THE HANDSOME PRINCE
THE HANDSOME PRINCE
Fairy tales have occupied a very special position in literature irrespective of country or language. Sometimes we find similarities in fairy tales among different countries or languages. The Handsome Prince also has a fairy tale which is very popular all around the world. It is all about king, queen, prince, princess, gold, silver, soldiers, horses and palanquin. This story is an adaptation of a Bengali fairy tale in English.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE
THE SLEEPING PALACE
(A STORY OF PRINCE, PRINCESS, PALANQUIN)
Once upon a time there lived a handsome prince named Bajrakumar. Both the king and the queen doted on him. Even the people of his kingdom loved him blindly. He was everyone’s favourite.
STORY THE HANDSOME PRINCE
One day the king spotted a silver hair on his head. He looked very worried. He called said, “I am growing old. So I think I should immediately announce Prince Bajrakumar as the successor to the throne.” The queen was very happy hearing this. The next day, the king announced his decision in the royal court. The whole kingdom was happy to hear the news. Celebration started immediately.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE WHO REFUSED GOLD, SOLDIERS AND PALANQUIN
As soon as Bajrakumar heard the news, he came straight to his father, the king. He bowed before the king, “Father, I thank you for the honour you have decided to bestow on me. But father, I beg you forgiveness. I shall not be able to accept this honour now.”
THE SLEEPING PALACE IN THE FOREST
The king was shocked. And the queen was shocked too. The king said, “Are you upset with anything? Do you want anything? Just tell me. There is nothing in this world that your father can not do for you.” Bajrakumar replied, “no father. Neither am I upset with anything nor do I need anything. It is my wish to travel around the world before I take the responsibility of the throne. I want to see different countries and know how they live. I beg you both to allow me to fulfil my wish.” Although the king and queen did not know how they would live without their darling beside them, they gave permission.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE WENT FOR A TOUR
When the people of the country heard this, they were upset too. They also could not imagine how to live without their prince. At last the day of Bajrakumar’s departure arrived. The king had arranged a beautiful palanquin for the prince with two hundred soldiers and lots of gold for him to carry.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE TRAVELLED ALONE
But Bajrakumar declined everything. He even refused the palanquin and rode on his favourite horse and said goodbye to everyone. The king, the queen, the ministers and all the people of the country bade him goodbye with tears in their eyes.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE IS HAPPY
Bajrakumar travelled from one country to another. He saw different types of people and their various cultures. He learnt so many new things which he thought would help him a lot when he becomes the king. Now he was happy and decided to return back to his own kingdom, to his parents and his own people.
BAJRAKUMAR ENTERS THE FOREST
While returning, he came upon a huge forest. But what a surprise! There was no sound in the forest. No birds, no tigers, no bears, no elephants, wolves, or monkeys. There was not even a buzz of insect. Bajrakumar wandered in that forest. He suddenly came upon a huge palace in the midst of the forest. He had never seen such a beautiful palace. But he couldn’t see or hear anything inside the palace.
BAJRAKUMAR ENTERS THE SLEEPING PALACE
As the prince entered into the courtyard, he saw sentries, horses, elephants, soldiers all standing like statues. Bajrakumar went into the palace. He wandered from one room to another. But he could not see any living person. At last he entered into a room. The room was filled with fragrance of flowers. Bajrakumar stood enchanted in that room full of flowers.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE SAW A PRINCESS
Slowly the prince went towards the flowers. He found a golden bed in the midst of the flower orchard. And on that golden bed a princess as pretty as those flowers was fast asleep. Only the pretty face of the princess could be seen. The rest of her body was transformed into the stem and leaves of a plant. Bajrakumar stood watching the pretty face of the princess.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE SAW A GOLDEN STICK
Years passed by in this way. Neither the princess wake up nor the prince move from his position. Suddenly Bajrakumar’s eyes fell upon a golden stick near the head of the princess. As he picked it up he saw a silver stick lying at the other end of the bed. The prince picked up the silver stick too. As soon as both the sticks touched a change took place in the room.
PRINCESS SAW THE HANDSOME PRINCE
The flower orchard dissapeared suddenly. The princess woke up and sat on the bed rubbing her eyes. B irds starte chirping, doorkeepers moved, elephants trumpeted and horses neighed. The palace became alive all of a sudden. Everyone woke up from a long sleep.
PRINCESS LOOKS AT BAJRAKUMAR
The princess stared at Bajrakumar. The king said, “Prince, from where have you come? You saved us all from the deadly sleep. A giant touched our kingdom with a magic wand and made us fall asleep. You woke us from the sleep and saved our kingdom.” The prince lowered his eyes.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE MARRIED THE PRINCESS
The king said, “How shall I repay your kindness? We have a pretty daughter Muktamala. I give her hand to you. I also give my whole kingdom to you. Showers of flowers and blowing of trumpets filled the air of the palace. With great pomp Muktamala and Bajrakumar tied the knot.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE RETURNED TO HIS COUNTRY
Years passed by since Bajrakumar left the palace to see the world. The king and the queen were sad. They hardly came out of their room. All the people of the kingdom were also sad. One morning everybody heard sounds of drums and trumpets outside the royal gate. The king and the queen jumped out of their bed to see what happened. All the people of the kingdom also thronged to see what the sound was for. The sentries opened the gates. And who they found standing there? Bajrakumar with his newly wed bride, Muktamala sitting in a palanquin.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE LIVED HAPPILY
Everybody was overjoyed. The king and the queen welcomed their pretty daughter-in-law. And they all lived happily ever after.