As I was eating hastily, I swallowed a ring that lay under the Queen's window!
Thanks for not stepping on us!
I'm too young to die!
Once upon a time, there was a king who was famed for his wisdom. Nothing was hidden from him. He had a strange habit. Every night a trusty servant brought him a covered plate. Only he knew what was inside. One day, the servant was curious and opened the dish to find a white snake. Once he tasted it, he realized he could understand the language of the animals. Unfortunately, the queen lost her ring on the same day and the servant was immediately blamed as he was allowed to go everywhere. He was dismissed from the castle.
We'll help you since you saved our lives.
He went down to the countryside to think about a way to prove his innocence. Some ducks were chatting while grooming their fur and as he evesdropped, he heard one of them say that he swallowed a ring. Immediately, the servant grabbed it and brought it to the chef at the castle. When the chef cut it open, the Queen's ring was found inside it. The King apologized and promised the servant many luxuries but he turned them down in favor of a horse and some money for traveling.
We will help you because you didn't step on us.
One day, he came across a pond. 3 fish were stuck in the reeds moaning about their predicament. Hearing this, he got off his horse and helped the fish back into the water. Farther on, he heard an ant-king complain about people stepping on their bodies beneath him. So, he turned onto a side path that lead him to a wood. There, he saw 3 hungry ravens lying on the ground. So, he killed his horse and gave the meat to the ravens. All of the animals thanked him and said they would remember him and repay him for saving them.
We give you this apple from the tree of life as payment for you saving us.
Now, he had to walk and after a long time, he came to a large city. There, he heard that the King's daughter wants a husband but whoever it is must perform a very difficult task or they will die. When he saw the King's daughter, he immediately fell in love and presented himself as a suitor. The King threw a gold ring into the sea and ordered him to fetch it. As he stood on the shore several fish came up to him with the gold ring. They were the fish whose life he had saved.
However, when the proud princess saw that he was not of royal blood, she told him that he had to perform another task. So, they went out into the garden and she stewed 10 sacks full of seeds onto the ground and ordered him to pick them all up before sunrise. He sat down in despair and waited for the morning when he would die. But, when sunrise came, all of the seeds had been picked up. The ant-king had come in the night with thousands of his subjects and cleaned it all up.
When the princess came down, she was impressed but he still couldn't conquer her heart. She told him that they couldn't be wedded until he collected an apple from the tree of life. The young man wandered for many days until he finally lay down under a tree to rest, a golden apple fell onto his head. At the same time, 3 ravens flew to him and said they were the same ravens he rescued. When the overjoyed youth arrived back home, the princess had no more excuses. They ate the apple together and lived happily ever after.