Thursday, April 4, 2013
D is for the Dwarf Princess
Also, I am not being insensitive here. She is actually a dwarf.
The story, this time, does not start with her. It starts with a prince called Palkó, who has two handsome brothers, but he is as short as a child, and his mother is so asd about this fact that she gets ill and dies. Of course the king blames his son for all of this.
(Tyrion Lannister much? You know you already love him.)
According to the queen's dying wish, a lily-of-the-valley has to be planted on her grave and guarded day and night. The king sees an opportunity in this to keep his son occupied. Prince Palkó and the old woman who brought the shining flowers sit by the grave together, day and night in quiet awkwardness.
Enter the princess. Whut?
As soon as the old lady falls asleep, a long-bearded dwars springs up out of the blue and tells the Prince a secret: the lily-of-the-valley is in fact a dwarven princess, turned into this shape to be smuggled out of the kingdom of the Fairy Queen. Who is evil, by the way, and jealous of the dwarf princess' beauty.
(I can hear Legolas getting a stroke in the background)
The only way to turn the flower back into a beautiful dwarf maiden is to break the Fairy Queen's ring. The opportunity offers itself when the Queen and seven of her witch-fairies (!) show up to get the flower back. After a couple of tries Palkó manages to get a hit in on the ring, and suddenly, he is presented with a princess just his size.
The lovers have to flee now. Fortunately for them the princess can call upon a chariot drawn by butterflies that takes the across the sky and back towards the dwarf kingdom. But the Fairy Queen is hot on their heels astride a horse with seven legs, clearly bought for a discount price in Asgard, and she almost catches up to them when they finally round the Sun, and that is the border where the power of evil ends.
Palkó becomes a dwarf prince, marries the dwarf princess, and all is well in the world.
This story has been turned into a cartoon and is available on YouTube here.
I personally have always loved the idea of a dwarf princess, beard or no beard. The fact that her beauty beats Ilona the Fairy Queen just makes the whole thing better. Fae can't be the best at everything all the time, right? There is not much to know about dwarfs in Hungarian folklore at all, fairies are much more popular. This story is a rare exception. It is also intersting to note that apparently the dwarf princess was a ward in the fairy court until they grew jealous of her beauty. Talk about politics.