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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


One day the little Princess lost her temper and answered sharply:

"But I'm a girl even if I am a princess and I love to look in mirrors and I love to make myself pretty and I'd love to go to a ball every night of my life and dance with handsome young men!"

"You talk like the daughter of a farmer!" the first lady-in-waiting said.

Then the Princess, because she lost her temper still further, said something she should not have said.

"I wish I were the daughter of a farmer!" she declared. "Then I could wear pretty ribbons and go dancing and the boys would come courting me! As it is I have to spend all my time with funny old men and silly old women!"

Now even if her tutors and teachers were funny looking old men, even if the first lady-in-waiting was a silly old woman, the Princess should not have said so. It hurt the feelings of the first lady-in-waiting and made her angry and she ran off to the Tsar at once and complained most bitterly.

"Is this my reward after all my years of loving service to your daughter?" she asked. "It is true that I've grown old and thin looking after her manners and now she calls me a silly old woman! And all the learned wise men and scholars that you have gathered from the far corners of the earth—she points her finger at them and calls them funny old men!"

The fact is they were funny looking, most of them, but yet the first lady-in-waiting was right: the Princess should not have said so.

"And think of her ingratitude to yourself, O Tsar!" the first lady-in-waiting continued. "You plan to make her the heir to your throne and yet she says she wishes she were a farmer's daughter so that she could deck herself out in ribbons and have the boys come courting her! A nice thing for a princess to say!"

The Tsar when he heard this fell into an awful rage. (The truth is whatever temper the Princess had she inherited direct from her father.)

"Wow! Wow!" he roared, just that way. "Send the Princess to me at once. I'll soon have her singing another tune!

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Category: Ukrainian folktales
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