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Bohemia - Long, Broad and Sharpsight Print Story
LONG, BROAD, AND SHARPSIGHT
As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller
Once there was a very old King who had one son. He told his son, "I am getting old and will some day die. Before that day, I would like to know that you are happily married and have someone to share your life." Then the King reached into his pocket and took out a golden key and showed it to his son, "Go up into the castle tower and find a wife for yourself."
The prince went the tower right away. He could not remember anyone ever going into the locked tower and did not know what was there. He unlocked the door and walked in to see twelve large frames hanging on the walls. Eleven held pictures of beautiful women. Each woman had a crown on her head and wore a different dress. One by one, he looked at the pictures. They seemed to look back at him. Each picture was more beautiful than the one before it. The twelvth picture was covered with a white curtain.
The Prince pulled aside the curtain and saw the most beautiful girl of all. She wore a white dress and a crown of peals on her head. The Prince smiled at the picture and said to himself, "If I have a choice, this woman will be my bride." As he said these words, the Princess lowered her head and gave a sad look. In that instant all the pictures disappeared.
The Prince went to his father and told him that he had chosen a wife who coul dmake him happy and described the woman to him. The old King looked sad. "You have picked the only woman that is impossible for you to have. The Princess in that picture is under the power of an evil Wizard. She is captive in an iron castle. All who have attempted to set her free have never returned. But, if she is the one you must have, go with my blessing. Good luck, and return home safe."
The Prince rode away in search of his bride. He took four horses in order to ride one and rest the others and rode off. He rode through forests and across mountains through day and through night. But as he rode he passed by a man on foot. The man was tall with long arms and long legs.
"Stop!' yelled the man. Take me with you."
"Who are you?" asked the Prince.
My name is Long. I can extend my arms and legs to reach things far away. Do you see the bird's nest in that pine tree? Long reached out his arm. It stretched until it was as tall as the pine. It reached the nest and brought it back to the Prince.
"I am impressed," said the Prince. "Please come with me. Long got on one of the horses, and the two rode off. They rode along and passed another man. The man was short and heavy with a belly that looked like a large barrel.
"Stop," said the man. "Take me with you."
"Who are you?" asked the Prince.
"My name is Broad. I can widen myself. Ride far away while I show you what I can do." When the Prince and Long were far enough away, Broad took a deep breath and began to stretch out his stomache and sides. His belly and sides grew in all directions until he looked like a mountain that had flattened itself out wide.
The Prince gave Broad one of his horses after he went back to his normal size, and the three rode off. As they rode, they passed another man. This man had a bandage across his eyes.
"Stop," said the man. "Take me with you."
"Who are you?" asked the Prince, "and how can you see with the bandage on your eyes?
"My name is Sharpsight. I see with bandaged eyes just as well as you do. If I unbandage them I look everything through and through. If I gaze sharply at anything, it catches fire and bursts into flame, and what can't burn splits into pieces. Then he looked towards a large rock and removed the bandage. He fixed his flaming eyes upon it, and the rock began to crack. Pieces flew all over, and in a very short time nothing of it remained but a heap of sand.
The Prince gave Sharpsight his last horse, and the four rode off together. In a very shor ttime, they reached the iron castle of the evil Wizard. The Prince and his new friends crossed the drawbridge and entered the iron gates of the castle. They put their horses into a stable that looked like it had been prepared for them with food and water for the animals. Stone statues stood silently around the courtyard. The statues looked like real men.
The prince and his new friends walked through open doors and into the castle. The room was brightly lit, and a table was set with food and drinks for four persons. They waited and waited, thinking that someone would come; but when nobody came for a long time, they sat down and ate and drank.
When they were done eating, they goot up to explore the castle. As they got up, a door opened, and the wizard walked into the room. He wore a long gray robe that went clear down to the floor and a tall pointed hat that was bent over at the top. The wizard had a long gray beard that came almost to his waist. He held a rope in his hand, and the rope was tied to the hands of the beautiful damsel the prince had seen in the picture.
The Prince ran forward towards the Princess. But before he could say a word, the wizard said , "I know why you have come. You came for the girl. Take her, and keep her IF YOU CAN! Watch her carefully for three days. If she vanishes, you and your servants will be turned into stone like all who have come before you." He then motioned the princess to a seat and disappeared in front of their eyes..
The Prince could not take his eyes off the beautiful Princess. He began to talk to her, but she remained silent as if she were a statue. He kept his eyes on the damsel and promised himself that he would not sleep. He did not want her to disappear.
Long reached out his eyes and legs and wrapped himself around the edges of the room to keep anyone from coming into the room. Broad swelled up in the doorway to block the entrance so no one could get in or out. Sharpsight stood in the middle of the room turning around and looking on all sides to spot anyone coming or going. But, despite their efforts, they all fell asleep and slept through the night.
The Prince woke before the others in the morning. His heart fell as saw that his bride-to-be was gone. He woke the others who were as upset as the Prince was. Right away, Sharpsight began to look around into the distance. "Do not worry," he said. "I see the your lady. She is one hundred miles away. There is a tall oak tree in the middle of a forest with an acorn at the top. Your lady is inside the acorn."
Long stretched out his body with Sharpsight sitting on his shoulders to guide the way. His long legs crossed ten miles with every step. In only seconds, they were able to pick the acorn from the tree and bring it back to the Prince. The Prince sat the acorn on the chair next to him. As he did so, the Princess appeared. Just then, the door to the room crashed open, and in came the wizard. He had not expected to see the Princess in the room.
"Your Princess will be back for you to guard again tonight. I doubt that you will be able to watch her so well this time!" With this, the Wizard put a hand on the shoulder of the princess, and both disappeared. The day passed quickly. When night fell, the wizard again came through the door with the Princess. "Guard her if you can," said the Wizard. "If she is gone in the morning, you will join my army of stone statues."
The Prince and his friends again did all they could to stay awake. But, the Wizard's magic made them close their eyes. For the second time, the Princess vanished to places unknown. For the second time, the Prince was the first to wake up in the morning and saw that the Princess was gone. "My friends," said the Prince. "I need your help again. Please help me find the princess."
Sharpsight rubbed his eyes and said, "I see her. There is a mountain 200 miles away. There is a rock in the mountain and a precious stone inside the rock. The princess is inside that precious stone." Long again carried Sharpsight to bring back the princess.
Sharpsight lifted up his bandage and stared hard at the side of the mountain. It split open, freeing the rock he was seeking. Another look split open the stone, showing a precious jewel. Long picked up the stone with his extended arm, and the two returned again to the iron castle. The Prince placed the jewel on the chair, and again the Princess appeared before him.
The door slammed open again when the Wizard entered the room. His eyes were filled with fire. "I see that you have kept good watch over the Princess once again. Tomorrow will be a different story. The Princess will be lost to you, and you will become part of my stone army. He placed his hand on her shoulder and the two were gone again.
The day passed quickly again. As the sun fell, the wizard brought the Princess in again. "Enjoy your last night alive. You will NOT be able to guard the princess again, and you WILL be turned to stone." For the third time, magic caused the four friends to fall asleep, and the Princess disappeared.
In the morning the Prince again awoke earliest. When he didn't see the Princess, he woke Sharpsight. Sharpsight looked and suddenly said, "I see her. She is three hundred miles away at the bottom of the sea. There is a shell at the bottom of the sea. There is a gold ring in the shell, and the Princess is inside the ring."
"Long must take me with him and Sharpsight," said Broad. Long stretched out and put one man on each shoulder and took long steps as before. Sharpsight told Long where to go. When Long could not reach the shell that held the princess, Broad said, "Step aside. and let me do my part to help.
He laid down on his stomache by the edge of the sea and swelled up large. He began to drink from the sea. He drank and drank. In only moments, the level of the water dropped low enough to allow Long to walk out and stretch his arm into the sea. He picked up the shell and opened it to find the ring. The three quickly started back to the castle.
However, all the water made Broad so heavy that Long dropped him. Broad hit the ground and out came enough water to fill the valley they were in. All three barely made it out of the flood.
Meanwhile the prince was in great trouble in the castle. The sun began to rise, and his servants had not returned. "Ha!," said the Wizard as he stomped into the room. He did not see the Princess and began to raise his wand to cast the evil spell to change the Prince and his friends into stone.
Sharpsight saw what was happening and called out to Long. Long stretched his arm longer than ever and placed the ring on the chair just in time. The Princess appeared and stood in front of the Wizard. The Wizard groaned and turned into a Raven and flew out of the window.
The beautiful Princess looked at the Prince and thanked him again and again. Every stone figure came back to life just in time to hear the Prince propose to her. She accepted, of course, and a royal wedding soon followed. The old King was thrilled to see his son happily married. He honored the three friends, Long, Broad and Sharpsight, for their service. And all in the kingdom lived in happiness for many years after.
Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 3000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to Mike@mikelockett.com in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs. More stories and information about storytelling can be found at www.mikelockett.com
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