GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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482                           THE ASS'S SKIN.
glass, he became very sad and miserable at finding himself so ugly; He determined therefore to leave home, and go out into the world with only one faithful companion.
After travelling about for some time, they came at last to a country the king of which was a powerful monarch who had an only daughter, a most beautiful maiden.
" We will stay here for awhile," said the ugly prince. So he knocked at the door of the king's castle, and cried : " Here is a visitor outside ; open and let him in." But the gates were not opened ; and then the prince seated himself on the steps, took out his lute, and began to play in the most delightful manner.
On hearing the music, the guard looked out, and, seeing the player, whose face was so like an ass, he ran to the king and told him that there was a strange animal before the door playing music like a first-rate musician.
"Let him come in," said the king. But as soon as he appeared, every one began to laugh, and some of them told him to sit with the servants.
" No, indeed," he said; " I may be ugly, but I am nobly born."
"Well, then, take your place among the soldiers."
But to this he would not consent, and exclaimed ; "I mean to sit by the king."
On hearing of this, the king laughed, and said, good-naturedly, iC So you shall, if you wish it; come here by me." After awhile the king said to him : " Well, how do you like my daughter?"
The ugly prince turned and looked at her earnestly; then he nodded his head and said, " Very much, indeed; she is the most beautiful maiden I ever saw in my life."
"Well, then, you shall sit by her side if you will."
" That will be my right place," he replied, seating himself by the princess; and he treated her so kindly and politely that she quite forgot how ugly he was, and began to like him very much.
They kept him at the castle for some time, till he said to himself at last: " What is the use of staying here? I may as well go home." But the thought of leaving the princess made him look very sorrow­ful when he went to bid the king farewell.
He had by this time, however, won the love of the king, and he said to him ; " Why, my friend, you look as sour as a vinegar-cruet I