In all my life, I have never met such a deliciously haughty princess. She is beautiful beyond measure, and so, of course, no suitor will ever measure up.

We were lined up before her, in a row, while she, like a general, inspected the ranks. This was one too fat. “The wine-barrel!” she laughed. This one was too tall. “Long and thin has little in—” She left it at that. Another was too stout. “Short and thick is never quick.” What pluck!

When she came to me, she said, “He has a chin like a thrush’s beak!”

I covered my chin after that, and, when I showed up at her door disguised as a ragged beggar, I knew she wouldn’t recognize me.

King Thrushbeard in King Thrushbeard, Grimms. Illustration by Arthur Rackham

thrushbeard