Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Turnip Princess

This was one of 300 new stories recently rediscovered in Germany after having been locked away for 150 years, and I just had to do this one in particular because-c'mon, it's a turnip princess! You can't go wrong with a turnip! It's just not possible!

The Turnip Princess

A young prince lost his way in the forest and came to a cave. He passed the night there, and when he awoke there stood next to him an old woman with a bear and a dog. The old witch seemed very beautiful and wished that the prince would stay with her and marry her. He could not endure her, yet could not leave that place.

She's old, but beautiful and lusting after younger men? I didn't know the Dark Ages had cougars! Ones with pet bears and magic powers at that.

One day, the bear was alone with him and spoke to the prince: "Pull the rusty nail from the wall, so that I shall be delivered, and place it beneath a turnip in the field, and in this way you shall have a beautiful wife."

 Everyone knows the prettiest princesses come from turnips.

The prince seized the nail so strongly that the cave shook and the nail cracked loudly like a clap of thunder. Behind him a bear stood up from the ground like a man, bearded and with a crown on his head.

A bear? Not THE bear? So is this possibly a different bear? Are there several kings who got turned into bears, and can only be restored by nails being yanked out of the walls?

"Now I shall find a beautiful maiden," cried the prince and went forth nimbly.

Easy to convince, isn't he?

 He came to a field of turnips and was about to place the nail beneath one of them when there appeared above him a monster, so that he dropped the nail, pricked his finger on a hedge and bled until he fell down senseless. When he awoke he saw that he was elsewhere and that he had long slumbered, for his smooth chin was now frizzy with a blond beard.

Wait...just 'a monster'? No explanation, nothing on what it looked like or where it came from? The monster didn't bother to eat him, just dragged him off and left him there long enough for him to grow a beard? A frizzy blond one, at that. Usually we never find out the Prince's hair color.

He arose and set off across field and forest and searched through every turnip field but nowhere found what he was looking for. Day passed and night, too, and one evening, he sat down on a ridge beneath a bush, a flowering blackthorn with red blossoms on one branch. He broke off the branch, and because there was before him, amongst the other things on the ground, a large, white turnip, he stuck the blackthorn branch into the turnip and fell asleep.

 When things go wrong in your life, stab a turnip. It'll make you feel better.

When he awoke on the morrow, the turnip beside him looked like a large, open shell in which lay the nail, and the wall of the turnip resembled a nut-shell, whose kernel seemed to shape his picture. He saw there the little foot, the thin hand, the whole body, even the fine hair so delicately imprinted, just as the most beautiful girl would have.

So each and every turnip ever has contained a beautiful maiden? Geez. Remember, kids, every time you eat a turnip you're devouring a beautiful princess who you were destined to marry. Sorry, boys, you'll have to settle for that weird chick two doors down who smells like cats and chews her hair.

The prince stood up and began his search, and came at last to the old cave in the forest, but no one was there. He took out the nail and struck it into the wall of the cave, and at once the old woman and the bear were also there. "Tell me, for you know for certain," snarled the prince fiercely at the old woman, "where have you put the beautiful girl from the parlor?" The old woman giggled to hear this: "You have me, so why do you scorn me?"

Woah woah woah...beautiful girl from the parlor? What parlor? Didn't he meet them in a cave? It was just the cougar-witch, the bear and the dog then! What beautiful girl is he talking about? Also, how did he know sticking the nail in the wall of the cave would summon them? Explain!!

The bear nodded, too, and looked for the nail in the wall. "You are honest, to be sure," said the prince, "but I shall not be the old woman's fool again."

Honest? He's calling the old witch honest now? I mean true, she hasn't lied to him, but why is he pointing that out at this particular moment?

 "Just pull out the nail," growled the bear.

Do it, dude. You don't want to tick off bears. Particularly not the ones who become royalty.

 The prince reached for it and pulled it half out, looked about him and saw the bear as already half man, and the odious old woman almost as a beautiful and kind girl.

Firstly-odious old woman? Earlier she was described as an old but beautiful witch, and now she's odious? Did she just not bother to bathe the whole time he was getting dragged around by the monster? And how does someone LOOK kind? Kindness is a personality trait, you can't really tell that someone is kind just by looking.

 Thereupon he drew out the nail entirely and flew into her arms for she had been delivered from the spell laid upon her and the nail burnt up like fire, and the young bridal pair traveled with his father, the king, to his kingdom.

....The bear was HIS father the whole time, not hers? How did he not know his father had been turned into a bear? Did the kingdom not notice? Didn't his father think to tell him that once? He clearly possessed the power of speech as a bear-so why not just throw a hint, you know, something like; "Hey, kid, just so you know, I'm actually your father, the king. Yeah, I know, I'm a bit fuzzier now than you remember, I kind of pissed off a witch and forgot to shave for a while. So yeah. Could you take out that nail over there?" Also, what about the aforementioned monster? Did nothing happen with that? Where did it go? What was it? Where did it come from? What was it there FOR?

So many questions, and now I'll never be able to eat a turnip without thinking that there's a tiny beautiful lady inside that I'm chomping on.

......actually now I kind of want one. Weird.

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