Every of them introduced himself and after that the princess looked in her mirror. When all the princes presented themselves, the princess did not choose anyone but she ran away crying. The king gave another party. Unfortunately, that time it was the same.The princess burst into tears again.
The father was worried and did not know what to do. He invited a lot of brave, wise and good-looking knights, one better than another. He asked his daughter:
“Why didn't you decide to choose anybody?”
The princess answered:
“Father, all the candidates were almost perfect and each of them, I'm sure, wanted the best for me but I wouldn’t be happy with any of them. Give another party, please. If this time I don't find my future husband, I will leave you and become a hermit. “
“We can give a lot of parties. I don't want to lose you. You needn't be in a hurry.”
“No, Father. I'll do what I said.”
The king was very sad about the princess' words. He went along with her will but had high hopes that she would find someone who would marry her at the next party.
After the conversation with the father, the princess spent all day in her room. She was to stay there until the evening of the next party. She changed her plans, however, and in the morning, a few hours before the feast, she decided to go for a stroll. She was walking alone, treading across a field covered by dew, wearing a long, red dress. There was no cloud in the sky, a feeling of spring floated in the air. Everything said it would be a beautiful, sunny day. But in the princess' heart there was sombre, dark and eerie wind blowing and a storm raved.
The princess got up the edge of the forest. She was tired but wanted to rest near the lake, so she decided to go through the woods. When she reached her destination, she sat on a stone and started crying. She could not keep her secret any longer so she thought she would tell the lake about it. She believed that nobody would hear this.
“Dear Lake. Do you know what I feel, how I suffer? Today I have to choose my husband. Otherwise I'll have to live alone. My choice isn't easy. The man who I'll marriy has to fulfill only one, but a very difficult condition. When I look at him and then into my mirror, I have to see a beautiful face of a young girl. But many times I saw an ugly face with a lot of wrinkles, spots and scars. If I married a man not intended for me, I would be so hideous as the reflection in the mirror. I'm anxious of today's evening, because it'll give me an answer if I will be living happily with a family or in a small hut as a hermit.”
While the princess was telling her mysterious story, on the other bank a tired knight had a rest. Then he directed his steps towards the castle to join the party. The prince was very brave and courageous and his handsomeness could break every woman's heart. He dismounted from a snow-white horse. The rays of the sun reflected in his armour, but the princess did not notice him because she was bending over the water. However, the prince saw the figure of the beautiful woman in the red dress. He was about to call out to her, but suddenly he heard a complaint of the princess. “Oh, Lake, you didn't keep the secret!”
In the evening there was a big feast in the castle. The queue of the candidates was very long. At the beginning there was a little smile on princess' face but in the course of time it became smaller and smaller.
When there were only a few princes left and the king had almost lost his hope, the prince with the snow-white horse appeared. He approached the princess. At that moment she was about to look in her mirror but the brave prince grabbed it and dropped on the floor. The mirror broke immediately. The princess was so shocked that she did not even cry, but tried to collect the parts of the broken thing. When she was picking the last piece, she bent down and saw her reflection. It wasn't perfect, but she could see a pretty face although there were plenty of scratches because the mirror was damaged.
The next day there was a joyful wedding - the princess and the prince got married. The king was so move that he burst into tears. And they all lived a happy life.