Nutcrackerkin

Still on Story # 3 in The Big Book of Classic Fantasy: The Story of the Hard Nut, by E. T. A. Hoffman

After 15 years of hard looking, Drosselmeier, the Court Watchmaker finds the hard nut, Krakatuk.

Not only has he found the hard nut, he has found a man who is up to the job of cracking it open, thereby saving Princess Perlipat from permanent ugliness (A mouse sat on her face, never mind it’s a long story). This man is “the gilder’s son . . . a handsome, well-grown lad” who, “besides having his hair beautifully powdered and curled,” is known for his “gallantry” in cracking nuts “for young ladies,” so much so that he has earned the nickname Nutcrackerkin.

This information immediately fills the court watchmaker with joy, because now he can return to court without fearing he will be beheaded by the King. But, just to make sure the young man is up to the task, he decides he needed to reinforce the young man’s underjaw “with a tough piece of wood.” So Drosselmeier equips the young man with “a wooden jaw” and has him practice “cracking the hardest peachstones,” which he does quite easily.

Self can hardly wait to see how Nutcrackerkin does with Krakatuk once he is in the presence of the King! There is no time to waste: the Princess Perlipat’s ugliness has advanced to such a degree that she now has “a woolly beard, which spread over” her mouth and chin.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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