Aage

“Hallo!” said Christian Aage Stenderup Larsen the Dullard, “where are you going? I declare you have put on your Sunday clothes!”

“We’re going to the King’s court, as suitors to the King’s daughter. Don’t you know the announcement that has been made all through the country?” And they told him all about it.

“My word! I’ll be in it too!” cried Christian Aage Stenderup Larsen the Dullard; and his two brothers burst out laughing at him, and rode away.

“Father, dear,” said Christian Aage Stenderup Larsen, “I must have a horse too. I do feel so desperately inclined to marry! If she accepts me, she accepts me; and if she won’t have me, I’ll have her; but she shall be mine!”

“Don’t talk nonsense,” replied the old gentleman. “You shall have no horse from me. You don’t know how to speak—you can’t arrange your words. Your brothers are very different fellows from you.”

“Well,” quoth Christian Aage Stenderup Larsen the Dullard, “If I can’t have a horse, I’ll take the Billy-goat, who belongs to me, and he can carry me very well!”

And so said, so done. He mounted the Billy-goat, pressed his heels into its sides, and galloped down the high street like a hurricane.

“Hei, houp! that was a ride! Here I come!” shouted Christian Aage Stenderup Larsen the Dullard, and he sang till his voice echoed far and wide.

But his brothers rode slowly on in advance of him. They spoke not a word, for they were thinking about the fine extempore speeches they would have to bring out, and these had to be cleverly prepared beforehand.

“Hallo!” shouted Christian Aage Stenderup Larsen the Dullard. “Here am I! Look what I have found on the high road.” And he showed them what it was, and it was a dead crow.

“Dullard!” exclaimed the brothers, “what are you going to do with that?”

“With the crow? why, I am going to give it to the Princess.”

“Yes, do so,” said they; and they laughed, and rode on.

“Hallo, here I am again! just see what I have found now: you don’t find that on the high road every day!”