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THE RIDDLE

Children's story told in English

Kids & Family

THE RIDDLE Once upon a time there was a prince who had a sudden desire to travel about the world. He took no one with him except a faithful servant. One day he came to a great forest, and when evening fell, he could find no shelter, he didn’t know where he and his servant would spend the night. Then he saw a girl who was walking toward a little house, when he came nearer, he saw that the girl was young and beautiful. The prince spoke to her, saying, "Dear child, can my servant and I find shelter for the night in this little house?" "Oh, yes," said the girl in a sad voice, "You certainly can, but I do not advise you to do so. Do not go inside." "Why not?" asked the prince. The girl sighed and said, "My stepmother practices evil arts, and she does not like strangers." Then the prince realised that he had come to a witch's house, but because it was dark, and he could go no further, and not really feeling afraid, he and his servant entered. The old woman was sitting in an armchair by the fire. She looked at the stranger with her red eyes. "Good evening," she croaked, pretending to be quite friendly. "Sit down and rest." She blew into the coals on which she was cooking something in a small pot. Because the daughter had warned the two to be cautious, to eat nothing, and to drink nothing, they refused offers of sustenance and slept soundly until early morning. While they were getting ready to leave the next morning, and the prince had already mounted his horse, the old woman said, "Wait a moment. Let me give you a farewell drink." While she was getting it the prince rode away, but the servant, who had to tighten his saddle, was there alone when the wicked witch came with the drink. "Take this to your master," she said. But that instant the glass broke and the poison spilled onto the horse. It was so strong that the animal immediately fell down dead. The servant ran after his master and told him what had happened. However, scared though he was, the servant did not want to abandon his saddle, so he ran back to get it. When he reached the dead horse, a raven was already sitting on the horse, pecking out its eyes. "Who knows if we shall find anything better to eat today?" said the servant. So, he killed the raven and took it with him. The prince and his servant wandered in the woods the whole day, but could not find their way out. As night fell, they found an inn and went inside. The servant gave the raven to the innkeeper to prepare for supper. Now, they had stumbled into a den of murderers, and twelve murderers arrived in the dark, intending to kill the strangers and rob them. But before doing so they sat down to supper, and the innkeeper and the witch sat down with them. Together they ate a dish of soup into which they had cut up the raven meat. They had scarcely swallowed a few spoonful’s when they all fell down dead, for the raven had passed on to them the poison from the horsemeat. Now there was no one left in the house but the innkeeper's daughter. She meant well and had not taken part in the evil deeds of the witch and the outlaws. She opened all the doors for the stranger and showed him piles of treasure. However, the prince said that she should keep everything. He wanted none of it, and with his servant he rode on his way. After traveling about for a long time, they came to a town where there was a beautiful but proud princess. She had made it known that she would marry any man who could ask her a riddle that she could not solve. However, if she solved it his head would be cut off. She had three days to think about it, but was so clever that she always solved the riddle that she had been given before the deadline. When the prince arrived nine men had already died in this manner. However, he was blinded by her great beauty and was willing to risk his life for it.... --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app


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