Long ago, there were three young princes that lived in a great castle near the sea.
Their father was soon to be retired, so the old king decided that one of them should succeed to the throne pretty soon. But there was a problem; he didn't know which of his sons was most suitable to be the great heir of this mighty kingdom. His queen helped him with his decision. "The one prince that finds someone that he loves, and is worthy of this royal title, will be king", she said wisely.
The oldest prince was the strongest man in the kingdom, but he showed his opponents no mercy, and easily lost his temper. The second son was kind to every creature, and wouldn't hurt a wolf even if it were about to kill him. But he never thought badly of others, and could easily be deceived. The third son was not strong or brave, but he was clever, and his mind was always full of enthusiasm and hope.
To prevent them from falling in the love with the same person in the same place, the young boys were sent off to different places, and when the day came when they had to leave, the oldest went off to the east. He hoped to find a bride overseas. The second son went off to the north; he wanted to find a good chance of love along the coast. The youngest prince walked towards the west, and started his journey on the dry land.
When the youngest prince was miles away from his palace and home, and his feet became too tired to carry him, he stopped to rest. Suddenly a white fox came towards him.
It said, “It looks like you might need some help, stranger! I can give you all the help that you need, if you give me that decorated silver ring around your finger..”
“This?” the prince asked surprised, “but this is the only sign that I have left of my royalty!”
“As you wish, your highness, but you know, I could help you in many more ways than you could imagine.” The prince thought about it for a little while, but when the fox turned to walk away he said: “I will give you this ring, but you must promise to stay beside me and help me whenever I ask for your help.” “You have my word”, the fox said smiling, “Come here and sit on my tale, I will take you to a place where you can find many people”
The prince did as the fox told him, and soon they ran so fast that the fastest wind couldn’t keep up with them.
They finally arrived in a large town, and when they came to the town centre, many beautiful girls gathered around the handsome young boy. At night he dined and danced with many charming ladies, every one of them had manners like the upper class, and they were all qualified to be royalty.
But every night when the prince went to bed, he found that he had no special feelings, for anyone of them.
Then the day came when it was time to return to his father’s castle, and show who he had selected. He talked to the fox about this, but he had no solution to the prince’s problem either. He sat on the fox’s tale on the way back; they ran so fast that the fastest wind couldn’t keep up with them. They were welcomed with a feast, his brothers had also returned. The oldest one had found a petite woman who was afraid of everything and seemed to weep a lot, and the second son had found a strong, masculine woman who controlled the pour boy’s every move. The king and the queen had announced that they would choose the heir to the throne the next day; this only made the youngest prince sadder.
After the feast the prince and the fox talked for a long time in the royal gardens.
The prince excused himself: “I’m sorry that I forgot about you during the feast, I just wanted to thank you for all the help.” “ I don’t mind,” the fox said, “ you had a lot to think about. Now, raise your sword and cut my head off.”
“ I couldn’t possibly do that!”
“Do it now! Or I will cut yours off!” the fox said.
The prince raised his sword and cut the fox’s head off. Then he dropped the sword and screamed in despair for his dear lost friend.
But then he heard a voice in front of him; “hello my friend” He looked up and he saw the most handsome man he had ever seen.
“Why are you crying for the white fox?” the man said. “ Because,” the prince said sadly, “there was never a creature in the world that I loved more than him.”
“ I am the white fox” the man said, “I have had many masters before you, but only you stayed with me long enough; with this silver royal ring, you broke the curse, I can finally be a prince again. Now, let us show the king that we can rule this kingdom together. I will stay by your side for ever.”