The Three Snake-Leaves

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"The Three Snake-Leaves" (German: Die drei Schlangenblätter) is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 16.


Via his valor in battle, a young man wins the king's daughter to wife, but has to agree to an unusual demand from the princess: if either of them should die, the other will be buried alive with the former.

Some time later, the princess falls sick and dies, so the prince is buried alive in her crypt. While waiting to starve to death, the prince is attacked by a snake, which he kills by chopping into three pieces. Another snake revives the dead snake with three leaves, giving the prince the idea to use the leaves on the princess, successfully reviving her.

The prince and princess then take a sea voyage to visit his father. The princess falls in love with the ship captain, and the pair throw the prince into the sea and drown him. A servant rows after the prince's body, and he revives him using the snake leaves. The prince and the servant return to the kingdom and report the murder attempt, for which the princess and the captain are executed.

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