The Mysterious Cave

Maitri Shah, Grade 4, The Universal School, Tardeo, Mumbai

Once upon a time, the prince of the kingdom of Fantasia was taking a walk in the forest surrounding his kingdom. He saw a beautiful white horse grazing in a clearing in the forest, and wanted to take it back to his palace. He stroked the horse’s mane gently, and then mounted it and rode it home. On the way, the horse got tired, so the prince took it to a pond near a cave, and went inside the cave for some shade while the horse drank water.

Inside the cave, the prince saw that there was a cage with an enormous but noble-looking dragon trapped inside. To the prince’s surprise, the dragon addressed him, “O Prince, a witch’s spell has trapped me in this cage. If you rescue me, I will remain your lifelong servant.” Then suddenly the horse came back and started tapping his hooves on the ground near the cage, and neighing to his master. The prince understood that the horse was trying to show him something, and so he began to dig the spot. He soon found a small, dusty but still glittering emerald. On examining it closely, the prince saw that the emerald perfectly fit a groove in the lock on the cage door. He pushed it inside the groove and voila, the lock clicked open! The dragon thanked the prince as soon as he came out.

The dragon kept his promise and became a loyal servant of the prince, helping him win many battles. While the horse became the prince’s mount, the dragon soon rose to become the commander of the prince’s army.

But the mystery remained about how the horse knew about the emerald being buried in the ground, and how it could be used to free the dragon. Well, I’ll tell you!

Many years before, a king who was an ancestor of this prince had fought against the evil witch who had trapped his faithful dragon. Both the king and the witch died in that battle, however the king’s horse, who had witnessed the battle, managed to run back to the palace safely. In time, the horse told his descendants the secret of the emerald that he had seen in the cave. One of those descendants was…the prince’s horse which he had seen in the forest!


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