Once upon a time there was an evil wizard who would dress as a beggar and go from house to house asking for food. His real plan, however, was to steal the prettiest girls he could find. He did this again and again and none of them could ever return home.
One day he knocked on the door of a house where a man lived with his three beautiful daughters. The eldest opened the door and gave him a piece of bread.
When she gave it to him he touched her arm and hypnotized her. Then he made her enter the basket that he always carried on his back and took her to his house, which was located in the middle of some woods. Everything there was magnificent, and she had everything she could wish for.
After a few days the wizard told her that he had to go on a journey, that he would leave her the keys to all the house, and that she could enter every room except one. If she entered that forbidden chamber she would die. Also, he gave her an egg and asked her to take good care of it.
As soon as the wizard had gone, the girl looked into every room and found beautiful things that delighted her. Finally, she approached the forbidden chamber. “Should I go in?” she wondered. For a few seconds, she couldn’t decide, but eventually her curiosity won and she entered the room.
What she saw made her tremble. There were hundreds of girls that had been kidnapped and all looked as if they had fallen asleep. The girl, frightened at the sight, went running out of the room as fast as she could. As she ran she dropped the egg that she was carrying in her hand, but it did not break. When she picked it up she noticed that the egg had turned red, and although she tried to clean it, the egg stayed red.
After some time the wizard came back. He noticed what had happened to the egg, hit the girl, and dragged her into the forbidden chamber, where he left her with the others.
The wizard then went back to the same house and stole the second sister and the same thing happened to her.
He went back a third time and kidnapped the younger sister, but this sister was very clever. When the wizard gave her the keys and the egg, she took the egg and put it in the cupboard. Then she took the keys and went into the forbidden chamber. She was amazed to see so many girls lying in a deep sleep. Amongst them she recognized her two sisters.
She left the room and closed the door. When she heard the wizard returning, she took the egg and the keys and went to meet him.
“You will be my wife because you have resisted curiosity,” he said, happily.
However, the girl had broken the spell, and the wizard had lost his power. She could make him do whatever she wanted. She told him to go to the kitchen and stay there. Then she went to the forbidden chamber and awoke all the girls. Next she went to the wizard to tell him something important.
“Before I marry you, you must go and take a basket full of gold to my parents. Then you must go into town and buy me a ring. Come back this evening at 7pm.”
She took a great big basket and in it she hid her two sisters, covering them with pieces of gold. Then she told the wizard to take the basket but not to stop on the road because she would be watching him from the window. The man took the basket and started walking but he was soon exhausted. He sat down to rest, but immediately heard a voice which said “I am watching you from my window.” Thinking it was the voice of his future wife, he got up and walked a while longer. Every time he tried to rest, the same thing happened, until finally he reached the house where his fiancée’s parents lived. There he left the basket, and started to walk into town to buy an engagement ring for his fiancée.
In the meantime, the clever daughter took a piece of cardboard and drew a head on it. She then placed it on the window sill of the second floor, making it look as if someone was watching from the window. Then she went and let out the other victims and invited them all to her wedding, which would take place that evening. Finally, she covered her whole body with feathers, disguising herself as a rare bird so that no one could recognize her, and left the house. Soon she met some of the guests that she had invited to the wedding and they asked her:
“From where do you come beautiful bird?”
“From the house where the wizard is getting married.”
“And please tell, what is the beautiful bride doing?”
“After being all dressed up in her beautiful wedding dress, she is leaning out of the window looking down.”
When the wizard returned home at 7pm, the window of the second floor was open. He looked towards it and saw the head there. He thought it was his future wife and he ran excitedly into the house, but when he entered the front door he met all the family and sisters of the girl, who dragged him into the chamber, locked the door and set fire to the house.
And that was the end of the wizard and his forbidden chamber.