The Princess and the Wild Dancing Man

A long time ago on an island far away a beautiful daughter of the king wished to get married. The daughter was so beautiful that all the men on the island wished to marry her. Her eyes were deep dark liquid pools of black, her ebony hair streamed down to the back of her slender ankles.

Due to her great beauty, all the men claimed to love her. The daughter, unable to determine who really loved her and who merely sought her for her beauty, asked that all her suitors perform a dance for her.

The princess traveled from village to village carried on her palanquin. In each village the men who sought to marry her each came forward and performed their very best dance.

The men from the northern windward village of wooden men were first to dance. Each man danced and danced, but none could arouse the interest of the princess.

The princess then boarded a canoe and her rowers rowed her to the western village of the drowning sun. The men came out and danced and danced, but none could pique the interest of the princess.

The princess was rowed to the southern village on the harbor. There the men came out in force and danced and danced late into the day. The princess, tiring from the long day, found nothing to arouse her here. Her palanquin, brought down from the northern village, carried her to the village where the moon also rises.

The men of the moon village knew that none of the other villages had succeeded in captivating the interest of the princess. They knew they would need their finest dance outfits, their very best dancing, to win the heart of the princess. The men of this eastern village came out in their very best, and danced like men possessed, but the princess slowly fell asleep. Her bearers started to take her home to the palace on the island in the lake.

As the palanquin was carried northward from the village of the moon, a wild man jumped out of swamp whooping and shouting. He jumped directly in the path of the palanquin, startling the bearers. The princess was jolted awake by the commotion.

The man was dressed in a most unusual manner, and he began to dance a dance so lascivious and lewd that the palace guards ran to kill the man. The princess shouted after them, "No, do not kill my husband-to-be!"

When the king heard of his daughter's choice of husband-to-be he was concerned, but relented.

The wedding was a royal affair with vast amounts of food and much dancing. To the surprise of the king, the man who had acted so wild on the trail was now a perfect gentleman.

The man settled down with his princess bride and she bore him a daughter. The princess remained the single prettiest woman on the island, and other men could not help but to watch her.

As time passed the man grew jealous and eventually could not bear the strain, so he cut her beautiful hair, mistreating her as she struggled against him.

When the king heard of this, he sent his guards to kill the husband and bring the princess and the daughter back to the palace. The husband, a man of the mountains and forest, easily eluded the guards and escaped over the mountains in the outback above the southern village by the harbor.

The princess and her daughter returned to the palace where the princess raised her daughter.

The former husband of the princess, initially thought by some to be dead, encountered a woman washing clothes along a river deep in the forests. Promising never to mistreat her, they settled down together and had twelve beautiful children.

Today the descendants of this man and his wives live and thrive in the southern and eastern villages of a small Pacific Island. How would I know? I married the great-great-great granddaughter of the princess and him. And she is the most beautiful woman on the island.

The story of Waguk, Sra Nikungus, and Shrue Nikaswel from the island of Kosrae as retold by Dana Lee Ling. Sources: Kenye Insetlang [nee Ittu][Lambert] Talley and Joshaia Floyd Waguk.