Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. She was haughty and arrogant.
One day, the king had a royal ball. He invited many princes. The princes came from afar. Each prince was impressed by the princess’s beauty. Each prince said, “Beautiful princess, marry me!”
But the princess was too haughty. She rejected each prince with an insult:
“I cannot marry this prince. He is too fat,” she said to the first prince.
“I cannot marry this prince. He is too skinny,” she said to the second.
“I cannot marry this prince. He is too tall,” she said to the third.
“I cannot marry this prince. He is too short,” she said to the fourth prince.
The princess was arrogant. She was so arrogant that she rejected all the princes.
But one more prince arrived. This prince was particularly intelligent. He was handsome and rich. He was perfect… but the princess was arrogant. She wanted to insult him.
“I cannot marry this prince… because… his beard is too long,” said the princess.
She knew this insult was pathetic. She was a little embarrassed, so she attacked him more. “Ha ha! His beard is so long. It looks like he has a bush on his face. It looks like there are thrushes in a bush on his face.”
The princess continued to torment and mock the prince. She named him “Prince Thrushbeard”.
The king, her father, was embarrassed. His daughter was cruel and had a bad reputation. He insisted that she stop. But the princess refused. Her arrogance was intolerable. The princes abandoned the idea of a marriage with the cruel princess. They left the castle. “Prince Thrushbeard” left, too.
The king was furious with the princess. As a result, he proclaimed “Princess, you have rejected all princes! So, you will marry the first man to arrive at this castle.”
Then there was a TAP TAP TAP at the castle gate.
A poor man has arrived. He had a long beard. His hair was messy and his clothes were damaged.
“Go with this man. You will marry him immediately!” said the king.
“I cannot marry this man. He is too poor! His clothes are rags,” said the princess.
“You are so haughty! You will learn humility. Go! Leave the castle and do not go back until you have more humility and respect,” commanded the king.
The princess regretted her actions. She was embarrassed as the king forced her to go.
Outside the castle, the princess asked, “Where is the carriage?”
“Carriage? No, I do not have a carriage. We have to walk,” said the poor man patiently.
The haughty princess was embarrassed. Like a poor person, she had to walk.
The princess had rich and elegant clothes. But on the way, she walked and walked and her rich clothes were damaged. She was even more embarrassed to have damaged clothes.
The princess and the poor man walked until they arrived in the land of Prince Thrushbeard. She saw Prince Thrushbeard’s castle.
“Oh, finally, a friend! I will say hello to Prince Thrushbeard. He will offer me food and a bed fit for a princess,” she said.
“Prince Thrushbeard? That is not his real name! The guards will not let you enter if you call him Prince Thrushbeard!” said the poor man.
“Oh no, I regret insulting Prince Thrushbeard. Now I have married a man with a long beard – and he is poor,” said the princess. The poor man was insulted… but he remained silent.
The couple passed the castle and arrived at a small cabin. The cabin in the forest was poor and pathetic. The table was small. There was no food for two people.
“I do not have anything to eat! This is total poverty,” said the former princess. She cried. The poor man had pity on her.
“Calm down,” he said kindly, “The castle offers work. If you work at the castle, you will have something to eat.”
The princess went to the castle. She arrived in the kitchen and she met a talented chef in fine clothes. She was poor and she wore poor rags. She was embarrassed to say, “Do you have any work? I do not have anything to eat. ”
“Yes. I have work for you. There is a royal ball at the castle. It is a celebration of the prince’s marriage. You will serve the soup. If you work, you can eat some soup. ”
The princess was desperate. She accepted. She went to the royal ball… wearing her poor clothes. Beautiful princesses and handsome princes were assembled for the ball. The princess was uncomfortable. She was not arrogant; she was humble.
She served soup from a big pot. She was having trouble carrying the big pot. It splashed when she walked. It was difficult work, but she was very hungry.
Suddenly, she noticed a familiar face: it was Prince Thrushbeard. He was rich and handsome. He wore splendid clothes. He was so handsome … even his beard seemed beautiful now! The prince was kind and he said, “Hello Princess. Will you give me the honor of a dance? ”
The princess was embarrassed. She refused. She said “No, thank you” and she turned quickly. But she turned too fast. The pot of soup splashed everywhere! The soup was on her clothes and on her face! She was covered with soup! HA HA HA! The princesses and the princes mocked her.
The princess was embarrassed. She left the room as fast as she could. Prince Thrushbeard left, too. He looked for her. “Do not cry, Princess. Do you want help?” he offered kindly.
But the princess cried and cried. She said, “No, your Majesty.”
“Please let me help you, Princess,” said the Prince. He loved the princess.
“Princess? I am no longer a real princess. I am poor. I was a princess in the past, but I was too arrogant. I was cruel. I am embarrassed of my cruel insults. Forgive me,” she said.
“You were cruel, but you are not cruel now. You are kind and humble,” said the Prince.
“How do you know?” said the surprised Princess.
“I saw you. I am the poor man. When your father said you would marry the next man who arrived… I arrived to protect you. You were arrogant because you are so beautiful… but now you are humble and beautiful,” said the Prince. He loved the Princess very much.
The Princess was touched by his kindness. She married the man who helped change her heart. The Prince and the Princess married. They lived happily ever after.