Once upon a time, many years ago in Copenhagen, in Denmark, a wealthy
merchant had a son called Erik. Erik was a good-looking lad, intelligent
but very lazy. Instead of studying or doing some work, he liked to spend
days roaming about, amusing himself with his friends and squandering his
father's money on unnecessary luxuries. When the merchant died, he left
his money to Erik, who frittered it away in a matter of months.
The only thing left was an empty magic trunk. The minute anyone stepped
inside, it rose into the air. One day, Erik, who had no intention of working
for a living, decided to face the unknown and seek his fortune. So he stepped
into the trunk and, for days on end, flew across the seas and over woodlands
and deserts. At last, he found himself above a city in the East and ordered
the trunk to land on the terrace of a wonderful palace. Erik stepped out
the trunk and there in front of him stood a girl, staring at him in amazement.
"I'm Tamara, the Sultan's daughter," she said. "Who are you?"
Quick to turn
the situation to his own advantage, Erik replied:
"I'm the god of your people, come to ask your hand in marriage."
by the handsome stranger and certain that he really was a god, she happily
said 'yes' and called her family. The Sultan welcomed the youth with great
honours and immediately started to make arrangements for the wedding.
The day before the ceremony, Erik stuffed the trunk full of jewels, golden
candle sticks and fine damasks and flew away from the palace towards
Copenhagen. However, weighed down by its valuable load, the trunk fell into
the sea off the Danish coast. Erik managed to swim ashore and return to
Copenhagen, where he sang sad songs at street corners for a living. In the
East, on the terrace of a magnificent palace, a young girl sadly glanced
sky from time to time, hoping that the god who had suddenly disappeared,
come back again.