The Girl In The Jungle
Once upon a time there lived a king. He was very rich. He was very proud of his achievements and riches. He had three beautiful daughters. He was so blind with pride that he would tell his courtroom that once he announced the marriage of his daughters, kings and princes from neighbouring kingdoms would line up for his daughters’ hand outside his court.The king was also vain.
Every morning, he would ask his queen, “Dear who is the most powerful man in this world”. And his queen would reply “You, my lord”. The king would feel happy and his chest would swell with pride. He would then go and meet his daughters and ask each the same question. Their reply was the same too. This was the routine for several years until one day the king asked eldest daughter, “Dear whose destiny is most important for you?’ And the eldest daughter replied, “Your destiny is my destiny, father”.
He was very happy and praised her wisdom. He asked his second daughter the same question and she had the same answer. Finally the king approached his third and youngest daughter.
He asked: “Dear whose destiny is most important for you?” She paused and said, “It is mine father?” Astonished and angered by her answer, the king threw a fit. “What is your destiny girl?” People know you as my daughter.
And a prince will marry you because you are my daughter. Without me you are nobody.”
He asked her again: “Tell me whose destiny is important for you?” The youngest princess humbly replied, “But father, I can live my destiny and not yours. It is the most important”.Furious, the king banished her from the palace.
He announced, “Let me see what your destiny brings for you without me. From today you will not live in this palace. You will not wear fine garments or ornaments nor eat the delicious food cooked by the palace chef. I am sending you into the jungle where your destiny awaits you ”.Shocked by the king’s decree, the queen pleaded for forgiveness for her daughter. But the adamant king would not change his mind. He ordered his guards to take the girl away.
In the jungle the princess was given a small hut to live, but there was nothing else. She had to fend for herself. This did not worry the princess for she was hard working. She would gather wood from jungle to keep herself warm and safe. Every day she went out to bring home wild fruits and fetch water. She kept her house clean and eventually planted some trees outside her home.
Several months later, the king announced the marriage of his two daughters. Kings and princes from neighbouring kingdoms sought their hand. One day a young and brave prince who was on his way to make his claim for one of the princesses lost his way in the jungle. He was thirsty when he came upon a tiny hut in the middle of the jungle. Who lives in this thick forest, he wondered. And who keeps this house so neat and tidy? He saw a beautiful young girl working in her garden and asked her for water.
The girl brought him fresh water and offered some delicious fruits from her garden. The prince was impressed. He thanked her and left for the palace.At the palace the king welcomed him with great pomp and honour. Since he was the most eligible among all princes, the king introduced him to his two daughters. Pampered and spoilt by their father, the girls behaved badly with the prince. The prince could not help but compare them with the gentle and hard working girl he had met in the forest. When it was time to leave he went up to the king who asked him to choose between his two daughters.
But the prince said he wanted to marry neither. “I have decided that I will marry the girl who lives in the jungle”’ he said. The king knew who he was talking about. He then confessed that the girl in the jungle was his daughter and narrated the whole story. Thus the youngest princess was brought back to palace and married to the prince amidst great celebrations.