The Lake Princesses

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Story File


Initiative and proactivity

Main Lesson

You don’t achieve things by waiting for them to happen, but by actively working to bring about everything that would help these things to happen.


An island in a lake


Two princesses and a monster

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The Lake Princesses

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Moral stories for kids

A short story about clever strategy to liberate oneself

Once upon a time there were two beautiful Princesses whom, when still young, had been kidnapped by a hostile King. The King arranged to have them taken to a forgotten lake where they were abandoned on a small island. Here they were to remain for ever, guarded by a terrifying lake monster.

Only when the wicked King and his court of wizards and fortune-tellers had been overthrown did it become known that a brave Prince was destined to liberate the Princesses from their captivity.

When the wind carried this news to the island, it filled the Princesses' lives with hope. The youngest, who was much sweeter and more beautiful than her sister, patiently waited for her love, making small decorations from flowers and clay, and singing love songs. The older Princess, however, didn’t enjoy having to wait.

-“I’ll have to do something to help the Prince rescue me. At least so he knows where I am, or he knows what the lake monster’s like.”

Determined to help the Prince, she set to work, making signal fires, building towers, digging tunnels and a thousand other things. However, the terrible lake monster always did his best to scupper her plans.

As time went on, the older sister felt increasingly uncomfortable. She knew the Prince would choose the younger sister, so she felt there wasn't much sense in keeping waiting. From that point on, she concentrated on trying to escape from the island and the lake monster, not worrying any more about the Prince or whether he would rescue them.

Every morning she would prepare a different escape plan, but the monster would always manage to ruin it. The escape attempts went on day after day, and always ended with the monster capturing her. They became like a game of cat and mouse between the Princess and her guard. Each escape attempt was more original and ingenious than its predecessor, and each form of discovery was ever more subtle and surprising. They put so much effort and imagination into their plans that at the end of each day the Princess and the monster would spend hours chatting like friends, about how they had each prepared their strategy. And when the moon came out they would say farewell, until tomorrow, and the monster would dive back down to the watery depths.

One day, the monster bid farewell to the Princess like this:

-“Tomorrow I will allow you to go. You are a clever and brave young girl. You don't deserve to remain imprisoned like this."

But the following morning the Princess didn’t try to escape. She sat by the water, waiting until the monster appeared.

-“Why haven’t you gone?”

asked the monster.

-“I didn’t want to leave you here all alone. It’s true that you’re scary, and you’re enormous, but you too are clever, and you deserve something better than just guarding Princesses. Why don’t you come with me?”

-“I can’t,

answered the monster, sadly

-“I can’t leave the island, I’m attached to it by a long chain. You will have to leave on your own.”

The Princess approached the terrifying beast and hugged it with all her might. So tightly did she hug the monster that it broke up into a thousand pieces. And out from among those pieces appeared a slim, smiling young man, with the same intelligent expression as had had the lake monster.

And so it was that the Princesses discovered their rescuing Prince, and that he had been with them all along. They hadn’t known that for him to rescue them, first they would have to rescue him. This was only made possible thanks to the spirit and positive attitude of the older sister.

And the Prince, being the clever young man he was, was in doubt about which Princess he would choose to marry… leaving the younger sister to her songs, her beauty and her sweetness,.. ever waiting for some foolish Prince that would love a girl with so little initiative.

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