51 Tales translated to English by Lucy Crane & Illustrated by Walter Crane

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next


KING had a daughter who was beauti­ful beyond measure, but so proud and overbearing that none of her suitors were good enough for her; she not only refused one after the other, but made a laughing-stock of them. Once the king.appointed a great feast, and bade all the marriageable men to it from far and near. And they were all put in rows, according to their rank and station; first came the kings, then the princes, the dukes, the earls, the barons, and lastly the noblemen. The princess was led in front of the rows, but she had a mocking epithet for each. One was too fat, " What a tub !" said she. Another too tall, " Long and lean is ill to be seen," said she. A third too short, " Fat and short, not fit to court," said she. A fourth was too pale, " A regular death's-head;" a fifth too red-faced, " A game­cock," she called him. The sixth was not well-made enough, " Green wood ill dried ! " cried she. So every one had some­thing against him, and she made especially merry over a good king who was very tall, and whose chin had grown a little peaked.
" Only look," cried she, laughing, " he has a chin like a thrush's beak."
And from that time they called him King Thrushbeard. But the old king, when he saw that his daughter mocked every one, and scorned all the assembled suitors, swore in his anger that she should have the first beggar that came to the door for a husband.