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King grisly beard.
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But her husband did not care for that, and said she must work, if she
did not wish to die of hunger. At first the trade went well; for many
people, seeing such a beautiful woman, went to buy her wares, and paid
their money without thinking of taking away the goods. They lived on
this as long as it lasted; and then her husband bought a fresh lot of
ware, and she sat herself down with it in the corner of the market; but
a drunken soldier soon came by, and rode his horse against her stall,
and broke all her goods into a thousand pieces. Then she began to cry,
and knew not what to do. 'Ah! what will become of me?' said she; 'what
will my husband say?' So she ran home and told him all. 'Who would
have thought you would have been so silly,' said he, 'as to put an
earthenware stall in the corner of the market, where everybody passes?
but let us have no more crying; I see you are not fit for this sort of
work, so I have been to the king's palace, and asked if they did not
want a kitchen-maid; and they say they will take you, and there you will
have plenty to eat.'
Thus the princess became a kitchen-maid, and helped the cook to do all
the dirtiest work; but she was allowed to carry home some of the meat
that was left, and on this they lived.
She had not been there long before she heard that the king's eldest son
was passing by, going to be married; and she went to one of the windows
and looked out. Everything was ready, and all the pomp and brightness of
the court was there. Then she bitterly grieved for the pride and folly
which had brought her so low. And the servants gave her some of the rich
meats, which she put into her basket to take home.
All on a sudden, as she was going out, in came the king's son in golden
clothes; and when he saw a beautiful woman at the door, he took her
by the hand, and said she should be his partner in the dance; but she
trembled for fear, for she saw that it was King Grisly-beard, who was
making sport of her. However, he kept fast hold, and led her in; and the
cover of the basket came off, so that the meats in it fell about.
everybody laughed and jeered at her; and she was so abashed, that she
wished herself a thousand feet deep in the earth. She sprang to the
door to run away; but on the steps King Grisly-beard overtook her, and
brought her back and said, 'Fear me not! I am the fiddler who has lived
with you in the hut. I brought you there because I really loved you. I
am also the soldier that overset your stall. I have done all this only
to cure you of your silly pride, and to show you the folly of your
ill-treatment of me. Now all is over: you have learnt wisdom, and it is
time to hold our marriage feast.'
Then the chamberlains came and brought her the most beautiful robes; and
her father and his whole court were there already, and welcomed her home
on her marriage. Joy was in every face and every heart. The feast was
grand; they danced and sang; all were merry; and I only wish that you
and I had been of the party.