The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

JACK THE DULLARD                      517
rubbed the corners of their mouths with fish-oil, so that they might become very smooth and glib.-. All the servants stood below in the courtyard, and looked on while they mounted their horses ; and just by chance the third son came up. For there were three of them, though nobody counted the third with his brothers, because he was not so learned as they, and indeed he was generally known as * Jack the Dullard '.
' Hallo ! ' said he, ' where are you going since you have put on your best clothes ? '
' We're going to the King's court, as suitors to the King's daughter. Don't you know the announcement that has been made all through the country ? ' And they told him all about it.
1 My word ! I'll be in it too ! ' cried Jack the Dullard ; and his two brothers burst out laughing at him, and rode away.
' Father,' said Jack, ' I must have a horse too. I do feel so desperately inclined to marry ! If she accepts me, she accepts me ; and if she won't have me, I'll have her all the same ! '
' Don't talk nonsense,' said the father. ' You shall have no horse from me. You don't know how to speak. Your brothers are very different fellows from you.'
' Well,' quoth Jack the Dullard, ' if I can't have a horse, I'll take the billy-goat, who belongs to me, and he can carry me very well ! '
And so he mounted the billy-goat, pressed his heels into its sides, and gallopped off along the highway.
' Hei, houp ! that was a ride ! Here I come ! ' shouted Jack the Dullard, and he sang till his voice echoed far and wide.
But his brothers rode slowly on in advance of him. They spoke not a word, for they were thinking all about the fine ideas they would have to bring out, and these had to be cleverly prepared beforehand.
' Hallo ! ' shouted Jack the Dullard. ' Here ami! Look what I have found on the high road.' And he showed them a dead crow which he had found.
1 Dullard ! ' exclaimed the brothers, ' what are you going to do with that ? '