…Until one day the man gave up and went to bed. Suddenly, that very night, C woke up and the cat was missing from its usual spot. Thinking that he will catch it in the act while destroying the crops, C looked out the window. To his surprise, he could see a young man in the garden, digging holes all around the crops. He ran to his parents and brothers and they all watched the young man digging in their garden for a while, not knowing what to do. When he came to his senses the father went outside the the house and walked towards the young man. Startled and surprised the young man ran and hid behind a tree.
” – Listen young man, said the father, I will not harm you. I only want to know why are you destroying my crops and scaring my animals? Please come out so we can see your face.”
The young man came out into the moonlight and smiled at the father. There was something familiar about that young man but the father couldn’t quite name what it was.
“- I am the cat your son, C, found abandoned into the village, the young man said. I am a young prince from a kingdom far away, which Mother Wednesday cursed because of my father’s arrogance. There is a cloud of sorrow over my kingdom now and Mother Wednesday locked the castle with everyone and everything in it, throwing the keys as far as she could. She turned me into a cat by and bound me to forever search for the keys so I can save my kingdom. I can take human form only after midnight. After many years of searching and searching for them, I am sure that they are somewhere on your land.
– So you are our cat, asked the father confused.
– Yes I am, and I want to thank your beautiful family for all the care and love you gave me.”
Feeling ashamed for wanting to get rid of a prince the father of the children reached out and welcomed the prince inside his home. They all sat down at the table and shared stories of their time together. Meanwhile, C, hearing the prince’s stories, continued to search for the keys while they all were inside. After several hours, feeling tired, he sat down by the big apple tree to rest for a while. He saw something shining from behind and bush and when he reached out to see what it is, there they were: a big chain of silver keys, sparkling into the moonlight. C jumped up and down of joy and ran inside the house holding the keys up just like a prize. At the sight of the keys the prince jumped up from his chair and hugged C so hard that he almost brought tears the young boy’s eyes.
” – Thank you so much! I will never be able to repay your kindness, but when I will finally have my kingdom back I won’t forget any of you and I will fulfill your every desire.”
The prince kissed each child on the forehead and hugged the parents goodbye, then took the keys and went out the door into the dark night.
“- I wish you luck in your quest, whispered the father for himself. And all of you, off to bed now, the sun is ready to shine again. We have to get some sleep.”
The children cried and sobbed after their dear cat, but went to bed thinking of the young prince and the adventures he was going to go through on his way back home.
The next day no one noticed that C was gone from his bed. They all went on with their day and by dinner time he was long gone from the village. C couldn’t abandon the young prince and after saying goodbye to him, he sneaked away from the house and followed him into the night. At sunrise the prince took the form of his dear cat, so C slowly approached him and took the cat in his arms.
” – I couldn’t let you go. I will help you lift the spell from your castle and protect you from any harm during the day. Lead the way, C said and the cat jumped out from his arms and guided him into the woods.”
Many days have passed…