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The Robber (The Prince and The Princess In The Forest)

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The Robber was the main antagonist of the Danish fairy tale The Prince and The Princess In The Forest.

A king died. The queen was so inconsolable that her only child, Lester, the prince, suggested that they go to a place on the other side of a forest. She agreed. They became lost in the woods, and he found a house containing a cloak and a sword, with a note that said they would keep a man safe from all danger. He persuaded his mother, although she feared it was a robbers' den, to come in and went off to seek the road. A robber appeared and, to spare her life, demanded that she make him king in her husband's place and kill her son if he tried to interfere. He told her to pretend to be ill and send her son after some marvelous apples,knowing that there were wild animals there to kill him.

Lester the prince went after them. With his cloak and sword, he fought all the creatures and won, but he could not reach the apples. When his sword brushed the tree, two apples fell. He took them. A little black dog ran up to him and led him to a hole in the hill. The sword made it large enough to crawl through. A princess of Arabia named Maye was chained to a pillar there. Robbers had taken her captive and were fighting over who would marry her. He broke the chain with his sword and said he had to live in his own country, but he would come to get her within a year. She gave him a ring, and he sent her home to Arabia.

The robber smelled the apples while he was coming and told the queen to tell him that she had dreamed that he had been attacked by wild animals, and to tell her how he had escaped. She did, and he told her. The robber made her give him a sleeping drink and stole the cloak and sword. When he woke, the robber gave him a choice: death, or being blinded and put out in the forest. He chose the second. The robber and queen went back to the queen's country, and she made him king. Prince Lester wandered until he came to a ship bound for Arabia. The sailors decided to take him with them. There, they went to the public baths, and the prince lost the ring; a slave brought it to Princess Maye, who recognized it, demanded the blind beggar who had lost it, and married him.

One day, two ravens talked in the garden and said that the dew in a certain part of the garden would restore sight. The prince and princess tried it, and it worked.

Princess Maye fell asleep. Prince Lester saw, about her neck, a chain with a lamp. He lifted it to see it more closely, but a hawk pounced and carried it off. He gave chase and was lost in the woods. When Princess Maye woke, she followed him and was captured by the same robbers.

Prince Lester found twelve youths seeking service. He joined them, and they all went to work for a troll, who told them they had to keep care of the house for a year, and then answer three questions. Those who succeeded would receive a sack of gold; those who failed would be turned into beasts.

After a year, Prince Lester heard the troll talking with an old troll: he said he would ask how long they had been there, what shone on the roof, and where their food came from. It was a year, the lamp he had stolen from the princess, and the king's table, where the troll stole it. When he came to ask, the others did not know, but the prince answered all the questions correctly. They received their gold and left. On the way, they met an old beggar. Only the prince gave him any money. It was the troll in disguise, and he gave the prince the lamp he had stolen and told him the princess was in the cave again.

The prince ordered many golden dishes and then distracted his mother with them while he found the sword and cloak. He sent the robber into the forest, where wild animals ate him, and his mother back to her own country; then he rescued his wife and they reigned over both her country and his.

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