Camila and Her Brothers

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NARRATOR: Once upon a time there was a king hunting in the woods and he got lost.  The he saw an old woman, who was a witch.


 KING: Good woman, can you show me the way out of the woods?.


WITCH: Oh, certainly, but on one condition.  But you have to keep your promise, if not, you will never get out of the woods.


KING: What is the condition?.


WITCH: I have a beautiful daughter.  Her name is Karmenssa.   I want her to be your wife. If you make her queen, I will show you the way out of the woods.


KING: Very well.  She will be my wife then.


WITCH: Come with me to my house so you can meet her.  I am sure she is waiting for us.


 NARRATOR: When they got home, Karmenssa was sitting by the fire.


 KARMENSSA: Good afternoon King, I have been waiting for you.


 KING: I can see that indeed you are very beautiful, just as your mother said.


 NARRATOR: The King was not pleased with her, but kept it a secret.


 KING: It`s getting late, we have to go to my palace.


 WITCH: Go, with him.  You will be the Queen.


 KING: Let me help you get in the horse.


NARRATOR: As soon as he had lifted Karmenssa into his horse the old woman showed him the way.


WITCH: You have to go that way.  Follow the road and when you see a talking tree ask him for the way to your palace.  But remember that the tree, is the Liar Tree, and when you ask him, he will tell you the wrong way, so take the opposite way.   After a few days you will find a river where a bridge will appear at any moment, so be patient, and wait.  When the bridge appears it will only be visible three minutes, then you will have to run and cross the bridge.  If you don`t pass within the three minutes, the bridge will disappear and you will fall to the river and drown.


KING: Very well,  I will do as you say.


NARRATOR: And they started walking.  After walking under the hot sun for more than an hour, they reached to the Liar Tree, and he asked him.


KING: Which way should I follow?.  The one on the left, or the one on the right?.


LIAR TREE: Your majesty, you should follow the left road.  It`s the shortest and safest.


NARRATOR: But the Liar Tree knew that the road was dangerous.  He would find wild beasts and the terrible whispering trees.


KING: Thank you.


NARRATOR: The King knew that the tree was a liar, so he followed the opposite road.  And they continued their journey, filled with flowers, butterflies, little rabbits, fairies.  That was the safest road.


KING: Now we have to get to the river.


KARMENSSA: Remember that we have to wait for the bridge to appear.


NARRATOR: Since the King was thirsty, he got off the horse, and the two went to drink water.  When they drank a little water, the bridge appeared suddenly at about 10 yards from where they were.  So the King immediately jumped to the horse, and started galloping.  When they got to the bridge he crossed quickly, but not fast enough and the bridge disappeared before they got to the other end.  Fortunately, the horse jumped and they could get to land.


KING: Oh, we did it!.  Now let`s go to drink some water.


KARMENSSA: Dear King, your are so brave!. How long would it be to get to your palace?.


KING: Not so long.  Let`s keep walking.


NARRATOR: And the King reached his palace, where the wedding was celebrated. The King had already been married once, and had by his first wife seven children, six boys and one girl, whom he loved more than anything in the world.


KING: My dear children.  I am afraid that your stepmother doesn`t treat you well, so I will take you to the lonely castle that stands in the middle of the forest.


NARRATOR: The way to the castle was very hard to find.


KING: Even for me it`s hard to find the way to the castle.  I have to find someone who can help me.


NARRATOR: So he found an old woman.


OLD WOMAN: I will help you.  Take this reel of thread which has a marvellous property when you throw it, it will show you the way.


KING: Thank you old woman.  Now  I will never get lost in the woods.


NARRATOR: The King went so often to visit his dear children that the Queen was offended at his absence.


KARMENSSA: I wonder what my husband does in the woods for so long. I have to find out what he does all this time.  Servant!.  Come immediately!.


SERVANT: At your service.


KARMENSSA: Take this money.  I need to know what the king does in the woods for so long.


SERVANT: Yes, your Highness.  As soon as I know something I will let you know.


NARRATOR: And the servant told her the secret of the reel of thread.


KARMENSSA: I have to find out where the King keeps the reel.  I have to think of something.


NARRATOR: A few days ago she made some little white shirts, and sewed an enchantment in each of them.  When the King had ridden off she took the little shirts and went into the wood, and the reel showed her the way.


SIX BROTHERS: Someone is coming!.  Let`s go outside.


NARRATOR: When Karmenssa saw them running toward her, she said.


KARMENSSA: Come, I have a present for you.


SIX BROTHERS: She has a present for us!.


KARMENSSA: Yes, come here.  Each one of you, take this little shirt and put it on.


NARRATOR: When the children put on their shirts they turned into swans, and they flew away over the forest.


KARMENSSA: Ha, ha, ha  I am now satisfied.  I got rid of my step-children.


NARRATOR: The girl, whose name was Camila, had not run to meet her with her brothers, and when the  next day the King came to visit his children, he only found  the girl.


KING: Where are your brothers?.


CAMILA: They have gone away and left me all alone.


KING: Where?.


CAMILA: The other day I was looking ouf the window when I saw that my brothers flew over the forest in the shape of swans.


KING: How can that be?.


CAMILA: Look at  these feathers that fell in the yard.


KING: Oh, my dear children.  What happened?.  I don`t understand what happened to them.


NARRATOR:  The King never thought that it was her wife who did that to his children.


KING: My daughter, you have to come with me.  I can`t leave you here alone in the woods.  The same could happen to you.


CAMILA: But father, I am so afraid of my stepmother.  Please let me stay here just one night.


KING: Very well, just one more night, but tomorrow you will go with me.  I`ll come for you tomorrow morning.


CAMILA: Yes father.  Don`t worry I will be fine.


NARRATOR: When the King left, she decided to go and look for her brothers.  She ran all through the night and the next day.


CAMILA: Oh, I am so tired of running, and I am also so hungry and thirsty.  I hope I can find a place to sleep through the night.


NARRATOR: Then she saw a little hut, went in, and found a room with six little beds.


CAMILA: Mm, I better lie under one of the beds.  I don`t care if the floor is hard.


NARRATOR: And she went to sleep.  Next morning she heard a noise coming from outside the window.


CAMILA: What a strange noise?.  I have to see what is happening outside.  Oh, they are six swans.


NARRATOR: The swans  stood on the floor and blew at one another, and blew all their feathers off, and their swan-skin came off like a shirt.


CAMILA: Brothers!.  Brothers!.


NARRATOR: And she went outside to meet them.


CAMILA: Brothers, I knew I was going to find you!.


SIX BROTHERS: Sister!.  Oh at least you are safe. You cannot stay here.  Some robbers live here, if they come and find you they will harm you.  You have to go now.


 CAMILA: But, you can protect me.


SIX BROTHERS: No, we can`t.  We can only be humans for only fifteen minutes a day every evening.  Then we change into swans again.


CAMILA: How can you be free from the spell?.


SIX BROTHERS: The conditions are too hard. You must not speak or laugh for six years, and must make in that time six shirts for us out of star-flowers. If a single word comes out of your mouth, all your work is vain.


NARRATOR: And when the brothers had said this they turned into swans again and flew away.


CAMILA:  I have to save my brothers, even if it costs my own life.  Now I have to go into the forest.


NARRATOR: When she got to the forest, she climbed a tree, and spent the night there. The next morning she went out, collected star-flowers, and began to sew, and did not speak or laugh.  Then one day the Prince of the country was hunting in the forest, and his hunters came to the tree on which the girl sat.


HUNTERS: Who are you?.


NARRATOR: But she gave no answer.


HUNTERS: Come down to us, we will do you no harm.


NARRATOR: But she shook her head silently.


HUNTERS: Very well, if you don`t come down, we will go up and get you.


NARRATOR: The hunters climbed the tree lifted the girl and took her to the Prince.


PRINCE: Who are you?. What were you doing up in that tree?.


NARRATOR: But she answered nothing.


PRINCE: If you don`t want to speak, then I will take you to my palace.


NARRATOR: He asked her in all the languages he knew, but she remained silence.


NARRATOR: The girl was so beautiful that the Prince fell in love with her. Then he took her to the castle.  But the girl still remained without talking.  Then one day he told one of his servants.


PRINCE: I want to marry this girl because I love her.  I like her modest ways and behavior.


NARRATOR: And after a few days he married her.   But the Prince had a wicked mother who was not happy with the marriage.


PRINCE`S MOTHER: Who knows who this girl is?.  She cannot speak, and is not worthy of a prince.


NARRATOR: After a year, when Camila had her first child, the prince`s mother took it away from her and hid him in the woods, and then he told the Prince.


PRINCE`S MOTHER: I was looking through the window and I saw that your wife took your son to the woods where he left him.


PRINCE: I don`t believe you mother, and I don`t want you to harm her.


NARRATOR: Meanwhile, since Camila  could not speak, she kept sewing quietly the shirts.   Then she and the prince had another child, and the wicked mother did the same thing.


PRINCE`S  MOTHER: Son, it happened again.  I saw when your wife took your son and hid him in the woods.  You have to do something with her.


PRINCE: I don`t believe you mother.  She is too sweet and good to do such a thing as that. If she could defend herself, her innocence would be proved.


NARRATOR: After a while, they had another child, and the King`s mother did the same thing.


PRINCE`S MOTHER: Now, you have to do something!.


PRINCE: Very well.  It`s enough.  I will talk to her.


NARRATOR: Camila was accused, and could not say a word in her own defense.  Then the law declared that she must be taken to the woods and left there.   When she was going to be taken to the woods, it was the last day of the six years in which she could not speak or laugh, and now she had freed her brothers from the enchantment. The six shirts were done.


PRINCE: Take her away!. But why do you have those shirts in your hand?.   Wait, what are those in the sky.  They look like swans, and they are flying around us.


NARRATOR: Then, Camila threw the shirts over them, and they recovered their human form.


SIX BROTHERS: Lets help our sister!.


NARRATOR: And they hugged each other.  Then Camila went to the Prince who was astonished, and began to speak.


CAMILA: Dearest husband, now I can speak and tell you openly that I am innocent and have been falsely accused.  It was your mother who took our three children away and hid them.


PRINCE: My dear wife, now I believe you and trust you.  I will do anything in my power to recover our children.


PRINCE`S MOTHER: She is lying!.  How can you believe her.  I am your mother, you have to trust me, not her.  I couldn`t do a thing like that!.


PRINCE: No, mother, this is over, I command you to leave the castle at once.  Guards, take her away and never let her return.


CAMILA: No, I am your mother, you can`t do this to me.  You will regret it!.


NARRATOR: But she was taken away, and the prince sent the guards to the woods and they found the three children hidden in an old hut.


CAMILA: I am so happy.  I have my three children with me, and my six dear brothers.  Now we can all live in peace.




Author:  K I D S I N C O based on an Unknown Folktale.


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