I wore a magic suit of mail armor and I carried a sword of protection, so I went bravely into the wild forest. Right away, hoards of lions, tigers, bears, and wolves rushed at me all set to tear me to pieces. But when they saw the sword, they lay down on the ground and licked my fingers.

They followed me to the apple tree where I plucked the two apples my mother wanted.

When I turned to leave, a little dog ran up to me, whining. “What do you want, little dog?” I asked, petting his head.

He ran to a hole in the hill. I couldn’t fit myself through it so I thrust my sword into the hole, and immediately it widened.

“Hahaha!” I laughed. “It’s worth something to have a sword like this!”

I bent down, crept into the hole, and came into a room at the end of a long, dark passage. A beautiful Arabian princess sat there, bound by an iron chain to an iron pole. Twelve robbers had kept her there for twenty long years!

The Protected Prince in The Prince and the Princess in the Forest, Olive Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

protective-prince