Fairy Tale, Folk Tale, Stuart France

Trusty John: Ravens…

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… The king immediately seized the hand of the Princess, “I am no merchant, but a king of as high a birth as yourself” he said, “It was my great love for you that made me carry you off in this underhand way. The first time I saw your likeness I fell to the ground in a swoon.”

When the Princess of the Golden Roof heard this her heart went out to the king and she willingly consented to become his wife.

It was a short time afterwards, while they were still sailing on the high seas, that Trusty John, sitting on the forepart of the ship, fiddling away to himself, observed three ravens in the air flying toward them.

He ceased playing his fiddle, and listened to what the birds were saying, for he understood their language.

The first raven croaked, “Ah, ha! so he’s bringing the Princess of the Golden Roof home.”

“For all the good it will do him,” croaked the second raven.

“They’re not home yet though,” croaked the third.”

Then the first raven began to croak again, “When they reach the land a chestnut horse will dash forward to greet them. The king will wish to mount it, and when he does it will gallop away with him then disappear into the air and he will never see his bride again.”

“Is there no escape for him?” asked the second raven.

“Oh! yes,” said the first, “If someone else mounts quickly and shoots the horse dead with the pistol concealed in the holster, then the young king will be saved. But who’s to do that? And anyone who knows it and tells him will be turned into stone from the feet to the knees.”

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