1. King's two older sons go off into the world seeking adventure but are reckless and thoughtless and decide they better not ever go home.
2. Witling, youngest brother, ventures out to find his brothers. Once found, brothers ridicule him and pronounce him a "loser" compared to their "cleverness."
3. The three set off and come across an ant hill in which the older princes would like to step on and cause havoc. Witling speaks up and says "leave the creatures alone, I won't suffer them to be killed."
4. All come up to some ducks swimming in a lake. Brothers want to kill them for dinner but Witling stops them - "I will not suffer them to be killed."
5. Eventually they come to a bee's nest with loads of dripping, sweet honey that overflowed and ran down the tree trunk. Older brothers want to smoke out the bees for the honey but Witling saves the day and says NO, Leave the little creatures alone, I will not suffer them to be stifled."
6. Brothers aren't happy but the 3 of them finally reach a castle with stone horses by a stable. Brothers search through the rooms until they see a gray-haired man sitting at a table through a small opening of a locked door. They call 3 times before the old man turns, stands, walks to open the door. Man leads them to a table filled with foods to eat. Once eaten, the man walks each to their bed chambers.
7. Next morning, old man beckons the oldest brother to a stone table where there were 3 tasks written down to break the enchantment spell. #1: 1000 pearls belonging to the princess must be gathered from under the moss in the woods - all must be gathered and returned by sunset - Oldest brother failed and was turned to stone. 2nd brother goes out to gather the pearls and fails - turned to stone.
8. Witling's turn - quite tedious but gets help from those ants he saved earlier-all pearls were gathered.
9. #2 task ordered by the table of stone was to retrieve the key to the Princess's room at the bottom of the lake. Witling was assisted by the ducks he saved earlier and the key was delivered.
10. #3 task ordered by the table of stone was most difficult - Witling had to choose out the youngest and loveliest of the three Princesses with only these clues: oldest had eaten a piece of sugar, the middle had eaten a little syrup, and the youngest had a spoonful of honey. The Queen Bee comes to the rescue and trying the lips of all three, settles on the one that had eaten honey. Witling, the King's son, thus choose the correct Princess, the spell was broken and everyone woke up. Witling married the youngest, ruled the kingdom after his father's death, and the brothers were none the wiser.