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Friday, June 5, 2009

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 7, in which the prince being forewarned by the Ant King takes refuge in the shielding forest.

But he did not know where he was or whither they were going.


Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse Chapter 7, in which the prince being forewarned by the Ant King takes refuge in the shielding forest.
The Ant King, having finished his song, looked up at the prince and spoke: “Do not lose a precious minute, flee immediately. The king is rallying his army of witches, werewolves and giants and their power should not be underestimated!”

“But Ant King, where shall I begin? Where shall I go?” In the distance a faint humming could already be heard. The noise swelled and the very ground they stood on began to shake as the frightening sound approached.

“Quickly!” the Ant King cried to his underlings. “Submerge, submerge!” With that, his entire colony rushed to their ant hole and soon vanished underground.

With no ant hole of his own for protection, the prince looked around and saw a forest at some distance. He ran for it and just as he reached its edge, he turned back to see an immense army on the horizon. Dust spun up creating black clouds around the throng; the creak and crackle, whoof and whoompf of war vehicles melded into one loud roar. And still the mob rushed toward him. With no time left to lose he turned and ran into the shielding forest. After running for some time, he thought the menacing cacophony had diminished somewhat. But still he ran on, breathless and with heart beating. Surely now he had lost them in this impenetrable maze of trees and bushes and thickets. Soon he heard a new sound, meager at first but cheery. Was it a song or was it the sighing of the wind passing through the dense treetops? Now he thought it was a lark, now he thought it was a woman’s beautiful song. He followed the sweet music and could almost discern words in the melody. The source was just over the next hillock or in the next grove, behind that jagged rock or down the next valley. But when he reached the next hillock or the next grove, the melody seemed to be further ahead and so he pushed on, drawn to its sweetness and purity. The shadows of early evening soon descended and the prince found himself hopelessly astray. As blackness enveloped the woods, the prince sank down beside an enormous oak tree in complete exhaustion. Soon he was fast asleep. He dreamt he could see his bride walking ahead of him in the forest. It was she who was singing. As he got nearer and nearer to her, the song became clearer and more beautiful. He felt a deep calm come over him and smiled peacefully because he knew he would soon be with her. And then he felt her warm embrace like a slowly enveloping cocoon. At first, warmth spread through his body but soon it felt more like a stranglehold and then he could barely breathe. Awakening he found the oak tree had sprouted woody arms, which had grown tightly around him while he slept. He choked, he struggled, to no avail. The tree had been bewitched by the king’s hexes. It would now destroy him as he lay there helplessly. In this blackest of hours he remembered the magic horse charm. Barely able to gasp out the words, he beseeched the horse to come to his aid:

Huzza, huzza, hinny-whinny.
Fly like a hawk, shake like thunder.
Eyes like the sun,
Hooves swift-footed.
Come to me horse,
Where I am rooted.

Huzza, huzza, hinny-whinny.
Fly like a hawk, shake like thunder.
Legs are leaping,
Ears are keeping.
Come to me horse,
Where I lay weeping.

As the prince lay gasping for breath in the wooden embrace of the oak tree, he could finally discern the words of the song that had lured him to his demise. The witches sang:

You four-footed beasts,
And two-tailed creatures,
You creeping things,
And winged leeches,
Fly from the sky,
Come nigh.
Choke, strike, hew,
Choke, strike, hew!

But above the witches’ wicked cries could be heard another more hopeful and familiar sound. It was the swooshing sound of the prince’s steed as he hurtled through the air. It was the sound of his hooves alighting on firm ground. It was the neighing of the horse as he battled the witches, four-footed beasts, two-tailed creatures, creeping things and winged leeches. When the prince awoke, he found himself lying on the back of his horse, but he did not know where he was or whither they were going.


Read Chapter 8:
http://www.fairytalechannel.com/2009/06/fairy-tale-of-prince-and-horse-chapter_29.html

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