The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES
Animal Sketches And Stories
Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon
BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS
CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES
FABLES FOR CHILDREN
FABLES FROM INDIA
FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS
FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK
For Classes Ii. And Iii.
For Classes Iv. And V.
For Kindergarten And Class I.
FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK
Good Little Henry
JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]
Jean De La Fontaine
King Alexander's Adventures
KINGS AND WARRIORS
LAND AND WATER FAIRIES
Lessons From Nature
LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG
MODERN FAIRY TALES
MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED
MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES
MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES
Myths And Legends
NEGLECT THE FIRE
ON POPULAR EDUCATION
PLACES AND FAMILIES
Poems Of Nature
RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)
RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"
RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE
ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES
SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY
Selections From The Bible
SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES
Some Children's Poets
Songs Of Life
STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS
STORIES FOR CHILDREN
STORIES for LITTLE BOYS
STORIES FROM BOTANY
STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN
STORIES FROM IRELAND
STORIES FROM PHYSICS
STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA
STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY
STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS
THE DAYS OF THE WEEK
The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers
The Little Grey Mouse
THE OLD FAIRY TALES
The Princess Rosette
THE THREE HERMITS
THE TWO OLD MEN
UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES
VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES
WHAT MEN LIVE BY
WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO
The Prince Who Wanted To See The World
from The Violet Fairy Book
There was once a king who had only one son, and this young man
tormented his father from morning till night to allow him to
travel in far countries. For a long time the king refused to
give him leave; but at last, wearied out, he granted permission,
and ordered his treasurer to produce a large sum of money for the
prince's expenses. The youth was overjoyed at the thought that
he was really going to see the world, and after tenderly
embracing his father he set forth.
He rode on for some weeks without meeting with any adventures;
but one night when he was resting at an inn, he came across
another traveller, with whom he fell into conversation, in the
course of which the stranger inquired if he never played cards.
The young man replied that he was very fond of doing so. Cards
were brought, and in a very short time the prince had lost every
penny he possessed to his new acquaintance. When there was
absolutely nothing left at the bottom of the bag, the stranger
proposed that they should have just one more game, and that if
the prince won he should have the money restored to him, but in
case he lost, should remain in the inn for three years, and
besides that should be his servant for another three. The prince
agreed to those terms, played, and lost; so the stranger took
rooms for him, and furnished him with bread and water every day
for three years.
The prince lamented his lot, but it was no use; and at the end of
three years he was released and had to go to the house of the
stranger, who was really the king of a neighbouring country, and
be his servant. Before he had gone very far he met a woman
carrying a child, which was crying from hunger. The prince took
it from her, and fed it with his last crust of bread and last
drop of water, and then gave it back to its mother. The woman
thanked him gratefully, and said:
'Listen, my lord. You must walk straight on till you notice a
very strong scent, which comes from a garden by the side of the
road. Go in and hide yourself close to a tank, where three doves
will come to bathe. As the last one flies past you, catch hold
of its robe of feathers, and refuse to give it back till the dove
has promised you three things.'
The young man did as he was told, and everything happened as the
woman had said. He took the robe of feathers from the dove, who
gave him in exchange for it a ring, a collar, and one of its own
plumes, saying: 'When you are in any trouble, cry "Come to my
aid, O dove!" I am the daughter of the king you are going to
serve, who hates your father and made you gamble in order to
cause your ruin.'
Thus the prince went on his way, and in course of time he arrived
at the king's palace. As soon as his master knew he was there,
the young man was sent for into his presence, and three bags were
handed to him with these words:
'Take this wheat, this millet, and this barley, and sow them at
once, so that I may have loaves of them all to-morrow.'
The prince stood speechless at this command, but the king did not
condescend to give any further explanation, and when he was
dismissed the young man flew to the room which had been set aside
for him, and pulling out his feather, he cried: 'Dove, dove! be
quick and come.'
'What is it?' said the dove, flying in through the open window,
and the prince told her of the task before him, and of his
despair at being unable to accomplish it. 'Fear nothing; it will
be all right,' replied the dove, as she flew away again.
The next morning when the prince awoke he saw the three loaves
standing beside his bed. He jumped up and dressed, and he was
scarcely ready when a page arrived with the message that he was
to go at once into the king's chamber. Taking the loaves in his
arm he followed the boy, and, bowing low, laid them down before
the king. The monarch looked at the loaves for a moment without
speaking, then he said:
'Good. The man who can do this can also find the ring which my
eldest daughter dropped into the sea.'
The prince hastened back to his room and summoned the dove, and
when she heard this new command she said: 'Now listen.
To-morrow take a knife and a basin and go down to the shore and
get into a boat you will find there.'
The young man did not know what he was to do when he was in the
boat or where he was to go, but as the dove had come to his
rescue before, he was ready to obey her blindly.
When he reached the boat he found the dove perched on one of the
masts, and at a signal from her he put to sea; the wind was
behind them and they soon lost sight of land. The dove then
spoke for the first time and said, 'Take that knife and cut off
my head, but be careful that not a single drop of blood falls to
the ground. Afterwards you must throw it into the sea.'
Wondering at this strange order, the prince picked up his knife
and severed the dove's head from her body at one stroke. A
little while after a dove rose from the water with a ring in its
beak, and laying it in the prince's hand, dabbled itself with the
blood that was in the basin, when its head became that of a
beautiful girl. Another moment and it had vanished completely,
and the prince took the ring and made his way back to the palace.
The king stared with surprise at the sight of the ring, but he
thought of another way of getting rid of the young man which was
surer even than the other two.
'This evening you will mount my colt and ride him to the field,
and break him in properly.'
The prince received this command as silently as he had received
the rest, but no sooner was he in his room than he called for the
dove, who said: 'Attend to me. My father longs to see you dead,
and thinks he will kill you by this means. He himself is the
colt, my mother is the saddle, my two sisters are the stirrups,
and I am the bridle. Do not forget to take a good club, to help
you in dealing with such a crew.'
So the prince mounted the colt, and gave him such a beating that
when he came to the palace to announce that the animal was now so
meek that it could be ridden by the smallest child, he found the
king so bruised that he had to be wrapped in cloths dipped in
vinegar, the mother was too stiff to move, and several of the
daughters' ribs were broken. The youngest, however, was quite
unharmed. That night she came to the prince and whispered to
'Now that they are all in too much pain to move, we had better
seize our chance and run away. Go to the stable and saddle the
leanest horse you can find there.' But the prince was foolish
enough to choose the fattest: and when they had started and the
princess saw what he had done, she was very sorry, for though
this horse ran like the wind, the other flashed like thought.
However, it was dangerous to go back, and they rode on as fast as
the horse would go.
In the night the king sent for his youngest daughter, and as she
did not come he sent again; but she did not come any the more for
that. The queen, who was a witch, discovered that her daughter
had gone off with the prince, and told her husband he must leave
his bed and go after them. The king got slowly up, groaning with
pain, and dragged himself to the stables, where he saw the lean
horse still in his stall.
Leaping on his back he shook the reins, and his daughter, who
knew what to expect and had her eyes open, saw the horse start
forward, and in the twinkling of an eye changed her own steed
into a cell, the prince into a hermit, and herself into a nun.
When the king reached the chapel, he pulled up his horse and
asked if a girl and a young man had passed that way. The hermit
raised his eyes, which were bent on the ground, and said that he
had not seen a living creature. The king, much disgusted at this
news, and not knowing what to do, returned home and told his wife
that, though he had ridden for miles, he had come across nothing
but a hermit and a nun in a cell.
'Why those were the runaways, of course,' she cried, flying into
a passion, 'and if you had only brought a scrap of the nun's
dress, or a bit of stone from the wall, I should have had them in
At these words the king hastened back to the stable, and brought
out the lean horse who travelled quicker than thought. But his
daughter saw him coming, and changed her horse into a plot of
ground, herself into a rose-tree covered with roses, and the
prince into a gardener. As the king rode up, the gardener looked
up from the tree which he was trimming and asked if anything was
the matter. 'Have you seen a young man and a girl go by?' said
the king, and the gardener shook his head and replied that no one
had passed that way since he had been working there. So the king
turned his steps homewards and told his wife.
'Idiot!' cried she, 'if you had only brought me one of the roses,
or a handful of earth, I should have had them in my power. But
there is no time to waste. I shall have to go with you myself.'
The girl saw them from afar, and a great fear fell on her, for
she knew her mother's skill in magic of all kinds. However, she
determined to fight to the end, and changed the horse into a deep
pool, herself into an eel, and the prince into a turtle. But it
was no use. Her mother recognised them all, and, pulling up,
asked her daughter if she did not repent and would not like to
come home again. The eel wagged 'No' with her tail, and the
queen told her husband to put a drop of water from the pool into
a bottle, because it was only by that means that she could seize
hold of her daughter. The king did as he was bid, and was just
in the act of drawing the bottle out of the water after he had
filled it, when the turtle knocked against and spilt it all. The
king then filled it a second time, but again the turtle was too
quick for him.
The queen saw that she was beaten, and called down a curse on her
daughter that the prince should forget all about her. After
having relieved her feelings in this manner, she and the king
went back to the palace.
The others resumed their proper shapes and continued their
journey, but the princess was so silent that at last the prince
asked her what was the matter. 'It is because I know you will
soon forget all about me,' said she, and though he laughed at her
and told her it was impossible, she did not cease to believe it.
They rode on and on and on, till they reached the end of the
world, where the prince lived, and leaving the girl in an inn he
went himself to the palace to ask leave of his father to present
her to him as his bride; but in his joy at seeing his family once
more he forgot all about her, and even listened when the king
spoke of arranging a marriage for him.
When the poor girl heard this she wept bitterly, and cried out,
'Come to me, my sisters, for I need you badly!'
In a moment they stood beside her, and the elder one said, 'Do
not be sad, all will go well,' and they told the innkeeper that
if any of the king's servants wanted any birds for their master
they were to be sent up to them, as they had three doves for
And so it fell out, and as the doves were very beautiful the
servant bought them for the king, who admired them so much that
he called his son to look at them. The prince was much pleased
with the doves and was coaxing them to come to him, when one
fluttered on to the top of the window and said, 'If you could
only hear us speak, you would admire us still more.'
And another perched on a table and added, 'Talk away, it might
help him to remember!'
And the third flew on his shoulder and whispered to him, 'Put on
this ring, prince, and see if it fits you.'
And it did. Then they hung a collar round his neck, and held a
feather on which was written the name of the dove. And at last
his memory came back to him, and he declared he would marry the
princess and nobody else. So the next day the wedding took
place, and they lived happy till they died.
[From the Portuguese.]
Next: Virgilius The Sorcerer
Previous: The Story Of Halfman