VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of www.childrenstories.ca Informational Site Network Informational
Privacy
Home - Stories - Categories - Books - Search

Featured Stories

The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Categories

A FAIRY-TALE

Aesop

ALPHABET RHYMES

AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES

AMUSING ALPHABETS

Animal Sketches And Stories

ANIMAL STORIES

ARBOR DAY

BIRD DAY

Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon

Bohemian Story

BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS

CATS

CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES

CHRISTMAS DAY

COLUMBUS DAY

CUSTOM RHYMES

Didactic Stories

Everyday Verses

EVIL SPIRITS

FABLES

FABLES FOR CHILDREN

FABLES FROM INDIA

FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS

FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

For Classes Ii. And Iii.

For Classes Iv. And V.

For Kindergarten And Class I.

FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

GERMAN

Good Little Henry

HALLOWEEN

Happy Days

INDEPENDENCE DAY

JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]

Jean De La Fontaine

King Alexander's Adventures

KINGS AND WARRIORS

LABOR DAY

LAND AND WATER FAIRIES

Lessons From Nature

LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY

LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG

Love Lyrics

Lyrics

MAY DAY

MEMORIAL DAY

Modern

MODERN FABLES

MODERN FAIRY TALES

MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED

MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES

MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES

MOTHERS' DAY

Myths And Legends

NATURE SONGS

NEGLECT THE FIRE

NUMBER RHYMES

NURSERY GAMES

NURSERY-SONGS.

NURSEY STORIES

OLD-FASHIONED STORIES

ON POPULAR EDUCATION

OURSON

Perseus

PLACES AND FAMILIES

Poems Of Nature

Polish Story

Popular

PROVERB RHYMES

RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)

RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"

RIDDLE RHYMES

RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE

ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES

SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY

Selections From The Bible

Servian Story

SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES

Some Children's Poets

Songs Of Life

STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS

STORIES FOR CHILDREN

STORIES for LITTLE BOYS

STORIES FROM BOTANY

STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN

STORIES FROM IRELAND

STORIES FROM PHYSICS

STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA

STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY

STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS

SUPERSITITIONS

THANKSGIVING DAY

The Argonauts

THE CANDLE

THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

THE DECEMBRISTS

The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers

The Little Grey Mouse

THE OLD FAIRY TALES

The Princess Rosette

THE THREE HERMITS

THE TWO OLD MEN

Theseus

Traditional

UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES

VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY

WHAT MEN LIVE BY

WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO

Sybilla Myrtillo And Furioso

from The Old-fashioned Fairy Book





A certain king had a beautiful golden-haired daughter named Sybilla,
whose suitors came from every country, though with small success, since
the princess had vowed to remain single until one proving to be the
mightiest hero of the world should appear.

At no great distance from her father's country lived a horrible giant,
every hair of whose head could change, at will, into a fiery serpent. He
had one eye, the size of a mill-wheel, and his teeth looked like rocks
in a mighty cavern. His name was Furioso, and his strength was known to
surpass that of an army of ordinary men. What was the dismay of
Sybilla's father when this monster sent to request the lovely princess
for his wife! The king turned pale, and walked up and down his palace
floor all night, for he knew what it meant to refuse the request of
Furioso, who, up to this time, had lived at peace with his neighbor's
country. The queen-mother, hearing of the giant's offer, took to her
royal bed in kicking hysterics. As to the proud little princess, she
curled her pretty red lips scornfully and tossed her head. "I'd like to
see him do it, the fright!" was what she said.

In a few days what the king feared had come to pass. The giant Furioso,
on receiving the beautiful diplomatic letter the king's secretary had
written him (after consultation with all the lords and lawyers of the
realm), frowned, scratched his head, which instantly bristled all over
with flaming serpents, and opening his mouth sent forth a blood-curdling
yell of defiance that resounded in the farthest part of the king's
dominions. Without a moment's delay he changed himself into a fearful
hurricane, and swept over the country and the palace of the Princess
Sybilla. Fences and iron gates, stone walls and marble palaces fell to
the ground like card-houses. Forests were uprooted, suspension bridges
snapped like cobwebs, villages entire rose up into the clouds and
disappeared, with their inhabitants looking in astonishment out of the
windows! Cows and horses, dogs and elephants were seen whirling about
in the air like Japanese day-fireworks. The king and queen found the
roof lifted from above their heads, and went sailing out the open space
in their nightcaps. They met all the court blowing wildly about up
there, and for some time it was like a mad dance without any bottom to
it. Dizzy and terrified, the royal couple at last fell down to earth
again, the queen lighting on the fat cook, so that she was not seriously
injured--the king falling on a tennis net, which the force of the wind
kept suspended like a hammock without any ropes.

Picking themselves up, the first thought of the royal couple was for
their beloved princess. As fast as different members of the court and
household fell down from the clouds, which they continued to do all the
evening and night, the king sent them in search of the princess. Nobody
remembered having seen Sybilla anywhere in the air, and her
waiting-maid, who dropped somewhere about nine o'clock A.M., next day,
wept as she told how she was combing the princess' golden hair with the
ivory comb she still held in her hand, when the breeze came which
separated them. One thing was certain, the princess had disappeared.
When things settled down a little, and people began taking their
breath, a peasant turned up who reported seeing the princess flying
along at a fearful rate of speed in the arms of a tall, white-haired man
wrapped in a mantle, who hid his face as he passed. "It were just at
that moment, your honors," said the peasant, overwhelmed by the
questions that rained on him, "I were myself tooken, unexpected-like,
and turned upside down by the wind; and when I cum to, there I were
atop a haystack in Farmer Grimes' field, five miles from home as the
crow flies, a-standing on my head."

The king and queen exchanged horrified glances.

Each remembered to have heard that one of the tricks of Giant Furioso,
when he wished to be particularly wicked, was to change to the semblance
of a venerable white-haired man. No doubt about it, the whole calamity
to court and nation was the work of Furioso, and he had got the
princess.

The distracted king set out at the head of his army to visit Furioso's
castle. To his surprise, under the giant's name, upon a visiting card
inserted above the speaking-trumpet at the gate, were pencilled these
words: "Out of town till further notice." The windows were closed, and
green shades hung behind them. No smoke came out of the chimneys, and
the doors were chained. Evidently the giant had retired to some one of
his retreats, where he could not be followed. The king and his army
marched back again in gloomy silence.

For six months nothing was heard of the unfortunate Sybilla, till one
day three young princes, travelling from a distant country in search of
adventure, found a wounded carrier-pigeon on the road. Under its wing
was a note, written in pale red ink, on a bit of torn linen cambric. The
note gave them considerable trouble to read it, but, at last, the
youngest prince, Myrtillo, who had always been the cleverest at school,
managed to decipher these words:

"I write this with blood taken from my finger, on a fragment of
my only pocket-handkerchief. I am the wretched Princess
Sybilla, daughter of the King Rolando, and I pray any kind
mortal who finds this to come to my aid, in the dungeon of
Furioso, under the fifth mountain of the Impassable Range. Once
in twenty-four hours this mountain cleaves asunder to let my
oppressor take the air. Watch, and rescue me, in the name of
humanity."

The Impassable Range was far away, but the princes journeyed thither
without delay. They found the fifth mountain easily, and hid under the
rocks at its base, to await developments. Exactly at sunrise a rumbling
sound was heard, and the cliffs shook. The mountain split apart from
summit to base, and between two yawning jaws of rock issued forth,
first, a head covered with flaming serpents, then a frightful purple
face, and lastly, the gigantic form of Furioso. Following him came the
wails and shrieks of his captives within the mountain, to which Furioso
paid no attention; he only turned his back and shouted:

"Close you, mountain, fierce and grim,
Open but to Banbedrim!"

The princes fancied that this last was the password, and when the giant
had disappeared they tried to make the mountain open by repeating it;
but in his excitement each one forgot how to pronounce the magic
syllables. So there they stayed till sunset, when the giant came home
from his hunting expedition. He had a pouch slung over his shoulder, and
in it were crowded the new men, women, and children he had caught. The
poor creatures were half dead with terror and rough treatment. The
princes watched the giant, and listened with all their ears for the
password. "Banbedrim!" thundered Furioso, and instantly the mountain
yawned to let him and his miserable prisoners pass in, when it closed,
as before.

The three princes laid each his hand on his sword, and swore to be
avenged of the brutal treatment of their fellow-beings. Next morning
when the giant issued forth, hurling the password at the mountain, then
disappeared from sight, the oldest prince declared that he should be the
first to enter the mountain, that his brothers should wait twenty-four
hours for his reappearance, and that should he fail to come back the
second brother might come to his assistance.

Bravely the young man sprang up the mountain-side, and called aloud the
password. Instantly amid thunderings and lightnings the ground split at
his feet and swallowed him from sight. They could see the tip of his
bright sword held aloft, as he sank into the gloomy abyss.

Twenty-four hours passed, and the oldest prince failed to return. Then
the second brother set forth, and he, too, vanished from sight. A long
day and night of waiting had the youngest prince. Then he ascended the
mountain where there was every reason to fear his brothers had found a
horrible fate. Uttering the password, Myrtillo saw, through the opening
earth at his feet, a pit whence came fire and smoke; and he plainly
heard the cries for help of many human voices.

Myrtillo fell a great distance, landing on his feet in a desolate
cavern. The smoke cleared away and he beheld a huge iron door before
which were four trumpets--one of copper, one of silver, one of gold, and
one of brass. Over them these words: "He who would enter here, choose
between us four."

At the foot of the golden trumpet lay the mangled remains of his oldest
brother, who had perished in trying to blow it. At the foot of the
silver trumpet the corpse of the second prince had fallen; and now
Myrtillo must choose between the two remaining trumpets! Without a
moment's hesitation he put his lips to the copper trumpet, and gave a
loud, clear blast. At once the iron door flew open, and he was in a hall
surrounded by dungeons, through whose gratings he could see prisoners in
every stage of misery. They called to him frantically, and hailed him as
their deliverer. Alas! what could the poor prince do to save them. He
looked about and saw a long tunnel, ending in a massive gate of stone
and iron. As he gazed into the darkness of the tunnel something coiled
up at the end of it seemed to stir, and a hideous snake darted toward
him, opening a pair of jaws as wide as an ordinary fireplace, and
sending out a flaming tongue. Myrtillo charged upon the beast, and after
a desperate fight drove his sword down its throat, the point coming out
at the back of the neck. As he stooped to free his sword the serpent
gave a convulsive struggle and died. Myrtillo found a chain around its
neck on which was fastened a golden key. He took the key and put it in
the great key-hole of the iron door before him, and to his joy the door
opened. There, in a dismal dungeon within, lay a beautiful maiden in
chains. Myrtillo set her free, and found that she was the Princess
Sybilla, whom the giant treated with especial cruelty because she
persisted in refusing his love. She told him that the little pigeon was
one of many kept for the serpent's food, and that she had hidden it, and
helped it to fly out one day when the giant left her cell. "And now,"
said the princess, when Myrtillo had in turn told her his story, "let us
be quick, and lose no time. In the court beyond my cell are two
fountains. One of them contains the water of strength, the other the
water of weakness. From the former fountain Furioso gains all his power.
A little of its water sprinkled upon the dead recalls them to life, and
we may save your poor brothers yet."

Myrtillo and the lady hastened to the fountains; but to their dismay a
roaring noise and the groans of the wretched prisoners, who were
chastised daily upon his return, announced the arrival of the giant.
"Quick!" said the lady, pointing to the water of strength; "drink once
of this, and you will be strong enough to change the fountains, putting
each in the place of the other."

Myrtillo obeyed, and at once felt able to move a mountain at command. He
seized the solid stone basins and changed them, and hardly had he done
so when the giant came rushing in. "Where is that insolent
whipper-snapper of a prince who has dared to kill my faithful serpent?"
roared he.

"Here he is, at your service," said Myrtillo, stepping forth with a
gallant bow, and holding his glittering sword in hand.

"Just wait till I quench my thirst," said the giant disdainfully, as he
stooped down to what he supposed to be his fountain of strength, and
drank a long, deep draught. Suddenly a strange trembling came over the
monster's huge bulk. His face turned pale, his eyes stared, his jaw
dropped, he sank to the ground.

"Why, this is the water of weakness my prisoners drink," he cried. "What
trick have you been playing me, you scoundrel?"

Myrtillo again drank of the water of strength, and now he felt as if he
could defy an army, single-handed. Swift as a lightning flash he
descended upon the giant, and severed his wicked head from his body. The
Princess Sybilla uttered a wild shriek of delight, which was heard and
understood by all her fellow-captives, and the dungeons echoed with
sobs and cries of joy. Myrtillo and the princess filled goblets with the
water of strength, and hastened to sprinkle all the prisoners, who,
paralyzed by their chains and wasted with hunger, could in many cases
barely stir upon the ground where they lay. Soon, a host of strong men
and women filled the main hall of the dungeon, and then Myrtillo had the
joy of seeing his two brothers return to life under the action of the
magic water, in which he bathed their limbs. As Myrtillo only had
drank of the water of strength, he remained the strongest champion in
the world; and when Sybilla was taken back to her father and mother, she
told them that she had promised to take the Prince Myrtillo for her
husband. From the giant's stronghold Myrtillo brought away gems and gold
enough to enrich him for a lifetime, even after all the giant's victims
had been sent home with a bag of gold apiece. His brothers found brides
in two lovely fellow-sufferers they had led out of the giant's cavern to
the light of day; and so all were satisfied, and in a short time the
Giant Furioso was forgotten. No more hurricanes visited the kingdom of
Sybilla's father, where things continued to jog along in the old-time
peaceful fashion.





Next: Annette Or The Magic Coffee-mill

Previous: The Adventures Of Ha'penny Or The Dwarf The Witch And The Magic Slippers



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK



Viewed: 1060