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The Three May Peaches is a French fairy tale collected by Paul Delarue. He collected more than thirty French types of this tale, which is known in Europe, North Africa, and Asia as far as India.[1] It is Aarne-Thompson type 570, the Rabbit Herd.[2] It opens with Aarne-Thompson type 610, Fruit to Cure the Princess, which is seldom a stand-alone plot; it combines with the Rabbit Herd, as in this, or with type 461, Three Hairs from the Devil, as in The Griffin.[3] Synopsis A king of Ardenne had a beautiful daughter who was sick. A doctor declared that the three finest May peaches would save her, but then she would have to marry within a week or fall sick again. Many men came with peaches, but none saved the princess. A woman had three sons, and the oldest set out with the finest peaches from their orchard. He met an old woman who asked what he had; he claimed rabbit dung, she said that so it was, and when he got the castle, that was what he carried. His next brother set out next, told the old woman he carried horse dung, and again found that was what he carried. The youngest, who was short and regarded as a little simple, persuaded his mother to let him try as well, and told the old woman that he carried the peaches to cure the princess, and she said so it was and also gave him a silver whistle. When he got to the castle, eating the peaches revived the princess. The king did not want such a puny little son-in-law. He told the boy had to herd a hundred rabbits and not lose one for four days. The first day, the rabbits scattered, but the boy used the whistle to bring them back. The second day, the king sent the princess to get one; the boy would only trade one for a kiss, and when she had it and had reached the gates of the castle, he used the whistle, and it came back. The next day, the king sent the queen to get one; the boy would only trade one if the queen turned three somersaults, and when she did, the king locked it in a room but the boy used his whistle and it came back through a window. The fourth day, the king went himself. The boy would only trade it if the king kissed his donkey's behind. When the king had gotten the rabbit, he had it killed and skinned and put on to casserole, but the boy used his whistle and it jumped out of the dish, back into its skin, and back to the boy. Then the king said that the boy had to fill three sacks with truths. He said the princess had kissed him for a rabbit, and that filled the first sack; the queen had turned somersaults for a rabbit, and that filled the second. The king stopped him and let him marry the princess. See also Jesper Who Herded the Hares References ^ Paul Delarue, The Borzoi Book of French Folk-Tales, p 359, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York 1956 ^ Paul Delarue, The Borzoi Book of French Folk-Tales, p 359, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York 1956 ^ Stith Thompson, The Folktale, p 79, University of California Press, Berkeley Los Angeles London, 1977