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THE TALISMAN_安徒生童话全集



A PRINCE and a princess were still celebrating their oneymoon.They were extremely happy; only one houghtdisturbed them, and that was how to retain their present appiness.For that reason they wished to own a talisman with which to protect themselves against any unhappiness intheir marriage.

Now, they had often been told about a man who livedout in the forest,acclaimed by everybody for his wisdom and known for his good advice in every need and difficulty.So the Prince and Princess called upon him and told him about their heart's desire.After the wise man had listenedto them he said,"Travel through every country in the world,and wherever you meet a completely happily married couple,ask them for a small piece of the linen they wear close to the body,and when you receive this, you must always carry it on you. That is a sure remedy!"

The Prince and the Princess rode forth, and on theirway they soon heard of a knight and his wife who were saidto be living the most happlly married life.They went to theknight's castle and asked him and his wife if their marriagewas truly as happy as was rumored.

"Yes, of course,"was the answer,"with the oneexception that we have no children!"

Here then the talisman was not to be found, and thePrince and Princess continued their journey in search of thecompletely happily married couple.

As they traveled on, they came to a country wherethey heard of an honest citizen who lived in perfect unity and happiness with his wife.So to him they went, and asked if he really was as happily married as people said.

"Yes,I am,"answered the man,"My wife and I live in perfect harmony; if only we didn' t have so many chil-dren, for they give us a lot of worries and sorrows!"

So neither with him was the talisman to be found,and the Prince and the Princess continued their journey through the country, always inquiring about happily mar- ried couples; but none presented themselves.

One day,as they rode along fields and meadows, they noticed a shepherd close by the road, cheerfully playing his flute. Just then a woman carrying a child in her arm, and holding a little boy by the hand, walked to- wards him. As soon as the shepherd saw her, he greeted her and took the little child, whom he kissed and ca-ressed. The shepherd's dog ran to the boy, licked his lit-tle hand,and barked and jumped with joy.In the mean- time the woman arranged a meal she had brought along,and then said,"Father,come and eat now!"The man sat down and took of the food, but the first bite he gave to the little boy, and the second he divided between the boy and the dog. All this was observed by the Prince and the Princess, who walked closer, and spoke to them, saying, "You must be a truly happily married couple."

"Yes,that we are,"said the man." God bepraised; no prince or princess could be happier than we are!"

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