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The Speaking Grapes The Smiling Apple And The Tinkling Apricot






Source: The Folk-tales Of The Magyars

There was once, I don't know where, beyond seven times seven countries,
a king who had three daughters. One day the king was going to the
market, and thus inquired of his daughters: "What shall I bring you from
the market, my dear daughters?" The eldest said, "A golden dress, my
dear royal father;" the second said, "A silver dress for me;" the third
said, "Speaking grapes, a smiling apple, and a tinkling apricot for me."
"Very well, my daughters," said the king, and went. He bought the
dresses for his two elder daughters in the market, as soon as he
arrived; but, in spite of all exertions and inquiries, he could not find
the speaking grapes, the smiling apple, and tinkling apricot. He was
very sad that he could not get what his youngest daughter wished, for
she was his favourite; and he went home. It happened, however, that the
royal carriage stuck fast on the way home, although his horses were of
the best breed, for they were such high steppers that they kicked the
stars. So he at once sent for extra horses to drag out the carriage; but
all in vain, the horses couldn't move either way. He gave up all hope,
at last, of getting out of the position, when a dirty, filthy pig came
that way, and grunted, "Grumph! grumph! grumph! King, give me your
youngest daughter, and I will help you out of the mud." The king, never
thinking what he was promising, and over-anxious to get away, consented,
and the pig gave the carriage a push with its nose, so that carriage and
horses at once moved out of the mud. Having arrived at home the king
handed the dresses to his two daughters, and was now sadder than ever
that he had brought nothing for his favourite daughter; the thought also
troubled him that he had promised her to an unclean animal.

After a short time the pig arrived in the courtyard of the palace
dragging a wheelbarrow after it, and grunted, "Grumph! grumph! grumph!
King, I've come for your daughter." The king was terrified, and, in
order to save his daughter, he had a peasant girl dressed in rich
garments, embroidered with gold, sent her down and had her seated in the
wheelbarrow: the pig again grunted, "Grumph! grumph! grumph! King, this
is not your daughter;" and, taking the barrow, it tipped her out. The
king, seeing that deceit was of no avail, sent down his daughter, as
promised, but dressed in ragged, dirty tatters, thinking that she would
not please the pig; but the animal grunted in great joy, seized the
girl, and placed her in the wheelbarrow. Her father wept that, through a
careless promise, he had brought his favourite daughter to such a fate.
The pig went on and on with the sobbing girl, till, after a long
journey, it stopped before a dirty pig-stye and grunted, "Grumph!
grumph! grumph! Girl, get out of the wheelbarrow." The girl did as she
was told. "Grumph! grumph! grumph!" grunted the pig again; "go into
your new home." The girl, whose tears, now, were streaming like a brook,
obeyed; the pig then offered her some Indian corn that it had in a
trough, and also its litter which consisted of some old straw, for a
resting-place. The girl had not a wink of sleep for a long time, till at
last, quite worn out with mental torture, she fell asleep.

Being completely exhausted with all her trials, she slept so soundly
that she did not wake till next day at noon. On awaking, she looked
round, and was very much astonished to find herself in a beautiful
fairy-like palace, her bed being of white silk with rich purple curtains
and golden fringes. At the first sign of her waking maids appeared all
round her, awaiting her orders, and bringing her costly dresses. The
girl, quite enchanted with the scene, dressed without a word, and the
maids accompanied her to her breakfast in a splendid hall, where a young
man received her with great affection. "I am your husband, if you accept
me, and whatever you see here belongs to you," said he; and after
breakfast led her into a beautiful garden. The girl did not know
whether it was a dream she saw or reality, and answered all the
questions put to her by the young man with evasive and chaffing replies.
At this moment they came to that part of the garden which was laid out
as an orchard, and the bunches of grapes began to speak "Our beautiful
queen, pluck some of us." The apples smiled at her continuously, and the
apricots tinkled a beautiful silvery tune. "You see, my love," said the
handsome youth, "here you have what you wished for--what your father
could not obtain. You may know now, that once I was a monarch but I was
bewitched into a pig, and I had to remain in that state till a girl
wished for speaking grapes, a smiling apple, and a tinkling apricot. You
are the girl, and I have been delivered; and if I please you, you can be
mine for ever." The girl was enchanted with the handsome youth and the
royal splendour, and consented. They went with great joy to carry the
news to their father, and to tell him of their happiness.





Next: The Three Oranges

Previous: The Count's Daughter



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