Friday, 16 July 2010

Friday is for Fairytales: The Swineherd

Friday is for Fairytales is a meme hosted by Irena (me) at This Miss loves to Read. Every Friday, you can choose a fairytale you love, or simply find interesting or haunting, and review it or simply say why you like it so much, or why it has captured your attention. Instead of a fairytale, you can choose a favourite fairytale character and describe him/her and tell us why you like them, or you can simply share an experience connected to a fairytale. Fairytales can be old and modern, written by a known author or anonymous, written down or passed on orally, short or in novel form (like re-writings of fairytales), international or typical for your country alone. In this case, present your country’s fairytale and we can all become acquainted with a new fairytale. So, make a post every Friday that is connected to the world of fairytales, be it a review, a character description or your own fairytale experience. Let’s celebrate fairytales and share our love for them.

MY POST IS ABOUT: "The Swineherd" by Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen is my favourite author of fairy-tales and his fairy-tale The Swineherd is one of my favourite ones by Andersen.

This is basically a story about a prince who dresses himself as a swineherd to court an arrogant princess who is an Emperor’s daughter. He had sent her beautiful gifts, a nightingale and a rose, but they were too humble for her taste, so she rejected them. And so, the prince came to the castle dressed as a swineherd and begins to work at the palace. There, he creates a musical pot. The princess comes to his hut and pays ten kisses for the pot. When he creates a musical rattle, she pays a hundred kisses for it. The emperor is disgusted when he finds out that his daughter kissed a swineherd to beget those objects. He casts her out of the palace. Then, the prince shows himself to her as he truly is, clean and royal, and he rejects her like her father did. The princess is left outside the palace door, singing sadly.
Revenge is sweet.;)

I like this fairy-tale so much because it has some emotional value for me. The thin book containing only this fairy-tale was bought for me by my grandparents and it had really lovely pictures in it. My mom would read the fairy-tale to me almost every evening (it was either this one or Cinderella) and we invented alternate versions to it. That was fun! So, the fairy-tale is really delightful, but what makes it so special to me are the nice memories.

As an adult, I see that it has a good moral, too. The princess was too snobbish and haughty and she deserved to be humiliated in the end. Perhaps her father’s throwing her out of the palace for kissing a swineherd is a bit over the top, but she deserved to receive a wake-up call. You will be treated by others the way you treat them. It’s simple and easy, and very true.

When we moved to another city, the booklet got lost, sadly. But, I still have my memories and I can read this fairy-tale whenever I want to in my collection of Andersen’s fairy-tales.


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I'm not familiar with this story at all; it kind of reminds me of the Brothers Grimm story King Thrushbeard although that one has a happier ending. I will need to search this one out.

Jan von Harz said...

I have never read this particular fairy-tale, very interesting.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

It's a cute story, not very long. Hehe, funny, I am not familiar with that particular Grimm story. I have to check out King Thrushbeard.

Blodeuedd said...

I do feel sorry for the princess, especially when her dad kicked her out when he surely spoiled her rotten and made her like that