The Bay-Tree Maiden

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The Bay-Tree Maiden is a Romanian fairy tale.[1]


Once, a prince began to cry six weeks before he was due to be born. Nothing his mother did placated him until she promised him that he could marry Sanda-Lucsandra, a fair maiden who lived past nine lands and nine seas. When he grew up, however, he demanded that his parents marry him to her, and when the queen confessed she had made up Sanda-Lucsandra, he set out in search of her. He came to a great bay tree. While the prince rested under it, he heard a verse being pronounced, calling a maiden out, and a beautiful maiden came out. He seduced her, promising to marry her, and sneaked away the next morning. He came to a castle, where the master claimed that his own daughter was Sanda-Lucsandra and a wedding was arranged. The maiden could no longer get back into the bay tree, and so set out in search of the prince. She traded her clothing, unsuitable for travel, with a monk. Then she found the carriage where the prince was bringing his bride back. The prince took her up and she told the story of seeing a maiden weeping in the meadow because a prince had seduced her, and she could no longer get into the bay tree. He had her tell it to him again and again.

At his parents' castle, on the wedding day, the monk vanished. The prince went to the room and found the monk hanging by the neck. When he went to cut her down, he realized she was a woman, and the maiden, and that he had not married the true Sanda-Lucsandra. He sent back the false bride and married the maiden from the bay tree.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ioana Sturdza, Raymond Vianu, Mary Lǎzǎrescu, Fairy Tales and Legends from Romania p 70 Twayne Publishers, New York 1982