Dragon Stories: The Lindorm Prince
Centuries ago, in Sweden, a queen who was thought to be barren longed to conceive. So she consulted a soothsayer, who told her that within a year she would conceive two handsome sons, if she would but eat 2 fresh onions the moment she returned to the palace.
Though an odd request, the queen was so excited at the prospect of having children, she immediately ran off, not listening to the soothsayer who cried to her as she dashed away.
The moment she returned to the palace, she ordered two fresh onions brought to her. She was in such a flurry of excitement that she forgot to peel the first one, and ate it whole. It tasted so unpleasant that though she could not wait to ingest the second onion, she carefully peeled every layer from it before eating it.
Nine months had gone by and the two sons, as the soothsayer had predicted, were about to be born.
The court of the palace were eagerly awaiting the announcement of their birth. But suddenly they heard a ear piercing scream. But it was not the baby but rather the midwife who beheld the newborn child. It was a lindorm. A hideous serpentine dragon with scales and talons. The queen was so repulsed that she immediately took the creature thrashing on the floor and flung it out the window into the forest. She fell back and as she collapsed she gave birth to beautiful boy with golden hair and blue eyes.
Years went by, and the boy grew into a handsome youth, who went searching for a bride. But in the woods he encountered the great dragon who perched a tree and stared into his eyes.
“You shall never find a bride, younger brother, until I have found true love.”
Over the next months a series of maidens were offered to the dragon as a bride. But since they all went against their will, they were unsuitable.
This went on for many months until one maiden came across a soothsayer, the same one who prophesied the birth of the princes. The ancient one whispered something in her ear, and a smile grew on the young girls face from ear to ear.
The maiden was presented to the great dragon, who responded with anxiousness:
“Why how now do you have so many dresses on! Take them off!”
This she agreed to, but only on the condition that for every dress she removed, the dragon would shed a layer of his skin. This went on until she had only one dress left.
She was very nervous, but she removed that final garment. And now the dragon came toward her and wrapped himself about her. Surprisingly, he felt warm and tender. Slowly, she noticed the final layer of the lindorm’s skin shedding. As this happened a strange mist enveloped the couple, and when it had faded the girl was no longer wrapped in the embrace of a dragon, but held in the arms of the most handsome youth she had ever beheld. A prince, and heir to the throne.