A drummer, walking home from the wars, puts aside his weariness to carry an elderly gentleman across the river. Once across, the withered elderly man transforms into a tall, handsome man who is really the king of storks. To reward him, the king gives the drummer a bone whistle and feather which have magical properties.
The drummer continues his trek into a town where he reads a proclamation-"If any man can outwit the clever princess, he could have her as a wife plus half the kingdom. If he, however, fails at any task, he will be beheaded". The drummer decides to accept the challenge and is forever grateful for the magical whistle and feather.
I was excited to read this story aloud to my boys but will have to refrain from doing so!!
The illustrations are beautiful but Ms. Hyman has adorned the princess with a gown that exposes her chest and even nipples through the cloth. The drummer also beats the princess at the end with a switch.
Warning: scantily clad princess (chest), the drummer beats the evil out of the princess (when he is beating her she turns into a cat, wolf and then snake), heads of men who failed at outwitting the princess are displayed in an illustration .
-Borrowed from the library.