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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

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Just here the first lady-in-waiting tried to correct the Princess for of course she should have said: "The more foolish, the better!" but the Tsar shut her up with a black frown and one fierce, "Wow!"

"Well, then," Stefan began:

In my young days when I was an old, old man I used to count my bees every morning. It was easy enough to count the bees but not the beehives because I had too many hives. One day when I finished counting I found that my best bee was missing. At once I saddled a rooster and set out to find him.

"Father!" cried the Princess. "Did you hear what Stefan said? He said he saddled his rooster!"

"Umph!" muttered the Tsar, and the first lady-in-waiting said severely:

"Princess, do not interrupt! Young man, continue."

His track led to the sea which I rode across on a bridge. The first thing I saw on the other side of the sea was my bee. There he was in a field of millet harnessed to a plow. "That's my bee!" I shouted to the man who was driving him. "Is that so?" the man said, and without any words he gave me back my bee and handed me a bag of millet to pay for the plowing. I took the bag and tied it securely on the bee. Then I unsaddled the rooster and mounted the bee. The rooster, poor thing, was so tired that I had to take him by the hand and lead him along beside us.

"Father!" the Princess cried, "did you hear that? He took the rooster by the hand! Isn't that funny!"

"Umph!" grunted the Tsar, and the first lady-in-waiting whispered:

"Hush! Let the young man finish!"

Whilst we were crossing the bridge, the string of the bag broke and all my millet spilled out. When night came I tied the rooster to the bee and lay down on the seashore to sleep. During the night some wolves came and killed my bee and when I woke up I found that all the honey had run out of his body. There was so much honey that it rose up and up until it reached the ankles of the valleys and the knees of the mountains. I took a hatchet and swam down to a forest where I found two deer leaping about on one leg.

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