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The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers

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Theseus

Traditional

UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES

VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY

WHAT MEN LIVE BY

WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO

The Golden Branch

from The Red Fairy Book





ONCE upon a time there was a King who was so morose and
disagreeable that he was feared by all his subjects, and with
good reason, as for the most trifling offences he would have their
heads cut off. This King Grumpy, as he was called, had one
son, who was as different from his father as he could possibly be.
No prince equalled him in cleverness and kindness of heart, but
unfortunately he was most terribly ugly. He had crooked legs and
squinting eyes, a large mouth all on one side, and a hunchback.
Never was there a beautiful soul in such a frightful little body, but
in spite of his appearance everybody loved him. The Queen, his
mother, called him Curlicue, because it was a name she rather
liked, and it seemed to suit him.

King Grumpy, who cared a great deal more for his own grandeur
than for his son's happiness, wished to betroth the Prince to the
daughter of a neighbouring King, whose great estates joined his
own, for he thought that this alliance would make him more powerful
than ever, and as for the Princess she would do very well for
Prince Curlicue, for she was as ugly as himself. Indeed, though she
was the most amiable creature in the world, there was no concealing
the fact that she was frightful, and so lame that she always went
about with a crutch, and people called her Princess Cabbage-Stalk.

The King, having asked for and received a portrait of this
Princess, had it placed in his gre