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Literature: The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird
Young princess and princes, being watched over by their foster mother

The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird is an Italian Fairy Tale.

A king wanders the streets at night. He hears three sisters talking:
The oldest said: "If I were the wife of the royal butler, I would give the whole court to drink out of one glass of water, and there would be some left." The second said: "If I were the wife of the keeper of the royal wardrobe, with one piece of cloth I would clothe all the attendants, and have some left." The youngest said: "Were I the king's wife, I would bear him three children: two sons with apples in their hands, and a daughter with a star on her brow."

He arranges the marriages and the older sisters do as they said. They hate the youngest because she is queen. They put puppies in place of the wonder children when they were born, and exposed the babies. Three fairies saw the children and gave them a deer who would raise them, a purse full of money, and a ring that changes color when one is in danger. When they were grown, the fairy told them to go into the city. As soon as they get a house, the sisters realize that these are the wonder children, who could reveal what they had done. They try to dispose of them with Impossible Tasks. The oldest brother fetches the Dancing Water and the Singing Bird, but when sent after the Speaking Bird, it reveals his past and startles him into speaking, which turns him to stone. The next brother did the same. Finally, their sister managed to do it and save all the people who had turned to stone.

The king comes to see these marvelous young men and woman. The Speaking Bird reveals the truth and then, at the king's order, describes how the sisters and the nurse who aided them were to be executed. The king, his wife, and the children were all reconciled.

Full text here. Compare "The One-Handed Girl".

Tropes included


CosmicomicsItalian LiteratureThe Decameron
RhodopisFairy TaleDavid of Sasun

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