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short descriptive story - king grisly beard

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King Grisly-Beard A great king of a land far away in the East had a daughter who was very beautiful, but so proud and haughty and conceited, that none of the princes who came to ask for her hand in marriage was good enough for her. All she ever did was make fun of them. Once upon a time the king held a great feast and invited all her suitors. They all sat in a row, ranged according to their rank -- kings and princes and dukes and earls and counts and barons and knights. When the princess came in, as she passed by them, she had something spiteful to say to each one. The first was too fat: 'He's as round as a tub,' she said. The next was too tall: 'What a maypole!' she said. The next was too short: 'What a dumpling!' she said. The fourth was too pale, and she called him 'Wallface.' The fifth was too red, so she called him 'Coxcomb.' The sixth was not straight enough; so she said he was like a green stick that had been laid to dry over a baker's oven. She had some joke to crack about every one. But she laughed most of all at a good king who was there. 'Look at him,' she said; 'his beard is like an old mop; he shall be called Grisly-beard.' ...read more.


'What a paltry place!' she said; 'to whom does that little dirty hole belong?' The fiddler said, 'That is your and my house, where we are to live.' 'Where are your servants?' she cried. 'What do we want with servants?' he said; 'you must do for yourself whatever is to be done. Now make the fire, and put on water and cook my supper, for I am very tired.' But the princess knew nothing of making fires and cooking, and the fiddler was forced to help her. When they had eaten a very scanty meal they went to bed; but the fiddler called her up very early in the morning to clean the house. They lived like that for two days and when they had eaten up all there was in the cottage, the man said, 'Wife, we can't go on thus, spending money and earning nothing. You must learn to weave baskets.' Then the fiddler went out and cut willows, and brought them home, and she began to weave; but it made her fingers very sore. 'I see this work won't do,' he said, 'try and spin; perhaps you will do that better.' So she sat down and tried to spin; but the threads cut her tender fingers until the blood ran. 'See now,' said the fiddler, 'you are good for nothing; you can do no work. What a bargain I have got! ...read more.


All of a sudden, as she was leaving, in came the king's son in his golden clothes. When he saw such a beautiful woman at the door, he took her by the hand and said she should be his partner in the dance. She trembled with fear because she saw that it was King Grisly-beard, who was making fun of her. However, he kept hold of her, and led her into the hall. As she entered, the cover of the basket came off, and the meats in it fell out. Everybody laughed and jeered at her and she was so ashamed that she wished she were a thousand feet deep in the earth. She sprang over to the door so that she could run away but on the steps King Grisly-beard overtook her, 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 truly 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 it is all 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. Her father and his whole court were already there, and they welcomed her home. Joy was in every face and every heart. The feast was grand; they danced and sang; everyone was merry; and I only wish that you and I had been there. ...read more.

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