One king had only one daughter. When she was ten years old, she began to run so fast that she had no equal. And when the time came, the king announced throughout the kingdom that his daughter will marry the one who will be able to outrun her in a race. To make things even more tempting, he said that the winner will get half of the kingdom as well. But, the loser, on the other hand, will lose his head.
There were many contenders, but they all eventually lost.
After a while, one poor man, not that much skilled in running, decided to try his luck and beat the king’s daughter.
He summoned her to a match. Seeing his ragged clothes, the princess frowned contemptuously, but she couldn’t dare disobey her father’s order.
They started running. The princess overtook the young man quickly, but, just at the moment she started disappearing from his reach, he threw a crown made of beautiful fresh roses under her feet.
The girl decided to try the crown. Looking at her reflection in the lake, she admired the beauty for so long that the poor young man caught up with her.
The moment she saw him ran past her, she threw the roses in a deep pit and overtook the lead once again.
But it took her some time, since she couldn’t run as fast as before. Her thoughts were haunted by the memories of her reflection with the wonderful roses on her head.
The young man fell behind once again, so he tossed a silk belt under the princess’ feet. The princess leaned over, picked up the belt, tied it around her waist, and was so amused by her discovery, that she forgot about the race all over again. She came to her senses only when the young man ran past by her for the second time. The princess tore the belt into pieces and outstripped the young man of his lead once again.
With the finish line close by and the princess still in the lead, the young man tossed a third item: a silken bag filled with something. The princess was overcome by curiosity. She stopped few steps from the finished line just to inspect the bag. She took out a golden ball from inside the bag and began to play with it. She was so amused with the ball, that she didn’t notice when the young man ran past her winning both the race, half of the kingdom – and her as his wife.
- Never forget that women love flowers, clothes and everything which can tease their curiosity; and especially the men who understand this all too well.
- Medieval Latin Novels of the XIII century. Ed. AI Dovatur. L., 1980.