The Trustworthy Bride

Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, the old king Liridon asks for his son, Prince Silbald.

"Son," he says. "You are my only child and are old enough to find a bride."

"Yes, I am," the handsome prince answers. "And I want to marry someone who I can trust with both this kingdom and my heart. But I do not know where I can find someone who I can trust."

"I know a place," a voice speaks up.

The king and the prince see a servant girl. Her name is Gustina. She has brown hair and wears a worn-down dress. She says, "There is a princess kept prisoner by a powerful dragon. He keeps her because she is very beautiful."

"I see," the king replies. He then tells his son, "Go and free this beautiful princess. See if she is what you are looking for. Princesses kept by dragons make the best wives."

Prince Silbald accepts the mission.

The king looks at the servant girl and commands, "Go with the prince. Carry his things so that he can focus on finding the princess. Since you heard about the rumor, you should be able to guide the prince to the right cave."

The servant girl agrees.

The prince and the servant girl begin their journey. Prince Silbald brings an enchanted sword, and Gustina has a picnic basket. Their first stop is at the dark woods. They need to be careful. Robbers and monsters lurk there. It is not long before the two are stopped by a goblin holding a dagger.

"I'm hungry!" the goblin cries. "Give me what you have in your basket! Or I'll cut you up like ribbons!"

"I will not!" Prince Silbald shouts. "I will not hand over my goods to a lowly creature like you!"

He draws his magical sword and is prepared to fight. But before the battle could start, the servant girl steps in.

"We don't have much food," she tells the goblin. She reaches into the basket and pulls out a red delicious apple. "The prince needs his food because he is going to rescue a princess, but you can take this. It's my half of the food."

"How kind of you!" the goblin grins. He accepts the gift and runs off.

The two begin their journey once more. They soon come across another problem. A giant springs out from a thicket and wheels a mighty axe. The giant roars, "Give me your crown so that I may sell it and become rich!"

The prince refuses. He draws his sword and tells the girl, "Go hide behind that large tree! You'll be safe there!"

"I won't!" Gustina answers. "I won't leave my prince alone!"

"How loyal," the giant laughs.

The prince battles the giant. As the two fight, Gustina notices a vine near the giant's feet. She pulls the vine, and the giant trips over it with his large feet. Prince Silbald uses this moment to cut off the giant's big hand. The giant weeps and runs off.

After walking a little bit more, the two leave the dark woods and finally come across the right cave. Inside the cave is a large, green dragon and a beautiful princess. The princess has long blond hair and wore a sparkling gown.

Prince Silbald looks at the big dragon straight in the eyes. He demands, "Let the princess go!"

"No!" the dragon yells back. "This princess is very beautiful! She is my prisoner!"

The prince draws his magical sword one last time and combats the dragon. While the prince fights fearlessly for his new bride, he was no match for the dragon. Magic does not work against dragons, and his sword was magical. The dragon was also very strong and very skilled. The servant girl did not want to see the prince losing the match.

"Please don't lay another claw on the prince!" Gustina begs the dragon. "Let the prince and the princess go! I'll take the princess's place and be your new prisoner!"

"Such bravery!" the dragon exclaims. "I am moved by this! I shall release the princess and let you three go in peace."

Princess Mariara runs from the dragon and hugs the prince. Prince Silbald, however, keeps his eyes on the servant girl. He too is moved from her willingly to give herself up. The three leave the cave, and the prince takes the princess back to her own kingdom.

When Prince Silbald and Gustina return from their journey, King Liridon is happy to hear his only child has return.

"Tell me, my son," he says. "Did you find your new wife?"

"Yes, I did," the prince replies. "I wish to marry her."

He lets the servant girl stand beside him. King Liridon is confused.

"I wish to marry her," the prince explains. "She has the qualities to make a good wife—she is kind, loyal, and brave. She will make an excellent princess to this kingdom, and she has won my heart. She is someone who I can trust."

"Very well!" the king accepts. "Tomorrow, we shall have a grand wedding!"

The next day, the prince and the servant girl have their wedding. The prince is glad to have found his trustworthy bride. The prince and the now princess live happily ever after.