This Portuguese folktale starts off with a king learning about an argument between his son and a young noble on a tennis court. The prince spoke rudely to the noble, who lost his temper and hit the prince. This is punishable by death, but the king is more angry at the prince than the noble because his son did not fight back. The only person who can help the noble is a very ugly, very old woman. However, she will not tell him what he must do in order to save his life unless he agrees to marry her. As is often the case in folktales, there is a lot of magic around and many things turn out to be different to the way they first appeared.
English Learner Vocabulary Help
General Comments on the Story
Our source for the story was The Lilac Fairy Book, one of a series of twelve collections of folk and fairy tales for children edited by Andrew Lang. This is the last book in the series, and was first published in 1910. It can be downloaded as an e-book from Project Gutenberg here. An audiobook is available from Librivox here.
(v: arrive, arrives, arrived, arriving) To come to or reach a place after traveling, being sent, etc. 2000
(v: bow, bows, bowed, bowing) To bend the upper part of the body forwards in greeting someone or showing respect etc. 3000
(n: council pl councils) 1. A group of people who provide advice or guidance on something. 2. In the U.K. and some other countries, a group of people elected to control the workings of a local government area. 1000
(n: dagger pl daggers) A short sword or long pointed knife that is used as a weapon. 7000
(v: dare, dares, dared, daring) To not be too afraid or shy to do something. (2000)
I dare you to. Used to ask someone to do something you think they may be afraid to do.
Don't you dare! Used to forcefully tell someone not to do something.
How dare you! Used to show someone that you are angry about what they have done or said.
(n: deer pl deer) A wild, fast running grass-eating animal with four long, thin legs and branched horns (called antlers) if male. Often found in a group called a herd. 5000
(prep, conj: except, excepting) 1. Leaving out or not including someone or something. The stores will be open daily except Sundays. 2. Used to introduce a statement about the only person or thing not included in a previous statement. Employees were not allowed to leave except in an emergency. 1000
(n: fairy pl fairies) An imaginary creature having magical powers. (นางฟ้า) 4000
In early literature, fairies could change themselves into any form. Thanks to Walt Disney, most people today think that they all look like the picture on the left.
(n: horror pl horrors) 1. A very strong feeling of fear or dislike. 2. A disagreeable person or thing. Her little boy is an absolute horror. 3000
(adj:ˈhorrible) 1. Causing horror; frightening; dreadful. A horrible sight. 2. Very bad or unpleasant. What a horrible day! 2000
(v: kneel, kneels, knelt, kneeling) To move your body so that one or both of your knees are on the floor. 5000
(n: load pl loads) Something that is lifted and carried. The truck had to stop because its load had fallen off. 1000
(adj: loyal) Having or showing complete and constant support for someone or something; faithful and true to a friend, partner, employer, country etc.
(n: loyalty pl loyalties) The quality of being loyal. 4000
(n: necklace pl necklaces) A piece of jewelry that is worn around your neck. 6000
(n: noble pl nobles) Of the highest social class; someone with a royal title.
(adj: noble, nobler, noblest) Having personal qualities that people admire (such as honesty, generosity, courage, etc.); honorable. 5000
(n: palace pl palaces) A very large and beautiful house, especially one lived in by a member of a royal family such as a king, queen, sultan, etc. 4000
The picture on the left shows Buckingham Palace in London where the Queen of England lives.
(n: priest pl priests) A man who leads people in the worship of a god or group of gods; a man who leads or performs religious ceremonies. 4000
(v: punish, punishes, punished, punishing) To make someone suffer for a crime or for something done that is wrong.
(n: punishment pl punishments) The act or way of making someone suffer for a crime or for something done that is wrong. 3000
(adj: royal) Of or relating to a king or queen, etc. 2000
(n: servant pl servants) Someone who is hired to do household or personal duties [such as cleaning and cooking]. 1000
(n: silence, noncount) 1. A period of time when there is no sound. The teacher asked for silence in the room. I find it hard to sleep unless there is complete silence.
(adj: silent) Used to describe someone or something that is not making noise.
(adv: silently) In a silent way. 3000
(adj: wise, wiser, wisest) Having gained a lot of knowledge from books or experience or both and able to use it well. (ฉลาด)
(n: wisdom; noncount) 1. The knowledge gained from books or experience. 2. The quality or state of being wise. (ปัญญา; สติปัญญา) 2000
(n: wizard pl wizards) A man who is skilled in magic or who has magical powers. (พ่อมด) 6000