THE LOST PRINCESS*
The Rebbe spoke up and said,* ``While on my journey* I told a story. Whoever heard it had a thought of repentance.''* (and this is the story)
There was once a king* who had six sons* and one daughter.* This daughter was very precious to him and he loved her* very much. He spent much time with her.*
One time, he was alone with her on a certain day* and he became angry at her.* He inadvertently said,* ``May the Evil One take you away!''*
At night* she went to her room. In the morning, no one knew* where she was. Her father was very upset,* and he went here and there looking for her.
The viceroy* realized that the king was very upset. He stood up and asked that he be given a servant,* a horse,* and some money* for expenses, and he went to search for her. He searched for her* very much, for a very long time, until he found her. (Now he tells how he searched for her until he found her.)
The viceroy traveled back and forth for a long time, through deserts, fields and forests. He searched for the princess for a very long time. Finally, while traveling through the desert,* he saw a path to the side.* He thought it over.* 'Since I have traveled for so long in the desert and cannot find her, let me follow this path. Perhaps it will bring me to an inhabited area.''
He continued traveling for a long time until he finally saw a
castle.* Many soldiers* stood around it. The castle was beautiful,* and the troops around it were standing in a fine order.
The viceroy was afraid that the soldiers would not let him enter. But he thought it over, and said to himself, ``I will go ahead* and see what happens.''
He left behind his horse* and went up to the castle. The soldiers let him come in, doing nothing to stop him.* He went from room to room without being challenged.
Finally he came to the main hall.* He saw the king* sitting there with a crown on his head.* There were also many soldiers, as well as musicians with their instruments in front of them. It was all very pleasant and beautiful.*
Neither the king nor anyone else asked him any questions.* He saw delicacies and fine foods* there, and he ate.* Then he went to lie down* in a corner to see what would happen.
He saw the king issue a command to bring the queen. People went to fetch her. There was a great uproar as they brought forth the queen, and the orchestra played and the choir sang.* People set up a throne for the queen, and sat her next to the king.
She was the lost princess!* As soon as the viceroy saw her, he recognized her. The queen looked around, and seeing someone lying in the corner, recognized him.* She stood up from her throne, and went over and touched him. ``Do you know me?'' she asked.
``Yes,'' he replied. ``I know you.* You are the king's daughter who was lost.''
He then asked her, ``How did you get here?''
She replied, ``It happened when my father said that the Evil One should take me. This is the place of Evil.''*
He told her that her father was very grieved and had tried to find her for many years. ``How can I get you out of here?'' he asked.
She said,* ``It is impossible to get me out unless you choose for
yourself a place* and remain there for an entire year.* All that year you must long* to get me out. Whenever you are unoccupied you must only yearn, seek and look forward to freeing me. You must also fast.* Then, on the last day of the year,* you must fast and go without sleep for the entire twenty-four hour period.''
The viceroy went and did exactly what she told him. On the last day, at the end of the year, he fasted and did not sleep. Then he stood up, and was headed toward the castle, when he saw a tree* with very, very beautiful apples. It was very desirable to the eyes,* and he ate
an apple.* As soon as he ate the apple, he immediately fell asleep,* and he slept a very long time.
His servant* tried to wake him up, but he could not., When he finally woke up, he asked his servant, ``Where in the world am I?''
The servant told him exactly what had happened. ``You slept for a very long time for many years. I survived by eating this fruit.''
The viceroy was very upset. He went to the castle and found the princess.* She lamented to him, ``If you had come directly on that day, you would have freed me from here. But because of one day, you lost everything. But it is very difficult not to eat,
especially on the last day, when the Evil Urge* is very strong.''
``Now find yourself a place again, and remain there for another year. This time, you are permitted to eat* on the last day, but you may not sleep. Do not drink any wine on that day so that you will not fall asleep. The main thing is avoiding sleep.''*
The viceroy went and did as she had instructed him. On the last day, as he was heading toward the castle,* he saw a flowing spring.*
It was red in color and smelled like wine. He asked his servant,* ``Do you see this? It's a spring and should contain water. But it has a red color and smells like wine.''
The viceroy went and took a taste* from the spring, and he immediately fell asleep for many years. He remained asleep for seventy years.*
Meanwhile, many soldiers* passed by, along with their baggage trains* with their equipment. The servant hid* himself because of the soldiers.
Then a chariot* and carriages* passed by, carrying the princess. She stopped there next to the viceroy and descended, sitting next to him. She recognized him and tried very hard to wake him up,* but he could not be awakened.
She then began to complain* to him. He had spent so much effort and great toil for many years to free her, but then on the very day that he would have been able to free her, the opportunity was lost.
She wept very much. ``It is a very great pity, both upon him and upon me. I have been here such a very long time, and I cannot leave.''
She then took the kerchief* from her head, and wrote on it with her tears,* leaving it next to him. She then got up, sat in her chariot, and left.
When the viceroy woke up, he asked his servant, ``Where in the world am I?'' The servant told him everything that had happened.
He told him that many troops had passed by, and that a chariot had come. A woman had wept over him and had lamented that it is a great pity both on him and on her.
The viceroy then noticed the kerchief* lying next to him. ``Where
did this come from?'' he asked.
The servant replied that the woman had written on it with tears.
The viceroy took it and held it up to the sun.* He began to see the
letters and could read what was written on it. It contained all her lamentations and grief. He also read that she was no longer in the castle.* He must now search for a golden mountain* and a pearl castle,* and there you will find me.
The viceroy left his servant behind* and went alone to find her. He traveled for many years. He concluded that he certainly would not
find a golden mountain and a pearl castle in any civilized area,* since he was an expert in geography.* Therefore, he said, ``I
will go into the deserts.''
He searched for her for many years in the deserts. Finally, he met a huge man.* He was such a huge giant that he could not be considered
human. He was carrying an immense tree.* In civilized areas such a large tree would never be found.
``Who are you?''* asked the stranger.
``I am a human being,'' he replied.
``I have been in the desert for many years now,'' said the giant in amazement. ``I never saw a human being here before.''
The viceroy told him the entire story, and said that he was looking for a golden mountain and a pearl castle.
The giant said that he was certain that no such thing existed.* He discouraged the viceroy and told him that he had been convinced by foolish tales; certainly, no such place existed.
The viceroy began to weep very bitterly.* He was certain that it must exist some place, even though this giant was discouraging him and saying that people had obviously told him foolish tales. The viceroy insisted, ``It certainly does exist!''*
The giant said to him, ``In my opinion it is mere foolishness. But since you are so stubborn,* I will do something for you. I am in charge of all the animals.* I will summon them* all together. The animals run all over the world. Perhaps one of them knows something about this mountain and castle.''
He summoned all types of animals, large and small, and asked them. They all replied that they had not seen* anything like that.
He said to the viceroy, ``See! People have told you foolish
stories! Listen to me and go home! It is certain that you will not find it! It simply does not exist!''
The viceroy continued to press him, and said, ``But it must
The giant said, ``My brother also lives here in the desert. He is in charge of all the birds. Maybe they know something. They fly high in the air, and it is possible that they have seen such a mountain and castle. Go to him and tell him that I sent you.''
The viceroy traveled many, many years, searching for him until he finally found him. He encountered another huge giant, just like the first one, and he was also carrying an immense tree.
This giant asked the same questions as his brother had, and the viceroy replied, telling him the entire story, and how his brother had sent him here. The second giant also discouraged him, saying, ``this is obviously something that does not exist.'' But the viceroy pressed his convictions to him too.
The giant said to him, ``I am in charge of all the birds.* I will summon them. Perhaps they know.''
He called all the birds, large and small, and asked every one of them. They all replied that they did not know* of any such mountain or castle.
The giant said to him, ``Don't you see that it certainly does not exist anywhere in the world? Listen to me and go home. Obviously, no such thing exists!''
The viceroy pressed him and said, ``But it certainly does exist somewhere in the world!''
The giant said to him, ``Further on in the desert, you will find my brother, who is in charge of all the winds.* They fly all over the world. Perhaps they will know.''
The viceroy traveled for many years searching, and finally he found another giant* like the first ones. This giant was also carrying a huge tree. He asked similar questions, and the viceroy answered, telling the entire story. This giant also tried to discourage him, but the viceroy pressed his case on him also.
The giant told him that he would assemble all the winds for his sake, and would ask them. He summoned them, and all the winds came. He asked them, but not one of them knew anything about the mountain or the castle.
The giant said to him, ``Don't you see that people have told you foolish tales?''
The viceroy began to weep very bitterly. ``I know for certain that it does exist!'' he said.
Just then he saw another wind come.* The giant was angry at it. ``Why did you take so long to come?'' he demanded. ``I decreed for all the winds to come! Why didn't you come with them?''
The wind replied, ``I was detained* because I had to carry a royal princess to a gold mountain and a pearl castle.''
The viceroy was very happy.
The giant asked the wind, ``What things are valuable* there?''
``Everything is valuable there,''* replied the wind.
The one in charge of the winds then said to the viceroy, ``You have been seeking the princess for such a long time, and you have expended so much effort. You may have difficulty because of a lack of money. I am therefore giving you a purse.* Whenever you put your hand into it, you will find money there.''
The giant then issued an order that this wind carry the viceroy there.
The storm wind* came and carried him to that place, bringing him right to the gate. There were soldiers there, who would not let him enter the city. But he put his hand into the purse and took some money. He was then able to bribe them and enter the city.*
The city was very beautiful.* He went to a wealthy person* and bought food from him. He would have to remain there a while, since he would have to use his intelligence* and wisdom to devise a plan to free the princess.
The Rebbe did not tell* how he freed her. But in the end he did free her.