The Tale of the Sleeping Princess and Her Prince

Once upon a time, there was a prince who loved a princess very much. But the princess could not love him back. A dark spell had been placed over her, hiding her heart away from the world. No matter how many times and ways the prince tried to show his love, the princess still refused.

But the prince was true to her and tried so hard, that the fairies watched him and took pity on him. They cast a powerful spell that put the princess to sleep, so that all the darkness may seep away from her. Then they placed her in a castle high up in the mountains, to rest and wait for her prince to come.

For the prince, who had not always been so good, had to travel far to reach her side, and prove once and for all that their love was true. It was a long journey and he could not do it alone. Four times, the fairies told him, four times you may call for aid. Four friends of the princess stood by, ready to help him make his way to her side.

In his travels the prince came to a bridge he could not cross. Over on the other side lay the road that led to the castle. "I need aid!" he cried. "I call upon the Bargainer, so that she may convince this monster to let me cross."

And she did.

Then the prince met a Sphinx, the greatest of riddlers, who would not let him pass until he answered her riddles well. The prince was a wise prince, but not that wise. "I need aid!" he cried. "I call upon the Wise One, so that he may see what I do not."

And he did.

The prince then traveled to a gate, which an old man would not open unless the prince did a favor of equal value. "I need aid!" he cried. "I call upon the Witch, whose powers which are beyond me may give this old man what he needs."

And she did.

The prince then reached the castle in the mountains, where he knew his fair princess slept. But a vicious giant guarded the entrance and would not let the prince pass. However, the prince argued wisely and the giant gave him a chance. But the bargain was not one he could meet. "I need aid!" he cried. "I call upon the Worker, so that he may do what I cannot."

And he did.

Then the prince entered the castle and sought his love. But the dark fairy who lived in the castle captured him. She knew the prince, like all people, and darkness in his heart. She promised him his heart's desire, as long as he did not free the princess.

But the prince's love was true. He refused the dark fairy and broke free of his chains, and made his way to the side of the princess. There he gave her true love's kiss, and she awoke. The princess loved him now, for all the darkness within had seeped away.

And the prince and the princess were happy, for they loved and were loved.

The fairies smiled, pleased.