DANSK

Bidronningen

ENGLISH

The queen bee


Der var engang to kongesønner, som gik ud på eventyr, men forfaldt til et vildt og udsvævende liv, så de slet ikke kom hjem igen. Deres yngste bror, som blev kaldt dumme Peter, begav sig da på vej for at lede efter dem, men da han endelig fandt dem, gjorde de kun nar af ham, fordi sådan en dum fyr troede, at han kunne klare sig ude i den vide verden, når det ikke engang var lykkedes for sådan to kloge hoveder som de. De drog imidlertid alle tre videre sammen og kom til en myretue. De to ældste ville rode op i den for at se, hvordan de små dyr blev forskrækkede og løb af sted med deres æg, men dumme Peter sagde: "Lad dyrene være i fred, jeg kan ikke lide, at I gør dem noget." De gik så videre og kom lidt efter til en sø, hvor der svømmede mange, mange ænder. De to brødre ville fange nogle af dem og stege dem, men dumme Peter satte sig imod det og sagde: "Lad dyrene være i fred. I må ikke røre dem." Noget efter kom de til en bistade, hvor der var så meget honning, at den løb ned ad stammen. De to brødre ville tænde ild op under træet for at kvæle bierne, så de kunne tage honningen, men dumme Peter satte sig igen imod det. "Lad de små dyr være i fred," sagde han. Efter nogen tids forløb kom de til et slot, hvor staldene stod fulde af stenheste. De gik gennem alle salene, men der var ikke et levende menneske at se. Endelig kom de til en dør, hvor der hang tre nøgler, og midt på døren var der en lem, som de kunne kigge igennem, og de så da, at der inde i stuen sad en lille grå mand ved bordet. De kaldte på ham en gang og to gange, men han hørte det ikke. Tredie gang rejste han sig endelig op og kom hen og åbnede døren. Han sagde ikke et ord, men førte dem til et rigt besat bord, og da de havde spist og drukket, viste han dem hver ind i sit soveværelse. Næste morgen kom han ind til den ældste, vinkede ad ham og førte ham hen til et stenbord, hvorpå stod skrevet tre opgaver, som måtte udføres, hvis slottet skulle befries. For det første skulle man samle tusind af prinsessens perler, som lå ude under mosset i skoven, og hvis der ved solnedgang manglede en eneste, blev den, der havde prøvet derpå til sten. Den ældste gik derind og ledte hele dagen, men ved solnedgang havde han kun fundet hundrede og blev straks forvandlet til sten. Den næste dag ville den næstældste prøve sin lykke, men det gik ham ikke stort bedre, han fandt kun tohundrede perler og blev også til sten. Til sidst kom turen til dumme Peter. Han søgte og søgte, men det gik kun langsomt, og han satte sig bedrøvet på en sten og græd. Mens han sad der kom den myrekonge, som han engang havde frelst, med fem tusind myrer, og det varede ikke ret længe, før de små dyr havde fundet alle perlerne og båret dem sammen i en bunke. Den anden opgave var at hente nøglen til kongedatterens sovekammer op fra havets bund. Da dumme Peter kom ned til vandet, kom de ænder, han engang havde frelst, svømmende og dukkede ned og hentede nøglen til ham. Den tredie opgave var den vanskeligste. Kongen havde tre døtre, som lå og sov, og han skulle nu sige, hvem der var den yngste. De lignede hinanden aldeles og der var ikke anden forskel end den, at de lige før de faldt i søvn havde spist forskellige søde sager, den ældste et stykke sukker, den anden lidt sirup, og den yngste en skefuld honning. Da kom dronningen for de bier, som dumme Peter havde frelst, flyvende og satte sig på munden af dem. Da den mærkede, hvem der havde spist honning, blev den siddende der, og således fandt kongesønnen den rette. Nu var trolddommen løst, alle vågnede, og de der var forvandlet til sten blev til mennesker igen. Dumme Peter blev gift med den yngste og bedste og blev konge, da hendes far var død, og hans to brødre fik de to andre søstre.
Two king's sons once started to seek adventures, and fell into a wild, reckless way of living, and gave up all thoughts of going home again. Their third and youngest brother, who was called Witling, and had remained behind, started off to seek them; and when at last he found them, they jeered at his simplicity in thinking that he could make his way in the world, while they who were so much cleverer were unsuccessful.

But they all three went on together until they came to an ant-hill, which the two eldest brothers wished to stir up, that they might see the little ants hurry about in their fright and carrying off their eggs, but Witling said, "Leave the little creatures alone, I will not suffer them to be disturbed."

And they went on farther until they came to a lake, where a number of ducks were swimming about. The two eldest brothers wanted to catch a couple and cook them, but Witling would not allow it, and said, "Leave the creatures alone, I will not suffer them to be killed."

And then they came to a bee's-nest in a tree, and there was so much honey in it that it overflowed and ran down the trunk. The two eldest brothers then wanted to make a fire beneath the tree, that the bees might be stifled by the smoke, and then they could get at the honey. But Witling prevented them, saying, "Leave the little creatures alone, I will not suffer them to be stifled."

At last the three brothers came to a castle where there were in the stables many horses standing, all of stone, and the brothers went through all the rooms until they came to a door at the end secured with three locks, and in the middle of the door a small opening through which they could look into the room. And they saw a little grey-haired man sitting at a table. They called out to him once, twice, and he did not hear, but at the third time he got up, undid the locks, and came out. Without speaking a word he led them to a table loaded with all sorts of good things, and when they had eaten and drunk he showed to each his bed-chamber.

The next morning the little grey man came to the eldest brother, and beckoning him, brought him to a table of stone, on which were written three things directing by what means the castle could be delivered from its enchantment The first thing was, that in the wood under the moss lay the pearls belonging to the princess - a thousand in number - and they were to be sought for and collected, and if he who should undertake the task had not finished it by sunset, if but one pearl were missing, he must be turned to stone. So the eldest brother went out, and searched all day, but at the end of it he had only found one hundred; just as was said on the table of stone came to pass and he was turned into stone. The second brother undertook the adventure next day, but it fared with him no better than with the first; he found two hundred pearls, and was turned into stone. And so at last it was Witling's turn, and he began to search in the moss; but it was a very tedious business to find the pearls, and he grew so out of heart that he sat down on a stone and began to weep. As he was sitting thus, up came the ant-king with five thousand ants, whose lives had been saved through Witling's pity, and it was not very long before the little insects had collected all the pearls and put them in a heap.

Now the second thing ordered by the table of stone was to get the key of the princess's sleeping-chamber out of the lake. And when Witling came to the lake, the ducks whose lives he had saved came swimming, and dived below, and brought up the key from the bottom.

The third thing that had to be done was the most difficult, and that was to choose out the youngest and loveliest of the three princesses, as they lay sleeping. All bore a perfect resemblance each to the other, and only differed in this, that before they went to sleep each one had eaten a different sweetmeat, the eldest a piece of sugar, the second a little syrup, and the third a spoonful of honey. Now the Queen-bee of those bees that Witling had protected from the fire came at this moment, and trying the lips of all three, settled on those of the one that had eaten honey, and so it was that the king's son knew which to choose.

Then the spell was broken; every one awoke from stony sleep, and took their right form again. And Witling married the youngest and loveliest princess, and became king after her father's death. But his two brothers had to put up with the two other sisters.




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