The Three Castles
Once upon a time there was a poor boy that wanted to seek his fortune. He walked and walked, and suddenly arrived in the kingdom of a king who was looking for a shepherd for his flock of sheep. The boy applied to take on the task and the king said: “You have to bring the sheep to that field over there, but do not cross the stream, as a malignant snake who lives there will eat all the sheep and you will be exiled immediately!”.
The boy agreed and he started working the following day. When walking with the flock, he passed by the princess’s bedroom. She saw him, liked him and threw him a piece of bread, and he led the sheep to the field. At a certain point he decided to eat the piece of bread that the princess had given him, so he sat down on a rock and ate it, without caring about the prohibition by the king to cross the stream. Suddenly, a three-headed snake came out of the rock, carrying a rose in each mouth. The boy was about to take the flowers, but being the snake very big and dangerous he decided to beat him with a stick and finally killed it. The boy cut its heads, put two in his bag and pressed the third one to look at what it contained. A
crystal key exited from the mouth of the snake, then the boy lifted up the rock and found out a small door. He inserted the crystal key in the key hole, opened the door and entered a crystal palace, with crystal servants, crystal horses and crystal army. There was even a crystal garden, with a crystal pond and crystal flowers. The boy picked up some flowers and came back to the field where he had left the sheep. He led them at home safely and, while passing by the castle, gave the princess the crystal flowers.
The following day he led the sheep to the same field, went around the same rock, took out another head of the snake, pressed it and picked up a silver key. Then, he lifted the rock, found a door, inserted the key in the key hole and opened the door. He entered a silver palace, full of silver servants that were preparing silver horses with silver vestments. The boy walked along a silver garden, where silver birds were singing and silver flowers were blossoming. He picked up some flowers and came back to the field. While coming back to the king’s castle, he gave the princess the silver flowers and led the sheep to sleep.
The day after, he led the sheep to the field, extracted from his bag the last snake’s head, pressed it and picked the golden key that came out of it. He lifted the rock and opened the door that was underneath. So, he entered a golden castle, where hundreds of golden servants were taking care of golden horses. Then he went to a very big golden garden, picked up some golden flowers and delivered them to the princess when he passed by her bedroom, while returning home.
The following day the king organised a tournament, and the award was be to marry his daughter. The little shepherd wanted to participate, so he went to the crystal palace to take crystal vestments and a crystal horse. He returned to the king’s castle, won the race and escaped. The day after he went to the silver palace and did the same with the silver equipment, and the day after that he did the exact same thing with the golden paraments.Then the princess said: “I know this chevalier, he is the same boy that was leading the sheep and brought me crystal, silver and golden flowers, and now I want to marry him!”. So they happily married and the poor boy became a king.
(a story from Monferrato region- north Italy)
Tags: curiosity; castle; crystal; silver; gold.
Question: What is forbidden by the king?
- To kill the snake
- To cross the stream of water
- To talk to the princess