Once upon a time, there was a queen who had been a mother to many children but had only one daughter left, named Bellissima, who was extremely beautiful. The queen was so afraid of losing her daughter that she spoiled her terribly.
One day, it was time for the princess to marry, but none of the princes dared to ask for her hand in marriage because she was notoriously demanding. In fact, if she wasn’t pleased with a suitor, she would have his head cut off.
The queen realized that finding a suitable husband for her daughter was going to be a problem. The princess thought she was so great that none of the princes were smart or handsome enough to marry her.
One day, the queen decided to seek the advice of the Fairy (actually a witch) of the Desert. However, visiting this witch was dangerous since she was guarded by lions. But the queen knew she could safely pass the lions by throwing them a special cake. She made the cake herself and put it in a basket. On the way, the queen decided to take a nap under an orange tree. When she woke up, she found that her basket was empty. To make matters worse, she heard the lions roaring, getting closer.
At that moment, she saw a small, yellow man in the tree eating oranges. It was the Yellow Dwarf. He offered to help the queen on the condition that he could marry her daughter.
The queen, terrified by the approaching lions, promised the dwarf he could marry Bellissima. When the lions got very close, a door opened in the trunk of the orange tree, and the queen was able to slip inside just in time.
Behind the door of the orange tree was an open field. Not far away, the queen saw a small house. There, she met the Yellow Dwarf, who was the ugliest man she had ever seen in her life.
“I am very happy,” said the Yellow Dwarf to the queen, “that since you will be my mother-in-law, you can see the house where Bellissima will live with me.”
The queen suddenly realized what a miserable life her daughter would have with this dwarf and could not bear the thought of it. She fell unconscious, and when she woke up, to her surprise, she found herself at home in her own bed. She thought she might have dreamed everything, but the yellow ribbon tied to her nightcap was there to remind her of her promise. She became so unhappy that she became very ill.
The princess, who loved her mother despite her stubbornness, became very worried about her. She asked her mother what was making her so sick, but the queen could not tell her. So, Bellissima decided to seek the advice of the Fairy of the Desert. She made a cake for the lions and went in search of the witch.
On the way, she stopped at the same orange tree. She started picking oranges to eat, but when it was time to move on, her basket with the cake was gone. Out of despair, she began to cry. Then the Yellow Dwarf appeared.
“Why are you crying?” asked the Yellow Dwarf.
“I am crying because I lost my cake, which was supposed to help me safely reach the Fairy of the Desert,” she replied.
“Why do you want to visit her?” asked the dwarf. “I can help you too because I am just as clever as she is.”
“The queen, my mother,” said the princess, “has been deeply saddened lately, and I fear she will die. I am afraid that I am the cause because she wants me to get married. But to be honest, I haven’t found anyone I think is good enough to marry.”
“Do not worry,” said the dwarf. “Your mother has promised that you will marry me.”
“Oh no,” said the princess, frightened. “I’m sure she didn’t. She would never make such a promise without my consent.”
“Princess,” cried the dwarf. “I don’t want to boast about myself, but I guarantee that you will not be unhappy with her choice when I tell you that she has promised to marry you to me.”
“What nonsense!” cried Bellissima, as she slowly began to back away. “How could you be so foolish to think that my mother would come up with something like that?”
Now the dwarf became angry and shouted, “It’s not that I care about marrying you. But soon the lions will come. They will eat you in three bites, and your pride will soon come to an end.”
“What should I do?” cried the princess.
The angry dwarf looked at her sternly. “You can die now or choose to marry me.”
“Don’t be angry,” said the princess, folding her hands. “I would rather marry a dwarf than die in this horrible way.”
“Give me your word,” said the Yellow Dwarf. “And think carefully about your promise.” Bellissima promised.
After this, she fell unconscious on the ground. When she woke up, she was in her own bed. The princess remembered everything and she too became seriously ill with grief.
The princess did not want to marry the dwarf and therefore agreed to marry the King of the Gold Mines. He was a handsome and powerful prince who was more than happy to marry her.
The king was enormously happy with her, and he was so generous, smart, and handsome that she eventually fell in love with him as much as he did with her.
Finally, the big day of the wedding arrived. Trumpets sounded, the streets were strewn with flowers, and the princess looked fairy-tale beautiful. The groom also shone.
But the wedding happiness was brutally interrupted by the Desert Fairy. She was extremely ugly, but even more surprising was her extreme old age.
“Ho, queen! Ho, princess!” shouted the witch. “Do you think you can break the promise you made to my friend, the Yellow Dwarf, with impunity? In Fairyland, we do not allow ourselves to be so insulted. The princess will marry no one but the Yellow Dwarf!”
The King of the Gold Mines did not understand at all because he knew nothing of the promises the queen and the princess had made.
The king challenged the Yellow Dwarf to a duel. Meanwhile, the Desert Fairy knocked out the princess. The king saw it out of the corner of his eye and wanted to rescue the princess. But the Yellow Dwarf beat him to it. He snatched the princess off the ground and disappeared lightning fast with her in his arms.
To make matters worse, the young king suddenly couldn’t see anything. Everything went dark and he felt himself being carried through the air by a strong hand.
It was the Desert Fairy who had taken the king. She fell in love with the handsome young king at first sight when she saw him. She brought him to a cave where she tied him up. Then she disguised herself as a beautiful fairy and pretended to have met him by chance.
The king told her that he had been brought to the cave by the Desert Fairy. He may not have been able to see her, but he recognized her voice. He had no idea why the fairy had brought him to the cave, he told the fairy, whom he did not recognize as the wicked witch at first. Until he saw her feet…this fairy had very special feet. The same feet he had seen with the Desert Fairy.
He didn’t show that he knew and said in a confidential tone, “It’s true that I love a charming princess, but if a good fairy were to set me free, I would be so grateful that I could only love her.”
“Do you mean what you say?” asked the witch, who had no idea.
“Absolutely,” said the young king. “It’s so much more beautiful and better for my vanity to be loved by an enchanting fairy than by a simple princess.”
The fairy fell for the prince’s sweet words and freed him. Together they flew away in a carriage pulled by swans.
They arrived at a splendid castle where the king was taken to a room. He was supposed to have the impression that he was alone, but he knew for sure that the fairy was watching him. After all, he was still her captive. He did everything to please the fairy, until one day the fairy allowed him to stroll along the coast alone. In the sand, he wrote about how sad he was about his captivity and his longing for his princess.
Then a lovely mermaid swam out of the waves. She wanted to help him escape. She made a figure out of sand that made it look like the prince was lying unconscious on the shore. Then they swam together to the Castle of Steel, where the Yellow Dwarf held the princess captive.
The mermaid gave the prince a diamond sword with which he could destroy all his enemies. “But never let it fall out of your hand,” she warned.
In the meantime, the Desert Fairy found the king dead on the beach. The mermaid had done her job well because the witch really thought the king was dead. She arranged a perfect funeral for her prince.
The prince went to the shore of the Castle of Steel and saw his princess there. But on the way, he was attacked by various monsters, and he always managed to save himself with the sword. Until he saw the princess and wanted to take her in his arms. The sword fell out of his hands.
The Yellow Dwarf saw it all happen and picked up the sword and stabbed the prince to death. The princess’s heart broke, and she died of sorrow at her prince’s side.
The mermaid couldn’t change their deaths, but she made sure that the king and his princess were transformed into two beautiful palm trees that whispered love to each other for eternity with their intertwined leaves.