A Portuguese Folktale: The Envious Queen


After such a long time, we are very happy to once again share with you all another Portuguese Folktale!

 We also decided to divide it into two parts because we wanted to portray the two main characters in this story: the innocent young girl and, like the title says, the envious queen.

The theme of an older woman being jealous of a young one’s youth is a popular theme throughout many countries traditions and typically the odds are against the more mature protagonist.

Will it be different this time? Without further ado, we present you:

(translation, adaptation and art by StarTwo)

There was a man and a woman who had a daughter. They lived in a field far away and the girl had never seen anyone else.
One day the mother died. They mourned her greatly and buried her close by. Afterwards, father and daughter kept living on until one day the old
man said to his child:
“My time is short, so you shall be sent to the city because I don’t want to die without making sure you’re settled.”

The next day, the girl woke up in a magnificent palace, right in front of the Royal Palace.
She was incredibly surprised to see other people and all sorts of things. In the evening her father came and stated this:
“The Queen will send someone over to request a visit. You will say that you must ask my permission first. Otherwise, you can’t receive her.”

In the morning, a servant from the Queen did appear, requesting a formal visit. The innocent girl replied with what her father had related to her. In the evening he said:
“You will answer favourably, let her come. At that point, you shall invite her to the living room and after you chat with her, this is what you’ll do.”

The old man subsequently explained his plan to his very wide-eyed, distressed daughter. She merely asked:
“But how can I accomplish all that if I am living here all by myself?”
“Don’t worry, everything will appear before you!”

The next day, another servant came to collect the girl’s reply. The Queen arrived and the girl took her to the living room, and after they exchanged some pleasantries the girl called:

“Come forth, stove!”
A stove instantly appeared.

“Come forth, coal!”
The coal appeared.

“Light yourself, fire!”
It did so.

“Come forth, fryer!”
A fryer miraculously appeared.

Come forth, olive oil!”
The olive oil appeared.

Then, apprehensively but not wanting to go against her father’s orders, when the olive oil was piping hot, she submerged her hands in it and said:
“Come to me, red mullets, for the Lady Queen’s meal.”
The fish appeared and the Queen, full of wonder and envy, ate and left.

Some days later, the old man said to his daughter:
“Tomorrow you’ll request permission to see the Queen and you shall go visit her.”

The girl said yes and went to the Royal Palace. The Queen took her to her living room and began shouting frantically:
“Come forth, stove! Come forth, stove!”

But of course, the stove didn’t appear! The Queen’s maids commented with one another:
“The Queen is out of her mind! She’s yelling for the stove!”
“Better to take it to her,” said the oldest one “otherwise she won’t shut up.”
They took the stove to her. Soon enough, the Queen began shouting again:
“Come forth, coal! Come forth, coal!”

But the coal wouldn’t appear, no matter how much she yelled.
“It’s better to give her the coal, or she won’t shut up!”
The maids transported the coal. The shouting resumed:
“Light yourself, fire! Light yourself, fire!”

The fire wouldn’t light up! The maids had to do it.
“Come forth, fryer! Come forth, fryer!” the Queen shouted louder and louder.
The most elderly maid said to the others:
“Better to bring her the fryer because our Queen is up to something. I have never seen her like this. Where did she get this idea from?!”
They provided her with the fryer and the Queen shouted again:
“Come forth olive oil! Come forth, olive oil!”

Because the olive oil wouldn’t come, again one of the maids took it to her. When the Queen noticed it boiling, she thrust her hands in it, roaring:
“Come to me, red mullets, for the young girl’s meal!”

But she only managed to scorch her hands and threw an howling fit. The girl called frantically for the maids and left, very disturbed. Deep grief fell over the Royal Palace, especially among the Queen’s maids, who feared being punished for giving the Queen everything she had demanded.

In the evening, the girl said to her father:
“Oh father, I shouldn’t have gone there! Can you believe the Queen burnt herself because she wanted to do the same as me?”
“So what, let it be. She deserved it! No one asked her to do it, except her envy!”

The Queen got better and one day sent word to the girl that she wished to visit her again. She replied that she would have to seek her father’s approval, but he only came in the evening. As the father arrived, the girl requested his permission. The old man said:
“Yes, I already knew the Queen was healed. Say yes and this time here’s what you’re going to do…”

To Be Continued …

Oh dear… As it turns out, the events weren’t favourable to the Queen at all, and this is only halfway through!

Stay tuned for the second part still in the making and let us know your thoughts!

★stay safe and stay inspired★

18 thoughts on “A Portuguese Folktale: The Envious Queen

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