PRINCESS OF CHINA
Once upon a time there was a king and a queen and they had only one son. One day, the son went hunting together with the counselor’s son. They killed a magpie and her blood was spread in the snow. A monk passed by and when he saw the blood, he said:
This blood is as red as the face of the China’s king’s daughter.
After he heard those words, the boy fell in love at once with this girl and from that moment and on he stood in his bed.
The queen felt terrible when she saw her son suffer and asked him to tell what had happened, so he told her:
Oh, mother, I am so down and I have such a big anxiety, but if you promise you’ll give me anything I need, I will recover, otherwise I’ll die soon.
His mother asked what he wanted, and after he talked with the counselor’s son, he told his mother.
I need three bags full of gold and three guardsmen because I’m taking off to a country and I’ll be back again.
Then the queen went to the king and said:
Our son is so down and he needs to go abroad to recover, he’ll spend two or three years out there and he needs three bags of gold and three guardsmen.
The king gave order and everything the prince had asked for, was ready. After they took all they needed, the prince and the counselor’s son took off.
When they arrived in China, they took the guards back to their country and went to rest in a hotel; they asked its owner how much money he earned in a day. They gave him the double and told him not to leave anyone else enter in the hotel. So the owner took them to the best room. Then they went out to shop and buy clothes for women. One day, the counselor’s son was shaving at the barber and after he was finished, he gave the barber a golden coin, then the second time he gave him five coins and the third time ten coins, then he asked the barber:
Where is the girls’ school here in the city because I have a sister and I want to take her to school?
The barber told a little boy to go with the man and tell him about where the school was.
Then the counselor’s son went to the hotel and got dressed like a lady. The little boy showed him where the school was and went away.
When he got to the school, he knocked at the door.
A girl answered and he said:
Take these ten golden coins, give them to your teacher and give her my regards too.
The girl went inside, she gave the golden coins to her teacher and told he a lady gave her greetings.
The teacher asked her who she was, but the girl didn’t know the lady. The next day at the same time, the counselor’s boy went again at the school dressed like a lady. He gave the golden coins and said the same words again.
The girl went to her teacher, gave her the money and told what the boy shad said to her. The teacher was very surprised because she didn’t know who the lady was, then she said to the girl:
If the lady comes here again tomorrow, invite her get in, and if she doesn’t accept, don’t take the gold from her.
The next morning the boy went again and after he knocked, the girl opened the door again, and she told him the teacher invited her to enter. The boy said he would go in another time, but the girl didn’t take his gold. So the boy went inside and after he gave the ten golden coins to the teacher, he sat down next to her.
All the girls were asked about the lesson, and when the princess time came, she said to her teacher secretly:
Tell the lady she’s invited at our palace tonight.
The teacher told the boy that the princess had invited him to go for dinner at the palace and he said:
I am going home to tell them not to wait for me tonight because I am invited at the king’s daughter’s palace.
The counselor’s son turned back to the hotel where the prince was waiting for him, and told him not to worry because the princess had invited him for dinner and he would do the best so that the prince married her.
So, the boy went to dine with the princess dressed like a lady, and after they ate dinner, they fell asleep.
When they were sleeping, the girl recognized because she had touched him with her leg, she awoke him and asked:
Will you tell the truth, you are a girl or a boy?
The girl promised she would tell anybody and he said:
There is a prince who has come from too far away and he wants to marry you, because he has fallen in love with you.
And I was dressed like a woman to find a way to meet with you.
I want to see the boy too, if I like him, I will marry him. –the girl said.
The boy asked her if her mother was alive, but she said the queen was dead, then he asked her when she went to the cemetery and she told him she went there every Friday. Then the boy said:
Now I’m going to the hotel, and when you’ll go to the cemetery on Friday, you’ll meet with the prince right there.
Friday came and the girl went to the cemetery, but when she arrived, she saw that the boy had fallen asleep.
She feasted her eyes on him, noticed that he was handsome and liked him, then the pulled off three buds and put them on his chest and went away. The boy woke up and found three buds on his chest, he was mad at himself that he couldn’t see the princess. The counselor’s son went to the princess and asked her if she saw the prince, and she answered:
When I got to the cemetery, he was asleep, but I want to see him again because I liked him so much and I’ve fallen in love with him.
Can you go to the cemetery tomorrow? –the counselor’s son asked.
I can go there whenever I want there, no one can tell me what to do. –the girl said.
And he told her:
Then, I will tell the prince you’ll meet tomorrow and I’ll make sure this time he won’t fall asleep.
The next morning the princess found him awake, and after she covered him with kisses, she said:
I want to marry you but I am engaged to someone else and this week they are coming to get me.
I don’t know what to say! Go and ask the counselor’s son. – said the prince.
She went to meet with the boy, he asked her if she wanted to marry the prince and she told him:
I liked him and I would love to marry him, but I am engaged and these days they are coming to take me.
So the counselor’s son said:
When you’ll take off to go to your husband, stop at the cemetery and tell them to get down from the carts because you’ll want to go to your mother for the last time. When you enter the cemetery, you’ll change the clothes with me and I will go with them instead of you, and you’ll stay with the prince till the people go away.
The day for the princess to leave came, and she did as the boy told her to do:
The husband’s family let her go to the cemetery. After she changed her clothes with the boy, he got on the cart and they didn’t notice the difference.
Prince went to his country together with the princess, and when his parents saw the bride he had married they were so happy and organized a big wedding.
When the people took the counselor’s son to the palace, the feast began. According to the custom in their country, the bride should sleep with the groom’s sisters in the three first nights. The groom had three sisters and the queen told the bride to sleep with the little sister.
The little daughter liked the bride and told her mother to let her sleep even the two other nights, and the queen didn’t say no. When they went to bed, the girl noticed and asked him if he was a girl or a boy.
The boy understood he couldn’t hide anymore and told her the whole story, and the girl noticed he was handsome and smart, so he liked him so much that she wanted to marry him if he wanted too.
The boy accepted, but he said they had to leave before they found out the truth. The girl asked him what to do and he told her:
Go to the hostler, ask him for two horses and tell him: ‘‘I need them for a ride.’’ But at the castle gates, the guards will stop us, so you should steal the king’s ring, and when we go out, we’ll show them the ring and they will let us go away.
The girl did everything the boy told her and at midnight, when everybody was sleeping, they took off. The next morning, when people went to see the bride, they noticed nor she neither the little daughter were there. They had gone away, met with the prince, and they married with each other.