The Queen Bee
The youngest king's son spares animals that his brothers wanted to kill; the animals help him and so he gets princess and redeems brothers
Two of the king's sons once went off on adventures and got into a wild, desolate life, so that they never came home again. The youngest, who was called the Fool, set out to find his brothers, but when he finally found them, they mocked him for wanting to fight his way through the world with his simplicity, and the two of them could not get through, yet they were much wiser. They all three went away together and came to an anthill.
The two oldest wanted to stir it up and see how the little ants were scrambling around in fear and carrying away their eggs, but the fool said 'leave the animals in peace, I don't want you to disturb them'. So they went on and came to a lake where many ducks were swimming. The two brothers wanted to catch and roast some of them, but the fool did not allow it, and said, "Leave the animals in peace, I do not suffer you to kill them. At last they came to a bees' nest, in which there was so much honey that it ran down the trunk. The two of them wanted to set fire under the tree and suffocate the bees so that they could take away the honey. But the fool stopped them again and said, "Leave the bees alone, I don't want you to burn them. At last the three brothers came to a castle, where the stables were full of stone horses, and there was no one to be seen. They went through all the halls until they came to a door at the very end, in front of which there were three locks; but in the middle of the door there was a little shop, through which one could see into the room. There they saw a little gray man sitting at a table. They called to him once, twice, but he did not listen. Finally they called a third time, and he got up, opened the locks and came out.
He did not speak a word, but led them to a richly laden table, and when they had eaten and drunk, he took each of them to his own bed chamber. The next morning the gray man came to the oldest, beckoned and led him to a stone tablet, on which were written three tasks by which the castle could be redeemed. The first was that in the forest under the moss lay the pearls of the king's daughter, a thousand in number, which had to be sought out, and if before sunset a single one was missing, then the one who had searched would turn to stone. The eldest went and searched all day, but when the day was over, he had only found a hundred; it happened as it was written on the tablet, he was turned into stone. The next day the second brother undertook the same adventure, but he did not fare much better than the eldest; he found no more than two hundred pearls and was turned to stone. Finally it came to the turn of the fool, who searched in the moss, but it was so difficult to find the pearls and went so slowly.
Then he sat down on a stone and wept. And as he sat there, the ant king, to whom he had once given life, came with five thousand ants, and it was not long before the little animals had found the pearls together and carried them in a heap. The second task, however, was to get the key to the sleeping chamber of the king's daughter out of the sea. As the dummy came to the sea, the ducks he had once rescued swam up, submerged, and retrieved the key from the depths. The third issue, however, was the most difficult one: out of the three sleeping daughters of the king, the youngest and the dearest were to be chosen. But they were completely alike, and differed in nothing except that before they fell asleep they had eaten various sweets, the eldest a piece of sugar, the second a little syrup, the youngest a spoonful of honey. Then the queen bee came from the bees that the fool had protected from the fire and tried the mouth of all three, at last she stopped on the mouth that had eaten honey, and so the king's son recognized the right one. Then the spell was over, everything was released from sleep, and whoever was of stone regained his human form. And the fool married the youngest and dearest, and became king after her father's death; but his two brothers received the two other sisters.