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The Enormous Nose

Once a king made the unfortunate mistake of joking about the large nose of an enchantress who lived in the forest. Instantly the enchantress appeared before the King. Fixing her angry eyes on him and wagging her finger before his face, she said, "There will come a time when you shall have a son. This child shall be born with an enormous nose, a nose even bigger than your big mouth, a nose that will remain stuck upon your son's face until the moment he realizes what an ridiculous nose he indeed has."

"If my son's nose is going to be as long as all that," the king thought to himself, "he would always see it or feel it; at least, if he is not blind or without hands. Certainly by the time he walks and talks he'll realize he has an unusually large nose. At that moment it will be gone. This is not a matter for much concern."

Soon the Queen had a little son, who was named Andre. Little Prince Andre had large blue eyes, the prettiest eyes in the world, and a sweet little mouth, but, alas! his nose was so huge that it covered half his face. The Queen was inconsolable when she saw this great nose, but her ladies assured her that it was not really as large as it looked; that it was a Roman nose, and you had only to open any history to see that every hero has a large nose. The Queen, who was devoted to her baby, was pleased with what they told her, and when she looked at baby Andre again, his nose did not seem to her quite so large.

The Prince was brought up with great care. As soon as he could speak, they told him all sorts of dreadful stories about people who had short noses. No one was allowed to come near him whose nose did not more or less resemble his own. The courtiers, to get into favor with the Queen, took to pulling their noses several times every day to make them grow longer. But, do what they would, their noses were nothing in comparison with the Prince's.

When he grew older he learned history. Whenever any great prince or princess was spoken of, his teachers took care to tell him that they had very long noses.

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