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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "The Shepherd's Nosegay: The Story of the Princess Who Learned to say "Please""

The Shepherd's Nosegay: The Story of the Princess Who Learned to say "Please"

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The serving maid delivered the message to Yan, but he shook his head and said:

"Tell your mistress that whoever wants this nosegay must come herself and say: 'Yanitchko, give me that nosegay.'"

When the princess heard this, she laughed and said:

"What an odd shepherd! I see I must go myself."

So the princess herself came out to Yan and said:

"Yanitchko, give me that nosegay."

But Yan smiled and shook his head.

"Whoever wants this nosegay must say: 'Yanitchko, please give me that nosegay.'"

The Princess was a merry girl, so she laughed and said:

"Yanitchko, please give me that nosegay."

Yan gave it to her at once and she thanked him sweetly.

The next day Yan went again to the castle garden and plucked another nosegay. Then in the afternoon he drove his sheep through the village as before, playing his pipe. The princess was standing at the palace window waiting to see him. When the wind brought her a whiff of the fresh nosegay that was even more fragrant than the first one, she ran out to Yan and said:

"Yanitchko, please give me that nosegay."

But Yan smiled and shook his head.

"Whoever wants this nosegay must say: 'My dear Yanitchko, I beg you most politely please to give me that nosegay.'"

"My dear Yanitchko," the princess repeated demurely, "I beg you most politely please to give me that nosegay."

So Yan gave her the second nosegay. The princess put it in her window and the fragrance filled the village until people from far and near came to see it.

After that every day Yan gathered a nosegay for the princess and every day the princess stood at the palace window waiting to see the handsome shepherd. And always when she asked for the nosegay, she said: "Please."

In this way a month went by and the day arrived when the neighboring princes were to come to meet the princess. They were to come in fine array, the people said, and the princess had ready a kerchief and a ring for the one who would please her most.

Yan planted the ax in the meadow and, leaving the sheep to graze about it, went to the castle where he ordered the servants of the chest to dress him as befitted his rank.

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