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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "The Laughing Prince: The Story of the Boy Who Could Talk Nonsense"

The Laughing Prince: The Story of the Boy Who Could Talk Nonsense

Then Stefan rose to go and the Tsar said to him:

"Stefan, I will reward you richly. You have made the Princess laugh and besides you have not insisted on her marrying you. You are a fine lad and I shall never forget you."

"But, father," the Princess said, "I don't want Stefan to go. He amuses me and I like him. He said. I needn't marry him unless I wanted to but, father, I think I want to."

"Wow! Wow!" the Tsar roared. "What! My daughter marry the son of a farmer!"

"Now, father," the Princess said, "it's no use your wow-wowing at me and you know it isn't. If I can't marry Stefan I won't marry any one. And if I don't marry any one I'm going to stop eating again. So that's that!" And still holding Stefan's hand, the Princess turned her face to the wall.

What could the poor Tsar do? At first he fumed and raged but as usual after a day or two he came around to the Princess's way of thinking. In fact it soon seemed to him that Stefan had been his choice from the first and when one of his councilors remarked: "Then, Your Majesty, there's no use sending word to the neighboring kings that the Princess has reached a marriageable age and would like to look over their sons," the Tsar flew into an awful temper and roared:

"Wow! Wow! You blockhead! Neighboring kings, indeed, and their good-for-nothing sons! No, siree! The husband I want for my daughter is an honest farmer lad who knows how to work and how to play! That's the kind of son-in-law we need in this kingdom!

So Stefan and the little Princess were married and from that day the castle was no longer gloomy but rang with laughter and merriment. Presently the people of the kingdom, following the example of their rulers, were laughing, too, and cracking jokes and, strange to say, they soon found they were working all the better for their jollity.

Laughter grew so fashionable that even Mihailo and Jakov were forced to take it up. They didn't do it very well but they practised at it conscientiously. Whenever people talked about Stefan, they always pushed forward importantly and said:

"Ho!

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