Journey With Story


Journey With Story

The Princess Who Vowed Not to Marry


The Princess Who Vowed Not to Marry E:218

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with this lovely tale from India about a clever young artist who uses her artistic skills to persuade a young princess to break her vow of not marrying.  An episode from the storytelling podcast, Journey with Story, for kids ages 4-10.  (duration 11 minutes)

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The Princess Who Vowed Not to Marry- Indian Folktale

Episode 218

February 16,2023

Have you ever made a vow – a solemn promise never to do something – could be something very small and silly, for example, maybe you vowed that you would never ever wear the color red, or maybe you vowed that you would never ever eat asparagus or goose liver – or maybe you vowed thatyou would never have short hair.

Hello everyone.  I’m Kathleen Pelley.  Welcome to Journey with Story.  Today’s episode is another story perfect for Valentine’s Day which we just celebrated the other day.  This story from India about a princess who makes a very serious vow – not to marry! Let’s find out why and….more importantly IF she keeps her vow or not?

Before we begin – thanks to all of you who have made a vow to – rate, review and share this podcast with others – we really appreciate your support and if you have not already done so, then please take a moment now to do that. Thanks so much.

And remember, you can download some coloring sheets at

Now let’s take a journey with The Princess Who Vowed Not to Marry.

Long ago in India, there once lived a Raja’s daughter, (a Raja is just another word for a Prince) who was both beautiful and clever.  One day when she was out riding, the saw a terrible fire raging through the forest.  In one of the trees, there was a family of birds, and the mother bird was desperately trying to save her babies, but the father bird just flew away and abandoned them to their fate.

The princess fumed with rage to see the plight of the mother bird and her babies.  At once, she spurred her horse and galloped as fast as the wind back to the palace, where she rounded up all of her servants ordering them to come at once to fight the fire.

How cruel and unreliable male creatures are, she thought.  And surely it is the same whether they be bird or beast or human.  And in that very moment, the princess vowed never to marry.

But her parents were distraught to hear such news.  “But why would you decided such a thing?” they wailed.

The princess only shook her head and refused to talk any more on the matter.  Soon everyone in the land learned that the princess had made a vow never to marry.

Now about this time, it happened that a young artist paid a visit to the raja’s court, and he was instructed to draw a portrait of the young princess  But when he had finished, instead of giving it to the princess of her parents, he quietly stowed it away in his knapsack and took off for the city.“Just like a man!” scoffed the princess, when she realized what he had done.

Meanwhile, the young artist had arrived in another city to visit another raja, and when this raja saw the portrait of the princess, he immediately offered the artist a large amount of money in exchange for it.  Later that evening, the raja’s son saw the portrait and in an instant, he fell madly in love with the princess.  But when he tried to find out who she was, no one in all the city could tell him. The poor prince was heartbroken and his father at once sent messengers out to bring back the artist, hoping that he could tell them where to find this beautiful princess.

But the artist had traveled far far away to a distant land and no one could find him, no matter how hard they tried.

The young prince had a sister, Nami, and she could not bear to see her brother so down hearted.  She decided to set off on her own and find this princess herself.

Disguising herself as a man, she crept out of the castle, taking with her the portrait and a set of paints, for she too was also something of an artist.  For days at a time, she traveled all across the land showing the portrait to everyone she met, but no one recognized the lovely girl in the portrait, until…

One day Nami met an old woman who told her, “Ah, that is the princess who vowed never to marry.”

Nami’s heart sank to hear such news, but still she refused to give up her quest.  With the old woman’s directions, she found the princess’s castle and sat outside with her easel and her paints and brushes, until the raja himself caught sight or her.  He invited her to enter the castle to show him her art, and so much did he like her work, that he asked her to paint murals on all the walls in the princess’s quarters.

Everyone in the palace gasped with pleasure to see such beautiful art.  And one day, Nami found herself alone with the princess’s best friend who had come to admire the murals she had heard so much about.  “Why is it that the princess vowed not to marry?” she asked.

“It is a secret,” whispered the friend.  “You must promise not to tell a soul.” Of course, Nami eagerly agreed and then the friend told her all about the fire in the forest and the family of birds whose father abandoned them.

Now Nami knew exactly what to do.   She began by painting a picture of an antelope family, where the antelope father was saving his young from a fire.  Off to the side was a handsome prince who looked exactly like Nami’s brother.

When the princess saw the painting, she demanded, “Artist, tell me what is the meaning of this picture?”

“Oh, Princess,” Nami replied in her best man’s voice.  “This picture shows something that really happened to the prince in my land.  When he was out hunting in the forest, he came across this scene of an antelope protecting his young.  From that day on, he believed that only males were faithful and reliable and females were not to be trusted.  Since that day, he has vowed never to marry”

“How very strange,” mumbled the princess.  “That means males can be true and females not true?  Perhaps there are two sides to everything and maybe it is up to each of us whether male or female, to be wise and strong and faithful.”

“I am glad to hear you say that, Princess,” said the artist with a smile.

Nami finished up her work at the castle that very day and hurried away as fast as she could.  Her paintings were much admired and treasure by all who saw them, but most of all by the princess, who little by little began to fall more in love with the prince in the picture.

When Nami arrived home, she could barely wait to share her good news with her brother.  “The princess will see you now,” she announced with great joy.

“Thank you, sweet sister.  No brother could ever wish for a better sister than you.”  And as he raced out of the palace, he called back to her, “But…wait, why are you dressed up as a boy?”

Nami just grinned as she watched her brother ride away – galloping across the land to find his beloved princess who had vowed never to marry.

And of course, when he found her and asked her to be his bride, she forgot all about her vow and a grand wedding was held with such festivity and rejoicing as never had been seen before in all the land.

To this very day, no one ever knew Nami’s secret…

Well, Nami was very clever indeed to think of such a plan to bring this prince and princess together, wasn’t she.  What do you think the story souvenir is – the nugget of truth about what it means to live in this world?  Yes, I think it must have something to do with what the princess realized after she saw Nami’s portrait of the antelope family – that no matter whether we are a boy or a girl, or a man or a woman – it us up to each of us to be loyal and kind and brave and wise.

If this story painted any pictures in your mind – do send us your drawings at so we can share with others.

Cheerio then, join me next time for Journey with Story.

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