The Story Of Pretty Goldilocks

: The Blue Fairy Book

Once upon a time there was a princess who was the

prettiest creature in the world. And because she was so

beautiful, and because her hair was like the finest gold,

and waved and rippled nearly to the ground, she was

called Pretty Goldilocks. She always wore a crown of

flowers, and her dresses were embroidered with diamonds

and pearls, and everybody who saw her fell in love with


/> Now one of her neighbors was a young king who was

not married. He was very rich and handsome, and when

he heard all that was said about Pretty Goldilocks, though

he had never seen her, he fell so deeply in love with her

that he could neither eat nor drink. So he resolved to

send an ambassador to ask her in marriage. He had a

splendid carriage made for his ambassador, and gave him

more than a hundred horses and a hundred servants, and

told him to be sure and bring the Princess back with him.

After he had started nothing else was talked of at Court,

and the King felt so sure that the Princess would consent

that he set his people to work at pretty dresses and splendid

furniture, that they might be ready by the time she

came. Meanwhile, the ambassador arrived at the Princess's

palace and delivered his little message, but whether

she happened to be cross that day, or whether the

compliment did not please her, is not known. She only

answered that she was very much obliged to the King, but

she had no wish to be married. The ambassador set off

sadly on his homeward way, bringing all the King's

presents back with him, for the Princess was too well

brought up to accept the pearls and diamonds when she

would not accept the King, so she had only kept twenty-five

English pins that he might not be vexed.

When the ambassador reached the city, where the

King was waiting impatiently, everybody was very much

annoyed with him for not bringing the Princess, and the

King cried like a baby, and nobody could console him.

Now there was at the Court a young man, who was more

clever and handsome than anyone else. He was called

Charming, and everyone loved him, excepting a few

envious people who were angry at his being the King's

favorite and knowing all the State secrets. He happened

to one day be with some people who were speaking of the

ambassador's return and saying that his going to the

Princess had not done much good, when Charming said


"If the King had sent me to the Princess Goldilocks I

am sure she would have come back with me."

His enemies at once went to the King and said:

"You will hardly believe, sire, what Charming has the

audacity to say--that if he had been sent to the Princess

Goldilocks she would certainly have come back with him.

He seems to think that he is so much handsomer than you

that the Princess would have fallen in love with him and

followed him willingly." The King was very angry when

he heard this.

"Ha, ha!" said he; "does he laugh at my unhappiness,

and think himself more fascinating than I am? Go, and

let him be shut up in my great tower to die of hunger."

So the King's guards went to fetch Charming, who had

thought no more of his rash speech, and carried him off to

prison with great cruelty. The poor prisoner had only a

little straw for his bed, and but for a little stream of water

which flowed through the tower he would have died of


One day when he was in despair he said to himself:

"How can I have offended the King? I am his most

faithful subject, and have done nothing against him."

The King chanced to be passing the tower and recognized

the voice of his former favorite. He stopped to listen

in spite of Charming's enemies, who tried to persuade

him to have nothing more to do with the traitor. But the

King said:

"Be quiet, I wish to hear what he says."

And then he opened the tower door and called to

Charming, who came very sadly and kissed the King's

hand, saying:

"What have I done, sire, to deserve this cruel treatment?"

"You mocked me and my ambassador," said the King,

"and you said that if I had sent you for the Princess

Goldilocks you would certainly have brought her back."

"It is quite true, sire," replied Charming; "I should have

drawn such a picture of you, and represented your good

qualities in such a way, that I am certain the Princess

would have found you irresistible. But I cannot see what

there is in that to make you angry."

The King could not see any cause for anger either when

the matter was presented to him in this light, and he

began to frown very fiercely at the courtiers who had so

misrepresented his favorite.

So he took Charming back to the palace with him, and

after seeing that he had a very good supper he said to


"You know that I love Pretty Goldilocks as much as

ever, her refusal has not made any difference to me; but

I don't know how to make her change her mind; I really

should like to send you, to see if you can persuade her to

marry me."

Charming replied that he was perfectly willing to go,

and would set out the very next day.

"But you must wait till I can get a grand escort for

you," said the King. But Charming said that he only

wanted a good horse to ride, and the King, who was

delighted at his being ready to start so promptly, gave him

letters to the Princess, and bade him good speed. It was

on a Monday morning that he set out all alone upon his

errand, thinking of nothing but how he could persuade

the Princess Goldilocks to marry the King. He had a

writing-book in his pocket, and whenever any happy

thought struck him he dismounted from his horse and sat

down under the trees to put it into the harangue which

he was preparing for the Princess, before he forgot it.

One day when he had started at the very earliest dawn,

and was riding over a great meadow, he suddenly had a

capital idea, and, springing from his horse, he sat down

under a willow tree which grew by a little river. When

he had written it down he was looking round him, pleased

to find himself in such a pretty place, when all at once he

saw a great golden carp lying gasping and exhausted upon

the grass. In leaping after little flies she had thrown

herself high upon the bank, where she had lain till she was

nearly dead. Charming had pity upon her, and, though

he couldn't help thinking that she would have been very

nice for dinner, he picked her up gently and put her back

into the water. As soon as Dame Carp felt the refreshing

coolness of the water she sank down joyfully to the

bottom of the river, then, swimming up to the bank quite

boldly, she said:

"I thank you, Charming, for the kindness you have

done me. You have saved my life; one day I will repay

you." So saying, she sank down into the water again,

leaving Charming greatly astonished at her politeness.

Another day, as he journeyed on, he saw a raven in

great distress. The poor bird was closely pursued by an

eagle, which would soon have eaten it up, had not Charming

quickly fitted an arrow to his bow and shot the eagle

dead. The raven perched upon a tree very joyfully.

"Charming," said he, "it was very generous of you to

rescue a poor raven; I am not ungrateful, some day I will

repay you."

Charming thought it was very nice of the raven to say

so, and went on his way.

Before the sun rose he found himself in a thick wood

where it was too dark for him to see his path, and here

he heard an owl crying as if it were in despair.

"Hark!" said he, "that must be an owl in great trouble,

I am sure it has gone into a snare"; and he began to hunt

about, and presently found a great net which some

bird-catchers had spread the night before.

"What a pity it is that men do nothing but torment and

persecute poor creatures which never do them any harm!"

said he, and he took out his knife and cut the cords of the

net, and the owl flitted away into the darkness, but then

turning, with one flicker of her wings, she came back to

Charming and said:

"It does not need many words to tell you how great a

service you have done me. I was caught; in a few minutes

the fowlers would have been here--without your help I

should have been killed. I am grateful, and one day I

will repay you."

These three adventures were the only ones of any

consequence that befell Charming upon his journey, and he

made all the haste he could to reach the palace of the

Princess Goldilocks.

When he arrived he thought everything he saw delightful

and magnificent. Diamonds were as plentiful as pebbles,

and the gold and silver, the beautiful dresses, the

sweetmeats and pretty things that were everywhere quite

amazed him; he thought to himself: "If the Princess

consents to leave all this, and come with me to marry the

King, he may think himself lucky!"

Then he dressed himself carefully in rich brocade, with

scarlet and white plumes, and threw a splendid embroidered

scarf over his shoulder, and, looking as gay and as

graceful as possible, he presented himself at the door of

the palace, carrying in his arm a tiny pretty dog which he

had bought on the way. The guards saluted him respectfully,

and a messenger was sent to the Princess to announce

the arrival of Charming as ambassador of her

neighbor the King.

"Charming," said the Princess, "the name promises

well; I have no doubt that he is good looking and

fascinates everybody."

"Indeed he does, madam," said all her maids of honor

in one breath. "We saw him from the window of the

garret where we were spinning flax, and we could do

nothing but look at him as long as he was in sight."

"Well to be sure," said the Princess, "that's how you

amuse yourselves, is it? Looking at strangers out of the

window! Be quick and give me my blue satin embroidered

dress, and comb out my golden hair. Let somebody

make me fresh garlands of flowers, and give me my high-heeled

shoes and my fan, and tell them to sweep my great

hall and my throne, for I want everyone to say I am really

'Pretty Goldilocks.'"

You can imagine how all her maids scurried this way

and that to make the Princess ready, and how in their

haste they knocked their heads together and hindered

each other, till she thought they would never have done.

However, at last they led her into the gallery of mirrors

that she might assure herself that nothing was lacking in

her appearance, and then she mounted her throne of gold,

ebony, and ivory, while her ladies took their guitars and

began to sing softly. Then Charming was led in, and was

so struck with astonishment and admiration that at first

not a word could he say. But presently he took courage

and delivered his harangue, bravely ending by begging

the Princess to spare him the disappointment of going

back without her.

"Sir Charming," answered she, "all the reasons you

have given me are very good ones, and I assure you that

I should have more pleasure in obliging you than anyone

else, but you must know that a month ago as I was walking

by the river with my ladies I took off my glove, and

as I did so a ring that I was wearing slipped off my finger

and rolled into the water. As I valued it more than my

kingdom, you may imagine how vexed I was at losing it,

and I vowed to never listen to any proposal of marriage

unless the ambassador first brought me back my ring. So

now you know what is expected of you, for if you talked

for fifteen days and fifteen nights you could not make me

change my mind."

Charming was very much surprised by this answer, but

he bowed low to the Princess, and begged her to accept

the embroidered scarf and the tiny dog he had brought

with him. But she answered that she did not want any

presents, and that he was to remember what she had just

told him. When he got back to his lodging he went to bed

without eating any supper, and his little dog, who was

called Frisk, couldn't eat any either, but came and lay

down close to him. All night Charming sighed and lamented.

"How am I to find a ring that fell into the river a month

ago?" said he. "It is useless to try; the Princess must have

told me to do it on purpose, knowing it was impossible."

And then he sighed again.

Frisk heard him and said:

"My dear master, don't despair; the luck may change,

you are too good not to be happy. Let us go down to the

river as soon as it is light."

But Charming only gave him two little pats and said

nothing, and very soon he fell asleep.

At the first glimmer of dawn Frisk began to jump about,

and when he had waked Charming they went out together,

first into the garden, and then down to the river's

brink, where they wandered up and down. Charming was

thinking sadly of having to go back unsuccessful when he

heard someone calling: "Charming, Charming!" He looked

all about him and thought he must be dreaming, as he

could not see anybody. Then he walked on and the voice

called again: "Charming, Charming!"

"Who calls me?" said he. Frisk, who was very small

and could look closely into the water, cried out: "I see a

golden carp coming." And sure enough there was the

great carp, who said to Charming:

"You saved my life in the meadow by the willow tree,

and I promised that I would repay you. Take this, it is

Princess Goldilock's ring." Charming took the ring out

of Dame Carp's mouth, thanking her a thousand times,

and he and tiny Frisk went straight to the palace, where

someone told the Princess that he was asking to see her.

"Ah! poor fellow," said she, "he must have come to say

good-by, finding it impossible to do as I asked."

So in came Charming, who presented her with the ring

and said:

"Madam, I have done your bidding. Will it please you

to marry my master?" When the Princess saw her ring

brought back to her unhurt she was so astonished that she

thought she must be dreaming.

"Truly, Charming," said she, "you must be the favorite

of some fairy, or you could never have found it."

"Madam," answered he, "I was helped by nothing but

my desire to obey your wishes."

"Since you are so kind," said she, "perhaps you will do

me another service, for till it is done I will never be

married. There is a prince not far from here whose name

is Galifron, who once wanted to marry me, but when I

refused he uttered the most terrible threats against me,

and vowed that he would lay waste my country. But

what could I do? I could not marry a frightful giant as

tall as a tower, who eats up people as a monkey eats

chestnuts, and who talks so loud that anybody who has

to listen to him becomes quite deaf. Nevertheless, he

does not cease to persecute me and to kill my subjects.

So before I can listen to your proposal you must kill him

and bring me his head."

Charming was rather dismayed at this command, but

he answered:

"Very well, Princess, I will fight this Galifron; I believe

that he will kill me, but at any rate I shall die in your


Then the Princess was frightened and said everything

she could think of to prevent Charming from fighting the

giant, but it was of no use, and he went out to arm himself

suitably, and then, taking little Frisk with him, he mounted

his horse and set out for Galifron's country. Everyone

he met told him what a terrible giant Galifron was, and

that nobody dared go near him; and the more he heard,

the more frightened he grew. Frisk tried to encourage

him by saying: "While you are fighting the giant, dear

master, I will go and bite his heels, and when he stoops

down to look at me you can kill him."

Charming praised his little dog's plan, but knew that

this help would not do much good.

At last he drew near the giant's castle, and saw to his

horror that every path that led to it was strewn with

bones. Before long he saw Galifron coming. His head

was higher than the tallest trees, and he sang in a terrible


"Bring out your little boys and girls,

Pray do not stay to do their curls,

For I shall eat so very many,

I shall not know if they have any."

Thereupon Charming sang out as loud as he could to

the same tune:

"Come out and meet the valiant Charming

Who finds you not at all alarming;

Although he is not very tall,

He's big enough to make you fall."

The rhymes were not very correct, but you see he had

made them up so quickly that it is a miracle that they

were not worse; especially as he was horribly frightened

all the time. When Galifron heard these words he looked

all about him, and saw Charming standing, sword in hand

this put the giant into a terrible rage, and he aimed a blow

at Charming with his huge iron club, which would

certainly have killed him if it had reached him, but at that

instant a raven perched upon the giant's head, and, pecking

with its strong beak and beating with its great wings

so confused and blinded him that all his blows fell harmlessly

upon the air, and Charming, rushing in, gave him

several strokes with his sharp sword so that he fell to the

ground. Whereupon Charming cut off his head before he

knew anything about it, and the raven from a tree close

by croaked out:

"You see I have not forgotten the good turn you did me

in killing the eagle. To-day I think I have fulfilled my

promise of repaying you."

"Indeed, I owe you more gratitude than you ever owed

me," replied Charming.

And then he mounted his horse and rode off with

Galifron's head.

When he reached the city the people ran after him in

crowds, crying:

"Behold the brave Charming, who has killed the giant!"

And their shouts reached the Princess's ear, but she dared

not ask what was happening, for fear she should hear that

Charming had been killed. But very soon he arrived at

the palace with the giant's head, of which she was still

terrified, though it could no longer do her any harm.

"Princess," said Charming, "I have killed your enemy;

I hope you will now consent to marry the King my master."

"Oh dear! no," said the Princess, "not until you have

brought me some water from the Gloomy Cavern.

"Not far from here there is a deep cave, the entrance to

which is guarded by two dragons with fiery eyes, who will

not allow anyone to pass them. When you get into the

cavern you will find an immense hole, which you must go

down, and it is full of toads and snakes; at the bottom of

this hole there is another little cave, in which rises the

Fountain of Health and Beauty. It is some of this water

that I really must have: everything it touches becomes

wonderful. The beautiful things will always remain

beautiful, and the ugly things become lovely. If one is

young one never grows old, and if one is old one becomes

young. You see, Charming, I could not leave my kingdom

without taking some of it with me."

"Princess," said he, "you at least can never need this

water, but I am an unhappy ambassador, whose death

you desire. Where you send me I will go, though I know

I shall never return."

And, as the Princess Goldilocks showed no sign of

relenting, he started with his little dog for the Gloomy

Cavern. Everyone he met on the way said:

"What a pity that a handsome young man should

throw away his life so carelessly! He is going to the cavern

alone, though if he had a hundred men with him he could

not succeed. Why does the Princess ask impossibilities?"

Charming said nothing, but he was very sad. When

he was near the top of a hill he dismounted to let his horse

graze, while Frisk amused himself by chasing flies.

Charming knew he could not be far from the Gloomy

Cavern, and on looking about him he saw a black hideous

rock from which came a thick smoke, followed in a moment

by one of the dragons with fire blazing from his

mouth and eyes. His body was yellow and green, and his

claws scarlet, and his tail was so long that it lay in a

hundred coils. Frisk was so terrified at the sight of it that

he did not know where to hide. Charming, quite determined

to get the water or die, now drew his sword, and,

taking the crystal flask which Pretty Goldilocks had

given him to fill, said to Frisk:

"I feel sure that I shall never come back from this

expedition; when I am dead, go to the Princess and tell

her that her errand has cost me my life. Then find the

King my master, and relate all my adventures to him."

As he spoke he heard a voice calling: "Charming,


"Who calls me?" said he; then he saw an owl sitting in

a hollow tree, who said to him:

"You saved my life when I was caught in the net, now

I can repay you. Trust me with the flask, for I know all

the ways of the Gloomy Cavern, and can fill it from the

Fountain of Beauty." Charming was only too glad to

give her the flask, and she flitted into the cavern quite

unnoticed by the dragon, and after some time returned

with the flask, filled to the very brim with sparkling water.

Charming thanked her with all his heart, and joyfully

hastened back to the town.

He went straight to the palace and gave the flask to the

Princess, who had no further objection to make. So she

thanked Charming, and ordered that preparations should

be made for her departure, and they soon set out together.

The Princess found Charming such an agreeable companion

that she sometimes said to him: "Why didn't we stay

where we were? I could have made you king, and we

should have been so happy!"

But Charming only answered:

"I could not have done anything that would have

vexed my master so much, even for a kingdom, or to

please you, though I think you are as beautiful as the


At last they reached the King's great city, and he came

out to meet the Princess, bringing magnificent presents,

and the marriage was celebrated with great rejoicings.

But Goldilocks was so fond of Charming that she could

not be happy unless he was near her, and she was always

singing his praises.

"If it hadn't been for Charming," she said to the King,

"I should never have come here; you ought to be very

much obliged to him, for he did the most impossible things

and got me water from the Fountain of Beauty, so I can

never grow old, and shall get prettier every year."

Then Charming's enemies said to the King:

"It is a wonder that you are not jealous, the Queen

thinks there is nobody in the world like Charming. As if

anybody you had sent could not have done just as much!"

"It is quite true, now I come to think of it," said the

King. "Let him be chained hand and foot, and thrown

into the tower."

So they took Charming, and as a reward for having

served the King so faithfully he was shut up in the tower,

where he only saw the jailer, who brought him a piece of

black bread and a pitcher of water every day.

However, little Frisk came to console him, and told

him all the news.

When Pretty Goldilocks heard what had happened she

threw herself at the King's feet and begged him to set

Charming free, but the more she cried, the more angry he

was, and at last she saw that it was useless to say any

more; but it made her very sad. Then the King took it

into his head that perhaps he was not handsome enough

to please the Princess Goldilocks, and he thought he

would bathe his face with the water from the Fountain

of Beauty, which was in the flask on a shelf in the Princess's

room, where she had placed it that she might see it often.

Now it happened that one of the Princess's ladies in chasing

a spider had knocked the flask off the shelf and broken

it, and every drop of the water had been spilt. Not knowing

what to do, she had hastily swept away the pieces of

crystal, and then remembered that in the King's room

she had seen a flask of exactly the same shape, also filled

with sparkling water. So, without saying a word, she

fetched it and stood it upon the Queen's shelf.

Now the water in this flask was what was used in the

kingdom for getting rid of troublesome people. Instead

of having their heads cut off in the usual way, their faces

were bathed with the water, and they instantly fell asleep

and never woke up any more. So, when the King, thinking

to improve his beauty, took the flask and sprinkled

the water upon his face, he fell asleep, and nobody could

wake him.

Little Frisk was the first to hear the news, and he ran

to tell Charming, who sent him to beg the Princess not to

forget the poor prisoner. All the palace was in confusion

on account of the King's death, but tiny Frisk made his

way through the crowd to the Princess's side, and said:

"Madam, do not forget poor Charming."

Then she remembered all he had done for her, and without

saying a word to anyone went straight to the tower,

and with her own hands took off Charming's chains.

Then, putting a golden crown upon his head, and the royal

mantle upon his shoulders, she said:

"Come, faithful Charming, I make you king, and will

take you for my husband."

Charming, once more free and happy, fell at her feet

and thanked her for her gracious words.

Everybody was delighted that he should be king, and

the wedding, which took place at once, was the prettiest

that can be imagined, and Prince Charming and Princess

Goldilocks lived happily ever after.