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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "The princess and the fisherman"

The princess and the fisherman

Once upon a time something happened. If it had not happened, it would not be told.

There was once a fisherman, neither very well off nor very poor, but he was young, with a mustache that curled fiercely at the ends, you know, and a fine-looking fellow. Whenever he passed the imperial palace, the emperor's daughter sent for him, bought his fish, and gave him ten times as much money as they were worth.

Our fisherman was spoiled by this wealth, and whenever he had nice fresh fish he took them to the palace; not a day passed that the princess did not buy fish if the fisherman went by.

One day, while paying for the fish, the princess pressed his hand, the fisherman blushed as red as a beet, and cast down his eyes, but first gave her one loving glance, for he had understood that she was willing he should do so.

Then he entered into conversation with her, and took good care not to say any thing stupid.

The next time the princess bought fish he began to talk about them at great length, and made her comprehend that he had understood her feelings, and that the fire of love which was consuming her burned no less hotly in his heart than in her own.

Another time he spoke still more freely, and the princess learned that he was unmarried; she was, besides, much pleased with his clever answers, and as he was very attractive the royal maiden finally fell in love with him. She gave him a purse filled with money to purchase handsome clothes, and told him to come back afterward and show himself to her.

After he had bought garments like those worn by gentlemen, he put them on and returned to the princess. She would scarcely have recognized him, for even his gait and bearing had become as stiff as a noble's.

At last, unable to repress the love that glowed in her heart, the emperor's daughter told him that she would marry him.

The fisherman did not know much, but he was aware that such a dainty morsel wasn't meant for his bill, and he could hardly believe what he heard with his ears and saw with his eyes; but when the princess assured him that she wasn't joking, he accepted her hand, though to tell the truth with many doubts and blushes.

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