The Princess and the Goblin

  • CHAPTER I

  • WHY THE PRINCESS HAS A STORY ABOUT HER

  • Narrator

    THERE was once a little princess who—

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    Reader

    “But, Mr. Author, why do you always write about princesses?”

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    Author

    “Because every little girl is a princess.”

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    Reader

    “You will make them vain if you tell them that.”

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    Author

    “Not if they understand what I mean."

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    Reader

    "Then what do you mean?"

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    Narrator

    "What do you mean by a princess?"

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    Reader

    “The daughter of a king.”

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    Author

    “Very well, then every little girl is a princess, and there would be no need to say anything about it, except that she is always in danger of forgetting her rank, and behaving as if she had grown out of the mud.

  • I have seen little princesses behave like the children of thieves and lying beggars, and that is why they need to be told they are princesses.

  • And that is why, when I tell a story of this kind, I like to tell it about a princess.

  • Then I can say better what I mean, because I can then give her every beautiful thing I want her to have.”

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    Reader

    “Please go on.”

  • Narrator

    There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys.

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  • His palace was built upon one of the mountains, and was very grand and beautiful.

  • The princess, whose name was Irene, was born there, but she was sent soon after her birth, because her mother was not very strong, to be brought up by country people in a large house, half castle, half farm-house, on the side of another mountain, about halfway between its base and its peak.

  • The princess was a sweet little creature, and at the time my story begins was about eight years old.

  • I think, but she got older very fast.