The Twelve Dancing Princesses

I greatly admire the soldier. He has my respect.

Being poor, he had no reason to keep his promise to the king. After-all, was it not this same king whose battles he’d fought only to come home penniless and without a hope for the future?!

After going through three forests, each one more fantastical than the last – trees of silver, gold and diamonds leaves – very few would have faulted this man for breaking some branches off to enrich himself. The king after all, was a king and rich. Besides, what proof was there that he would honor his end of the bargain? Then, there is of course the issue of the cloak. And let’s face it, with an invisible cloak, there’s nothing that he couldn’t get up to, nowhere that he could not go.

But for some strange, unaccountable reason, here we find him, making good on his word; faithfully following the maidens night, after night, after night. Breaking off the precious branches as proof of where they had been, what they had been up to.

In the end, his reward is a bride – a royal bride, the most discerning none-the-less. The throne and the kingdom. Not bad for a man who had entered the story with neither family nor home, nor fame, nor fortune, nor hope.

Upon closer inspection, I suppose the truth is that silver and gold do run out. Cloaks get worn and enchantments fade. Therefore in honoring the king, the poor soldier secured not only his fortune, but his entire future.

And as for the good king, what evil had sought to steal – even destroy – from him was turned out for his own good. Not only were his children restored to him but he now had a successor – a man worthy of his throne. An honest man who would no doubt look after his subjects with that same single-heartedness and integrity he’d shown to him and his family.

Indeed it is reported, “He was a very good king and was loved by his people.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

[The Young’s Children’s Encyclopedia, Volume 12]

Background Music: I Surrender (Instrumental) – Hillsong

 

 

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