Because I would not marry a hideous, foul-mouthed, one-eyed captain, my father ordered me to put on peasants’ clothes and leave the castle. He sent me to a potter who taught me to make pots. I sold them in the market. As soon as I set up my stall, my father’s horsemen rode through the marketplace and shattered all the pots.

I could not repay the potter, and my father would not lend me the money unless I agreed to marry the captain. I begged the potter to lend me the money, but he saw me as a lost cause. Then I went to my father and begged him again, and he sent me into the forest to live in a hut and cook for travelers. I was not allowed to charge money for my services. My father ordered a sign to be made for the door that read: “Today given, tomorrow sold.”

He thought the humiliation would change my mind, but it did not.

I learned to cook.

Princess Who Cooks in The Skillful Huntsman, Grimms. Painting by Christen Brun.

princess cook