The Singing Ringing Tree
The Prince sets off whilst the Dwarf rubs his hands in glee.
At the Palace, the Prince arrives triumphantly with the little tree. The Prince presents the Princess with the tree. She hears nothing. Even though the Prince explains that if she truly loves him the little tree will sing and ring, she will hear nothing of it. She accuses him of being a liar, a deceiver. She wants him thrown in the tower. Aghast, he drops back down the steps in despair. The King and Princess watch him leave the court room and out of the castle.
The King and Princess are on the balcony. Never, he concludes, will they find a suitor so handsome, one who journeyed far to bring her the tree. The Princess still wants the tree and so sprinkles water on her face in the pretence of tears. She then implores her father to find her the singing and ringing tree. The King prepares to leave.
The Prince watches the sun set from the stone bridge over the ravine in the mountains as he prepares to fulfil his obligation to the dwarf. He looks down at the tree. It has withered. At sunset the prince slowly turns into a bear. The Dwarf climbs out of the ravine, startling the Prince's horse. The startled dwarf turns the horse in to stone.
The bear swipes at the Dwarf. The Dwarf states that the Princess was moody and arrogant, that she didn't keep her word. Well, the Prince had made his bargain. Perhaps in his new form, the Princess might come to love the Prince and the Bear can keep the tree. The Bear demands to know what use it is to him now. The Dwarf says that its power is stronger than his, that the spell would be broken if the tree was to sing and ring in fairyland. Suddenly the bear hears horses hooves in the distant.
The King approaches desperately looking for the tree. He dismounts as he sees the tree on the ground. The Bear appears from behind a rock and demands to know what the King wants. The King, though surprised at hearing that the Bear can talk, states that he is looking for the singing and ringing tree-for the Princess. He is willing to give his kingdom for it. The Bear wants in return for the tree, the first thing that the King meets on his return to the Castle.
The King gives his word on this and returns home with the tree. The Princess, awaiting her father's return, has fallen asleep beside her maid. She wakes and rudely tells her maid that she must not be left to sleep. Birds flying in the room disturb her and she demands the beasts to be thrown out.
The King arrives and the Princess roughly pushes a dog out of her way in her haste to greet her father and excitedly grabs the little tree. It is a calamity, the King acknowledges, that it was the Princess who met him. He explains to her his dilemma. She is downcast that he didn't meet the Prince but suggests that they kill the bear. The Captain of the Guard is dispatched to the border where the bear will be expecting to meet the King.
Watching, the Bear sees the trap being set. He suspends the Captain on a tree and discovers that it was the Princess who greeted the King on his arrival. The Bear sets off for the Castle.
The Princess is annoyed for the little tree is quiet. She demands that it be taken to the garden and despite the risks, instructs that the is to be placed in the fountain. But what of the fish? The Princess is fed up of the boring fish which are gathered up to be thrown away as the water drains from the fountain. The Bear, watching from the bushes is horrified and the tree, in its new position, will not sing. Seeing his chance, the Bear catches the Princess and makes off with her. Passing the Guard, the Bear releases him from the tree.
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