If I had known this...

O! What men dare do! What men may do! What men daily do, not knowing what they do!
- William Shakespeare

Once upon a time, king with his large entourage went sailing across the sea. On the second night of a journey, a terrible storm struck and the ship sunk. Only the king, his queen and youngest daughter managed to wash ashore at some small village in a far away land.

In this land, nobody has ever heard about his kingdom and he had no money with which to support the family. They were even afraid to acknowledge that they were a royal family. Since they had to eat, the king went looking for work and, being the king, he did not have any usable skill. Only job he managed to get was a shepherd, taking care of the village’s sheep.
Several years passed and the prince of this country arrived in the village where they lived. He noticed the king’s daughter, which has grown into a very beautiful girl, and vowed that he will marry no other girl but the shepherd's daughter.

His father, the king, tried to dissuade him, but seeing that the prince was unwavering, he sent envoys to the shepherd, asking his daughter to marry a prince. The shepherd received the envoys, thanked them for this offer and asked what handcraft was the prince skilled in? The envoys were outraged. “What need does the prince and future king have for a craft? He has lands and servants!”
The shepherd was unyielding. “If the prince brings me the product of his own hands, I will give my daughter’s hand in marriage! Nothing else, no money no lands will suffice!”
The prince, on hearing this, was not happy but he left castle and went from workshop to workshop trying to find the easiest craft to learn. Wondering around he happened upon the rope-maker's shop and, as this looked easy craft to learn, he asked the artisan to teach him how to make ropes. After several days, he succeeded in making a simple short rope himself and sent the rope to the shepherd.

The shepherd, upon examining the rope, asked the envoys how much was the rope worth. Envoys, rather confused, answered that it is worth four copper pieces.
“4 copper pieces today, 4 tomorrow. If I had known this craft, I would earn 28 pieces a week and not 10 as a shepherd. If I had known this, I would live like a respected man!” Then he explained to the envoys that he was a king and his daughter princess. He told everything that happened to them, a long kept secret.

Everybody was so happy that the prince’s future wife is a princess, nobody was more happy then the king! He provided the ship and sailors to the shepherd so he could find his kingdom again.

Soon, grand celebrations took place in both kingdoms that lasted long time after the wedding...

1 comment:

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