Pet Stories.ca - Download the EBook Animal StoriesInformational 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

The Lame Dog

from The Swedish Fairy Book





Once upon a time there lived a king, like many others. He had three
daughters, who were young and beautiful to such a degree that it would
have been difficult to have found handsomer maidens. Yet there was a
great difference among them; for the two older sisters were haughty in
their thoughts and manners; while the youngest was sweet and friendly,
and everyone liked her. Besides, she was fair as the day and delicate
as the snow, and far more beautiful than either of her sisters.

One day the king's daughters were sitting together in their room, and
their talk happened to turn on their husbands-to-be. The oldest said:
"If I ever marry, my husband must have golden hair and a golden
beard!" And the second exclaimed: "And mine must have silver hair and
a silver beard!" But the youngest princess held her tongue and said
nothing. Then her sisters asked her whether she did not want to wish
for a husband. "No," she answered, "but if fate should give me a
husband, I will be content to take him as he is, and were he no more
than a lame dog." Then the two other princesses laughed and joked
about it, and told her the day might easily come when she would change
her mind.

But many speak truth and do not know it! Thus it chanced with the
king's daughters; since before the year had come to an end, each had
the suitor for whom she had wished. A man with golden hair and golden
beard sued for the oldest princess and won her consent to his suit.
And a man with silver hair and a silver beard sued for the second and
she became his bride; but the youngest princess had no other suitor
than a lame dog. Then she recalled her talk with her sisters in their
room, and thought to herself: "May God aid me in the marriage into
which I must enter!" Yet she would not break the word she had once
passed; but followed her sisters' example and accepted the dog. The
wedding lasted a number of days and was celebrated with great pomp and
splendor. But while the guests danced and amused themselves, the
youngest princess sat apart and wept, and when the others were
laughing, her tears flowed till it made one sad to see them.

After the wedding the newly married pairs were each to drive off to
their castle. And the two older princesses each drove off in a
splendidly decorated coach, with a large retinue, and all sorts of
honors. But the youngest had to go afoot, since her husband, the dog,
had neither coach nor driver. When they had wandered long and far,
they came to a great forest, so great that it seemed endless; but the
dog limped along in advance, and the king's daughter followed after,
weeping. And as they went along she suddenly saw a magnificent castle
lying before them, and round about it were beautiful meadows and green
woods, all of them most enjoyable to see. The princess stopped and
asked to whom the great mansion might belong. "That," said the dog,
"is our home. We will live here, and you shall rule it as you see
fit." Then the maiden laughed amid her tears, and could not overcome
her surprise at all she saw. The dog added: "I have but a single
request to make to you, and that you must not refuse to grant." "What
is your request?" asked the princess. "You must promise me," said the
dog, "that you will never look at me while I am asleep: otherwise you
are free to do whatever you wish." The princess gladly promised to
grant his request, and so they went to the great castle. And if the
castle was magnificent from without, it was still more magnificent
within. It was so full of gold and silver that the precious metals
gleamed from every corner; and there was such abundance of supplies of
every kind, and of so many other things, that everything in the world
one might have wished to have was already there. The princess spent
the live-long day running from one room to another, and each was
handsomer than the one she had just entered. But when evening came and
she went to bed, the dog crept into his own, and then she noticed that
he was not a dog; but a human being. Yet she said not a word, because
she remembered her promise, and did not wish to cross her husband's
will.

Thus some time passed. The princess dwelt in the beautiful castle, and
had everything her heart might desire. But every day the dog ran off,
and did not reappear until it was evening and the sun had set. Then he
returned home, and was always so kind and friendly that it would have
been a fine thing had other men done half as well. The princess now
began to feel a great affection for him, and quite forgot he was only
a lame dog; for the proverb says: "Love is blind." Yet time passed
slowly because she was so much alone, and she often thought of
visiting her sisters and seeing how they were. She spoke of it to her
husband, and begged his permission to make the journey. No sooner had
the dog heard her wish than he at once granted it, and even
accompanied her some distance, in order to show her the way out of the
wood.

When the king's daughters were once reunited, they were naturally very
happy, and there were a great many questions asked about matters old
and new. And marriage was also discussed. The oldest princess said:
"It was silly of me to wish for a husband with golden hair and golden
beard; for mine is worse than the veriest troll, and I have not known
a happy day since we married." And the second went on: "Yes, and I am
no better off; for although I have a husband with silver hair and a
silver beard, he dislikes me so heartily that he begrudges me a single
hour of happiness." Then her sisters turned to the youngest princess
and asked how she fared. "Well," was her answer, "I really cannot
complain; for though I only got a lame dog, he is such a dear good
fellow and so kind to me that it would be hard to find a better
husband." The other princesses were much surprised to hear this, and
did not stop prying and questioning, and their sister answered all
their questions faithfully. When they heard how splendidly she lived
in the great castle, they grew jealous because she was so much better
off than they were. And they insisted on knowing whether there was not
some one little thing of which she could complain. "No," said the
king's daughter, "I can only praise my husband for his kindness and
amiability, and there is but one thing lacking to make me perfectly
happy." "What is it?" "What is it?" cried both sisters with a single
voice. "Every night, when he comes home," said the princess, "he turns
into a human being, and I am sorry that I can never see what he really
looks like." Then both sisters again with one voice, began to scold
the dog loudly; because he had a secret which he kept from his wife.
And since her sisters now continually spoke about it, her own
curiosity awoke once more, she forgot her husband's command, and asked
how she might manage to see him without his knowing it. "O," said the
oldest princess, "nothing easier! Here is a little lamp, which you
must hide carefully. Then you need only get up at night when he is
asleep, and light the lamp in order to see him in his true shape."
This advice seemed good to the king's daughter; she took the lamp, hid
it in her breast, and promised to do all that her sisters had
counseled.

When the time came for them to part, the youngest princess went back
to her beautiful castle. The day passed like every other day. When
evening came at last and the dog had gone to bed, the princess was so
driven by curiosity that she could hardly wait until he had fallen
asleep. Then she rose, softly, lit her lamp, and drew near the bed to
look at him while he slept. But no one can describe her astonishment
when throwing the light on the bed, she saw no lame dog lying there;
but the handsomest youth her eyes had ever beheld. She could not stop
looking at him; but sat up all night bending over his pillow, and the
more she looked at him the handsomer he seemed to grow, until she
forgot everything else in the world. At last the morning came. And as
the first star began to pale in the dawn, the youth began to grow
restless and awaken. The princess much frightened, blew out her lamp
and lay down in her bed. The youth thought she was sleeping and did
not wish to wake her, so he rose quietly, assumed his other shape,
went away and did not appear again all day long.

And when evening came and it grew late, everything happened as before.
The dog came home from the forest and was very tired. But no sooner
had he fallen asleep than the princess rose carefully, lit her lamp
and came over to look at him. And when she cast the light on his bed
it seemed to her as though the youth had grown even handsomer than the
day before, and the longer she looked the more handsome he became;
until she had to laugh and weep from sheer love and longing. She could
not take her eyes from him, and sat all night long bent over his
pillow, forgetful of her promise and all else, only to be able to look
at him. With the first ray of dawn the youth began to stir and awake.
Then the princess was again frightened, quickly blew out her lamp and
lay down in her bed. The youth thought she was sleeping, and not
wishing to waken her, rose softly, assumed his other shape, went away
and was gone for the entire day.

At length it grew late again, evening came and the dog returned home
from the forest as usual. But again the princess could not control her
curiosity; no sooner was her husband sleeping than she rose quietly,
lit her lamp, and drew near carefully in order to look at him while he
slept. And when the light fell on the youth, he appeared to be
handsomer than ever before, and the longer she looked the more
handsome he grew, until her heart burned in her breast, and she forgot
all else in the world looking at him. She could not take her eyes from
him, and sat up all night bending over his pillow. And when morning
came and the sun rose, the youth began to move and awaken. Then the
princess was much frightened, because she had paid no heed to the
passing of time, and she tried to put out her lamp quickly. But her
hand trembled, and a warm drop of oil fell on the youth and he awoke.
When he saw what she had done, he leaped up, terrified, instantly
turned into a lame dog, and limped out into the forest. But the
princess felt so remorseful that she nearly lost her senses, and she
ran after him, wringing her hands and weeping bitterly, and begging
him to return. But he did not come back.

The king's daughter now wandered over hill and dale, along many a road
new to her, in order to find her husband, and her tears flowed the
while till it would have moved a stone. But the dog was gone and
stayed gone, though she looked for him North and South. When she saw
that she could not find him, she thought she would return to her
handsome castle. But there she was just as unfortunate. The castle
was nowhere to be seen, and wherever she went she was surrounded by a
forest black as coal. Then she came to the conclusion that the whole
world had abandoned her, sat down on a stone, wept bitterly, and
thought how much rather she would die than live without her husband.
At that a little toad hopped out from under the stone, and said:
"Lovely maiden, why do you sit here and weep?" And the princess
answered: "It is my hard fate to weep and never be happy again. First
of all I have lost the love of my heart, and now I can no longer find
my way back to the castle. So I must perish of hunger here, or else be
devoured by wild beasts." "O," said the toad, "if that is all that
troubles you, I can help you! If you will promise to be my dearest
friend, I will show you the way." But that the princess did not want
to do. She replied: "Ask of me what you will, save that alone. I have
never loved any one more than my lame dog, and so long as I live will
never love any one else better." With that she rose, wept bitterly,
and continued her way. But the toad looked after her in a friendly
manner, laughed to himself, and once more crept under his stone.

After the king's daughter had wandered on for a long, long way, and
still saw nothing but forest and wilderness, she grew very tired. She
once more sat down on a stone, rested her chin on her hand, and
prayed for death, since it was no longer possible for her to live with
her husband. Suddenly there was a rustling in the bushes, and she saw
a big gray wolf coming directly toward her. She was much frightened,
since her one thought was that the wolf intended to devour her. But
the wolf stopped, wagged his tail, and said: "Proud maiden, why do you
sit here and weep so bitterly?" The princess answered: "It is my hard
fate to weep and never be happy again. First of all I have lost my
heart's dearest, and now I cannot find my way back to the castle and
must perish of hunger, or be devoured by wild beasts." "O," said the
wolf, "if that is all that troubles you, I can help you! Let me be
your best friend and I will show you the way." But that did not suit
the princess, and she replied: "Ask of me what you will, save that
alone. I have never loved any one more than my lame dog, and so long
as I live I will never love any one else better." With that she rose,
weeping bitterly, and continued on her way. But the wolf looked after
her in a friendly manner, laughed to himself and ran off hastily.

After the princess had once more wandered for a long time in the
wilderness, she was again so wearied and exhausted that she could not
go on. She sat down on a stone, wrung her hands, and wished for death,
since she could no longer live with her husband. At that moment she
heard a hollow roaring that made the earth tremble, and a monstrous
big lion appeared and came directly toward her. Now she was much
frightened; for what else could she think but that the lion would tear
her to pieces? But the beast was so weighed down with heavy iron
chains that he could scarcely drag himself along, and the chains
clashed at either side when he moved. When the lion finally reached
the princess he stopped, wagged his tail, and asked: "Beautiful
maiden, why do you sit here and weep so bitterly?" The princess
answered: "It is my hard fate to weep and never be happy again. First
of all I have lost my heart's dearest, and now I cannot find my way to
the castle, and must perish of hunger, or be devoured by wild beasts."
"O," said the lion, "if that is all that troubles you, I can help you!
If you will loose my chains and make me your best friend, I will show
you the way." But the princess was so terrified that she could not
answer the lion, far less venture to draw near him. Then she heard a
clear voice sounding from the forest: it was a little nightingale, who
sat among the branches and sang:

"Maiden, maiden, loose his chains!"

Then she felt sorry for the lion, grew braver, went up to him,
unloosed his chains and said: "Your chains I can loose for you; but I
can never be your best friend. For I have never loved any one more
than my lame dog and will never love any one else better." And then a
wondrous thing took place: at the very moment the last chain fell from
him, the lion turned into a handsome young prince, and when the
princess looked at him more closely, it was none other than her
heart's dearest, who before had been a dog. She sank to the ground,
clasped his knees, and begged him not to leave her again. But the
prince raised her with deep affection, took her in his arms and said:
"No, now we shall never more be parted, for I am released from my
enchantment, and have proved your faith toward me in every way."



Then there was joy indescribable. And the prince took his young wife
home to the beautiful castle, and there he became king and she was his
queen. And if they have not died they are living there to this very
day.


NOTE

The story of "The Lame Dog," the bride of the dog, has long
been popular in Scandinavia (Hylten-Cavallius and Stephens, p.
381. From South Smaland). Saxo, to whom it was familiar, calls
its heroes Otherus and Syritha, and even in the Edda there is
an echo of it in the tale of Freya and Odr. In Denmark the same
story is told under the title of "The Dearest Friend."





Next: The Mount Of The Golden Queen

Previous: First Born First Wed



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: 1095