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Literature / The Blue Mountains

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The Blue Mountains is a Fairy Tale collected by Andrew Lang in The Yellow Fairy Book, for which he gave no geographic informationnote .

A Scotsman, an Englishman, and an Irishman, all soldiers, desert together. They are dying of hunger when the Scotsman sees a castle and goes without telling the others. He is fed there by an astoundingly beautiful woman, and given a bed, and falls soundly asleep. The Englishman follows and does the same. The Irishman, following after, sees the same and asks what it means before he eats anything. Whereupon the woman tells him that she is a princess and can be saved only by a man who stays in a little room from ten o'clock till midnight for three nights on end. When he does so, he is beaten severely every night, but the princess revives him.

She vanishes. He is told that he must stay awake to see her, but a little boy sticks a pin in his coat, which puts him to sleep. She leaves. He searches for her for three years and is ready to kill himself, but when he draws his sword that she had given him, it tells him he will find her in the Blue Mountains. He searches onward. Two hermits can't tell him, but each send him on to another, and the third can command all the birds of the world. When they arrive, only an eagle knows of the Blue Mountains, but is willing to carry him there. He arrives the day she is forced to marry, and gets the hen-wife to bring her to him, and so they marry instead of the man she was being forced to.

Compare Soria Moria Castle, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, Pintosmalto, and The Feather of Finist the Falcon.

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Tropes included

  • Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: Ask what's going on
    I have been here for sixteen years now, and no one who ever came to the castle has asked me who I was, except yourself.