Rickey with the Tuft

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Illustration by Gustave Doré, c.1862

"Rickey with the Tuft" or "Riquet with the Tuft" (French: Riquet à la houppe) is a fairy tale by Charles Perrault. It was first published in Paris in 1697 by Claude Barbin in Histoires ou contes du temps passé, a collection of eight fairy tales by Perrault. The story is about an ugly but intelligent gnome prince who bestows wit on a beautiful but stupid princess in return for marriage. She renders Rickey handsome. The tale is not of folk otigins, but is a literary fairy tale. It has Cupid and Psyche and Beauty and the Beast elements. Similar tales include Catherine Bernard's version of the tale in her 1695 novel Inès du Cordoue, and Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier's "Ricdin-Ricdon". Another similar tale is Giambattista Basile's "Lo Cattenaccio" (The Padlock) from Pentamerone.

Story[change | edit source]

A fairy gives an ugly prince named Rickey the gift of conferring wit upon the one he loves the best. He comes to a kingdom with two princesses. The elder one is beautiful but unintelligent. The younger one is intelligent but ugly. The elder princess is saddened that her ugly but smart sister receives more attention than her. One day as the elder princess is walking in the forest to ease her sorrow, she is approached by Rickey who has fallen in love with her. Rickey asks how a person so beautiful can be so sad. She tells him she is sad because she is beautiful but stupid. Rickey bestows intelligence on her for a promise of marriage. A year later, Rickey returns to marry her. She refuses on grounds that he cannot hold her to a promise made before she gained her wisdom. The princess then tells him that she was gifted at birth with the power to transform her lover into a handsome man by the same fairy who helped him. The princess thinks of all Rickey's good qualities and at once he is transformed. The king has his daughter married to Rickey who has already made preparations for the wedding.

References[change | edit source]

  • Barchilon, Jacques and Henry Pettit. 1974. The Authentic Mother Goose Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes. Denver:Alan Swallow. p. 15.
  • Betts, Christopher. 2009. The Complete Fairy Tales. Oxford UP. pp. 185-7.
  • Zipes, Jack (Ed.) 2000. The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Oxford UP. p. 423.