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Main > Spain folktales > Fairy tale "The Watchful Servant"

The Watchful Servant

Afraid lest the prince should think he had forgotten all about awaking him, and that he might therefore be keeping awake, Pablo seized a long cane, with which he tapped at the window of the prince, and kept on tapping until the prince appeared, and opened the window, shouting out—

“Who is there? Who wants me?”

“It is I,” said Pablo. “I have not forgotten your orders; to-morrow morning I will wake your highness at five.”

“Very good, Pablo; but let me sleep awhile, or else I shall be tired to-morrow.”

As soon as the prince had disappeared Pablo commenced thinking over all the princes of whom he had heard, and he had become so interested in the subject that when he heard the cock crow, imagining it was daybreak, he again seized the cane and tapped loudly at the window.

The prince again lifted up the sash, and cried out—

“Who is it? What do you want? Let me sleep, or else I shall be tired to-morrow.”

“Sir,” exclaimed the barber, “the cock has already crowed, and it must be time to rise.”

“You are mistaken,” replied the prince, “for it is only half an hour ago since you woke me; but I am not annoyed with you.”

Pablo was now sorely troubled in his mind because he thought he might give offence to the prince, and so he kept revolving in his mind all that his mother had told him about the anger of princes, and how much it was to be dreaded. This thought so perplexed him that he resolved on putting an end to the life of the cock that had caused the mistake. He therefore proceeded to the poultry-yard close by, and seeing the offender surrounded by the hens, he made a rush at him, which set all the fowls cackling as if a fox had broken in.

The prince, hearing the noise, hurried to the window, and in a loud voice inquired what the noise was all about.

“Sir,” said Pablo, “I was but trying to punish the disturber of your rest. I have got hold of him now, and your highness may go to sleep without further care, as I will not forget to waken you.”

“But,” continued the prince, “if you waken me again before it is time, I will most decidedly punish you.

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