'It is no use,' answered the prince; 'nobody can help me. I must bear it alone.'
'But at least let me share your grief,' urged the queen.
'No one can do that,' said he. 'I have fallen in love with what I can never marry, and I must get on as best I can.'
'It may not be so impossible as you think,' answered the queen. 'At any rate, tell me.'
There was silence between them for a moment, then, turning away his head, the prince answered gently:
'I have fallen in love with a beautiful deer!'
'Ah, if that is all,' exclaimed the queen joyfully. And she told him in broken words that, as he had guessed, it was no deer but an enchanted maiden who had won back the crown and brought her home to her own people.
'She is here, in my palace,' added the queen. 'I will take you to her.'
But when the prince stood before the girl, who was so much more beautiful than anything he had ever dreamed of, he lost all his courage, and stood with bent head before her.
Then the maiden drew near, and her eyes, as she looked at him, were the eyes of the deer that day in the forest. She whispered softly:
'By your favour let me go, and do not kill me.'
And the prince remembered her words, and his heart was filled with happiness. And the queen, his mother, watched them and smiled.
(Frou Cuentos Populars Catalans por lo Dr. D. Francisco de S. Maspons y Labros.)