The pink



There was once on a time a Queen to whom God had given no children. Every morning she went into the garden and prayed to God in heaven to bestow on her a son or a daughter. Then an angel from heaven came to her and said, "Be at rest, thou shalt have a son with the power of wishing, so that whatsoever in the world he wishes for, that shall he have." Then she went to the King, and told him the joyful tidings, and when the time was come she gave birth to a son, and the King was filled with gladness. Every morning she went with the child to the garden where the wild beasts were kept, and washed herself there in a clear stream. It happened once when the child was a little older, that it was lying in her arms and she fell asleep. Then came the old cook, who knew that the child had the power of wishing, and stole it away, and he took a hen, and cut it in pieces, and dropped some of its blood on the Queen's apron and on her dress. Then he carried the child away to a secret place, where a nurse was obliged to suckle it, and he ran to the King and accused the Queen of having allowed her child to be taken from her by the wild beasts. When the King saw the blood on her apron, he believed this, fell into such a passion that he ordered a high tower to be built, in which neither sun nor moon could be seen, and had his wife put into it, and walled up. Here she was to stay for seven years without meat or drink, and die of hunger. But God sent two angels from heaven in the shape of white doves, which flew to her twice a day, and carried her food until the seven years were over.
The cook, however, thought to himself, "If the child has the power of wishing, and I am here, he might very easily get me into trouble." So he left the palace and went to the boy, who was already big enough to speak, and said to him, "Wish for a beautiful palace for thyself with a garden, and all else that pertains to it." Scarcely were the words out of the boy's mouth, when everything was there that he had wished for. After a while the cook said to him, "It is not well for thee to be so alone, wish for a pretty girl as a companion." Then the King's son wished for one, and she immediately stood before him, and was more beautiful than any painter could have painted her. The two played together, and loved each other with all their hearts, and the old cook went out hunting like a nobleman. The thought, however, occurred to him that the King's son might some day wish to be with his father, and thus bring him into great peril. So he went out and took the maiden aside, and said, "To-night when the boy is asleep, go to his bed and plunge this knife into his heart, and bring me his heart and tongue, and if thou dost not do it, thou shalt lose thy life." Thereupon he went away, and when he returned next day she had not done it, and said, "Why should I shed the blood of an innocent boy who has never harmed any one?" The cook once more said, "If thou dost not do it, it shall cost thee thy own life." When he had gone away, she had a little hind brought to her, and ordered her to be killed, and took her heart and tongue, and laid them on a plate, and when she saw the old man coming, she said to the boy, "Lie down in thy bed, and draw the clothes over thee." Then the wicked wretch came in and said, "Where are the boy's heart and tongue?" The girl reached the plate to him, but the King's son threw off the quilt, and said, "Thou old sinner, why didst thou want to kill me? Now will I pronounce thy sentence. Thou shalt become a black poodle and have a gold collar round thy neck, and shalt eat burning coals, till the flames burst forth from thy throat." And when he had spoken these words, the old man was changed into a poodle dog, and had a gold collar round his neck, and the cooks were ordered to bring up some live coals, and these he ate, until the flames broke forth from his throat. The King's son remained there a short while longer, and he thought of his mother, and wondered if she were still alive. At length he said to the maiden, "I will go home to my own country; if thou wilt go with me, I will provide for thee." - "Ah," she replied, "the way is so long, and what shall I do in a strange land where I am unknown?" As she did not seem quite willing, and as they could not be parted from each other, he wished that she might be changed into a beautiful pink, and took her with him. Then he went away to his own country, and the poodle had to run after him. He went to the tower in which his mother was confined, and as it was so high, he wished for a ladder which would reach up to the very top. Then he mounted up and looked inside, and cried, "Beloved mother, Lady Queen, are you still alive, or are you dead?" She answered, "I have just eaten, and am still satisfied," for she thought the angels were there. Said he, "I am your dear son, whom the wild beasts were said to have torn from your arms; but I am alive still, and will speedily deliver you." Then he descended again, and went to his father, and caused himself to be announced as a strange huntsman, and asked if he could give him a place. The King said yes, if he was skilful and could get game for him, he should come to him, but that deer had never taken up their quarters in any part of the district or country. Then the huntsman promised to procure as much game for him as he could possibly use at the royal table. So he summoned all the huntsmen together, and bade them go out into the forest with him. And he went with them and made them form a great circle, open at one end where he stationed himself, and began to wish. Two hundred deer and more came running inside the circle at once, and the huntsmen shot them. Then they were all placed on sixty country carts, and driven home to the King, and for once he was able to deck his table with game, after having had none at all for years.

Now the King felt great joy at this, and commanded that his entire household should eat with him next day, and made a great feast. When they were all assembled together, he said to the huntsmen, "As thou art so clever, thou shalt sit by me." He replied, "Lord King, your majesty must excuse me, I am a poor huntsman." But the King insisted on it, and said, "Thou shalt sit by me," until he did it. Whilst he was sitting there, he thought of his dearest mother, and wished that one of the King's principal servants would begin to speak of her, and would ask how it was faring with the Queen in the tower, and if she were alive still, or had perished. Hardly had he formed the wish than the marshal began, and said, "Your majesty, we live joyously here, but how is the Queen living in the tower? Is she still alive, or has she died?" But the King replied, "She let my dear son be torn to pieces by wild beasts; I will not have her named." Then the huntsman arose and said, "Gracious lord father, she is alive still, and I am her son, and I was not carried away by wild beasts, but by that wretch the old cook, who tore me from her arms when she was asleep, and sprinkled her apron with the blood of a chicken." Thereupon he took the dog with the golden collar, and said, "That is the wretch!" and caused live coals to be brought, and these the dog was compelled to devour before the sight of all, until flames burst forth from its throat. On this the huntsman asked the King if he would like to see the dog in his true shape, and wished him back into the form of the cook, in the which he stood immediately, with his white apron, and his knife by his side. When the King saw him he fell into a passion, and ordered him to be cast into the deepest dungeon. Then the huntsman spoke further and said, "Father, will you see the maiden who brought me up so tenderly and who was afterwards to murder me, but did not do it, though her own life depended on it?" The King replied, "Yes, I would like to see her." The son said, "Most gracious father, I will show her to you in the form of a beautiful flower," and he thrust his hand into his pocket and brought forth the pink, and placed it on the royal table, and it was so beautiful that the King had never seen one to equal it. Then the son said, "Now will I show her to you in her own form," and wished that she might become a maiden, and she stood there looking so beautiful that no painter could have made her look more so.

And the King sent two waiting-maids and two attendants into the tower, to fetch the Queen and bring her to the royal table. But when she was led in she ate nothing, and said, "The gracious and merciful God who has supported me in the tower, will speedily deliver me." She lived three days more, and then died happily, and when she was buried, the two white doves which had brought her food to the tower, and were angels of heaven, followed her body and seated themselves on her grave. The aged King ordered the cook to be torn in four pieces, but grief consumed the King's own heart, and he soon died. His son married the beautiful maiden whom he had brought with him as a flower in his pocket, and whether they are still alive or not, is known to God.
Der var engang en dronning, hvem Vorherre havde nægtet den lykke at få børn. Hver morgen gik hun ud i haven og bad, om hun måtte få en søn eller en datter. Og da kom en engel fra himlen og sagde: "Glæd dig, du skal få en søn, og han skal opnå alt, hvad han ønsker sig." Hun gik straks hen og fortalte kongen det, og da et år var gået, fødte hun en søn, og kongen var meget glad.

Hver morgen gik hun med barnet ind i dyrehaven og badede i en klar kilde. Da drengen var blevet noget ældre, faldt hun en dag i søvn, da hun sad med det på skødet. Den gamle kok, som vidste, at barnet havde ønskegave, listede sig da derhen og stjal det. Derpå dræbte han en høne, stænkede blodet på dronningens forklæde og kjole, og bar barnet langt bort til en amme, der måtte give det die. Så skyndte han sig op til kongen og sagde, at dronningen havde ladet de vilde dyr røve barnet. Da kongen så blodet på forklædet troede han, at det var sandt, og blev så rasende, at han lod bygge et højt tårn, hvor hverken solens eller månens stråler trængte ind, og lod dronningen mure inde der. I syv år skulle hun sidde der uden at få mad eller drikke. Men Gud sendte to af sine engle i skikkelse af hvide duer, og to gange hver dag bragte de mad til hende, til de syv år var omme.

Kokken tænkte imidlertid: "Det kunne måske bringe mig i fortræd at blive her, hvis denne dreng har ønskegave." Han begav sig derfor af sted hen til barnet, der allerede var så stort, at det kunne tale, og sagde til ham: "Ønsk dig et smukt slot med en have." Næppe havde drengen udtalt ordene, før slottet stod der. "Du har ikke godt af at være så ene," sagde kokken nogen tid efter, "ønsk dig, at du må få en smuk pige til at holde dig med selskab." Straks stod der den dejligste pige, skønnere end nogen maler kunne male hende. De to legede nu sammen og kom til at holde meget af hinanden, og kokken gik på jagt som en fornem herre. Imidlertid kom han til at tænke på, at det måske engang kunne falde prinsen ind at ønske sig hjem til sin far, og det ville jo være en slem historie. Han sagde derfor i al hemmelighed til pigen: "I nat, når drengen sover, skal du stikke denne kniv i hans hjerte, ellers er det ude med dig." Derpå gik han sin vej, men da han dagen efter kom igen, havde hun ikke gjort det. "Hvorfor skal jeg udgyde uskyldigt blod," sagde hun, "han har jo ikke gjort nogen mors sjæl fortræd." - "Hvis du ikke gør det, koster det dig dit liv," sagde kokken. Da han var gået, fik hun fat på et lille rådyr, lod det slagte og lagde hjerte og tunge på en tallerken, og da hun så den gamle komme, sagde hun til drengen: "Læg dig i sengen og træk tæppet over dig."

Den onde kok kom nu ind og spurgte: "Hvor er drengens hjerte og tunge?" Pigen rakte ham tallerkenen, men prinsen kastede tæppet af sig og sagde: "Hvorfor ville du dræbe mig, din gamle skurk. Nu fælder jeg din dom. Du skal blive til en sort puddelhund med en guldkæde om halsen og spise glødende kul, så flammerne står dig ud af gabet." I samme øjeblik var den gamle forvandlet til en sort puddel med en guldkæde om halsen, og kokken måtte bringe glødende kul, som den åd, og flammerne stod den ud af halsen. Kongesønnen blev endnu nogen tid på slottet og tænkte stadig på, om hans mor levede endnu. "Jeg vil hjem til mit fædreland," sagde han til pigen, "vil du gå med mig, så skal jeg sørge for dig." - "Vejen er så gruelig lang," svarede hun, "og hvad skal jeg gøre i det fremmede land, hvor jeg ikke kender et menneske." De ville dog ikke skilles, og efter hans ønske blev hun forvandlet til en smuk nellike og den tog han med sig.

Han drog nu af sted, og puddelhunden måtte følge med. Da han kom til sit fædreland, gik han hen til det tårn, hvor hans mor sad, og da det var så højt, ønskede han sig en stige, der kunne nå lige op til toppen. Derpå gik han op ad den, kiggede ned i tårnet og råbte: "Er du levende endnu min egen lille mor?" - "Jeg har jo lige spist, jeg er helt mæt," svarede hun, for hun troede, det var englene. "Jeg er din søn, som skulle være ædt af de vilde dyr," sagde han, "men jeg lever endnu, og jeg skal nok frelse dig." Derpå steg han ned og lod sig melde hos sin far kongen som en fremmed jæger, der ønskede at træde i hans tjeneste. Kongen svarede, at hvis han var en udlært jæger og kunne skaffe ham noget vildt, kunne han jo nok bruge ham, men for resten var der slet ingen vilde dyr der på egnen. Men jægeren lovede, at han nok skulle skaffe ham ligeså meget, som der behøvedes til hans taffel. Han fik nu alle jægerne med sig ud i skoven, lod dem stille sig op i en stor kreds, der var åben til den ene side, og stillede sig i midten og begyndte at ønske. Straks kom over tohundrede dyr springende, og jægerne skød løs på dem. De blev læsset på seks vogne og kørt hjem til kongen, og nu kunne han da få nok af vildt til taflet. Han havde jo også måttet undvære det i mange år.

Kongen blev meget glad og besluttede at fejre en stor fest og hele hoffet blev indbudt. Da alle var samlede, sagde han til jægeren: "Du skal sidde ved siden af mig, fordi du er så flink." - "Bliv ikke vred, herre konge," svarede prinsen, "jeg er jo kun en simpel jæger." Men kongen blev ved at trænge ind på ham, og til sidst gav han efter. Han sad og tænkte på sin mor og ønskede, at en af kongens mænd ville begynde at tale om hende, og i samme øjeblik sagde marskallen: "Her sidder vi nu i fryd og glæde, men hvordan mon det går dronningen i tårnet. Mon hun er død eller levende." - "Jeg vil ikke høre et ord om hende," sagde kongen, "det er hendes skyld, at min søn blev sønderrevet af de vilde dyr." Da rejste jægeren sig og sagde: "Hun lever endnu, og jeg er din søn. De vilde dyr har ikke røvet mig, men den gamle kok tog mig, da min mor sov, og stænkede blodet af en høne på hendes forklæde." Derpå pegede han på hunden. "Der er forbryderen," sagde han, og lod hente glødende kul, som den måtte spise, mens de allesammen så på det, og flammerne slog den ud af halsen. Derpå spurgte han kongen, om han ville se ham i hans sande skikkelse, og i samme øjeblik han ønskede det, stod kokken der med sit hvide forklæde og kniven ved siden. Kongen blev meget vred og befalede, at han skulle kastes i det mørkeste fængsel. "Vil I se den pige, der har været så god imod mig, mens jeg levede derude," sagde jægeren, "hun skulle have dræbt mig, men gjorde det ikke, skønt hendes eget liv stod på spil." Kongen sagde ja. "Så skal du først se hende som en dejlig blomst," sagde prinsen, tog nelliken frem, og den var smukkere end nogen anden blomst. "Nu skal du se hende i hendes virkelige skikkelse," sagde han, og i samme øjeblik, han ønskede det, blev hun til en kvinde så skøn, at ingen maler kunne male hende skønnere.

Kongen sendte nu to kammerpiger og to tjenere op i tårnet for at hente dronningen. De førte hende ind i salen, men hun ville intet spise. "Den gode Gud, som har sørget for mig i tårnet, vil snart kalde mig til sig," sagde hun. Endnu tre dage levede hun, så sov hun roligt hen. De to engle, der havde bragt hende mad i tårnet, fulgte hende i skikkelse af to hvide duer og satte sig på hendes grav. Kongen lod den gamle kok hugge i fire stykker, men kort tid efter døde han selv af sorg. Prinsen giftede sig med den dejlige pige, der havde fulgt ham, forvandlet til en nellike, men om de lever endnu, det må Gud vide.

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