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janfha
Registered User
(3/21/07 6:27 am)


A soldier, a princess, a castle, waiting outside for 99 days
to prove his love for the princess, the soldier must stand to attention for the 100 (or 1000) days and endure until she is convinced that he does love her. Through bitterest cold nights, blistering hot days, howling rains, etc etc. In all, he doesn't have a very good time of it.

And yet because he loves the princess, he does, for 99 (or 999 days) he stands guard under her castle walls at which point the princess becomes convinced that he does love her (a whole day early, big of her) and comes down to accept that love only to find the soldier is leaving, crying and she asks him "but why now" to which he replies "I love you but...."

and that is where I cannot remember how the story ends!!

All I can remember is that it was incredibly moving and poignant and made perfect sense but the ending itself is gone from my memory.

So, why am I telling you all this, to ask of course if anyone here actually knows the story and more important, can tell me or direct me to where I can find a copy of it.

I'm half of the belief now that I've dreamt it up (wish I could dream the ending if that's the case) only my imagination isn't that good so I'm nearly totally convinced that I have read this someplace,somewhere a long time ago.

Seriously, anyone that might be able to help point me in the direction of finding the solution to this story, I'd be hugely appreiciative of their efforts. It's been on my mind for years and would really be a huge relief to remember/read the full story again.

Thanks in advance to anyone that can hopefully offer this poor lost soul some advice on where to look for his lost ending.

Cheers, Jan.

JennySchillig
Registered User
(3/21/07 6:44 pm)


Re: A soldier, a princess, a castle, waiting outside for 99
I'm not familiar with this, but just from the description it sounds like the basis for Shannon Hale's upcoming book Book of a Thousand Days.

janfha
Registered User
(3/21/07 8:47 pm)


Re: A soldier, a princess, a castle, waiting outside for 99
Thanks Jenny, I'll have a search around and see if the author/book you've mentioned has perhaps based it on an older tale. Because as I said, this story has been in my head at least a dozen years, perhaps more (I'm 42 now so the grey cells aint quite what they used to be). ;)

Thanks again.

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(3/22/07 4:28 am)


not traditional!
The description doesn't sound like the sort of traditional 'fairy tale' I'm famliar with in Lang, Grimm, Calvino, Afanasev, etc. Cruelty, poignancy, tragedy, last minute change of heart ... sounds at most like Wilde or Andersen or something from Cabinet des Fees.

janfha
Registered User
(3/22/07 6:13 am)


Re: not traditional!
Probably isn't traditional but I think (as I recall it) it still fits somewhere within the genre so hope I haven't stepped out of line asking the question here.

I've read (I think) all of Wilde so it's not something I associate with him. Andersen less so. I'll give that Cabinet des Fees a try as it looks a nice site and could be another link towards the resolution.

I really want to find this story as it's kind of relevant to what I'm going through in my own life (I've lost my princess so to speak) atm.

Yea, there's still romantic men (and ones with strong personal senses of morality) left. ;) More fool us I suppose.

Thanks, Jan

Richard Parks
Registered User
(3/22/07 7:29 am)


Re: not traditional!
This actually sounds like a legendary incident from the life of Ono no Komachi, a Japanese poet and courtier of the 10th C. The story goes that, to prove his love for her, a noble suitor was commanded to keep vigil every night outside her home for 100 days. He almost made it, but then caught a chill during one particularly cold night and died. The story was later turned into a Noh play.

Whether this incident actually occurred is doubtful, but the basic story has been around for a long time.

http://dm.net/~richard-parks

janfha
Registered User
(3/22/07 6:57 pm)


Japanese/Asian story? Could be very possible
I read a lot of manga (read a lot of comics in general) in my teens/early twenties. Also had friends who were (im in Australia so this was difficult stuff to get hold of at the time) very early importers of many a HK or Chinese film on that huge early dvd format (the ones that were the size of LP discs, forget the name of the player now).

I may well have seen and/or read it about it that way. Another step towards the goal, thank you for your thoughts and help, Jan.

winkingstar
Registered User
(3/25/07 4:15 pm)


Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
I remembered this story, too, so I just had to find it. After a bit of Googling, the only references I found were to the (wonderful) Italian movie Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, wherein Alfredo tells this story to the young boy:

Once upon a time, a king gave a feast. And there came the most beautiful princesses of the realm. Now, a soldier, who was standing guard, saw the king's daughter go by. She was the most beautiful one, and he immediately fell in love with her. But what could a poor soldier do when it came to the daughter of the king? Well, finally, one day, he managed to meet her, and he told her that he could no longer live without her. The princess was so impressed by his strong feelings that she said to the soldier: "If you can wait 100 days and 100 nights under my balcony, then at the end of it, I shall be yours." Damn! The soldier immediately went there and waited one day. And two days. And ten. And then twenty. And every evening, the princess looked out of her window, but he never moved. During rain, during wind, during snow, he was always there. The bird shat on his head, and the bees stung him, but he didn't budge. After ninety nights, he had become all dried up, all white, and the tears streamed from his eyes. He couldn't hold them back. He no longer had the strength to sleep. All that time, the princess watched him. And on the 99th night, the soldier stood up, took his chair, and went away.

Later in the story, after the boy has grown up and experienced life and love, he comes up with this ending to the story:

In one more night, the princess would have been his. But she also could not possibly have kept her promise. And it would have been terrible. He would have died. This way, however, at least for 99 days, he was living under the illusion that she was there, waiting for him.

I couldn't find any references to whether or not this story comes from a traditional tale, but if anything it would probably be from Italian lore since the movie is Italian.

janfha
Registered User
(3/27/07 12:46 pm)


Re: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
That's very very close to what I remember and I've seen Cinema Paradiso (cried like a baby at the end too) so it's another link but... in the version I remember there was something the soldier said.

But if it's in anyway linked to a traditional Italian tale it's another step on the way, thank you very much (and I'll have to see the movie again now too, so thanks for that as well as it's such a brilliant movie) winkingstar.

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(3/28/07 1:49 am)


not out of line! :-)
Of course the question was not out of line. :-) This forum is about tales world wide, including recent tales, not just the European collections. I just meant you'd probably be wasting time looking for it there.

On the version just described where he finally picked up his chair and left, there's a motif in Hindu and Buddhist accounts of someone gaining enlightenment, or dealing with a guru. Quite often during the waiting, they outgrow the desire for the reward. I imagined him becoming disillusioned with a princess who could set the task and watch coldly while it nearly destroyed him.

Laughingwriter
Registered User
(9/12/07 10:15 pm)


more info
Check out gauravsabnis.blogspot.com...ldier.html
for a bit about the movie Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

I'll keep an eye out for this story...

-Molly

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