Here is the story of the Princess of Tronkolaine. There was once an old coalman who had had twenty-five baptisms performed. He could no longer find a godfather for the twenty-sixth child who had just been born to him. He did find a godmother.
The Princess of Tronkolaine
As he was going in search of a godfather, he encountered a beautiful carriage, in which there was a king. He knelt down on the road, hat in hand. The king, seeing him, got out of his coach and gave him a coin of two crowns.
'Except your grace, sire,' said the coalman, 'it's not alms I'm looking for, but a godfather for my last child, who has just been born, and I can't find any.
- Why then? asked the king.
- It is because, sire, I have already had twenty-five baptisms, and all my neighbors have been friends with me. I do find a godmother.
- Well ! replied the king, return home; come to church with the child and the godmother, and I'll be the godfather, me.
And the old coalman returned to his hut, quite happy. The godmother was told, and they went to church with the child. The king was already there waiting for them.
When the baptism was over, the godfather gave a thousand crowns to the father to raise his godson and send him to school. He gave him another half of platinum to give to the child, who would bring it back to him when he was eighteen. Then he left.
The child had been named Charles.
When he was seven or eight, Charles was sent to school, and he was learning whatever he wanted. When he was eighteen, his father gave him half of the platinum and told him to go see his godfather, the King of France, at his court in Paris. The young man set off, mounted on a fine horse, and having his platinum half in his pocket. He looked really good. I
He met, in a hollow and narrow road, a little old woman, who told him that a little further on he would see, near a fountain, an individual who would invite him to drink; - "but, continue your road, my son, and do not drink, whatever insistence he puts there. "
"That's fine, grandmother, I won't drink the water from the fountain," said Charles.
When he arrived at the fountain, he saw the individual sitting in the shade, like a traveler who is resting for a moment, and he said to him:
- Young man, come and drink some water.
- Thank you ! I'm not thirsty, he replied.
- Come and drink just one drop, you have never drunk such good water.
He insisted so much that he approached to taste the water in the fountain. But, having knelt down, to drink the basin for himself, the stranger took his half of platinum from his pocket, jumped on his horse and set off at a gallop. Charles ran after him; but unfortunately ! he could not reach it, and soon he lost sight of the man and the horse.
- Alas! he said to himself, I did not obey the advice of the old woman. What to do now ? Anything ! I will go on foot; sooner or later I'll get to Paris too, and then we'll see.
And he set off again.
When the man of the fountain, the thief, arrived in Paris, he immediately asked to speak to the king, and presented him with his platinum half. The two halves were brought together and found to resemble each other and fit perfectly; so much so that the rascal was welcome to the king, who took him for his godson, and he had nothing to do every day but eat, drink, have good food and go for a walk.
Some time later, Charles also arrived. He was taken to the palace as a shepherd. The false godson, seeing this, was afraid, and sought the means to get rid of him and to lose him. He said one day to the king:
- If you only knew, my godfather, what the sheep keeper said?
- What did he say ? asked the king.
- What he said ? He said he was the man to go and ask the Sun why it is so red in the morning when it rises.
- Bah ! it is not possible, unless he has lost his mind.
- He said so, on my faith, my godfather, and I think it would be good to send him there.
The sheep-keeper was called to the king.
- How? 'Or' What ! young shepherd, you said that you are the man to go and ask the Sun why it is so red when it rises in the morning?
- Me, my king? How could I have said such a thing?
- You said it, because my godson assured me; you have to accomplish what you bragged about, otherwise there is only death for you. You will be leaving tomorrow morning.
There is poor Charles very embarrassed, I beg you to believe it. He didn't sleep a drop all night.
The next morning, before setting out, he made the sign of the cross and said: “By the grace of God! "
He walked towards the east. He hadn't gone far yet when he met an old man with a white beard, who said to him:
- Where are you going like that, my son, and why are you so sad?
- Well, grandfather, where I'm going, I hardly know; and, if I am sad, it is not without reason. The king ordered me to go and ask the Sun why it is so red when it rises in the morning.
- Well ! my boy, do exactly as I tell you, and you may be successful. Here is a wooden horse; climb on it, and it will carry you to the land where the sun rises. You will arrive at the foot of a very high mountain; you will then descend, you will leave your horse at the foot of the mountain and you will climb to the top. There you will see a beautiful castle. It is the castle of the Sun. You will just have to come in and make your commission.
- Thank you, grandfather.
Charles mounted the wooden horse, which soared with him into the air, and they soon found themselves at the foot of the high mountain. Charles climbed it alone to the top. He then saw the Palace of the Sun, entered it without obstacle and asked:
- Is the Sun at home?
- No, answered an old woman, who was there, - her mother, no doubt; - what do you want with him?
- I need to talk to her, grandmother.
- Well ! if you want to wait a bit, it will arrive without delay. But, my poor child, my son will be very hungry when he arrives, and he will want to eat you. Stay all the same, for your look pleases me, and I will prevent it from hurting you.
Soon after the Sun arrived, shouting:
- I am hungry ! I am very hungry! my mother.
"That's good, sit down there, my son, and I'll give you something to eat," the old woman said to him.
- I smell Christian, mother, and I must eat it! cried the Sun, a moment later.
- Well ! for example, if you think I am going to let you eat this child, you are quite wrong! See what a charming boy!
- What did you come here to do? the Sun asked Charles.
- I have been ordered, Monsignor the Sun, to come and ask you why you are so red in the morning when you get up.
- Well ! I will not hurt you, because I like your look, and I will even teach you what you want to know. The Princess of Tronkolaine lives there, in a castle next to mine, and every morning I have to show myself in all my splendor, when I pass over her home, so as not to be defeated by her in beauty. .
The next day, the Sun rose early in the morning and began its tour, as usual, and Charles left as soon as he did. Coming down from the mountain, he found his wooden horse waiting for him. He climbed on it and was brought back in no time to the place where he had met the old man. He was still there waiting for her.
- Well ! my son, he said to him, have you been successful in your business?
- Yes, really, grandfather, replied Charles, and the blessing of God be upon you!
- It's good ; when you need me again, call me and you will see me again.
And immediately he disappeared, he did not know how.
When Charles returned to the king's palace, everyone was amazed at how happy and joyful he was.
- Well ! said the king to him, will you tell me now why the Sun is so red in the morning when it rises?
- Yes, sire, I will tell you.
- Why, then ?
- This is because, not far from the castle of the Sun, is that of the Princess of Tronkolaine, and he must appear, every morning, in all its splendor, when he passes over the castle, in order not to be eclipsed by it.
"That's good," replied the king. And he sent him back to his sheep.
Shortly afterwards, the false godson again said to the king:
- If you only knew, godfather, what the sheep keeper said?
- And what did he say again?
- What he said ? He said he's the man to bring the Princess of Tronkolaine here to you, to marry her.
- Truly ? Tell him to come find me now.
Poor Charles went to the king, very uneasy.
- How? 'Or' What ! young shepherd, you said you could bring me the Princess of Tronkolaine here, to be my wife?
- How could I have said such a thing, sire? I would have to have completely lost my mind to speak like this.
- You bragged about it, and you have to do it, otherwise there is only death for you.
The next morning Charles set off again, sad and worried. "If I still meet the old man of the other
times ! He said to himself. Scarcely had he said these words when he saw the old man coming to him.
- Hello, my son, he said to him.
- To you as well, grandfather.
- Where are you going like that, my child?
- Well, grandfather, I don't really know. The king again ordered me to bring the Princess of Tronkolaine to his court, and I do not know how to go about it.
- That's good, my boy. Take this white wand first. Go back to the king and tell him you need three boats, one loaded with porridge, another with bacon, and the third with salted meat. The porridge will be for the ant king, whom you will find on an island in the middle of the sea. When you arrive on this island, you will ask: - "Is not this where the ant king dwells?" - Yes, you will be told.
"Well, here's a present I have for him," you will add, pointing to the boat loaded with porridge. Then, all the ants on the island will arrive, and in an instant, they will empty the boat.
- "My blessing be with you!" The ant king will then say to you, and if you ever need us, call the ant king, and he will come at once. - Further on, you will find another island, where the lion king resides. You will ask again, when you arrive: - "Isn't this where the King of the Lions dwells?" - Yes, you will be answered, it is here. "
And you will add: - "It is because here is a gift that I have for him; - and you will show the boat loaded with bacon. Then you will see lions coming from all sides of the island, and in an instant the boat will be emptied. The King of the Lions will also tell you: - "My blessing be with you!" If you ever need me, just call the King of the Lions, and I'll be right there. »- Finally, you will then arrive in a third island, where the king of the hawks lives. As you approach it, you will ask:
- "Isn't this where the king of the hawks dwells?" - Yes, you will be answered, it is here. - It is good, you will add, here is a gift that I have for him. - And you will show the boat loaded with salted meat. Immediately the king of the hawks will arrive, accompanied by his subjects, and in an instant the boat will be emptied. - "My blessing be with you!" the king of the hawks will say also, and if you ever need me, all you have to do is call the king of the hawks, and immediately I will come. "
- The king, your godfather, will provide you with the three boats loaded with porridge, bacon and meat. Before embarking, make a cross with your white wand on the sand of the shore, and immediately a favorable wind will blow to take you to your destination. Be careful to do everything exactly as I told you, and you will be successful.
"Thank you, and my blessings be with you, Grandpa," said Charles.
And he left.
Here is Charles at sea, with his three boats. He arrives at the first island, where the Ant King lives, and he asks:
- Isn't this where the Ant King dwells?
- Yes, it is here, we answer.
- Well, here's a present I have for him; go tell him, I beg you, to come and receive him.
The ant king was warned, and he immediately came, accompanied by an infinity of ants.
In an instant the boat was emptied, and the king then said:
- My blessing on you, Charles, godson of the King of France. You saved us; for my kingdom was desolated by famine, and we were all about to starve. If you ever need me and my subjects, just call the Ant King, and I'll be right there.
Charles continued his journey, and, to make it short, he arrived in the island where the king of the lions lived, then in that where the king of the hawks lived; he did exactly as the old man had recommended to him, and all promised him help and protection, if necessary. Before leaving the Isle of the Hawks, he asked their king:
- Am I still far from the palace of the Princess of Tronkolaine?
"You still have a long way to go," they replied; but, you will get there without difficulty. When you arrive, you will see the princess by a fountain, busy combing her blond hair, with a golden comb and an ivory comb. Be careful not to be seen of her, before you see her, because she will enchant you.
She will be under an orange tree, which is above the fountain. Go slowly, slowly, climb the tree, pick an orange and quickly throw it into the fountain. Then. Princess will lift her head, smile at you, then invite you to come down and accompany her to her castle. You can follow her without fear.
- Thank you, said Charles to the king of the hawks. And he continued on his way.
He arrived without delay at the foot of the castle - a magnificent castle. He saw the Princess by the fountain, busy combing her blond hair with a golden comb and an ivory comb, under an orange tree; he climbed the tree, without being seen by her, picked an orange and threw it in the basin of the fountain. The princess immediately raised her head, and seeing Charles on the tree:
- Ah! she said, Charles, godson of the King of France, so it is you who are there! Welcome. Go downstairs and accompany me to my castle. I don't mean harm to you; quite the contrary.
Charles followed her to his castle. Never had his eyes seen anything so beautiful.
He had been there for a fortnight, in the midst of all kinds of pleasures, when he asked the Princess one day if she would consent to accompany him to the palace of the King of France?
"Gladly," she replied, "if you accomplish three jobs that I will designate for you."
"I will always try," he said.
The next morning, the Princess led him to an attic, in front of a large pile of seeds of all kinds. There were seeds of flax, clover, hemp, turnip and cabbage, mixed together. She told him that before sunset he had to have gathered all the seeds of the same nature in one heap, without there being a seed of a different nature in any of the heaps. Then she left.
Poor Charles, left alone, began to cry, because he did not believe that it was possible for anyone in the world to accomplish such a work. He then remembered the Ant King. He had told me, he told himself, that if I ever needed him and his people, I would just have to call them, and they would come to my aid. It seems to me that I need them enough right now. So let's see if he was telling the truth:
- Ant king, come to my aid, because I really need it!
And immediately the Ant King came.
- What is there for your service, he asked, Charles, godson of the King of France?
Charles told him of his embarrassment.
- If there is only that, do not worry, it will be done quickly.
The king then called his subjects, and immediately there came so many ants on all sides that the whole area of the attic was covered with them. He explained to them what to do. And here they are all at work. When it was over, the Ant King said to Charles:
- It is done.
Charles thanked him, and he left with all his ants.
At sunset, when the Princess came, she found Charles sitting and waiting quietly for her.
- Is the job done? she asked.
"Yes, princess, it's done," replied Charles quietly.
- Let's see that.
And she examined all the piles. She took a handful of each and examined it closely. She did not find in any heap a seed which was dissimilar and which was out of place. She was quite astonished.
- It's well done, she said; let's have supper now.
The next morning, she ordered Charles to cut down a whole long avenue of great oaks, and she gave him for tools a wooden ax, a wood saw, and wedges. All the trees had to be down by sunset the same day.
Here again is our man very embarrassed.
'Unless the Lion King comes to my aid,' he said to himself, 'I'll never get out of the woods this time. And he called the king of the lions.
- King of the Lions, come to my aid, because I really need it!
And the king of the lions came immediately.
- What is there for your service, Charles, godson of the King of France? he asked.
Charles told him of his embarrassment.
- Is it just that? Don't worry then, it won't be long to do.
The king uttered a terrible roar, and immediately lions arrived in the avenue.
- Let's go ! my children, said the king to them, uproot and tear to pieces all these trees for me, and quickly!
And here they are immediately to set to work, and to work, each of its best. It was all over, before sunset.
When the Princess came, she was amazed to see all the oaks uprooted and torn to pieces, and Charles sleeping or pretending to sleep, lying on his back.
- Ah! here is, for example, a man! she says to herself.
She approached Charles, very gently, on tiptoe, and gave him two kisses. Charles woke up.
- The job is done, I see, said the Princess.
- Yes, Princess, the job is done.
- It's good. Let's go to supper, for you must be hungry.
The next morning, he was told to go cut down and level a large mountain, much higher than the mountain of Bré. He was given a wheelbarrow and a wooden shovel, and the job was to be completed before sunset.
Arrived at the foot of the mountain, Charles stood there looking at it, and he said to himself:
- How to do this ? I will never come to the end of it. But, the king of the hawks hasn't worked for me yet. I must call him; I have no other hope than in him.
- King of the hawks, come to my aid, because I really need it!
And immediately the king of the hawks came down to him.
- What is there for your service, Charles, godson of the King of France? he asked.
- The Princess of Tronkolaine told me that this high mountain will have to be cut down and leveled, before sunset, and, if you don't help me, I really don't know how to overcome it.
- If it is only that, do not worry; it will be done before sunset.
Then the king of the hawks uttered a fearful cry, and immediately the hawks came, and in such numbers that the sunlight was obscured.
- What is there to do, our king? they asked.
- Transport this mountain from there, so that in its place there is a level plain; and quickly, quickly, my
And here they are, tearing up the mountain with their claws, and carrying the earth into the sea. So the job was still done, long before the sun went down, and no one would have said there was a mountain there. , the morning.
When the Princess came, at sunset, she found Charles sleeping, under a tree, and she gave him two more kisses. He woke up immediately, and said:
- Well ! Princess, the job is done; see, there is no more mountain. Now, I hope you will come with me to the palace of the King of France?
- With all my heart, she replied, and let's go right away.
And they walked over to the sea side. Charles's boats were still there. They embarked on it, and arrived safely in France. On the way, they visited the old man, who said to Charles:
- Well, my son, have you succeeded?
- Yes, grandfather, and the blessing of God be with you!
- It's good. Go now find your godfather; your trials and your troubles are over and you will no longer need me.
When Charles arrived at the king's palace, accompanied by the Princess of Tronkolaine, everyone was astonished to see how beautiful she was. The old king lost his head, and wanted to marry her immediately, although the queen his wife was not yet dead.
- No, said the Princess to her, I did not come here to marry you, nor the devil who is here with you.
- A devil here! where is he? cried the king.
"The one you take for your godson is a devil, and here is your real godson," she said, pointing to Charles; this one has had all the trouble, and the reward is due to him, and he will be my husband.
- But how do you send the devil away? asked the king.
- Look first for a young woman newly married, and bearing her first child. When you find it, heat a white oven, and throw the devil in it. He will scramble and howl in rage, and do his best to get out of the oven; but, the young woman will keep him there by showing him her wedding ring.
A young woman was found carrying her first child; they heated a white oven, then threw the devil into it. This one struggled and uttered terrible cries, and the whole palace trembled. But, when he tried to get out of the fire, the young woman presented her ring to him at the mouth of the oven and made him move back. So he said then:
“If I had stayed here for another year, I would have reduced the kingdom to a desperate state.
But, he had to die there.
So Charles was married to the Princess of Tronkolaine. The old coalman, his wife and all his children were also in the wedding. - This is where there was a feast, then! And a din and a din and eternal bombing! The bells ringing full blast, the large banner standing, and the violins in front!