GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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There once lived a princess so very haughty that, when a suitor came, she would have nothing to do with him unless he could solve one of her riddles, and if he tried, and did not succeed, he was dismissed with mockery and contempt. She allowed it to be generally known, however, that the man who could find out her riddle should be her husband.
Now, it happened that three tailors came to the town in which the princess lived; The two eldest, who had done so many fine stitches, and guessed all sorts of puzzling riddles, were sure of being able to guess what the princess propounded ; it was not pos­sible such clever people could fail.
The third tailor, however, was a useless little fellow, who knew scarcely anything of his trade; yet he fancied he might be lucky as well as any of them, and wished to try. But the other two said to him : " You had better stay at home with your half-witted head, you will never guess anything."
The little tailor, however, was not to be diverted from his pui pose. He said he had set his heart upon it, and he would go a& well as everybody else. They all three, therefore, informed the princess that they were ready to receive the riddle if she would lay it before them. They said that the right people had arrived at last; people who had fine understandings, and could thread a needle with any one !
The princess immediately sent for them, and propounded the riddle. " I have two different sorts of hair on my head," she said, " what colour are they ?"
" If you were old, I should say the colours were black and white, like the clothes people call pepper and salt," replied one.
"You are wrong," said the princess, and she turned to the second.
" The hairs are neither black nor white," he replied, " but brown and red, like my father's holiday coat."
" Wrong again," said the princess, turning to the third ; " mos\ certainly these are not the answers."
Then the little tailor stepped boldly forward, and said : " The