The Skin of The Donkey
The Skin of The Donkey :
There was once a rich and powerful King who, though old and ugly, made up his head to marry a young, beautiful girl at the court. The girl did not want to marry The King and asked her stepmother for help to escape from this marriage.
'You can never say no to the king,' said the woman, 'but you can lay down absurd conditions. Ask him for the skin of his donkey.'
Since this donkey was a magic donkey on which all The King's power depended, so the two of them never dreamed for one moment that he would make such a sacrifice. But The King at once sent the girl what she had asked 'for.
The young girl decided to run away. She put on the donkey skin, so she would not be recognised and fled to a nearby country. To earn herself a living, there, she took the job of a serving girl in an inn and indeed she was good at everything she did, especially baking cakes. She never took off her disguise and though it made her look horrible, the donkey skin kept her safe. Occasionally when she was alone in her room, she washed and combed her hair and put on the fine dress she had brought with her.
One day, the son of The King of that land happened to come to the inn. Looking around the place, he found a locked door. Out of curiosity he peeped through the keyhole and saw such a beautiful young girl that he fell in love at first sight. When he asked who stayed in that room, he was told that it was only an ugly serving girl.
When Donkey Skin was shown to him, he was forced to admit that it was not the girl he had seen through the keyhole. The prince grew lovesick and lost his appetite. As he grew weaker, the court doctor decided that he could only be tempted to eat again by a piece from one of Donkey Skin's delicious cakes. So she was commanded to bake a cake, but when the prince took his first bite he found in it a ring which had slipped from Donkey Skin's finger.
The prince remembered having seen the ring through the keyhole on the beautiful young girl's finger. He vowed he would marry only the girl on whose finger the ring fitted perfectly. To make him happy, the king and the queen agreed to this, especially since a finger small enough to fit that ring must surely belong to a grand lady.
The search began at once and in the end even the Donkey Skin was ordered to try the ring on. And then
And then UGLY serving girl had no trouble at all in proving that not only the ring belonged to her but that she really was the most beautiful young girl, the prince had seen at inn. Everything was soon sorted out and a grand wedding took place that very same day.
The Short Stories Index
From The Skin of The Donkey to HOME PAGE