Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "Beauty and the Horns - The Story of an Enchanted Maiden"

Beauty and the Horns - The Story of an Enchanted Maiden


The serving maid hurried out to Danilo and he sold her some of the red grapes. As she carried them in, she couldn't resist the temptation of slipping a few into her mouth. Instantly some horns grew out on her head.

"That's to punish me for disobeying my mistress!" the poor girl cried. "Oh, dear, what shall I do?"

She was afraid to show herself to Peerless Beauty, so she pretended she was taken sick and she went to bed and pulled the sheet over her head and sent in the grapes by another serving maid.

Peerless Beauty ate them all before she discovered their frightful property. Then there was a great to-do, and cries of anger and of fright, and a quick sending out of the guards to find the huckster. But the huckster had disappeared.

What could Peerless Beauty do now? She tried to pull the horns out but they wouldn't come. She tried to cut them off but they resisted the edge of the sharpest knife. She was too proud to show herself with horns, so she swathed her head with jewels and ribbons and pretended she was wearing an elaborate head-dress.

Then she sent heralds through the land offering a huge reward to any one who could cure her serving maid of some strange horns that had grown out on her head. You see she thought if she could get hold of some one who would cure the maid, then she could make him cure her, too.

Well, doctors and quacks and all sorts of people came and tried every kind of remedy, but all in vain. The horns stayed firmly rooted.

A whole week went by and when the last of the quacks had come and gone, Danilo, disguised as an old physician, presented himself and craved audience with the Peerless one. He carried two small jars in his hands one of which was filled with a conserve made from the white grapes and the other with a conserve made from the red grapes.

Peerless Beauty, her horns swathed in silk and gleaming with jewels, received him coldly.

"Are you one more quack?" she asked.

"Not a quack," he said, bowing low, "but a man who has happened upon a strange secret of nature.

Also read
Big Indian
Category: United States folktales
Read times: 23
The Baker's Dozen
Category: United States folktales
Read times: 12