Monday, January 27, 2014

Adalmina's pearl

Illustration by Lena Frölander-Ulf 2012
Adalminas pärla, Finnish: Adalmiinan helmi 1853
Another fairytale from Topelius. Written in 1878-1896

When Princess Adalmina is born, two fairy godmothers give her gifts. The first gift is a pearl that makes Adalmina wise, rich and beautiful. The other godmother gives her a humble heart if the Princess ever loses the pearl. The King makes a diadem for the pearl and Adalmina wears it all the time. Adalmina grows up, but instead of her beauty and wisdom, she is very arrogant. She is forbidden to leave the palace garden and she is furious.

Adalmina loses the diadem
She leaves the castle and walks to the nearby forest. There she sees a pond and she stops to admire herself. The diadem and the pearl with it falls into the pond. All at once Adalmina forgets who she is. She is poor, dumb and ugly. She wonders around the forest and finds a small cottage, where an old woman lives. She is happy there.

Meanwhile the king and queen are devastated: they look for Adalmina all over. They even promise to give her hand in marriage if someone finds her. One day a prince rides in the forest. First he finds the diadem at the pond and then the cottage and meets Adalmina. He wonders why the girl is so endearing and moves his heart even though she is ugly. He asks if the ladies have seen Adalmina. They say no.

The prince takes the diadem to the King. The diadem fits only Adalmina and the King as he still remembers the second fairy godmother’s gift, orders all the girls of 18 to come and try the diadem on. At the end of the day they look at the road if there still were someone coming.

Finally Adalmina comes and tries on the diadem. It fits and then she remembers everything. She also remembers how arrogant and gruel she was before. But now she also remembers what it was like living in the cottage. She has learned a lesson and now she can live happily ever after with her prince.
Albert Edelfelt
Adalmina's pearl by Albert Edelfelt, 1903 Cover of Läsning för barn -illustrerad ac finska och svenska konstnär. (Lukemisia lapsille,  translated in Finnish  1906-1907)
Illustration by Alf Danning

Rudolf Koivu's Adalmina's pearl
Adalmina by Maija Karma

Illustration by Maija Karma

Illustration by Maija Karma

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