(Castle. Wiki Commons.)
However, a year later, his father was said to be gravely sick. He heard from many that his father wanted to see him for the last time. The prince had forgotten the time and stayed at the town for too long, but he could not stand to leave his beloved. He talked about his troubles with her and she urged him to return to the king. The prince then started his return home, leaving a ring for his beloved. Yet, he had forgotten some garments in his room, so the innkeeper gave it to his beloved to keep for the time being.
The king saw the only person he had left in world and was so cheerful. With his son, he behaved as a young man, walking about and laughing. Yet, as the son tucked his father in, the father asked him a great question.
“There is no doubt that you will be the next king after me. I hope that you will continue in my footsteps and serve the people well. Love the people and they will love you. Now, I have something to ask,” said the king.
“What is it, Father?” asked the son.
“Can you marry the person I choose for you? She is the daughter of a great friend of mine,” said the king.
When the prince heard this, he thought of his beloved that he left at the town and of his father’s condition. He then answered, “I will do what I can, but I make no promises.”
The father gently smiled to his son and his son left. The next day, the son found his father as cold as ice with his eyes closed as if he was sleeping. There was a grand funeral for the king and the prince, the new king, took over his father’s duties. The coronation and process of taking over his father’s duties took much of his time. He was so exhausted at the end of the day that he often forgot about the beloved he left behind.
During the time the new king performed his duties, his late father’s right hand man arranged to have the new queen that the late king chose come in a month to marry the new king. News of this spread quickly and the new king’s beloved was heartbroken.
As a result, she had her father find several women so she can apply to be the new king’s huntsmen. Her father, knowing his daughter’s sorrow, found some women. All the women prepared to look like huntsmen to go before the new king. As for the new king’s beloved, she packed huntsmen-like clothing, the clothing he left behind, and she kept the ring from the new king on her finger.
The women, dressed in huntsmen clothing and wearing gloves, asked the new king if he required huntsmen. The new king accepted them in his castle because the head huntsman, his beloved, looked familiar. The huntsmen would go with the new king whenever he needed them. While with the new king, his beloved would stare at him and he would catch her doing so. On a few occasions, the new king’s beloved wore his clothing to see if the new king would react to them. However, the new king never showed any obvious signs. Although, he was suspicious because he felt the clothing looked familiar.
Two weeks later, the late king’s right hand man told the new king to get his clothes tailored for his wedding to the woman his father chose in front of the huntsmen. That was the first time she was ever mentioned. All the huntsmen and especially the new king’s beloved were saddened. The new king’s beloved was so saddened, that she fell down and clutched at her heart. The other huntsmen surrounded her and took off her gloves to give her space. Right when they took off her gloves, the new king saw the ring and immediately asked who she was. Everyone was silent.
He pieced the pieces together, the familiar face, the ring, the similar clothing, and came to the conclusion that the huntsman was his beloved. He hugged her, she cried, and all the huntsmen said, “Awww.” Then, the new king called off the wedding to his father’s chosen bride and married his beloved instead.
Author’s Note. The original story was the Twelve Huntsmen. I decided to write about this because I felt like there should have been more interaction between the new king and his beloved while she was in disguise. The original story is somewhat similar to my story. I added the singing voice from Rapunzel and took out the lion and a servant from the Twelve Huntsmen.
In the original, the prince, for unknown reasons, was gone from the castle and was with a woman who he loves. The king calls for his son to come back and the prince gave his beloved a ring saying he will come back for her. At the castle, the king asks his son to marry a king’s daughter. The prince agrees and the king died before him. The prince’s beloved was so scared of his future marriage news, she almost died. She asked her father to find eleven girls who looked exactly like her and prepared twelve huntsmen outfits. They went to the new king and asked if he needed huntsmen and the new king took them in because they were handsome. Then, a lion, who I omitted, knew of many things and warned the king that the huntsmen were women. They tried a few times to reveal they were women, but a kind servant told the huntsmen what would happen so they could prepare beforehand. As they were usually with the new king hunting, news came that his bride was coming. The new king’s beloved was heartbroken and fell down. The king took off her glove and sees his ring. Then, he called off the wedding with the other bride and married his beloved.
Bibliography. “The Twelve Huntsmen” by Brothers Grimm; link to reading online.
“Rapunzel” by Brothers Grimm; link to reading online.