"Ricky of the Tuft" is a fairytale about two princesses and an ugly prince that received their abilities from a good fairy. We are used to miracles happen in fairytales and so did in this one. The prince fell in love with the most beautiful princess of all kingdom, but the love wasn’t mutual.
Even though his physical wasn’t attractive, he talked to her, and she fell in love with his virtues such as wisdom and good nature and she didn’t seem to notice his appearance.
The moral of the story is that people often have fantasies about colliding intelligence with appearance into some perfection. Tuft managed to accomplish that but not because of magic but because of love between two young people.
Time: once upon a time
Place: kingdom, forest
Once upon a time a queen lived and had a son whose appearance wasn’t appealing, so some of the people even questioned if he had the appearance of a human being. During his birth, a fairy gave him a sharp mind, kindness and a gift of wisdom that will help him win the girl he will eventually fall in love with.
The queen was still desperate about giving birth to such an ugly child despite the fact that the boy was smart even before he started speaking. The boy had a tuft on his head, and he was named after it.
In the meantime, other children were born in other kingdoms, including two princesses. The older one was beautiful, and the queen was thrilled about it, but she felt her appearance will bring some evil upon them. The fairy that gave the gifts to Tuft was present during the princesses’ birth. She diminished the queen’s happiness by saying the beauty of the princess will lower her intelligence. The queen was even sadder when she saw that her other child was ugly. The fairy warned her that her other daughter would be so smart no one will notice her appearance.
The queen was so desperate that she asked the fairy if she could give her first daughter more intelligence but the fairy couldn’t influence that. She could only promise the queen that the love of her daughter will make the person she loves beautiful.
The princesses grew, and the people admired one's beauty and the other’s intelligence. The more their virtues were emphasized, the more their flaws came to the surface. The younger daughter became uglier, and the order became stupider. The older one was not only stupid but also clumsy. Whatever she held in her hand would fall and break. She couldn’t even drink out of a cup without spilling everything.
Even though beauty was visible, the people appreciated the wisdom of the other sister more. All of them saw the beauty, but they were attracted to the wisdom of the younger sister. The older sister lost all of her friends because everyone wanted to be with the younger one. She wanted to sacrifice her appearance for a little piece of her sister’s wisdom. She felt useless and pathetic, and the queen couldn’t help her.
One day she headed for the forest where she met an ugly boy. It was Tuft who was overthrown by her beauty. She went to into the woods to grief about her lack of intelligence, and he was happy she was alone. He talked to her and noticed how incredibly sad she was. She told him how she couldn't make peace with her lack of intelligence and how she wanted to be smarter more than anything. Tuft told her he could help her because he had magical power.
He gave her a year to decide whether she wanted his gift. She was stunt, and couldn’t respond right away but a year seemed very long to her. She accepted to marry him, and a miracle happened. She could talk to Tuft with no problems. He was scared he might have given her too much wisdom.
When the princess came back to the castle, everyone was amazed by the way she spoke. Her sister felt endangered by her because now not only was she beautiful, but she was also smart. Her sister felt ugly.
Soon the word spread around, and many princes came to ask for her hand in marriage. She had to choose a spouse, but she forgot the most important thing. She already promised Tuft she’ll marry him, but she made that promise before she became wise and forgot about it. One day she took a walk in the woods and stumbled upon a big kitchen where the servants were preparing everything for Tuft’s weeding.
Then she remembered her promise she made a year ago. The princess headed back for the castle and Tuft appeared in front of her. He was nicely dressed and ready for the wedding. She thought she came by to marry him, but she admitted that the wedding wasn’t going to happen.
Tuft was surprised by the news, but the princess kept on talking about her knowledge of the promise and she expected him to understand why she can’t marry him. The princess believed that the wise Tuft will be able to understand her reasons and she explained that she can’t decide about marrying someone now that she is wise and let alone she could’ve figured it out when she was dumb. She considered Tuft made a terrible mistake by giving her wisdom because she saw thing clearly now.
Tuft expressed his understanding, but he wanted to know if his looks were the only problem. The princess told him he had all of the good qualities such as a good nature, courteous behavior and he admitted to her that she could make him beautiful if she loved him and explained the gifts his fairy gave to him. The princess wished for him to be beautiful and he was.
Some claim that it wasn’t magic but that the change was provoked by love. It is told that Tuft made the princess believe in her love for him and that because of his kindness she saw beyond his appearance.
The princess married Tuft and her father gave the couple his blessing. They organized a great weeding that Tuft wanted from the beginning.
Characters: fairy, Tuft, princess, king, queen, younger sister
Prince Tuft - a wise young man who was born ugly but very smart. He hoped he’ll meet a beautiful princess one day and he looked for her. When he encountered her in the forest, where she grieved about her lack of intelligence, he cheered her up by giving her the gift of wisdom.
Beautiful princess - a sad, pretty girl who couldn’t stand everyone associating with her younger uglier sister, so she went to the forest to cry. She met Tuft there and fell in love with his virtues.
Charles Perrault Biography
Charles Perrault (1628. - 1703.) was born in Paris to a wealthy family as the seventh child. His father was very strict and imposed a particular kind of education upon him, so he decided to study law. When he finished school, he got a job in the public service.
Many consider him to be the founder of the most popular genre between children, and those are the fairytales. He took his inspiration out of folks tales. Some of them were carried mouth to mouth, and the Grimm brothers told some of them. The fairytales that Charles made famous: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, and Puss in Boots.
This famous writer from France published another interesting book and it is Tales of Mother Goose. It consisted out of 8 fairytales.
Charles published this work under the name of his son. His fairytales were so popular that they were screen and TV adapted. The first fairytale The Sleeping Beauty was published in 1969.
Charles was considered to be one of the most influential people in the 17th century and a fighter for the younger generations. A conflict was going on back then between the old who believed that people should stick to the traditional way of writing and the young who were fighting for a new, fresh way of writing.