Wednesday, 25th April 2018
25 April 2018
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The golden crab

The golden crab

Once upon a time, there was a fisherman with his wife and three children. Every day the fisherman used to go for fishing for his earning. One when he was fishing along with the fishes he also caught a golden crab which was really shining and nice. He liked the crab so much that he did not want to let it go. So along with the fishes, he took the crab home. Back in his home, he put the fishes in a plate but he liked the crab so much that he placed him on top of the cupboard.
Then the fisherman’s wife came to clean the fishes. She lifted her saree and started cleaning the fishes. That time she heard a voice saying “Put your saree down or your legs are shown”. She turned back to see who was speaking and she found the crab. The crab then asked her to bring him down and keep him on the table. Although she did not like the Crab’s comment she did as the crab asked her to do.
Then the fisherman’s family came to have their food on the table. The crab also asked them to give him food. The fisherman by this time had developed a liking for the crab so he happily fed the crab. The crab ate well and when the fisherwoman removed the Crab’s plate she found it to be filled with gold.
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As days went by everyone in the fisherman’s house started liking the crab. One day the crab told the fisherman to go to the king and ask him to marry the princess to the crab. Immediately the fisherman set out to the palace and asked the king to marry his daughter to the crab.
The king was ridiculed but he was intelligent. He knew that a mere crab cannot talk and will not ask for the princess’ hands. He did not want to let go the proposal just like that. The king told the fisherman that he would accept the proposal if the fisherman could build a wall in the front of his fort huger than his fort and on the top of the wall there should be flowers that are present all around the world.

The fisherman came back and told the crab this demand. Immediately the crab gave the fisherman a magic wand and told him to tap three times at the place the wall had to be built.

The fisherman did that and returned home.
Next day morning when the king woke up he was astonished to find the great Wall with all type of flowers. The fisherman came back and asked if the king was now ready to marry the princess to the crab. The king told “Not yet. One more demand is there if you fulfill that then will give my daughter’s hand”. This time the king asked for three fountains in his garden, one fountain should rain gold, one should rain diamond and the third should rain brilliance. Again the crab sends the fisherman with the magic wand and asked him to tap at the required spot. Next day there was three fountains raining gold diamond and brilliance. Now the king had no other go but to agree to give his daughter’s hand in marriage to the crab.
The crab then asked the fisherman to go with the wand and tap at a mountain and told that a dark man will appear. The crab asked the fisherman to ask the dark man for his master golden dress, golden cushion and for the bride’s dress which was a lovely golden dress studded with diamond and other precious stones. The fisherman did that and got all the items from the dark man.
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On the day of the wedding, the crab dressed in his golden dress and climbed onto the cushion and asked the fisherman to carry him to the palace. In the palace, he gave the princess the bridal dress and she wore it. Then their marriage took place in pomp and show.
On the night of the wedding when the crab and the princess were alone the crab revealed his true form to his wife. The crab told the princess that he was the prince of the world’s greatest king and because of an enchantment he was in this crab form and that too only in the day time he will be a crab and in the night he will get back his human form and also he had the ability to become an eagle. On saying this the crab became a handsome prince.
This took place every night. But the Queen was not happy that her daughter married a crab but was astonished to see her daughter happy and so dutiful to the crab. She tried to find out the reason but all went in vain.
Then one day the princess became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Now the king and the Queen definitely wanted to know the truth. So they told the princess that they were going to arrange for a party and call the best of Prince from whom she can select a good prince. But the princess was just not interested so she told the crab prince. He asked her to take the magic wand and tap thrice on the palace gate and a dark man will come. He asked her to ask the dark man for his master’s golden armor and steed and also for the silver apple.
The princess did as the prince told and got the silver apple to the prince. Then the prince told the princess to do as he asked her to do as he directed her.
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The following evening the Prince dressed for the tournament. Before he went he said to his wife, ‘Now mind you do not say when you see me that I am the Crab. For if you do this evil will come of it. Place yourself at the window with your sisters; I will ride by and throw you the silver apple. Take it in your hand, but if they ask you who I am, say that you do not know.’ So saying, he kissed her, repeated his warning once more, and went away.

The Princess went with her sisters to the window and looked on at the tournament. Presently her husband rode by and threw the apple up to her. She caught it in her hand and went with it to her room, and by-and-by her husband came back to her. But her father was much surprised that she did not seem to care about any of the Princes; he, therefore, appointed a second tournament.

The Crab then gave his wife the same directions as before, only this time the apple which she received from the black man was of gold. But before the Prince went to the tournament he said to his wife, ‘Now I know you will betray me to-day.’

But she swore to him that she would not tell who he was. He then repeated his warning and went away.

In the evening, while the Princess, with her mother and sisters, was standing at the window, the Prince suddenly galloped past on his steed and threw her the golden apple.

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Then her mother flew into a passion, gave her a box on the ear, and cried out, ‘Does not even that prince please you, you fool?’

The Princess in her fright exclaimed, ‘That is the Crab himself!’

Her mother was still angrier because she had not been told sooner, ran into her daughter’s room where the crab-shell was still lying, took it up and threw it into the fire. Then the poor Princess cried bitterly, but it was of no use; her husband did not come back.

Now we must leave the Princess and turn to the other persons in the story. One day an old man went to a stream to dip in a crust of bread which he was going to eat, when a dog came out of the water, snatched the bread from his hand, and ran away. The old man ran after him, but the dog reached a door, pushed it open, and ran in, the old man following him. He did not overtake the dog but found himself above a staircase, which he descended. Then he saw before him a stately palace, and, entering, he found in a large hall a table set for twelve persons. He hid in the hall behind a great picture, that he might see what would happen. At noon he heard a great noise so that he trembled with fear. When he took courage to look out from behind the picture, he saw twelve eagles flying in. At this sight, his fear became still greater. The eagles flew to the basin of a fountain that was there and bathed themselves when suddenly they were changed into twelve handsome youths. Now they seated themselves at the table, and one of them took up a goblet filled with wine, and said, ‘A health to my father!’ And another said, ‘A health to my mother!’ and so the healths went round. Then one of them said:

‘A health to my dearest lady,
Long may she live and well!
But a curse on the cruel mother
That burnt my golden shell!’

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And so saying he wept bitterly. Then the youths rose from the table, went back to the great stone fountain, turned themselves into eagles again, and flew away.

Then the old man went away too, returned to the light of day, and went home. Soon after he heard that the Princess was ill and that the only thing that did her good was having stories told to her. He, therefore, went to the royal castle, obtained an audience of the Princess, and told her about the strange things he saw in the underground palace. No sooner had he finished than the Princess asked him whether he could find the way to that palace.

‘Yes,’ he answered, ‘certainly.’

And now she desired him to guide her thither at once. The old man did so, and when they came to the palace he hid her behind the great picture and advised her to keep quite still, and he placed himself behind the picture also. Presently the eagles came flying in, and changed themselves into young men, and in a moment the Princess recognized her husband amongst them all and tried to come out of her hiding-place, but the old man held her back. The youths seated themselves at the table; and now the Prince said again, while he took up the cup of wine:

‘A health to my dearest lady,
Long may she live and well!
But a curse on the cruel mother
That burnt my golden shell!’

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Then the Princess could restrain herself no longer, but ran forward and threw her arms round her husband. And immediately he knew her again and said:

‘Do you remember how I told you that day that you would betray me? Now you see that I spoke the truth. But all that bad time is past. Now listen to me: I must still remain enchanted for three months. Will you stay here with me until that time is over?’

So the Princess stayed with him, and said to the old man, ‘Go back to the castle and tell my parents that I am staying here.’

Her parents were very much vexed when the old man came back and told them this, but as soon as the three months of the Prince’s enchantment were over, he ceased to be an eagle and became once more a man, and they returned home together. And then they lived happily, and we who hear the story are happier still.

 Read our other fairy tales
The magic swan
Three little pigs
The little mermaid



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