East of the Sun and West of the Moon
PARTS (18): Narrator 1 Narrator 2 Narrator 3 Narrator 4 White Bear Husbandman
Husbandman Adelante Mother Old Woman 1 Old Woman 2 Old Woman 3
East Wind West Wind South Wind North Wind Princess Stepmother
Narrator 1: (Announcing: East of the Sun and West of the Moon.)
Once upon a time there was a poor husbandman who had many children and little to
give them in the way either of food or clothing. They were all pretty, but the
prettiest of all was the youngest daughter, Adelante, who was so beautiful that
there were no bounds to her beauty.
Narrator 2: So once -- it was late on a Thursday evening in autumn, and wild weather outside,
terribly dark, and raining so heavily and blowing so hard that the walls of the
cottage shook again -- they were all sitting together by the fireside, each of
them busy with something or other, when suddenly someone rapped three times
against the window-pane.
Narrator 3: The man went out to see what could be the matter, and when he got out there stood
a great big white bear.
White Bear: "Good-evening to you,"
Narrator 4: said the White Bear.
Narrator 1: said the man.
White Bear: "Will you give me your youngest daughter, Adelante? If you will, you shall be as
rich as you are now poor."
Narrator 2: Truly the man would have had no objection to be rich, but he thought to himself:
Husbandman: "I must first ask my daughter about this."
Narrator 3: So he went in and told them that there was a great white bear outside who had
faithfully promised to make them all rich if he might but have the youngest
Narrator 4: The Adelante said:
Narrator 1: and would not hear of it; so the man went out again, and settled with the White
Bear that he should come again next Thursday evening, and get her answer. Then
the man persuaded her, and talked so much to her about the wealth that they would
have, and what a good thing it would be for herself, that at last she made up her
mind to go. She washed and mended all her rags, made herself as smart as she
could, and held herself in readiness to set out with the White Bear. Little enough
had she to take away with her.
Narrator 2: Next Thursday evening the White Bear came to fetch her. The youngest daughter
seated herself on White Bear's back with her bundle, and thus they departed. When
they had gone a great part of the way, the White Bear said,
White Bear: "Are you afraid?"
Adelante: "No, that I am not."
Narrator 3: said she.
White Bear: "Keep tight hold of my fur, and then there is no danger,"
Narrator 3: said he.
Narrator 4: And thus she rode far, far away, until they came to a great mountain. White Bear
knocked on the mountain and a door opened, and they went into a castle where there
were many brilliantly lighted rooms which shone with gold and silver, likewise a
large hall in which there was a well-spread table, and it was so magnificent that
it would be hard to make anyone understand how splendid it was.
Narrator 1: The White Bear gave her a silver bell, and told her that when she needed anything
she had but to ring this bell, and what she wanted would appear. So after she had
eaten, and night was drawing near, she grew sleepy after her journey, and thought
she would like to go to bed.
Narrator 2: She rang the bell, and scarcely had she touched it before she found herself in a
chamber where a bed stood ready made for her, which was as pretty as anyone could
wish to sleep in. It had pillows of silk, and curtains of silk fringed with gold,
and everything that was in the room was of gold or silver, but when she had lain
down and put out the light a man came and lay down beside her, and behold it was
the White Bear, who cast off the form of a beast during the night. She never saw
him, however, for he always came after she had put out her light, and went away
before daylight appeared.
Narrator 3: So all went well and happily for a time, but then she began to be very sad and
sorrowful, for all day long she had to go about alone; and she did so wish to go
home to her father and mother and brothers and sisters. Then the White Bear asked
White Bear: "What is it was that you want? What would make you happy?"
Adelante: "It is so dull here in the mountain, and I have to go about all alone. In my
parents' house at home there were all my brothers and sisters, and I'm sad because
I cannot go to them."
White Bear: "There might be a cure for that, if you would but promise me never to talk with
your mother alone, but only when the others are there too; for she will take hold
of your hand and will want to lead you into a room to talk with you alone; but that
you must by no means do, or you will bring great misery on both of us."
Narrator 4: So one Sunday the White Bear came and said that they could now set out to see her
father and mother, and they journeyed thither, she sitting on his back, and they
went a long, long way, and it took a long, long time; but at last they came to a
large white farmhouse, and her brothers and sisters were running about outside it,
playing, and it was so pretty that it was a pleasure to look at it.
White Bear: "Your parents dwell here now, but do not forget what I said to you, or you will do
much harm both to yourself and me."
Adelante: "No, indeed, I shall never forget."
Narrator 1: and as soon as she was at home the White Bear turned round and went back again.
Narrator 2: There were such rejoicings when she went in to her parents that it seemed as if
they would never come to an end. Everyone thought that he could never be
sufficiently grateful to her for all she had done for them all. Now they had
everything that they wanted, and everything was as good as it could be. They all
asked her how she was getting on where she was.
Adelante: "All is all well with me."
Narrator 3: she said.
Adelante: "And I have everything that I could want."
Narrator 4: What other answers she gave I cannot say, but I am pretty sure that they did not
learn much from her. But in the afternoon, after they had dined at midday, all
happened just as the White Bear had said. Her mother wanted to talk with her alone
in her own chamber. But she remembered what the White Bear had said, and would on
no account go.
Adelante: "What we have to say can be said at any time."
Narrator 1: But somehow or other her mother at last persuaded her, and she was forced to tell
the whole story. So she told how every night a man came and lay down beside her
when the lights were all put out, and how she never saw him, because he always
went away before it grew light in the morning, and how she continually went about
in sadness, thinking how happy she would be if she could but see him, and how all
day long she had to go about alone, and it was so dull and solitary.
Narrator 2: cried the mother, in horror,
Mother: "You are very likely sleeping with a troll! But I will teach you a way to see him.
You shall have a bit of one of my candles, which you can take away with you hidden
in your breast. Look at him with that when he is asleep, but take care not to let
any tallow drop upon him."
Narrator 3: So she took the candle, and hid it in her breast, and when evening drew near the
White Bear came to fetch her away. When they had gone some distance on their way,
the White Bear asked her if everything had not happened just as he had foretold,
and she could not but own that it had.
White Bear: "Then, if you have done what your mother wished,"
Narrator 4: said he,
White Bear: "you have brought great misery on both of us."
Narrator 1: Quietly, she said,
Adelante: "No, I have not done anything at all."
Narrator 2: So when she had reached home and had gone to bed it was just the same as it had
been before, and a man came and lay down beside her, and late at night, when she
could hear that he was sleeping, she got up and kindled a light, lit her candle,
let her light shine on him, and saw him, and he was the handsomest prince that
eyes had ever beheld, and she loved him so much that it seemed to her that she
must die if she did not kiss him that very moment.
Narrator 3: So she did kiss him; but while she was doing it she let three drops of hot tallow
fall upon his shirt, and he awoke.
White Bear: "What have you done now?"
Narrator 4: The man said;
White Bear: "You have brought misery on both of us. If you had but held out for the space of one
year I should have been free. I have a step-mother who has bewitched me so that I
am a white bear by day and a man by night; but now all is at an end between you and
me, and I must leave you, and go to her. She lives in a castle which lies east of
the sun and west of the moon, and there too is a princess with a nose which is
three ells long, and she now is the one whom I must marry."
Narrator 1: Adelante wept and lamented, but all in vain, for go he must. Then she asked him
if she could not go with him. But White Bear said
White Bear: "No, that can not be."
Adelante: "Can you tell me the way then, and I will seek you -- that I may surely be allowed
Narrator 2: Pleaded Adelante.
White Bear: "Yes, you may do that,"
Narrator 3: said White Bear, and he continued,
White Bear: "but there is no way thither. It lies east of the sun and west of the moon, and
never would you find your way there."
Narrator 4: When she awoke in the morning both the Prince and the castle were gone, and she was
lying on a small green patch in the midst of a dark, thick wood. By her side lay
the self-same bundle of rags which she had brought with her from her own home. So
when she had rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, and wept till she was weary, she set
out on her way, and thus she walked for many and many a long day, until at last she
came to a great mountain.
Narrator 1: Outside it an aged woman was sitting, playing with a golden apple. Adelante asked
her if she knew the way to the Prince who lived with his stepmother in the castle
which lay east of the sun and west of the moon, and who was to marry a princess
with a nose which was three ells long.
Old Woman: "How do you happen to know about him?"
Narrator 2: inquired the old woman;
Old Woman: "Maybe you are she who ought to have had him."
Adelante: "Yes, indeed, I am."
Narrator 3: Adelante said, unhappily.
Old Woman: "So it is you, then?"
Narrator 4: the old woman guessed, and then she went on
Old Woman 1: "I know nothing about him but that he dwells in a castle which is east of the sun
and west of the moon. You will be a long time in getting to it, if ever you get to
it at all; but you shall have the loan of my horse, and then you can ride on it to
an old woman who is a neighbor of mine; perhaps she can tell you about him. When
you have got there you must just strike the horse beneath the left ear and bid it
go home again; but you may take the golden apple with you."
Narrator 1: So Adelante seated herself on the horse, and rode for a long, long way, and at last
she came to the mountain, where an aged woman was sitting outside with a gold
carding- comb. The girl asked her if she knew the way to the castle which lay east
of the sun and west of the moon; but she said what the first old woman had said:
Old Woman 2: "I know nothing about it, but that it is east of the sun and west of the moon, and
that you will be a long time in getting to it, if ever you get there at all; but
you shall have the loan of my horse to an old woman who lives the nearest to me;
perhaps she may know where the castle is, and when you have got to her you may
just strike the horse beneath the left ear and bid it go home again."
Narrator 3: Then the old woman gave her the gold carding-comb, for it might, perhaps, be of
use to her, she said.
Narrator 4: So Adelante seated herself on the horse, and rode a wearisome long way onward
again, and after a very long time she came to a great mountain, where an aged
woman was sitting, spinning at a golden spinning-wheel. Of this woman, too, she
inquired if she knew the way to the Prince, and where to find the castle which
lay east of the sun and west of the moon. But it was only the same thing once
Old Woman 3: "Maybe it was you who should have had the Prince,"
Narrator 1: said the old woman, and Adelante said
Adelante: "Yes, indeed, I should have been the one."
Narrator 2: But this old crone knew the way no better than the others -- it was east of the
sun and west of the moon, she knew that, but the old woman continued,
Old Woman 3: "and you will be a long time in getting to it, if ever you get to it at all, but
you may have the loan of my horse, and I think you had better ride to the East
Wind, and ask him. Perhaps he may know where the castle is, and will blow you
thither. But when you have got to him you must just strike the horse beneath the
left ear, and he will come home again."
Narrator 3: And then she gave Adelante the golden spinning-wheel, saying:
Old Woman 3: "Perhaps you may find that you have a use for it."
Narrator 4: Adelante had to ride for a great many days, and for a long and wearisome time,
before she got there; but at last she did arrive, and then she asked of the East
Adelante: "Could you tell me the way to the Prince who dwells east of the sun and west of
East Wind: "Well,"
Narrator 1: said the East Wind,
East Wind: "I have heard tell of the Prince, and of his castle, but I do not know the way to
it, for I have never blown so far; but, if you like, I will go with you to my
brother the West Wind: he may know that, for he is much stronger than I am. You
may sit on my back, and then I can carry you there."
Narrator 2: So Adelante seated herself on his back, and they did go so swiftly! When they got
there, the East Wind went in and said to the West Wind,
East Wind: "The girl whom I have brought is the one who ought to have the Prince up at the
castle which lies east of the sun and west of the moon, and now she is traveling
about to find him again, so I have come here with her, and would like to hear if
the you know where about the castle is."
Narrator 3: To this, the West Wind responded,
West Wind: "No, so far as that have I never blown; but if you like I will go with you to the
South Wind, for he is much stronger than either of us, and he has roamed far and
wide, and perhaps he can tell you what you want to know. You may seat yourself on
my back, and then I will carry you to him.".
Narrator 4: So she did this, and journeyed to the South Wind, neither was she very long on the
way. When they had got there, the West Wind asked the South Wind if he could tell
her the way to the castle that lay east of the sun and west of the moon, for she
was the girl who ought to marry the Prince who lived there.
South Wind: "Oh, indeed! Is that she?
Narrator 1: Said the South Wind.
South Wind: Well, I have wandered about a great deal in my time, and in all kinds of places,
but I have never blown so far as that. If you like, however, I will go with you to
my brother, the North Wind; he is the oldest and strongest of all of us, and if he
does not know where it is no one in the whole world will be able to tell you. You
may sit upon my back, and then I will carry you there."
Narrator 2: Adelante seated herself on his back, and off he went from his house in great haste,
and they were not long on the way. When they came near the North Wind's dwelling,
he was so wild and frantic that they felt cold gusts a long while before they got
North Wind: "What do you want?"
Narrator 3: the North Wind roared out from afar, and they froze as they heard his voice. Said
the South Wind:
South Wind: "It is I, and this is she who should have had the Prince who lives in the castle
which lies east of the sun and west of the moon. And now she wishes to ask you if
you have ever been there, and can tell her the way, for she would gladly find him
North Wind: "Yes,"
Narrator 4: said the North Wind,
North Wind: "I know where it is. I once blew an aspen leaf there, but I was so tired that for
many days afterward I was not able to blow at all. However, if you really are
anxious to go there, and are not afraid to go with me, I will take you on my back,
and try as hard as I can to blow you there."
Adelante: "Get there I must,"
Narrator 1: said she to the North Wind.
Adelante: "and if there is any way of going I will; and I have no fear, no matter how fast
North Wind: "Very well then, but you must sleep here to-night, for if we are ever to get there
we must have the whole day before us."
Narrator 2: said the North Wind. He woke her early next morning, and puffed himself up, and
made himself so big and so strong that it was frightful to see him, and away they
went, high up through the air, as if they would not stop until they had reached the
very end of the world. Down below there was such a storm! It blew down woods and
houses, and when they were above the sea the ships were wrecked by hundreds.
Narrator 3: And thus they tore on and on, and a long time went by, and then yet more time
passed, and still they were above the sea, and the North Wind grew tired, and more
tired, and at last so utterly weary that he was scarcely able to blow any longer,
and he sank and sank, lower and lower, until at last he went so low that the waves
dashed against the heels of the poor girl he was carrying. To the girl he said,
North Wind: "Art thou afraid?"
Adelante: "I have no fear,"
Narrator 4: said she; and it was true. But they were not very, very far from land, and there
was just enough strength left in the North Wind to enable him to throw her on to
the shore, immediately under the windows of a castle which lay east of the sun and
west of the moon; but then he was so weary and worn out that he was forced to rest
for several days before he could go to his own home again.
Narrator 1: Next morning she sat down beneath the walls of the castle to play with the golden
apple, and the first person she saw was the maiden with the long nose, who was to
have the Prince, and who said to her after opening a window,
Princess : "How much do you want for that gold apple of yours, girl?"
Adelante: "It can't be bought either for gold or money."
Narrator 2: Said the girl, and the long nosed princess asked her,
Long Nose: "If it cannot be bought either for gold or money, what will buy it? You may say
what you please."
Adelante: "Well, if I may go to the Prince who is here, and be with him to-night, you shall
Narrator 3: said the girl who had come with the North Wind.
Princess: "You may do that,"
Narrator 4: said the Princess, for she had made up her mind what she would do.
Narrator 1: So the Princess got the golden apple, but when the girl went up to the Prince's
apartment that night he was asleep, for the Princess had so contrived it. The
poor girl called to him, and shook him, and between whiles she wept; but she
could not wake him. In the morning, as soon as day dawned, in came the Princess
with the long nose, and drove her out again.
Narrator 2: In the daytime she sat down once more beneath the windows of the castle, and began
to card with her golden carding-comb; and then all happened as it had happened
before. The Princess asked her what she wanted for it, and she replied that it was
not for sale, either for gold or money, but that if she could get leave to go to
the Prince, and be with him during the night, the Princess should have it.
Narrator 3: But when she went up to the Prince's room he was again asleep, and, let her call
him, or shake him, or weep as she would, he still slept on, and she could not put
any life in him. When daylight came in the morning, the Princess with the long
nose came too, and once more drove her away.
Narrator 4: When day had quite come, Adelante seated herself under the castle windows, to spin
with her golden spinning-wheel, and the Princess with the long nose wanted to have
that also. So she opened the window, and asked what she would take for it. The
girl said what she had said on each of the former occasions -- that it was not for
sale either for gold or for money, but if she could get leave to go to the Prince
who lived there, and be with him during the night, she should have it.
Narrator 1: said the Princess,
Princess: "I will gladly consent to that."
Narrator 2: But in that place there were some peasant folk who had been carried off, and
they had been sitting in the chamber which was next to that of the Prince, and had
heard how a woman had been in there who had wept and called on him two nights
running, and they told the Prince of this. So that evening, when the Princess came
once more with her sleeping-drink, he pretended to drink, but threw it away behind
him, for he suspected that it was a sleeping-drink.
Narrator 3: So, when Adelante went into the Prince's room this time he was awake, and she had
to tell him how she had come there. And he said to her,
Prince: "You have come just in time, for I should have been married to-morrow; but I will
not have the long-nosed Princess, and you alone can save me. I will say that I
want to see what my bride can do, and bid her wash the shirt which has the three
drops of tallow on it. This she will consent to do, for she does not know that it
is you who let them fall on it; but no one can wash them out but one born of
peasant folk: it cannot be done by one of a pack of trolls; and then I will say
that no one shall ever be my bride but the woman who can do this, and I know that
Narrator 4: There was great joy and gladness between them all that night, but the next day,
when the wedding was to take place, the Prince said,
Prince: "I must see what my bride can do."
Stepmother: "That you may do,"
Narrator 1: said the stepmother.
Prince: "I have a fine shirt which I want to wear as my wedding shirt, but three drops of
tallow have got upon it which I want to have washed off, and I have vowed to marry
no one but the woman who is able to do it. If she cannot do that, she is not worth
Narrator 2: Well, that was a very small matter, they thought, and agreed to do it. The
Princess with the long nose began to wash as well as she could, but, the more she
washed and rubbed, the larger the spots grew.
Stepmother: "Ah! you can't wash at all,"
Narrator 3: said the old troll-hag, who was her mother.
Stepmother: "Give it to me."
Narrator 4: But she too had not had the shirt very long in her hands before it looked worse
still, and, the more she washed it and rubbed it, the larger and blacker grew the
Narrator 1: So the other trolls had to come and wash, but, the more they did, the blacker and
uglier grew the shirt, until at length it was as black as if it had been up the
Narrator 2: cried the Prince,
Prince: "not one of you is good for anything at all! There is a beggar-girl sitting outside
the window, and I'll be bound that she can wash better than any of you! Come in,
you girl there!"
Narrator 3: cried the prince. And so Adelante came in.
Prince: "Can you wash this shirt clean?"
Narrator 4: the prince asked of her, with a twinkle in his eye that only she could see.
Adelante: "Oh! I do not know,"
Narrator 1: she said.
Adelante: "but I will try."
Narrator 2: And no sooner had she taken the shirt and dipped it in the water than it was white
as driven snow, and even whiter than that.
Prince: "I will marry you."
Narrator 3: said the prince, as he took the shirt from her.
Narrator 4: Then the old troll-hag flew into such a rage that she burst, and the Princess with
the long nose and all the little trolls must have burst too, for they have never
been heard of since.
Narrator 1: The Prince and his bride set free all the peasant folk who were imprisoned there,
and took away with them all the gold and silver that they could carry, and moved
far away from the castle which lay east of the sun and west of the moon.
Scripted by Richard Swallow
Vocabulary: bounds smart thither dwell Rejoicing solitary
Troll Tallow ell lamented in Vain crone
wearisome haste aspen utterly peasant spinning-wheel