I. The Kingdom and the Three Maidens
Once upon a time there was a king who reigned over all the earth. He was a good king and his people were very happy. He also had a beloved son who was just as loving and righteous as his father. The son had twelve noble knights who were always at his side.
In the kingdom there was an evil wizard who hated the king. He tricked people into disliking the good king, and finally he terrified and tricked enough people to start a civil war. The wizard wanted to be king and make the people give him all they had.
When the king heard about this, he sent his own son, the twelve knights and his army out to meet and conquer the wizard. This they did, and the king's son killed the wizard so that he could do no more harm. The knights fought bravely with him because they loved the king and his son. When they all returned, the king gave his son rulership over the earth, and the son gave the knights rulership over twelve kingdoms, as if they were his brothers, and made them princes. The king was very happy about this.
In the kingdom where one of the handsome princes ruled, there were three beautiful girls. They were as loving and righteous as they were pretty. They lived on three neighbouring farms. They worked hard and helped their parents, and when they had finished work, they were always together.
The first girl was called Mikaela. Her hair was as fair as sunshine, and her voice was as lovely as a summer's day as she sang lovely songs about the king. The second was called Nichole, and her hair was as black as night. She danced as gracefully as a butterfly on a summer's day to express her gratitude to the king. The third was called Leah and her hair was flaming red. She played the flute, and produced music that made all the creatures stop and listen because it was so beautiful.
Whenever the three girls were together they would sing, play and dance out of love for their king because they knew he was the best king ever. This was their greatest joy and all the people and animals that knew the girls loved them.
One day Mikaela was washing clothes in the river near the road. She was singing a song. The prince rode by on his horse and heard the wonderful tunes that spoke so gracefully of the king. He turned and saw the most beautiful young woman he had ever beheld, and fell in love at once. One month later the happy couple were married, and Mikaela was made his princess.
But even if Mikaela was very much in love with her prince, she missed Nichole and Leah. They missed her to. Whenever they played and danced, there was no-one to sing the words, and that made them sad. Nichole kept on telling Leah how she missed Mikaela, and at first Leah missed her too, but then she began to wonder if Nichole only loved Mikaela and not her.
One grey morning Leah went disheartened into the forest, playing a sad song, then the song grew angry as she thought of how Nichole only loved Mikaela when she should have liked her, Leah, the most. "Well", she thought, "I will manage alone, and then Nichole will not have anyone to make music for her to dance to."
As she went further and further into the woods she got angrier and angrier, then all of a sudden she stumbled into a green giant called Jealous. Leah had heard of him and knew that he had been on the evil wizard's side during the civil war. He grabbed her and locked her in his prison.
At the castle Mikaela was feeling sick because she missed her two friends so much. They had been like sisters to her. The prince excitedly came into her room. He had found the book of laws written by the king. It said that a man may have more than one wife. This startled Mikaela because she had always thought that wasn't allowed, and no-one she knew had more than one wife. The prince went to an old man who had always guided him and was like a father to him. He asked him why no-one had more than one wife anymore. The old man told him how the evil wizard had tricked the people into believing it was bad and old fashioned. Nobody had dared talk about it since because they didn't want to be different.
When the Prince and Mikaela heard this they were sorry for all who had been hurt because the wizard had tricked them. But now they were happy about the things they had read in the book of laws and did not have to believe in the wizard's lie any longer. They hurried of to fetch Nichole and Leah.
When they got there they saw Nichole sitting and crying alone. She told them that she couldn't find Leah. The Prince asked the king and his son for help, and they came. Soon they found the giant Jealous outside his house. They captured him and released Leah. She was no longer angry, only happy to see her two friends.
The three friends were all happily married to the prince. The wedding lasted for seven days, and the king was there with his son. And they all played, sang and danced, to give thanks that Leah had been rescued. The prince was also happy to be with the king's son again and gave him, and his father, the best of all he had. When they left for their own castle, they knew that they would all meet again. The prince and his wives lived happily ever after.
II. The Man from St.Ives with Seven Wives
Tradititional English Nursery Rhyme
As I was going to St.Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks and wives,
How many were going to St.Ives?