The king’s three sons and a princess

(The beginning of this fairy tale, written in italics, originates from a source unknown to me. The ending of this fairy tale was written, for a homework assignment, by my twelve-year old son, Jörn Gutzmer. He received the best possible mark for this work. The original text was written in German and can be read here).

Once upon a time there was a powerful king who had three sons. All three of them loved the same princess, whose beauty and intelligence was unrivalled by any other woman in the land. When the time came for all of the three sons to marry, they asked their father for advice. He contemplated this for a long time, because he was equally fond of each of his three sons and did not want to favour one of them.

Finally he summoned them and said: “My dear sons, as only one of you can marry the princess, I have decided the following: Travel the world, each of you in a different direction. Explore foreign countries and search for the most wondrous object you can find. The one who can show the most wonderful gift can acquire the princess as his wife!”

The three sons of the king were all in agreement and on the same day they all went out into the world, each in a different direction …

The first and oldest son went to Bulgaria to pick a rare Damask rose. The fragrance from this kind of rose is ten times stronger than an ordinary rose. The second oldest went to Mexico to bring back a cacao fruit and a piece of chocolate. The youngest went to Africa to find something undiscovered.

The first son came home with a rose, the second son brought something that resembled a  melon, and a piece of chocolate. The third one came on an elephant, a small one. The first son held the flower behind his back. The elephant ate it and trumpeted with delight. The second son heard this, got a fright and dropped the chocolate, which the elephant then trampled on. These two brothers then had nothing and ran away. The youngest son, however, went to the princess and told her that this elephant was the last of its kind. And they lived together with the elephant happily ever after.

Copyright © Jörn Arne Gutzmer 2011

Translation copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2011

All rights reserved.


5 thoughts on “The king’s three sons and a princess

  1. Amazing. The road of love’s treats lies not in perishable trinkets but in the joyful boisterousness of a little elephant whose demeanor is simply one of a kind. This tale truly glimmers in the rays of “the strong man of the sun” (quote by Wallace Stevens; writer of The Emperor of Ice Cream).

    Bravo Jorn. Author! Author!

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