Prince Charming, the tear-begotten - (pages 5-6)
With waxy fingers, she spun a silver-white bundle of wool from a golden distaff, making it into a thin, white, gleaming thread; more like a throbbing moon ray than like actual spun yarn.
At the sound of the Prince’s light steps, the girl raised her blue eyes, as blue as the waters of a lake.
«Welcome, fair Prince», she said, her clear eyes half-closed. «It’s been a long time since I dreamed of you... As my fingers spun the yarn, so my thoughts spun a dream, a lovely dream in which we two loved each other. I was spinning a silver tuft, my Prince, and was going to weave a garment for you to wear and me to love. The work of my hands to clothe you, the days of my life to bless you with lifelong tenderness.»
As she looked up appealingly, she dropped the spindle and the distaff fell to the ground. She rose and feeling shy at what she had just said, she stood there, her arms limp, her eyes cast down, like a guilty child. He stepped up, put one hand around her waist while with the other he gently stroked her hair and brow, whispering:
«How lovely and how dear to me! Whose daughter are you, my love?»
«The forest-hag’s,» she answered with a sigh; «will you love me now that you know whose daughter I am?» She put both her bare arms around his neck and gazed long into his eyes.
«What do I care whose daughter you are,» he said, «all that’s important is that I love you.»
«If you love me, let’s run away together,» she said, clinging still closer; «were my mother to find you, she’d kill you and if you were to die I would go out of my mind or die too.»
«Don’t worry,» he said, smiling and disengaging him. «Where is your mother?»
«She’s been fretting and struggling in that stony grinding mill pot you've locked her in, and gnawing at the chains that bind her ever since she’s been back.»
«Much good it will do her,» he said rushing to see where she was.
«My Prince,» the girl said, while two large tears shine in her eyes, «don’t go yet. I shall show you chat we shall have to do so that you will get the better of my mother. Look at these two tanks here. One holds water and the other strength. Let’s move them around. In fighting her enemies mother shouts, as she grows tired: ‘Stop and let us have a drink of water’. So she drinks strength while her enemy drinks pure water. That’s why we will move them around; she won’t know and she’ll drink plain water during her struggle with you.»
No sooner said than done.
Then, he dashed behind the house.
«Hello, old witch», he shouted.
The old hag wrenched herself free from the stony grinding mill pot making the chains snap, rising long and lean into the clouds.
«Now, a good thing you’re here, my princeling,» she said shrinking back to her usual size. «Come now, let’s wrestle and we’ll see who’s the toughest.»
«Right you are,» the Prince said.
The witch caught him around the waist, stretched up as far as the clouds then flung him to the ground, so that he stuck in ankle-deep.
The Prince flung her down and stuck her in knee-deep.
«Stop and let’s have a drink of water,» said the forest-hag feeling tired.
They stopped for breath. The witch drank water, the Prince drank strength; forthwith a living fire ran like thrills and shivers through his tired muscle and veins.
With twice his usual strength he caught the old hag around the waist in an iron embrace and stuck her into the ground up to her neck. Then banged her head with his club and blew her brains out. The sky turned gray and cloudy and a cold wind began to moan and shook the small house in every joint. Red serpents of light tore at the black edge of the clouds, the waters seemed to howl, the thunder alone resounded a strong incantation, as if prophesying destruction.