"Oh yes!" sighed King Pipo and dried the coffee pot with his embroidered handkerchief. "Oh yes!" he sighed, and he really had every reason to sigh "Oh yes!". Or is it not a poor king who has to stand in the royal kitchen with his ermine coat to wash the dishes? And doesn't even have a tea towel to dry his only cup, his only plate and his only coffee pot (whose handle had long since broken off, by the way)?
"Oh yes!" he sighed when he had finished this work, took a broom and went into the throne room to sweep it out. Do you know what it means to sweep out such a huge throne room, which is so long that you have to take an opera binocular to see the other end? Our poor King Pipo could tell you a thing or two about it! Whenever he got to about the middle of the hall and already had quite a big pile of rubbish in front of him, the dust tickled his nose so much that he had to sneeze: "Hatschi!" - and all the rubbish was gone, Pipo could start all over again.
"Oh yes!" and what else needed to be done today! The weathercock on the turret of his castle had to be oiled (it was already squeaking so loudly that Pipo couldn't close his eyes at night), he had to mend the canopy over his bed because the moon was already peeping down on him through the hole, in between he had to remember to stir the rice pudding so that it didn't burn - "Oh yes", there was a lot to do!
Why did poor King Pipo have to do everything himself and have no court? Right, I still have to tell you that: A few years ago, Pipo was still a rich, powerful king, with chests full of vain gold, sumptuously furnished halls and rooms, precious carpets and a large staff of the best servants. He had his own cook for plum dumplings, one for apple strudel, and for ham pasta, he had a cook from the neighboring kingdom come specially, because he was the best at making that. To make the evenings more fun, he had a man who had to blow the most beautiful songs for him on a comb (not everyone can do this, because the tissue paper tickles most people's lips!), he even had a nose cleaner, that rich was King Pipo!
But the dear, fat king has also a soft heart. He didn't like to see other people worse off than he was and so he gradually gave away all his possessions: his magnificent furniture, his glittering jewelry, his servants - in the end he only had the nose cleaner with him, and when he once saw a little boy sitting on the drawbridge with a suspiciously wet nose, he gave him away too.
Since then, he has lived all alone in his empty castle, with nothing but his bed, a very small amount of household goods, the ermine on his shoulders, the crown on his head and the scepter in his hand.
So, while Pipo was once again stirring the rice pudding, he heard someone whistling "Hänschen klein..." from downstairs. He rushed joyfully to the window and saw a painter sitting happily on a sun-drenched meadow of flowers, a drawing board between his knees, sketching Pipo's castle. He asked the painter up to him, invited him to join in with the sweet rice pudding, and soon the two of them were sitting, smacking their lips, enjoying rice pudding and raspberry juice. Of course, Pipo had told his story all too soon and complained to the long, skinny Pinseltopf (that was the painter's name) about his loneliness and how he couldn't find a queen now that he was so poor.
"Don't you know anyone you could love a little?" asked the painter, rubbing his nose. "Ooh, yes, I do!" Pipo exclaimed enthusiastically. "King Pipi, who lives to the right of my kingdom, has a beautiful, lovely daughter: Princess Pipinella! But I can't even invite the two of them to my castle, which is so yawningly empty!" - "Yes, that's true," said Pinseltopf and plucked at his left ear with his right hand - but that was a sign that he was thinking. And after a short time, he had a marvelous idea!
Now there were plenty of things to do: the little king had to clean his crown with sandpaper, knock the big bedspread in the castle courtyard (but carefully, it was already very rotten!), wipe the cobwebs out of the corners with the long ladder - and what else do I know! Pinseltopf painted the empty walls with splendid furniture, polished mirrors and silk curtains. The whole castle was "furnished" in the most sumptuous way - King Pipo was beside himself with delight. Then the painter wrote an invitation to King Pipi and Princess Pipinella, decorated with many pretty scrolls, and one sunny afternoon the two came to visit, accompanied by a few ministers.
Pinseltopf stood high up on the battlements of the castle, disguised as a herald, and blew the fanfare three times. Then he ran down the 384 steps of the spiral staircase as fast as his long legs would carry him (he had to change his clothes as he ran) and, after lowering the drawbridge with a clatter, opened the castle gates for the guests with a deep bow. Then it was time to run ahead again to stand next to King Pipo (dressed as the court marshal). Luckily, nobody saw that Pinseltopf's marshal's baton was just an upturned wooden spoon.
Oh, there was just enough trouble! The poor painter couldn't keep up with the changing: first he had to serve drinks in Pipo's two single glasses as a servant (of course there was no wine, so Pinseltopf brought the colored water in which he had washed out his brushes - but nobody noticed!), then he had to give his opinion on the royal millstream flotilla as a minister again, in between turning over the pancakes in the kitchen - that was a job! But don't think Pipo was much better off. As he walked up and down the throne room, apparently chatting with his guests, he had to be careful that none of those present would end up thinking of sitting on one of the painted chairs, and as Pipo loudly shouted, "Ha!" (causing the minister to flinch in horror). "Ha. Have you heard the latest joke?" And then he told a joke that made Pipi laugh so hard that some of the painted curtains crumbled down.
Everything was in perfect order. Pipi was delighted with Pipo - not least because of the splendor of his castle - and was more than willing to give him his daughter in marriage. Well, and Pipinella herself? Yes, the dear princess was the only one to realize (when she wanted to stroke a painted kitten) that all the wealth was just a sham, but she liked King Pipo so much that she didn't say a word about her discovery and just nodded blissfully when Pipo shyly asked her if she wanted to be his dear wife.
Hey, that was a wedding! There was Wiener schnitzel with mayonnaise salad, doughnuts, foam rolls, raspberry fritters, vanilla ice cream - I couldn't finish listing them all! The pretty bride's dowry was very, very large. Pipo gave most of it away again, but there was still enough for the lovely royal couple and their first minister Pinseltopf, along with a modest court, to lead a happy life.
And if they hadn't all been invented by our Uncle ABC, they might still be alive today!
Yes, dear children, and now you can certainly understand why we have named our children's world after King Pipo.
Your family Brunner