East Of The Sun And West Of The Moon

East of the Sun and West of the Moon




Once upon a time a beautiful girl, named Dawn rode away into the forest on the back of a great brown bear. She didn’t want to go, but the beautiful bear had offered to feed her starving little brothers and sisters, and provide them with many riches, if she would leave with him.

The bear carried her far into the forest, until he came to a great hill. He struck the ground with his foot and in the face of the hill, a door opened. Inside was a lush, green garden and a beautiful palace of gold and silver. The bear gave her a little silver bell and said, “If you want anything, ring this; you must remember, though, from this day forward, you will not lay eyes on me again, but do not be afraid, I am not far.” Then he went away.

Every night when the lights were out, the bear came and talked with her. Once she happened to touch his paw and it felt to her like a hand. She found that she couldn’t be happy anymore until she saw him, although she had promised not to look.

At last, one night, she lit a candle and went to the room in the castle where he slept. It wasn’t a bear at all that she saw, but a very beautiful prince! She bent nearer to look at him. But just then - drip, drip, drip, the grease from the candle fell on his beautiful fur coat and he wakened.

“What have you done!” he cried.

“You have put me again in the power of an evil witch from whose charm I was soon to be freed. Now, I must to go to her castle and marry her daughter, whose nose is a yard long and I shall never see you again.”

“I do not understand,” said Dawn. “Tell me.”

“The story is sad and long, but if I, as a bear, were to gain the trust and love of a beautiful girl, the witch would free me from the obligation of marriage to her horrible daughter. But, now that you have found me to be a man and not a bear, I must return to her castle and marry the daughter.”

“Please,” said Dawn, “I do love you and I fear I cannot live without you. Where is this castle, that I may find you.”

“It is East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” he told her, “but there is no way there.”

Poor, beautiful Dawn, how she cried! And when she finally dried her tears and looked around, the prince and castle were gone and she was alone in a deep woods.

All day she walked, and at last came to where a bent old woman sat beside a hill. She asked the way East of the Sun and West of the Moon. The old woman didn’t know, but gave her a golden apple and lent her a horse. “Ride,” she said, “to my nearest neighbor and ask her the way.”

The girl thanked her and after a long ride, came to where an old woman sat combing her hair with a golden comb. This woman wanted to help, but could not, so gave Dawn the comb and another horse.

She rode far, and at last came to where an old woman sat spinning on a golden wheel. “Take this spinning wheel with you.” the woman said, “and ride my horse to the East Wind’s house. He travels much and will help you.”

On and on she rode. On and on. At last she found herself at the East Wind’s house where it stands at the edge of a redwood forest.

Said the East Wind: “I will take you on my back to the West Wind. I have heard of the castle, East of the sun and West of the Moon, but never have I been so far.”

Said the West Wind: “Nor have I been so far. Come with me to the South Wind, he is a great traveler.”

Said the South Wind, when she asked at his house in the poppy field: “Only the North Wind would know. We’ll go and ask him.”

Said the North Wind: “I once blew that far, and I will take you there.” So she climbed on his back. On they went, until the North Wind was tired and his feet dragged in the sea.

Suddenly a great black cloud broke, and she saw the castle,

and the North Wind set her down under the very window where Long Nose was sitting.

When Long Nose saw her golden apple, she called out. “Will you sell the golden apple?”

“I cannot,” said Dawn.

“I will give you anything you wish,” said Long Nose, “if you will give me the apple.”

“Let me speak to the prince,” said Dawn, “and you may have it.”

“Very well,” said Long Nose, but she made Dawn wait until nightfall. In the meantime Long Nose gave the prince a potion to make him sleep so he could not waken.

The next day Long Nose got the golden comb in the same way.

On the third day, Long Nose saw the spinning wheel and planned to get that too.

But, that morning the prince had heard about a beautiful girl who was asking to speak with him, so when the potion was given to him he threw it out of the window.

And, when Dawn came to him she told him the whole story.

The prince then sent for Long Nose and for the great bear coat he wore when he met Dawn. The prince announced that he would marry the one who could wash out the candle grease that had been dripped on his coat.

Long Nose tried, but the more she scrubbed, the worse it became. The grease turned black, the stain spread, and the furs of the coat began to stick to her fingers. Finally, she fell into the tub, sputtering and crying, for she could not swim. And so, it was that Long Nose admitted defeat.

And the beautiful Prince and beautiful Dawn were married.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon




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East of the Sun and West of the Moon



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