Young Folks' Treasury: Classic Tales and Old-Fashioned Stories HTML version
Once upon a time there was a young Prince who met with a very curious kind of misfortune.
Most people want something which they cannot get; and because they cannot get it, they
generally desire it more than anything else, which is very foolish, for it would be much better to
be contented with what they have.
He was a wise fox, my dear Charlie, who thought the grapes were sour when he could not reach
them. Now the Prince's misfortune consisted in this, that he had everything on earth he could
want or desire, and a little more. He had a fine palace and a fine country, obedient subjects and
servants, and true friends. When he got up in the morning, there was some one ready to put on
his clothes for him; when he went to bed at night, some one to take them off again. A fairy called
Prosperity gave him everything he desired as soon as he desired it. If he wanted peaches at
Christmas, or cool air at mid-summer, the first came instantly from his hothouses, and the second
was produced by an enormous fan, which hung from the top of the room, and was moved by two
But strange to say, the Prince got weary of all this; he was tired of wanting nothing. When he sat
down to dinner he had but little appetite, because he had had such a good breakfast; he hardly
knew which coat to put on, they were all so beautiful; and when he went to bed at night, though
the bed was as soft as a white cloud, he could not sleep, for he was not tired.
There was only one ugly thing in the whole palace, which was a little, drowsy, gray dwarf, left
there by the fairy Prosperity. He kept yawning all day, and very often set the Prince [pg 327] yawning,
too, only to look at him. This dwarf they called Satiety, and he followed the Prince about
wherever he went.
One day the Prince asked him what he was yawning for, and Satiety answered:
"Because I have nothing to do, and nothing to wish for, my Prince."
"I suppose that is the reason why I yawn too," replied the Prince.
"Rather is it having me always with you,".answered Satiety.
"Then get away and leave me," said the Prince.
"I cannot do that," answered Satiety. "You can go from me, but I cannot go from you; I can never
leave you as long as you remain in the palace of Prosperity."
"Then I will have you turned out," said the Prince.
"No one can do that," said Satiety, "but Misfortune, and he is a very capricious person. Though
he is a very disagreeable monster, some people seem to court him, but cannot get him to come
near them; while to a great many he comes unawares, and catches them, though they fly from
him eagerly. I tell you, Prince, you can go from me, but I cannot go from you as long as you
remain in the palace of Prosperity."