The fairytale about the princess and the swineherd is actually a story about unrequited love. The swineherd, who was actually a prince, fell in love with the young princess and he had sent her two gifts that she didn’t like. He decided to dress up as a poor young man so he could get a job at her father’s kingdom.
When he got settled in a small room he started making all kinds of instruments that the princess wanted. He gave her the first instrument in exchange for ten kisses, the other one for hundred of them and in the end, he realized that all she wanted was toys to play around with and that there will be no love between them.
Both of them were banished from the kingdom when her father saw them kissing. The prince got back in his regular clothes and when the princess saw him she fell in love with him but he was interested in the princess anymore because she was spoiled.
Once upon a time a poor prince lived with the intention of getting married one day. He owned a kingdom that wasn’t very big but it was just enough for him and his chosen one. After thinking about it, he decided to marry the emperor’s daughter.
He gave her two gifts. The first one was a rose that had a beautiful smell. It only grew every fifth year on his father’s grave and its scent was so strong that it could make people forget about their problems and miseries. The other gift was a nightingale who had a beautiful voice.
The gifts were sent to the princes in silver cases. When they came to the castle the emperor ordered for the cases to be brought to him in his chambers where the princess was playing around. When she saw the cases, she clapped her hands.
She saw the rose and everyone gasped because of its beauty. The princess came closer to the cases and yelled to her father that it was a real rose. Everyone gasped even more because not only was the rose beautiful and had a beautiful scent but it wasn’t artificial.
The emperor wanted to check the gift in the other case and when he opened it a little nightingale came out and started singing. He was amazed. One knight was reminded of a music box the late empress used to own and it brought the emperor to his tears.
The princess wanted to know if it was a real bird. Everyone told her it wasn’t but she didn’t want to let the prince into the castle and decided to let the bird go.
The prince wasn’t ready to give up. He smeared black and brown paint across his face, put a hat on his head and went knocking on the emperor’s doors. He was a resourceful young man and when he saw the emperor he asked him if he had any kind of job for him in his kingdom. The emperor told him that everyone was looking for a job those days but that right now he only needs someone to look after his pigs so the prince became a swineherd.
He was placed in a small room, near the pigsty and it became his new home. He started working right away so that everyone could see the pot he made. There were bells around the pot so every time someone would cook something in it the bells would ring. The real magic of the pot was in its steam. Anyone who placed his finger in the steam would immediately know what’s cooking where in the kingdom.
The princess went for a walk with her servants and then she heard the music coming from the pot and she was all happy because she could play it too. She told her servants to check the price of the instrument from the swineherd.
One of them went to the swineherd in her wooden shoes and asked for the price. The resourceful prince told her immediately that he wants 10 kisses in exchange for the pot. The servant was caught off guard and the swineherd didn’t want to settle for less.
She went back to the princess to tell her what the price was. Since she didn’t want to say it out loud, she whispered it to her ear. The princess said that the swineherd was very rude.
She was angry and headed to her castle where she, once more, heard the music. She thought everything through and told her servant to go and check if the swineherd will take the servant’s kisses in exchange for pot. He told her it was out of the question. He only wanted the princess’s kisses. She agreed but didn’t want anyone to see them kissing.
The servants stood in a circle and spread their dresses so that no one would see the princess kissing the swineherd. Now they knew what someone was cooking, where they could find something sweet to eat and so on. They were happy because they found the pot to be interesting and amusing. The princess told them they can’t say anything to anyone because she is the emperor’s daughter. They promised to be silent about everything.
The days went by and the prince couldn’t allow the time pass by without him taking action. One day he made a rattle that played waltzes and other dances when someone would shake it.
While the princess was walking by his room she heard magnificent melodies. She sent one of her servants to ask him about the price of the rattle and mentioned that she won’t be paying with kisses again. This time, he didn’t demand 10 kisses, he demanded hundred of them.
The princess called him insane and she went away. After a few minutes, she came to the conclusion that she, as the emperor’s daughter, has to support art but she agreed to kiss him 10 times and that he gets the other 90 kisses from her servants. The swineherd said he doesn’t want their kisses and the girls also didn’t want to do it so they did the same thing all over again. The servants did a circle around them and he kissed her hundred times.
The emperor watched it all from his balcony and he wanted to know why there were so many people in front of the swineherd’s room. He put on his shoes and went down to see what was going on. He heard the servants counting something and when he came to the room he stood on his fingers to see what was going on. The servants were counting the kisses and didn’t even notice him. When the emperor saw his daughter kissing the swineherd he banished both of them and the swineherd received exactly 86 kisses.
The princess couldn’t stop yelling and crying. She could have picked the prince to marry her but she rejected him. The swineherd thought it was a great opportunity to wash his face and wear his real clothes. When the princess saw his she even bowed down.
The prince told him that he only felt hatred for her because first, she didn’t want an honest man for her husband and second she didn’t like his gifts that were beautiful but she was prepared to kiss a swineherd for a bunch of toys. He thought she deserved to stay alone.
The prince went to his kingdom and she was left alone grieving with the only melody she knew how to play.
Characters: swineherd/prince, princess, emperor, servants
Swineherd/Prince – a young prince who was in love with the princess. He had decided to send her two gifts to gain her love and affection but she didn’t value his gifts and she didn’t agree to meet him. He was still determined to be with her so he dressed up as a swineherd and go a job in her empire. After realizing that the princess was spoiled he didn’t want to marry her anymore and he left for his kingdom alone.
Princess – a spoiled girl that showed no appreciation for the price’s gifts. She ended up alone, banished from the kingdom because her father saw her kissing the swineherd. She was left alone playing the only melody she knew.
Hans Christian Andersen Biography
Hans Christian Andersen was born April 2nd, 1805 in Odense. He was born into a poor family. His father was a shoemaker, and his mother did not have a job. Even though they did not have much Hans was happy for growing up next to a father who recognized his love for adventures and stories. Since he was a boy, his father told him many stories and helped him build a puppet theater.
His life got hard when his father died. His mother had to clean other people’s laundry to provide food, shelter, and clothes for herself and her son. Even though she wanted to send him to a school to study something he wanted to go into a big city and make something out of himself.
He had only 14 years when he came to Copenhagen. He lived in an attic and worked a lot to make it. He even danced for a short time. When he was 17, he decided to go to school, so he sat in school with 12-years old. He even went to a university.
He wrote and studied at the same time. He wrote many fairy tales and “The Ugly Duckling” was considered to contain elements of his life. Some of his other famous fairy tales are: “The little Mermaid”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Snow Queen”…
He died in Copenhagen August 4th, 1875.