— based on a story by Senaid Begović
Once upon a time there was a princess. She was the most beautiful princess in all the kingdoms. Not only was she beautiful, but she was also smart and spent all of her time reading in the castle’s library.
When the time came, her father decided to find her a husband. He loved his daughter dearly and wanted her to be happy. So one day he asked her: ‘My dear, I want you to have everything you ever wanted. What kind of man do you want as your husband?’ She thought for a while. Then she said: ‘I don’t care for looks or quests or bravery. But what I desire is a clever man with wit and knowledge of the world. And who is smarter than the one who speaks the most languages of them all?’
The king was very satisfied with her answer. He sent word to all corners of the world, heralding that his daughter will marry the one man who can speak the most languages.
Many and more suitors came from all kingdoms. They were scholars and writers and poets and teachers and everything else.
There was a man who spoke 15 languages.
She wasn’t impressed.
Then came a man who spoke 45 languages. She still wasn’t impressed.
The men kept coming, and she refused them all.
Finally, one suitor remained. He was quiet with smart eyes, and he was handsome as well. It was rumored that he could be “the one”. He spoke 153 languages fluently . 153! For the princess, it was love at first sight. He told her about his travels and she told him about her books. They talked for three days straight. On the fourth day, he asked her for her hand in marriage.
She said: ‘No.’
She told him: ‘There are thousands and thousands of languages in the world and I want them all! You’re not enough!’ Hurt and confused, he stood up while his body filled with rage. In a single moment of madness he took a knife…
…and cut off her tongue.
That is how the princess finally learned that the first and last language of the world will always be – silence.