The Crimson Fairy Book HTML version

To Your Good Health!
Long, long ago there lived a king who was such a mighty monarch that whenever he
sneezed every one in the whole country had to say 'To your good health!' Every one said
it except the shepherd with the staring eyes, and he would not say it.
The king heard of this and was very angry, and sent for the shepherd to appear before
The shepherd came and stood before the throne, where the king sat looking very grand
and powerful. But however grand or powerful he might be the shepherd did not feel a bit
afraid of him.
'Say at once, "To my good health!"' cried the king.
'To my good health!' replied the shepherd.
'To mine--to mine, you rascal, you vagabond!' stormed the king.
'To mine, to mine, your Majesty,' was the answer.
'But to mine--to my own,' roared the king, and beat on his breast in a rage.
'Well, yes; to mine, of course, to my own,' cried the shepherd, and gently tapped his
The king was beside himself with fury and did not know what to do, when the Lord
Chamberlain interfered:
'Say at once--say this very moment: "To your health, your Majesty"; for if you don't say it
you'll lose your life, whispered he.
'No, I won't say it till I get the princess for my wife,' was the shepherd's answer. Now the
princess was sitting on a little throne beside the king, her father, and she looked as sweet
and lovely as a little golden dove. When she heard what the shepherd said she could not
help laughing, for there is no denying the fact that this young shepherd with the staring
eyes pleased her very much; indeed he pleased her better than any king's son she had yet
But the king was not as pleasant as his daughter, and he gave orders to throw the
shepherd into the white bear's pit.
The guards led him away and thrust him into the pit with the white bear, who had had
nothing to eat for two days and was very hungry. The door of the pit was hardly closed