The Prince With A Long Nose
Once there was a king who had fallen in love with a beautiful princess. He wished to marry her, but he could not, for a wicked magician had put a spell on her, so the king went to a fairy and asked her what he could do.
“The remedy is simple,” said the fairy. “In the palace, a cat is always with the princess. If you only step on its tail, the spell will be broken, and the princess will fall in love with you and agree to be your wife.”
The king went to the palace to see his princess at once, and there was the cat, but as soon as he tried to step on its tail, it rubbed against his legs. However hard he tried, its tail always seemed to wave in the air.
However, the king found the cat asleep and stamped hard on its tail one day. The cat awoke and changed at once into the wicked magician. He was blazing with anger at the king’s deed.
You have broken the spell and may claim the princess as your bride, but I will have my revenge,” roared the magician. “You will have a son with a very long nose. When he grows up, he will be depressed until he knows his nose is too long, but if ever you should mention it or speak to anyone of what I have said, he will die.”
The king was alarmed but thought a long nose could not harm anyone. “Since he will not be blind and will have hands, he can easily see or feel how long it is for himself,” thought the king and then forgot about it.
However, about a year after they were married, the king died. Soon afterwards, a son was born to his queen. He was a delightful baby but had a very long nose, and the poor queen was most upset.
Her husband had told no one about the magician’s curse, and all the courtiers, wishing to be as flattering as possible about the new baby, assured the queen that all great men had large noses.
They said it so often that, at last, the queen believed them and came to think that the prince’s nose was not so very long after all. She loved her baby so dearly that he was always called Prince Charming by his princess.
Not knowing where to start, the prince let his horse go wherever it wished. Soon they came to a great plain across which they travelled all day. There was not a house to be seen, and by nightfall, both the prince and the horse were hungry and tired:
At last, the prince saw the light coming from a cave and approached it. When he went in, he saw a little old lady. She was the fairy in disguise, and when the prince entered, she took out her spectacles to look at him closer. However, she had such a tiny nose that she had great difficulty putting them on and keeping them in place.
When the spectacles were finally settled, the prince and the fairy laughed and said, “What a funny nose.”
“My nose is not funny, madam,” said the prince. “It is fashionable. However, I am hungry and tired. I wonder if you could give me food and fodder for my horse.”
“With the greatest of pleasure,” said the fairy. “For despite your long nose, you are the son of a great friend. How well I remember your father. Now he had a fine nose.”
“And pray what does mine lack?” asked the prince curiously.
“Oh, it lacks nothing,” said the fairy. “If anything, there is too much of it, but I am sure you are a good fellow, despite your huge nose. I must tell you about my last conversation with your father.”
“I would be delighted to hear it, but first, I would welcome some food, madam,” said the hungry prince.
“Of course,” said the fairy. “You shall eat, and I will tell my story briefly, for I always say that a tongue too long is worse than a nose too long.”
“The pleasure it gives me to listen to you could make me forget my hunger,” said the prince courteously, “but my horse, who cannot listen, would welcome food.”
“I will certainly give you something to eat, for despite your enormous nose, you are a kind and thoughtful young man,” said the fairy. At that, she clapped her hands, and several servants appeared. They brought good food for both the prince and his horse.
The prince was glad to see the food but slightly annoyed by all the comments about his nose. I was not so hungry I would leave at once,” he thought, “for this old woman is rather rude, and her nose is at fault. She must have been surrounded by flatterers all her life. I must make a rule, never to listen to flatterers and be deceived by them.”
When he had eaten, the prince went on his way once more. He travelled many miles and finally found his princess, but she was shut in a crystal tower, and he could find no way in. There was only a tiny window. Through this, the princess stretched out her hand, and the prince bent to kiss it, but try as he would, he could not reach it. His nose was in the way.
At last, he exclaimed, “What a nuisance it is to have a nose that is too long.”
At once, the tower shivered into a thousand pieces, and the fairy stood there. “You have seen your defects at last,” she said to the prince. “Now take your princess and go home and remember never to listen to flatterers.”
The prince touched his nose, and to his delight, it had shrunk to a very handsome one. He thanked the fairy gratefully, and then he and his bride returned to their kingdom, where they were married at once and crowned king and queen.