When the sun set, they became her brothers again. This is where we live now. It is not as nice as the castle, but we like it. There are berries and fruit trees in the forest. You should get some sleep now. Yes, I am tired. I hope I can find how to save you. Maybe you will dream it. Good night, Elise.
That night, Elise had a dream. A fairy came to her and told her how to break the spell. This nettle grows outside the cave. Pick the nettles and crush them with your feet. Make the nettles into thread. Then weave the thread into eleven coats. Throw the coats over your brothers, and they will never be swans again. The spell will be broken. But be careful. You must not speak a word before the spell is broken. If you say anything at all to anyone, your brothers will never be saved.
The next morning, Elise was very happy. She knew how to save her brothers.
She ran outside and found the nettles. She picked many nettles and carried them to the cave. Then she crushed the nettles with her feet until they were soft. Then she made thread and began to weave the first coat. She was still working when the sun went down. Her brothers came home and saw her working.
Hi, Elise. What are you doing? But Elise didn’t answer. She was not allowed to speak. She smiled at her brothers and showed them the nettle coat. What’s wrong? Why won’t you talk to us? She’s making a strange coat. Maybe the coats will break the spell. That is why she cannot speak. If she speaks, the magic coats will not work.
Elise smiled again. Her brothers were so smart. They helped her when they could. They brought her food and water, so she could work on the magic coats. After a few days, the first coat was done. Elise and her brothers were very happy.
One day, Elise went outside to pick more nettles. Suddenly, a hunting party appeared. The leader of the hunting party was a handsome young man. He saw Elise, and walked over to her. Hello, miss. I am the king of this land. Who are you?
Elise bowed to the young king, but she did not say anything. The girl does not speak, my king. What is wrong with her? I don’t know. But she is very beautiful. I will take her to the castle and marry her. She will be a wonderful queen.
But Elise did not want to go with the young king. She wanted to stay with her brothers and help them. She shook her head no and started to cry. But the king picked her up and put her on his horse. Do not cry, my dear. This cave is not a good place to live. You will be very happy at my castle. Soon they arrived at the young king’s castle.
Everyone welcome Elise and tried to make her happy. Elise liked the people at the castle, but she was still very sad, one person did not like Elise. The king’s chief minister did not trust her.
My king, this girl is too strange. Why won’t she talk to us? And why does she cry all the time? She is not a normal girl. I think she is a witch. Nonsense, she is not a witch. I think she misses her home. I have an idea to make her happier.
A few days later, the young king showed Elise a special room in the castle. I made this room to look just like you cave. We even brought your nettles and your coats. You can continue your strange work. Now will you be happy for me?
For the first time since coming to the castle, Elise smiled. She was so happy. Now she could make more magic coats for her brothers. She hugged the young king and kissed his hand in thanks. Soon, they were married. Elise and the king were very happy together. Every day, she ruled the kingdom with the king. Every night, she worked on the magic coats. But the chief minister still did not trust her. He watched her every night.
One night, Elise ran out of nettles. She left the castle to pick more. The chief minister followed her. He saw her picking the nettles, but he did not know why. This is too strange. A normal girl does not pick nettles in the middle of the night.
Now I can prove that she is a witch. The king will put her in jail. The next morning, the chief minister found the young king. My king, I can prove your wife is a witch. Last night, I followed her. She left and went to the cave. She picked lots of nettles to make those strange coats. A normal girl does not pick nettles in the middle of the night. She is a witch.
I don’t believe you, my wife is wonderful. I love her. She is not a witch. Please, let me show you. Watch her at night. You will see. Alright, I will watch her. Then I will prove that she is not a witch. For many nights the young king and the chief minister watched Elise. She worked hard weaving the magic coats.
Finally, ten coats were finishes. But she needed more nettles that night, Elise left the castle and went to the cave. The king and the chief minister followed her. They watched her picking nettle under the moon.
Now do you see? Only a witch picks nettles at night. She will cast spells on the kingdom. This is terrible. But I must believe you. Oh, how sad I am. My beautiful wife is a witch. Will you put her in jail? Yes. I will. I must protect my kingdom. I will tell the guards to arrest her tomorrow morning.
The next morning, the guards arrested Elise. They took her to a tall tower and locked her in a small room. They threw the nettles and coats at her. Here are your nettles. they will be your blankets.
Goodbye, witch. Don’t cast your evil spells on us. Elise was so sad. She loved the young king, but he thought she was a witch. She began to cry.
Suddenly, she heard birds flying by the window. She looked outside and saw eleven swans. The swans all had golden crowns on their heads. Her brothers found her! She pointed to the jail house. The biggest swan nodded his head. He understood what was happening. Now Elise had new hope. She started to work very hard on the last coat. She worked all day and all night long. She didn’t sleep or eat anything.
The next morning, the young king arrived with the chief minister. Good morning, witch. Today you will go to jail. Are you ready? Please speak to us. Tell us why you are making these strange coats. If we knew why, you would not go to jail.
But Elise did not say anything. She looked at the king with a sad face. She will not speak. We must send her to jail. I’m so sorry, my dear. But I must protect my kingdom.
Elise picked up the eleven magic coats. The last coat was almost finished. She followed the chief Minister to a cart. This cart will take you to jail. Get in.
Elise got into the cart. She quickly started working on the last coat. She hoped to finish the coat quickly. The cart rolled through the town. All the towns. people came out to see Elise go to jail. They arrived at the jail house just as Elise finished the last coat. The guards opened the cart door and Elise stepped out.
Suddenly, eleven swans flew down to her. She threw a coat over each swan. The spell was broken, and the swans turned into her brothers. She is a witch! She turned those swans into young men! No, I am not a witch. These young men are my brothers.
Elise is right. Our stepmother was a witch. She cast an evil spell on us. The nettle coats broke the spell. Now we are free.
Why didn’t you tell us this before? I could not speak while I worked on the coats. If I said a word to anyone, the magic coats would not work. I’m sorry I worried you. You were so brave and strong. I love you, Elise. I love you too. I’m so happy I can speak to you now.
Elise, her brothers and the young king went back to the castle. They sent a messenger to Elise’s father. The next day, he came to see his children. Elise! My sons! I’m so happy to see you again. Father, I missed you so much. Where is stepmother? I don’t know. Your messenger told me about the evil spell.
I sent my guards to arrest her. But when they went to her rooms, she was gone. I hope we never see her again. That night, the young king held a grand party. Everyone had a wonderful time. And they all lived happily ever after.