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The Enormous Nose

The Prince declared that he would not return to his kingdom until he had found her again. Refusing to allow any of his courtiers to follow him, he mounted his horse and rode away.

As the Prince journeyed from town to town, he thought all the people he passed must be mad, for all they talked about was the size of his nose. He couldn't understand why they thought his nose so big, and assumed they were jealous because they suffered with such terribly small noses. Thus passed several years.

The enchantress had shut Princess Rosebud up in a palace of crystal, and had hidden this palace in a remote corner of the woods. Still, the Prince eventually stumbled upon that remote corner. One day, in the reflection of the crystal walls he caught the image of his bride, and felt joy extreme. The Prince set to work with all his might to try to break her prison; but in spite of all his efforts he failed utterly. In despair, he thought at least that he would try to get near enough to speak to Princess Rosebud. On her part, the Princess stretched out her hand through a crack in the crystal walls that he might kiss it. But turn which way he might, he never could raise her hand to his lips, for his long nose always prevented it. For the first time he realized how long his nose really was, and exclaimed:

"Well, it must be admitted that my nose really is quite big!"

That instant the crystal prison flew into a thousand splinters.

"Foolish prince!" cried the angry enchantress. "It took all these years for you to realize what a ridiculous nose sits on your face! You've been so anxious to believe yourself perfect, you've refused to believe anything at all to the contrary, no matter how many people tried to tell you the truth! Not till the moment your nose stood in the way of your own interests did you reckon with it at all!" She laughed long and loud. "You foolish humans never cease to amaze me!" Then she vanished.

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