The Twelve Huntsme
Princess is taken fiance; with11 others she disguises herself and works for him, is recognized by him and they marry.
Once upon a time there was a king's son who had a bride and loved her very much. As he sat with her and was quite happy, the news came that his father was sick and dying and demanded to see him before his end. Then he said to his beloved 'I must now go away and must leave you, so I will give you a ring in memory of me. When I am king, I will come back and fetch you home'. Then he rode away, and when he arrived at his father's, he was deathly ill and close to death. He said to him, 'Dearest son, I wanted to see you once more before my end, promise me to marry you according to my will,' and named to him a certain king's daughter who was to become his wife. The son was so sad that he did not even think about it, but said, "Yes, dear father, whatever your will is, it shall be done," and then the king closed his eyes and died.
When the son was proclaimed king and the mourning period had passed, he had to keep the promise he had made to his father and had the king's daughter courted, and she was promised to him. When his first bride heard this, she was so grieved at his unfaithfulness that she almost died. Then her father said to her, 'My dearest child, why are you so sad? whatever you wish for, you shall have. She thought about it for a moment, then she said, "Dear father, I wish for eleven girls who are completely like me in appearance and growth. The king said, "If it is possible, your wish shall be granted," and he searched throughout his kingdom until eleven virgins were found, completely like his daughter in appearance and stature.
When they came to the king's daughter, she had twelve hunter's dresses made, one like the other, and the eleven virgins had to put on the hunter's dresses, and she herself put on the twelfth. Then she took leave of her father and rode away with them to the court of her former bridegroom, whom she loved so much. There she inquired if he needed hunters and if he would not take them all together into his service. The king looked at them and did not recognize them, but because they were such beautiful people, he said yes, he would gladly take them; and there they were, the king's twelve hunters.
The king, however, had a lion, which was a strange animal, for he knew everything that was hidden and secret. It happened that one evening he said to the king, 'You mean you have twelve hunters there?' 'Yes,' said the king, 'twelve hunters there are. The lion continued, "You are wrong, there are twelve girls. The king answered, 'That is no longer true, how will you prove it to me?' 'Oh, just scatter peas in your antechamber,' the lion answered, 'and you will see. Men have a firm step, when they walk over peas, none of them move, but girls, they trip and traipse and shuffle, and the peas roll.' The king was pleased with the advice and had the peas scattered.
But there was a servant of the king, who was good to the hunters, and when he heard that they were to be put to the test, he went and told them everything again, and said 'the lion wants to make the king believe that you are girls'. Then the king's daughter thanked him, and said to her maidens, "Do yourselves violence, and tread firmly on the peas. When the king called the twelve hunters to him the next morning and they came into the antechamber where the peas were lying, they stepped so firmly on them and had such a sure, strong gait that not even one rolled or moved. Then they went away again, and the king said to the lion, "You have lied to me, they walk like men. The lion answered, "They knew that they would be put to the test, and they did violence to themselves. Let twelve spinning wheels be brought into the antechamber, and they will come here and rejoice, and no man does that. The king liked the advice and had the spinning wheels placed in the antechamber.
But the servant, who was honest with the hunters, went and discovered the plot. Then the king's daughter, when they were alone, said to her eleven girls, "Do violence to yourselves and do not look around for the spinning wheels. When the king called his twelve hunters the next morning, they came through the antechamber and did not look at the spinning wheels. Then the king said again to the lion, "You have lied to me, they are men, for they have not looked at the spinning wheels. The lion answered, "They knew that they would be put to the test, and they did violence to themselves. But the king would no longer believe the lion.
The twelve hunters constantly followed the king to the hunt, and he liked them the longer. Now it happened that once when they were hunting, news came that the king's bride was coming. When the right bride heard this, it hurt her so much that her heart almost fell off and she fainted on the ground. The king thought something had happened to his dear hunter, ran to help him, and took off his glove. Then he saw the ring that he had given to his first bride, and when he looked into her face, he recognized her. His heart was so moved that he kissed her, and when she opened her eyes, he said, "You are mine and I am yours, and no man in the world can change that. But to the other bride he sent a messenger and asked her to return to her kingdom, for he already had a wife, and whoever had found an old key did not need the new one. Thereupon the wedding was celebrated, and the lion came again in grace, because he had told the truth.