False Bride Maleen

It was arranged that I should marry the king's son, and he was truly handsome. But I was no match for him. I felt so ugly and wretched, I hid in my room.

Then I had an idea. I would get Maleen, the scullery maid, to dress up in my wedding gown. She could go to the church with the king's son. Once the wedding was over, I would get into his bed. It would be dark in his bedroom. He wouldn't even know the difference.

That was the plan, and it worked until we got into his bed. Then he wanted to know what I said to the nettle plant on my way to the church. Maleen wasn't supposed to speak! I was furious.

"I must go out to speak to my maid," I said. "She keeps my thoughts for me."

I left the room, holding onto my veil, thinking, "I'll wring her neck!"

False Bride Maleen in Maid Maleen, Grimms. Painting by Edouard Manet.

false maleen