The Turtle Prince
Dear Children, Once there lived an Old woman who worked in a Kingdom as a maid. She would do the cleaning and washing that a maid has to do in the palace. She would work all day for some bread for her to take home from the palace. But sadly she was childless so she had to eat all alone by herself before the kerosene lamp and she was unhappy because of that.
Now One day on an evening as she was off to the home from the palace through the forest, crossing the river, she found a Turtle that she never had seen, the Turtle was so cute with its golden peacock shell that it cuddled in her arms; she felt for the Turtle that she adopted him as her own son. So she taught, fed, bathed him And the Turtle grew day by day but the old woman was unaware that her Turtle’ boy was no ordinary Turtle but The Prince of Great Rivers, inside the shell which the turtle was aware of...so as his shell grew the handsome prince grew too....this matter was unknown to the poor old woman.
Now The Time came for The King’s and the Queen’s Only Daughter to get married, who was the youngest among the their sons and the most beautiful woman in the whole Kingdom; so the King fixed the marriage ceremony for his only beautiful Daughter, so that the Great Princes from all countries were selected for his Daughter to select a perfect bridegroom for herself. Now as an old woman as the maid in the palace she had to come too for the preparation of the feast, along with her Turtle’ boy, whom she couldn't leave alone. The poor Turtle went among the people in the ceremony and he was being called as the ‘old lady’s Turtle son’.
At last at the 'Mandabham' or the ‘The Wedding Square’ the King’s and the Queen’s beautiful Daughter stood with the Garland in her hands; the Turtle seeing her fell in love that as soon as she was about to put the garland over her future prince whom she choose the Turtle within the blink of the eyes of the people jumped before the King’s Daughter that the Garland in her hands fell upon the turtle’s head and the Turtle took the place of the bridegroom…. Seeing whom she had worn the Garland to, the King, Queen, others and the people was shocked and she was hopeless, she has married a ‘Turtle’; the people now started murmuring that their Princess had married a Turtle who is the son of their palace maid. The King became angry that he commanded his Daughter to leave the palace with her Turtle as her husband; with lots of tears she bid farewell to her family members and went with her husband the Turtle. Now the old woman was happy to have a beautiful Daughter-in-law, but she was afraid that her daughter-in-law would kill her son because he was a Turtle. The Turtle loved her so much that her heart soon healed of the fact that she had married a Turtle,; which made her to love him back.
After a few months the princess wished to see her parents and others in the palace with her husband, she got the permission of her husband, the Turtle, but since his mother, the old woman was afraid that it was one of her tricks to kill her son didn’t allow her to leave her son with her so the Turtle made his mother’s mind change allowing them to leave for the Palace and unhappily she allowed.
As soon as the elder sister-in-laws of the princess saw her coming with her husband the Turtle crawling they made fun of her shouting out, “Here comes the girl who married the Turtle”;hearing their shouts the King and the Queen came out to see. The Queen was happy with tears but the King furious; her brothers who came out went away mindlessly as strangers. The Princess but fell into the arms of her mother and pleaded that she wish to stay with them for few days which made the Queen happy but the King didn’t allow so because of the Queen’s words instead he showed them an ash stable outside the palace court and gave her a broomstick. The poor couples went to stay in ash stable where she cleaned it with the given broomstick and arranged a corner for cooking. Her in-laws were so proud about themselves that they made fun of her and her husband who a princess married a dump turtle, while they posed about their handsome husbands and their talents, the Princess but never cared of them instead loved her loving Turtle husband. But the only thing that the Turtle made her mind puzzled was that the advice of bringing water and turkey before his bath and leave him alone for his bath…? She was confused that how could he bath alone? So One day she made everything ready for him to take bath and hid. She saw her husband crawling and coming to bath and look!!! Before her eyes what she saw was unbelievable, coming out from the shell she saw was a Very Handsome Young Prince, in the form from the Turtle. She had never seen before in her entire life a man like an angel. She left the hiding place unbelievingly saying without a word. And after he had finished bathing he turned around to return to his shell to take his old form and coming to know that she immediately rushed and took a stone broke into the room and broke the shell.so that he may not return to the old form of the Turtle. Coming to know that his wife came to know about his original form and that she was happy and accepted him, he stayed the way he was but stayed out of the sight from others, and collected the broken pieces of his beautiful shell in a cloth so that his poor mother may recognize and accept him.
Now the enemy’s of the other country was invading the area of the King’s Kingdom one by one by hosting their flags in those as their signs of invasion. So the King’s sons go everyday to attack them but they come back each day defeated, hence making the enemy easier to host their flag. Then at last now it came down that, that the area left to conquer was the King’s side, this was tragic so the King again decided to send his sons, this time they were given best horses and chariots even best swords of the King’s. Now the Princess and the Prince who was the Turtle boy came to know about all this and they wanted to help the people and since the Prince has become now a real Prince boy out from the Turtle skin, so she came before them saying if they allowed her husband too to go along with her brothers to the battlefield, the members of the family laughed at her joke commenting:”What can a mere TURTLEBOY do in a battle, get himself smashed to death!!??”But she smiled back and called him in, they were all astonished and puzzled, the in-laws were too astonished and defeated in their words they spoke about her, he was handsome more than their husbands. She had to tell it was none other than the “Prince of Great Rivers” as the ‘Turtle boy’.
Since the Kingdom was in a critical situation he allowed the Prince to battle along with his sons. So for that his sons gave him a dwarf horse that had a short leg and a sword that was to not sharp enough, and they made fun of him saying how will a Prince inside the Turtle shell knows the skills to fight. But the boy smiled back because of their lack of knowledge and wisdom and set off along with brother-in-laws to the battlefield.
On the horn of the trumpet the River Prince attacked one by one with his strength from onside onwards. While his brother-in-laws were slow but the river Prince found time to take a feather and write down on his thighs of his leg the enemies he encountered and as his brother-in-laws saw it was going to be a victory they one by one returned back to the King and their wives reporting their victory leaving him the River Prince to fight alone till nightfall. When defeated everyone the Prince left for the Palace where the King was enjoying their victory feast while his wife the Princess was waiting for him knowing it was because of him that they were victorious. As the King saw the Prince entering he got up and came towards him and was happy to see him alive but was everything was puzzled, so in front of all the Prince showed the writings on his thighs where he had written the names of all enemies encountered in the battle and he clearly revealed that he was from the Very Great Kingdom in the middle of the Sea far away where the great rivers would come and meet, now the King and others realized that they had been hard with the real Prince and Princess, they all asked for their forgiveness and gave them a Grand Royal Treat in the Palace from then.
Now it was time that the Prince wanted to meet his mother and take with him. While the poor old woman was unaware about all these events taking place and was weeping for her poor Turtle-boy whom she thought was killed by her Daughter-in-law, the Princess, and she was afraid to go and ask in the Palace thinking she would be a prisoner if she spoke against the Princess. Now the Prince and the Princess within no matter of time arrived at the old lady’s home and found her weeping, when the lady saw her Daughter-in-law with a handsome young man she began to cry out that her Daughter-in-law has killed her poor son for another handsome man and it was difficult for the Princess to convince her mother-in-law that it was not true. Then the Son the took the cloth that he had to show to his mother the broken pieces of his beautiful Turtle shell, that’s when the poor old lady realized it was none other than but truly her own son she was so proud of him after hearing what had happened and now truly loved her Daughter-in-law for being a loyal wife. And at last, the Prince took his wife and mother to The Very Great Kingdom in the middle of the Sea far away where the great rivers would come and meet there they all lived happily ever after……..