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  • Writer's pictureJoyce Slater

Story of the Month: Pig Boy

Pig Boy, or, One Hundred Kisses

Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen


Once upon a time, there was a Prince who decided to marry. He could marry any Princess he chose. He decided to marry the Emperor’s daughter.


In the Prince’s garden grew a lovely rose tree. When it bloomed the single rose smelled so sweet that anyone who sniffed it forgot all his woes and worries. The Prince also had a Nightingale. It sang so sweetly that anyone who heard it forgot all his cares and troubles.


The Prince, hoping to woo the Emperor’s daughter, took the rose and the Nightingale and packed them in two beautiful silver cases. He sent these to the Emperor’s daughter. When she received the gifts, she opened the rose and touched it, “Ouch, it is real.” Then she opened the box with the bird. The bird sang sweetly but the girl said, “Let it fly.” “I do not like real flowers or real birds.” “Tell the Prince I will not see him and no thank you for these silver boxes.”


When the Prince heard what the girl said, he had another idea. He disguised himself in rags and rubbed dirt upon his face. He pulled a cap over his head. He went to the palace and asked for a job. He was hired to look after the pigs. He lived in a little room near the pigsty. All day long he slopped the pigs and cleaned the stalls.


One evening he created a pretty little pot with bells hanging all around it. It was a magical pot, or the Prince had many skills. When any liquid in the pot began to boil, the bells rang out a lively tune and when you passed your fingers through the steam, you could smell every dish cooking in every pot in every fireplace in the kingdom. That was quite a remarkable pot.


One day the Emperor’s daughter was out walking with her ladies when she heard the pot playing its tune. She sent one of her ladies to ask the Pig Boy what he wanted for his pot. The Pig Boy Prince responded, “Ten kisses from the Emperor’s daughter.” When the Emperor’s daughter heard what the Pig Boy had asked, she stuck her nose into the air and walked away.


She had walked a short distance when she heard the sweet tune of the bells on the pot. She again sent one of her ladies to the Pig Boy asking if he would accept 10 kisses from one of her ladies. The Pig Boy said, “No thanks, I will keep my pot until I have 10 kisses from the Emperor’s daughter herself.”


The Emperor’s daughter sighed. “Well, I must have that pot.” The court ladies circled them so no one could see them. The Pig Boy came and took his 10 kisses. The Emperor’s daughter left with the pot.


For days the Emperor’s daughter played with the pot. Meanwhile, Pig Boy—was who really a Prince—decided he would make a magic rattle. When he whirled his rattle in the air, it played waltzes, polkas and minuets.


When the Emperor’s daughter heard the rattle, she clapped her hands, and all her ladiesdanced and twirled. “I must have that rattle!” she cried. She sent one of her ladies to ask what Pig Boy wants for his rattle. Pig Boy said he wanted 100 kisses from the Emperor’s daughter.


She strutted off with her nose in the air. She had walked a short distance then said, “Tell Pig Boy he can have 10 kisses like the kisses I gave him the other day and the rest of the kisses he can have from my ladies.”


But Pig Boy refused the offer, “100 kisses from the Emperor’s daughter or no rattle.” So once again the ladies circled around them and counted as the Emperor’s daughter began to kiss Pig Boy. While she was giving out her kisses, the Emperor happened to pass by. When he saw what was happening, he grabbed Pig Boy and his daughter, “Out with you both!” he said because he was very ashamed of her.


So out into the wide world they went. They stood in the rain and cold. The Emperor’s daughter wailed, “Oh I should have married the Prince who sent me the rose and the nightingale. Then I would be safe and warm at home.”


When he heard this, Pig Boy went behind a tree. He rubbed the dirt off his face, threw off his rags and dressed himself in his princely clothes. He stood before her looking very handsome.


The Emperor’s daughter gasped. She bowed down before him. “I will marry you,” she said. But the Pig Boy shook his head. “I have learned not to like you. You did not appreciate the rose or the nightingale, but you would kiss a Pig Boy to get his pot and rattle. Enjoy your gifts.” The Prince turned around and went back to his own kingdom.

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