The 12 Dancing Princesses
Short tale: The 12 Dancing Princesses
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Once upon a time there was a king with 12 beautiful daughters.
These 12 princesses lived together in a large and beautiful room.
The king protected his daughters with all his heart and when they went to sleep at night he did not allow them to go out.
But every morning they woke up and something very strange appeared, the princesses’ shoes looked worn out as if they had danced all night. The king had to buy new shoes for his daughters every day, but day after day the shoes kept wearing out. Neither the king nor his men in the castle could solve the mystery of the shoes.
How is this possible? How can a pair of shoes wear out like this in just one night. Your Highness, we cannot understand. Finally, the King said Whoever solves the mystery of my daughters’ shoes will marry any daughter of mine that he chooses. He will become my son-in-law and become the king when I pass away, but he will only have three days and three nights to solve it.
Otherwise, he will spend his life in prison.
Many young men in the kingdom, even princes from other kingdoms, came to the castle to undertake the task.
For days they guarded the bedroom door of the twelve princesses, but still none of them could solve the mystery and the shoes continued to wear out at night.
Finally, a kind-hearted man also wanted to charm and so he made his way to the castle, on his way he met a hunchbacked old woman who looked very poor.
My dear son, I am very hungry, would you be so kind as to give me a piece of bread.
The young man gave all the food he had in his bag to the old woman.
She was very happy because the other men who had passed did not give her anything.
The old woman knew that he was different from the others. In return, she gave him a magic cloak.
Take this magic cloak, when you wear it you will be invisible. When it is twelve o’clock at night, put on the cloak and you will be invisible and you will be able to enter the princesses’ room. Then you can solve the mystery of the shoes. But be careful, don’t drink what the princesses give you, they are naughty princesses.
The young man took the magic cloak and went to the castle and when he arrived he said he was there to solve the mystery of the shoes.
On the first day, while he was standing guard in front of the princesses’ room, the oldest princess came out with a glass of lemonade.
You must be thirsty. We have prepared some lemonade for you. Please have some. The young man forgot the old woman’s warning and drank it.
Soon after he was very sleepy, he fell asleep snoring all night in the room that had been prepared for him.
When morning came, the young man stood up in a panic.
I must have used the magic cloak to get into the princesses’ room.
On the second night, the young man once again stood guard in front of the princesses’ room. This time another princess came out with a glass of juice in her hand. The young man was so thirsty as he stood guard and waited for nightfall. Without thinking, he drank all the juice he was given.
Of course, he fell asleep once again.
The next morning, when he woke up, he finally remembered the old woman’s words. “But be careful not to drink what the princess gives you” sure and a sleeping pill in the drinks princesses give me.
At that moment the king came to her side.
Two days have passed and you still haven’t solved the mystery of the shoes. If you can’t do it today, you will end up in jail and stay there for the rest of your life.
The King finished his conversation and left. The young man had to solve this mystery today. That night, for the last time, the young man stood guard in front of the princesses’ door.
This time the youngest princess came out with an orange juice in her hand, but the young man, very attentive, now took the glass thanking the princess and when the princess left, he poured the orange juice into a pot beside her. On this occasion he remained standing.
The night progressed and soon it was midnight. The young man put on his cloak and at that moment became invisible.
Slowly, he opened the door and could not believe his eyes. All the princesses were wearing their most beautiful ball gowns, hair and makeup ready and those new shoes on.
Let’s go see if the young man at the door has fallen asleep. One of the princesses opened the door and looked outside.
And another princess put her ear to the wall. At that moment, the young man knew he had to make some snoring noises.
Making sure the young man was sleeping, the older princess pushed her bed aside and clapped her hands three times, a secret passage opened in the place of the bed.
The young man could not believe his eyes, one by one, all the princesses entered.
And of course, the young man followed them. The secret passage led to a staircase that had hundreds of steps down.
On his way down the stairs, suddenly, the young man accidentally stepped on the skirt of one of the princesses.
Oh, someone stepped on my skirt. How absurd! It was probably you.
As they descended the stairs they entered a forest, passed by the tall trees with beautiful silver branches.
The young man took a branch and continued following the princesses.
After a long walk they stopped at the edge of a river, in the river there were 12 boats in the shape of swans and in them there were 12 princes waiting for the princesses.
They climbed into the baths. The young man managed to get on the last one, the boat is heavier than usual today, as if someone else was in it, how strange.
Oh, come on stop dreaming, said one of the princesses.
When they crossed the river, they came across a big Shining Castle.
And they could hear the music inside. When he looked out the window, the young man saw many people dancing.
As soon as they entered the castle, the princesses began to dance. They never got tired and kept dancing, of course their shoes were beginning to wear out.
The young man could no longer stand his hunger, so he took a slice of the cake on the table and began to eat.
The youngest princess saw this, hey my cake, my cake is floating as if someone invisible ate it.
Don’t go on with that nonsense, said her sister. The young man took a Golden Cup from the table without anyone noticing. The princesses danced until morning. Then they boarded the boats and crossed the river. They walked through the forest and up the long staircase and finally returned to their castle. But their shoes were worn out once again. The young man was very happy that he had finally solved the mystery of the worn-out shoes.
A while later, the king arrived at the young man’s side.
Your time is up for today. Did you solve the mystery of the shoes?
Yes, your highness I did and so he told him everything, the king did not believe him at first.
But when the young man showed him the silver branch from the forest and the Golden Cup from the Shining Castle, the King knew he was telling the truth.
And so he kept his promise and granted him the right to marry the princess of his choice. The young man said he wanted to marry the youngest.
The 12 dancing princesses were clearly not happy to have their secret revealed, but the young man and the youngest princess married and lived happily ever after.
Reflection on the story: The story shows us the importance of being astute, persevering and not letting ourselves be carried away by distractions in life. The young protagonist of the story had a difficult task ahead of him and, although he failed in his first attempts, he did not give up and finally managed to solve the mystery of the princesses’ shoes thanks to his cunning and his attention to the warnings of the hunchbacked old woman.
In addition, the story also shows us the importance of generosity and kindness towards others. The young man helped the old hunchbacked woman and, as a reward, received a valuable tool to solve the mystery.
Frequently asked questions about the story The 12 Dancing Princesses
¿Why did the king have to buy new shoes for his daughters every day?
Because the princesses’ shoes appeared worn out every morning, as if they had been dancing all night.
¿What did the king offer to solve the mystery of his daughters' shoes?
He offered the hand of whichever of his daughters the man chose as his wife, as well as the chance to become the next king.
¿Why couldn't any of the young men who tried to solve the mystery of shoe wear do it?
Because the princesses were very cunning and would not allow them to discover the secret.
¿How did the young man get the magic cloak that allowed him to solve the mystery?
It was given to him by an old hunchbacked woman in exchange for giving him some food.
¿What warning did the old woman give the young man before he used the magic cloak?
She warned him not to drink anything offered to him by the princesses, as it would be mischief.
¿Why did the young man fall asleep on his first night of guard duty?
Because he drank the lemonade offered to him by the older princess.
¿How did the young man finally manage to solve the mystery of the shoe-wearing?
He was very careful and cunning on the third night of guard duty, and did not drink the orange juice offered to him by the younger princess. That way he managed to find out what was going on inside the princesses’ room.
¿What prize did the young man receive for solving the mystery of the princesses' shoes?
He received the hand of the princess he chose as his wife, as well as the opportunity to become the next king.
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