Fairy Tales Told for Children (Eventyr fortalte for Børn)
Fairy tale collection
C. A. Reitzel
20 December 1841
Published in English
1846 in A Danish Storybook
"The Swineherd" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It was first published 20 December 1841 by C. A. Reitzel in Copenhagen, Denmark in Fairy Tales Told for Children. The fairy tale appears to be original with Andersen though similar tales about the humbling of a proud princess are known, such as "King Thrushbeard" by the Brothers Grimm. "The Swineherd" has been adapted to various media including ballet and opera.
A poor prince wants to marry the Emperor's daughter. She is proud and rejects his simple gifts of a nightingale and a beautiful rose. He disguises himself as a swineherd and gets a job tending the pigs at the palace. One day, he makes a wonderful rattle that plays every tune in the world. The princess gives him 10 kisses for it. Another day, he makes a magical pot that lets the owner know what everyone in town is cooking. The princess gives him 100 kisses for the pot. The Emperor is disgusted that his daughter would kiss a swineherd for a couple of toys. He casts her out. The prince is disgusted too, and closes his door on her. The princess is left outdoors singing sadly.