The Blue Water Hyacinth

(Valencian version)

Once upon a time and time again there was a king who had three sons to whom he said he would give the crown to the one who brought him the blue water hyacinth. The three sons threw themselves into the search, each on his own path to find it out in the wide world.

The youngest found the flower and contentedly stuck it into his sock in case he encountered his brothers so they would not see it. In the middle of a dry stream his brothers found him and they knew that he had the flower on him and one said to the other, “What shall we do to take it from him and win ourselves the crown?”

The other replied, “Kill him.”

And so, that is what they did, burying him in the sand afterward.

Since there were two of them and only one flower, they tossed a coin to see who would win and luck favored the eldest. Pleased, he went home and when he arrived he gave the flower to his father. The King declared him the heir to the crown.

At that moment, a shepherd passed by the place where the youngest brother was buried and saw a white reed coming out of the ground there. He pulled it out and made a flute with it. He played it and it said:

   Play, play, dear shepherd 
and go forth from this land
for the flower of the blue hyacinth, 
they took my life in a river of sand.

He played this flute as he passed the palace of the King who, having heard the flute, came out and called out to the shepherd and said, “Come up and play me that flute, I want to hear it.”

The shepherd entered and he played the flute which repeated its song. The King ordered his sons be called up and he had the shepherd to tell him where he had gotten that flute. The shepherd took them to the place where he had found the flute and the King said to his sons, “Are you the ones who took your brother’s life?”

But they said they had not.

Their father ordered the sand be dug up in that place and they found the youngest alive and well, only missing a finger which had been left poking out when they buried him and it had been that which had served as a flute and the father gave the crown to his youngest son and punished his brothers.

He lived and reined for many years, always missing one finger.

The story now penned, comes to the end, like smoke through the chimney its verses wend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s