Once upon a time there was a king and queen, who were so sad that they had no children, so sad that it cannot be described. They visited the nine lakes of the kingdom in search of the best wizards, but nothing worked. One day walking along the river, the queen stopped at a pond. A frog that saw her sad approached her and said: —Don’t cry my queen, if what you want is to have a child, you just have to want it from the heart.
The queen looked at the frog and thought of her husband the king, her mother, her sister, her family. And as soon as they wanted her. At that moment he felt as if a bean was germinating inside him. He ran back to the castle and looked for the king.
“My beloved,” said the queen, resting the king’s hands on her belly, “we are going to be parents.”
The king was so happy that he took the queen very sweetly and they danced for hours until nightfall. Nine months later the queen gave birth to a girl. They sought out all the fairies in the country to be the princess’s godmothers, and each of them would grant her a gift. As was the custom of fairies back then. The princess would be the kindest, purest, and most beautiful girl in the kingdom. The christening ceremony was held in the palace chapel and there was a great feast for the fairies in the main hall.
On the table, each of them found a case of pure gold. With a gold spoon, a gold fork and a gold knife, and all decorated with the most exquisite precious stones. All the fairies had their place at the table, all except an old fairy who arrived at that moment. Nobody remembered her, she had not left her tower for many years and had not visited other fairies. They thought she was haunted, or dead. When the king saw her, he had a place made at the table for the old fairy, but he did not have a gold case to give her.
The old fairy sat at the table with the other six. As she cursed under her breath, she didn’t seem very happy. Before handing over the gifts to the princess, the younger fairy excused herself for a moment and got up from the table, she did not trust the old fairy and hid behind a curtain. It was time for the fairies to deliver the treats to the princess and each of them would give her a gift.
One gave him the gift of wisdom, another the gift of inspiration, the third gave him the gift of health, the fourth that of a beautiful voice, and the fifth gave him the gift of intelligence. It was the turn of the old fairy. She stood up, leaning with her hands on the table, and after staring at each of those present she said:
- “I am very offended that I was not invited to the ceremony.” So when the princess turns fifteen, she will prick herself with the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.
- e spread his arms holding his cloak with both hands and exclaimed:
- “May the curse fall on this kingdom when that day comes!”
- He closed his arms, covering himself with his cloak and transformed into a wisp of smoke that vanished into thin air.
All the diners shuddered upon hearing the curse of the old fairy. The king fell seated on his throne, he was desolate, with the lost look. The queen took the princess in her arms and cradled her against her chest as if to protect her from all evil. But all was not lost. The young fairy came out from behind the curtain and spoke the following words aloud: – Calm down my kings, it is true I do not have enough power to completely undo the curse of the old fairy, but your daughter will not die.
The princess will prick her finger with the spindle of a spinning wheel, but instead of dying she will fall into a deep sleep that will last a hundred years, at the end of which the son of a king will arrive and wake her up. What happened at the ceremony caused all the guests to return home sadly. That night no one rested well in the kingdom. The next day, after spending the night awake, the king called his secretary to draw up an edict in which all the inhabitants of the country were prohibited from spinning with spindles, it would also be forbidden to have a distaff at home.
And all those who did not comply with the law would be punished with the death penalty. Years passed and the princess became a cheerful and lively young woman, who brightened the day of all those who came across her. She had just turned fifteen, one day when her parents were resolving affairs of state in another kingdom and the young princess amused herself walking the corridors that connected the different rooms.
He walked through narrow corridors, climbed the steepest spiral staircases and visited the highest towers until in a forgotten room, he found an adorable little old woman who was spinning.
“What are you doing, kind old woman?” Asked the princess with wide eyes.
“I am spinning, my beautiful girl,” replied the old woman, which was the first time she had seen the princess.
—It seems entertaining, how do I do it? Said the princess, approaching the distaff.
“If you want to try,” said the old woman, “sit here and hold the string like this.”
As soon as he picked up the spindle he pricked himself in his hand. The princess began to feel dizzy and immediately fainted, just as the good fairy had announced. The old woman was startled, she did not know what was happening and ran to ask for help. At the moment, several servants appeared and found the princess lying on the ground. They poured water on his face and patted his hands to see if he would react. But nothing made the beautiful princess regain consciousness.
They found that she was breathing sweetly, that she was only asleep. And among all, they took her carefully to her rooms where she remained under the care of her maiden until her parents the kings arrived. The king and queen remembered the curse of the old fairy and found that the princess was asleep so soundly that she could not wake up. The good fairy, who had saved the life of the princess, was in a distant kingdom when a dwarf in seven-league boots asked to be brought before his presence.
The dwarf related what happened to the princess, the spindle and the distaff. Without wasting a moment the fairy mounted on the back of a dragon, and wrapped in fire arrived in the blink of an eye to the country of the sleeping beauty. He listened carefully to what the kings told him and approved of everything they had done for the young princess.
Since the fairy was very far-sighted, she thought that when the princess woke up from her long sleep, she would find herself alone in the castle and would be unhappy because she had no one by her side. So this is what the fairy did.
He touched with his magic wand everything in the castle, nobles, barons, bridesmaids, maids, knights, officers, guards, cooks, assistants, lackeys. He went to the stables with his wand and touched the grooms, the horses, the corral animals, the blacksmith and even the princess’s puppy dog. As soon as the magic wand touched them, they all fell asleep instantly and would not wake up until the princess was rid of the curse.
That way they would be ready to serve her when necessary; even the cooking pheasants and the fire itself were put to sleep by the fairy magic touch. All slept peacefully except the king and queen, who of their own accord left the castle to protect the princess from the stalking men and beasts. All this happened in an instant, because fairies do their work very quickly. After putting all the palace inhabitants to sleep, he took between his fingers some magic dust, the kind that fairies use to cast their spells, and sprinkled it around the castle.
Then big and small trees began to grow, bushes, thorns, brambles grew and everything became so tangled that no person or animal could have passed. In such a way that only from afar you could see the highest tower of the castle. No one doubted that the fairy had enchanted the palace in such a way that the princess would be safe from all the curious.
After a hundred years a prince son of a neighboring king, who had nothing to do with the sleeping beauty family, was hunting near the enchanted castle, and he became interested in that tower that could be seen among the thick vegetation of the area. To each one who asked, he answered a different thing. Some told him that it was an old castle inhabited by spirits; others that it was where the sorcerers made their spells.
The most common opinion was that there lived an ogre who kidnapped children so that he could eat them quietly, and that his only magic was to be able to cross the thick thorn forest. The prince did not know what to believe, until an old countryman told him:
—My prince, many years ago I heard my father say that in that castle there was a princess, the most beautiful and graceful in the world. That she would remain asleep for a hundred years until a deserving young prince wakes her up. After hearing this, the young prince felt the passion within him and did not doubt that he would end a beautiful adventure, and pushed by love and glory he headed towards his destiny. As he advanced into the forest, all those great trees, bushes, and thorns parted, letting him pass.
Each step brought him closer to the castle and although the lush forest closed in his path, he continued on his way because he was a brave prince, and he was also in love. He was not afraid of sorcerers, or witches, or even child-eating ogres, but he did not count on what he found when he walked through the palace gate. It was a horrible silence, the very image of death was everywhere.
The ground was littered with bodies that looked dead. But right away he found that no one had died, that they were breathing softly, as if they had fallen into some kind of long sleep. On the tables there were still cups that gave off that peculiar wine aroma, even the smell of barbecue came from the kitchen. The prince crossed the main dining room in silence, only company with the sound of his footsteps on the marble floor.
He entered through a door, climbed the stairs, and found two soldiers standing guard, snoring and lying on the ground. He passed through endless rooms where nobles and their ladies slept peacefully, down corridors and opening doors until he found a beautifully decorated room. In the room there was a four-poster bed from which hung the finest silks from the Far East. The prince approached and contemplated the most beautiful scene:
Princess was on the bed, dressed in the most beautiful fabrics and gave off a resplendent shine that had something divine and high purity. I’ve never seen anything like it. Surprised and fascinated, he knelt before her without ceasing to admire her beauty. Then as the end of the enchantment had arrived, the princess woke up, turned to the prince and with the most tender look that a young woman could have said:
“Are you my prince? I’ve been waiting for you.”
The prince, spellbound by the sweet voice of the princess, said:
—Oh beautiful princess, I love you so much… so much that I cannot find words… I love you more than myself, my heart is so happy that I can hardly bear it.
They were both so excited that they weren’t able to express what they were feeling. They laughed and cried with joy entangled by the torrent of feelings that enveloped them. They talked for hours but still hadn’t said half of the things they wanted to say and express. While the two lovers spoke without pause, the castle woke of the drowsiness of the hundred years; nobles, barons, bridesmaids, maids, knights, officers, guards, cooks, assistants, lackeys, the animals of the stables.
The princess’s dog began to wag its tail and, eager to see its mistress, crossed the palace until it reached the princess’s bedroom, who received it with open arms and overflowing with joy. The princess’s lady-in-waiting advised the lovers that the food was ready. They hadn’t eaten for a hundred years and everyone was starving. The prince helped the princess up and they went together to the great hall, where the kitchen assistants served them meat and wine in abundance.
The court musicians and troubadours played old songs, and they sounded better than a hundred years ago. And after eating, without wasting any time, the palace chaplain led the two young men to the castle chapel to celebrate the wedding. All the inhabitants of the castle attended the ceremony and a shower of petals covered them as they descended the stairs of the chapel.
The day came to an end and the newlyweds retired to spend the night in their rooms, but they were so excited that they were unable to sleep. They spent the night hugging each other, looking into each other’s eyes and listening to each other’s breathing, comforted and happy to have found each other after so long. The next day, the young prince returned home, where his mother was waiting for him very sad.
The prince related to his parents the encounter with Sleeping Beauty, he also told them that he was the happiest man in the whole kingdom for having found her and that he would live with her again. The prince’s parents listened carefully to the whole story and willingly accepted their son’s marriage. Then they proposed to him that a new ceremony be celebrated to which the families of the neighboring kingdoms would be invited, thus the prince and the princess would be recognized as the new sovereigns of the kingdom.
A grand wedding ceremony was held, followed by a grand celebration that lasted for three days and three nights. At the end of the celebration, the princes in love became kings and each of the guests returned to their kingdom. After a few months, the new kings had two children, a beautiful girl and a boy no less graceful than his sister. Such was the scope of the event that, even today, the story of Sleeping Beauty and her prince charming is still being told.
Waiting some time to find a rich, gallant, handsome and loving husband seems natural, but waiting for him for a hundred years as a sleeper there is no longer such a maiden who sleeps so peacefully.
The fable also seems to want to teach
that often the bond the attractive bond
will be no less happy for having given it a deadline
and that nothing is lost by waiting;
but the woman with such ardor
aspires to the conjugal faith
that I have neither the strength nor the courage
to preach this morality to her.