Once upon a time, there was a poor prince who had a magical kingdom. He desired to marry the Emperor’s daughter. To impress her, he sent her the finest roses and nightingales, but she discarded them, as she preferred artificial things.
Resolved to win her over, the prince disguised himself as a swineherd and sought employment at the emperor’s palace. Using his magic, he created a musical pot and a magical bell. The princess was fascinated by these and offered the swineherd ten and then a hundred kisses in exchange for each item.
The emperor noticed this and, in a fit of rage, expelled both the swineherd and his daughter from the palace. The prince, now unrecognizable beneath his disguise, revealed his true identity to the princess.
“You rejected me when I offered you genuine roses and nightingales, yet you were willing to demean yourself for trinkets,” he said. “I despise you.”
And with that, the prince left the princess alone and penniless, her vanity and greed having cost her a rich prince and her royal title.
Thus, ‘The Swineherd’ serves as a reminder that the appreciation of authenticity and sincerity is much more valuable than that of vanity and artificiality.