The boats of gold, silver and silk

Here is the story of the boats of gold, silver and silk. Once upon a time, there was a prince who had three sons. The eldest wanted to go and seek his fortune; his father thought it wasn't worth it since he was already quite rich himself.

boats of gold, silver and silk

Boats of gold, silver and silk

The son asked him for his blessing, begged him to make him build a golden boat so that he could go. As soon as it was in his possession, he put it in the water and embarked. He arrived in a town where, with the help of a few young boys, he lifted his boat out of the water and carried it to a shed near the room he rented in an inn. He asked the innkeeper for a bag and walked to the arena to buy some meat.

As he passed the king's palace, he noticed a sign announcing that the king had hidden his daughter inside and that whoever found her could marry her. The young man entered with the idea of achieving it. The king warns him that if he does not manage to find his daughter for three days, he will have her walled up. The young man nevertheless decided to undertake the research… did not find the princess, and was therefore walled up.

The father and the two brothers did not see him return, the younger decided to go in search of him and he asked his father to make him build a silver boat; As soon as she was armed, he got on board and went in search of his big brother. During his trip, he stopped at the same inn as himself and as soon as he saw the golden boat in the shed, he knew his brother was nearby. He took a bag to fetch meat from the arena and saw the same sign as his elder.

He entered the palace and met the king who told him that a young man very like him had tried, without success, to find the princess a few days before, and that he had had her walled up; he also told her that he had the same fate in store for her. The second brother however undertook the research ... without success, and the king had him walled up.

Not seeing his brothers return, the youngest son announced to his father that he wanted to go in search of them; fearing that he too might disappear, his father tried to dissuade him. The young man however decided to leave and asked his father to make him build a silk boat; he soon embarked, stopped at the same inn as his brothers, and saw the golden boat and the silver boat in the shed.

Like his brothers, he went to the arena to get the meat requested by the innkeeper, saw the sign at the door of the palace. Opposite was a terminal on which he sat down to think: "Would he come in or not?" In the meantime, an old woman arrived, who asked him what was so embarrassing him; he told her it was none of her business but she insisted, claiming that she was able to help him. He told her his story, she asked him if he was rich.

He told him that he could have two ships: one in gold and the other in silver. She suggested that he melt them and turn the first into a parrot the size of a man, whose eyes were two deep cavities, and the second into a silver plinth. They immediately went to a jeweler to have the statue executed, the young man locked himself in with a pitcher of water and a honeycomb, and the whole was placed in front of the palace.

The beautiful bird attracted the attention of the king who wanted to see it up close. Six men struggled to transport him to the palace. In the shelter of his hiding place, the young man had plenty of time to observe where they were taking him; he noticed that they pushed a bed, lifted a slab, pulled on a heavy iron hammer which gave passage to a ladder.

They went down and came to a large courtyard where there was a well-shaped fountain closed at the top, which they opened and in which they descended to reach another beautiful courtyard, closed by another door which they opened, to meet finally the princess in the company of two other young girls. All three were dressed in the same way, so that they could not be confused and that one could not guess who the princess was.

She was so enthusiastic about the parrot, that she asked that it be placed in her room.

As every evening, the princess was brought a loaf of bread and a glass of water. The young man, who was thirsty, took advantage of the darkness to come out of his shell and go to quench his thirst; at the moment of taking the glass, his hand struck that of the princess who, at the same moment, was making the same gesture. When, distraught, she was about to cry out, he told her that he had come to rescue her. She calmed down and confided to him that so that he could recognize her the day he came to pick her up, she would wear a scarlet lace on her finger, while her companions would wear a sky blue one.

One fine morning, the six men returned to fetch the parrot and took it out of the palace. The young man then dressed as a gentleman, presented himself at the palace and announced his intention to find the princess. The king warned him that two men, who were surely his brothers because they looked very similar to him, had already tried without success and that he had had them walled up; he reserved the same fate for him.

The young man insisted on entering and began his research; he played the fool the first two days to distract suspicion; but the third, he pushed the bed, lifted the slab, asked for the key, opened the heavy door, and went down into the first courtyard with the king and his servant. He continued towards the well hatch, descended again and came to the princess.

The king still had the hope that he would not be able to recognize her in the midst of her companions, so similar. He had them put in a circle; Made them do two rounds of rounds and stop at random. The young man recognized the princess without hesitation. The king then said to him:

  • I cannot help but give her to you for a wife; but let us start the test again.

The young man again pointed to the princess without error. He then asked the king to deliver his two brothers, who were still walled up, and to bring in his father. The father arrived, the brothers were released and the wedding took place.