Monday, July 2, 2012

The giant princess’s fan story

Folktale - The giant princess’s fan story
(Favourite story from Singapore)

In days long gone by, the world divided into two parts, and each part was rulled by a powerful giant king. The Eastern lands were hot and wet, while the Western lands were cold and dark. Sometimes there were wars between the giants of two the lands, but story takes place when there was peace.
The youngest  son of the king of the Western Lands wanted to travel, and so left father’s palace. For many days, the prince travelled east, hiding whenever he saw soldiers. Many weeks later, he came to a small lake in the Eastern lands.
Because it was hot, the prince went for a swim in the lake. Suddenly, he saw a beautiful girl on the opposite side of the lake. He swam to her side, and they began to talk.
“I am a traveller from the Western Lands,” said the prince.
The girl’s eye grew wide. “Then you must leave,” she said. “My father, the king, will kill you if he finds you here.”
The prince was about to swim away when the giant princess called him back. “Don’t go yet. My ladies and I will hide you for a time, and we can swim together each day.”
After his long journey, the prince was glad to have chance to rest. The princess’s ladies hid him in a small house in the forest near the lake. Each day they brought him food, and each day he swam with the princess in the lake, before long, the prince and the princess fell in love.
“I want to marry you,” said the prince.
“But my father would never agree to it,” said the princess. “He would never let me marry a prince of the western Lands.”
“I’ll go and ask him anyway.” Said the prince, and he walked to the palace of the king of the Eastern lands.
When the king heard the prince say he wanted to marry the princess, he immediately threw the young man into prison. A few days later, the princes escaped, and he went to the lake. There he saw the princess. “Come with me to the west,” he said. “we can be married in my father’s palace, and my family will welcome you as my wife,”
“Are you sure it will be all right?” asked the princess. “Yes, but we must hurry.”
The princess wrapped her jewels and a beautiful fan in a length of silk. Then she took the prince’s hand, and together they ran towards the west, away from her father’s guards. In her hurry, the giant princess dropped her bundle. In the darkness, she was able to find her shiny jewelry, but not her fan. “I’ve lost my fan, my beautiful fan,” she cried.
The princess could hear the guards coming closer. “Come, my dear,” he said “we cannot waste any more time. I’ll buy you another they fled to the Western Lands where they were married. The beautiful fan that the giant princess dropped, fell to earth in what is now Malaysia. Some time later it flated down a river to the sea where it caught on some rocks and turned into an island. This island is now called Singapore.

Source: Favourite stories  from Singapore by Irene-Anne Monteiro and Jenny Watson

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