"The Fairy's Silver Trumpet"
By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of Ojo in Oz, The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa, etc.
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 21, 1920.
Once upon a time there was a fairy disguised as a princess, who lived in a beautiful castle on Suntop Mountain, which is in a country a far distance from here.
But surrounding it there are many small kingdoms and many large kings, and as more than one of them suspected the castle of being built of gold, each was determined to wed the princess. Most any summer evening you could see them charging by dozens up the steep path to her palace.
But the princess seemed in no hurry at all to wed. She caused the band to play and waltzed merrily with them all, but as for marrying--"Who cared for that," said the princess. And so delightful was this adorable little lady that the kings could scarce find time to rule their kingdoms for galloping up the mountain, and they began to cast dark glances at one another and for very jealousy to talk of war.
"For," rumbled the king of the West to the king of the South, "If I cannot have her neither shall you, for I will march upon your castle and kill you with my golden spear."
"That we shall see," growled the king of the South, and it was not long before all the kings were quarreling together, which made the princess oh, so sorrowful.
"There must be no war," sighed the princess looking down at the fair country lying all around Suntop Mountain, and she thought and thought of a way to prevent it. And soon she had found a plan. That evening, when all the kings were assembled at her court, she promised that if they would all be friendly forevermore she would wed one of them--the one who proved himself by fair trial most worthy.
The kings were loath to agree at first, but as each one got to thinking how he himself might be the lucky fellow each decided to keep peace with the others forevermore, as the princess required of them. So it came about that on the next evening they all presented themselves at the palace to try for the princess' hand. And the test seemed surprisingly easy. "For whoever can blow three notes upon this silver trumpet him will I wed!" declared the princess.
The first king stepped forward proudly and took the trumpet.
"I am surely worthy of the princess," thought he, and seizing the trumpet he put it to his lips and blew with all his might, but nary a sound was heard. And so it went with one after the other till there was left but one more king to try. Not the richest nor handsomest king by any means, just a plain, honest-looking king with blue eyes.
"Never in the world am I worthy of so lovely a lady," murmured the young king sorrowfully, "but I must at least try." And while the other kings looked on sourly he took the silver trumpet. But before he put it to his lips he raised his eyes to the princess.
"By my own might alone never can I blow this trumpet," said the king, "but, if your highness permit, I will take her hand, for with her hand in mine, mayhap, it might be." The princess paled, but graciously extended her hand to the young king, and had no sooner done so than he blew lustily and such music as had never been heard in that land fell upon the astonished ears of the company.
"Him will I wed!" sighed the princess, "Because man by himself can accomplish many things, but man with the help of the woman he loves can accomplish all things. Of you all he is the only one who asked my help. Of you all he is most worthy. Him will I wed!"
THE FORGETFUL POET
By Ruth Plumly Thompson
From the Philadelphia Public Ledger, February 11, 1917
The Puzzle Corner
Mr. G. Ography was surprised that so many of you guessed his countries last week. Serbia, Tripoli and Peru were the correct answers. He did not send us any at all this week, so I was obliged to make up some myself. Now then:
What two animals are found in the human body?
What country's flag and city's name will give an American author?
What word have we here--X QQQQ?
What day is hidden in this sentence--"Nevin sat in late!"?
[Answers next time.]
Copyright © 2002 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.
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