THE NEVERENDING DANCE
Based on the fairytale..12 Dancing Princess'es..
For many years twelve princess'es tricked the king, by hiding their magical place of dance. Their father, the king. Tried desperately to find out where his daughters would go each night. Many prince's accepted the challenge to find this place, and catch them in the act. But each one had failed. The king gave strict orders. If you fail, your head will be cut off. But if you succeed, you may have your pick of any of my daughters. Find out what happened when a weary soldier took on the challenge.
A brave and weary soldier came to the kingdom seeking refuge, when he came upon an old woman standing at the well. Quite thirsty, he asked. " I'm a thirsty soul! " His lips cracked and parched. " Could thee spare a drink of water? "
The old woman, not sure if she should be talking to this strange man, offered a dipper of the cool well water. " Who are thee? " She asked, taking back the empty dipper. ' Why art thou here? "
The soldiers eyes pleaded for another drink, " I have heard of the kings challenge! " As he gulped the water down. " Is it not true? The soldier was well dressed, and was quite young and handsome.
" Where is thy horse? " She asked, looking into his blue eyes. " You dont look like a prince to me. "
The soldier told her that indeed, he was not a prince, that he was a soldier. He explained that he had traveled many miles to win the hand of the kings youngest daughter Princess Catherine.
The old woman smiled, " but the king has twelve daughters. Why the youngest? " She asked curiously.
The soldier stood and stuck out his chest, " I am a young man. Surely I would require a young bride. " His voice spoke proudly.
" I see! " The old woman laughed. " There are some things you should know, before you accept the kings offer. " She told him with a serious look on her face. " First of all, do not drink the wine the princess'es offer thee, or thou will fall into a deep sleep, and not see where or when they go. Secondly, I must give you this magical cloak. It will make you invisible.You must wear this cloak when you follow them, or they will see you. "
The soldier took the cloak, and the old womans wise words, and headed off toward the kings castle. All the way he remembered what the old wise woman told him. When he came face to face with the king, the king ask, " Do you understand the rules? If thy fail to find the princess'es dancing place, Thy head will be cut off."
He looked seriously at the king, " I understand! " He told him quite convencing.
The king continued, ' If thee find the dancing place, thee can have his choice of my daughters hand in marriage."
The soldier looked toward the princess'es who were quite sure he would lose his head. They giggled as the soldier was lead to his sleeping chamber.
He settled in and a few minutes later the youngest of the princess'es came in. She handed him a goblet of sweet red wine. He took it. The princess'es were unaware that he had placed something between his chin to catch the wine. He lifted the goblet til every drop was gone.
She felt an eerie feeling come over her, as she took the goblet from his hand. She bid him a good night, and ran back to her eldest sister, " I have a bad feeling about this one! " She told her frightened.
" You alway's have a bad feeling, you silly goat! " She told her frustrated.
Soon the soldier began to yawn, and closed his eyes. The princess'es checked to see if he had fallen to sleep. When they were convenced he was out cold, they put on their most beautiful dress'es, and their worn slippers. The slippers had holes in the soles from dancing so much. But they didn't care, they loved to dance.
The soldier peered through his slightly cracked eye lid, and watched as the eldest princess knocked on one of the twelve beds that lined evenly across the wall. He was shocked, when the bed began to drop down into the floor. Just as the youngest princess stepped down, he jumped out of bed, put on the cloak, and barely made it inside. He stepped on the youngest princess'es dress, as he clumsily fell in behind her.
" Sister! " She whispered loudly. " My dress seems to be caught on something." She tugged at it, until the soldier realized it was he that was standing on it, and took his foot away. " Never mind! " She giggled embarressed. All the while that same eerie feeling ran up her back.
They finally reached the entrance to a beautiful and magical place. They began to walk through a path that was lined with golden trees, blooming with golden leaves. The soldier was mesmerized. It was the most beautiful place he had ever seen. He quickly broke a twig from one of the branches. It made a crackling sound. The youngest princess heard it, and informed the eldest princess. " Did you hear that? " Her voice was broken.
" Dont be silly! " Her sister became quite angry with the way she was acting.
The soldierput the twig in his pocket and continued to follow them. Soon they came to a crystal lake. He saw twelve boats with twelve handsome prince's sitting in them, waiting for their love.
The soldier got in the boat with the youngest princess. They began to row towards a golden castle on the other side of the lake. The youngest princess and her prince began to talk. He said. " This boat seems a little more heavy than last time." As he rowed harder towards the castle. " It seems a little warm today too. ' As he wiped his forehead.
The soldier just sat there invisible. It was his access weight that caused the boat to be heavier, and his body heat that made the weather seem warmer. The youngest princess could still feel that eerie feeling, but decided not to bother her sister with it anymore, she already thought her to be crazy.
Music from the castle, joyous trumpets and drums began to cause their feet to want to dance. They danced merrily and drank wine. When a princess got a cup of wine, the invisible soldier would drink it. By the time they lifted it to their lips, it would be empty. This frightened the youngest princess, but she was only silenced by the eldest sister.
It was three in the morning and they had danced holes in their shoes. The prince's took them back across the lake. This time the soldier sat beside the eldest sister.
Finally reaching the bank. The prince's bidded their loves a good day. The princess'es promised they would be there again the next night. The soldier checked his tokens, and quickly ran and got back into bed.
When the princess'es sluggishly strolled in. They were tired and weary from all that dancing. The soldier snored quite loudly, as they put away their beautiful dress'es, and put their holey slippers under their beds. " We'll have no trouble with him," they laughed.
The next morning the soldier said nothing. He was determined to see the wonderful place again. They went back a second and third time. On the third visit, the soldier brought back with him a wine cup. When it was time to face the king with his answer. He took with him the tokens.
Then the king ask, " Have thee found the place for where my daughters dance holes in their shoes at night? "
He answered. " With twelve prince's in an underground castle." The he handed the king the tokens. The king looked at them quite surprised at their golden luster.
Behind the door the twelve princess'es listened to what they were saying. The king sent for his daughters. One by one they stood before their father. " Which of my daughters will you choose? "
The soldier replied, "I'm no longer a young man. I choose the eldest," he told him.
The soldier and the eldest princess celebrated their wedding that very day. The kingdom was promised to the soldier, when the king died. But for every night the prince's spent with the prncess'es. A day was added to their time of enchantment. As for the soldier and the eldest princess? They still to this very day, can be seen together, embraced in the neverending dance.