
world outside his father's kingdom. The prince set out with great
excitement, for he loved to see new places. He traveled through many
kingdoms, until he came to the very one from which the wizard king had
stolen the princess. The king and queen of that land made him most
welcome, but they could not hide the sorrow they felt at the loss of their
one day, when the prince was visiting the queen in her own rooms, he saw
a portrait hanging on the wall. At once he asked who the beautiful
girl in the picture was and, with tears in her eyes, the queen told him
it was the princess who had been carried off by a great eagle.
prince swore that he would not rest until he had found the lost princess
for, if the truth be known, he had fallen in love with her. The queen
promised that if he succeeded he would get her daughter's hand in marriage,
and half the kingdom as well.
prince set out, carrying with him a miniature portrait of the princess.
He went straight to the fairy under whose protection his mother had placed
him. She listened to the prince's story and went to consult her magic
books. When she came back she said, "It was your own father who carried
off the princess. She is nearby, imprisoned in a tower, surrounded
by a magical mist. It will be very hard to get through."
"What can I do?" asked the prince.
The fairy thought for a while, then she said, "The princess has a wonderful
talking parrot in her tower. It is the only thing, except for the
wizard king, that is allowed to come and go as it pleases. it often flies
this way. I will catch it and use my magic to turn you into the shape
of the parrot. That wag you can visit the princess and no one will
Everything turned out as the fairy planned. She caught the parrot
the next time it left the tower and shut it in a golden cage. Then
the prince, in the shape of the bird, flew through the magical mist and
entered the tower.
The princess was every bit as beautiful as her portrait. The prince
was so dazzled that he could not speak, and the princess became quite worried,
for she loved the parrot dearly. She took the bird in her arms and
cradled it, stroking its head and wings. This made the prince very
Then the wizard king came in and the prince saw at once how much the princess
disliked him. As soon as he had gone - having once again failed-to
persuade the princess to like him even a little - the prince spoke. "My
lady, don't be afraid. I am here to help you."
"What can you do, dear parrot?" cried the princess in astonishment.
"I am not really your parrot," said the prince. I have come from your mother,
the queen." And he took from beneath one wing the miniature portrait
which the queen had given him. When she saw it the princess burst
out crying again.
"Please don't weep," said the prince. He told her of the fairy and
how she had promised to help them. Then he asked if he might take
his own shape again. Drying her tears the princess said yes.
The parrot pulled one feather from its wing, and there stood the prince
in human form. The princess thought she had never seen a more handsome
person and she fell in love with him at once.
Meanwhile the fairy prepared a magic chariot, to which she harnessed two
mighty eagles. Then she took the parrot from the golden cage and
commanded the bird to take them to the princess.
they passed through the mist quite easily and hovered outside the princess's
window. The prince and princess looked out and saw the fairy, an
the princess was very happy to see her parrot again. Together they
climbed out of the window and got into the chariot. Then the fairy,
who was riding on the back of one of the eagles, commanded the great birds
to fly back through the mist to the princess's own country.
the wizard king dreamed that the princess was being carried off.
When he woke he went straight to the magic tower and, sure enough, the
princess was gone. The wizard king was furious. He went to
consult his magic books, and very quickly discovered what had happened.
Raging, he turned himself into a fearsome monster
and set off in pursuit. But the fairy sent a powerful wind to slow him
down so that the prince and princess arrived safely at the princess's home.
king and queen greeted them with delight and deep gratitude, but the fairy
warned them that the wizard king would soon be there. "The only way
to stop him killing you both is to get married at once," the fairy said.
The prince and princess were more than willing, and the king and queen
kept their promise. So a wedding was quickly celebrated.
just as the ceremony was ending, the wizard king arrived. He was
so angry at the sight of the prince and princess happy together, that he
changed back into his human shape and tried to sprinkle some evil black
liquid over the bride and groom.
had touched them they would have lost their power to move but luckily for
them, the fairy made a magical wind that blew the liquid all over the wizard
king instead. He fell down in a heap at once, unable to move hand
or foot. While he was unconscious, the princess's father ordered
that the wizard king be carried away and put in prison.
Now it is well known that wizards lose all their power when they are imprisoned.
The wizard king was thus completely helpless, and felt very sorry for himself.
The prince took pity on his father and pleaded with the king to set him
free. In his gratitude the king agreed and as soon as the doors of
the prison were opened, the wizard king flew out in the shape of a strange
bird. With a cry he flew off, vowing never to see his son again.
After that everything was very peaceful. The prince and princess settled
down together, and in time they ruled the kingdom wisely. They were
helped by the fairy, who was persuaded to settle in that land, and who
sent for all her books and built a great palace for herself next to that
of the prince and princess.