Category: 英语小故事  Clicks: 2853  Top: 10  Update Date: 2008/09/14
Summary:King Thrushbeard Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm   A king had a daughter who was beautiful beyond all measure, but at the same time so proud and arrogant that no suitor was good enough for her. She reje.

  • King Thrushbeard
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
      A king had a daughter who was beautiful beyond all measure, but at the same time so proud and arrogant that no suitor was good enough for her. She rejected one after the other, ridiculing them as well.
      Once the king sponsored a great feast and invited from far and near all the men wanting to get married. They were all placed in a row according to their rank and standing. First came the kings, then the grand dukes, then the princes, the earls, the barons, and the aristocracy. Then the king´s daughter was led through the ranks, but she objected to something about each one. One was too fat: "The wine barrel," she said. Another was too tall: "Thin and tall, no good at all." The third was too short: "Short and thick is never quick." The fourth was too pale: "As pale as death." The fifth too red: "A prize rooster." The sixth was not straight enough: "Green wood, dried behind the stove."
      And thus she had some objection to each one, but she ridiculed especially one good king who stood at the very top of the row, and whose chin had grown a little crooked. "Look!" she cried out, laughing, "He has a chin like a thrush´s beak." And from that time he was called Thrushbeard.
      Now the old king, seeing that his daughter did nothing but ridicule the people, making fun of all the suitors who were gathered there, became very angry, and he swore that she should have for her husband the very first beggar to come to his door.
      A few days later a minstrel came and sang beneath the window, trying to earn a small handout.
      When the king heard him he said, "Let him come up."
      So the minstrel, in his dirty, ragged clothes, came in and sang before the king and his daughter, and when he was finished he asked for a small gift.
      The king said, "I liked your song so much that I will give you my daughter for a wife."
      The king´s daughter took fright, but the king said, "I have taken an oath to give you to the very first beggar, and I will keep it."
      Her protests did not help. The priest was called in, and she had to marry the minstrel at once. After that had happened the king said, "It is not proper for you, a beggar´s wife, to stay in my palace any longer. All you can do now is to go away with your husband."
      The beggar led her out by the hand, and she had to leave with him, walking on foot.
      They came to a large forest, and she asked, "Who owns this beautiful forest?"
      "It belongs to King Thrushbeard. If you had taken him, it would be yours."
      "Oh, I am a miserable thing; If only I´d taken the Thrushbeard King."
      Afterwards they crossed a meadow, and she asked again, "Who owns this beautiful green meadow?"
      "It belongs to king Thrushbeard. If you had taken him, it would be yours."
      "Oh, I am a miserable thing; If only I´d taken the Thrushbeard King."
      Then they walked through a large town, and she asked again, "Who owns this beautiful large town?"
      "It belongs to king Thrushbeard. If you had taken him, it would be yours."
      "Oh, I am a miserable thing; If only I´d taken the Thrushbeard King."
      "I do not like you to always be wishing for another husband," said the minstrel. "Am I not good enough for you?"
      At last they came to a very little hut, and she said, "Oh goodness. What a small house. Who owns this miserable tiny hut?"
      The minstrel answered, "This is my house and yours, where we shall live together."
      She had to stoop in order to get in the low door.
      "Where are the servants?" said the king´s daughter.
      "What servants?" answered the beggar. "You must do for yourself what you want to have done. Now make a fire at once, put some water on to boil, so you can cook me something to eat. I am very tired."
      But the king´s daughter knew nothing about lighting fires or cooking, and the beggar had to lend a hand himself to get anything done at all. When they had finished their scanty meal they went to bed. But he made her get up very early the next morning in order to do the housework.
      For a few days they lived in this way, as well as they could, but they finally came to the end of their provisions.
      Then the man said, "Wife, we cannot go on any longer eating and drinking here and earning nothing. You must weave baskets." He went out, cut some willows, and brought them home. Then she began to weave baskets, but the hard willows cut into her delicate hands.
      "I see that this will not do," said the man. "You had better spin. Perhaps you can do that better." She sat down and tried to spin, but the hard thread soon cut into her soft fingers until they bled.
      "See," said the man. "You are not good for any sort of work. I made a bad bargain with you. Now I will try to start a business with pots and earthenware. You must sit in the marketplace and sell them."
      "Oh!" she thought. "If people from my father´s kingdom come to the market and see me sitting there selling things, how they will ridicule me!"
      But her protests did not help. She had to do what her husband demanded, unless she wanted to die of hunger.
      At first it went well. People bought the woman´s wares because she was beautiful, and they paid her whatever she asked. Many even gave her the money and let her keep the pots. So they lived on what she earned as long as it lasted. Then the husband bought a lot of new pottery. She sat down with this at the corner of the marketplace and set it around her for sale. But suddenly there came a drunken hussar galloping along, and he rode right into the pots, breaking them into a thousand pieces. She began to cry, and was so afraid that she did not know what to do.
      "Oh! What will happen to me?" she cried. "What will my husband say about this?" She ran home and told him of the misfortune.
      "Who would sit at the corner of the marketplace with earthenware?" said the man. "Now stop crying. I see very well that you are not fit for any ordinary work. Now I was at our king´s palace and asked if they couldn´t use a kitchen maid. They promised me to take you. In return you will get free food."
      The king´s daughter now became a kitchen maid, and had to be available to the cook, and to do the dirtiest work. In each of her pockets she fastened a little jar, in which she took home her share of the leftovers. And this is what they lived on.
      It happened that the wedding of the king´s eldest son was to be celebrated, so the poor woman went up and stood near the door of the hall to look on. When all the lights were lit, and people, each more beautiful than the other, entered, and all was full of pomp and splendor, she thought about her plight with a sad heart, and cursed the pride and haughtiness which had humbled her and brought her to such great poverty.
      The smell of the delicious dishes which were being taken in and out reached her, and now and then the servants threw her a few scraps, which she put in her jar to take home.
      Then suddenly the king´s son entered, clothed in velvet and silk, with gold chains around his neck. When he saw the beautiful woman standing by the door he took her by the hand and wanted danced with her. But she refused and took fright, for she saw that he was King Thrushbeard, the suitor whom she had rejected with scorn.
      Her struggles did not help. He pulled her into the hall. But the string that tied up her pockets broke, and the pots fell to the floor. The soup ran out, and the scraps flew everywhere. When the people saw this, everyone laughed and ridiculed her. She was so ashamed that she would rather have been a thousand fathoms beneath the ground. She jumped out the door and wanted to run away, but a man overtook her on the stairs and brought her back. And when she looked at him, it was King Thrushbeard again.
      He said to her kindly, "Don´t be afraid. I and the minstrel who has been living with you in that miserable hut are one and the same. For the love of you I disguised myself. And I was also the hussar who broke your pottery to pieces. All this was done to humble your proud spirit and to punish you for the arrogance with which you ridiculed me."
      Then she cried bitterly and said, "I was terribly wrong, and am not worthy to be your wife."
      But he said, "Be comforted. The evil days are past. Now we will celebrate our wedding."
      Then the maids-in-waiting came and dressed her in the most splendid clothing, and her father and his whole court came and wished her happiness in her marriage with King Thrushbeard, and their true happiness began only now.
      I wish that you and I had been there as well.
     从前, 有一位国王, 膝下有一个女儿, 美丽非凡, 却因此而傲慢无理, 目中无人, 求婚的人里没有谁中她的意。 她不但一个接一个地拒绝他们的美意, 而且还对人家冷嘲热讽。
      有一回, 国王举行盛大宴会, 邀请了各地所有希望结婚的男子。 先入席的是几个国王, 接着入席的是王子、公爵、伯爵和男爵,最后入席的是其余所有应邀而来男子。 公主走过这个行列, 可对每一位横挑鼻子竖挑眼, 这位太胖啦, 她就用轻蔑的口气说道: “好一个啤酒桶。 ”那个呢, 又高又瘦, 她就评头论足地说道: “活像一只大蚊子。 ”下一个呢, 太矮啦……“五大三粗, 笨手笨脚。 ”她又说道。 第四个呢,脸色太苍白啦, “一具死尸。 ”;第五个, 脸太红润……“一只公火鸡。 ”第六个呢, 身板儿不够直……“像一快放在炉子后面烤干的弯木头。 ”就这样, 她看谁都不顺眼。
      有一位国王, 下巴长得有点儿翘, 更是免不了遭到她的大肆嘲笑挖苦。 “我的天哪! ”她一边放声大笑一边高声地说, “瞧这家伙的下巴呀, 长得跟画眉嘴一模一样啊! ”打那以后, 这位国王就落了个诨名——画眉嘴。 老国王发现女儿只是在嘲弄人家,对每个前来求婚的人都嗤之以鼻, 便大动干火, 发誓要把她嫁给第一个上门来讨饭的叫花子。
      几天以后, 一个走街窜巷卖唱的人在王宫的窗下唱起歌来, 想讨一点儿施舍。 国王听见了歌声, 便吩咐把这个人带来见他。 卖唱的衣衫褴褛, 肮脏龌龊, 来到国王和公主面前唱了起来, 唱完便恳求给他一点儿赏赐。
      国王对他说: “你的歌让我很开心, 我就把我的女儿许配给你吧。 ”
      公主一听, 吓得浑身发抖, 国王却接着说: “我发过誓, 要把她嫁给第一个到这儿来讨饭的叫花子, 我得言而有信。 ”
      抗旨不遵完全是徒劳的。 于是, 请来了牧师, 为公主和这个走街窜巷卖唱的人举行了婚礼。
      婚礼结束后, 国王说道: “现在你已是一个叫花子的老婆了, 不宜再留宫中。 你和你丈夫快上路吧。 ”
      叫花子牵着她的手往外就走, 公主不得不跟着他离开了王宫。 他们俩来到一片大树林前面, 公主问: “这片树林是谁的”
      卖唱的便回答道:“是那位心地善良的画眉嘴国王的呀,要是你当初嫁给他, 现在不就是你的吗”
      公主听了回答说:“我这个可怜的女孩子啊, 当初有点儿翘尾巴, 要是嫁给画眉嘴国王就好啦。 ”
      随后, 他们俩来到一片绿草地, 公主又问: “这片美丽的绿草地是谁的”“是那位心地善良的画眉嘴国王的呀,要是你当初嫁给他, 现在不就是你的吗”
      于是, 公主又唉声叹气地说:“我这个可怜的女孩子啊, 当初有点儿翘尾巴, 要是嫁给画眉嘴国王就好啦。 ”
      接着, 他们俩来到一座大城市, 公主又问: “这座美丽的城市是谁的”“是那位心地善良的画眉嘴国王的呀,要是你当初嫁给他, 现在不就是你的吗”
      公主听了说:“我这个可怜的女孩子啊, 当初有点儿翘尾巴, 要是嫁给画眉嘴国王该多好啦。 ”“你老是渴望嫁给另一个男人, ”卖唱的说, “我听了真气愤。 难道我配不上你吗”
      最后, 他们俩来到一所很小的房子前, 她大声地问:“这么小的房子我还没见过,天哪, 它会是什么人的窝卖唱的回答说: ”这是我的房子, 也是你的家, 我们就共同生活在这里。 “
      房门又矮又小, 公主进去时, 不得不弯下腰来, 不然就会碰了头。“佣人在哪儿呢”公主问道。“哪来的佣人呀。 ”叫花子回答说, “干什么事你都得自己动手。 喏, 你得快点儿把火生起来, 把水烧开, 然后给我煮饭。 我已经累得不行了。 ”
      可是, 公主哪里会生火煮饭呀, 叫花子只得自己动手, 不然就得挨饿。 他们的晚饭很简单, 晚饭后, 就休息了。 谁知第二天一大早, 他就把她赶下床, 逼着她做家务事。
      他们就这样过了几天, 吃完了所有的存粮, 丈夫于是说: “老婆, 你看, 咱们这样光吃饭, 不挣钱, 可怎么活下去呀, 你来编筐子吧。 ”
      说罢, 他就出去砍了些柳枝, 扛回家来。 公主开始编筐子, 可柳枝又粗又硬, 把她娇嫩的双手全弄伤了。“我觉得, ”丈夫说, “这样不行啊, 别编筐子啦, 你还是纺线吧, 也许你会在行些。 ”
      于是, 她开始坐下来试着纺线, 可是纱线很粗糙, 把她柔软的手指勒得鲜血直流。“你看看, ”丈夫又说道, “这算怎么一回事嘛。 你什么也干不了, 娶了你当老婆, 我算倒霉透啦。 现在我得做一做陶器生意, 卖锅碗瓢盆什么的。 你呢, 得到市场上去叫卖。 ”“天哪, ”她心想, “要是我父亲王国里的人来赶集, 看到我在那儿叫卖锅碗瓢盆, 他们一定会嘲笑我的! ”
      可是, 又有什么别的出路呢不然就得活活饿死。 一开始, 她的生意还不错。 人们见她长得漂亮, 都来买她的东西, 而且连价也不还。 的确, 有几个人付了钱, 却又把锅子作为礼物送给她。
      夫妻俩靠她卖来的钱生活了一段时间, 然后丈夫又进了一批陶器。 她坐在市场的一个角落里, 把锅碗瓢盆什么的摆放在自己的周围,叫卖起来。 谁知一个喝得醉熏熏的骑兵突然打这儿急驰而过, 那匹马冲进她的货摊, 把所有的陶器踩得粉碎。 公主放声大哭, 束手无策。“我的天呀, 我该怎么办哪”她呜咽着说, “我丈夫会怎么骂我呀。 ”于是, 她跑回家里, 跟丈夫说了自己的遭遇。“你是一个卖陶器的小贩子, 哭管什么用, ”她丈夫说, “你什么活儿也干不了。 我只得跑到咱们国王的宫殿里, 打听了一下你能不能在那儿当个帮厨女佣。 人家答应先试用一段时间, 还有, 你在那里可以白吃饭。 ”
      这样一来,公主就变成了帮厨女佣。 她给大师傅打下手, 干各种最脏的活儿。 她在衣服里缝了一个口袋, 在口袋里放了一只带盖的罐子, 每天把残羹剩饭盛在里面, 带回家中糊口。
      为了庆祝国王的长子满十八岁, 国王举行了盛大的舞会。 在那个不同寻常的夜晚, 可怜的年轻女佣躲在上面大厅的门后, 偷偷地观望。她目睹着蜡烛一根根点燃, 宾客们一个个步入大厅, 全都衣着华丽, 光彩照人。 面对眼前富丽堂皇、令人眼花缭乱的景像,她不无哀伤地想起自己悲惨的命运, 站在那里几乎泣不成声。 自己一向傲慢无理, 目中无人, 才落到今天这般贫穷凄惨的境地, 她感到痛悔不已。美味佳肴端进端出, 香味扑鼻, 她馋得口水直流, 仆人们不时扔给她一些残渣剩菜, 她便装进罐子里, 准备带回家去。
      国王的长子身着天鹅绒和绸缎衣服, 衣服上镶嵌着钻石, 脖子上挂着金项链, 正朝大厅走去, 发现这个可怜的女子站在门后,正偷偷地观望着舞会的情景, 王子一把抓住她的手, 要和她跳舞, 她却不肯。 她认出这位王子正是曾经向她求过婚,被她嘲弄侮辱过的那个画眉嘴国王, 不禁吓得浑身发抖。 可是, 不管她怎样挣扎, 王子还是硬将她拉进了舞厅。 不料, 她用来系口袋的线绳,就在这时断了, 罐子一下子滚了出来, 汤汤水水流了一地, 残渣剩菜撒得到处都是。 人们一见哄堂大笑, 她成了众人的笑柄,羞愧得恨不得有个地缝钻进去。 她朝门口冲了过去, 想要逃走, 可在台阶上被一个男子拦住了去路, 又给拉了回来。 她定睛一看,这个男子又是画眉嘴国王, 国王用亲切和蔼的语气对她说:“别怕, 我和那个跟你生活在破破烂烂的小房子里的叫花子, 原本是一个人哪。 我很爱你, 才乔装打扮成叫花子;那个喝得醉熏熏的、冲进你的货摊, 把陶器踩得粉碎的骑兵, 也是我呀。 我做这些, 全是为了克服你的傲慢无礼, 惩罚你对新郎的嘲弄。 ”
      公主听罢, 痛哭流涕, 抽泣着对国王说: “我真是太不应该了, 不配做您的妻子。 ”
      画眉嘴国王却安慰她说: “过去的已经过去了。 现在我们就举行婚礼吧。 ”
      话音刚落, 宫女们随即走了过来, 给她打扮得花枝招展。 她父亲和宫里的人也来了, 祝贺她和画眉嘴国王新婚幸福。
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