The Knight and the Prince

12/04/2011 § Leave a comment

Once upon a time there was a pretty maiden who lived in a small village near the outskirts of a great kingdom.  She led a quiet life in this small town, although she did have a large number of suitors.  As she grew closer to the marrying age, the number of village men calling upon her increased day after day, for she was quite pretty.

One day a handsome knight rode into town, sitting atop a beautiful white horse.  He had been sent out to survey the kingdom and ensure that all citizens had their needs taken care of.  As he was conducting his business in the town, he met the young maiden, and was stricken by her beauty.  He told her to wait for him, for after he completed his business, he would return to the town to woo her.

And so he left, intent on completing his business and returning to woo the fair young maiden.  As luck would have it, the prince of the kingdom visited the town shortly after the knight left, for the prince was now seeking a wife.

The prince was dark man, and had been hell-bent on dishonoring his family’s name.  There were rumors that he had once been married to daughter of the King of Spain.  It had also been said that he was a wild man who did not hesitate take whatever woman he wanted for himself.  He was feared and loathed by all the upstanding men of the kingdom.  Once the prince saw the maiden, however, he was likewise smitten by her beauty, and decided to stay in the town in order to woo her.

No sooner had the prince settled in the town than the knight returned to make his attempt at winning over the maiden’s heart.  So, they both set out to win the young maiden for themselves.  Both were industrious in their attempts at wooing the young maiden, and it seemed that neither could out-do the other.

Finally, at a loss to best determine who to marry, the young maiden went to her mother to ask advice.  Her mother told her to have the two men fight one another in order to see which one would best be capable of defending and protecting her.  This advice sounded good to the young woman, and so she went to meet her two suitors to propose a final challenge.

The knight and the prince agreed to fight, with the winner being offered the young maiden’s hand on marriage.  And so, at noon the next day, they met in the town square, swords in hand, ready to duel.  When they were given the signal, they began their duel.  They fought eah other for several hours, with neither able to gain on the other.  They traded blows and cuts, but neither could overcome the other.  This fight continued on for several hours, until each was exhausted, at which point they declared the match a draw.

Of course, this outcome was disappointing not only to the knight and the prince, but to the maiden as well.  The two men were tired of continually competing with one another, and were both ready to simply end the competition between once and for all.  Thus, they asked the maiden to simply choose between the two of them.

The maiden realized that she had been leading them on for some time, and that it was only fair to decide between the two of them posthaste.  Before she made her decision, however, she once again consulted with her mother as to which man she should choose.  Her mother told her to ask the men what they would do for her, were she to marry either of them. This advice sounded wise to the maiden, so she went out to the knight and the prince to ask one final question.

The maiden approached the two men, and asked them what they would do for her were she to marry either one of them, as her mother had recommended.

She first asked the knight what he would do for her.  The knight responded that he would serve her, and treat her like a princess, and that she would never lack any of the finest things.

The maiden then asked the prince what he could offer her.  The prince replied, “If you marry me, you will become a princess.”

And so the prince and the maiden got married, and lived happily ever after.

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