East of the Sun and West of the Moon
Once upon a time, there was a poor peasant who had many children. One day, a white bear arrived at their door, promising wealth in exchange for the company of the peasant’s youngest daughter, whom the bear would treat as a queen. The girl was hesitant, but eventually agreed for the sake of her family.
The bear took her to a magnificent castle. Every night, in total darkness, a stranger came to share her bed. The stranger was always gone by daybreak.
One night, driven by curiosity, the girl lit a candle to see who the stranger was. She discovered a handsome prince lying next to her. But a drop of hot tallow fell on the prince and woke him. He sadly revealed that he was under a curse by a wicked troll, who made him be a bear by day and a man by night. He could have been freed if she had not seen him for a year, but now he must marry the troll’s ugly daughter, who lived in a castle East of the Sun and West of the Moon.
Distraught, the girl decided to rescue the prince. She sought help from the North Wind, who, after several attempts, managed to carry her to the castle East of the Sun and West of the Moon.
Upon reaching the castle, she traded a golden apple for a night with the prince. However, the troll drugged the prince so he slept throughout. This happened again the next night when she traded a golden comb.
On the third night, a servant warned the prince of the girl’s plans. So when the girl traded a golden spinning wheel, the prince stayed awake. Together, they devised a plan to trick the troll.
The next day, the troll held a wedding feast. The prince demanded that the troll’s ugly daughter wash his shirt, stating he would marry only the woman who could wash the tallow stain. The troll’s daughter failed, but the peasant’s daughter succeeded.
Recognizing his true bride, the prince declared his intent to marry her. The troll became so angry that she exploded. The prince and the girl retrieved the troll’s spoils and returned to the prince’s castle, where they lived happily ever after.