The Prince Who Wasn’t Hungry by Carolyn Sherwin Balley

Story type: Literature

Once upon a time there was a little Prince who had very little to do, and so he thought a great deal about eating. All the grown-up people in the castle were most anxious to have the little Prince grow up to be a fine, strong King. So they, too, thought a great deal about what the Prince should eat. The Queen made out long lists of good things for his meals. The Court Chancellor bought food, himself, in town so as to be sure that it would be fresh. The Court Cook was busy boiling, and broiling, and simmering, and tasting for the little Prince almost all day long. While the Court Ladies in Waiting served the little Prince’s meals in the most dainty ways: sometimes on rosebud china, and sometimes in gold bowls, and always with silver spoons.

Such delicious foods as they were! No child, but a Prince, had ever tasted them.

There were wheat cakes made from only golden wheat, and served with honey from the wild bees’ combs. There were eggs that a tiny bantam hen had laid, made into an omelette with very rare herbs from the castle kitchen garden. There were tarts filled with wild strawberries or black cherries, which every one knows are the nicest strawberries and cherries of all. There were such strange, sweet dishes as violet jelly, and rose-leaf jam, and clover preserve, very good indeed for supper, spread on sugar wafers.

At first the little Prince had an excellent appetite for all these good things. He looked forward so to his meals that he thought very little about running and playing with the castle pages. Instead, he spent ever so much time watching the clock, and he made up a new timetable for himself.

See also  Baby's Way

“Half past breakfast, it is now!” the little Prince would say, or, “A quarter before dinner,” or, “Ten minutes of supper.” And the Prince grew so fat that he looked like a little stuffed pig.

But after a while, the Prince lost his appetite. None of the rare foods that they gave him tasted as delicious as they had before. He began asking for things to eat that no one could give him; a blue apple, or a mug of dew, or a pat of butter made of buttercups.

“What shall we do about it?” all the people in the castle said, and the Queen cried, and the Court Cook wrung his hands. The little Prince would eat nothing else, and they were afraid that he would starve.

Then the little Prince asked them for the best food in the world, and would have no other. He had eaten what every one thought was the best, so they did not know what to do. One day they missed the little Prince. He had gone down into the village to try and find, for himself, the best food in the world.

He asked every one whom he met about it. Every one knew from his velvet suit and his buckled shoes that he was the Prince, so they all tried to feed him.

“Now, I have the best food in the world, a nicely roasted chicken,” said the innkeeper.

“Oh, no, I have eaten roasted chicken and I am tired of it, thank you,” said the Prince.

“I am sure that I have the best food in the world,” said the baker, “a frosted plum cake.”

See also  Shooting Of The Red Eagle

“Oh, no, I have eaten frosted plum cake, and I am tired of it, thank you,” said the Prince.

“Of course I have the best food in the world, chocolate ice cream,” said the sweets man.

“Oh, no, I have eaten chocolate ice cream and I am tired of it, thank you,” said the Prince.

So he went this way and that way, but he could not find anything that he wanted to eat.

When it was late in the afternoon he came to the woods and there he met a little boy of his own age, chopping down small trees. The boy’s cheeks were rosy, and his eyes were bright. His arms, swinging the shiny hatchet, were tough with strong muscles. He looked as if he had eaten good food all his life, so the little Prince spoke to him.

“Have you any of the best food in the world?” he asked.

“Oh, yes; right here in my pocket,” said the boy.

“May I have some?” begged the little Prince.

“Yes, indeed,” said the boy, “if you will help me with my chopping first. I am not going to eat my supper until I have finished my work.”

So the little Prince took the hatchet and chopped, while the boy tied the wood into bundles and gathered up the chips. The air was crisp and sweet, and the work made the little Prince’s blood flow fast and warm. He liked it very much indeed, so he kept on chopping until his arms ached and he had to sit down on a stump to rest.

See also  The First Wife’s Wedding-Ring by Juliana Horatia Ewing

“Now we will eat,” said the boy, and he pulled a piece of strange, dark food from his pocket. He broke it in two and gave half to the Prince who ate it in hungry mouthfuls.

It tasted better than anything he had ever eaten before!

“It is the best food in the world. Thank you,” said the little Prince. “I shall see that you are made a page, and I will take back part of this food to share with my mother, the Queen.”

But the Queen and all the other people were very much surprised at what the little Prince brought them.

It was a piece of brown bread and butter!

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *