Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

The Blue Mountains (fairy tale)

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The Blue Mountains is a fairy tale. Andrew Lang included it in The Yellow Fairy Book (1894), but provided no bibliographical information and its origin remains obscure.


A Scotsman, an Englishman and an Irishman all ran away from the army together. After several days, the Scotsman saw a castle, went to it without speaking to the others, and met a lady. At his request, she gave him a meal and a bed to sleep. And then the same thing happened to the Englishman.

The Irishman saw the same castle and went to it, but when the lady gave him food, he stared about the castle and did not eat. When she asked, he said he could not eat without knowing who she was or where she came from, or how she came there. She told him she was an enchanted princess, and if a man stayed in a little room from ten until midnight for three nights running, she would be freed. Every night creatures came into the room and beat him, but the princess had a bottle that cured him every morning.

She went off and told him she would back in a coach and six. A little lad came, and when he went to wait for the princess, the lad stuck a pin in his coat, putting him to sleep. When the princess came, the lad told her he was asleep. The princess said she would come once more, and then he would not see her again. The Irishman resolved to keep awake, but the boy stuck the pin in his coat again, and the princess left, leaving him a sword.

He woke up the other men in the castle and gave them silver and plate to carry away and set out in search of her. Three years later, he pulled out the sword in order to kill himself and found written on it, You will find me in the Blue Mountains. He set out in search of the Blue Mountains and found an old man who had not seen anyone in three hundred years. The old man, that night, looked through his book, which contained the history of the world, but found nothing of where the Blue Mountains were. He blew a magical whistle, which let the Irishman travel to his brother's, nine hundred miles away, in a day. This brother summoned all the birds to consult them. Last of all, an eagle came; it had come from the Blue Mountains. The eagle said that the daughter of the king of the Blue Mountains was about to marry, because she had agreed with her father that if the man who had saved her had not arrived in that time, she would marry.

The eagle said if they killed sixty cattle and the Irishman would throw quarter of one into its mouth every time it turned its head, it could carry him. So he and the old man hunted, and it flew off with him and the meat, but near the castle, the meat ran out, and the eagle threw him off. He landed in the bay and was able to get ashore. He gave a guinea to the king's henwife to bring the princess to him. She recognized the Irishman and married him instead of her new bridegroom.


The Blue Mountains (fairy tale) Wikipedia