The Speaking Grapes The Smiling Apple And The Tinkling Apricot

: 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.