Here is the story of Trégont-à-Baris.



There was once, there will be a day,
It is the beginning of all tales.
There is neither if nor maybe,
The tripod does have three legs.

When the Lord God was traveling in Lower Brittany, accompanied by Saint Peter and Saint John, one day when the three of them were walking, while talking, they seemed to hear the cries of a small child, in a moat, at the edge of the road.

They went down into the moat and found there, in fact, among the ferns, a little abandoned child, a very beautiful child. They won. An old woman, who had no children, took charge of him, and brought him up as if he had been her own son.

The child was coming well. At fifteen, he was already a vigorous and good-looking guy. He wanted to travel. In vain did the old woman lecture him and beg him not to leave her, he had to be let go. She gave him some money, and he set off for Paris.

When he arrived in Paris, he went straight to the King's palace to ask for work. He was received because he was a good-looking boy, and even a pretty boy. It was not long without being noticed by the King, who took him in love. So much so that the other servants became jealous of him, and looked for ways to lose him.

One day, while they were chatting about their business, someone said:
- I would like to know what causes the Sun to be so red when it rises in the morning.
- It's not easy to know that, answered the others.
- If we told the King that Trégont-à-Baris (we had given him, I don't know why, this name, which means Trente-de-Paris) boasted of being able to go and ask the Sun why he is so red when he gets up in the morning?

- Yes, let's tell him that.
The first stable-boy therefore went to the King, and said to him:
"If you only knew, Sire, what Trégont-à-Baris said?"
- And what did he say? asked the King.
- He said he was able to go and ask the Sun why it is so red in the morning when it rises.
- It is not possible that he said that.
- He said it ; I tell you, Sire.

- Well ! tell him to come talk to me, then. Trégont-à-Baris went to the King.
- How? 'Or' What ! Trégont-à-Baris, you said that you are able to go and ask the Sun why it is so red in the morning when it rises?
- Me, Sire? I never said anything like it.
- You said it, my boy, I have been told, and you must do what you bragged about, or there is only death for you. Go on.

There is poor Trégont-à-Baris, very embarrassed, I beg you to believe it. - It's over with me! he said to himself. He set off, however, by the grace of God.
On leaving the yard, he saw a magnificent white mare, who came to him, and spoke to him thus:

- Get on my back, and I'll take you to the Sun. We have a thousand leagues to travel to arrive, before sunset, at the first castle where we will spend the night.

Trégont-à-Baris mounted on the back of the beautiful white mare, and the latter immediately rose in the air with him. They arrived at a castle just as the Sun was about to set. Trégont-à-Baris went down, on the advice of the mare, and knocked on the door of the castle: dao! dao!

- Who is here ? asked a voice from inside.
- Trégont-à-Baris! My run and I are thirty-one!
It was opened to him and he entered, and he supped with the daughter of the master of the castle.
- Where are you going like that? asked the latter.
- Well, Princess, I don't really know. I was ordered to go and ask the Sun why it is so red in the morning when it rises, and I do not know which way to turn.

- Well ! if you ever reach the goal of your journey, at the Sun, ask him also, I beg you, what is the cause that my father has been ill for so long, and what should be done to restore him to health.
- I will ask him, Princess.
The next morning, as soon as the sun had risen, Trégont-à-Baris climbed back onto his white mare. It rose in the air immediately, and off they went, faster than the wind.

At sunset, they came to a second castle, which was a thousand leagues from the first. Trégont-à-Baris was well received by the master of the castle, who invited him, like the first, to supper at his table.

- And where are you going like that? he asked her.
- Well, I was ordered to go and ask the Sun why it is so red, in the morning, when it rises, and I go; but, I do not really know which way to take.

- Well, if you ever get to the Sun, ask him also, I beg you, what is the cause of a pear tree that I have in my garden is withered and barren, on one side, while on the other on the other hand, it produces fruit every year.
- I will ask him, willingly.

The next morning, he left again, early, with his white mare.
- How? 'Or' What ! are we not yet close to arriving? asked Trégont-à-Baris of his getaway.
"Yes," she replied, "we have only a thousand leagues to go." Soon we will arrive near an arm of the sea, where we will have to part, and you will leave me on this side of the water. A ferryman will be there, who will pass you in his boat, to cross the arm of the sea. He will ask you where you are going; but do not tell him, and when you come back do not tell him where you have been until he has dropped you off on this side of the water.

They continued their journey, and soon arrived at the arm of the sea. Trégont-à-Baris put his run to pasture, in a meadow which was there, and advanced towards the ferryman, whom he saw on his boat.

- If I am not indiscreet, where are you going thus, lord? the latter asked him, while he was passing the water to him.
- Always pass me by, and, when I get back, I'll tell you where I have been.

There he is on the other side. Then he saw in front of him the castle of the Sun, the most beautiful wonder that his eyes had ever seen. He approached it, to enter. The Sun was about to rise, and, seeing it coming, he cried out to him:

- Go away ! Get away, quickly, or I'll burn you! What did you come here to do?
- I came, Monsignor the Sun, to ask you why you are so red when you get up in the morning.
- I will tell you. It is that at this moment, I pass on the castle of the Princess to the Castle of Gold. Go quickly now so that I can get up. Go away, or I'll burn you.

- You must tell me again, before, what to do to restore health to a sick prince, who lives in the first castle where I spent the night, coming here, and whom the doctors cannot not cure.
- There is a toad under the right foot of his bed; let this toad be killed, and the patient will immediately recover. Go quickly now.

- One last question, Monsignor the Sun. I will not leave until you have told me yet what is the cause of a pear tree, which is in the garden of the castle where I spent the second night, coming here, is quite dry and dead on one side , while the other side, it gives fruit in abundance, every year.

- This is because, under this pear tree, there is a silver barrel, and the side where the silver is is is withered and sterile, while the other is green and full of life. Go quickly now, because I'm late.

Trégont-à-Baris bowed and left, having learned what he wanted to learn, and then the Sun rose.

Arrived near the arm of the sea, the ferryman took him on his boat, and, in the middle of the passage, he asked him:

- Well ! what did the sun tell you?
- I'll tell you when I'm on the other side of the water.
- Tell me now, or I'll throw you in the water.
- This is the real way to not know anything; so the best thing you have to do is lead me to the other side.

And the ferryman led him across the water.

"Tell me now that you've passed," he asked her again.
- I'll tell you another time if I ever come back this way.
- Alas! here I am still caught! cried the ferryman. My curse on you! I have been a smuggler here for five hundred years, and you could deliver me by answering my question! ...
- Yes, to take your place and stay there as long as you, maybe longer… Thank you! And he left.

He found his escape where he had left it.

- Well ! she asked him, did you do well?
- Very well.
- Get on my back, then, and let's go.

At sunset, they were in front of the castle where they had spent the second night, on their way. Trégont-à-Baris was well received there and he supped again with the master of the castle, who asked him:

- Well ! have you done my commission with the Sun?
- Yes, I did.
- And what did he tell you?
- He told me that, under your pear tree, there is a silver barrel, and that it is the side of the tree where the silver is located that is withered and sterile, while the other is green and fertile.

The pear tree was immediately cut down, and it was recognized that the Sun had spoken the truth.
The next morning, Trégont-à-Baris and his runaway set off again early, and at sunset they were in front of the first chateau where they had spent the night, on their way. Trégont-à-Baris was still well received there, and he supped with the master's daughter, for the latter was still ill on his bed.

- Well ! she asked him, have you done my commission to the Sun?
- Yes, I did, Princess.
- And what did he answer you?
- He told me that under the right foot of your father's bed there is a toad, and that your father will not recover until the toad has been removed and killed.

They rummaged under the bed and found the toad in the place indicated; he was killed, and the master of the castle immediately recovered his health.

The next morning, as soon as the sun rose, Trégont-à-Baris and his runaway set off again, and towards evening they were back in Paris, in front of the King's palace.

- Well ! Trégont-à-Baris, asked the King, as soon as he appeared in his presence, have you succeeded in your
trip ?
- Perfectly, Sire.
- And what did the Sun say to you?
- The Sun, Sire, answered me that what makes it so red, in the morning, when it rises, it is the castle of the Princess in the Castle of Gold, when it appears above.
- It's good. She must be very beautiful, that Princess?

Trégont-à-Baris returned to his work, as before, and for some time his comrades left him in peace. However, they were still looking for some way to get rid of him. One of them went to the King again, shortly after, and said to him:
"If you only knew, Sire, what did Trégont-à-Baris boast about?"
- What is he still boasting about?
- Enough to ? To bring you here, in your palace, the Princess to the Golden Castle!

- Truly ? Tell her to come and talk to me immediately, for I am very anxious to see that Princess.
Trégont-à-Baris was warned that it was necessary to go immediately to the King.
- How? 'Or' What ! Trégont-à-Baris, said the old monarch to him, did you boast that you could bring me here, to my palace, the Princess to the Golden Castle?
- Me ? my God ! I never said anything like it, Sire.
- You said it, and you have to do it, or there is only death for you. Leave immediately.

Here is our poor Trégont-à-Baris very embarrassed again. - What to do ? he said to himself. If still my good white getaway, like the last time, came to my aid!

He left early the next morning. Scarcely had he left the courtyard when he saw his white run coming to him, who spoke thus:

- Quickly get on my back, and let's go, because we have a long journey to do.
He kissed her with joy, then climbed onto her back, and off they went.
They arrived at the seaside. As they walked on the shore, they saw a small fish, out of the water, its mouth open and on the verge of death.
"Quickly take this fish and put it back in the water," said the white horse.

Trégont-à-Baris hastened to obey, and the little fish, sticking its head out of the water, said:

- My blessing be with you, Trégont-à-Baris! I'm the King of Fish, and if you ever need me or mine, call, and I'll be right there.

He then entered a boat, which he saw there near, he crossed the arm of the sea and found himself in front of the Princess's castle, which was all in gold. He knocked on the door, and the Princess herself came to open it.

- Hello to you, Trégont-à-Baris! she told him, ushering him in. You come here to get me to go with you to the court of the King of France.
- My faith is true, Princess.
- I will go with you; but, you are going to spend the night here, and tomorrow morning we will be leaving.
He spent the night in the castle, and the next morning they left. The Princess took the key to her castle; but, passing the sea, she threw it to the bottom of the abyss. They found the white mare on the shore, they both climbed on it, and took the road to Paris.

When the old King saw the Princess at the Golden Castle, he was so overwhelmed with joy and happiness that he almost lost his mind. Every day it was feasts and games at court, and he wanted to be married to the Princess on the spot. The latter told her that she did not ask for anything better, but, on one condition, it was that they would bring her her Golden Castle, near that of the King, because she did not want to live in another.

Here is the embarrassed King. How to bring the Princess's castle to Paris? Was it possible?
- Bah ! said one of his courtiers, the one who brought you the Princess will bring you his castle too.
Trégont-à-Baris was again warned to go find the King.

- Oh that ! Trégont-à-Baris, you still have to get me the Princess's Golden Castle, and bring it to me here, because the Princess doesn't want to live in another.
- And how can you, Sire; that I do this?
- You will do it as you see fit, but, you must bring it to me here, this marvelous castle, or there is only death for you.

Here is our poor Trégont-à-Baris more embarrassed than ever.
"If my run comes to my aid, maybe I'll get out of the woods again," he said to himself.
The next morning, on leaving the courtyard of the palace, he again saw his white run, waiting for him, and he told him everything.
"Go back to the King," she said, "and tell him that before you set out you will need a horse loaded with gold and another loaded with meat."

Trégont-à-Baris asked the King for a horse loaded with gold and another loaded with meat. They were given to him, and immediately he set off with his white run. They arrived on the shore of the sea. Trégont-à-Baris loaded the meat into a boat, then set off, leaving his run and the two horses on the shore. He landed without delay in an island, where he saw four angry lions who were fighting and trying to devour each other, because they were dying of hunger.

"Don't fight like that, my poor beasts," he cried to them; follow me, and I will give you something to eat.
The four lions followed him to the boat, and there he threw meat for them to eat, at his discretion.
- Our blessing be with you, then said the four lions to him, when they were well sated; we were going to devour each other, if you had not arrived, for the most dreadful famine reigns in our island. If you ever need us, call, and we will rush to help you.

- Faith, my poor animals, I am in great need of help from now on.
- What can we do for you?
- The King of France ordered me to bring him to Paris the castle of the Princess at the Chateau d'Or, and if I do not, there is only death for me.
- If it is only that, it will be done soon.

And the four lions ran to the Golden Castle, uprooted it from the rock it was on, and carried it to the boat. Then, before leaving, they said to Trégont-à-Baris:

- You will still need us, Trégont-à-Baris, but, wherever you are, call us, and we will arrive.
The next morning, when the King opened his eyes, he was astonished to see how his room was more lighted than usual.
- What's this ? he said.
And he jumped out of bed and put his head to the window.

- Hello ! he cried immediately, it's the Château d'Or that has arrived! And he ran to the Princess's room, and
said to him:
- Your castle has arrived, Princess; come to see.
"It is true," said the Princess, when she saw him; it is he, I cannot deny it. Let's go visit it.

And they went to visit the Golden Castle, and the whole court followed them.
- But where is the key? asked the Princess, finding the door closed. Ah! I remember now that she slipped out of my hand and fell into the sea, into the crossing to get here.
- We will make another key, said the King, and we can get married, without further delay.

- Oh ! there is no worker in the world who can make a key capable of opening the door of my castle; I absolutely need my old key, and until it is found, you must not talk to me about marriage, because it is in my castle that I want to get married.
- But, how to do to find this key, at the bottom of the sea?
"If Trégont-à-Baris doesn't come to the end of it, we must give it up," everyone said.

Trégont-à-Baris was again instructed by the King to go in search of the key to the castle, and to bring it back, under pain of death.
He and his faithful runaway set off again the next morning. Arrived at the seaside, the runaway said to him:

- Do you remember the little fish whose life you saved by putting it back in the water?
- I remember it very well.
- Well ! you know he was the king of fish and he promised to help you when you needed it. Call him.
And Trégont-à-Baris went to the water's edge, and called the King of the fish. The latter ran up immediately, and said, sticking his little head out of the water:
- What is there for your service, Trégont-à-Baris?

- I need, Sire, the key to the Chateau d'Or, which the Princess dropped at the bottom of the sea when she passed by here on her way to Paris with me.
- If it is only that, it will be done soon. Immediately the King of Fishes called all his subjects, each by name, small and large, and, as they passed, he asked them if they had not seen the key to the Golden Castle. None had seen the key.

 Everyone had answered the call, except the old woman, who was always late. She also arrived, at the end, holding the key in her mouth. The King of the Fishes took it, returned it to Trégont-à-Baris, and the latter immediately set off for Paris with his getaway.
- For now, said the King, handing the key to the Princess, you have no more reason to delay our union, since I have fulfilled all your wishes.

- It's true, she replied, now we have to have the wedding. Yet I still need one little thing beforehand; it will not be difficult for you, after all that you have already done for me.
- Speak, Princess, and you will be obeyed.
'You are no longer young, Sire, and, before marrying you, I would like to see you come back to the age of twenty-five.
- And how could that be done?

- Nothing is easier; you have done much more difficult things. It is quite simply enough to have the water of death and the water of life.
- But where to find these waters?
- That concerns you; but, I will not marry you until I have them.
The old king again sent for Trégont-à-Baris, and told him that he needed, for his final test, the water of death and the water of life, and that, if he did not provide them, he had to prepare to die.

The next morning, Trégont-à-Baris still found his runaway waiting for him at the court gate, and he told him what the King demanded, as a final test.
- Alas! said the runaway, it will be our most difficult test; but, if we succeed, it will be over, and we will finally leave you in peace. So let's go, because we have a long way to go.

After passing over a large number of different kingdoms and countries (as they always traveled by air), they finally arrived at their destination, in the middle of a wood where no man had ever come before, perhaps. to be.
"There are the two fountains over there, at the foot of those great rocks that you can see," said the runaway to her companion. One drop per hour, only one, falls from each rock into each fountain.

- Yes, I can see the two fountains; but, I also see two lions guarding each of them, and, if I approach, they will surely tear me to pieces.
- Call on the Lion King for help.
He called the King of the Lions, and he immediately arrived.
- What is there for your service, Trégont-à-Baris? he asked.

- The King of France sent me to fetch him a vial of the water of death and another vial of the water of life; but, the four lions that I see over there, near the fountains, will surely tear me to pieces, if I approach.
- Have no fear, I will say a word to these comrades.

The King of the Lions walked towards the four lions who guarded the two fountains and ordered them not to harm Trégont-à-Baris. The latter quietly filled his two vials, one from each fountain, then he thanked the King of the Lions and returned to Paris, mounted on his white horse.

The journey had lasted three years, and if the King was old and broken, when he left, now he was even more so, and yet he was not the wiser, and he only spoke of getting married, and kept annoying the Princess. When he saw Trégont-à-Baris return, with the two kinds of water, he began to sing and dance with joy, like a real child. He asked to be rejuvenated immediately, in order to get married more quickly.

They undressed him, stretched him out on his back on a table, then poured a few drops of the water of death on his body. He no longer says neither you nor her; he died instantly. The Princess at the Golden Castle then said:
- Quickly remove this carrion and throw it to rot in the moat of the castle! He who has had all the trouble must also receive the reward. It is Trégont-à-Baris who will be my husband.

They did as she says: the body of the old King was thrown into the moat of the castle, and Trégont-à-Baris married the Princess at the Château d'Or.
There were wonderful feasts and feasts. Towards the end of the meal, Trégont-à-Baris says:
- I have only one regret.
- Which one? asked the Princess.
- It is not to see here, in our midst, my faithful white runaway, who advised and accompanied me in all my trials.

Immediately they saw appear in the hall - no one knew how - a woman of extraordinary beauty, much more beautiful than the Princess at the Golden Castle, who was nevertheless very beautiful, and she said these words:

- It is I who accompanied you, Trégont-à-Baris, in the form of a white run, in your labors and your trials; I am the Virgin Mary, sent to protect you by the Lord God, the one who received you in a moat, by the side of the road where you had been abandoned.
Having thus spoken, she disappeared again, no one knew how. And my tale is over.