The Princess And The Woodcutter By A.A. Milne

1. The Princess & the Woodcutter By A.A. Milne


“The Princess and the Woodcutter” is a beautiful fairy-tale penned by A. A. Milne. A fairy-tale is a story in which we come across giants, fairies and witches, etc. But the specialty of such a fairy-tale is definitely didactic. Once there was a woodcutter named Henry who worked for the king. The king had a small daughter named Princess Katherine. She daily saw Henry working and helped him in carrying his woods. She also liked to listen tales from Henry.
          The time passed and a time came when Katherine became young enough to say that she was in love with someone. She fell in love with Henry but thinking that it was impossible for her to marry a woodcutter, she remained silent. It was also not acceptable at that time that a princess could marry a woodcutter.
          Even a time came when her parents invited three princes to make a selection for their daughter. They wanted to find some suitable boy for their daughter. One of these was Prince Rupert. When he saw the splinters, he commented: “Did you see her rough hands?” on that, the other Prince named James agreed and said, “She could use some improving.” At this, the third Prince commented: “I’m all the improvement she needs.” It is all that makes Katherine feel that no one loves her. Actually, the three princes did not love her. They actually wanted to own all the land that would become the ownership of the prince who would marry Katherine.
            Once, Katherine opened her heart to Henry and demanded help from him because she did not want to marry any of the three. She asked if he could help her. Henry said smiling what the prize would be of helping her. She said that his prize would be the girl who daily chopped wood with him. Henry was wonder struck and asked if she wanted to marry him. Katherine blushed and expressed her love for Henry. She further asked him to make some plan to get rid of all the princes and marry him.
          He was lost in his thoughts when he witnessed the king and the queen strolling in the forest. They were discussing something and he became attentive to hear their talk. They ignored him and continued discussion. The queen did not like these princes but the king was not ready to accept the idea. The queen said that they needed some sensible and kindest boy for their daughter. They decided to have a test of these princes. They decided that the queen would appear as a beggar woman and whoever prince offered him his bread, would be the best and suitable match for their daughter.
     After their departure, Prince Rupert came. Harry said to him that he would be the man who would marry the princess. But Harry also gave him a piece of stale bread and asked him to share that piece of bread. Rupert went happily.
          After that, Prince James came on the scene. He told him about the plan and gave him a larger piece of bread. After James’ departure, Prince Andrew appeared. Henry told him about the plan and gave a larger piece of stale bread. He wrapped the piece of bread in a kerchief and kept it into his pocket.
          The queen appeared as a beggar woman.  Prince Rupert came across her. He threw his piece of stale bread at her and called her poor woman. The queen did not eat it. The Prince Rupert asked her to eat but she said that she had saved it. But he insisted on eating the piece of bread. He forced her to eat and she had to eat.
After the departure of Rupert, James came. She requested him to give her something to eat. He thrust his piece of bread to the queen. He also forced her to eat that piece of bread. When he was gone, Portly appeared there. He instantly thrust his kerchief into the queen’s hand and forcefully inserted the piece of bread into her mouth and went away. Having eaten stale and hard pieces of bread, the queen started spitting and coughing. Henry brought water for the queen. The queen drank the water and felt a little better. She instantly said how kind he was. In the meanwhile, the king and the princess Katherine also appeared. Katherine told Henry that the beggar woman was actually her mother. Henry pretended to be surprised. He instantly begged pardon from the queen saying that he helped her to see her in trouble. But the queen said that he was good at heart. The queen asked him what his idea was about the stale bread as food. Henry replied that stale bread was fine sometimes one could have too much. The queen agreed and became happy to see his sensibility. She further said that the man like Henry would certainly be the exact choice to marry their daughter. Henry is surprised to hear that. He gasped: “A woodcutter?” But the queen replied: “The heart is all that matters.”  That is how Katherine and Henry got married and lived a happy life ever after.                                           (Words: 859)


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