Thursday, June 17, 2010

King Stork

Howard Pyle
illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman 1973

Trina Schart Hyman’s illustrated version of one of Howard Pyle’s tales from The Wonder Clock. She is another prolific artist whose books I’m always trying to get my hands on.  I think her very best pictures are for fairy tales. Madeleine found this at her elementary school library (which I thought was funny since the illustrations are a tad risqué and the story would most certainly offend people who are not afficionados of fairy tales.) We however love it!

Magical King Stork helps a young drummer win the hand of a beautiful princess (who also happens to be a witch). Of course, marrying her isn’t enough to drive her wickedness out so he’s advised to take a switch and “hold tight to her and lay on the switch” as she transforms into various vicious animals. In the end she was “as good a wife as ever churned butter”.

Last of all, there stood the princess herself.  "Oh, dear husband!" she cried.  "Let me go, and I will promise to be good all the days of my life." 
"Very well," says the drummer, "and that is the tune I like to hear."

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