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The Very Wonderful Adventures Of Pista The Swineherd

Category: Italian

Source: Fairy Tales From All Nations

Near the centre of a thick forest once dwelt a forester with his
beloved wife. The chase was his occupation, and he lived contentedly
on the provision which his ever-active bow procured him from day to
day. In this manner he passed two years very happily; although the
blessing of children, which he earnestly desired, had been hitherto
denied him. But the saying, "Patience brings roses," consoled him, and
indeed the saying did at last prove true, and in so striking a manner,
that it seemed as if destiny had exerted its utmost power to fulfil
it, in his case, even to excess. In the third year, whilst the
forester was away hunting in the wood, his family was increased by the
addition of twelve fine, healthy sons, upon whom the attendant
midwife bestowed every necessary care, and then placed them in a
circle on the floor in the centre of the room, where the sturdy
infants stretched their limbs and raised their voices for the first
time in a tremendously loud Tutti.

Whilst these events were taking place, the day declined, and evening
gradually threw its shade over field and mountain. The light-hearted
hunter bethought him of his supper, and returned, laden with two or
three hares, to his cottage.

But how thunderstruck was he when he heard that Heaven had showered
down upon him such an abundant blessing. He entered, gazed, and at the
sight of the liberal gift, at once lost his reason, and rushed raving
out of doors back into the depths of the dark forest, never to return

The poor forsaken wife now remained in her hut with her twelve little
sons, desiring nothing more ardently than to be able to leave her bed,
in order to provide food for her children.

The midwife afforded her all the assistance in her power, and when at
length she recovered, she prepared a bow and arrows, scoured the woods
and hills, and daily brought home as much game as was requisite for
the support of herself and her children. Thus she lived fifteen years;
during which period the little ones grew strong and healthy, and
learned from her to provide, by hunting, for their own necessities.

But before they reached their sixteenth year, it pleased Heaven to
call their mother to itself, and now the youths, deprived of parental
care, were abandoned to their fate. They continued to live as before,
on the products of the chase, which they fraternally divided amongst
them, and remained together in harmony and peace.

The distracted father meanwhile continued to wander incessantly
through the forest. His habiliments had long been torn to rags, and
his appearance terrified every one who beheld him. Although other
foresters occasionally met him, and brought tidings of him to his
sons, yet no one could ever lay hold of him, as he shunned the
approach of everybody, and at the aspect of a human being he hastened
like a frightened beast to hide himself in the thicket. But his
unhappy fate was a daily increasing source of sorrow to his sons, who
at length consulted seriously together, how they might get him into
their hands, so as to be able to take care of him, and, if possible,
restore him to reason.

They at length agreed to betake themselves, provided with a roasted
goose, a pitcher of brandy, and one large boot, to a certain spring in
the forest, near which the foresters frequently saw him. With these
things they went to the appointed spot, placed them close to the
spring, and then concealed themselves in the bushes to watch for his

They had waited a considerable time when they heard the sound of
footsteps, and beheld a dark figure approaching the spring. With
ardent curiosity they peeped from their concealment, and at length
saw, with surprise and horror, a being more like a ghost than a man,
but who, however, perfectly corresponded to the description which the
foresters had given them of their unfortunate father.

When he approached the spring to slake his thirst he started on
perceiving the unaccustomed objects which were beside it, and prepared
to start off at the moment, should he perceive a human form. But as
the youths kept themselves entirely concealed, and made not the least
noise, his alarm subsided, and he ventured to drink from the spring.

After he had refreshed himself, the roasted goose, the little pitcher,
and the large boot seemed again to attract his attention, and he could
not resist the desire to make himself master of them. He laid himself
down quite leisurely by the boot, devoured the goose with the greatest
avidity, and emptied the pitcher with a satyr-like expression of

The liquor seemed quickly to affect him; for almost as soon as he had
swallowed it he manifested his satisfaction by fantastic leaps, and
all kinds of ridiculous antics. He soon laid hold of the boot,
examined it attentively on all sides, and nodded his head knowingly,
as if in self-approval for having devised its purpose.

Thus satisfied with himself, he again seated himself on the ground,
and endeavoured to draw the boot over both feet at once; and although
it was large enough to admit the foot of a demi-giant, it cost the
lunatic extraordinary efforts to effect his object. Overpowered by
fatigue, and the strength of the liquor he had drunk, he gradually
sank down by the stream, and fell asleep.

His sons, when they perceived this, hastened with the greatest caution
from the bushes, raised the intoxicated sleeper from the ground, and
carried him home. But before they had half reached the hut, they
discovered with horror that the burthen, which at every step had
appeared to grow heavier, was a corpse. Whether it was the effect of
the too hastily swallowed drink, or the too rapid satisfaction of his
appetite after long fasting, in either case, the father lay dead in
the arms of his sons. With tears of regret, and self-reproaches for
their ill-advised attempt, the afflicted sons buried the beloved
corpse, under an oak not far from the cottage.

They lived together for some time after this event, but at length,
being imbued with the desire of seeing foreign countries, they
resolved to renounce their hitherto rude mode of life, and each to set
out in a different direction to seek his fortune.

When they had fixed the day for their separation they once more went
hunting together, in order to provide so much food as they might
require for at least the first day of their wandering. On the day
appointed for their departure they went to the oak which shaded their
father's grave, swore eternal brotherly love to each other, and after
mutually taking an affectionate leave, each pursued his separate way.

To relate what occurred to each of these twelve brethren, and how each
fulfilled his appointed destiny, would be a very tedious task, and the
more so as the fate of the younger brother was alone sufficiently
remarkable to deserve attention.

This youth had from his earliest years an aversion to all kind of
labour and trouble; hence, in all his necessities he always relied on
the favour of Fortune, and the more so as he had more than once had
reason to surmise that she was favourably inclined towards him. Whilst
his brothers laboriously pursued their game under every disadvantage
of time, place, and weather, he would lie at his ease, with his
weapons beside him, on a grassy hill, beneath the shade of the trees;
and it generally came to pass that whilst his brothers pursued some
poor hare, in the sweat of their brow, a roebuck would come, as if at
his call, so near to him that he could shoot it without the least
exertion. Owing to this, he had to endure many a jeer from his
brethren, whose jealousy was excited by his good luck, and they called
him in derision Lazy Bones.

His confidence in the favour of the blind goddess guided him
prosperously on his way. By day he shot all kinds of game, which came
in abundance towards him, kindled a fire, roasted and eat it; at
night, he stretched himself on the soft grass, and slept refreshingly
till the next morning. After he had pursued his way in this manner for
six days, he arrived at a royal city altogether unknown to him. He
entered one of the best inns, and offered the host a hare in exchange
for a draught of wine, to refresh himself with after the fatigue of
his journey. The host gave him credit for more than he was able both
to eat and drink, offered him a bed, and charged him the most moderate

Just as he sat down to table, a multitude of persons assembled in the
room of the inn, and conversed with each other about a most remarkable
occurrence which had just taken place. The affair was indeed one of no
trifling importance, for it concerned the royal establishment. The
king had had ninety-nine swineherds, who one and all had disappeared,
and in all probability would never again be heard of. The
nine-and-ninetieth of these had been missed only the night before, and
it was much doubted whether the king would be able to find any one
again who would be willing to undertake so perilous a charge. For
although the highest wages were offered to any one who would undertake
to tend the royal swine but for a single day, yet no one throughout
the whole kingdom had yet offered himself, and the illustrious owner
of the swine was in great risk of losing them all.

The young stranger listened to this narration with surprise, but could
not conjecture what could be the difficulty attached to the service.
As the host had for some time been employed in looking out for
swineherds for the king, he asked his young guest whether he would
undertake the office, adding at the same time, that the king would
give a year's wages for a single day's service.

"Why not?" replied Pista, (that was the young adventurer's name) and
he declared himself quite willing to undertake the charge, as he
thought the business of a swineherd did not demand more skill and
trouble than he was accustomed to exert. His consent thus given, the
host joyfully conducted him to the king and praised throughout the
whole city the courageous resolution of his guest.

The monarch received them both graciously, and not only confirmed the
offer made by the host to the youth, but promised him a gratuity into
the bargain, in case of his discharging his duty with zeal and

He commanded a capital supper to be placed before him, and appointing
him to drive the swine in the morning to the heath, he dismissed him
with the most gracious wishes for his welfare.

Before the dawn of day, Pista was already at his post. The heath lay
in a pleasant district, inclosed on the one side by mountains, and on
the other by a thick forest. On his arrival there he found all
tranquil, and could not imagine what danger was to be apprehended.

He passed the day in expectation, and the evening approached as
peacefully as the day had departed. The moon and stars shed their
light over the district, and the refreshing coolness of the air
invited the carefree herdsman to repose. He lay calmly down near his
herd, commended them and himself to fortune, and slept in peace.

He had not slept an hour, when the most extraordinary of all night
visions awakened him. The oldest patriarch of the herd stood before
him, and thus addressed him: "Fear not, for I am thy friend, and come
to thee as a well-intentioned counsellor, to warn thee of the danger
that awaits thee. As I have selected thee for my protege, I will
assist thee to the best of my power. When thou drivest us home
to-morrow, mind to request the king to give thee a loaf of bread and a
flask of wine, for the following day. These shall preserve thee from
all misfortune. A great dragon who rules this forest, will endeavour
to overthrow and swallow thee. But if thou givest him these gifts,
thou wilt not only be able to resist him, but after he shall have
drunk the wine thou mayest destroy him."

Pista was not a little astonished at this apparition; he rubbed his
eyes, pricked up his ears, and collected all his senses, to convince
himself that he was really awake and not dreaming. But when he saw the
boar standing bodily before him, and distinctly heard every word, he
at last returned him grateful thanks for his friendly admonition, and
promised punctually to observe his instructions.

The following evening he drove the herd home. The king met him, not
without astonishment, caused the year's wages to be paid to him
immediately, and gave him permission further to ask some favour.
Pista, well pleased, put the money in his pocket, and for the present
asked for nothing more than bread and wine for the following evening.

The cock had scarcely crowed to welcome the first hour of the morning,
when our herdsman again passed out at the city gate with his herd. He
betook himself to the same heath where he had passed the foregoing
night, and had had the strange tete-a-tete with the boar.

As soon as he reached the spot, his bristly Mentor again approached
him and said:--

"Up and mount me without fear,
Swift on my back I thee will bear;
So that, ere many minutes' space,
Thou shalt reach the appointed place."

The youth bestrode the boar, and in a trice found himself in the
neighbouring wood, and deposited under an enormous oak. The boar then
repeated what he had said to his protege the preceding day, and
hastened back to the herd.

Pista prepared himself for his adventure, and before he could
accurately reconnoitre the field of battle, so dreadful a noise
proceeding from the interior of the forest pierced his ears, that all
the trees round him creaked and rustled as in a storm. It came nearer
and nearer, and he soon perceived a monstrous dragon, rapidly making
towards him, tearing the bushes and trees as he passed, and even
throwing them to the ground. Mindful of his Mentor's words, Pista took
courage, offered the bread and wine to the dragon, and besought him to
spare his life.

This liberal offer astonished the dragon more than the resistance of a
whole band of herdsmen would have done. He quietly received the gifts,
devoured the bread with much satisfaction, and as the wine speedily
took effect, he drowsily tumbled on the earth. Pista did not delay to
avail himself of the opportunity. When he perceived that the dragon
slept, he drew out his knife and cut the throat of the drunken
monster; before, however, he had completed the operation, he saw a
copper key fall out of his jaws, which he picked up and put in his

In the meantime, the herd had gradually moved towards the interior of
the forest, to a considerable distance from the spot where the dragon
had met his death. Pista, fearing he might lose the objects of his
charge, resolved to cut across the bend of the forest, and to go in a
straight line, the same by which the dragon had come, to look after

He had not gone far, when a new overwhelming surprise banished them
from his thoughts. An immense castle, entirely built of copper, stood
before him, far surpassing in splendour the residence of his king, and
which seemed the more to invite him to enter, inasmuch as he could
nowhere descry a single guard to forbid his approach.

Solitary and silent was all around him: not even the song of a bird
broke the stillness. Hastening up to the castle, he found all the
gates locked; but suddenly remembering the key in his pocket, he drew
it out and tried it in the nearest gate, and discovered to his joyful
surprise that it opened every lock. He soon found himself in the
interior of a most magnificent palace, with such a number of state
rooms opening round him, that he could hardly tell which he should
first enter. He passed through the grand hall and went from room to
room, until he at last reached a great saloon, the walls of which were
mirrors, whilst all manner of gold and silver articles of furniture
glittered round him. In the centre of the room stood a table of
silver, whereon lay a golden rod. Without precisely knowing wherefore,
he took up the rod and struck the table with it, upon which a young
dragon immediately appeared, and with indescribable courtesy begged
that he would honour him with his commands.

Recovering from his surprise, Pista expressed a wish to be shown the
whole interior of the palace, with the gardens belonging to it. The
obliging dragon immediately complied with, and requested his guest to
follow him. He led him through all the chambers and halls of the
palace, each of which seemed to contain the treasure of a whole
kingdom; thence into the stables, where splendid coursers fed from
silver mangers on golden oats, and who neighed loudly at the entrance
of their visitors.

At last Pista and his attendant came into a garden full of
marvellously beautiful flowers and delicious fruits, which seemed to
the stranger like a second paradise. He could not refrain from
plucking a rose, which he stuck in his cap.

When he had seen all, he inquired of the dragon for the lord of the
palace. The dragon bowed before him with the greatest reverence, and
begged him, as the owner from thenceforth of the palace and its
treasures, graciously to accept his homage, promising at the same time
that he would guard all with the utmost vigilance, and endeavour to
deserve his approbation.

Pista was not a little astonished at this address, but as all the
events which had befallen him within the last few days, appeared to
him to be nothing less than natural, he accepted the dragon's homage,
and played the part of master as well as he could. Having nodded
approbation to his new servitor, he left the castle with proud
gravity. The portals closed of themselves after him with thundering
noise; he then carefully locked all the gates with his key, and
returned to seek his swine.

It was not long before he met the whole herd in the best order. The
sun was already glowing in the west, and the shadows of the mountains
stretched across the plains. It seemed time to turn homewards; he
whistled; the herd put itself in motion; and before the evening star
shone in the heavens, they were all at home again in their sheds.

Pista had no sooner housed his charge, than the king's daughters came
running towards him with the most unusual friendliness. The youngest
had seen from afar the rose in his cap, and as she could not resist
the desire to possess it, she begged from him the lovely flower. The
swineherd instantly presented it to the princess, and thought himself
highly honoured when he saw his gift placed in the bosom of the most
charming of the royal maidens.

The king, meanwhile, deeply amazed at the no less punctual than safe
return of his herdsman, sent for him into his presence, and inquired
particularly about all that had occurred to him on the heath. But
Pista carefully avoided satisfying his curiosity; gave very brief
answers to his questions; and said nothing that could betray his
fortunate adventure.

"This rose," said he, "which I found already plucked, and lying on the
stem of a tree, is all that I saw on my way. I stuck it in my hat that
it might not fade quite unenjoyed."

The king again expressed his entire satisfaction and favour; and
promised for the future days the same rich reward he had already

The herdsman thanked his patron and returned to his swine, in order to
pass the night near them on his bed of straw.

Just about midnight the friendly boar awakened him as on the
preceding night, and said, "Pista must provide himself with bread and
wine for the coming day also, as he would have to do with a still
larger dragon than the former."

He advised him to double the measure of provisions, and told him he
would have nothing to fear if he encountered the monster as
courageously as he did that of the day before.

Before day-break Pista supplied himself with two loaves and two flasks
of wine, and went as usual with the swine to the heath. Arrived there,
the boar again approached him and said:--

"Up and mount me without fear,
Swift on my back I will thee bear;
This day thou must higher go,
And still higher fortune know."

The youth obeyed the boar, and sooner than if on a racer's back he
found himself by an inclosure, considerably beyond the place where he
stopped the day before. The boar again deposited him under an oak,
repeated several times what he had before enforced, and left him to
his destiny.

Pista had not long to wait; he soon heard a terrible rustling
descending from the tops of the trees. By degrees it grew darker
around him, and at once a monstrous dragon, much larger than the
first, came sailing through the air, whose out-spread wings shaded,
like a thunder-cloud, the district beneath, as with furious haste he
seemed descending on the herdsman. But Pista lost no time in offering
him the two loaves and the two flasks, which so fortunately appeased
the monster that he immediately stretched himself on the grass, and,
much at his ease, swallowed the provisions, and then fell asleep and
snored like thunder. Pista again seized the favourable moment and cut
the dragon's throat, from whose jaws fell a silver key, which he put
at once into his pocket.

Then he went, as on the preceding day, into the interior of the
forest, and soon saw a palace built entirely of silver, which dazzled
his eyes from afar by its brilliancy. All that he saw and did in the
Copper Palace, he saw and did here; only the magnificence of the one
far exceeded that of the other, and caused him to linger here much
longer. After a very obsequious dragon had shown him all the
treasures, and at last led him into the garden, he plucked there a
silver rose, of which there were great numbers, and stuck it in his
cap. He then locked the gates of his beautiful palace with the silver
key, returned to his herd, and as the day was declining, drove them
quietly home.

As before, the king's daughters came familiarly to meet him, and the
youngest snatched the silver rose from him, and ran playfully with it
to her father. The king sent for him as before, questioned him of all
that had occurred, and having received satisfactory answers, expressed
his entire approbation.

The same adventure occurred on the third day, with the sole difference
that the herdsman this time entered a Golden Palace, and brought from
the garden a golden rose, which the fair princess appropriated as

It happened that a festival which the king had long resolved to give
to the suitors of his daughters, was just about to be held. He caused
three golden apples of the same size to be made, on each of which he
had inscribed the name of one of the princesses. These he ordered to
be suspended by golden threads in the front court of his castle, as
the prize of a trial of skill, for which the victor was to receive the
hand of one of the princesses. Whoever, at full gallop, should succeed
in striking down with his lance one of these apples, was to receive
the golden fruit and the princess whose name it bore. As the three
sisters were no less extraordinarily beautiful than rich, it may
easily be guessed that the number of their suitors was not small. A
countless number of princes from far and near were assembled in the
royal city, and the king's brother was also present with his nine
daughters. The whole kingdom took a lively interest in this festival,
and young and old rejoiced at its commencement. Whatever the royal
treasures could produce was exhibited there, and all the rich and
noble flocked thither to contribute their share towards enhancing the
pomp of the long looked for feast.

As it was to be supposed that Pista would not willingly be absent from
such a grand sight, the youngest princess, out of gratitude for her
three roses, invited him to witness it; advising him not to stay away
if he had any curiosity to see all the most precious of her father's
possessions, in horses, clothes, and jewels. But to the no small
surprise of the princess, the herdsman thanked her for her invitation,
but said he preferred remaining with his equals, and would tend the
swine as usual.

The morning arrived, and all within and around the city was in motion.
The streets swarmed with countless people: even the most helpless
cripples dragged themselves along, anxious to see the show. Pista
alone drove forth his swine with the utmost indifference, and did not
evince the slightest curiosity.

Who could have guessed, however, what the homely youth had secretly
determined, and what a trick he had resolved to play on all the
princely suitors? He no sooner reached the heath than he hastened to
the forest where his late adventures had occurred. He went to the
Copper Palace, entered the hall, and with a stroke of the golden wand
commanded the serviceable dragon to provide for him the most
magnificent attire and the finest courser. The dragon rapidly obeyed
his master's order, dressed him as expeditiously and handily as the
most experienced valet could have done, and then as quickly cantered
up a splendidly caparisoned steed, who seemed to breathe fire as he
neighed with desire for the combat.

Pista mounted his horse, and the courts of the castle thundered
beneath his tramp. He flew, as if borne on the lightning's wing, over
the heath and road, and suddenly appeared in the lists of the royal
disputants. The brilliancy of his attire, the swiftness and strength
of his horse, and the costly jewels that adorned him, dazzled all
eyes, and it could not have occurred to any one that in him they
beheld the swineherd. The king himself thought he must be his equal
in dignity, and offered him the honour of precedence. But Pista
declined this distinction, and requested, on the contrary, to be
allowed to be the last on the list of suitors.

At last the signal was given. All pressed to the lists, and the race
began. Riders and horses flew emulously towards the prize, but not one
succeeded in even touching either of the apples with his lance.

Suddenly the unknown guest darted over the course like an arrow, and
hit the first of the three apples so dexterously, that it, together
with the golden thread to which it was fastened, remained hanging on
his lance. The gaze of all was fixed upon him; but without vouchsafing
a look on any, he flew with his prize straight across the lists and

This unexpected circumstance created universal embarrassment amongst
the disconcerted suitors, and determined the king to postpone the
remainder of the festival until the following day. Meanwhile he sent
some of his swiftest riders in search of the strange fugitive, in
order to discover, if possible, whence he came. But before these were
ready to start, our knight had already become invisible, and, in his
herdsman's dress, had again rejoined his swine.

In the evening, as usual, he brought them home, and attended to them
in the customary manner. But before he retired to rest, the youngest
of the princesses descried him, and hastening to him, related in great
agitation the untoward event which had that day deprived her of the
apple destined to her, and at the same time of him who should have
been her bridegroom. The herdsman expressed his great sympathy, and
tried to console her, by saying that no one could tell whether the
misfortune that had happened might not in the end turn out to her

The next day, before the ceremonies recommenced, Pista was again on
the heath with his herd. This day he went to the Silver Palace,
attired himself still more splendidly, and mounted a yet finer horse.
Swift as the wind, and resplendent in gold and jewels, he again sprang
to the lists. All were astonished at this second apparition. All
inclined themselves before him, and no one recognised in him the same
guest who had so distinguished himself on the preceding day.

But, as yesterday, all eyes were riveted on him; he set spurs to his
horse, and sprang with hanging bridle to the prize, then flew like an
arrow, bearing the second apple across the lists, and disappeared
from the sight of the astonished multitude.

The king and his illustrious guests now began to apprehend that some
supernatural power influenced these events, and they had nearly
determined not to renew the trial of skill till the following year.
But as already two of the golden apples were lost, they could not
resist their curiosity respecting the third and last. The king
therefore appointed the conclusion of the festival for the next
morning, and in the meantime endeavoured to tranquillise himself as
well as he could.

As before, so was it on this third occasion. The herdsman had gone
early to the heath, and now appeared in an attire, and mounted on a
horse, this time procured from the Golden Palace, both of which
infinitely surpassed the two former. He carried off the third apple,
and fled, to the wonder of all, swift as the wind, far out of sight.

The festival was now over; the assembly separated; the suitors
returned to their homes, and the king lamented the fate of his beloved
daughters. The daughters shed many tears, and mourned over their fate
as an appointment of Heaven, forbidding them ever to have a

As the very first of these occurrences had caused the king entirely
to forget to pay the herdsman his daily wages, the latter had now
three days' hire due to him. Pista therefore availed himself of the
pretext of demanding his wages as a good opportunity to learn what
impression his three adventures had made at court. That same evening,
when he brought home his herd, he presented himself before the king,
but apprehending that, if he left his three apples in the stall, they
might be purloined, he concealed them in his hat, which he retained on
his head, although in presence of his monarch.

The king perceived this disrespectful conduct of his herdsman not
without surprise; but, as he was exceedingly well disposed towards
him, on account of his great services, he indulgently asked him what
he required. Pista had scarcely prepared himself to make his request,
when the youngest, and now exceedingly discontented princess entered,
and with an air of highly offended pride, snatched his hat off his

The golden apples fell out of it, and rolled to the monarch's feet.

What was the astonishment of the whole court! The princesses
recognised their names, and could not express their delight at finding
their apples. The king pressed the youth in the most gracious terms
to explain how he had come by them.

Pista replied, with the utmost frankness, that he was the winner of
the three apples, and therefore thought he had a full right to one of
the princesses for his bride.

Now, as the king, mindful of the unexampled splendour, as also the
extraordinary good fortune by which the stranger had distinguished
himself in the lists, anticipated some still greater advantage behind
the darkness of this mysterious occurrence, he admitted the herdsman's
claim with very little hesitation.

The youngest of the princesses felt herself suddenly cheered, and so
powerfully attracted to the metamorphosed swineherd, that in spite of
his peasant's dress she threw her arms around his neck. The king
immediately decided that he should become her husband, and the
following morning the wedding was celebrated with the utmost
magnificence, in presence of the whole court, at the Golden Palace in
the forest, which Pista immediately selected for his residence.

When the banquet was over, the bridegroom commanded his faithful
dragon, who had already the day before provided a numerous
establishment of domestics of his own winged race, immediately to
bring hither his eleven brothers, whose respective names he had
furnished him with, and had described their persons as accurately as
he could.

Before the sun went down the eleven brothers were seen coming at full
gallop to the Golden Palace. By the care of the ever active dragon
they were all splendidly dressed, and they rejoiced and wondered not a
little at the unexpected change in their destiny.

Two of them married the sisters of their royal sister-in-law, and the
rest married the nine daughters of the other king. They soon conquered
for themselves as many kingdoms, and lived happily together till their
dying day.

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