The Princess on the Glass Hill

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The Princess on the Glass Hill
Folk tale
Name The Princess on the Glass Hill
Data
Aarne-Thompson grouping 530
Country Norway
Published in Norske Folkeeventyr

"The Princess on the Glass Hill" is a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in Norske Folkeeventyr.[1] It recounts how the youngest son of three obtains a magical horse and uses it to win the princess.

It is Aarne-Thompson type 530, which is named after it: the princess on the glass mountain. It is a popular type of tale, although the feats that the hero must perform in the second part, having obtaining the magical horse in the first, vary greatly.[2]

Synopsis[edit]

A farmer's haymeadow was eaten every year on the Eve of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, also Midsummer. He set his sons, one by one, to guard it, but the older two were frightened off by an earthquake. The third, Boots [Cinderlad], was despised by his brothers, who jeered at him for always sitting in the ashes, but he went the third year and stayed through three earthquakes. At the end, he heard a horse and went outside to catch it eating the grass. Next to it was a saddle, bridle, and full suit of armor, all in brass. He threw the steel from his tinderbox over it, which tamed it. When he returned home, he denied that anything had happened. The next year, the equipment for the horse was in silver, and the year after that, in gold.

The king of that country had a beautiful daughter and had decreed that whoever would marry her must climb a glass mountain to win her. She sat on the mountain with three golden apples in her lap; whoever took them would marry her and get half the kingdom.

The day of the trial, Boots's brothers refused to take him, but when the knights and princes had all failed, a knight appeared, whose equipment was brass. The princess was much taken with him, and when he rode one-third of the way up and turned to go back, she threw an apple to him. He took the apple and rode off too quickly to be seen. The next trial, he went in the equipment of silver and rode two-thirds of the way, and the princess threw the second apple to him. The third trial, he went in the equipment of gold, rode all the way, and took the third apple, but still rode off before anyone could catch him.

The king ordered everyone to appear, and in time Boots' two brothers came, and the king asked if there was anyone else. His brothers said that he sat in the ashes all three trials, but the king sent for him, and when questioned, Boots produced the apples, and therefore the king married his daughter to him and gave him half the kingdom.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ George Webbe Dasent, translator. Popular Tales from the Norse. Edinburgh: David Douglass, 1888. "Princess on the Glass Hill"
  2. ^ Stith Thompson, The Folktale, p 61-2, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London, 1977