The Magic Carpet

Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a castle. The princess was called Anna. The castle was famous for its treasures. The treasure chambers of the castle were full of gold and jewels. It was time for Princess Anna to get married. The princess was smart and knew that some men would only want to marry her because she was wealthy. This is why the princess went to ask the wizard for help. The wizard gave the princess a magic carpet. “This carpet is a lie detection carpet,” the wizard said. “It will tell you whether the person who proposes to you is only after the gold and jewels.” Princess Anna returned home and spread the carpet on the floor of the great hall. She positioned herself on the other side of the carpet, so anyone proposing to her would have to stand on top of the carpet.
The first person to come and propose was a handsome, young prince. “I am the prince of the Northern land,” the prince introduced himself. “Lovely princess! Will you become my wife? You will have all my love!” But suddenly the carpet began to sing:

“He says he wants the princess,
to love you loads he promises.
He says he wants a hand to hold,
but actually he’s after gold.”

After the song ended, the carpet wrapped itself around the prince. It flew outside and threw the dishonest prince out into the street. Then the carpet returned and landed softly on the floor.
The second man who came to propose was a noble earl. “I am a French earl,” the earl said politely. “Oh sweet princess! Agree to be my wife, so we can both be happy!” But again the carpet began to sing:

“This man is lying,
his luck he is trying.
Don’t believe what he has told,
actually he’s after gold.”

After the song ended the carpet wrapped itself around the earl and threw him outside. Then it returned onto the floor.
The princess was sad. Was everyone trying to marry her only because of her treasures? The last man coming to propose was a young man. The man was not wearing any fancy clothes. He walked onto the carpet and looked straight into the princess’s eyes. Then he said: “I’m not a fine prince or earl. I’m the son of the castle’s gardener. Princess Anna, do you remember me? As children, we used to play in the garden. Since then I have loved you. I have no gold or wealth to offer, just my heart and my love. Still I have the courage to ask: Will you marry me?” That’s when the carpet started to sing:

“He is no earl, nor a prince,
but love is in his heart.
An honest heart of this kind,
is a true treasure to find.”

Princess Anna smiled and said: “Yes, I will marry you.”
The princess and the gardener’s son had a great big wedding in the castle. The wizard was invited to the wedding as a guest of honor. The magic carpet was left on the floor. It would reveal and throw out many more liars in the years to come. The princess and the gardener’s son lived happily ever after.

Kirjoittanut Päivi Honkakoski

Why did the first two men lie to the princess? Was the lying worth it?
What would have happened if the gardener’s son had told the princess that he was a prince?
Is it better to tell the truth or to lie? Why?
How does it feel if someone lies to you?
Do you always tell the truth?

Play “spin the bottle”: Sit in a circle. Put a bottle in the middle of the circle, on its side. Give the bottle a spin. When the bottle stops, the person who it points to can choose “truth” or “dare.” If the person chooses “truth,” the rest of the group can as him or her a question. The question must be answered truthfully, without lies. If the person chooses “dare,” the others can order him or her to do something (for example, to jump on one leg or to imitate a cat).