Finding his True Love
The prince finally got out of his boat at the shore. He saw the beautiful palace. He went to the gate.
"Halt!" said a guard.
The prince was angry at this interruption.
"I am Prince Robert. I want to see the princess."
"Pass," said the guard.
The prince went to the palace and knocked on the throne room door because there was no guard there.
"Come in," he heard someone say.
He came in. Immediately he gasped. His True Love sat there in her throne. Beside her sat her father the king. The prince knelt in front of her and said,
"Will you marry me?"
"I will consider your request if you bring me the horse that is Immortal."
"How will I ever get that?" he asked.
He was shocked. Whenever he had ever heard of a marriage proposal the lady had always said yes.
"Don't ask me, you absurd idiot. If I knew, I would have it right now."
So the prince sadly got his things ready. He decided that he would ask Gritler the bull. He paid to get on a ship and went back across the sea. When he finally arrived at the barn of the Big Bull he saw Gritler standing sentry. Prince Robert came up to him.
"Hi Gritler. I wanted to know if you knew were the Immortal horse is."
"Oh that is easy. Remember the horse that you were riding and the old man came and said it was his?"
"Yes of course. That horse did not die when all those stones fell on it. Is that the horse?"
"Yes. But he did not really belong to the old man. You may remember that the old man was really a troll. Well, the king of the mountain came and brought the horse to his kingdom. He was the real owner of it."
"Then I shall never marry my True Love," he sighed.
"Do not give up so easily. Go see what you can do to get the horse."
So the prince went up to the palace on the mountain. When he was able to see the king he said,
"Your majesty, what may I do to have the Immortal horse?"
"What are you talking about? My Immortal horse was stolen three years ago by an old woman whom I was fool enough to trust with the care of it."
"Oh your majesty, do not tell an untruth. You have your horse back. I killed the old lady. I rode the horse not knowing whose it was. An old man said it was his, so I gave it to him. I later found out he was a troll and I killed him. You now have the horse in your keeping. Now tell me what I must do to have it."
"Why do you want it so much?"
"My True Love will not marry me until I give it to her. And then she will only consider it."
"Who is this person?"
"She is the princess who lives across the sea on the seashore." Then the king grew bright red.
"Why, that scoundrel! She told me she would marry me if I brought her the sapphire flower. Yet I do not know were it is." Then the prince smiled to himself and said,
"If I brought you this flower would you give me the Immortal Horse?"
"Why yes. Of course."
The king did not believe that he could bring it to him. Prince Robert went down the mountain and to the royal forest of the Big Bull. He found the place were the sapphire flower had been planted. He saw that hundreds of others had already grown alongside it. He quickly picked one and put it in his pocket. Then he hurried back up the mountain.
"Your majesty, I have the flower."
And he presented the stolen flower. The king's jaw dropped. But he kept his promise and gave the immortal horse to the prince.
The Race to the True Love
As Prince Robert put the horse on a ship, he looked over, and saw the king getting on a ship. They started at the same time. The prince showered money down on the sailors so that they would row so they could get there first. Once they were all rowing he stood on the deck looking at the king's ship. He suddenly saw that the king had men rowing. Then came the time when they were near the rock that had sunk the three ships on the way to the princess last time. The prince had his men steer around it and then he saw that the kings ship was ahead. He showered more money on the men and they rowed harder. Then they landed at the princesses shore and they both got off at the same time. They both hurried to the throne room and knelt at the same time.
"Would you marry me?" they both said at the same time.
The princess looked at them. The king held out the sapphire flower. The prince had the reins of the immortal horse. Just then ten other men rushed in and knelt in front of her and said,
"Would you marry me?"
One held an eagle that had a golden head instead of a white one. One held a silver statue made to look exactly like the princess. One held the rope of a goat that had ruby horns. One had a sapphire apple. One dragged on a cart the oaken table that the prince had eaten from, for it was indeed a magic table that provided a feast whenever you wanted it, and sometimes when you did not want it. One had a tree with crystal leaves. One had a wreath of golden flowers. One had a boat made of ruby and sapphires. One had a gown made of golden silk and silver ribbon and crystal shoes. And the last came in struggling to bring behind him a massive bull. It was none other than the Big Bull. The prince stared in shock. Then the princess said,
"You with the bull. I asked you to bring me the biggest bull in the world."
"Well ma'am, isn't it?"
"Yes, but you stole it. It belongs to the richest man in the universe. And you with the gown. You stole those treasures from the royal forest of the richest man in the world. And you with the boat stole it from the best boatman ever. And you with the wreath, you stole the flowers from the garden of treasures. And you with the tree stole it from the garden of treasures. And you with the apple stole it from the orchard of a wizard, you will be surely struck down dead in less than three days. You with the goat stole it from the best farmer in the world. You with the statue told a man that you would pay him a great sum of money to make it and you never paid him. You with the eagle stole it from the greatest bird owner ever. You with the horse did not steal the horse but you stole a sapphire flower to get it. You with the table got yours honestly. You with the flower got yours honestly. There is only one thing to do. You must fight each other. And the winner will be my husband." So they fought and the king with the flower won. The princess still kept the gifts that had been offered her. The prince was heartbroken.
How did she know we had stolen all those things? he wondered. He left the castle and was walking toward the seashore when he saw a lovely peasant lady. She was even prettier than the princess. He rushed to her and said,
"Will you marry me?"
"Yes," she said.
So the prince gave her rich things and told her not to tell his father she was a peasant or they might not be able to marry. Then he took her home and they married. But the girl was in awe of all the beauty and gave it away with her shocked face.
"Are you a princess?" asked the king.
And the girl could not lie so she said,
"No, I was a peasant until the prince brought me here."
But the king was happy for her and said,
"Not many peasant girls get to become princesses."
So they married and lived happily ever after.