princess who loved school
long ago, little Prince Udaya and little Princess Anula were friends.
They walked to school together from their two palaces. Anula was
very good at school and loved learning. One morning, on their way
to school, she peeped into a deep well and her pen stylus (pen)
fell into it. “Who will get my pen back”?, she cried.
At once, Udaya climbed down into the well and fished it out. As
he gave it back to her he said, “Promise to marry me when
you grow up”. Anula happily said “Yes” as she
was already very fond of him. As time went on the princess became
the very best student in school.
had grown up to be a handsome young prince, his father the king,
looked around for a suitable princess to be his bride. The prince
told his father, “The only girl I will ever marry is the Princess
Anula who was at school with me”. The king then asked the
prince, “Do you prefer to become a king or to marry the princess?”
Udaya then replied, “I prefer to marry Anula and teach little
children rather than to rule over your kingdom”.
The old king
sadly accepted his son’s word and sent royal messengers to
the father of the Princess Anula asking for her hand in marriage
to his son. Princess Anula’s father was greedy for gold. He
replied that Udaya could marry Princess Anula only if he filled
with gold the well in the palace garden. Udaya’s father was
rich and generous. He sent Anula’s greedy royal father, many
elephants laden with gold, which easily filled the palace well.
The greedy king was now happy and held a wonderful wedding for the
prince and princess.
Udaya and Anula left their palace to seek their own fortune, as
they did not enjoy palace life. After a long and tiring journey
they came to rest at a traveller’s rest (ambalama). As they
had no money, Anula gave Udaya a magnificent jacket embroidered
in gold and gems to sell in the market place and buy themselves
food. Meanwhile Anula rested in the ambalama.
his best to sell the jacket, but it was so rich and splendid that
none of the traders had the money to buy it. Some palace guards
who saw the jacket were sure their king would love it and they took
Udaya back with them to the palace. The king immediately bought
it for two bags of gold. The bags of gold were so heavy that Udaya
could carry only one bag at a time. He took the first and set off
for the ambalama.
The king had
Udaya secretly followed by spies. They rushed back to the palace
and told him of a beautiful princess waiting alone in the ambalama.
Meanwhile Udaya returned with the first bag of gold, which he hid
in the ambalama and went back for the rest. When Udaya was on his
way, the king and his guards galloped on horseback to the ambalama
and carried away the beautiful princess.
While she was
being taken away, clever Anula thought of a plan to escape. She
peeled an orange and slipped into it a letter to Udaya. She stuck
the peel back so that it looked like a whole orange and quietly
dropped it on the road. Udaya returned to the ambalama only to discover
that Anula had been captured by the king. He rushed off towards
the palace to get her back.
Ob his way
he found a lovely orange lying by the roadside. Tired and hungry,
he sat down in the shade of a thimbiri tree to eat the orange. As
he peeled it, Anula’s letter fell out. He joyfully read it
aloud. She wrote, “Buy two horses and hide beyond the palace
walls tonight. When you are ready, wave your scarf. I will climb
down from the window”. A cunning peasant who had climbed up
the tree to steal fruit, heard the whole plan and decided to capture
the princess himself.