Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a wise king who had a beautiful daughter known for her kindness and wisdom. She loved to spend her days reading and learning about the world.
One day, the king decided that it was time for the princess to marry. “My dear,” he said, “you must choose a husband to help you rule the kingdom one day.”
“But father,” the princess replied, “I wish to marry someone who loves me for my mind and heart, not for my title or wealth.”
To find a suitor who loved her for who she was, the princess came up with a plan. She crafted a suit made entirely of leather, hiding her royal appearance, and set out on a journey across the kingdom.
Disguised as a commoner, she encountered a prince from a neighboring kingdom. He noticed her reading a book and approached her. “What is that you are reading?” he asked curiously.
“It’s a book about the stars and the sky,” she answered, her eyes bright with passion.
Intrigued, the prince and the ‘commoner’ spent hours talking about books, the world, and their dreams. As the days passed, they grew closer, and the prince found himself enchanted by her intellect and spirit.
Finally, the princess revealed her true identity to the prince, shedding her leather suit. “I am the princess you’ve heard about, and I wanted to find someone who loved me for more than my crown.”
The prince, who had fallen for her intelligence and kindness, was overjoyed. “I have come to love the person you are, with or without the leather suit.”
They returned to her kingdom and told the king about their love that had blossomed from mutual respect and admiration. The wise king saw the prince’s true character and gave them his blessing.
The kingdom celebrated their union, a testament to true love found in the beauty of a person’s inner worth.
And so, the princess in the suit of leather taught everyone that the essence of who we are is found not in appearances, but in the beauty of our minds and the kindness of our hearts.
Moral of the Story
True worth is found in one’s character and virtues, not in outward appearances or material possessions.
Follow Up Questions
- Why did the princess choose to wear a suit of leather and hide her true identity?
- How did the princess feel when she was living a life so different from the one she was used to in the castle?
- What lesson did the princess learn by the end of the story, and how did it change the way she thought about her royal life?
“The Princess in the Suit of Leather,” also known as “Catskin” or “Donkeyskin,” is a European fairy tale with many variations across cultures. It doesn’t have a single attributed author because it is a folk tale that has been passed down orally over generations.
The story has been collected and rewritten by various folklorists and writers. One of the most famous versions was penned by Charles Perrault as “Donkeyskin,” which was included in his collection “Histoires ou contes du temps passé,” published in 1695. The Brothers Grimm also included a version of the story called “Allerleirauh” in their collection.