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  • 1/12/2010

King Grisly-Beard (Part 1)

king grisly-beard

A great king of a land far away in the East had a daughter who was very beautiful, but so proud and haughty and conceited, that none of the princes who came to ask for her hand in marriage was good enough for her. All she ever did was make fun of them.

     Once upon a time the king held a great feast and invited all her suitors. They all sat in a row, ranged according to their rank -- kings and princes and dukes and earls and counts and barons and knights. When the princess came in, as she passed by them, she had something spiteful to say to each one.

     The first was too fat: "He"s as round as a tub," she said.

     The next was too tall: "What a maypole!" she said.

     The next was too short: "What a dumpling!" she said.

     The fourth was too pale, and she called him "Wallface."

     The fifth was too red, so she called him "Coxcomb."

     The sixth was not straight enough; so she said he was like a green stick that had been laid to dry over a baker"s oven. She had some joke to crack about every one. But she laughed most of all at a good king who was there.

     "Look at him," she said; "his beard is like an old mop; he shall be called Grisly-beard." So the king got the nickname of Grisly-beard.

     But the old king was very angry when he saw how his daughter behaved and how badly she treated all his guests. He vowed that, willing or unwilling, she would marry the first man that came to the door.

     Two days later a travelling fiddler came by the castle. He began to play under the window and begged for money and when the king heard him, he said, "Let him come in."

     So, they brought the dirty-looking fellow in and, when he had sung before the king and the princess, he begged for a gift.

     The king said, "You have sung so well that I will give you my daughter to take as your wife."

     The princess begged and prayed; but the king said, "I have sworn to give you to the first man who came to the door, and I will keep my word."

     Words and tears were to no avail; the parson was sent for, and she was married to the fiddler.

     When this was over, the king said, "Now get ready to leave -- you must not stay here -- you must travel with your husband."

     So the fiddler left the castle, and took the princess with him.

     Soon they came to a great wood.

     "Pray," she said, "whose is this wood?"

     "It belongs to King Grisly-beard," he answered; "hadst thou taken him, all would have been thine."

     "Ah! Unlucky wretch that I am!" she sighed; "would that I had married King Grisly-beard!"

     Next they came to some fine meadows.

     "Whose are these beautiful green meadows?" she said.

     "They belong to King Grisly-beard, hadst thou taken him, they would all have been thine."

     "Ah! unlucky wretch that I am!" she said; "would that I had married King Grisly-beard!"

     Then they came to a great city. "Whose is this noble city?" she said.

     "It belongs to King Grisly-beard; hadst thou taken him, it would all have been thine."

     "Ah! Wretch that I am!" she sighed; "why did I not marry King Grisly-beard?"

     "That is no business of mine," said the fiddler, "why should you wish for another husband? Am I not good enough for you?"

     At last they came to a small cottage. "What a paltry place!" she said; "to whom does that little dirty hole belong?"

     The fiddler said, "That is your and my house, where we are to live."

     "Where are your servants?" she cried.

     "What do we want with servants?" he said; "you must do for yourself whatever is to be done. Now make the fire, and put on water and cook my supper, for I am very tired."

     But the princess knew nothing of making fires and cooking, and the fiddler was forced to help her.

     When they had eaten a very scanty meal they went to bed; but the fiddler called her up very early in the morning to clean the house.

     They lived like that for two days and when they had eaten up all there was in the cottage, the man said, "Wife, we can"t go on thus, spending money and earning nothing. You must learn to weave baskets."

     Then the fiddler went out and cut willows, and brought them home, and she began to weave; but it made her fingers very sore.

     "I see this work won"t do," he said, "try and spin; perhaps you will do that better."

By Grimm, Brothers

Source: short-stories.co.uk


Other links:

The Little Match-Seller (part1)

The Little Match-Seller (part2)

The Emperors New Suit (part1)

The Emperors New Suit (part2)

The Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

The Tortoise and the Hare

The Princess and the Pea

Hansel and Gretel (Part 1)

Hansel and Gretel (Part 2)

Hansel and Gretel (Part 3)

Hansel and Gretel (Part 4)

The Miser

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