… Several days passed after that and still both the king’s sons did not returned home.
By this time, the whole palace was brimming with anxiety over the disappearance of the two princes.
And so it fell upon the youngest brother to seek the missing princes and to find out what had befallen them.
The young Prince had no sooner left the city walls when he encountered the same rabbit. He went at once after the rabbit. But when the rabbit fled into the cave, the young Prince did not follow. He turned around and proceeded to continue with the search for his brothers.
After many fruitless hours spent in the woods, the young Prince found himself near the vicinity of the cave again.
This time, the Prince entered the cave. To his surprise, he found an Old Woman cleaning the cave.
The Prince greeted the Old Woman politely and the Old Woman replied in kind.
He then asked the Old Woman if she had notice a rabbit entering the cave.
The Old Woman answered sadly that she did and informed him that it was not an ordinary rabbit but a dragon in its true form. She told him that the Dragon often transformed itself into a rabbit to lure people into his cave.
Many had fallen to the Dragon’s clutches in this very same way and so she mournfully advised the young Prince to be on his way.
The Prince explained that he was looking for his brothers and that he would not leave without knowing what had befallen to his brethren.
Observing the Old Woman’s bleak countenance, he surmised aloud that she was held against her will to serve the Dragon.
The Old Woman acknowledged woefully that she was indeed taken at an early age from her family to serve the Dragon and had been enslaved to serve the Dragon ever since.
The Prince persuasively told the Old Woman that they could defeat the dragon but only if she would help him. The plan of how to destroy the Dragon would include ferreting out the information of where the Dragon would be most vulnerable, that is, the location where it hid its strength.
When the Dragon had entrusted its great secret with her, the Old Woman was to show her elation by embracing the very spot and kiss it. The Prince said that he will return to find out what happened and thereafter he took his leave.
Long, long ago, there lived a ruler in the (not so 😉 ) faraway kingdom of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
As a strong and wise ruler, he had everything that any man could ever want in his life, everything that is except for a child.
So one day, this king decided to adopt a child. However, he did not want just any child. Being a wise ruler, he wanted to adopt the most honest child he could find in the land.
There upon, he asked for all the children in the land to be brought before him. And to each child, he gave a seed. He told them that only the child who honestly worked hard at planting the given seed and grew the most beautiful flower will be adopted as his ward.
Many children in the land became very busy planting and soon buds began to appear in their flower pots. All except for one tiny child, who started crying because he could not see anything grow from his flower pot.
This child had been working very hard planting and watering the seed but nothing grew in his pot.
His mother wiped his tears gently away and told him to try again by putting it into another bigger pot. He tried again and again but to no avail.
Soon the king summoned all the children to bring their plants before him. All the children proudly showed him their beautiful and splendid flowers. All save the little boy, who was now sobbing very hard.
The king asked the boy why he was crying. The little boy trembled in fear, thinking he had failed in his task. He told the king fearfully that he had tried many times. He had also replanted the seed in different pots but it still wouldn’t grow.
Smiling and holding the tiny hand of the little boy, the king led him gently to the front of the waiting crowd. He announced to them that this would be the chosen child. Everyone gasped in surprise and wondered.
The king explained that all the seeds given were cooked seeds and therefore could not have grown into plants and bear flowers. Thus, he had chosen the little boy as the child he wanted to adopt.
All in the land wondered and rejoiced for having such a wise ruler. As for the little boy…. . Well, he grew up to be another wise and strong ruler. Perhaps another story then…..
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. – Dwight D Eisenhower
Ps- This story was passed down from generations to generations since 13th century and was recently written in the local language. Hope you enjoy my translation of this old tale. Wishing all a great week ahead. 🙂