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Brothers Grimm


 

 


Brothers Grimm

German folklorists and linguists
German Brüder Grimm
Main
German brothers famous for their classic collections of folk songs and folktales. Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm (b. Jan. 4, 1785, Hanau, Hesse-Kassel [Germany]—d. Sept. 20, 1863, Berlin) and Wilhelm Carl Grimm (b. Feb. 24, 1786, Hanau, Hesse-Kassel [Germany]—d. Dec. 16, 1859, Berlin) were best known for Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1812–22; also called Grimm’s Fairy Tales), which led to the birth of the science of folklore. Jacob especially did important work in historical linguistics and Germanic philology.

Beginnings and Kassel period
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were the oldest in a family of five brothers and one sister. Their father, Philipp Wilhelm, a lawyer, was town clerk in Hanau and later justiciary in Steinau, another small Hessian town, where his father and grandfather had been ministers of the Calvinistic Reformed Church. The father’s death in 1796 brought social hardships to the family; the death of the mother in 1808 left 23-year-old Jacob with the responsibility of four brothers and one sister. Jacob, a scholarly type, was small and slender with sharply cut features, while Wilhelm was taller, had a softer face, and was sociable and fond of all the arts.

After attending the high school in Kassel, the brothers followed their father’s footsteps and studied law at the University of Marburg (1802–06) with the intention of entering civil service. At Marburg they came under the influence of Clemens Brentano, who awakened in both a love of folk poetry, and Friedrich Karl von Savigny, cofounder of the historical school of jurisprudence, who taught them a method of antiquarian investigation that formed the real basis of all their later work. Others, too, strongly influenced the Grimms, particularly the philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803), with his ideas on folk poetry. Essentially, they remained individuals, creating their work according to their own principles.

In 1805 Jacob accompanied Savigny to Paris to do research on legal manuscripts of the Middle Ages; the following year he became secretary to the war office in Kassel. Because of his health, Wilhelm remained without regular employment until 1814. After the French entered in 1806, Jacob became private librarian to King Jérôme of Westphalia in 1808 and a year later auditeur of the Conseil d’État but returned to Hessian service in 1813 after Napoleon’s defeat. As secretary to the legation, he went twice to Paris (1814–15), to recover precious books and paintings taken by the French from Hesse and Prussia. He also took part in the Congress of Vienna (September 1814–June 1815). Meantime, Wilhelm had become secretary at the Elector’s library in Kassel (1814), and Jacob joined him there in 1816.

By that time the brothers had definitely given up thoughts of a legal career in favour of purely literary research. In the years to follow they lived frugally and worked steadily, laying the foundations for their lifelong interests. Their whole thinking was rooted in the social and political changes of their time and the challenge these changes held. Jacob and Wilhelm had nothing in common with the fashionable “Gothic” Romanticism of the 18th and 19th centuries. Their state of mind made them more Realists than Romantics. They investigated the distant past and saw in antiquity the foundation of all social institutions of their days. But their efforts to preserve these foundations did not mean that they wanted to return to the past. From the beginning, the Grimms sought to include material from beyond their own frontiers—from the literary traditions of Scandinavia, Spain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, England, Serbia, and Finland.

They first collected folk songs and tales for their friends Achim von Arnim and Brentano, who had collaborated on an influential collection of folk lyrics in 1805, and the brothers examined in some critical essays the essential difference between folk literature and other writing. To them, folk poetry was the only true poetry, expressing the eternal joys and sorrows, the hopes and fears of mankind.

Encouraged by Arnim, they published their collected tales as the Kinder- und Hausmärchen, implying in the title that the stories were meant for adults and children alike. In contrast to the extravagant fantasy of the Romantic school’s poetical fairy tales, the 200 stories of this collection (mostly taken from oral sources, though a few were from printed sources) aimed at conveying the soul, imagination, and beliefs of people through the centuries—or at a genuine reproduction of the teller’s words and ways. The great merit of Wilhelm Grimm is that he gave the fairy tales a readable form without changing their folkloric character. The results were threefold: the collection enjoyed wide distribution in Germany and eventually in all parts of the globe (there are now translations in 70 languages); it became and remains a model for the collecting of folktales everywhere; and the Grimms’ notes to the tales, along with other investigations, formed the basis for the science of the folk narrative and even of folklore. To this day the tales remain the earliest “scientific” collection of folktales.

The Kinder- und Hausmärchen was followed by a collection of historical and local legends of Germany, Deutsche Sagen (1816–18), which never gained wide popular appeal, though it influenced both literature and the study of the folk narrative. The brothers then published (in 1826) a translation of Thomas Crofton Croker’s Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, prefacing the edition with a lengthy introduction of their own on fairy lore. At the same time, the Grimms gave their attention to the written documents of early literature, bringing out new editions of ancient texts, from both the Germanic and other languages. Wilhelm’s outstanding contribution was Die deutsche Heldensage (“The German Heroic Tale”), a collection of themes and names from heroic legends mentioned in literature and art from the 6th to the 16th centuries, together with essays on the art of the saga.

While collaborating on these subjects for two decades (1806–26), Jacob also turned to the study of philology with an extensive work on grammar, the Deutsche Grammatik (1819–37). The word deutsch in the title does not mean strictly “German,” but it rather refers to the etymological meaning of “common,” thus being used to apply to all of the Germanic languages, the historical development of which is traced for the first time. He represented the natural laws of sound change (both vowels and consonants) in various languages and thus created bases for a method of scientific etymology; i.e., research into relationships between languages and development of meaning. In what was to become known as Grimm’s law, Jacob demonstrated the principle of the regularity of correspondence among consonants in genetically related languages, a principle previously observed by the Dane Rasmus Rask. Jacob’s work on grammar exercised an enormous influence on the contemporary study of linguistics, Germanic, Romance, and Slavic, and it remains of value and in use even now. In 1824 Jacob Grimm translated a Serbian grammar by his friend Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, writing an erudite introduction on Slavic languages and literature.

He extended his investigations into the Germanic folk-culture with a study of ancient law practices and beliefs published as Deutsche Rechtsaltertümer (1828), providing systematic source material but excluding actual laws. The work stimulated other publications in France, The Netherlands, Russia, and the southern Slavic countries and has not yet been superseded.



The Göttingen years
The quiet contentment of the years at Kassel ended in 1829, when the brothers suffered a snub—perhaps motivated politically—from the Elector of Hessen-Kassel: they were not given advancement following the death of a senior colleague. Consequently, they moved to the nearby University of Göttingen, where they were appointed librarians and professors. Jacob Grimm’s Deutsche Mythologie, written during this period, was to be of far-reaching influence. From poetry, fairy tales, and folkloristic elements, he traced the pre-Christian faith and superstitions of the Germanic people, contrasting the beliefs to those of classical mythology and Christianity. The Mythologie had many successors all over Europe, but often disciples were not as careful in their judgments as Jacob had been. Wilhelm published here his outstanding edition of Freidank’s epigrams. But again fate overtook them. When Ernest Augustus, duke of Cumberland, became king of Hanover, he high-handedly repealed the constitution of 1833, which he considered too liberal. Two weeks after the King’s declaration, the Grimms, together with five other professors (the “Göttingen Seven”), sent a protest to the King, explaining that they felt themselves bound by oath to the old constitution. As a result they were dismissed, and three professors, including Jacob, were ordered to leave the kingdom of Hanover at once. Through their part in this protest directed against despotic authority, they clearly demonstrated the academic’s sense of civil responsibilities, manifesting their own liberal convictions at the same time. During three years of exile in Kassel, institutions in Germany and beyond (Hamburg, Marburg, Rostock, Weimar, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and Switzerland) tried to obtain the brothers’ services.






The Berlin period
In 1840 they accepted an invitation from the king of Prussia, Frederick William IV, to go to Berlin, where as members of the Royal Academy of Sciences they lectured at the university. There they began work in earnest on their most ambitious enterprise, the Deutsches Wörterbuch, a large German dictionary intended as a guide for the user of the written and spoken word as well as a scholarly reference work. In the dictionary, all German words found in the literature of the three centuries “from Luther to Goethe” were given with their historical variants, their etymology, and their semantic development; their usage in specialized and everyday language was illustrated by quoting idioms and proverbs. Begun as a source of income in 1838 for the brothers after their dismissal from Göttingen, the work required generations of successors to bring the gigantic task to an end more than a hundred years later. Jacob lived to see the work proceed to the letter F, while Wilhelm finished only the letter D. The dictionary became an example for similar publications in other countries: Britain, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. Jacob’s philological research later led to a history of the German language, Geschichte der deutschen Sprache, in which he attempted to combine the historical study of language with the study of early history. Research into names and dialects was stimulated by Jacob Grimm’s work, as were ways of writing and spelling—for example, he used roman type and advocated spelling German nouns without capital letters.

For some 20 years they worked in Prussia’s capital, respected and free from financial worries. Much of importance can be found in the brothers’ lectures and essays, the prefaces and reviews (Kleinere Schriften) they wrote in this period. In Berlin they witnessed the Revolution of 1848 and took an active part in the political strife of the succeeding years. In spite of close and even emotional ties to their homeland, the Grimms were not nationalists in the narrow sense. They maintained genuine—even political—friendships with colleagues at home and abroad, among them the jurists Savigny and Eichhorn; the historians F.C. Dahlmann, G.G. Gervinus, and Jules Michelet; and the philologists Karl Lachmann, John Mitchell Kemble, Jan Frans Willems, Vuk Karadžić, and Pavel Josef Šafařik. Nearly all academies in Europe were proud to count Jacob and Wilhelm among their members. The more robust Jacob undertook many journeys for scientific investigations, visiting France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden. Jacob remained a bachelor; Wilhelm married Dorothea Wild from Kassel, with whom he had four children: Jacob (who was born and died in 1826), Herman (literary and art historian, 1828–1901), Rudolf (jurist, 1830–89), and Auguste (1832–1919). The graves of the brothers are in the Matthäikirchhof in Berlin.

Ludwig Denecke

 

 

 



 

 




 


Grimms Fairy Tales



Translation by Margaret Hunt
 

The Story of a Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was

A certain father had two sons, the elder of whom was smart and sensible, and could do everything, but the younger was stupid and could neither learn nor understand anything, and when people saw him they said 'there's a fellow who will give his father some trouble.' When anything had to be done, it was always the elder who was forced to do it, but if his father bade him fetch anything when it was late, or in the night-time, and the way led through the churchyard, or any other dismal place, he answered 'oh, no, father, I'll not go there, it makes me shudder.' For he was afraid. Or when stories were told by the fire at night which made the flesh creep, the listeners sometimes said 'oh, it makes us shudder.' The younger sat in a corner and listened with the rest of them, and could not imagine what they could mean. 'They are always saying 'it makes me shudder, it makes me shudder, it does not make me shudder.' Thought he. 'That, too, must be an art of which I understand nothing.'

Now it came to pass that his father said to him one day 'hearken to me, you fellow in the corner there, you are growing tall and strong, and you too must learn something by which you can earn your bread. Look how your brother works, but you do not even earn your salt.' 'Well, father, he replied, 'I am quite willing to learn something - indeed, if it could but be managed, I should like to learn how to shudder. I don't understand that at all yet.' The elder brother smiled when he heard that, and thought to himself 'good God, what a blockhead that brother of mine is. He will never be good for anything as long as he lives. He who wants to be a sickle must bend himself betimes.' The father sighed, and answered him 'you shall soon learn what it is to shudder, but you will not earn your bread by that.' Soon after this the sexton came to the house on a visit, and the father bewailed his trouble, and told him how his younger son was so backward in every respect that he knew nothing and learnt nothing. 'Just think, said he, 'when I asked him how he was going to earn his bread, he actually wanted to learn to shudder.' 'If that be all, replied the sexton, 'he can learn that with me. Send him to me, and I will soon polish him.' The father was glad to do it, for he thought 'it will train the boy a little.' The sexton therefore took him into his house, and he had to ring the church bell. After a day or two, the sexton awoke him at midnight, and bade him arise and go up into the church tower and ring the bell. 'You shall soon learn what shuddering is, thought he, and secretly went there before him, and when the boy was at the top of the tower and turned round, and was just going to take hold of the bell rope, he saw a white figure standing on the stairs opposite the sounding hole. 'Who is there.' Cried he, but the figure made no reply, and did not move or stir. 'Give an answer, cried the boy, 'or take yourself off, you have no business here at night.'

The sexton, however, remained standing motionless that the boy might think he was a ghost. The boy cried a second time 'what do you want here. - Speak if you are an honest fellow, or I will throw you down the steps.' The sexton thought 'he can't mean to be as bad as his words, uttered no sound and stood as if he were made of stone. Then the boy called to him for the third time, and as that was also to no purpose, he ran against him and pushed the ghost down the stairs, so that it fell down ten steps and remained lying there in a corner. Thereupon he rang the bell, went home, and without saying a word went to bed, and fell asleep. The sexton's wife waited a long time for her husband, but he did not come back. At length she became uneasy, and wakened the boy, and asked 'do you not know where my husband is. He climbed up the tower before you did.' 'No, I don't know, replied the boy, 'but someone was standing by the sounding hole on the other side of the steps, and as he would neither give an answer nor go away, I took him for a scoundrel, and threw him downstairs. Just go there and you will see if it was he. I should be sorry if it were.' The woman ran away and found her husband, who was lying moaning in the corner, and had broken his leg.

She carried him down, and then with loud screams she hastened to the boy's father. 'Your boy, cried she, 'has been the cause of a great misfortune. He has thrown my husband down the steps so that he broke his leg. Take the good-for-nothing fellow out of our house.' The father was terrified, and ran thither and scolded the boy. 'What wicked tricks are these.' Said he, 'the devil must have put them into your head.' 'Father, he replied, 'do listen to me. I am quite innocent. He was standing there by night like one intent on doing evil. I did not know who it was, and I entreated him three times either to speak or to go away.' 'Ah, said the father, 'I have nothing but unhappiness with you. Go out of my sight. I will see you no more.'

'Yes, father, right willingly, wait only until it is day. Then will I go forth and learn how to shudder, and then I shall, at any rate, understand one art which will support me.' 'Learn what you will, spoke the father, 'it is all the same to me. Here are fifty talers for you. Take these and go into the wide world, and tell no one from whence you come, and who is your father, for I have reason to be ashamed of you.' 'Yes, father, it shall be as you will. If you desire nothing more than that, I can easily keep it in mind.'

When day dawned, therefore, the boy put his fifty talers into his pocket, and went forth on the great highway, and continually said to himself 'if I could but shudder. If I could but shudder.' Then a man approached who heard this conversation which the youth was holding with himself, and when they had walked a little farther to where they could see the gallows, the man said to him 'look, there is the tree where seven men have married the ropemaker's daughter, and are now learning how to fly. Sit down beneath it, and wait till night comes, and you will soon learn how to shudder.' 'If that is all that is wanted, answered the youth, 'it is easily done, but if I learn how to shudder as fast as that, you shall have my fifty talers. Just come back to me early in the morning.' Then the youth went to the gallows, sat down beneath it, and waited till evening came. And as he was cold, he lighted himself a fire, but at midnight the wind blew so sharply that in spite of his fire, he could not get warm. And as the wind knocked the hanged men against each other, and they moved backwards and forwards, he thought to himself 'if you shiver below by the fire, how those up above must freeze and suffer.' And as he felt pity for them, he raised the ladder, and climbed up, unbound one of them after the other, and brought down all seven. Then he stoked the fire, blew it, and set them all round it to warm themselves. But they sat there and did not stir, and the fire caught their clothes. So he said 'take care, or I will hang you up again.' The dead men, however, did not hear, but were quite silent, and let their rags go on burning. At this he grew angry, and said 'if you will not take care, I cannot help you, I will not be burnt with you, and he hung them up again each in his turn. Then he sat down by his fire and fell asleep, and the next morning the man came to him and wanted to have the fifty talers, and said 'well, do you know how to shudder.' 'No, answered he, 'how should I know. Those fellows up there did not open their mouths, and were so stupid that they let the few old rags which they had on their bodies get burnt.' Then the man saw that he would not get the fifty talers that day, and went away saying 'such a youth has never come my way before.' The youth likewise went his way, and once more began to mutter to himself 'ah, if I could but shudder. Ah, if I could but shudder.' A waggoner who was striding behind him heard this and asked 'who are you.' 'I don't know, answered the youth. Then the waggoner asked 'from whence do you come.' 'I know not.' 'Who is your father.' 'That I may not tell you.' 'What is it that you are always muttering between your teeth.' 'Ah, replied the youth, 'I do so wish I could shudder, but no one can teach me how.' 'Enough of your foolish chatter, said the waggoner. 'Come, go with me, I will see about a place for you.' The youth went with the waggoner, and in the evening they arrived at an inn where they wished to pass the night. Then at the entrance of the parlor the youth again said quite loudly 'if I could but shudder. If I could but shudder.' The host who heard this, laughed and said 'if that is your desire, there ought to be a good opportunity for you here.' 'Ah, be silent, said the hostess, 'so many prying persons have already lost their lives, it would be a pity and a shame if such beautiful eyes as these should never see the daylight again.' But the youth said 'however difficult it may be, I will learn it. For this purpose indeed have I journeyed forth.' He let the host have no rest, until the latter told him, that not far from thence stood a haunted castle where any one could very easily learn what shuddering was, if he would but watch in it for three nights. The king had promised that he who would venture should have his daughter to wife, and she was the most beautiful maiden the sun shone on. Likewise in the castle lay great treasures, which were guarded by evil spirits, and these treasures would then be freed, and would make a poor man rich enough. Already many men had gone into the castle, but as yet none had come out again. Then the youth went next morning to the king and said 'if it be allowed, I will willingly watch three nights in the haunted castle.' The king looked at him, and as the youth pleased him, he said 'you may ask for three things to take into the castle with you, but they must be things without life.' Then he answered 'then I ask for a fire, a turning lathe, and a cutting-board with the knife.' The king had these things carried into the castle for him during the day. When night was drawing near, the youth went up and made himself a bright fire in one of the rooms, placed the cutting-board and knife beside it, and seated himself by the turning-lathe. 'Ah, if I could but shudder.' Said he, 'but I shall not learn it here either.' Towards midnight he was about to poke his fire, and as he was blowing it, something cried suddenly from one corner 'au, miau. How cold we are.' 'You fools.' Cried he, 'what are you crying about. If you are cold, come and take a seat by the fire and warm yourselves.' And when he had said that, two great black cats came with one tremendous leap and sat down on each side of him, and looked savagely at him with their fiery eyes. After a short time, when they had warmed themselves, they said 'comrade, shall we have a game of cards.' 'Why not.' He replied, 'but just show me your paws.' Then they stretched out their claws. 'Oh, said he, 'what long nails you have. Wait, I must first cut them for you.' Thereupon he seized them by the throats, put them on the cutting-board and screwed their feet fast. 'I have looked at your fingers, said he, 'and my fancy for card-playing has gone, and he struck them dead and threw them out into the water. But when he had made away with these two, and was about to sit down again by his fire, out from every hole and corner came black cats and black dogs with red-hot chains, and more and more of them came until he could no longer move, and they yelled horribly, and got on his fire, pulled it to pieces, and tried to put it out. He watched them for a while quietly, but at last when they were going too far, he seized his cutting-knife, and cried 'away with you, vermin, and began to cut them down. Some of them ran away, the others he killed, and threw out into the fish-pond. When he came back he fanned the embers of his fire again and warmed himself. And as he thus sat, his eyes would keep open no longer, and he felt a desire to sleep. Then he looked round and saw a great bed in the corner. 'That is the very thing for me, said he, and got into it. When he was just going to shut his eyes, however, the bed began to move of its own accord, and went over the whole of the castle. 'That's right, said he, 'but go faster.' Then the bed rolled on as if six horses were harnessed to it, up and down, over thresholds and stairs, but suddenly hop, hop, it turned over upside down, and lay on him like a mountain. But he threw quilts and pillows up in the air, got out and said 'now any one who likes, may drive, and lay down by his fire, and slept till it was day. In the morning the king came, and when he saw him lying there on the ground, he thought the evil spirits had killed him and he was dead. Then said he 'after all it is a pity, -- for so handsome a man.' The youth heard it, got up, and said 'it has not come to that yet.' Then the king was astonished, but very glad, and asked how he had fared. 'Very well indeed, answered he, 'one night is past, the two others will pass likewise.' Then he went to the innkeeper, who opened his eyes very wide, and said 'I never expected to see you alive again. Have you learnt how to shudder yet.' 'No, said he, 'it is all in vain. If some one would but tell me.' The second night he again went up into the old castle, sat down by the fire, and once more began his old song 'if I could but shudder.' When midnight came, an uproar and noise of tumbling about was heard, at first it was low, but it grew louder and louder. Then it was quiet for a while, and at length with a loud scream, half a man came down the chimney and fell before him. 'Hullo.' Cried he, 'another half belongs to this. This is not enough.' Then the uproar began again, there was a roaring and howling, and the other half fell down likewise. 'Wait, said he, 'I will just stoke up the fire a little for you.' When he had done that and looked round again, the two pieces were joined together, and a hideous man was sitting in his place. 'That is no part of our bargain, said the youth, 'the bench is mine.' The man wanted to push him away, the youth, however, would not allow that, but thrust him off with all his strength, and seated himself again in his own place. Then still more men fell down, one after the other, they brought nine dead men's legs and two skulls, and set them up and played at nine-pins with them. The youth also wanted to play and said 'listen you, can I join you.' 'Yes, if you have any money.' Money enough, replied he, 'but your balls are not quite round.' Then he took the skulls and put them in the lathe and turned them till they were round. 'There, now they will roll better.' Said he. 'Hurrah. Now we'll have fun.' He played with them and lost some of his money, but when it struck twelve, everything vanished from his sight. He lay down and quietly fell asleep. Next morning the king came to inquire after him. 'How has it fared with you this time.' Asked he. 'I have been playing at nine-pins, he answered, 'and have lost a couple of farthings.' 'Have you not shuddered then.' 'What.' Said he, 'I have had a wonderful time. If I did but know what it was to shudder.' The third night he sat down again on his bench and said quite sadly 'if I could but shudder.' When it grew late, six tall men came in and brought a coffin. Then said he 'ha, ha, that is certainly my little cousin, who died only a few days ago, and he beckoned with his finger, and cried 'come, little cousin, come.' They placed the coffin on the ground, but he went to it and took the lid off, and a dead man lay therein. He felt his face, but it was cold as ice. 'Wait, said he, 'I will warm you a little, and went to the fire and warmed his hand and laid it on the dead man's face, but he remained cold. Then he took him out, and sat down by the fire and laid him on his breast and rubbed his arms that the blood might circulate again. As this also did no good, he thought to himself 'when two people lie in bed together, they warm each other, and carried him to the bed, covered him over and lay down by him. After a short time the dead man became warm too, and began to move. Then said the youth, 'see, little cousin, have I not warmed you.' The dead man, however, got up and cried 'now will I strangle you.' 'What.' Said he, 'is that the way you thank me. You shall at once go into your coffin again, and he took him up, threw him into it, and shut the lid. Then came the six men and carried him away again. 'I cannot manage to shudder, said he. 'I shall never learn it here as long as I live.' Then a man entered who was taller than all others, and looked terrible. He was old, however, and had a long white beard. 'You wretch, cried he, 'you shall soon learn what it is to shudder, for you shall die.' 'Not so fast, replied the youth. 'If I am to die, I shall have to have a say in it.' 'I will soon seize you, said the fiend. 'Softly, softly, do not talk so big. I am as strong as you are, and perhaps even stronger.' 'We shall see, said the old man. 'If you are stronger, I will let you go - come, we will try.' Then he led him by dark passages to a smith's forge, took an axe, and with one blow struck an anvil into the ground. 'I can do better than that, said the youth, and went to the other anvil. The old man placed himself near and wanted to look on, and his white beard hung down. Then the youth seized the axe, split the anvil with one blow, and in it caught the old man's beard. 'Now I have you, said the youth. 'Now it is your turn to die.' Then he seized an iron bar and beat the old man till he moaned and entreated him to stop, when he would give him great riches. The youth drew out the axe and let him go. The old man led him back into the castle, and in a cellar showed him three chests full of gold. 'Of these, said he, 'one part is for the poor, the other for the king, the third yours.' In the meantime it struck twelve, and the spirit disappeared, so that the youth stood in darkness. 'I shall still be able to find my way out, said he and felt about, found the way into the room, and slept there by his fire. Next morning the king came and said 'now you must have learnt what shuddering is.' 'No, he answered 'what can it be. My dead cousin was here, and a bearded man came and showed me a great deal of money down below, but no one told me what it was to shudder.' 'Then, said the king, 'you have saved the castle, and shall marry my daughter.' 'That is all very well, said he, 'but still I do not know what it is to shudder.' Then the gold was brought up and the wedding celebrated, but howsoever much the young king loved his wife, and however happy he was, he still said always 'if I could but shudder - if I could but shudder.' And this at last angered her. Her waiting-maid said 'I will find a cure for him, he shall soon learn what it is to shudder. She went out to the stream which flowed through the garden, and had a whole bucketful of gudgeons brought to her.

At night when the young king was sleeping, his wife was to draw the clothes off him and empty the bucketful of cold water with the gudgeons in it over him, so that the little fishes would sprawl about him. Then he woke up and cried 'oh, what makes me shudder so. - What makes me shudder so, dear wife. Ah. Now I know what it is to shudder.'

 

The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids

There was once upon a time an old goat who had seven little kids, and loved them with all the love of a mother for her children. One day she wanted to go into the forest and fetch some food. So she called all seven to her and said, dear children, I have to go into the forest, be on your guard against the wolf, if he comes in, he will devour you all - skin, hair, and everything. The wretch often disguises himself, but you will know him at once by his rough voice and his black feet. The kids said, dear mother, we will take good care of ourselves, you may go away without any anxiety. Then the old one bleated, and went on her way with an easy mind.

It was not long before some one knocked at the house-door and called, open the door, dear children, your mother is here, and has brought something back with her for each of you. But the little kids knew that it was the wolf, by the rough voice. We will not open the door, cried they, you are not our mother. She has a soft, pleasant voice, but your voice is rough, you are the wolf. Then the wolf went away to a shopkeeper and bought himself a great lump of chalk, ate this and made his voice soft with it. The he came back, knocked at the door of the house, and called, open the door, dear children, your mother is here and has brought something back with her for each of you. But the wolf had laid his black paws against the window, and the children saw them and cried, we will not open the door, our mother has not black feet like you, you are the wolf. Then the wolf ran to a baker and said, I have hurt my feet, rub some dough over them for me. And when the baker had rubbed his feet over, he ran to the miller and said, strew some white meal over my feet for me. The miller thought to himself, the wolf wants to deceive someone, and refused, but the wolf said, if you will not do it, I will devour you. Then the miller was afraid, and made his paws white for him. Truly, this the way of mankind.

So now the wretch went for the third time to the house-door, knocked at it and said, open the door for me, children, your dear little mother has come home, and has brought every one of you something back from the forest with her. The little kids cried, first show us your paws that we may know if you are our dear little mother. Then he put his paws in through the window, and when the kids saw that they were white, they believed that all he said was true, and opened the door. But who should come in but the wolf they were terrified and wanted to hide themselves. One sprang under the table, the second into the bed, the third into the stove, the fourth into the kitchen, the fifth into the cupboard, the sixth under the washing-bowl, and the seventh into the clock-case. But the wolf found them all, and used no great ceremony, one after the other he swallowed them down his throat. The youngest, who was in the clock-case, was the only one he did not find. When the wolf had satisfied his appetite he took himself off, laid himself down under a tree in the green meadow outside, and began to sleep. Soon afterwards the old goat came home again from the forest. Ah. What a sight she saw there. The house-door stood wide open. The table, chairs, and benches were thrown down, the washing-bowl lay broken to pieces, and the quilts and pillows were pulled off the bed. She sought her children, but they were nowhere to be found. She called them one after another by name, but no one answered. At last, when she caame to the youngest, a soft voice cried, dear mother, I am in the clock-case. She took the kid out, and it told her that the wolf had come and had eaten all the others. Then you may imagine how she wept over her poor children.

At length in her grief she went out, and the youngest kid ran with her. When they came to the meadow, there lay the wolf by the tree and snored so loud that the branches shook. She looked at him on every side and saw that something was moving and struggling in his gorged belly. Ah, heavens, she said, is it possible that my poor children whom he has swallowed down for his supper, can be still alive. Then the kid had to run home and fetch scissors, and a needle and thread and the goat cut open the monster's stomach, and hardly had she make one cut, than one little kid thrust its head out, and when she cut farther, all six sprang out one after another, and were all still alive, and had suffered no injury whatever, for in his greediness the monster had swallowed them down whole. What rejoicing there was. They embraced their dear mother, and jumped like a sailor at his wedding. The mother, however, said, now go and look for some big stones, and we will fill the wicked beast's stomach with them while he is still asleep. Then the seven kids dragged the stones thither with all speed, and put as many of them into his stomach as they could get in, and the mother sewed him up again in the greatest haste, so that he was not aware of anything and never once stirred.

When the wolf at length had had his fill of sleep, he got on his legs, and as the stones in his stomach made him very thirsty, he wanted to go to a well to drink. But when he began to walk and move about, the stones in his stomach knocked against each other and rattled. Then cried he, what rumbles and tumbles against my poor bones. I thought 'twas six kids, but it feels like big stones. And when he got to the well and stooped over the water to drink, the heavy stones made him fall in, and he had to drown miserably. When the seven kids saw that, they came running to the spot and cried aloud, the wolf is dead. The wolf is dead, and danced for joy round about the well with their mother.

 

Faithful John

There was once upon a time an old king who was ill and thought to himself 'I am lying on what must be my deathbed.' Then said he 'tell faithful John to come to me.' Faithful John was his favorite servant, and was so called, because he had for his whole life long been so true to him. When therefore he came beside the bed, the king said to him 'most faithful John, I feel my end approaching, and have no anxiety except about my son. He is still of tender age, and cannot always know how to guide himself. If you do not promise me to teach him everything that he ought to know, and to be his foster-father, I cannot close my eyes in peace.' Then answered faithful John 'I will not forsake him, and will serve him with fidelity, even if it should cost me my life.' At this, the old king said 'now I die in comfort and peace.' Then he added 'after my death, you shall show him the whole castle - all the chambers, halls, and vaults, and all the treasures which lie therein, but the last chamber in the long gallery, in which is the picture of the princess of the golden dwelling, shall you not show. If he sees that picture, he will fall violently in love with her, and will drop down in a swoon, and go through great danger for her sake, therefore you must protect him from that.' And when faithful John had once more given his promise to the old king about this, the king said no more, but laid his head on his pillow, and died.

When the old king had been carried to his grave, faithful John told the young king all that he had promised his father on his deathbed, and said 'this will I assuredly keep, and will be faithful to you as I have been faithful to him, even if it should cost me my life.' When the mourning was over, faithful John said to him 'it is now time that you should see your inheritance. I will show you your father's palace.' Then he took him about everywhere, up and down, and let him see all the riches, and the magnificent apartments, only there was one room which he did not open, that in which hung the dangerous picture. The picture, however, was so placed that when the door was opened you looked straight on it, and it was so admirably painted that it seemed to breathe and live, and there was nothing more charming or more beautiful in the whole world. The young king noticed, however, that faithful John always walked past this one door, and said 'why do you never open this one for me.' 'There is something within it, he replied, 'which would terrify you.' But the king answered 'I have seen all the palace, and I want to know what is in this room also, and he went and tried to break open the door by force. Then faithful John held him back and said 'I promised your father before his death that you should not see that which is in this chamber, it might bring the greatest misfortune on you and on me.' 'Ah, no, replied the young king, 'if I do not go in, it will be my certain destruction. I should have no rest day or night until I had seen it with my own eyes. I shall not leave the place now until you have unlocked the door.'

Then faithful John saw that there was no help for it now, and with a heavy heart and many sighs, sought out the key from the great bunch. When he opened the door, he went in first, and thought by standing before him he could hide the portrait so that the king should not see it in front of him. But what good was this. The king stood on tip-toe and saw it over his shoulder. And when he saw the portrait of the maiden, which was so magnificent and shone with gold and precious stones, he fell fainting to the ground. Faithful John took him up, carried him to his bed, and sorrowfully thought 'the misfortune has befallen us, Lord God, what will be the end of it.' Then he strengthened him with wine, until he came to himself again. The first words the king said were 'ah, the beautiful portrait. Whose it it.' 'That is the princess of the golden dwelling, answered faithful John. Then the king continued 'my love for her is so great, that if all the leaves on all the trees were tongues, they could not declare it. I will give my life to win her. You are my most faithful John, you must help me.

The faithful servant considered within himself for a long time how to set about the matter, for it was difficult even to obtain a sight of the king's daughter. At length he thought of a way, and said to the king 'everything which she has about her is of gold - tables, chairs, dishes, glasses, bowls, and household furniture. Among your treasures are five tons of gold, let one of the goldsmiths of the kingdom fashion these into all manner of vessels and utensils, into all kinds of birds, wild beasts and strange animals, such as may please her, and we will go there with them and try our luck.'

The king ordered all the goldsmiths to be brought to him, and they had to work night and day until at last the most splendid things were prepared. When everything was stowed on board a ship, faithful John put on the dress of a merchant, and the king was forced to do the same in order to make himself quite unrecognizable. Then they sailed across the sea, and sailed on until they came to the town wherein dwelt the princess of the golden dwelling.

Faithful John bade the king stay behind on the ship, and wait for him. 'Perhaps I shall bring the princess with me, said he, 'therefore see that everything is in order, have the golden vessels set out and the whole ship decorated.' Then he gathered together in his apron all kinds of golden things, went on shore and walked straight to the royal palace. When he entered the courtyard of the palace, a beautiful girl was standing there by the well with two golden buckets in her hand, drawing water with them. And when she was just turning round to carry away the sparkling water she saw the stranger, and asked who he was. So he answered 'I am a merchant, and opened his apron, and let her look in. Then she cried 'oh, what beautiful golden things.' And put her pails down and looked at the golden wares one after the other. Then said the girl 'the princess must see these, she has such great pleasure in golden things, that she will buy all you have.' She took him by the hand and led him upstairs, for she was the waiting-maid. When the king's daughter saw the wares, she was quite delighted and said 'they are so beautifully worked, that I will buy them all from you.' But faithful John said 'I am only the servant of a rich merchant. The things I have here are not to be compared with those my master has in his ship. They are the most beautiful and valuable things that have ever been made in gold.' When she wanted to have everything brought up to her, he said 'there are so many of them that it would take a great many days to do that, and so many rooms would be required to exhibit them, that your house is not big enough.' Then her curiosity and longing were still more excited, until at last she said 'conduct me to the ship, I will go there myself, and behold the treasures of your master.' At this faithful John was quite delighted, and led her to the ship, and when the king saw her, he perceived that her beauty was even greater than the picture had represented it to be, and thought no other than that his heart would burst in twain. Then she boarded the ship, and the king led her within. Faithful John, however, remained with the helmsman, and ordered the ship to be pushed off, saying 'set all sail, till it fly like a bird in the air.' Within, the king showed her the golden vessels, every one of them, also the wild beasts and strange animals. Many hours went by whilst she was seeing everything, and in her delight she did not observe that the ship was sailing away. After she had looked at the last, she thanked the merchant and wanted to go home, but when she came to the side of the ship, she saw that it was on the high seas far from land, and hurrying onwards with all sail set. 'Ah, cried she in her alarm, 'I am betrayed. I am carried away and have fallen into the power of a merchant - I would rather die.' The king, however, seized her hand, and said 'I am not a merchant. I am a king, and of no meaner origin than you are, and if I have carried you away with subtlety, that has come to pass because of my exceeding great love for you. The first time that I looked on your portrait, I fell fainting to the ground.' When the princess of the golden dwelling heard this, she was comforted, and her heart was drawn to him, so that she willingly consented to be his wife. It so happened, while they were sailing onwards over the deep sea, that faithful John, who was sitting on the fore part of the vessel, making music, saw three ravens in the air, which came flying towards them. At this he stopped playing and listened to what they were saying to each other, for that he well understood. One cried 'oh, there he is carrying home the princess of the golden dwelling.' 'Yes, replied the second, 'but he has not got her yet.' Said the third 'but he has got her, she is sitting beside him in the ship.' Then the first began again, and cried 'what good will that do him. When they reach land a chestnut horse will leap forward to meet him, and the prince will want to mount it, but if he does that, it will run away with him, and rise up into the air, and he will never see his maiden more.' Spoke the second 'but is there no escape.' 'Oh, yes, if someone else mounts it swiftly, and takes out the pistol which he will find in its holster, and shoots the horse dead, the young king is saved. But who knows that. And whosoever does know it, and tells it to him, will be turned to stone from the toe to the knee.' Then said the second 'I know more than that, even if the horse be killed, the young king will still not keep his bride. When they go into the castle together, a wrought bridal garment will be lying there in a dish, and looking as if it were woven of gold and silver, it is, however, nothing but sulphur and pitch, and if he put it on, it will burn him to the very bone and marrow.' Said the third 'is there no escape at all.' 'Oh, yes, replied the second, 'if any one with gloves on seizes the garment and throws it into the fire and burns it, the young king will be saved. But what good will that do. Whosoever knows it and tells it to him, half his body will become stone from the knee to the heart.' Then said the third 'I know still more, even if the bridal garment be burnt, the young king will still not have his bride. After the wedding, when the dancing begins and the young queen is dancing, she will suddenly turn pale and fall down as if dead, and if some one does not lift her up and draw three drops of blood from her right breast and spit them out again, she will die. But if any one who knows that were to declare it, he would become stone from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot.' When the ravens had spoken of this together, they flew onwards, and faithful John had well understood everything, but from that time forth he became quiet and sad, for if he concealed what he had heard from his master, the latter would be unfortunate, and if he disclosed it to him, he himself must sacrifice his life. At length, however, he said to himself 'I will save my master, even if it bring destruction on myself.' When therefore they came to shore, all happened as had been foretold by the ravens, and a magnificent chestnut horse sprang forward. 'Good, said the king, 'he shall carry me to my palace, and was about to mount it when faithful John got before him, jumped quickly on it, drew the pistol out of the holster, and shot the horse. Then the other attendants of the king, who were not very fond of faithful John, cried 'how shameful to kill the beautiful animal, that was to have carried the king to his palace.' But the king said 'hold your peace and leave him alone, he is my most faithful John. Who knows what good may come of this.' They went into the palace, and in the hall there stood a dish, and therein lay the bridal garment looking no otherwise than as if it were made of gold and silver. The young king went towards it and was about to take hold of it, but faithful John pushed him away, seized it with gloves on, carried it quickly to the fire and burnt it. The other attendants again began to murmur, and said 'behold, now he is even burning the king's bridal garment.' But the young king said 'who knows what good he may have done, leave him alone, he is my most faithful John.' And now the wedding was solemnized - the dance began, and the bride also took part in it, then faithful John was watchful and looked into her face, and suddenly she turned pale and fell to the ground as if she were dead. On this he ran hastily to her, lifted her up and bore her into a chamber - then he laid her down, and knelt and sucked the three drops of blood from her right breast, and spat them out. Immediately she breathed again and recovered herself, but the young king had seen this, and being ignorant why faithful John had done it, was angry and cried 'throw him into a dungeon.' Next morning faithful John was condemned, and led to the gallows, and when he stood on high, and was about to be executed, he said 'every one who has to die is permitted before his end to make one last speech, may I too claim the right.' 'Yes, answered the king, 'it shall be granted unto you.' Then said faithful John 'I am unjustly condemned, and have always been true to you, and he related how he had hearkened to the conversation of the ravens when on the sea, and how he had been obliged to do all these things in order to save his master. Then cried the king 'oh, my most faithful John. Pardon, pardon - bring him down.' But as faithful John spoke the last word he had fallen down lifeless and become a stone.

Thereupon the king and the queen suffered great anguish, and the king said 'ah, how ill I have requited great fidelity.' And ordered the stone figure to be taken up and placed in his bedroom beside his bed. And as often as he looked on it he wept and said 'ah, if I could bring you to life again, my most faithful John.'

Some time passed and the queen bore twins, two sons who grew fast and were her delight. Once when the queen was at church and the father was sitting with his two children playing beside him, he looked at the stone figure again, sighed, and full of grief he said 'ah, if I could but bring you to life again, my most faithful John.' Then the stone began to speak and said 'you can bring me to life again if you will use for that purpose what is dearest to you.' Then cried the king 'I will give everything I have in the world for you.' The stone continued 'if you will cut off the heads of your two children with your own hand, and sprinkle me with their blood, I shall be restored to life.'

The king was terrified when he heard that he himself must kill his dearest children, but he thought of faithful John's great fidelity, and how he had died for him, drew his sword, and with his own hand cut off the children's heads. And when he had smeared the stone with their blood, life returned to it, and faithful John stood once more safe and healthy before him. He said to the king 'your truth shall not go unrewarded, and took the heads of the children, put them on again, and rubbed the wounds with their blood, at which they became whole again immediately, and jumped about, and went on playing as if nothing had happened. Then the king was full of joy, and when he saw the queen coming he hid faithful John and the two children in a great cupboard. When she entered, he said to her 'have you been praying in the church.' 'Yes, answered she, 'but I have constantly been thinking of faithful John and what misfortune has befallen him through us.' Then said he 'dear wife, we can give him his life again, but it will cost us our two little sons, whom we must sacrifice.' The queen turned pale, and her heart was full of terror, but she said 'we owe it to him, for his great fidelity.' Then the king was rejoiced that she thought as he had thought, and went and opened the cupboard, and brought forth faithful John and the children, and said 'God be praised, he is delivered, and we have our little sons again also, and told her how everything had occurred. Then they dwelt together in much happiness until their death.

 

The Good Bargain

There was once a peasant who had driven his cow to the fair, and sold her for seven talers. On the way home he had to pass a pond, and already from afar he heard the frogs crying, aik, aik, aik, aik. Well, said he to himself, they are talking without rhyme or reason, it is seven that I have received, not eight. When he got to the water, he cried to them, stupid animals that you are. Don't you know better than that. It is seven thalers and not eight. The frogs, however, stuck to their, aik aik, aik, aik. Come, then, if you won't believe it, I can count it out to you. And he took his money out of his pocket and counted out the seven talers, always reckoning four and twenty groschen to a taler. The frogs, however, paid no attention to his reckoning, but still cried, aik, aik, aik, aik. What, cried the peasant, quite angry, if you know better than I, count it yourselves, and threw all the money at them into the water. He stood still and wanted to wait until they were through and had returned to him what was his, but the frogs maintained their opinion and cried continually, aik, aik, aik, aik. And besides that, did not throw the money out again. He still waited a long while until evening came on and he was forced to go home. Then he abused the frogs and cried, you water-splashers, you thick-heads, you goggle-eyes, you have great mouths and can screech till you hurt one's ears, but you cannot count seven talers. Do you think I'm going to stand here till you get through. And with that he went away, but the frogs still cried, aik, aik, aik, aik, after him till he went home sorely vexed. After a while he bought another cow, which he slaughtered, and he made the calculation that if he sold the meat well he might gain as much as the two cows were worth, and have the hide into the bargain. When therefore he got to the town with the meat, a great pack of dogs were gathered together in front of the gate, with a large greyhound at the head of them, which jumped at the meat, sniffed at it, and barked, wow, wow, wow. As there was no stopping him, the peasant said to him, yes, yes, I know quite well that you are saying wow, wow, wow, because you want some of the meat, but I should be in a fine state if I were to give it to you. The dog, however, answered nothing but wow, wow. Will you promise not to devour it all then, and will you go bail for your companions. Wow, wow, wow, said the dog. Well, if you insist on it, I will leave it for you, I know you well, and know whom you serve, but this I tell you, I must have my money in three days or else it will go ill with you, you can just bring it out to me. Thereupon he unloaded the meat and turned back again. The dogs fell upon it and loudly barked, wow, wow. The countryman, who heard them from afar, said to himself, hark, now they all want some, but the big one is responsible to me for it. When three days had passed, the countryman thought, to-night my money will be in my pocket, and was quite delighted. But no one would come and pay it. There is no trusting any one now, said he. At last he lost patience, and went into the town to the butcher and demanded his money. The butcher thought it was a joke, but the peasant said, jesting apart, I will have my money. Did not the big dog bring you the whole of the slaughtered cow three days ago. Then the butcher grew angry, snatched a broomstick and drove him out. Wait, said the peasant, there is still some justice in the world, and went to the royal palace and begged for an audience. He was led before the king, who sat there with his daughter, and asked him what injury he had suffered. Alas, said he, the frogs and the dogs have taken from me what is mine, and the butcher has paid me for it with the stick. And he related at full length what had happened. Thereupon the king's daughter began to laugh heartily, and the king said to him, I cannot give you justice in this, but you shall have my daughter to wife for it - in her whole life she has never yet laughed as she has just done at you, and I have promised her to him who could make her laugh. You may thank God for your good fortune. Oh, answered the peasant, I do not want her at all. I have a wife already, and she is one too many for me, when I go home, it is just as if I had a wife standing in every corner. Then the king grew angry, and said, you are a boor. Ah, lord king, replied the peasant, what can you expect from an ox, but beef. Stop, answered the king, you shall have another reward. Be off now, but come back in three days, and then you shall have five hundred counted out in full. When the peasant went out by the gate, the sentry said, you have made the king's daughter laugh, so you will certainly receive something good. Yes, that is what I think, answered the peasant, five hundred are to be counted out to me. Listen, said the soldier, give me some of it. What can you do with all that money. As it is you, said the peasant, you shall have two hundred, present yourself in three days, time before the king, and let it be paid to you. A Jew, who was standing by and had heard the conversation, ran after the peasant, held him by the coat, and said, oh, wonder of God, what a child of fortune you are. I will change it for you, I will change it for you into small coins, what do you want with the great talers. Jew, said the countryman, three hundred can you still have, give it to me at once in coin, in three days from this, you will be paid for it by the king. The Jew was delighted with the small profit, and brought the sum in bad groschen, three of which were worth two good ones. After three days had passed, according to the king's command, the peasant went before the king. Pull his coat off, said the latter, and he shall have his five hundred. Ah, said the peasant, they no longer belong to me, I presented two hundred of them to the sentry, and three hundred the Jew has changed for me, so by right nothing at all belongs to me. In the meantime the soldier and the Jew entered and claimed what they had gained from the peasant, and they received the blows strictly counted out. The soldier bore it patiently and knew already how it tasted, but the Jew said sorrowfully, alas, alas, are these the heavy talers. The king could not help laughing at the peasant, and when all his anger was spent, he said, as you have already lost your reward before it fell to your lot, I will give you compensation. Go into my treasure chamber and get some money for yourself, as much as you will. The peasant did not need to be told twice, and stuffed into his big pockets whatsoever would go in. Afterwards he went to an inn and counted out his money. The Jew had crept after him and heard how he muttered to himself, that rogue of a king has cheated me after all, why could he not have given me the money himself, and then I should have known what I had. How can I tell now if what I have had the luck to put in my pockets is right or not. Good heavens, said the Jew to himself, that man is speaking disrespectfully of our lord the king, I will run and inform, and then I shall get a reward, and he will be punished as well. When the king heard of the peasant's words he fell into a passion, and commanded the Jew to go and bring the offender to him. The Jew ran to the peasant, you are to go at once to the lord king in the very clothes you have on. I know what's right better than that, answered the peasant, I shall have a new coat made first. Do you think that a man with so much money in his pocket should go there in his ragged old coat. The Jew, as he saw that the peasant would not stir without another coat, and as he feared that if the king's anger cooled, he himself would lose his reward, and the peasant his punishment, said, I will out of pure friendship lend you a coat for the short time. What people will not do for love. The peasant was contented with this, put the Jew's coat on, and went off with him. The king reproached the countryman because of the evil speaking of which the Jew had informed him. Ah, said the peasant, what a Jew says is always false - no true word ever comes out of his mouth. That rascal there is capable of maintaining that I have his coat on. What is that, shrieked the Jew, is the coat not mine. Have I not lent it to you out of pure friendship, in order that you might appear before the lord king. When the king heard that, he said, the Jew has assuredly deceived one or the other of us, either myself or the peasant. And again he ordered something to be counted out to him in hard thalers. The peasant, however, went home in the good coat, with the good money in his pocket, and said to himself, this time I have made it.

 

The Twelve Brothers

There were once upon a time a king and a queen who lived happily together and had twelve children, but they were all boys. Then said the king to his wife, if the thirteenth child which you are about to bring into the world, is a girl, the twelve boys shall die, in order that her possessions may be great, and that the kingdom may fall to her alone. He even caused twelve coffins to be made, which were already filled with shavings, and in each lay a little death pillow, and he had them taken into a locked-up room, and then he gave the queen the key of it, and bade her not to speak of this to anyone.

The mother, however, now sat and lamented all day long, until the youngest son, who was always with her, and whom she had named benjamin, from the bible, said to her, dear mother, why are you so sad.

Dearest child, she answered, I may not tell you. But he let her have no rest until she went and unlocked the room, and showed him the twelve coffins ready filled with shavings. Then she said, my dearest benjamin, your father has had these coffins made for you and for your eleven brothers, for if I bring a little girl into the world, you are all to be killed and buried in them. And as she wept while she was saying this, the son comforted her and said, weep not, dear mother, we will save ourselves, and go hence. But she said, go forth into the forest with your eleven brothers, and let one sit constantly on the highest tree which can be found, and keep watch, looking towards the tower here in the castle. If I give birth to a little son, I will put up a white flag, and then you may venture to come back. But if I bear a daughter, I will hoist a red flag, and then fly hence as quickly as you are able, and may the good God protect you. And every night I will rise up and pray for you - in winter that you may be able to warm yourself at a fire, and in summer that you may not faint away in the heat.

After she had blessed her sons therefore, they went forth into the forest. They each kept watch in turn, and sat on the highest oak and looked towards the tower. When eleven days had passed and the turn came to benjamin, he saw that a flag was being raised. It was, however, not the white, but the blood-red flag which announced that they were all to die. When the brothers heard that, they were very angry and said, are we all to suffer death for the sake of a girl. We swear that we will avenge ourselves - wheresoever we find a girl, her red blood shall flow.

Thereupon they went deeper into the forest, and in the midst of it, where it was the darkest, they found a little bewitched hut, which was standing empty. Then said they, here we will dwell, and you benjamin, who are the youngest and weakest, you shall stay at home and keep house, we others will go out and fetch food.

Then they went into the forest and shot hares, wild deer, birds and pigeons, and whatsoever there was to eat. This they took to benjamin, who had to dress it for them in order that they might appease their hunger. They lived together ten years in the little hut, and the time did not appear long to them.

The little daughter which their mother the queen had given birth to, was now grown up. She was good of heart, and fair of face, and had a golden star on her forehead. Once, on a great washing, she saw twelve men's shirts among the things, and asked her mother, to whom do these twelve shirts belong, for they are far too small for father. Then the queen answered with a heavy heart, dear child, these belong to your twelve brothers. Said the maiden, where are my twelve brothers, I have never yet heard of them. She replied, God knows where they are, they are wandering about the world. Then she took the maiden and opened the chamber for her, and showed her the twelve coffins with the shavings, and the death pillows. These coffins, said she, were destined for your brothers, who went away secretly before you were born, and she related to her how everything had happened. Then said the maiden, dear mother, weep not, I will go and seek my brothers.

So she took the twelve shirts and went forth, and straight into the great forest. She walked the whole day, and in the evening she came to the bewitched hut. Then she entered it and found a young boy, who asked, from whence do you come, and whither are you bound, and was astonished that she was so beautiful, and wore royal garments, and had a star on her forehead. And she answered, I am a king's daughter, and am seeking my twelve brothers, and I will walk as far as the sky is blue until I find them. And she showed him the twelve shirts which belonged to them. Then benjamin saw that she was his sister, and said, I am benjamin, your youngest brother. And she began to weep for joy, and benjamin wept also, and they kissed and embraced each other with the greatest love. But after this he said, dear sister, there is still one difficulty. We have agreed that every maiden whom we meet shall die, because we have been obliged to leave our kingdom on account of a girl. Then said she, I will willingly die, if by so doing I can save my twelve brothers.

No, answered he, you shall not die. Seat yourself beneath this tub until our eleven brothers come, and then I will soon come to an agreement with them.

She did so, and when it was night the others came from hunting, and their dinner was ready. And as they were sitting at table, and eating, they asked, what news is there. Said benjamin, don't you know anything. No, they answered. He continued, you have been in the forest and I have stayed at home, and yet I know more than you do. Tell us then, they cried. He answered, but promise me that the first maiden who meets us shall not be killed.

Yes, they all cried, she shall have mercy, only do tell us. Then said he, our sister is here, and he lifted up the tub, and the king's daughter came forth in her royal garments with the golden star on her forehead, and she was beautiful, delicate and fair. Then they were all rejoiced, and fell on her neck, and kissed and loved her with all their hearts.

Now she stayed at home with benjamin and helped him with the work. The eleven went into the forest and caught game, and deer, and birds, and wood-pigeons that they might have food, and the little sister and benjamin took care to make it ready for them. She sought for the wood for cooking and herbs for vegetables, and put the pans on the fire so that the dinner was always ready when the eleven came. She likewise kept order in the little house, and put beautifully white clean coverings on the little beds and the brothers were always contented and lived in great harmony with her.

Once upon a time the two at home had prepared a wonderful feast, and when they were all together, they sat down and ate and drank and were full of gladness. There was, however, a little garden belonging to the bewitched house wherein stood twelve lily flowers, which are likewise called student-lilies. She wished to give her brothers pleasure, and plucked the twelve flowers, and thought she would present each brother with one while at dinner. But at the self-same moment that she plucked the flowers the twelve brothers were changed into twelve ravens, and flew away over the forest, and the house and garden vanished likewise. And now the poor maiden was alone in the wild forest, and when she looked around, an old woman was standing near her who said, my child, what have you done. Why did you not leave the twelve white flowers growing. They were your brothers, who are now forevermore changed into ravens. The maiden said, weeping, is there no way of saving them.

No, said the woman, there is but one in the whole world, and that is so hard that you will not save them by it, for you must be dumb for seven years, and may not speak or laugh, and if you speak one single word, and only an hour of the seven years is wanting, all is in vain, and your brothers will be killed by the one word.

Then said the maiden in her heart, I know with certainty that I shall set my brothers free, and went and sought a high tree and seated herself in it and spun, and neither spoke nor laughed. Now it so happened that a king was hunting in the forest, who had a great greyhound which ran to the tree on which the maiden was sitting, and sprang about it, whining, and barking at her. Then the king came by and saw the beautiful king's daughter with the golden star on her brow, and was so charmed with her beauty that he called to ask her if she would be his wife. She made no answer, but nodded a little with her head. So he climbed up the tree himself, carried her down, placed her on his horse, and bore her home. Then the wedding was solemnized with great magnificence and rejoicing, but the bride neither spoke nor smiled. When they had lived happily together for a few years, the king's mother, who was a wicked woman, began to slander the young queen, and said to the king, this is a common beggar girl whom you have brought back with you. Who knows what wicked tricks she practises secretly. Even if she be dumb, and not able to speak, she still might laugh for once. But those who do not laugh have bad consciences.

At first the king would not believe it, but the old woman urged this so long, and accused her of so many evil things, that at last the king let himself be persuaded and sentenced her to death. And now a great fire was lighted in the courtyard in which she was to be burnt, and the king stood above at the window and looked on with tearful eyes, because he still loved her so much. And when she was bound fast to the stake, and the fire was licking at her clothes with its red tongue, the last instant of the seven years expired. Then a whirring sound was heard in the air, and twelve ravens came flying towards the place, and sank downwards, and when they touched the earth they were her twelve brothers, whom she had saved. They tore the fire asunder, extinguished the flames, set their dear sister free, and kissed and embraced her. And now as she dared to open her mouth and speak, she told the king why she had been dumb, and had never laughed. The king rejoiced when he heard that she was innocent, and they all lived in great unity until their death. The wicked step-mother was taken before the judge, and put into a barrel filled with boiling oil and venomous snakes, and died an evil death.

 

Brother and Sister

Little brother took his little sister by the hand and said, since our mother died we have had no happiness. Our step-mother beats us every day, and if we come near her she kicks us away with her foot. Our meals are the hard crusts of bread that are left over. And the little dog under the table is better off, for she often throws it a choice morsel. God pity us, if our mother only knew. Come, we will go forth together into the wide world.

They walked the whole day over meadows, fields, and stony places. And when it rained the little sister said, heaven and our hearts are weeping together. In the evening they came to a large forest, and they were so weary with sorrow and hunger and the long walk, that they lay down in a hollow tree and fell asleep. The next day when they awoke, the sun was already high in the sky, and shone down hot into the tree. Then the brother said, sister, I am thirsty. If I knew of a little brook I would go and just take a drink. I think I hear one running. The brother got up and took the little sister by the hand, and they set off to find the brook. But the wicked step-mother was a witch, and had seen how the two children had gone away, and had crept after them secretly, as witches creep, and had bewitched all the brooks in the forest.

Now when they found a little brook leaping brightly over the stones, the brother was going to drink out of it, but the sister heard how it said as it ran, who drinks of me will be a tiger. Who drinks of me will be a tiger. Then the sister cried, pray, dear brother, do not drink, or you will become a wild beast, and tear me to pieces. The brother did not drink, although he was so thirsty, but said, I will wait for the next spring.

When they came to the next brook the sister heard this also say, who drinks of me will be a wolf. Who drinks of me will be a wolf. Then the sister cried out, pray, dear brother, do not drink, or you will become a wolf, and devour me. The brother did not drink, and said, I will wait until we come to the next spring, but then I must drink, say what you like. For my thirst is too great. And when they came to the third brook the sister heard how it said as it ran, who drinks of me will be a roebuck. Who drinks of me will be a roebuck. The sister said, oh, I pray you, dear brother, do not drink, or you will become a roebuck, and run away from me. But the brother had knelt down at once by the brook, and had bent down and drunk some of the water, and as soon as the first drops touched his lips he lay there in the form of a young roebuck.

And now the sister wept over her poor bewitched brother, and the little roe wept also, and sat sorrowfully near to her. But at last the girl said, be quiet, dear little roe, I will never, never leave you.

Then she untied her golden garter and put it round the roebuck's neck, and she plucked rushes and wove them into a soft cord. This she tied to the little animal and led it on, and she walked deeper and deeper into the forest.

And when they had gone a very long way they came at last to a little house, and the girl looked in. And as it was empty, she thought, we can stay here and live. Then she sought for leaves and moss to make a soft bed for the roe. And every morning she went out and gathered roots and berries and nuts for herself, and brought tender grass for the roe, who ate out of her hand, and was content and played round about her. In the evening, when the sister was tired, and had said her prayer, she laid her head upon the roebuck's back - that was her pillow, and she slept softly on it. And if only the brother had had his human form it would have been a delightful life. For some time they were alone like this in the wilderness. But it happened that the king of the country held a great hunt in the forest. Then the blasts of the horns, the barking of dogs and the merry shouts of the huntsmen rang through the trees, and the roebuck heard all, and was only too anxious to be there. Oh, said he, to his sister, let me be off to the hunt, I cannot bear it any longer, and he begged so much that at last she agreed. But, said she to him, come back to me in the evening. I must shut my door for fear of the rough huntsmen, so knock and say, my little sister, let me in, that I may know you. And if you do not say that, I shall not open the door. Then the young roebuck sprang away. So happy was he and so merry in the open air. The king and the huntsmen saw the lovely animal, and started after him, but they could not catch him, and when they thought that they surely had him, away he sprang through the bushes and vanished. When it was dark he ran to the cottage, knocked, and said, my little sister, let me in. Then the door was opened for him, and he jumped in, and rested himself the whole night through upon his soft bed. The next day the hunt began again, and when the roebuck once more heard the bugle-horn, and the ho. Ho. Of the huntsmen, he had no peace, but said, sister, let me out, I must be off. His sister opened the door for him, and said, but you must be here again in the evening and say your pass-word. When the king and his huntsmen again saw the young roebuck with the golden collar, they all chased him, but he was too quick and nimble for them. This lasted the whole day, but by the evening the huntsmen had surrounded him, and one of them wounded him a little in the foot, so that he limped and ran slowly. Then a hunter crept after him to the cottage and heard how he said, my little sister, let me in, and saw that the door was opened for him, and was shut again at once. The huntsman took notice of it all, and went to the king and told him what he had seen and heard. Then the king said, to-morrow we will hunt once more. The little sister, however, was dreadfully frightened when she saw that her fawn was hurt. She washed the blood off him, laid herbs on the wound, and said, go to your bed, dear roe, that you may get well again. But the wound was so slight that the roebuck, next morning, did not feel it any more. And when he again heard the sport outside, he said, I cannot bear it, I must be there. They shall not find it so easy to catch me. The sister cried, and said, this time they will kill you, and here am I alone in the forest and forsaken by all the world. I will not let you out. Then you will have me die of grief, answered the roe. When I hear the bugle-horns I feel as if I must jump out of my skin. Then the sister could not do otherwise, but opened the door for him with a heavy heart, and the roebuck, full of health and joy, bounded into the forest. When the king saw him, he said to his huntsmen, now chase him all day long till night-fall, but take care that no one does him any harm. As soon as the sun had set, the king said to the huntsman, now come and show me the cottage in the wood. And when he was at the door, he knocked and called out, dear little sister, let me in. Then the door opened, and the king walked in, and there stood a maiden more lovely than any he had ever seen. The maiden was frightened when she saw, not her little roe, but a man come in who wore a golden crown upon his head. But the king looked kindly at her, stretched out his hand, and said, will you go with me to my palace and be my dear wife. Yes, indeed, answered the maiden, but the little roe must go with me, I cannot leave him. The king said, it shall stay with you as long as you live, and shall want nothing. Just then he came running in, and the sister again tied him with the cord of rushes, took it in her own hand, and went away with the king from the cottage. The king took the lovely maiden upon his horse and carried her to his palace, where the wedding was held with great pomp. She was now the queen, and they lived for a long time happily together. The roebuck was tended and cherished, and ran about in the palace-garden. But the wicked step-mother, because of whom the children had gone out into the world, had never thought but that the sister had been torn to pieces by the wild beasts in the wood, and that the brother had been shot for a roebuck by the huntsmen. Now when she heard that they were so happy, and so well off, envy and jealousy rose in her heart and left her no peace, and she thought of nothing but how she could bring them again to misfortune. Her own daughter, who was ugly as night, and had only one eye, reproached her and said, a queen. That ought to have been my luck. Just be quiet, answered the old woman, and comforted her by saying, when the time comes I shall be ready. As time went on the queen had a pretty little boy, and it happened that the king was out hunting. So the old witch took the form of the chamber maid, went into the room where the queen lay, and said to her, come the bath is ready. It will do you good, and give you fresh strength. Make haste before it gets cold. Her daughter also was close by. So they carried the weakly queen into the bath-room, and put her into the bath. Then they shut the door and ran away. But in the bath-room they had made a fire of such hellish heat that the beautiful young queen was soon suffocated. When this was done the old woman took her daughter, put a nightcap on her head, and laid her in bed in place of the queen. She gave her too the shape and look of the queen, only she could not make good the lost eye. But in order that the king might not see it, she was to lie on the side on which she had no eye. In the evening when he came home and heard that he had a son he was heartily glad, and was going to the bed of his dear wife to see how she was. But the old woman quickly called out, for your life leave the curtains closed. The queen ought not to see the light yet, and must have rest. The king went away, and did not find out that a false queen was lying in the bed. But at midnight, when all slept, the nurse, who was sitting in the nursery by the cradle, and who was the only person awake, saw the door open and the true queen walk in. She took the child out of the cradle, laid it on her arm, and suckled it. Then she shook up its pillow, laid the child down again, and covered it with the little quilt. And she did not forget the roebuck, but went into the corner where it lay, and stroked its back. Then she went quite silently out of the door again. The next morning the nurse asked the guards whether anyone had come into the palace during the night, but they answered, no, we have seen no one. She came thus many nights and never spoke a word. The nurse always saw her, but she did not dare to tell anyone about it. When some time had passed in this manner, the queen began to speak in the night, and said, how fares my child, how fares my roe. Twice shall I come, then never more. The nurse did not answer, but when the queen had gone again, went to the king and told him all. The king said, ah, God. What is this. To-morrow night I will watch by the child. In the evening he went into the nursery, and at midnight the queen again appeared and said, how fares my child, how fares my roe. Once will I come, then never more. And she nursed the child as she was wont to do before she disappeared. The king dared not speak to her, but on the next night he watched again. Then she said, how fares my child, how fares my roe. This time I come, then never more. Then the king could not restrain himself. He sprang towards her, and said, you can be none other than my dear wife. She answered, yes, I am your dear wife, and at the same moment she received life again, and by God's grace became fresh, rosy and full of health. Then she told the king the evil deed which the wicked witch and her daughter had been guilty of towards her. The king ordered both to be led before the judge, and the judgment was delivered against them. The daughter was taken into the forest where she was torn to pieces by wild beasts, but the witch was cast into the fire and miserably burnt. And as soon as she was burnt to ashes, the roebuck changed his shape, and received his human form again, so the sister and brother lived happily together all their lives.

 

Rapunzel

There were once a man and a woman who had long in vain wished for a child. At length the woman hoped that God was about to grant her desire. These people had a little window at the back of their house from which a splendid garden could be seen, which was full of the most beautiful flowers and herbs. It was, however, surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to go into it because it belonged to an enchantress, who had great power and was dreaded by all the world.

One day the woman was standing by this window and looking down into the garden, when she saw a bed which was planted with the most beautiful rampion - rapunzel, and it looked so fresh and green that she longed for it, and had the greatest desire to eat some. This desire increased every day, and as she knew that she could not get any of it, she quite pined away, and began to look pale and miserable. Then her husband was alarmed, and asked, what ails you, dear wife. Ah, she replied, if I can't eat some of the rampion, which is in the garden behind our house, I shall die.

The man, who loved her, thought, sooner than let your wife die, bring her some of the rampion yourself, let it cost what it will. At twilight, he clambered down over the wall into the garden of the enchantress, hastily clutched a handful of rampion, and took it to his wife. She at once made herself a salad of it, and ate it greedily. It tasted so good to her - so very good, that the next day she longed for it three times as much as before. If he was to have any rest, her husband must once more descend into the garden. In the gloom of evening, therefore, he let himself down again. But when he had clambered down the wall he was terribly afraid, for he saw the enchantress standing before him.

How can you dare, said she with angry look, descend into my garden and steal my rampion like a thief. You shall suffer for it. Ah, answered he, let mercy take the place of justice, I only made up my mind to do it out of necessity. My wife saw your rampion from the window, and felt such a longing for it that she would have died if she had not got some to eat. Then the enchantress allowed her anger to be softened, and said to him, if the case be as you say, I will allow you to take away with you as much rampion as you will, only I make one condition, you must give me the child which your wife will bring into the world. It shall be well treated, and I will care for it like a mother.

The man in his terror consented to everything, and when the woman was brought to bed, the enchantress appeared at once, gave the child the name of rapunzel, and took it away with her. Rapunzel grew into the most beautiful child under the sun. When she was twelve years old, the enchantress shut her into a tower, which lay in a forest, and had neither stairs nor door, but quite at the top was a little window. When the enchantress wanted to go in, she placed herself beneath it and cried, rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair to me.

Rapunzel had magnificent long hair, fine as spun gold, and when she heard the voice of the enchantress she unfastened her braided tresses, wound them round one of the hooks of the window above, and then the hair fell twenty ells down, and the enchantress climbed up by it. After a year or two, it came to pass that the king's son rode through the forest and passed by the tower.

Then he heard a song, which was so charming that he stood still and listened. This was rapunzel, who in her solitude passed her time in letting her sweet voice resound. The king's son wanted to climb up to her, and looked for the door of the tower, but none was to be found. He rode home, but the singing had so deeply touched his heart, that every day he went out into the forest and listened to it.

Once when he was thus standing behind a tree, he saw that an enchantress came there, and he heard how she cried, rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair. Then rapunzel let down the braids of her hair, and the enchantress climbed up to her. If that is the ladder by which one mounts, I too will try my fortune, said he, and the next day when it began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried, rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair. Immediately the hair fell down and the king's son climbed up.

At first rapunzel was terribly frightened when a man, such as her eyes had never yet beheld, came to her. But the king's son began to talk to her quite like a friend, and told her that his heart had been so stirred that it had let him have no rest, and he had been forced to see her. Then rapunzel lost her fear, and when he asked her if she would take him for her husband, and she saw that he was young and handsome, she thought, he will love me more than old dame gothel does. And she said yes, and laid her hand in his. She said, I will willingly go away with you, but I do not know how to get down.

Bring with you a skein of silk every time that you come, and I will weave a ladder with it, and when that is ready I will descend, and you will take me on your horse. They agreed that until that time he should come to her every evening, for the old woman came by day. The enchantress remarked nothing of this, until once rapunzel said to her, tell me, dame gothel, how it happens that you are so much heavier for me to draw up than the young king's son - he is with me in a moment. Ah.

You wicked child, cried the enchantress. What do I hear you say. I thought I had separated you from all the world, and yet you have deceived me. In her anger she clutched rapunzel's beautiful tresses, wrapped them twice round her left hand, seized a pair of scissors with the right, and snip, snap, they were cut off, and the lovely braids lay on the ground. And she was so pitiless that she took poor rapunzel into a desert where she had to live in great grief and misery.

On the same day that she cast out rapunzel, however, the enchantress fastened the braids of hair, which she had cut off, to the hook of the window, and when the king's son came and cried, rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair, she let the hair down. The king's son ascended, but instead of finding his dearest rapunzel, he found the enchantress, who gazed at him with wicked and venomous looks. Aha, she cried mockingly, you would fetch your dearest, but the beautiful bird sits no longer singing in the nest. The cat has got it, and will scratch out your eyes as well.

Rapunzel is lost to you. You will never see her again. The king's son was beside himself with pain, and in his despair he leapt down from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns into which he fell pierced his eyes. Then he wandered quite blind about the forest, ate nothing but roots and berries, and did naught but lament and weep over the loss of his dearest wife. Thus he roamed about in misery for some years, and at length came to the desert where rapunzel, with the twins to which she had given birth, a boy and a girl, lived in wretchedness.

He heard a voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went towards it, and when he approached, rapunzel knew him and fell on his neck and wept. Two of her tears wetted his eyes and they grew clear again, and he could see with them as before. He led her to his kingdom where he was joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented.

 

The Three Little Men in the Wood

There was once a man whose wife died, and a woman whose husband died, and the man had a daughter, and the woman also had a daughter. The girls were acquainted with each other, and went out walking together, and afterwards came to the woman in her house. Then said she to the man's daughter, listen, tell your father that I would like to marry him, and then you shall wash yourself in milk every morning, and drink wine, but my own daughter shall wash herself in water and drink water. The girl went home, and told her father what the woman had said. The man said, what shall I do. Marriage is a joy and also a torment. At length as he could come to no decision, he pulled off his boot, and said, take this boot, it has a hole in the sole of it. Go with it up to the loft, hang it on the big nail, and then pour water into it. If it hold the water, then I will again take a wife, but if it run through, I will not. The girl did as she was bid, but the water drew the hole together and the boot became full to the top. She informed her father how it had turned out. Then he himself went up, and when he saw that she was right, he went to the widow and wooed her, and the wedding was celebrated. The next morning, when the two girls got up, there stood before the man's daughter milk for her to wash in and wine for her to drink, but before the woman's daughter stood water to wash herself with and water for drinking. On the second morning, stood water for washing and water for drinking before the man's daughter as well as before the woman's daughter. And on the third morning stood water for washing and water for drinking before the man's daughter, and milk for washing and wine for drinking, before the woman's daughter, and so it continued. The woman became her step-daughter's bitterest enemy, and day by day did her best to treat her still worse. She was also envious because her step-daughter was beautiful and lovable, and her own daughter ugly and repulsive. Once, in winter, when everything was frozen as hard as a stone, and hill and vale lay covered with snow, the woman made a frock of paper, called her step-daughter, and said, here, put on this dress and go out into the wood, and fetch me a little basketful of strawberries - I have a fancy for some. Good heavens, said the girl, no strawberries grow in winter. The ground is frozen, and besides the snow has covered everything. And why am I to go in this paper frock. It is so cold outside that one's very breath freezes. The wind will blow through the frock, and the thorns tear it off my body. Will you contradict me, said the step-mother. See that you go, and do not show your face again until you have the basketful of strawberries. Then she gave her a little piece of hard bread, and said, this will last you the day, and thought, you will die of cold and hunger outside, and will never be seen again by me. Then the maiden was obedient, and put on the paper frock, and went out with the basket. Far and wide there was nothing but snow, and not a green blade to be seen. When she got into the wood she saw a small house out of which peeped three little men. She wished them good day, and knocked modestly at the door. They cried, come in, and she entered the room and seated herself on the bench by the stove, where she began to warm herself and eat her breakfast. The little men said, give us some of it, too. Willingly, she said, and divided her piece of bread in two 'and gave them the half. They asked, what do you here in the forest in the winter time, in your thin dress. Ah, she answered, I am to look for a basketful of strawberries, and am not to go home until I can take them with me. When she had eaten her bread, they gave her a broom and said, sweep away the snow at the back door. But when she was outside, the three little men said to each other, what shall we give her as she is so good, and has shared her bread with us. Then said the first, my gift is, that she shall every day grow more beautiful. The second said, my gift is, that gold pieces shall fall out of her mouth every time she speaks. The third said, my gift is, that a king shall come and take her to wife. The girl, however, did as the little men had bidden her, swept away the snow behind the little house with the broom, and what did she find but real ripe strawberries, which came up quite dark-red out of the snow. In her joy she hastily gathered her basket full, thanked the little men, shook hands with each of them, and ran home to take her step-mother what she had longed for so much. When she went in and said good-evening, a piece of gold at once fell out of her mouth. Thereupon she related what had happened to her in the wood, but with every word she spoke, gold pieces fell from her mouth, until very soon the whole room was covered with them. Now look at her arrogance, cried the step-sister, to throw about gold in that way. But she was secretly envious of it, and wanted to go into the forest also to seek strawberries. The mother said, no, my dear little daughter, it is too cold, you might freeze to death. However, as her daughter let her have no peace, the mother at last yielded, made her a magnificent coat of fur, which she was obliged to put on, and gave her bread-and-butter and cake for her journey. The girl went into the forest and straight up to the little house. The three little men peeped out again, but she did not greet them, and without looking round at them and without speaking to them, she went awkwardly into the room, seated herself by the stove, and began to eat her bread-and-butter and cake. Give us some of it, cried the little men. But she replied, there is not enough for myself, so how can I give it away to other people. When she had finished eating, they said, there is a broom for you, sweep it all clean in front of the back-door. Sweep for yourselves, she answered, I am not your servant. When she saw that they were not going to give her anything, she went out by the door. Then the little men said to each other, what shall we give her as she is so naughty, and has a wicked envious heart, that will never let her do a good turn to any one. The first said, I grant that she may grow uglier every day. The second said, I grant that at every word she says, a toad shall spring out of her mouth. The third said, I grant that she may die a miserable death. The maiden looked for strawberries outside, but as she found none, she went angrily home. And when she opened her mouth, and was about to tell her mother what had happened to her in the wood, with every word she said, a toad sprang out of her mouth, so that everyone was seized with horror of her. Then the step-mother was still more enraged, and thought of nothing but how to do every possible injury to the man's daughter, whose beauty, however, grew daily greater. At length she took a cauldron, set it on the fire, and boiled yarn in it. When it was boiled, she flung it on the poor girl's shoulder, and gave her an axe in order that she might go on the frozen river, cut a hole in the ice, and rinse the yarn. She was obedient, went thither and cut a hole in the ice. And while she was in the midst of her cutting, a splendid carriage came driving up, in which sat the king. The carriage stopped, and the king asked, my child, who are you, and what are you doing here. I am a poor girl, and I am rinsing yarn. Then the king felt compassion, and when he saw that she was so very beautiful, he said to her, will you go away with me. Ah, yes, with all my heart, she answered, for she was glad to get away from the mother and sister. So she got into the carriage and drove away with the king, and when they arrived at his palace, the wedding was celebrated with great pomp, as the little men had granted to the maiden. When a year was over, the young queen bore a son, and as the step-mother had heard of her great good-fortune, she came with her daughter to the palace and pretended that she wanted to pay her a visit. But, when the king had gone out, and no one else was present, the wicked woman seized the queen by the head, and her daughter seized her by the feet, and they lifted her out of the bed, and threw her out of the window into the stream which flowed by. Then the ugly daughter laid herself in the bed, and the old woman covered her up over her head. When the king came home again and wanted to speak to his wife, the old woman cried, hush, hush, that can't be now, she is lying in a violent sweat. You must let her rest to-day. The king suspected no evil, and did not come back again till next morning. And as he talked with his wife and she answered him, with every word a toad leaped out, whereas formerly a piece of gold had fallen. Then he asked what that could be, but the old woman said that she had got that from the violent sweat, and would soon lose it again. During the night, however, the scullion saw a duck come swimming up the gutter, and it said - king, what art thou doing now. Sleepest thou, or wakest thou. And as he returned no answer, it said - and my guests, what may they do. The scullion said - they are sleeping soundly, too. Then it asked again - what does little baby mine. He answered - sleepeth in her cradle fine. Then she went upstairs in the form of the queen, nursed the baby, shook up its little bed, covered it over, and then swam away again down the gutter in the shape of a duck. She came thus for two nights. On the third, she said to the scullion, go and tell the king to take his sword and swing it three times over me on the threshold. Then the scullion ran and told this to the king, who came with his sword and swung it thrice over the spirit, and at the third time, his wife stood before him strong, living, and healthy as she had been before. Thereupon the king was full of great joy, but he kept the queen hidden in a chamber until the sunday, when the baby was to be christened. And when it was christened he said, what does a person deserve who drags another out of bed and throws him in the water. The wretch deserves nothing better, answered the old woman, than to be taken and put in a barrel stuck full of nails, and rolled down hill into the water. Then, said the king, you have pronounced your own sentence. And he ordered such a barrel to be brought, and the old woman to be put into it with her daughter, and then the top was hammered on, and the barrel rolled down hill until it went into the river.

 

Hansel and Grethel
 

Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and his two children. The boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel. He had little to bite and to break, and once when great dearth fell on the land, he could no longer procure even daily bread. Now when he thought over this by night in his bed, and tossed about in his anxiety, he groaned and said to his wife, what is to become of us. How are we to feed our poor children, when we no longer have anything even for ourselves. I'll tell you what, husband, answered the woman, early to-morrow morning we will take the children out into the forest to where it is the thickest. There we will light a fire for them, and give each of them one more piece of bread, and then we will go to our work and leave them alone. They will not find the way home again, and we shall be rid of them. No, wife, said the man, I will not do that. How can I bear to leave my children alone in the forest. The wild animals would soon come and tear them to pieces. O' you fool, said she, then we must all four die of hunger, you may as well plane the planks for our coffins, and she left him no peace until he consented. But I feel very sorry for the poor children, all the same, said the man.

The two children had also not been able to sleep for hunger, and had heard what their step-mother had said to their father. Gretel wept bitter tears, and said to Hansel, now all is over with us. Be quiet, Gretel, said Hansel, do not distress yourself, I will soon find a way to help us. And when the old folks had fallen asleep, he got up, put on his little coat, opened the door below, and crept outside. The moon shone brightly, and the white pebbles which lay in front of the house glittered like real silver pennies. Hansel stooped and stuffed the little pocket of his coat with as many as he could get in. Then he went back and said to Gretel, be comforted, dear little sister, and sleep in peace, God will not forsake us, and he lay down again in his bed. When day dawned, but before the sun had risen, the woman came and awoke the two children, saying get up, you sluggards. We are going into the forest to fetch wood. She gave each a little piece of bread, and said, there is something for your dinner, but do not eat it up before then, for you will get nothing else. Gretel took the bread under her apron, as Hansel had the pebbles in his pocket. Then they all set out together on the way to the forest. When they had walked a short time, Hansel stood still and peeped back at the house, and did so again and again. His father said, Hansel, what are you looking at there and staying behind for. Pay attention, and do not forget how to use your legs. Ah, father, said Hansel, I am looking at my little white cat, which is sitting up on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me. The wife said, fool, that is not your little cat, that is the morning sun which is shining on the chimneys. Hansel, however, had not been looking back at the cat, but had been constantly throwing one of the white pebble-stones out of his pocket on the road.

When they had reached the middle of the forest, the father said, now, children, pile up some wood, and I will light a fire that you may not be cold. Hansel and Gretel gathered brushwood together, as high as a little hill. The brushwood was lighted, and when the flames were burning very high, the woman said, now, children, lay yourselves down by the fire and rest, we will go into the forest and cut some wood. When we have done, we will come back and fetch you away.

Hansel and Gretel sat by the fire, and when noon came, each ate a little piece of bread, and as they heard the strokes of the wood-axe they believed that their father was near. It was not the axe, however, but a branch which he had fastened to a withered tree which the wind was blowing backwards and forwards. And as they had been sitting such a long time, their eyes closed with fatigue, and they fell fast asleep. When at last they awoke, it was already dark night. Gretel began to cry and said, how are we to get out of the forest now. But Hansel comforted her and said, just wait a little, until the moon has risen, and then we will soon find the way. And when the full moon had risen, Hansel took his little sister by the hand, and followed the pebbles which shone like newly-coined silver pieces, and showed them the way.

They walked the whole night long, and by break of day came once more to their father's house. They knocked at the door, and when the woman opened it and saw that it was Hansel and Gretel, she said, you naughty children, why have you slept so long in the forest. We thought you were never coming back at all. The father, however, rejoiced, for it had cut him to the heart to leave them behind alone.

Not long afterwards, there was once more great dearth throughout the land, and the children heard their mother saying at night to their father, everything is eaten again, we have one half loaf left, and that is the end. The children must go, we will take them farther into the wood, so that they will not find their way out again. There is no other means of saving ourselves. The man's heart was heavy, and he thought, it would be better for you to share the last mouthful with your children. The woman, however, would listen to nothing that he had to say, but scolded and reproached him. He who says a must say b, likewise, and as he had yielded the first time, he had to do so a second time also.

The children, however, were still awake and had heard the conversation. When the old folks were asleep, Hansel again got up, and wanted to go out and pick up pebbles as he had done before, but the woman had locked the door, and Hansel could not get out. Nevertheless he comforted his little sister, and said, do not cry, Gretel, go to sleep quietly, the good God will help us. Early in the morning came the woman, and took the children out of their beds. Their piece of bread was given to them, but it was still smaller than the time before. On the way into the forest Hansel crumbled his in his pocket, and often stood still and threw a morsel on the ground. Hansel, why do you stop and look round. Said the father, go on. I am looking back at my little pigeon which is sitting on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me, answered Hansel. Fool. Said the woman, that is not your little pigeon, that is the morning sun that is shining on the chimney. Hansel, however, little by little, threw all the crumbs on the path. The woman led the children still deeper into the forest, where they had never in their lives been before. Then a great fire was again made, and the mother said, just sit there, you children, and when you are tired you may sleep a little. We are going into the forest to cut wood, and in the evening when we are done, we will come and fetch you away. When it was noon, Gretel shared her piece of bread with Hansel, who had scattered his by the way. Then they fell asleep and evening passed, but no one came to the poor children. They did not awake until it was dark night, and Hansel comforted his little sister and said, just wait, Gretel, until the moon rises, and then we shall see the crumbs of bread which I have strewn about, they will show us our way home again. When the moon came they set out, but they found no crumbs, for the many thousands of birds which fly about in the woods and fields had picked them all up. Hansel said to Gretel, we shall soon find the way, but they did not find it. They walked the whole night and all the next day too from morning till evening, but they did not get out of the forest, and were very hungry, for they had nothing to eat but two or three berries, which grew on the ground. And as they were so weary that their legs would carry them no longer, they lay down beneath a tree and fell asleep.

It was now three mornings since they had left their father's house. They began to walk again, but they always came deeper into the forest, and if help did not come soon, they must die of hunger and weariness. When it was mid-day, they saw a beautiful snow-white bird sitting on a bough, which sang so delightfully that they stood still and listened to it. And when its song was over, it spread its wings and flew away before them, and they followed it until they reached a little house, on the roof of which it alighted. And when they approached the little house they saw that it was built of bread and covered with cakes, but that the windows were of clear sugar. We will set to work on that, said Hansel, and have a good meal. I will eat a bit of the roof, and you Gretel, can eat some of the window, it will taste sweet. Hansel reached up above, and broke off a little of the roof to try how it tasted, and Gretel leant against the window and nibbled at the panes. Then a soft voice cried from the parlor - nibble, nibble, gnaw who is nibbling at my little house. The children answered - the wind, the wind, the heaven-born wind, and went on eating without disturbing themselves. Hansel, who liked the taste of the roof, tore down a great piece of it, and Gretel pushed out the whole of one round window-pane, sat down, and enjoyed herself with it. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman as old as the hills, who supported herself on crutches, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so terribly frightened that they let fall what they had in their hands. The old woman, however, nodded her head, and said, oh, you dear children, who has brought you here. Do come in, and stay with me. No harm shall happen to you. She took them both by the hand, and led them into her little house. Then good food was set before them, milk and pancakes, with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterwards two pretty little beds were covered with clean white linen, and Hansel and Gretel lay down in them, and thought they were in heaven.

The old woman had only pretended to be so kind. She was in reality a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had only built the little house of bread in order to entice them there. When a child fell into her power, she killed it, cooked and ate it, and that was a feast day with her. Witches have red eyes, and cannot see far, but they have a keen scent like the beasts, and are aware when human beings draw near. When Hansel and Gretel came into her neighborhood, she laughed with malice, and said mockingly, I have them, they shall not escape me again. Early in the morning before the children were awake, she was already up, and when she saw both of them sleeping and looking so pretty, with their plump and rosy cheeks, she muttered to herself, that will be a dainty mouthful.

Then she seized Hansel with her shrivelled hand, carried him into a little stable, and locked him in behind a grated door. Scream as he might, it would not help him. Then she went to Gretel, shook her till she awoke, and cried, get up, lazy thing, fetch some water, and cook something good for your brother, he is in the stable outside, and is to be made fat. When he is fat, I will eat him. Gretel began to weep bitterly, but it was all in vain, for she was forced to do what the wicked witch commanded. And now the best food was cooked for poor Hansel, but Gretel got nothing but crab-shells. Every morning the woman crept to the little stable, and cried, Hansel, stretch out your finger that I may feel if you will soon be fat. Hansel, however, stretched out a little bone to her, and the old woman, who had dim eyes, could not see it, and thought it was Hansel's finger, and was astonished that there was no way of fattening him. When four weeks had gone by, and Hansel still remained thin, she was seized with impatience and would not wait any longer. Now, then, Gretel, she cried to the girl, stir yourself, and bring some water. Let Hansel be fat or lean, to-morrow I will kill him, and cook him. Ah, how the poor little sister did lament when she had to fetch the water, and how her tears did flow down her cheeks. Dear God, do help us, she cried. If the wild beasts in the forest had but devoured us, we should at any rate have died together. Just keep your noise to yourself, said the old woman, it won't help you at all.

Early in the morning, Gretel had to go out and hang up the cauldron with the water, and light the fire. We will bake first, said the old woman, I have already heated the oven, and kneaded the dough. She pushed poor Gretel out to the oven, from which flames of fire were already darting. Creep in, said the witch, and see if it properly heated, so that we can put the bread in. And once Gretel was inside, she intended to shut the oven and let her bake in it, and then she would eat her, too. But Gretel saw what she had in mind, and said, I do not know how I am to do it. How do I get in. Silly goose, said the old woman, the door is big enough. Just look, I can get in myself, and she crept up and thrust her head into the oven. Then Gretel gave her a push that drove her far into it, and shut the iron door, and fastened the bolt. Oh. Then she began to howl quite horribly, but Gretel ran away, and the godless witch was miserably burnt to death. Gretel, however, ran like lightning to Hansel, opened his little stable, and cried, Hansel, we are saved. The old witch is dead. Then Hansel sprang like a bird from its cage when the door is opened. How they did rejoice and embrace each other, and dance about and kiss each other. And as they had no longer any need to fear her, they went into the witch's house, and in every corner there stood chests full of pearls and jewels. These are far better than pebbles. Said Hansel, and thrust into his pockets whatever could be got in, and Gretel said, I, too, will take something home with me, and filled her pinafore full. But now we must be off, said Hansel, that we may get out of the witch's forest.

When they had walked for two hours, they came to a great stretch of water. We cannot cross, said Hansel, I see no foot-plank, and no bridge. And there is also no ferry, answered Gretel, but a white duck is swimming there. If I ask her, she will help us over. Then she cried - little duck, little duck, dost thou see, Hansel and Gretel are waiting for thee. There's never a plank, or bridge in sight, take us across on thy back so white. The duck came to them, and Hansel seated himself on its back, and told his sister to sit by him. No, replied Gretel, that will be too heavy for the little duck. She shall take us across, one after the other. The good little duck did so, and when they were once safely across and had walked for a short time, the forest seemed to be more and more familiar to them, and at length they saw from afar their father's house. Then they began to run, rushed into the parlor, and threw themselves round their father's neck. The man had not known one happy hour since he had left the children in the forest. The woman, however, was dead. Gretel emptied her pinafore until pearls and precious stones ran about the room, and Hansel threw one handful after another out of his pocket to add to them. Then all anxiety was at an end, and they lived together in perfect happiness. My tale is done, there runs a mouse, whosoever catches it, may make himself a big fur cap out of it.

 

The Three Snake-Leaves

There was once on a time a poor man, who could no longer support his only son. Then said the son, dear father, things go so badly with us that I am a burden to you. I would rather go away and see how I can earn my bread. So the father gave him his blessing, and with great sorrow took leave of him. At this time the king of a mighty empire was at war and the youth took service with him, and went out to fight. And when he came before the enemy, there was a battle, and great danger, and it rained shot until his comrades fell on all sides, and when the leader also was killed, those left were about to take flight, but the youth stepped forth, spoke boldly to them, and cried, we will not let our father-land be ruined. Then the others followed him, and he pressed on and conquered the enemy. When the king heard that he owed the victory to him alone, he raised him above all the others, gave him great treasures, and made him the first in the kingdom.

The king had a daughter who was very beautiful, but she was also very strange. She had made a vow to take no one as her lord and husband who did not promise to let himself be buried alive with her if she died first. If he loves me with all his heart, said she, of what use will life be to him afterwards. On her side she would do the same, and if he died first, would go down to the grave with him. This strange oath had up to this time frightened away all wooers, but the youth became so charmed with her beauty that he cared for nothing, but asked her father for her. But do you know what you must promise, said the king. I must be buried with her, he replied, if I outlive her, but my love is so great that I do not mind the danger. Then the king consented, and the wedding was solemnized with great splendor.

They lived now for a while happy and contented with each other, and then it befell that the young queen was attacked by a severe illness, and no physician could save her. And as she lay there dead, the young king remembered what he had been obliged to promise, and was horrified at having to lie down alive in the grave, but there was no escape. The king had placed sentries at all the gates, and it was not possible to avoid his fate. As the day came when the corpse was to be buried, he was taken down with it into the royal vault and then the door was shut and bolted.

Near the coffin stood a table on which were four candles, four loaves of bread, and four bottles of wine, and when this provision came to an end, he would have to die of hunger. And now he sat there full of pain and grief, ate every day only a little piece of bread, drank only a mouthful of wine, and nevertheless saw death daily drawing nearer. Whilst he thus gazed before him, he saw a snake creep out of a corner of the vault and approach the dead body. And as he thought it came to gnaw at it, he drew his sword and said, as long as I live, you shall not touch her, and hewed the snake in three pieces. After a time a second snake crept out of the hole, and when it saw the other lying dead and cut in pieces, it went back, but soon came again with three green leaves in its mouth. Then it took the three pieces of the snake, laid them together, as they fitted, and placed one of the leaves on each wound. Immediately the severed parts joined themselves together, the snake moved, and became alive again, and both of them hastened away together. The leaves were left lying on the ground, and a desire came into the mind of the unhappy man who had been watching all this, to know if the wondrous power of the leaves which had brought the snake to life again, could not likewise be of service to a human being.

So he picked up the leaves and laid one of them on the mouth of his dead wife, and the two others on her eyes. And hardly had he done this than the blood stirred in her veins, rose into her pale face, and colored it again. Then she drew breath, opened her eyes, and said, ah, God, where am I. You are with me, dear wife, he answered, and told her how everything had happened, and how he had brought her back again to life. Then he gave her some wine and bread, and when she had regained her strength, he raised her up and they went to the door and knocked, and called so loudly that the sentries heard it, and told the king. The king came down himself and opened the door, and there he found both strong and well, and rejoiced with them that now all sorrow was over. The young king, however, took the three snake-leaves with him, gave them to a servant and said, keep them for me carefully, and carry them constantly about you. Who knows in what trouble they may yet be of service to us.

But a change had taken place in his wife. After she had been restored to life, it seemed as if all love for her husband had gone out of her heart. After some time, when he wanted to make a voyage over the sea, to visit his old father, and they had gone on board a ship, she forgot the great love and fidelity which he had shown her, and which had been the means of rescuing her from death, and conceived a wicked inclination for the skipper. And once when the young king lay there asleep, she called in the skipper and seized the sleeper by the head, and the skipper took him by the feet, and thus they threw him down into the sea. When the shameful deed was done, she said, now let us return home, and say that he died on the way. I will extol and praise you so to my father that he will marry me to you, and make you the heir to his crown. But the faithful servant who had seen all that they did, unseen by them, unfastened a little boat from the ship, got into it, sailed after his master, and let the traitors go on their way. He fished up the dead body, and by the help of the three snake-leaves which he carried about with him, and laid on the eyes and mouth, he fortunately brought the young king back to life.

They both rowed with all their strength day and night, and their little boat sailed so swiftly that they reached the old king before the others. He was astonished when he saw them come alone, and asked what had happened to them. When he learnt the wickedness of his daughter he said, I cannot believe that she has behaved so ill, but the truth will soon come to light, and bade both go into a secret chamber and keep themselves hidden from everyone. Soon afterwards the great ship came sailing in, and the godless woman appeared before her father with a troubled countenance. He said, why do you come back alone. Where is your husband. Ah, dear father, she replied, I come home again in great grief. During the voyage, my husband became suddenly ill and died, and if the good skipper had not given me his help, it would have gone ill with me. He was present at his death, and can tell you all. The king said, I will make the dead alive again, and opened the chamber, and bade the two come out. When the woman saw her husband, she was thunderstruck, and fell on her knees and begged for mercy.

The king said, there is no mercy. He was ready to die with you and restored you to life again, but you have murdered him in his sleep, and shall receive the reward that you deserve. Then she was placed with her accomplice in a ship which had been pierced with holes, and sent out to sea, where they soon sank amid the waves.

 

The White Snake

A long time ago there lived a king who was famed for his wisdom through all the land. Nothing was hidden from him, and it seemed as if news of the most secret things was brought to him through the air. But he had a strange custom, every day after dinner, when the table was cleared, and no one else was present, a trusty servant had to bring him one more dish. It was covered, however, and even the servant did not know what was in it, neither did anyone know, for the king never took off the cover to eat of it until he was quite alone. This had gone on for a long time, when one day the servant, who took away the dish, was overcome with such curiosity that he could not help carrying the dish into his room. When he had carefully locked the door, he lifted up the cover, and saw a white snake lying on the dish. But when he saw it he could not deny himself the pleasure of tasting it, so he cut off a little bit and put it into his mouth. No sooner had it touched his tongue than he heard a strange whispering of little voices outside his window. He went and listened, and then noticed that it was the sparrows who were chattering together, and telling one another of all kinds of things which they had seen in the fields and woods. Eating the snake had given him power of understanding the language of animals. Now it so happened that on this very day the queen lost her most beautiful ring, and suspicion of having stolen it fell upon this trusty servant, who was allowed to go everywhere. The king ordered the man to be brought before him, and threatened with angry words that unless he could before the morrow point out the thief, he himself should be looked upon as guilty and executed. In vain he declared his innocence, he was dismissed with no better answer. In his trouble and fear he went down into the courtyard and took thought how to help himself out of his trouble. Now some ducks were sitting together quietly by a brook and taking their rest, and, whilst they were making their feathers smooth with their bills, they were having a confidential conversation together. The servant stood by and listened. They were telling one another of all the places where they had been waddling about all the morning, and what good food they had found, and one said in a pitiful tone, something lies heavy on my stomach, as I was eating in haste I swallowed a ring which lay under the queen's window. The servant at once seized her by the neck, carried her to the kitchen, and said to the cook, here is a fine duck, pray, kill her. Yes, said the cook, and weighed her in his hand, she has spared no trouble to fatten herself, and has been waiting to be roasted long enough. So he cut off her head, and as she was being dressed for the spit, the queen's ring was found inside her. The servant could now easily prove his innocence, and the king, to make amends for the wrong, allowed him to ask a favor, and promised him the best place in the court that he could wish for. The servant refused everything, and only asked for a horse and some money for traveling, as he had a mind to see the world and go about a little. When his request was granted he set out on his way, and one day came to a pond, where he saw three fishes caught in the reeds and gasping for water. Now, though it is said that fishes are dumb, he heard them lamenting that they must perish so miserably, and, as he had a kind heart, he got off his horse and put the three prisoners back into the water. They leapt with delight, put out their heads, and cried to him, we will remember you and repay you for saving us. He rode on, and after a while it seemed to him that he heard a voice in the sand at his feet. He listened, and heard an ant-king complain, why cannot folks, with their clumsy beasts, keep off our bodies. That stupid horse, with his heavy hoofs, has been treading down my people without mercy. So he turned on to a side path and the ant-king cried out to him, we will remember you - one good turn deserves another. The path led him into a wood, and here he saw two old ravens standing by their nest, and throwing out their young ones. Out with you, you idle, good-for-nothing creatures, cried they, we cannot find food for you any longer, you are big enough, and can provide for yourselves. But the poor young ravens lay upon the ground, flapping their wings, and crying, oh, what helpless chicks we are. We must shift for ourselves, and yet we cannot fly. What can we do, but lie here and starve. So the good young fellow alighted and killed his horse with his sword, and gave it to them for food. Then they came hopping up to it, satisfied their hunger, and cried, we will remember you - one good turn deserves another. And now he had to use his own legs, and when he had walked a long way, he came to a large city. There was a great noise and crowd in the streets, and a man rode up on horseback, crying aloud, the king's daughter wants a husband, but whoever seeks her hand must perform a hard task, and if he does not succeed he will forfeit his life. Many had already made the attempt, but in vain, nevertheless when the youth saw the king's daughter he was so overcome by her great beauty that he forgot all danger, went before the king, and declared himself a suitor. So he was led out to the sea, and a gold ring was thrown into it, before his eyes, then the king ordered him to fetch this ring up from the bottom of the sea, and added, if you come up again without it you will be thrown in again and again until you perish amid the waves. All the people grieved for the handsome youth, then they went away, leaving him alone by the sea. He stood on the shore and considered what he should do, when suddenly he saw three fishes come swimming towards him, and they were the very fishes whose lives he had saved. The one in the middle held a mussel in its mouth, which it laid on the shore at the youth's feet, and when he had taken it up and opened it, there lay the gold ring in the shell. Full of joy he took it to the king, and expected that he would grant him the promised reward. But when the proud princess perceived that he was not her equal in birth, she scorned him, and required him first to perform another task. She went down into the garden and strewed with her own hands ten sacks-full of millet-seed on the grass, then she said, tomorrow morning before sunrise these must be picked up, and not a single grain be wanting. The youth sat down in the garden and considered how it might be possible to perform this task, but he could think of nothing, and there he sat sorrowfully awaiting the break of day, when he should be led to death. But as soon as the first rays of the sun shone into the garden he saw all the ten sacks standing side by side, quite full, and not a single grain was missing. The ant-king had come in the night with thousands and thousands of ants, and the grateful creatures had by great industry picked up all the millet-seed and gathered them into the sacks. Presently the king's daughter herself came down into the garden, and was amazed to see that the young man had done the task she had given him. But she could not yet conquer her proud heart, and said, although he has performed both the tasks, he shall not be my husband until he has brought me an apple from the tree of life. The youth did not know where the tree of life stood, but he set out, and would have gone on for ever, as long as his legs would carry him, though he had no hope of finding it. After he had wandered through three kingdoms, he came one evening to a wood, and lay down under a tree to sleep. But he heard a rustling in the branches, and a golden apple fell into his hand. At the same time three ravens flew down to him, perched themselves upon his knee, and said, we are the three young ravens whom you saved from starving, when we had grown big, and heard that you were seeking the golden apple, we flew over the sea to the end of the world, where the tree of life stands, and have brought you the apple. The youth, full of joy, set out homewards, and took the golden apple to the king's beautiful daughter, who had no more excuses left to make. They cut the apple of life in two and ate it together, and then her heart became full of love for him, and they lived in undisturbed happiness to a great age.

 

The Valiant Little Tailor

One summer's morning a little tailor was sitting on his table by the window, he was in good spirits, and sewed with all his might. Then came a peasant woman down the street crying, good jams, cheap. Good jams, cheap. This rang pleasantly in the tailor's ears, he stretched his delicate head out of the window, and called, come up here, dear woman, here you will get rid of your goods. The woman came up the three steps to the tailor with her heavy basket, and he made her unpack all the pots for him. He inspected each one, lifted it up, put his nose to it, and at length said, the jam seems to me to be good, so weigh me out four ounces, dear woman, and if it is a quarter of a pound that is of no consequence. The woman who had hoped to find a good sale, gave him what he desired, but went away quite angry and grumbling. Now, this jam shall be blessed by God, cried the little tailor, and give me health and strength. So he brought the bread out of the cupboard, cut himself a piece right across the loaf and spread the jam over it. This won't taste bitter, said he, but I will just finish the jacket before I take a bite. He laid the bread near him, sewed on, and in his joy, made bigger and bigger stitches. In the meantime the smell of the sweet jam rose to where the flies were sitting in great numbers, and they were attracted and descended on it in hosts. HI, who invited you, said the little tailor, and drove the unbidden guests away. The flies, however, who understood no german, would not be turned away, but came back again in ever-increasing companies. The little tailor at last lost all patience, and drew a piece of cloth from the hole under his work-table, and saying, wait, and I will give it to you, struck it mercilessly on them. When he drew it away and counted, there lay before him no fewer than seven, dead and with legs stretched out. Are you a fellow of that sort, said he, and could not help admiring his own bravery. The whole town shall know of this. And the little tailor hastened to cut himself a girdle, stitched it, and embroidered on it in large letters, seven at one stroke. What, the town, he continued, the whole world shall hear of it. And his heart wagged with joy like a lamb's tail. The tailor put on the girdle, and resolved to go forth into the world, because he thought his workshop was too small for his valor. Before he went away, he sought about in the house to see if there was anything which he could take with him, however, he found nothing but an old cheese, and that he put in his pocket. In front of the door he observed a bird which had caught itself in the thicket. It had to go into his pocket with the cheese. Now he took to the road boldly, and as he was light and nimble, he felt no fatigue. The road led him up a mountain, and when he had reached the highest point of it, there sat a powerful giant looking peacefully about him. The little tailor went bravely up, spoke to him, and said, good day, comrade, so you are sitting there overlooking the wide-spread world. I am just on my way thither, and want to try my luck. Have you any inclination to go with me. The giant looked contemptuously at the tailor, and said, you ragamuffin. You miserable creature. Oh, indeed, answered the little tailor, and unbuttoned his coat, and showed the giant the girdle, there may you read what kind of a man I am. The giant read, seven at one stroke. And thought that they had been men whom the tailor had killed, and began to feel a little respect for the tiny fellow. Nevertheless, he wished to try him first, and took a stone in his hand and squeezed it together so that water dropped out of it. Do that likewise, said the giant, if you have strength. Is that all, said the tailor, that is child's play with us, and put his hand into his pocket, brought out the soft cheese, and pressed it until the liquid ran out of it. Faith, said he, that was a little better, wasn't it. The giant did not know what to say, and could not believe it of the little man. Then the giant picked up a stone and threw it so high that the eye could scarcely follow it. Now, little mite of a man, do that likewise. Well thrown, said the tailor, but after all the stone came down to earth again, I will throw you one which shall never come back at all. And he put his hand into his pocket, took out the bird, and threw it into the air. The bird, delighted with its liberty, rose, flew away and did not come back. How does that shot please you, comrade, asked the tailor. You can certainly throw, said the giant, but now we will see if you are able to carry anything properly. He took the little tailor to a mighty oak tree which lay there felled on the ground, and said, if you are strong enough, help me to carry the tree out of the forest. Readily, answered the little man, take the trunk on your shoulders, and I will raise up the branches and twigs, after all, they are the heaviest. The giant took the trunk on his shoulder, but the tailor seated himself on a branch, and the giant who could not look round, had to carry away the whole tree, and the little tailor into the bargain, he behind, was quite merry and happy, and whistled the song, three tailors rode forth from the gate, as if carrying the tree were child's play. The giant, after he had dragged the heavy burden part of the way, could go no further, and cried, hark you, I shall have to let the tree fall. The tailor sprang nimbly down, seized the tree with both arms as if he had been carrying it, and said to the giant, you are such a great fellow, and yet can not even carry the tree. They went on together, and as they passed a cherry-tree, the giant laid hold of the top of the tree where the ripest fruit was hanging, bent it down, gave it into the tailor's hand, and bade him eat. But the little tailor was much too weak to hold the tree, and when the giant let it go, it sprang back again, and the tailor was tossed into the air with it. When he had fallen down again without injury, the giant said, what is this. Have you not strength enough to hold the weak twig. There is no lack of strength, answered the little tailor. Do you think that could be anything to a man who has struck down seven at one blow. I leapt over the tree because the huntsmen are shooting down there in the thicket. Jump as I did, if you can do it. The giant made the attempt, but could not get over the tree, and remained hanging in the branches, so that in this also the tailor kept the upper hand. The giant said, if you are such a valiant fellow, come with me into our cavern and spend the night with us. The little tailor was willing, and followed him. When they went into the cave, other giants were sitting there by the fire, and each of them had a roasted sheep in his hand and was eating it. The little tailor looked round and thought, it is much more spacious here than in my workshop. The giant showed him a bed, and said he was to lie down in it and sleep. The bed, however, was too big for the little tailor, he did not lie down in it, but crept into a corner. When it was midnight, and the giant thought that the little tailor was lying in a sound sleep, he got up, took a great iron bar, cut through the bed with one blow, and thought he had finished off the grasshopper for good. With the earliest dawn the giants went into the forest, and had quite forgotten the little tailor, when all at once he walked up to them quite merrily and boldly. The giants were terrified, they were afraid that he would strike them all dead, and ran away in a great hurry. The little tailor went onwards, always following his own pointed nose. After he had walked for a long time, he came to the courtyard of a royal palace, and as he felt weary, he lay down on the grass and fell asleep. Whilst he lay there, the people came and inspected him on all sides, and read on his girdle, seven at one stroke. Ah, said they, what does the great warrior here in the midst of peace. He must be a mighty lord. They went and announced him to the king, and gave it as their opinion that if war should break out, this would be a weighty and useful man who ought on no account to be allowed to depart. The counsel pleased the king, and he sent one of his courtiers to the little tailor to offer him military service when he awoke. The ambassador remained standing by the sleeper, waited until he stretched his limbs and opened his eyes, and then conveyed to him this proposal. For this reason have I come here, the tailor replied, I am ready to enter the king's service. He was therefore honorably received and a special dwelling was assigned him. The soldiers, however, were set against the little tailor, and wished him a thousand miles away. What is to be the end of this, they said among themselves. If we quarrel with him, and he strikes about him, seven of us will fall at every blow, not one of us can stand against him. They came therefore to a decision, betook themselves in a body to the king, and begged for their dismissal. We are not prepared, said they, to stay with a man who kills seven at one stroke. The king was sorry that for the sake of one he should lose all his faithful servants, wished that he had never set eyes on the tailor, and would willingly have been rid of him again. But he did not venture to give him his dismissal, for he dreaded lest he should strike him and all his people dead, and place himself on the royal throne. He thought about it for a long time, and at last found good counsel. He sent to the little tailor and caused him to be informed that as he was such a great warrior, he had one request to make of him. In a forest of his country lived two giants who caused great mischief with their robbing, murdering, ravaging, and burning, and no one could approach them without putting himself in danger of death. If the tailor conquered and killed these two giants, he would give him his only daughter to wife, and half of his kingdom as a dowry, likewise one hundred horsemen should go with him to assist him. That would indeed be a fine thing for a man like me, thought the little tailor. One is not offered a beautiful princess and half a kingdom every day of one's life. Oh, yes, he replied, I will soon subdue the giants, and do not require the help of the hundred horsemen to do it, he who can hit seven with one blow has no need to be afraid of two. The little tailor went forth, and the hundred horsemen followed him. When he came to the outskirts of the forest, he said to his followers, just stay waiting here, I alone will soon finish off the giants. Then he bounded into the forest and looked about right and left. After a while he perceived both giants. They lay sleeping under a tree, and snored so that the branches waved up and down. The little tailor, not idle, gathered two pocketsful of stones, and with these climbed up the tree. When he was half-way up, he slipped down by a branch, until he sat just above the sleepers, and then let one stone after another fall on the breast of one of the giants. For a long time the giant felt nothing, but at last he awoke, pushed his comrade, and said, why are you knocking me. You must be dreaming, said the other, I am not knocking you. They laid themselves down to sleep again, and then the tailor threw a stone down on the second. What is the meaning of this, cried the other. Why are you pelting me. I am not pelting you, answered the first, growling. They disputed about it for a time, but as they were weary they let the matter rest, and their eyes closed once more. The little tailor began his game again, picked out the biggest stone, and threw it with all his might on the breast of the first giant. That is too bad, cried he, and sprang up like a madman, and pushed his companion against the tree until it shook. The other paid him back in the same coin, and they got into such a rage that they tore up trees and belabored each other so long, that at last they both fell down dead on the ground at the same time. Then the little tailor leapt down. It is a lucky thing, said he, that they did not tear up the tree on which I was sitting, or I should have had to spring on to another like a squirrel, but we tailors are nimble. He drew out his sword and gave each of them a couple of thrusts in the breast, and then went out to the horsemen and said, the work is done, I have finished both of them off, but it was hard work. They tore up trees in their sore need, and defended themselves with them, but all that is to no purpose when a man like myself comes, who can kill seven at one blow. But you are not wounded, asked the horsemen. You need not concern yourself about that, answered the tailor, they have not bent one hair of mine. The horsemen would not believe him, and rode into the forest, there they found the giants swimming in their blood, and all round about lay the torn-up trees. The little tailor demanded of the king the promised reward. He, however, repented of his promise, and again bethought himself how he could get rid of the hero. Before you receive my daughter, and the half of my kingdom, said he to him, you must perform one more heroic deed. In the forest roams a unicorn which does great harm, and you must catch it first. I fear one unicorn still less than two giants. Seven at one blow, is my kind of affair. He took a rope and an axe with him, went forth into the forest, and again bade those who were sent with him to wait outside. He had not long to seek. The unicorn soon came towards him, and rushed directly on the tailor, as if it would gore him with its horn without more ado. Softly, softly, it can't be done as quickly as that, said he, and stood still and waited until the animal was quite close, and then sprang nimbly behind the tree. The unicorn ran against the tree with all its strength, and struck its horn so fast in the trunk that it had not strength enough to draw it out again, and thus it was caught. Now, I have got the bird, said the tailor, and came out from behind the tree and put the rope round its neck, and then with his axe he hewed the horn out of the tree, and when all was ready he led the beast away and took it to the king. The king still would not give him the promised reward, and made a third demand. Before the wedding the tailor was to catch him a wild boar that made great havoc in the forest, and the huntsmen should give him their help. Willingly, said the tailor, that is child's play. He did not take the huntsmen with him into the forest, and they were well pleased that he did not, for the wild boar had several times received them in such a manner that they had no inclination to lie in wait for him. When the boar perceived the tailor, it ran on him with foaming mouth and whetted tusks, and was about to throw him to the ground, but the hero fled and sprang into a chapel which was near, and up to the window at once, and in one bound out again. The boar ran in after him, but the tailor ran round outside and shut the door behind it, and then the raging beast, which was much too heavy and awkward to leap out of the window, was caught. The little tailor called the huntsmen thither that they might see the prisoner with their own eyes. The hero, however went to the king, who was now, whether he liked it or not, obliged to keep his promise, and gave him his daughter and the half of his kingdom. Had he known that it was no warlike hero, but a little tailor who was standing before him it would have gone to his heart still more than it did. The wedding was held with great magnificence and small joy, and out of a tailor a king was made. After some time the young queen heard her husband say in his dreams at night, boy, make me the doublet, and patch the pantaloons, or else I will rap the yard-measure over your ears. Then she discovered in what state of life the young lord had been born, and next morning complained of her wrongs to her father, and begged him to help her to get rid of her husband, who was nothing else but a tailor. The king comforted her and said, leave your bedroom door open this night, and my servants shall stand outside, and when he has fallen asleep shall go in, bind him, and take him on board a ship which shall carry him into the wide world. The woman was satisfied with this, but the king's armor-bearer, who had heard all, was friendly with the young lord, and informed him of the whole plot. I'll put a screw into that business, said the little tailor. At night he went to bed with his wife at the usual time, and when she thought that he had fallen asleep, she got up, opened the door, and then lay down again. The little tailor, who was only pretending to be asleep, began to cry out in a clear voice, boy, make me the doublet and patch me the pantaloons, or I will rap the yard-measure over your ears. I smote seven at one blow. I killed two giants, I brought away one unicorn and caught a wild boar, and am I to fear those who are standing outside the room. When these men heard the tailor speaking thus, they were overcome by a great dread, and ran as if the wild huntsman were behind them, and none of them would venture anything further against him. So the little tailor was and remained a king to the end of his life.

 

Cinderella

Cinderella The wife of a rich man fell sick, and as she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will always protect you, and I will look down on you from heaven and be near you. Thereupon she closed her eyes and departed. Every day the maiden went out to her mother's grave, and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white sheet over the grave, and by the time the spring sun had drawn it off again, the man had taken another wife.

The woman had brought with her into the house two daughters, who were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. Now began a bad time for the poor step-child. Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlor with us, they said. He who wants to eat bread must earn it. Out with the kitchen-wench. They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes. Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is, they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash.

Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injury - they mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the hearth in the cinders. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her cinderella. It happened that the father was once going to the fair, and he asked his two step-daughters what he should bring back for them. Beautiful dresses, said one, pearls and jewels, said the second. And you, cinderella, said he, what will you have.

Father break off for me the first branch which knocks against your hat on your way home. So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls and jewels for his two step-daughters, and on his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the branch and took it with him. When he reached home he gave his step-daughters the things which they had wished for, and to cinderella he gave the branch from the hazel-bush. Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother's grave and planted the branch on it, and wept so much that the tears fell down on it and watered it.

And it grew and became a handsome tree. Thrice a day cinderella went and sat beneath it, and wept and prayed, and a little white bird always came on the tree, and if cinderella expressed a wish, the bird threw down to her what she had wished for. It happened, however, that the king gave orders for a festival which was to last three days, and to which all the beautiful young girls in the country were invited, in order that his son might choose himself a bride.

When the two step-sisters heard that they too were to appear among the number, they were delighted, called cinderella and said, comb our hair for us, brush our shoes and fasten our buckles, for we are going to the wedding at the king's palace. Cinderella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have liked to go with them to the dance, and begged her step-mother to allow her to do so. You go, cinderella, said she, covered in dust and dirt as you are, and would go to the festival. You have no clothes and shoes, and yet would dance.

As, however, cinderella went on asking, the step-mother said at last, I have emptied a dish of lentils into the ashes for you, if you have picked them out again in two hours, you shall go with us. The maiden went through the back-door into the garden, and called, you tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick the good into the pot, the bad into the crop. Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at last all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. And the pigeons nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the rest began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good grains into the dish.

Hardly had one hour passed before they had finished, and all flew out again. Then the girl took the dish to her step-mother, and was glad, and believed that now she would be allowed to go with them to the festival. But the step-mother said, no, cinderella, you have no clothes and you can not dance. You would only be laughed at. And as cinderella wept at this, the step-mother said, if you can pick two dishes of lentils out of the ashes for me in one hour, you shall go with us.

And she thought to herself, that she most certainly cannot do again. When the step-mother had emptied the two dishes of lentils amongst the ashes, the maiden went through the back-door into the garden and cried, you tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick the good into the pot, the bad into the crop. Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen-window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at length all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes.

And the doves nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the others began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good seeds into the dishes, and before half an hour was over they had already finished, and all flew out again. Then the maiden was delighted, and believed that she might now go with them to the wedding. But the step-mother said, all this will not help.

You cannot go with us, for you have no clothes and can not dance. We should be ashamed of you. On this she turned her back on cinderella, and hurried away with her two proud daughters. As no one was now at home, cinderella went to her mother's grave beneath the hazel-tree, and cried - shiver and quiver, little tree, silver and gold throw down over me. Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver.

She put on the dress with all speed, and went to the wedding. Her step-sisters and the step-mother however did not know her, and thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought of cinderella, and believed that she was sitting at home in the dirt, picking lentils out of the ashes. The prince approached her, took her by the hand and danced with her. He would dance with no other maiden, and never let loose of her hand, and if any one else came to invite her, he said, this is my partner. She danced till it was evening, and then she wanted to go home.

But the king's son said, I will go with you and bear you company, for he wished to see to whom the beautiful maiden belonged. She escaped from him, however, and sprang into the pigeon-house. The king's son waited until her father came, and then he told him that the unknown maiden had leapt into the pigeon-house. The old man thought, can it be cinderella. And they had to bring him an axe and a pickaxe that he might hew the pigeon-house to pieces, but no one was inside it.

And when they got home cinderella lay in her dirty clothes among the ashes, and a dim little oil-lamp was burning on the mantle-piece, for cinderella had jumped quickly down from the back of the pigeon-house and had run to the little hazel-tree, and there she had taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them on the grave, and the bird had taken them away again, and then she had seated herself in the kitchen amongst the ashes in her grey gown. Next day when the festival began afresh, and her parents and the step-sisters had gone once more, cinderella went to the hazel-tree and said - shiver and quiver, my little tree, silver and gold throw down over me.

Then the bird threw down a much more beautiful dress than on the preceding day. And when cinderella appeared at the wedding in this dress, every one was astonished at her beauty. The king's son had waited until she came, and instantly took her by the hand and danced with no one but her. When others came and invited her, he said, this is my partner. When evening came she wished to leave, and the king's son followed her and wanted to see into which house she went. But she sprang away from him, and into the garden behind the house.

Therein stood a beautiful tall tree on which hung the most magnificent pears. She clambered so nimbly between the branches like a squirrel that the king's son did not know where she was gone. He waited until her father came, and said to him, the unknown maiden has escaped from me, and I believe she has climbed up the pear-tree. The father thought, can it be cinderella. And had an axe brought and cut the tree down, but no one was on it.

And when they got into the kitchen, cinderella lay there among the ashes, as usual, for she had jumped down on the other side of the tree, had taken the beautiful dress to the bird on the little hazel-tree, and put on her grey gown. On the third day, when the parents and sisters had gone away, cinderella went once more to her mother's grave and said to the little tree - shiver and quiver, my little tree, silver and gold throw down over me. And now the bird threw down to her a dress which was more splendid and magnificent than any she had yet had, and the slippers were golden. And when she went to the festival in the dress, no one knew how to speak for astonishment. The king's son danced with her only, and if any one invited her to dance, he said this is my partner.

When evening came, cinderella wished to leave, and the king's son was anxious to go with her, but she escaped from him so quickly that he could not follow her. The king's son, however, had employed a ruse, and had caused the whole staircase to be smeared with pitch, and there, when she ran down, had the maiden's left slipper remained stuck. The king's son picked it up, and it was small and dainty, and all golden. Next morning, he went with it to the father, and said to him, no one shall be my wife but she whose foot this golden slipper fits. Then were the two sisters glad, for they had pretty feet. The eldest went with the shoe into her room and wanted to try it on, and her mother stood by.

But she could not get her big toe into it, and the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, cut the toe off, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot. The maiden cut the toe off, forced the foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king's son. Then he took her on his his horse as his bride and rode away with her. They were obliged, however, to pass the grave, and there, on the hazel-tree, sat the two pigeons and cried - turn and peep, turn and peep, there's blood within the shoe, the shoe it is too small for her, the true bride waits for you.

Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was trickling from it. He turned his horse round and took the false bride home again, and said she was not the true one, and that the other sister was to put the shoe on. Then this one went into her chamber and got her toes safely into the shoe, but her heel was too large. So her mother gave her a knife and said, cut a bit off your heel, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot.

The maiden cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king's son. He took her on his horse as his bride, and rode away with her, but when they passed by the hazel-tree, the two pigeons sat on it and cried - turn and peep, turn and peep, there's blood within the shoe, the shoe it is too small for her, the true bride waits for you. He looked down at her foot and saw how the blood was running out of her shoe, and how it had stained her white stocking quite red. Then he turned his horse and took the false bride home again. This also is not the right one, said he, have you no other daughter.

No, said the man, there is still a little stunted kitchen-wench which my late wife left behind her, but she cannot possibly be the bride. The king's son said he was to send her up to him, but the mother answered, oh, no, she is much too dirty, she cannot show herself. But he absolutely insisted on it, and cinderella had to be called. She first washed her hands and face clean, and then went and bowed down before the king's son, who gave her the golden shoe. Then she seated herself on a stool, drew her foot out of the heavy wooden shoe, and put it into the slipper, which fitted like a glove.

And when she rose up and the king's son looked at her face he recognized the beautiful maiden who had danced with him and cried, that is the true bride. The step-mother and the two sisters were horrified and became pale with rage, he, however, took cinderella on his horse and rode away with her.

As they passed by the hazel-tree, the two white doves cried - turn and peep, turn and peep, no blood is in the shoe, the shoe is not too small for her, the true bride rides with you, and when they had cried that, the two came flying down and placed themselves on cinderella's shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, and remained sitting there. When the wedding with the king's son was to be celebrated, the two false sisters came and wanted to get into favor with cinderella and share her good fortune.

When the betrothed couple went to church, the elder was at the right side and the younger at the left, and the pigeons pecked out one eye from each of them. Afterwards as they came back the elder was at the left, and the younger at the right, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye from each. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness all their days.

 

Little Red-Cap

Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by every one who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. Once she gave her a little cap of red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else. So she was always called little red-cap.

One day her mother said to her, come, little red-cap, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing. And when you go into her room, don't forget to say, good-morning, and don't peep into every corner before you do it.

I will take great care, said little red-cap to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as little red-cap entered the wood, a wolf met her. Red-cap did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.

"Good-day, little red-cap," said he.

"Thank you kindly, wolf."

"Whither away so early, little red-cap?"

"To my grandmother's."

"What have you got in your apron?"

"Cake and wine. Yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger."

"Where does your grandmother live, little red-cap?"

"A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood. Her house stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below. You surely must know it," replied little red-cap.

The wolf thought to himself, what a tender young creature. What a nice plump mouthful, she will be better to eat than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both. So he walked for a short time by the side of little red-cap, and then he said, "see little red-cap, how pretty the flowers are about here. Why do you not look round. I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing. You walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry."

Little red-cap raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here and there through the trees, and pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought, suppose I take grandmother a fresh nosegay. That would please her too. It is so early in the day that I shall still get there in good time. And so she ran from the path into the wood to look for flowers. And whenever she had picked one, she fancied that she saw a still prettier one farther on, and ran after it, and so got deeper and deeper into the wood.

Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother's house and knocked at the door.

"Who is there?"

"Little red-cap," replied the wolf. "She is bringing cake and wine. Open the door."

"Lift the latch," called out the grandmother, "I am too weak, and cannot get up."

The wolf lifted the latch, the door sprang open, and without saying a word he went straight to the grandmother's bed, and devoured her. Then he put on her clothes, dressed himself in her cap, laid himself in bed and drew the curtains.

Little red-cap, however, had been running about picking flowers, and when she had gathered so many that she could carry no more, she remembered her grandmother, and set out on the way to her.

She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and when she went into the room, she had such a strange feeling that she said to herself, oh dear, how uneasy I feel to-day, and at other times I like being with grandmother so much. She called out, "good morning," but received no answer. So she went to the bed and drew back the curtains. There lay her grandmother with her cap pulled far over her face, and looking very strange.

"Oh, grandmother," she said, "what big ears you have."

"The better to hear you with, my child," was the reply.

"But, grandmother, what big eyes you have," she said.

"The better to see you with," my dear.

"But, grandmother, what large hands you have."

"The better to hug you with."

"Oh, but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have."

"The better to eat you with."

And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with one bound he was out of bed and swallowed up red-cap.

When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, fell asleep and began to snore very loud. The huntsman was just passing the house, and thought to himself, how the old woman is snoring. I must just see if she wants anything.

So he went into the room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was lying in it. Do I find you here, you old sinner, said he. I have long sought you. Then just as he was going to fire at him, it occurred to him that the wolf might have devoured the grandmother, and that she might still be saved, so he did not fire, but took a pair of scissors, and began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf. When he had made two snips, he saw the little red-cap shining, and then he made two snips more, and the little girl sprang out, crying, ah, how frightened I have been. How dark it was inside the wolf. And after that the aged grandmother came out alive also, but scarcely able to breathe. Red-cap, however, quickly fetched great stones with which they filled the wolf's belly, and when he awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were so heavy that he collapsed at once, and fell dead.

Then all three were delighted. The huntsman drew off the wolf's skin and went home with it. The grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine which red-cap had brought, and revived, but red-cap thought to herself, as long as I live, I will never by myself leave the path, to run into the wood, when my mother has forbidden me to do so.

It is also related that once when red-cap was again taking cakes to the old grandmother, another wolf spoke to her, and tried to entice her from the path. Red-cap, however, was on her guard, and went straight forward on her way, and told her grandmother that she had met the wolf, and that he had said good-morning to her, but with such a wicked look in his eyes, that if they had not been on the public road she was certain he would have eaten her up. Well, said the grandmother, we will shut the door, that he may not come in. Soon afterwards the wolf knocked, and cried, open the door, grandmother, I am little red-cap, and am bringing you some cakes. But they did not speak, or open the door, so the grey-beard stole twice or thrice round the house, and at last jumped on the roof, intending to wait until red-cap went home in the evening, and then to steal after her and devour her in the darkness. But the grandmother saw what was in his thoughts. In front of the house was a great stone trough, so she said to the child, take the pail, red-cap. I made some sausages yesterday, so carry the water in which I boiled them to the trough. Red-cap carried until the great trough was quite full. Then the smell of the sausages reached the wolf, and he sniffed and peeped down, and at last stretched out his neck so far that he could no longer keep his footing and began to slip, and slipped down from the roof straight into the great trough, and was drowned. But red-cap went joyously home, and no one ever did anything to harm her again.

 

The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs

There was once a poor woman who gave birth to a little son, and as he came into the world with a caul on, it was predicted that in his fourteenth year he would have the king's daughter for his wife. It happened that soon afterwards the king came into the village, and no one knew that he was the king, and when he asked the people what news there was, they answered, a child has just been born with a caul on, whatever anyone so born undertakes turns out well. It is prophesied, too, that in his fourteenth year he will have the king's daughter for his wife.

The king, who had a bad heart, and was angry about the prophecy, went to the parents, and, seeming quite friendly, said, you poor people, let me have your child, and I will take care of it. At first they refused, but when the stranger offered them a large amount of gold for it, and they thought, it is a child of good fortune, and everything must turn out well for it, they at last consented, and gave him the child.

The king put it in a box and rode away with it until he came to a deep piece of water, then he threw the box into it and thought, I have freed my daughter from her undesired suitor.

The box, however, did not sink, but floated like a boat, and not a drop of water made its way into it. And it floated to within two miles of the king's chief city, where there was a mill, and it came to a halt at the mill-dam. A miller's boy, who by good luck was standing there, noticed it and pulled it out with a hook, thinking that he had found a great treasure, but when he opened it there lay a pretty boy inside, quite fresh and lively. He took him to the miller and his wife, and as they had no children they were glad, and said, "God has given him to us." They took great care of the foundling, and he grew up in all goodness.

It happened that once in a storm, the king went into the mill, and asked the mill-folk if the tall youth were their son. No, answered they, he's a foundling. Fourteen years ago he floated down to the mill-dam in a box, and the mill-boy pulled him out of the water.

Then the king knew that it was none other than the child of good fortune which he had thrown into the water, and he said, my good people, could not the youth take a letter to the queen. I will give him two gold pieces as a reward. Just as the king commands, answered they, and they told the boy to hold himself in readiness. Then the king wrote a letter to the queen, wherein he said, as soon as the boy arrives with this letter, let him be killed and buried, and all must be done before I come home. The boy set out with this letter, but he lost his way, and in the evening came to a large forest. In the darkness he saw a small light, he went towards it and reached a cottage. When he went in, an old woman was sitting by the fire quite alone. She started when she saw the boy, and said, whence do you come, and whither are you going. I come from the mill, he answered, and wish to go to the queen, to whom I am taking a letter, but as I have lost my way in the forest I should like to stay here over night. You poor boy, said the woman, you have come into a den of thieves, and when they come home they will kill you. Let them come, said the boy, I am not afraid, but I am so tired that I cannot go any farther. And he stretched himself upon a bench and fell asleep.

Soon afterwards the robbers came, and angrily asked what strange boy was lying there. Ah, said the old woman, it is an innocent child who has lost himself in the forest, and out of pity I have let him come in, he has to take a letter to the queen. The robbers opened the letter and read it, and in it was written that the boy as soon as he arrived should be put to death. Then the hardhearted robbers felt pity, and their leader tore up the letter and wrote another, saying, that as soon as the boy came, he should be married at once to the king's daughter. Then they let him lie quietly on the bench until the next morning, and when he awoke they gave him the letter, and showed him the right way.

And the queen, when she had received the letter and read it, did as was written in it, and had a splendid wedding-feast prepared, and the king's daughter was married to the child of good fortune, and as the youth was handsome and friendly she lived with him in joy and contentment.

After some time the king returned to his palace and saw that the prophecy was fulfilled, and the child married to his daughter. How has that come to pass, said he, I gave quite another order in my letter.

So the queen gave him the letter, and said that he might see for himself what was written in it. The king read the letter and saw quite well that it had been exchanged for the other. He asked the youth what had become of the letter entrusted to him, and why he had brought another instead of it. I know nothing about it, answered he, it must have been changed in the night, when I slept in the forest. The king said in a passion, you shall not have everything quite so much your own way, whosoever marries my daughter must fetch me from hell three golden hairs from the head of the devil, bring me what I want, and you shall keep my daughter. In this way the king hoped to be rid of him for ever. But the child of good fortune answered, I will fetch the golden hairs, I am not afraid of the devil. Whereupon he took leave of them and began his journey.

The road led him to a large town, where the watchman by the gates asked him what his trade was, and what he knew. I know everything, answered the child of good fortune. Then you can do us a favor, said the watchman, if you will tell us why our market fountain, which once flowed with wine has become dry, and no longer gives even water. That you shall know, answered he, only wait until I come back.

Then he went farther and came to another town, and there also the gatekeeper asked him what was his trade, and what he knew. I know everything, answered he. Then you can do us a favor and tell us why a tree in our town which once bore golden apples now does not even put forth leaves. You shall know that, answered he, only wait until I come back.

Then he went on and came to a wide river over which he must cross. The ferryman asked him what his trade was, and what he knew. I know everything, answered he. Then you can do me a favor, said the ferryman, and tell me why I must always be rowing backwards and forwards, and am never set free. You shall know that, answered he, only wait until I come back.

When he had crossed the water he found the entrance to hell. It was black and sooty within, and the devil was not at home, but his grandmother was sitting in a large arm-chair. What do you want, said she to him, but she did not look so very wicked. I should like to have three golden hairs from the devil's head, answered he, else I cannot keep my wife. That is a good deal to ask for, said she, if the devil comes home and finds you, it will cost you your life, but as I pity you, I will see if I cannot help you.

She changed him into an ant and said, creep into the folds of my dress, you will be safe there. Yes, answered he, so far, so good, but there are three things besides that I want to know - why a fountain which once flowed with wine has become dry, and no longer gives even water, why a tree which once bore golden apples does not even put forth leaves, and why a ferryman must always be going backwards and forwards, and is never set free. Those are difficult questions, answered she, but just be silent and quiet and pay attention to what the devil says when I pull out the three golden hairs.

As the evening came on, the devil returned home. No sooner had he entered than he noticed that the air was not pure. I smell man's flesh, said he, all is not right here. Then he pried into every corner, and searched, but could not find anything. His grandmother scolded him. It has just been swept, said she, and everything put in order, and now you are upsetting it again, you have always got man's flesh in your nose. Sit down and eat your supper.

When he had eaten and drunk he was tired, and laid his head in his grandmother's lap, and told her she should louse him a little. It was not long before he was fast asleep, snoring and breathing heavily. Then the old woman took hold of a golden hair, pulled it out, and laid it down beside her. Oh, cried the devil, what are you doing. I have had a bad dream, answered the grandmother, so I seized hold of your hair. What did you dream then, said the devil. I dreamt that a fountain in a market-place from which wine once flowed was dried up, and not even water would flow out of it - what is the cause of it. Oh, ho, if they did but know it, answered the devil, there is a toad sitting under a stone in the well - if they killed it, the wine would flow again.

The grandmother loused him again until he went to sleep and snored so that the windows shook. Then she pulled the second hair out. Ha, what are you doing, cried the devil angrily. Do not take it ill, said she, I did it in a dream. What have you dreamt this time, asked he. I dreamt that in a certain kingdom there stood an apple-tree which had once borne golden apples, but now would not even bear leaves. What, think you, was the reason. Oh, if they did but know, answered the devil. A mouse is gnawing at the root - if they killed it they would have golden apples again, but if it gnaws much longer the tree will wither altogether. But I have had enough of your dreams, if you disturb me in my sleep again you will get a box on the ear.

The grandmother spoke gently to him and picked his lice once more until he fell asleep and snored. Then she took hold of the third golden hair and pulled it out. The devil jumped up, roared out, and would have treated her ill if she had not quieted him again and said, who can help bad dreams. What was the dream, then, asked he, and was quite curious. I dreamt of a ferryman who complained that he must always ferry from one side to the other, and was never released. What is the cause of it. Ah, the fool, answered the devil, when anyone comes and wants to go across he must put the oar in his hand, and the other man will have to ferry and he will be free. As the grandmother had plucked out the three golden hairs, and the three questions were answered, she let the old devil alone, and he slept until daybreak.

When the devil had gone out again the old woman took the ant out of the folds of her dress, and gave the child of good fortune his human shape again. There are the three golden hairs for you, said she. What the devil said to your three questions, I suppose you heard. Yes, answered he, I heard, and will take care to remember. You have what you want, said she, and now you can go your way. He thanked the old woman for helping him in his need, and left hell well content that everything had turned out so fortunately.

When he came to the ferryman he was expected to give the promised answer. Ferry me across first, said the child of good fortune, and then I will tell you how you can be set free, and when he reached the opposite shore he gave him the devil's advice. Next time anyone comes, who wants to be ferried over, just put the oar in his hand.

He went on and came to the town wherein stood the unfruitful tree, and there too the watchman wanted an answer. So he told him what he had heard from the devil. Kill the mouse which is gnawing at its root, and it will again bear golden apples. Then the watchman thanked him, and gave him as a reward two asses laden with gold, which followed him.

Finally, he came to the town whose well was dry. He told the watchman what the devil had said, a toad is in the well beneath a stone, you must find it and kill it, and the well will again give wine in plenty. The watchman thanked him, and also gave him two asses laden with gold.

At last the child of good fortune got home to his wife, who was heartily glad to see him again, and to hear how well he had prospered in everything. To the king he took what he had asked for, the devil's three golden hairs, and when the king saw the four asses laden with gold he was quite content, and said, now all the conditions are fulfilled, and you can keep my daughter.

But tell me, dear son-in-law, where did all that gold come from - this is tremendous wealth. I was rowed across a river, answered he, and got it there, it lies on the shore instead of sand. Can I too fetch some of it, said the king, and he was quite eager about it. As much as you like, answered he. There is a ferryman on the river, let him ferry you over, and you can fill your sacks on the other side. The greedy king set out in all haste, and when he came to the river he beckoned to the ferryman to put him across. The ferryman came and bade him get in, and when they got to the other shore he put the oar in his hand and sprang over. But from this time forth the king had to ferry, as a punishment for his sins. Perhaps he is ferrying still. If he is, it is because no one has taken the oar from him.

 

The Girl Without Hands

A certain miller had little by little fallen into poverty, and had nothing left but his mill and a large apple-tree behind it. Once when he had gone into the forest to fetch wood, an old man stepped up to him whom he had never seen before, and said, why do you plague yourself with cutting wood, I will make you rich, if you will promise me what is standing behind your mill. What can that be but my apple-tree, thought the miller, and said, yes, and gave a written promise to the stranger. He, however, laughed mockingly and said, when three years have passed, I will come and carry away what belongs to me, and then he went. When the miller got home, his wife came to meet him and said, tell me, miller, from whence comes this sudden wealth into our house. All at once every box and chest was filled, no one brought it in, and I know not how it happened. He answered, it comes from a stranger who met me in the forest, and promised me great treasure. I' in return, have promised him what stands behind the mill - we can very well give him the big apple-tree for it. Ah, husband, said the terrified wife, that must have been the devil. He did not mean the apple-tree, but our daughter, who was standing behind the mill sweeping the yard.

The miller's daughter was a beautiful, pious girl, and lived through the three years in the fear of God and without sin. When therefore the time was over, and the day came when the evil one was to fetch her, she washed herself clean, and made a circle round herself with chalk. The devil appeared quite early, but he could not come near to her. Angrily, he said to the miller, take all water away from her, that she may no longer be able to wash herself, for otherwise I have no power over her. The miller was afraid, and did so. The next morning the devil came again, but she had wept on her hands, and they were quite clean. Again he could not get near her, and furiously said to the miller, cut her hands off, or else I have no power over her. The miller was shocked and answered, how could I cut off my own child's hands. Then the evil one threatened him and said, if you do not do it you are mine, and I will take you yourself.

The father became alarmed, and promised to obey him. So he went to the girl and said, my child, if I do not cut off both your hands, the devil will carry me away, and in my terror I have promised to do it. Help me in my need, and forgive me the harm I do you. She replied, dear father, do with me what you will, I am your child. Thereupon she laid down both her hands, and let them be cut off. The devil came for the third time, but she had wept so long and so much on the stumps, that after all they were quite clean. Then he had to give in, and had lost all right over her.

The miller said to her, I have by means of you received such great wealth that I will keep you most handsomely as long as you live. But she replied, here I cannot stay, I will go forth, compassionate people will give me as much as I require.

Thereupon she caused her maimed arms to be bound to her back, and by sunrise she set out on her way, and walked the whole day until night fell. Then she came to a royal garden, and by the shimmering of the moon she saw that trees covered with beautiful fruits grew in it, but she could not enter, for it was surrounded by water. And as she had walked the whole day and not eaten one mouthful, and hunger tormented her, she thought, ah, if I were but inside, that I might eat of the fruit, else must I die of hunger. Then she knelt down, called on God the Lord, and prayed. And suddenly an angel came towards her, who made a dam in the water, so that the moat became dry and she could walk through it. And now she went into the garden and the angel went with her. She saw a tree covered with beautiful pears, but they were all counted. Then she went to them, and to still her hunger, ate one with her mouth from the tree, but no more. The gardener was watching, but as the angel was standing by, he was afraid and thought the maiden was a spirit, and was silent, neither did he dare to cry out, or to speak to the spirit. When she had eaten the pear, she was satisfied, and went and concealed herself among the bushes. The king to whom the garden belonged, came down to it next morning, and counted, and saw that one of the pears was missing, and asked the gardener what had become of it, as it was not lying beneath the tree, but was gone. Then answered the gardener, last night, a spirit came in, who had no hands, and ate off one of the pears with its mouth. The king said, how did the spirit get over the water, and where did it go after it had eaten the pear. The gardener answered, someone came in a snow-white garment from heaven who made a dam, and kept back the water, that the spirit might walk through the moat. And as it must have been an angel, I was afraid, and asked no questions, and did not cry out. When the spirit had eaten the pear, it went back again. The king said, if it be as you say, I will watch with you to-night.

When it grew dark the king came into the garden and brought a priest with him, who was to speak to the spirit. All three seated themselves beneath the tree and watched. At midnight the maiden came creeping out of the thicket, went to the tree, and again ate one pear off it with her mouth, and beside her stood the angel in white garments. Then the priest went out to them and said, "Do you come from heaven or from earth? Are you a spirit, or a human being?" She replied, "I am no spirit, but an unhappy mortal deserted by all but God." The king said, "If you are forsaken by all the world, yet will I not forsake you." He took her with him into his royal palace, and as she was so beautiful and good, he loved her with all his heart, had silver hands made for her, and took her to wife.

After a year the king had to go on a journey, so he commended his young queen to the care of his mother and said, if she is brought to child-bed take care of her, nurse her well, and tell me of it at once in a letter. Then she gave birth to a fine boy. So the old mother made haste to write and announce the joyful news to him. But the messenger rested by a brook on the way, and as he was fatigued by the great distance, he fell asleep. Then came the devil, who was always seeking to injure the good queen, and exchanged the letter for another, in which was written that the queen had brought a monster into the world. When the king read the letter he was shocked and much troubled, but he wrote in answer that they were to take great care of the queen and nurse her well until his arrival.

The messenger went back with the letter, but rested at the same place and again fell asleep. Then came the devil once more, and put a different letter in his pocket, in which it was written that they were to put the queen and her child to death. The old mother was terribly shocked when she received the letter, and could not believe it. She wrote back again to the king, but received no other answer, because each time the devil substituted a false letter, and in the last letter it was also written that she was to preserve the queen's tongue and eyes as a token that she had obeyed.

But the old mother wept to think such innocent blood was to be shed, and had a hind brought by night and cut out her tongue and eyes, and kept them. Then said she to the queen, "I cannot have you killed as the king commands, but here you may stay no longer. Go forth into the wide world with your child, and never come here again." The poor woman tied her child on her back, and went away with eyes full of tears. She came into a great wild forest, and then she fell on her knees and prayed to God, and the angel of the Lord appeared to her and led her to a little house on which was a sign with the words, here all dwell free. A snow-white maiden came out of the little house and said, welcome, lady queen, and conducted her inside. Then she unbound the little boy from her back, and held him to her breast that he might feed, and laid him in a beautifully-made little bed. Then said the poor woman, "From whence do you know that I was a queen?"

The white maiden answered, "I am an angel sent by God, to watch over you and your child." The queen stayed seven years in the little house, and was well cared for, and by God's grace, because of her piety, her hands which had been cut off, grew once more.

At last the king came home again from his journey, and his first wish was to see his wife and the child. Then his aged mother began to weep and said, "You wicked man, why did you write to me that I was to take those two innocent lives," and she showed him the two letters which the evil one had forged, and then continued, "I did as you bade me, and she showed the tokens, the tongue and eyes." Then the king began to weep for his poor wife and his little son so much more bitterly than she was doing, that the aged mother had compassion on him and said, "be at peace, she still lives, I secretly caused a hind to be killed, and took these tokens from it, but I bound the child to your wife's back and bade her go forth into the wide world, and made her promise never to come back here again, because you were so angry with her." Then spoke the king, "I will go as far as the sky is blue, and will neither eat nor drink until I have found again my dear wife and my child, if in the meantime they have not been killed, or died of hunger."

Thereupon the king traveled about for seven long years, and sought her in every cleft of the rocks and in every cave, but he found her not, and thought she had died of want. During the whole time he neither ate nor drank, but God supported him. At length he came into a great forest, and found therein the little house whose sign was, here all dwell free. Then forth came the white maiden, took him by the hand, led him in, and said, "Welcome, lord king," and asked him from whence he came. He answered, "Soon shall I have traveled about for the space of seven years, and I seek my wife and her child, but cannot find them." The angel offered him meat and drink, but he did not take anything, and only wished to rest a little. Then he lay down to sleep, and laid a handkerchief over his face.

Thereupon the angel went into the chamber where the queen sat with her son, whom she usually called Sorrowful, and said to her, go out with your child, your husband has come. So she went to the place where he lay, and the handkerchief fell from his face. Then said she, "Sorrowful, pick up your father's handkerchief, and cover his face again." The child picked it up, and put it over his face again. The king in his sleep heard what passed, and had pleasure in letting the handkerchief fall once more. But the child grew impatient, and said, "Dear mother, how can I cover my father's face when I have no father in this world. I have learnt to say the prayer - Our Father, which art in heaven - you have told me that my father was in heaven, and was the good God, and how can I know a wild man like this. He is not my father." When the king heard that, he got up, and asked who they were. Then said she, "I am your wife, and that is your son, Sorrowful". And he saw her living hands, and said, "My wife had silver hands." She answered, "The good God has caused my natural hands to grow again," and the angel went into the inner room, and brought the silver hands, and showed them to him. Hereupon he knew for a certainty that it was his dear wife and his dear child, and he kissed them, and was glad, and said, "A heavy stone has fallen from off my heart." Then the angel of God ate with them once again, and after that they went home to the king's aged mother. There were great rejoicings everywhere, and the king and queen were married again, and lived contentedly to their happy end.

 

The Wishing-Table, The Gold-Ass, and The Cudgel in the Sack

There was once upon a time a tailor who had three sons, and only one goat. But as the goat supported all of them with her milk, she was obliged to have good food, and to be taken every day to pasture. The sons did this, in turn. Once the eldest took her to the churchyard, where the finest herbs were to be found, and let her eat and run about there. At night when it was time to go home he asked, goat, have you had enough. The goat answered I have eaten so much, not a leaf more I'll touch, meh. Meh.

Come home, then, said the youth, and took hold of the cord round her neck, led her into the stable and tied her up securely. Well, said the old tailor, has the goat had as much food as she ought. Oh, answered the son, she has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch. But the father wished to satisfy himself, and went down to the stable, stroked the dear animal and asked, goat, are you satisfied. The goat answered, how should I be satisfied. Among the ditches I leapt about, found no leaf, so went without, meh. Meh.

What do I hear, cried the tailor, and ran upstairs and said to the youth. HI, you liar, you said the goat had had enough, and have let her hunger, and in his anger he took the yard-measure from the wall, and drove him out with blows.

Next day it was the turn of the second son, who sought a place in the fence of the garden, where nothing but good herbs grew, and the goat gobbled them all up. At night when he wanted to go home, he asked, goat, are you satisfied. The goat answered, I have eaten so much, not a leaf more I'll touch, meh. Meh.

Come home, then, said the youth, and led her home, and tied her up in the stable. Well, said the old tailor, has the goat had as much food as she ought. Oh, answered the son, she has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch. The tailor would not rely on this, but went down to the stable and said, goat, have you had enough. The goat answered, how should I be satisfied. Among the ditches I leapt about, found no leaf, so went without, meh. Meh.

The godless wretch. Cried the tailor, to let such a good animal hunger, and he ran up and drove the youth out of doors with the yard-measure.

Now came the turn of the third son, who wanted to do his duty well, and sought out some bushes with the finest leaves, and let the goat devour them. In the evening when he wanted to go home, he asked, goat, have you had enough. The goat answered, I have eaten so much, not a leaf more I'll touch, meh. Meh.

Come home, then, said the youth, and led her into the stable, and tied her up. Well, said the old tailor, has the goat had her full share of food. She has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch. The tailor was distrustful, went down and asked, goat, have you had enough. The wicked beast answered, how should I be satisfied. Among the ditches I leapt about, found no leaf, so went without, meh. Meh.

Oh, the brood of liars, cried the tailor, each as wicked and forgetful of his duty as the other. You shall no longer make a fool of me, and quite beside himself with anger, he ran upstairs and belabored the poor young fellow so vigorously with the yard-measure that he sprang out of the house.

The old tailor was now alone with his goat. Next morning he went down into the stable, stroked the goat and said, come, my dear little animal, I myself will take you to feed. He took her by the rope and conducted her to green hedges, and amongst milfoil and whatever else goats like to eat. There you may for once eat to your heart's content, said he to her, and let her browse till evening. Then he asked, goat, are you satisfied. She replied. I have eaten so much, not a leaf more I'll touch, meh. Meh.

Come home, then, said the tailor, and led her into the stable, and tied her fast. When he was going away, he turned round again and said, well, are you satisfied for once. But the goat behaved no better to him, and cried, how should I be satisfied. Among the ditches I leapt about, found no leaf, so went without, meh. Meh.

When the tailor heard that, he was shocked, and saw clearly that he had driven away his three sons without cause. Wait, you ungrateful creature, cried he, it is not enough to drive you forth, I will brand you so that you will no more dare to show yourself amongst honest tailors. In great haste he ran upstairs, fetched his razor, lathered the goat's head, and shaved her as clean as the palm of his hand. And as the yard-measure would have been too good for her, he brought the horsewhip, and gave her such cuts with it that she bounded away with tremendous leaps.

When the tailor was thus left quite alone in his house he fell into great grief, and would gladly have had his sons back again, but no one knew whither they were gone. The eldest had apprenticed himself to a joiner, and learnt industriously and indefatigably, and when the time came for him to go traveling, his master presented him with a little table which was not particularly beautiful, and was made of common wood, but which had one good property. If anyone set it out, and said, little table, spread yourself, the good little table was at once covered with a clean little cloth, and a plate was there, and a knife and fork beside it, and dishes with boiled meats and roasted meats, as many as there was room for, and a great glass of red wine shone so that it made the heart glad. The young journeyman thought, with this you have enough for your whole life, and went joyously about the world and never troubled himself at all whether an inn was good or bad, or if anything was to be found in it or not. When it suited him he did not enter an inn at all, but either on the plain, in a wood, a meadow, or wherever he fancied, he took his little table off his back, set it down before him, and said, spread yourself, and then everything appeared that his heart desired. At length he took it into his head to go back to his father, whose anger would now be appeased, and who would now willingly receive him with his magic table. It came to pass that on his way home, he came one evening to an inn which was filled with guests. They bade him welcome, and invited him to sit and eat with them, for otherwise he would have difficulty in getting anything. No, answered the joiner, I will not take the few morsels out of your mouths. Rather than that, you shall be my guests. They laughed, and thought he was jesting with them. He but placed his wooden table in the middle of the room, and said, little table, spread yourself. Instantly it was covered with food, so good that the host could never have procured it, and the smell of it ascended pleasantly to the nostrils of the guests. Fall to, dear friends, said the joiner, and the guests when they saw that he meant it, did not need to be asked twice, but drew near, pulled out their knives and attacked it valiantly. And what surprised them the most was that when a dish became empty, a full one instantly took its place of its own accord. The innkeeper stood in one corner and watched the affair. He did not at all know what to say, but thought, you could easily find a use for such a cook as that in your household. The joiner and his comrades made merry until late into the night. At length they lay down to sleep, and the young apprentice also went to bed, and set his magic table against the wall. The host's thoughts, however, let him have no rest. It occurred to him that there was a little old table in his lumber-room which looked just like the apprentice's and he brought it out, and carefully exchanged it for the wishing table. Next morning the joiner paid for his bed, took up his table, never thinking that he had got a false one, and went his way. At mid-day he reached his father, who received him with great joy. Well, my dear son, what have you learnt. Said he to him. Father, I have become a joiner.

A good trade, replied the old man, but what have you brought back with you from your apprenticeship. Father, the best thing which I have brought back with me is this little table. The tailor inspected it on all sides and said, you did not make a masterpiece when you made that. It is a bad old table. But it is a table which furnishes itself, replied the son. When I set it out, and tell it to spread itself, the most beautiful dishes stand on it, and a wine also, which gladdens the heart. Just invite all our relations and friends, they shall refresh and enjoy themselves for once, for the table will give them all they require. When the company was assembled, he put his table in the middle of the room and said, little table, spread yourself, but the little table did not bestir itself, and remained just as bare as any other table which does not understand language. Then the poor apprentice became aware that his table had been changed, and was ashamed at having to stand there like a liar. The relations, however, mocked him, and were forced to go home without having eaten or drunk. The father brought out his patches again, and went on tailoring, but the son went to a master in the craft.

The second son had gone to a miller and had apprenticed himself to him. When his years were over, the master said, as you have conducted yourself so well, I give you an ass of a peculiar kind, which neither draws a cart nor carries a sack. What good is he, then. Asked the young apprentice. He spews forth gold, answered the miller. If you set him on a cloth and say bricklebrit, the good animal will spew forth gold pieces for you from back and front. That is a fine thing, said the apprentice, and thanked the master, and went out into the world. When he had need of gold, he had only to say bricklebrit to his ass, and it rained gold pieces, and he had nothing to do but pick them off the ground. Wheresoever he went, the best of everything was good enough for him, and the dearer the better, for he had always a full purse. When he had looked about the world for some time, he thought, you must seek out your father. If you go to him with the gold-ass he will forget his anger, and receive you well. It came to pass that he came to the same inn in which his brother's table had been exchanged. He led his ass by the bridle, and the host was about to take the animal from him and tie him up, but the young apprentice said, don't trouble yourself, I will take my grey horse into the stable, and tie him up myself too, for I must know where he stands. This struck the host as odd, and he thought that a man who was forced to look after his ass himself, could not have much to spend. But when the stranger put his hand in his pocket and brought out two gold pieces, and said he was to provide something good for him, the host opened his eyes wide, and ran and sought out the best he could muster. After dinner the guest asked what he owed. The host did not see why he should not double the reckoning, and said the apprentice must give two more gold pieces. He felt in his pocket, but his gold was just at an end. Wait an instant, sir host, said he, I will go and fetch some money. But he took the table-cloth with him. The host could not imagine what this could mean, and being curious, stole after him, and as the guest bolted the stable door, he peeped through a hole left by a knot in the wood. The stranger spread out the cloth under the animal and cried, bricklebrit, and immediately the beast began to let gold pieces fall from back and front, so that it fairly rained down money on the ground. Eh, my word, said the host, ducats are quickly coined there. A purse like that is not to be sniffed at. The guest paid his score, and went to bed, but in the night the host stole down into the stable, led away the master of the mint, and tied up another ass in his place.

Early next morning the apprentice traveled away with his ass, and thought that he had his gold-ass. At mid-day he reached his father, who rejoiced to see him again, and gladly took him in. What have you made of yourself, my son. Asked the old man. A miller, dear father, he answered. What have you brought back with you from your travels. Nothing else but an ass. There are asses enough here, said the father, I would rather have had a good goat. Yes, replied the son, but it is no common ass, but a gold-ass, when I say bricklebrit, the good beast spews forth a whole sheetful of gold pieces. Just summon all our relations hither, and I will make them rich folks. That suits me well, said the tailor, for then I shall have no need to torment myself any longer with the needle, and ran out himself and called the relations together. As soon as they were assembled, the miller bade them make way, spread out his cloth, and brought the ass into the room. Now watch, said he, and cried, bricklebrit, but what fell were not gold pieces, and it was clear that the animal knew nothing of the art, for every ass does not attain such perfection. Then the poor miller pulled a long face, saw that he was betrayed, and begged pardon of the relatives, who went home as poor as they came. There was no help for it, the old man had to betake him to his needle once more, and the youth hired himself to a miller.

The third brother had apprenticed himself to a turner, and as that is skilled labor, he was the longest in learning. His brothers, however, told him in a letter how badly things had gone with them, and how the innkeeper had cheated them of ther beautiful wishing-gifts on the last evening before they reached home. When the turner had served his time, and had to set out on his travels, as he had conducted himself so well, his master presented him with a sack and said, there is a cudgel in it. I can put on the sack, said he, and it may be of good service to me, but why should the cudgel be in it. It only makes it heavy. I will tell you why, replied the master. If anyone has done anything to injure you, do but say, out of the sack, cudgel. And the cudgel will leap forth among the people, and play such a dance on their backs that they will not be able to stir or move for a week, and it will not leave off until you say, into the sack, cudgel. The apprentice thanked him, and put the sack on his back, and when anyone came too near him, and wished to attack him, he said, out of the sack, cudgel, and instantly the cudgel sprang out, and dusted the coat or jacket of one after the other on their backs, and never stopped until it had stripped it off them, and it was done so quickly, that before anyone was aware, it was already his own turn. In the evening the young turner reached the inn where his brothers had been cheated.

He laid his sack on the table before him, and began to talk of all the wonderful things which he had seen in the world. Yes, said he, people may easily find a table which will spread itself, a gold-ass, and things of that kind - extremely good things which I by no means despise - but these are nothing in comparison with the treasure which I have won for myself, and am carrying about with me in my sack there. The innkeeper pricked up his ears. What in the world can that be. Thought he. The sack must be filled with nothing but jewels. I ought to get them cheap too, for all good things go in threes. When it was time for sleep, the guest stretched himself on the bench, and laid his sack beneath him for a pillow. When the innkeeper thought his guest was lying in a sound sleep, he went to him and pushed and pulled quite gently and carefully at the sack to see if he could possibly draw it away and lay another in its place.

The turner, however, had been waiting for this for a long time, and now just as the inn-keeper was about to give a hearty tug, he cried, out of the sack, cudgel. Instantly the little cudgel came forth, and fell on the inn-keeper and gave him a sound thrashing. The host cried for mercy. But the louder he cried, the harder the cudgel beat the time on his back, until at length he fell to the ground exhausted. Then the turner said, if you do not give back the table which spreads itself, and the gold-ass, the dance shall begin afresh. Oh, no, cried the host, quite humbly, I will gladly produce everything, only make the accursed kobold creep back into the sack. Then said the apprentice, I will let mercy take the place of justice, but beware of getting into mischief again. So he cried, into the sack, cudgel. And let him have rest.

Next morning the turner went home to his father with the wishing-table, and the gold-ass. The tailor rejoiced when he saw him once more, and asked him likewise what he had learned in foreign parts. Dear father, said he, I have become a turner. A skilled trade, said the father. What have you brought back with you from your travels.

A precious thing, dear father, replied the son, a cudgel in the sack.

What cried the father, a cudgel. That's certainly worth your trouble. From every tree you can cut yourself one. But not one like this, dear father. If I say, out of the sack, cudgel, the cudgel springs out and leads anyone ill-disposed toward me a weary dance, and never stops until he lies on the ground and prays for fair weather. Look you, with this cudgel have I rescued the wishing-table and the gold-ass which the thievish innkeeper took away from my brothers. Now let them both be sent for, and invite all our kinsmen. I will give them to eat and to drink, and will fill their pockets with gold into the bargain. The old tailor had not much confidence. Nevertheless he summoned the relatives together. Then the turner spread a cloth in the room and led in the gold-ass, and said to his brother, now, dear brother, speak to him. The miller said, bricklebrit, and instantly the gold pices rained down on the cloth like a thunder-shower, and the ass did not stop until every one of them had so much that he could carry no more. - I can see by your face that you also would have liked to be there. -

Then the turner brought the little table, and said, now dear brother, speak to it. And scarcely had the carpenter said, table, spread yourself, than it was spread and amply covered with the most exquisite dishes. Then such a meal took place as the good tailor had never yet known in his house, and the whole party of kinsmen stayed together till far in the night, and were all merry and glad. The tailor locked away needle and thread, yard-measure and goose, in a closet, and lived with his three sons in joy and splendor.

What, however, happened to the goat who was to blame for the tailor driving out his three sons? That I will tell you. She was ashamed that she had a bald head, and ran to a fox's hole and crept into it. When the fox came home, he was met by two great eyes shining out of the darkness, and was terrified and ran away. A bear met him, and as the fox looked quite disturbed, he said, what is the matter with you, brother fox, why do you look like that. Ah, answered redskin, a fierce beast is in my cave and stared at me with its fiery eyes. We will soon drive him out, said the bear, and went with him to the cave and looked in, but when he saw the fiery eyes, fear seized on him likewise. He would have nothing to do with the furious beast, and took to his heels. The bee met him, and as she saw that he was ill at ease, she said, bear, you are really pulling a very pitiful face. What has become of all your gaiety. It is all very well for you to talk, replied the bear, a furious beast with staring eyes is in redskin's house, and we can't drive him out. The bee said, bear I pity you, I am a poor weak creature whom you would not turn aside to look at, but still, I believe, I can help you. She flew into the fox's cave, lighted on the goat's smoothly-shorn head, and stung her so violently, that she sprang up, crying meh, meh, and ran forth into the world as if mad, and to this hour no one knows where she has gone.

 

The Juniper-Tree

It is now long ago, quite two thousand years, since there was a rich man who had a beautiful and pious wife, and they loved each other dearly. They had, however, no children, though they wished for them very much, and the woman prayed for them day and night, but still they had none. Now there was a court-yard in front of their house in which was a juniper tree, and one day in winter the woman was standing beneath it, paring herself an apple, and while she was paring herself the apple she cut her finger, and the blood fell on the snow. Ah, said the woman, and sighed right heavily, and looked at the blood before her, and was most unhappy, ah, if I had but a child as red as blood and as white as snow. And while she thus spoke, she became quite happy in her mind, and felt just as if that were going to happen. Then she went into the house and a month went by and the snow was gone, and two months, and then everything was green, and three months, and then all the flowers came out of the earth, and four months, and then all the trees in the wood grew thicker, and the green branches were all closely entwined, and the birds sang until the wood resounded and the blossoms fell from the trees, then the fifth month passed away and she stood under the juniper tree, which smelt so sweetly that her heart leapt, and she fell on her knees and was beside herself with joy, and when the sixth month was over the fruit was large and fine, and then she was quite still, and the seventh month she snatched at the juniper-berries and ate them greedily, then she grew sick and sorrowful, then the eighth month passed, and she called her husband to her, and wept and said, if I die then bury me beneath the juniper tree. Then she was quite comforted and happy until the next month was over, and then she had a child as white as snow and as red as blood, and when she beheld it she was so delighted that she died.

Then her husband buried her beneath the juniper tree, and he began to weep sore, after some time he was more at ease, and though he still wept he could bear it, and after some time longer he took another wife.

By the second wife he had a daughter, but the first wife's child was a little son, and he was as red as blood and as white as snow. When the woman looked at her daughter she loved her very much, but then she looked at the little boy and it seemed to cut her to the heart, for the thought came into her mind that he would always stand in her way, and she was for ever thinking how she could get all the fortune for her daughter, and the evil one filled her mind with this till she was quite wroth with the little boy and she pushed him from one corner to the other and slapped him here and cuffed him there, until the poor child was in continual terror, for when he came out of school he had no peace in any place.

One day the woman had gone upstairs to her room, and her little daughter went up too, and said, mother, give me an apple. Yes, my child, said the woman, and gave her a fine apple out of the chest, but the chest had a great heavy lid with a great sharp iron lock. Mother, said the little daughter, is brother not to have one too. This made the woman angry, but she said, yes, when he comes out of school. And when she saw from the window that he was coming, it was just as if the devil entered into her, and she snatched at the apple and took it away again from her daughter, and said, you shall not have one before your brother.

Then she threw the apple into the chest, and shut it. Then the little boy came in at the door, and the devil made her say to him kindly, my son, will you have an apple. And she looked wickedly at him. Mother, said the little boy, how dreadful you look. Yes, give me an apple. Then it seemed to her as if she were forced to say to him, come with me, and she opened the lid of the chest and said, take out an apple for yourself, and while the little boy was stooping inside, the devil prompted her, and crash. She shut the lid down, and his head flew off and fell among the red apples. Then she was overwhelmed with terror, and thought, if I could but make them think that it was not done by me. So she went upstairs to her room to her chest of drawers, and took a white handkerchief out of the top drawer, and set the head on the neck again, and folded the handkerchief so that nothing could be seen, and she set him on a chair in front of the door, and put the apple in his hand.

After this Marlinchen came into the kitchen to her mother, who was standing by the fire with a pan of hot water before her which she was constantly stirring round. "Mother," said Marlinchen, "brother is sitting at the door, and he looks quite white and has an apple in his hand. I asked him to give me the apple, but he did not answer me, and I was quite frightened." "Go back to him," said her mother, "and if he will not answer you, give him a box on the ear." So Marlinchen went to him and said, "Brother, give me the apple." But he was silent, and she gave him a box on the ear, whereupon his head fell off. Marlinchen was terrified, and began crying and screaming, and ran to her mother, and said, "Alas, mother, I have knocked my brother's head off," and she wept and wept and could not be comforted. "Marlinchen," said the mother, what have you done, but be quiet and let no one know it, it cannot be helped now, we will make him into black-puddings." Then the mother took the little boy and chopped him in pieces, put him into the pan and made him into black puddings, but Marlinchen stood by weeping and weeping, and all her tears fell into the pan and there was no need of any salt.

Then the father came home, and sat down to dinner and said, "But where is my son?" And the mother served up a great dish of black-puddings, and Marlinchen wept and could not leave off. Then the father again said, "But where is my son?" "Ah," said the mother, "he has gone across the coutry to his mother's great uncle, he will stay there awhile." "And what is he going to do there? He did not even say good-bye to me."

"Oh, he wanted to go, and asked me if he might stay six weeks, he is well taken care of there." "Ah," said the man, "I feel so unhappy lest all should not be right. He ought to have said good-bye to me." With that he began to eat and said, "Marlinchen, why are you crying? Your brother will certainly come back." Then he said, "Ah, wife, how delicious this food is, give me some more." And the more he ate the more he wanted to have, and he said, "Give me some more, you shall have none of it. It seems to me as if it were all mine." And he ate and ate and threw all the bones under the table, until he had finished the whole. But Marlinchen went away to her chest of drawers, and took her best silk handkerchief out of the bottom draw, and got all the bones from beneath the table, and tied them up in her silk handkerchief, and carried them outside the door, weeping tears of blood. Then she lay down under the juniper tree on the green grass, and after she had lain down there, she suddenly felt light-hearted and did not cry any more. Then the juniper tree began to stir itself, and the branches parted asunder, and moved together again, just as if someone were rejoicing and clapping his hands. At the same time a mist seemed to arise from the tree, and in the center of this mist it burned like a fire, and a beautiful bird flew out of the fire singing magnificently, and he flew high up in the air, and when he was gone, the juniper tree was just as it had been before, and the handkerchief with the bones was no longer there. Marlinchen, however, was as gay and happy as if her brother were still alive. And she went merrily into the house, and sat down to dinner and ate.

But the bird flew away and lighted on a goldsmith's house, and began to sing - my mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, little marlinchen, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.

The goldsmith was sitting in his workshop making a golden chain, when he heard the bird which was sitting singing on his roof, and very beautiful the song seemed to him. He stood up, but as he crossed the threshold he lost one of his slippers. But he went away right up the middle of the street with one shoe on and one sock, he had his apron on, and in one hand he had the golden chain and in the other the pincers, and the sun was shining brightly on the street. Then he went right on and stood still, and said to the bird, "Bird," said he then, "how beautifully you can sing. Sing me that piece again." "No," said the bird, "I'll not sing it twice for nothing. Give me the golden chain, and then I will sing it again for you." "There," said the goldsmith, "there is the golden chain for you, now sing me that song again." Then the bird came and took the golden chain in his right claw, and went and sat in front of the goldsmith, and sang -

my mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, little marlinchen, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.

Then the bird flew away to a shoemaker, and lighted on his roof and sang -

my mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, little marlinchen, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.

The shoemaker heard that and ran out of doors in his shirt sleeves, and looked up at his roof, and was forced to hold his hand before his eyes lest the sun should blind him. "Bird," said he, "how beautifully you can sing." Then he called in at his door, "Wife, just come outside, there is a bird, look at that bird, he certainly can sing." Then he called his daughter and children, and apprentices, boys and girls, and they all came up the street and looked at the bird and saw how beautiful he was, and what fine red and green feathers he had, and how like real gold his neck was, and how the eyes in his head shone like stars. "Bird," said the shoemaker, "now sing me that song again." "Nay," said the bird, "I do not sing twice for nothing, you must give me something." "Wife," said the man, "go to the garret, upon the top shelf there stands a pair of red shoes, bring them down." Then the wife went and brought the shoes. "There, bird," said the man, "now sing me that piece again." Then the bird came and took the shoes in his left claw, and flew back on the roof, and sang - my mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, little Marlinchen, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.

and when he had finished his song he flew away. In his right claw he had the chain and in his left the shoes, and he flew far away to a mill, and the mill went, klipp klapp, klipp klapp, klipp klapp, and in the mill sat twenty miller's men hewing a stone, and cutting, hick hack, hick hack, hick hack, and the mill went klipp klapp, klipp klapp'klipp klapp. Then the bird went and sat on a lime-tree which stood in front of the mill, and sang - my mother she killed me, then one of them stopped working, my father he ate me, then two more stopped working and listened to that, my sister, little Marlinchen, then four more stopped, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, now eight only were hewing, laid them beneath, now only five, the juniper tree, and now only one, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.

Then the last stopped also, and heard the last words. "Bird," said he, "how beautifully you sing. Let me, too, hear that. Sing that once more for me."

"Nay," said the bird, "I will not sing twice for nothing. Give me the millstone, and then I will sing it again."

"Yes," said he, "if it belonged to me only, you should have it." "Yes," said the others, "if he sings again he shall have it." Then the bird came down, and the twenty millers all set to work with a beam and raised the stone up. And the bird stuck his neck through the hole, and put the stone on as if it were a collar, and flew on to the tree again, and sang - my mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, little Marlinchen, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.

And when he had done singing, he spread his wings, and in his right claw he had the chain, and in his left the shoes, and round his neck the millstone, and he flew far away to his father's house.

In the room sat the father, the mother, and Marlinchen at dinner, and the father said, "How light-hearted I feel, how happy I am." "Nay," said the mother, "I feel so uneasy, just as if a heavy storm were coming." Marlinchen, however, sat weeping and weeping, and then came the bird flying, and as it seated itself on the roof the father said, "Ah, I feel so truly happy, and the sun is shining so beautifully outside, I feel just as if I were about to see some old friend again." "Nay," said the woman, "I feel so anxious, my teeth chatter, and I seem to have fire in my veins." And she tore her stays open, but Marlinchen sat in a corner crying, and held her plate before her eyes and cried till it was quite wet. Then the bird sat on the juniper tree, and sang - my mother she killed me, then the mother stopped her ears, and shut her eyes, and would not see or hear, but there was a roaring in her ears like the most violent storm, and her eyes burnt and flashed like lightning - my father he ate me, "Ah, mother," says the man, "that is a beautiful bird. He sings so splendidly, and the sun shines so warm, and there is a smell just like cinnamon." My sister, little Marlinchen, then Marlinchen laid her head on her knees and wept without ceasing, but the man said, "I am going out, I must see the bird quite close." "Oh, don't go," said the woman, "I feel as if the whole house were shaking and on fire." But the man went out and looked at the bird. gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I on this the bird let the golden chain fall, and it fell exactly round the man's neck, and so exactly round it that it fitted beautifully. Then he went in and said, "just look what a fine bird that is, and what a handsome golden chain he has given me, and how pretty he is." But the woman was terrified, and fell down on the floor in the room, and her cap fell off her head. Then sang the bird once more - my mother she killed me. "Would that I were a thousand feet beneath the earth so as not to hear that." My father he ate me, then the woman fell down again as if dead. My sister, little marlinchen, "Ah," said Marlinchen, "I too will go out and see if the bird will give me anything," and she went out. Gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, then he threw down the shoes to her. Laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.

Then she was light-hearted and joyous, and she put on the new red shoes, and danced and leaped into the house. "Ah," said she, "I was so sad when I went out and now I am so light-hearted, that is a splendid bird, he has given me a pair of red shoes." "Well," said the woman, and sprang to her feet and her hair stood up like flames of fire, "I feel as if the world were coming to an end. I too, will go out and see if my heart feels lighter." And as she went out at the door, crash. The bird threw down the millstone on her head, and she was entirely crushed by it.

The father and Marlinchen heard what had happened and went out, and smoke, flames, and fire were rising from the place, and when that was over, there stood the little brother, and he took his father and Marlinchen by the hand, and all three were right glad, and they went into the house to dinner, and ate.

 

The Six Swans

Once upon a time, a certain king was hunting in a great forest, and he chased a wild beast so eagerly that none of his attendants could follow him. When evening drew near he stopped and looked around him, and then he saw that he had lost his way. He sought a way out, but could find none. Then he perceived an aged woman with a head which nodded perpetually, who came towards him, but she was a witch. Good woman, said he to her, can you not show me the way through the forest. Oh, yes, lord king, she answered, that I certainly can, but on one condition, and if you do not fulfil that, you will never get out of the forest, and will die of hunger in it.

What kind of condition is it, asked the king. I have a daughter, said the old woman, who is as beautiful as anyone in the world, and well deserves to be your consort, and if you will make her your queen, I will show you the way out of the forest. In the anguish of his heart the king consented, and the old woman led him to her little hut, where her daughter was sitting by the fire. She received the king as if she had been expecting him, and he saw that she was very beautiful, but still she did not please him, and he could not look at her without secret horror. After he had taken the maiden up on his horse, the old woman showed him the way, and the king reached his royal palace again, where the wedding was celebrated.

The king had already been married once, and had by his first wife, seven children, six boys and a girl, whom he loved better than anything else in the world. As he now feared that the stepmother might not treat them well, and even do them some injury, he took them to a lonely castle which stood in the midst of a forest. It lay so concealed, and the way was so difficult to find that he himself would not have found it, if a wise woman had not given him a ball of yarn with wonderful properties. When he threw it down before him, it unrolled itself and showed him his path.

The king, however, went so frequently away to his dear children that the queen observed his absence, she was curious and wanted to know what he did when he was quite alone in the forest. She gave a great deal of money to his servants, and they betrayed the secret to her, and told her likewise of the ball which alone could point out the way. And now she knew no rest until she had learnt where the king kept the ball of yarn, and then she made little shirts of white silk, and as she had learnt the art of witchcraft from her mother, she sewed a charm inside them. And once when the king had ridden forth to hunt, she took the little shirts and went into the forest, and the ball showed her the way.

The children, who saw from a distance that someone was approaching, thought that their dear father was coming to them, and full of joy, ran to meet him. Then she threw one of the little shirts over each of them, and no sooner had the shirts touched their bodies than they were changed into swans, and flew away over the forest. The queen went home quite delighted, and thought she had got rid of her step-children, but the girl had not run out with her brothers, and the queen knew nothing about her.

Next day the king went to visit his children, but he found no one but the little girl. Where are your brothers, asked the king. Alas, dear father, she answered, they have gone away and left me alone, and she told him that she had seen from her little window how her brothers had flown away over the forest in the shape of swans, and she showed him the feathers, which they had let fall in the courtyard, and which she had picked up.

The king mourned, but he did not think that the queen had done this wicked deed, and as he feared that the girl would also be stolen away from him, he wanted to take her away with him. But she was afraid of her step-mother, and entreated the king to let her stay just this one night more in the forest castle.

The poor girl thought, I can no longer stay here. I will go and seek my brothers. And when night came, she ran away, and went straight into the forest. She walked the whole night long, and next day also without stopping, until she could go no farther for weariness. Then she saw a forest-hut, and went into it, and found a room with six little beds, but she did not venture to get into one of them, but crept under one, and lay down on the hard ground, intending to pass the night there. Just before sunset, however, she heard a rustling, and saw six swans come flying in at the window. They alighted on the ground and blew at each other, and blew all the feathers off, and their swans, skins stripped off like a shirt. Then the maiden looked at them and recognized her brothers, was glad and crept forth from beneath the bed. The brothers were not less delighted to see their little sister, but their joy was of short duration. Here you cannot abide, they said to her. This is a shelter for robbers, if they come home and find you, they will kill you. But can you not protect me, asked the little sister. No, they replied, only for one quarter of an hour each evening can we lay aside our swans, skins and have during that time our human form, after that, we are once more turned into swans.

The little sister wept and said, can you not be set free. Alas, no, they answered, the conditions are too hard. For six years you may neither speak nor laugh, and in that time you must sew together six little shirts of starwort for us. And if one single word falls from your lips, all your work will be lost. And when the brothers had said this, the quarter of an hour was over, and they flew out of the window again as swans.

The maiden, however, firmly resolved to deliver her brothers, even if it should cost her her life. She left the hut, went into the midst of the forest, seated herself on a tree, and there passed the night. Next morning she went out and gathered starwort and began to sew. She could not speak to anyone, and she had no inclination to laugh, she sat there and looked at nothing but her work.

When she had already spent a long time there it came to pass that the king of the country was hunting in the forest, and his huntsmen came to the tree on which the maiden was sitting. They called to her and said, who are you. But she made no answer. Come down to us, said they. We will not do you any harm. She only shook her head. As they pressed her further with questions she threw her golden necklace down to them, and thought to content them thus. They, however, did not cease, and then she threw her girdle down to them, and as this also was to no purpose, her garters, and by degrees everything that she had on that she could do without until she had nothing left but her shift.

The huntsmen, however, did not let themselves be turned aside by that, but climbed the tree and fetched the maiden down and led her before the king. The king asked, who are you. What are you doing on the tree. But she did not answer. He put the question in every language that he knew, but she remained as mute as a fish. As she was so beautiful, the king's heart was touched, and he was smitten with a great love for her. He put his mantle on her, took her before him on his horse, and carried her to his castle. Then he caused her to be dressed in rich garments, and she shone in her beauty like bright daylight, but no word could be drawn from her. He placed her by his side at table, and her modest bearing and courtesy pleased him so much that he said, she is the one whom I wish to marry, and no other woman in the world. And after some days he united himself to her.

The king, however, had a wicked mother who was dissatisfied with this marriage and spoke ill of the young queen. Who knows, said she, from whence the creature who can't speak, comes. She is not worthy of a king. After a year had passed, when the queen brought her first child into the world, the old woman took it away from her, and smeared her mouth with blood as she slept. Then she went to the king and accused the queen of being a man-eater. The king would not believe it, and would not suffer anyone to do her any injury. She, however, sat continually sewing at the shirts, and cared for nothing else.

The next time, when she again bore a beautiful boy, the false mother-in-law used the same treachery, but the king could not bring himself to give credit to her words. He said, she is too pious and good to do anything of that kind, if she were not dumb, and could defend herself, her innocence would come to light.

But when the old woman stole away the newly-born child for the third time, and accused the queen, who did not utter one word of defence, the king could do no otherwise than deliver her over to justice, and she was sentenced to suffer death by fire.

When the day came for the sentence to be carried out, it was the last day of the six years during which she was not to speak or laugh, and she had delivered her dear brothers from the power of the enchantment. The six shirts were ready, only the left sleeve of the sixth was wanting. When, therefore, she was led to the stake, she laid the shirts on her arm, and when she stood on high and the fire was just going to be lighted, she looked around and six swans came flying through the air towards her. Then she saw that her deliverance was near, and her heart leapt with joy. The swans swept towards her and sank down so that they were touched by them, their swans, skins fell off, and her brothers stood in their own bodily form before her, and were vigorous and handsome. The youngest only lacked his left arm, and had in the place of it a swan's wing on his shoulder. They embraced and kissed each other, and the queen went to the king, who was greatly moved, and she began to speak and said, dearest husband, now I may speak and declare to you that I am innocent, and falsely accused. And she told him of the treachery of the old woman who had taken away her three children and hidden them.

Then to the great joy of the king they were brought thither, and as a punishment, the wicked mother-in-law was bound to the stake, and burnt to ashes. But the king and the queen with her six brothers lived many years in happiness and peace.

 

King Thrushbeard

A king had a daughter who was beautiful beyond all measure, but so proud and haughty withal that no suitor was good enough for her. She sent away one after the other, and ridiculed them as well.

Once the king made a great feast and invited thereto, from far and near, all the young men likely to marry. They were all marshalled in a row according to their rank and standing. First came the kings, then the grand-dukes, then the princes, the earls, the barons, and the gentry. Then the king's daughter was led through the ranks, but to each one she had some objection to make. One was too fat, the wine-barrel, she said. Another was too tall, long and thin has little in. The third was too short, short and thick is never quick. The fourth was too pale, as pale as death. The fifth too red, a fighting cock. The sixth was not straight enough, a green log dried behind the stove.

So she had something to say against each one, but she made herself especially merry over a good king who stood quite high up in the row, and whose chin had grown a little crooked. Look, she cried and laughed, he has a chin like a thrush's beak. And from that time he got the name of king thrushbeard.

But the old king, when he saw that his daugher did nothing but mock the people, and despised all the suitors who were gathered there, was very angry, and swore that she should have for her husband the very first beggar that came to his doors.

A few days afterwards a fiddler came and sang beneath the windows, trying to earn a few pennies. When the king heard him he said, let him come up. So the fiddler came in, in his dirty, ragged clothes, and sang before the king and his daughter, and when he had ended he asked for a trifling gift. The king said, your song has pleased me so well that I will give you my daughter there, to wife.

The king's daughter shuddered, but the king said, I have taken an oath to give you to the very first beggar-man and I will keep it. All she could say was in vain. The priest was brought, and she had to let herself be wedded to the fiddler on the spot. When that was done the king said, now it is not proper for you, a beggar-woman, to stay any longer in my palace, you may just go away with your husband.

The beggar-man led her out by the hand, and she was obliged to walk away on foot with him. When they came to a large forest she asked, to whom does that beautiful forest belong. It belongs to king thrushbeard. If you had taken him, it would have been yours. Ah, unhappy girl that I am, if I had but taken king thrushbeard.

Afterwards they came to a meadow, and she asked again, to whom does this beautiful green meadow belong. It belongs to king thrushbeard. If you had taken him, it would have been yours. Ah, unhappy girl that I am, if I had but taken king thrushbeard.

Then they came to a large town, and she asked again, to whom does this fine large town belong. It belongs to king thrushbeard. If you had taken him, it would have been yours. Ah, unhappy girl that I am, if I had but taken king thrushbeard. It does not please me, said the fiddler, to hear you always wishing for another husband. Am I not good enough for you.

At last they came to a very little hut, and she said, oh goodness. What a small house. To whom does this miserable, tiny hovel belong. The fiddler answered, that is my house and yours, where we shall live together.

She had to stoop in order to go in at the low door. Where are the servants, said the king's daughter. What servants, answered the beggar-man. You must yourself do what you wish to have done. Just make a fire at once, and set on water to cook my supper, I am quite tired. But the king's daughter knew nothing about lighting fires or cooking, and the beggar-man had to lend a hand himself to get anything fairly done. When they had finished their scanty meal they went to bed. But he forced her to get up quite early in the morning in order to look after the house.

For a few days they lived in this way as well as might be, and came to the end of all their provisions. Then the man said, wife, we cannot go on any longer eating and drinking here and earning nothing. You must make baskets. He went out, cut some willows, and brought them home. Then she began to make baskets, but the tough willows wounded her delicate hands.

I see that this will not do, said the man. You had better spin, perhaps you can do that better. She sat down and tried to spin, but the hard thread soon cut her soft fingers so that the blood ran down. See, said the man, you are fit for no sort of work. I have made a bad bargain with you. Now I will try to make a business with pots and earthenware. You must sit in the market-place and sell the ware. Alas, thought she, if any of the people from my father's kingdom come to the market and see me sitting there, selling, how they will mock me. But it was of no use, she had to yield unless she chose to die of hunger. For the first time she succeeded well, for the people were glad to buy the woman's wares because she was good-looking, and they paid her what she asked. Many even gave her the money and left the pots with her as well. So they lived on what she had earned as long as it lasted, then the husband bought a lot of new crockery. With this she sat down at the corner of the market-place, and set it out round about her ready for sale. But suddenly there came a drunken hussar galloping along, and he rode right amongst the pots so that they were all broken into a thousand bits. She began to weep, and did now know what to do for fear. Alas, what will happen to me, cried she. What will my husband say to this. She ran home and told him of the misfortune. Who would seat herself at a corner of the market-place with crockery, said the man. Leave off crying, I see very well that you cannot do any ordinary work, so I have been to our king's palace and have asked whether they cannot find a place for a kitchen-maid, and they have promised me to take you. In that way you will get your food for nothing.

The king's daughter was now a kitchen-maid, and had to be at the cook's beck and call, and do the dirtiest work. In both her pockets she fastened a little jar, in which she took home her share of the leavings, and upon this they lived.

It happened that the wedding of the king's eldest son was to be celebrated, so the poor woman went up and placed herself by the door of the hall to look on. When all the candles were lit, and people, each more beautiful than the other, entered, and all was full of pomp and splendor, she thought of her lot with a sad heart, and cursed the pride and haughtiness which had humbled her and brought her to so great poverty.

The smell of the delicious dishes which were being taken in and out reached her, and now and then the servants threw her a few morsels of them. These she put in her jars to take home.

All at once the king's son entered, clothed in velvet and silk, with gold chains about his neck. And when he saw the beautiful woman standing by the door he seized her by the hand, and would have danced with her. But she refused and shrank with fear, for she saw that it was king thrushbeard, her suitor whom she had driven away with scorn. Her struggles were of no avail, he drew her into the hall. But the string by which her pockets were hung broke, the pots fell down, the soup ran out, and the scraps were scattered all about. And when the people saw it, there arose general laughter and derision, and she was so ashamed that she would rather have been a thousand fathoms below the ground. She sprang to the door and would have run away, but on the stairs a man caught her and brought her back. And when she looked at him it was king thrushbeard again. He said to her kindly, do not be afraid, I and the fiddler who has been living with you in that wretched hovel are one. For love of you I disguised myself so. And I also was the hussar who rode through your crockery. This was all done to humble your proud spirit, and to punish you for the insolence with which you mocked me.

Then she wept bitterly and said, I have done great wrong, and am not worthy to be your wife. But he said, be comforted, the evil days are past. Now we will celebrate our wedding. Then the maids-in-waiting came and put on her the most splendid clothing, and her father and his whole court came and wished her happiness in her marriage with king thrushbeard, and the joy now began in earnest. I wish you and I had been there too.

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
 

Once upon a time in the middle of winter, when the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing, and the frame of the window was made of black ebony. And whilst she was sewing and looking out of the window at the snow, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell upon the snow. And the red looked pretty upon the white snow, and she thought to herself, would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window-frame.

Soon after that she had a little daughter, who was as white as snow, and as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony, and she was therefore called little snow-white. And when the child was born, the queen died.

After a year had passed the king took to himself another wife. She was a beautiful woman, but proud and haughty, and she could not bear that anyone else chould surpass her in beauty. She had a wonderful looking-glass, and when she stood in front of it and looked at herself in it, and said, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

The looking-glass answered, thou, o queen, art the fairest of all.

Then she was satisfied, for she knew that the looking-glass spoke the truth.

But snow-white was growing up, and grew more and more beautiful, and when she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the day, and more beautiful than the queen herself. And once when the queen asked her looking-glass, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

It answered, thou art fairer than all who are here, lady queen. But more beautiful still is snow-white, as I ween.

Then the queen was shocked, and turned yellow and green with envy. From that hour, whenever she looked at snow-white, her heart heaved in her breast, she hated the girl so much. And envy and pride grew higher and higher in her heart like a weed, so that she had no peace day or night. She called a huntsman, and said, take the child away into the forest. I will no longer have her in my sight. Kill her, and bring me back her lung and liver as a token. The huntsman obeyed, and took her away but when he had drawn his knife, and was about to pierce snow-white's innocent heart, she began to weep, and said, ah dear huntsman, leave me my life. I will run away into the wild forest, and never come home again.

And as she was so beautiful the huntsman had pity on her and said, run away, then, you poor child. The wild beasts will soon have devoured you, thought he, and yet it seemed as if a stone had been rolled from his heart since it was no longer needful for him to kill her. And as a young bear just then came running by he stabbed it, and cut out its lung and liver and took them to the queen as proof that the child was dead. The cook had to salt them, and the wicked queen ate them, and thought she had eaten the lung and liver of snow-white.

But now the poor child was all alone in the great forest, and so terrified that she looked at all the leaves on the trees, and did not know what to do. Then she began to run, and ran over sharp stones and through thorns, and the wild beasts ran past her, but did her no harm.

She ran as long as her feet would go until it was almost evening, then she saw a little cottage and went into it to rest herself. Everything in the cottage was small, but neater and cleaner than can be told. There was a table on which was a white cover, and seven little plates, and on each plate a little spoon, moreover, there were seven little knives and forks, and seven little mugs. Against the wall stood seven little beds side by side, and covered with snow-white counterpanes.

Little snow-white was so hungry and thirsty that she ate some vegetables and bread from each plate and drank a drop of wine out of each mug, for she did not wish to take all from one only. Then, as she was so tired, she laid herself down on one of the little beds, but none of them suited her, one was too long, another too short, but at last she found that the seventh one was right, and so she remained in it, said a prayer and went to sleep.

When it was quite dark the owners of the cottage came back. They were seven dwarfs who dug and delved in the mountains for ore. They lit their seven candles, and as it was now light within the cottage they saw that someone had been there, for everything was not in the same order in which they had left it.

The first said, who has been sitting on my chair. The second, who has been eating off my plate. The third, who has been taking some of my bread. The fourth, who has been eating my vegetables. The fifth, who has been using my fork. The sixth, who has been cutting with my knife. The seventh, who has been drinking out of my mug.

Then the first looked round and saw that there was a little hollow on his bed, and he said, who has been getting into my bed. The others came up and each called out, somebody has been lying in my bed too. But the seventh when he looked at his bed saw little snow-white, who was lying asleep therein. And he called the others, who came running up, and they cried out with astonishment, and brought their seven little candles and let the light fall on little snow-white. Oh, heavens, oh, heavens, cried they, what a lovely child. And they were so glad that they did not wake her up, but let her sleep on in the bed. And the seventh dwarf slept with his companions, one hour with each, and so passed the night.

When it was morning little snow-white awoke, and was frightened when she saw the seven dwarfs. But they were friendly and asked her what her name was. My name is snow-white, she answered. How have you come to our house, said the dwarfs. Then she told them that her step-mother had wished to have her killed, but that the huntsman had spared her life, and that she had run for the whole day, until at last she had found their dwelling.

The dwarfs said, if you will take care of our house, cook, make the beds, wash, sew and knit, and if you will keep everything neat and clean you can stay with us and you shall want for nothing. Yes, said snow-white, with all my heart. And she stayed with them. She kept the house in order for them. In the mornings they went to the mountains and looked for copper and gold, in the evenings they came back, and then their supper had to be ready. The girl was alone the whole day, so the good dwarfs warned her and said, beware of your step-mother, she will soon know that you are here, be sure to let no one come in.

But the queen, believing that she had eaten snow-white's lung and liver, could not but think that she was again the first and most beautiful of all, and she went to her looking-glass and said, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

And the glass answered, oh, queen, thou art fairest of all I see, but over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, snow-white is still alive and well, and none is so fair as she.

Then she was astounded, for she knew that the looking-glass never spoke falsely, and she knew that the huntsman had betrayed her, and that little snow-white was still alive.

And so she thought and thought again how she might kill her, for so long as she was not the fairest in the whole land, envy let her have no rest. And when she had at last thought of something to do, she painted her face, and dressed herself like an old pedlar-woman, and no one could have known her. In this disguise she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs, and knocked at the door and cried, pretty things to sell, very cheap, very cheap. Little snow-white looked out of the window and called out, good-day my good woman, what have you to sell. Good things, pretty things, she answered, stay-laces of all colors, and she pulled out one which was woven of bright-colored silk. I may let the worthy old woman in, thought snow-white, and she unbolted the door and bought the pretty laces. Child, said the old woman, what a fright you look, come, I will lace you properly for once. Snow-white had no suspicion, but stood before her, and let herself be laced with the new laces. But the old woman laced so quickly and so tightly that snow-white lost her breath and fell down as if dead. Now I am the most beautiful, said the queen to herself, and ran away.

Not long afterwards, in the evening, the seven dwarfs came home, but how shocked they were when they saw their dear little snow-white lying on the ground, and that she neither stirred nor moved, and seemed to be dead. They lifted her up, and, as they saw that she was laced too tightly, they cut the laces, then she began to breathe a little, and after a while came to life again. When the dwarfs heard what had happened they said, the old pedlar-woman was no one else than the wicked queen, take care and let no one come in when we are not with you.

But the wicked woman when she had reached home went in front of the glass and asked, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

And it answered as before, oh, queen, thou art fairest of all I see, but over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, snow-white is still alive and well, and none is so fair as she.

When she heard that, all her blood rushed to her heart with fear, for she saw plainly that little snow-white was again alive. But now, she said, I will think of something that shall really put an end to you. And by the help of witchcraft, which she understood, she made a poisonous comb. Then she disguised herself and took the shape of another old woman. So she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs, knocked at the door, and cried, good things to sell, cheap, cheap. Little snow-white looked out and said, go away, I cannot let anyone come in. I suppose you can look, said the old woman, and pulled the poisonous comb out and held it up. It pleased the girl so well that she let herself be beguiled, and opened the door. When they had made a bargain the old woman said, now I will comb you properly for once. Poor little snow-white had no suspicion, and let the old woman do as she pleased, but hardly had she put the comb in her hair than the poison in it took effect, and the girl fell down senseless. You paragon of beauty, said the wicked woman, you are done for now, and she went away.

But fortunately it was almost evening, when the seven dwarfs came home. When they saw snow-white lying as if dead upon the ground they at once suspected the step-mother, and they looked and found the poisoned comb. Scarcely had they taken it out when snow-white came to herself, and told them what had happened. Then they warned her once more to be upon her guard and to open the door to no one.

The queen, at home, went in front of the glass and said, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

Then it answered as before, oh, queen, thou art fairest of all I see, but over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, snow-white is still alive and well, and none is so fair as she.

When she heard the glass speak thus she trembled and shook with rage. Snow-white shall die, she cried, even if it costs me my life.

Thereupon she went into a quite secret, lonely room, where no one ever came, and there she made a very poisonous apple. Outside it looked pretty, white with a red cheek, so that everyone who saw it longed for it, but whoever ate a piece of it must surely die.

When the apple was ready she painted her face, and dressed herself up as a farmer's wife, and so she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs. She knocked at the door. Snow-white put her head out of the window and said, I cannot let anyone in, the seven dwarfs have forbidden me. It is all the same to me, answered the woman, I shall soon get rid of my apples. There, I will give you one.

No, said snow-white, I dare not take anything. Are you afraid of poison, said the old woman, look, I will cut the apple in two pieces, you eat the red cheek, and I will eat the white. The apple was so cunningly made that only the red cheek was poisoned. Snow-white longed for the fine apple, and when she saw that the woman ate part of it she could resist no longer, and stretched out her hand and took the poisonous half. But hardly had she a bit of it in her mouth than she fell down dead. Then the queen looked at her with a dreadful look, and laughed aloud and said, white as snow, red as blood, black as ebony-wood, this time the dwarfs cannot wake you up again.

And when she asked of the looking-glass at home, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

And it answered at last, oh, queen, in this land thou art fairest of all. Then her envious heart had rest, so far as an envious heart can have rest.

The dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found snow-white lying upon the ground, she breathed no longer and was dead. They lifted her up, looked to see whether they could find anything poisonous, unlaced her, combed her hair, washed her with water and wine, but it was all of no use, the poor child was dead, and remained dead. They laid her upon a bier, and all seven of them sat round it and wept for her, and wept three days long.

Then they were going to bury her, but she still looked as if she were living, and still had her pretty red cheeks. They said, we could not bury her in the dark ground, and they had a transparent coffin of glass made, so that she could be seen from all sides, and they laid her in it, and wrote her name upon it in golden letters, and that she was a king's daughter. Then they put the coffin out upon the mountain, and one of them always stayed by it and watched it. And birds came too, and wept for snow-white, first an owl, then a raven, and last a dove.

And now snow-white lay a long, long time in the coffin, and she did not change, but looked as if she were asleep, for she was as white as snow, as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony.

It happened, however, that a king's son came into the forest, and went to the dwarfs, house to spend the night. He saw the coffin on the mountain, and the beautiful snow-white within it, and read what was written upon it in golden letters. Then he said to the dwarfs, let me have the coffin, I will give you whatever you want for it. But the dwarfs answered, we will not part with it for all the gold in the world. Then he said, let me have it as a gift, for I cannot live without seeing snow-white. I will honor and prize her as my dearest possession. As he spoke in this way the good dwarfs took pity upon him, and gave him the coffin.

And now the king's son had it carried away by his servants on their shoulders. And it happened that they stumbled over a tree-stump, and with the shock the poisonous piece of apple which snow-white had bitten off came out of her throat. And before long she opened her eyes, lifted up the lid of the coffin, sat up, and was once more alive. Oh, heavens, where am I, she cried. The king's son, full of joy, said, you are with me. And told her what had happened, and said, I love you more than everything in the world, come with me to my father's palace, you shall be my wife.

And snow-white was willing, and went with him, and their wedding was held with great show and splendor. But snow-white's wicked step-mother was also bidden to the feast. When she had arrayed herself in beautiful clothes she went before the looking-glass, and said, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

The glass answered, oh, queen, of all here the fairest art thou, but the young queen is fairer by far as I trow.

Then the wicked woman uttered a curse, and was so wretched, so utterly wretched that she knew not what to do. At first she would not go to the wedding at all, but she had no peace, and had to go to see the young queen. And when she went in she recognized snow-white, and she stood still with rage and fear, and could not stir. But iron slippers had already been put upon the fire, and they were brought in with tongs, and set before her. Then she was forced to put on the red-hot shoes, and dance until she dropped down dead.

 

The Knapsack, The Hat, and The Horn

There were once three brothers who had fallen deeper and deeper into poverty, and at last their need was so great that they had to endure hunger, and had nothing to eat or drink. Then said they, it cannot go on like this, we had better go into the world and seek our fortune. They therefore set out, and had already walked over many a long road and many a blade of grass, but had not yet met with good luck. One day they arrived in a great forest, and in the midst of it was a hill, and when they came nearer they saw that the hill was all silver. Then spoke the eldest, now I have found the good luck I wished for, and I desire nothing more. He took as much of the silver as he could possibly carry, and then turned back and went home again.

But the two others said, we want something more from good luck than mere silver, and did not touch it, but went onwards. After they had walked for two days longer without stopping, they came to a hill which was all gold. The second brother stopped, took thought with himself, and was undecided. What shall I do, said he, shall I take for myself so much of this gold, that I have sufficient for all the rest of my life, or shall I go farther. At length he made a decision, and putting as much into his pockets as would go in, said farewell to his brother, and went home.

But the third said, silver and gold do not move me, I will not renounce my chance of fortune, perhaps something better still will be given me. He journeyed onwards, and when he had walked for three days, he came to a forest which was still larger than the one before, and never would come to an end, and as he found nothing to eat or to drink, he was all but exhausted. Then he climbed up a high tree to find out if up there he could see the end of the forest, but so far as his eye could pierce he saw nothing but the tops of trees. Then he began to descend the tree again, but hunger tormented him, and he thought to himself, if I could but eat my fill once more.

When he got down he saw with astonishment a table beneath the tree richly spread with food, the steam of which rose up to meet him. This time, said he, my wish has been fulfilled at the right moment. And without inquiring who had brought the food, or who had cooked it, he approached the table, and ate with enjoyment until he had appeased his hunger. When he was done, he thought, it would after all be a pity if the pretty little table-cloth were to be spoilt in the forest here, and folded it up tidily and put it in his pocket. Then he went onwards, and in the evening, when hunger once more returned to him, he wanted to make a trial of his little cloth, and spread it out and said, I wish you to be covered with good cheer again, and scarcely had the wish crossed his lips than as many dishes with the most exquisite food on them stood on the table as there was room for. Now I perceive, said he, in what kitchen my cooking is done. You shall be dearer to me than the mountains of silver and gold. For he saw plainly that it was a wishing-cloth. The cloth, however, was still not enough to enable him to sit down quietly at home, he preferred to wander about the world and pursue his fortune farther.

One night he met, in a lonely wood, a dusty, black charcoal-burner, who was burning charcoal there, and had some potatoes by the fire, on which he was going to make a meal. Good evening, blackbird, said the youth. How do you get on in your solitude.

One day is like another, replied the charcoal-burner, and every night potatoes. Have you a mind to have some, and will you be my guest. Many thanks, replied the traveler, I won't rob you of your supper, you did not reckon on a visitor, but if you will put up with what I have, you shall have an invitation. Who is to prepare it for you, said the charcoal-burner. I see that you have nothing with you, and there is no one within a two hours' walk who could give you anything. And yet there shall be a meal, answered the youth, and better than any you have ever tasted. Thereupon he brought his cloth out of his knapsack, spread it on the ground, and said, little cloth, cover yourself, and instantly boiled meat and baked meat stood there, and as hot as if it had just come out of the kitchen.

The charcoal-burner stared with wide-open eyes, but did not require much pressing, he fell to, and thrust larger and larger mouthfuls into his black mouth. When they had eaten everything, the charcoal-burner smiled contentedly, and said, listen, your table-cloth has my approval, it would be a fine thing for me in this forest, where no one ever cooks me anything good. I will propose an exchange to you, there in the corner hangs a soldier's knapsack, which is certainly old and shabby, but in it lie concealed wonderful powers, but, as I no longer use it, I will give it to you for the table-cloth.

I must first know what these wonderful powers are, answered the youth.

That will I tell you, replied the charcoal-burner, every time you tap it with your hand, a corporal comes with six men armed from head to foot, and they do whatsover you command them. So far as I am concerned, said the youth, if nothing else can be done, we will exchange, and he gave the charcoal-burner the cloth, took the knapsack from the hook, put it on, and bade farewell. When he had walked a while, he wished to make a trial of the magical powers of his knapsack and tapped it. Immediately the seven warriors stepped up to him, and the corporal said, what does my lord and ruler wish for.

March with all speed to the charcoal-burner, and demand my wishing-cloth back. They faced to the left, and it was not long before they brought what he required, and had taken it from the charcoal-burner without asking many questions. The young man bade them retire, went onwards, and hoped fortune would shine yet more brightly on him. By sunset he came to another charcoal-burner, who was making his supper ready by the fire. If you will eat some potatoes with salt, but with no dripping, come and sit down with me, said the sooty fellow.

No, he replied, this time you shall be my guest, and he spread out his cloth, which was instantly covered with the most beautiful dishes. They ate and drank together, and enjoyed themselves heartily. After the meal was over, the charcoal-burner said, up there on that shelf lies a little old worn-out hat which has strange properties - the moment someone puts it on, and turns it round on his head, the cannons go off as if twelve were fired all together, and they demolish everything so that no one can withstand them. The hat is of no use to me, and I will willingly give it for your tablecloth.

That suits me very well, he answered, took the hat, put it on, and left his table-cloth behind him. But hardly had he walked away than he tapped on his knapsack, and his soldiers had to fetch the cloth back again. One thing comes on the top of another, thought he, and I feel as if my luck had not yet come to an end. Neither had his thoughts deceived him. After he had walked on for the whole of one day, he came to a third charcoal-burner, who like the previous one, invited him to potatoes without dripping. But he let him also dine with him from his wishing-cloth, and the charcoal-burner liked it so well, that at last he offered him a horn for it, which had very different properties from those of the hat. The moment someone blew it all the walls and fortifications fell down, and all towns and villages became ruins. For this he immediately gave the charcoal-burner the cloth, but he afterwards sent his soldiers to demand it back again, so that at length he had the knapsack, hat and horn, all three. Now, said he, I am a made man, and it is time for me to go home and see how my brothers are getting on.

When he reached home, his brothers had built themselves a handsome house with their silver and gold, and were living in clover. He went to see them, but as he came in a ragged coat, with his shabby hat on his head, and his old knapsack on his back, they would not acknowledge him as their brother. They mocked and said, you give out that you are our brother who despised silver and gold, and craved for something still better for himself. Such a person arrives in his carriage in full splendor like a mighty king, not like a beggar, and they drove him out of doors. Then he fell into a rage, and tapped his knapsack until a hundred and fifty men stood before him armed from head to foot. He commanded them to surround his brothers, house, and two of them were to take hazelsticks with them, and beat the two insolent men until they knew who he was.

A violent disturbance broke out, people ran together, and wanted to lend the two some help in their need, but against the soldiers they could do nothing. News of this at length came to the king, who was very angry, and ordered a captain to march out with his troop, and drive this disturber of the peace out of the town, but the man with knapsack soon got a greater body of men together, who repulsed the captain and his men, so that they were forced to retire with bloody noses. The king said, this vagabond is not brought to order yet, and next day sent a still larger troop against him, but they could do even less. The youth set still more men against them, and in order to be done the sooner, he turned his hat twice round on his head, and heavy guns began to play, and the king's men were beaten and put to flight.

And now, said he, I will not make peace until the king gives me his daughter to wife, and I govern the whole kingdom in his name. He caused this to be announced to the king, and the latter said to his daughter, necessity is a hard nut to crack. What else is there for me to do but what he desires. If I want peace and to keep the crown on my head, I must give you away.

So the wedding was celebrated, but the king's daughter was vexed that her husband should be a common man, who wore a shabby hat, and put on an old knapsack. She longed to get rid of him, and night and day studied how she could accomplished this. Then she thought to herself, is it possible that his wonderful powers lie in the knapsack, and she feigned affection and caressed him, and when his heart was softened, she said, if you would but lay aside that horrid knapsack, it makes you look so ugly, that I can't help being ashamed of you. Dear child, said he, this knapsack is my greatest treasure, as long as I have it, there is no power on earth that I am afraid of. And he revealed to her the wonderful virtue with which it was endowed.

Then she threw herself in his arms as if she were going to kiss him, but cleverly took the knapsack off his shoulders, and ran away with it. As soon as she was alone she tapped it, and commanded the warriors to seize their former master, and take him out of the royal palace. They obeyed, and the false wife sent still more men after him, who were to drive him quite out of the country. Then he would have been ruined if he had not had the little hat. And hardly were his hands free before he turned it twice. Immediately the cannon began to thunder, and demolished everything, and the king's daughter herself was forced to come and beg for mercy. As she entreated in such moving terms, and promised to better her ways, he allowed himself to be persuaded and granted her peace.

She behaved in a friendly manner to him, and acted as if she loved him very much, and after some time managed so to befool him, that he confided to her that even if someone got the knapsack into his power, he could do nothing against him so long as the old hat was still his. When she knew the secret, she waited until he was asleep, and then she took the hat away from him, and had it thrown out into the street. But the horn still remained to him, and in great anger he blew it with all his strength.

Instantly all walls, fortifications, towns, and villages, toppled down, and crushed the king and his daughter to death. And had he not put down the horn and had blown just a little longer, everything would have been in ruins, and not one stone would have been left standing on another. Then no one opposed him any longer, and he made himself king of the whole country.

 

The Golden Bird

In olden times there was a king, who had behind his palace a beautiful pleasure-garden in which there was a tree that bore golden apples. When the apples were getting ripe they were counted, but on the very next morning one was missing. This was told to the king, and he ordered that a watch should be kept every night beneath the tree.

The king had three sons, the eldest of whom he sent, as soon as night came on, into the garden, but when midnight came he could not keep himself from sleeping, and next morning again an apple was gone.

The following night the second son had to keep watch, but it fared no better with him, as soon as twelve o'clock had struck he fell asleep, and in the morning an apple was gone.

Now it came to the turn of the third son to watch, and he was quite ready, but the king had not much trust in him, and thought that he would be of less use even than his brothers, but at last he let him go. The youth lay down beneath the tree, but kept awake, and did not let sleep master him. When it struck twelve, something rustled through the air, and in the moonlight he saw a bird coming whose feathers were all shining with gold.

The bird alighted on the tree, and had just plucked off an apple, when the youth shot an arrow at him. The bird flew off, but the arrow had struck his plumage, and one of his golden feathers fell down. The youth picked it up, and the next morning took it to the king and told him what he had seen in the night. The king called his council together, and everyone declared that a feather like this was worth more than the whole kingdom. If the feather is so precious, declared the king, one alone will not do for me, I must and will have the whole bird.

The eldest son set out, and trusting to his cleverness thought that he would easily find the golden bird. When he had gone some distance he saw a fox sitting at the edge of a wood so he cocked his gun and took aim at him. The fox cried, do not shoot me, and in return I will give you some good counsel. You are on the way to the golden bird, and this evening you will come to a village in which stand two inns opposite to one another.

One of them is lighted up brightly, and all goes on merrily within, but do not go into it, go rather into the other, even though it looks like a bad one. How can such a silly beast give wise advice, thought the king's son, and he pulled the trigger. But he missed the fox, who stretched out his tail and ran quickly into the wood.

So he pursued his way, and by evening came to the village where the two inns were, in one they were singing and dancing, the other had a poor, miserable look. I should be a fool, indeed, he thought, if I were to go into the shabby tavern, and pass by the good one. So he went into the cheerful one, lived there in riot and revel, and forgot the bird and his father, and all good counsels.

When many months had passed, and the eldest son did not come back home, the second set out, wishing to find the golden bird. The fox met him as he had met the eldest, and gave him the good advice of which he took no heed. He came to the two inns, and his brother was standing at the window of the one from which came the music, and called out to him. He could not resist, but went inside and lived only for pleasure.

Again some time passed, and then the king's youngest son wanted to set off and try his luck, but his father would not allow it. It is of no use, said he, he will find the golden bird still less than his brothers, and if a mishap were to befall him he knows not how to help himself, he's not too bright at the best. But at last, as he had no peace, he let him go.

Again the fox was sitting outside the wood, and begged for his life, and offered his good advice. The youth was good-natured, and said, be easy, little fox, I will do you no harm. You shall not repent it, answered the fox, and that you may get on more quickly, get up behind on my tail. And scarcely had he seated himself when the fox began to run, and away he went over stock and stone till his hair whistled in the wind. When they came to the village the youth got off, he followed the good advice, and without looking round turned into the little inn, where he spent the night quietly.

The next morning, as soon as he got into the open country, there sat the fox already, and said, I will tell you further what you have to do. Go on quite straight, and at last you will come to a castle, in front of which a whole regiment of soldiers is lying, but do not trouble yourself about them, for they will all be asleep and snoring. Go through the midst of them staight into the castle, and go through all the rooms, till at last you will come to a chamber where a golden bird is hanging in a wooden cage. Close by, there stands an empty gold cage for show, but beware of taking the bird out of the common cage and putting it into the fine one, or it may go badly with you.

With these words the fox again stretched out his tail, and the king's son seated himself upon it, and away he went over stock and stone till his hair whistled in the wind.

When he came to the castle he found everything as the fox had said. The king's son went into the chamber where the golden bird was shut up in a wooden cage, whilst a golden one stood by, and the three golden apples lay about the room. But, thought he, it would be absurd if I were to leave the beautiful bird in the common and ugly cage, so he opened the door, laid hold of it, and put it into the golden cage. But at the same moment the bird uttered a shrill cry. The soldiers awoke, rushed in, and took him off to prison. The next morning he was taken before a court of justice, and as he confessed everything, was sentenced to death.

The king, however, said that he would grant him his life on one condition - namely, if he brought him the golden horse which ran faster than the wind, and in that case he should receive, over and above, as a reward, the golden bird.

The king's son set off, but he sighed and was sorrowful, for how was he to find the golden horse. But all at once he saw his old friend the fox sitting on the road. Look you, said the fox, this has happened because you did not give heed to me. However, be of good courage. I will give you my help, and tell you how to get to the golden horse. You must go straight on, and you will come to a castle, where in the stable stands the horse. The grooms will be lying in front of the stable, but they will be asleep and snoring, and you can quietly lead out the golden horse. But of one thing you must take heed, put on him the common saddle of wood and leather, and not the golden one, which hangs close by, else it will go ill with you. Then the fox stretched out his tail, the king's son seated himself upon it, and away he went over stock and stone until his hair whistled in the wind.

Everything happened just as the fox had said, the prince came to the stable in which the golden horse was standing, but just as he was going to put the common saddle upon him, he thought, such a beautiful beast will be shamed if I do not give him the good saddle which belongs to him by right. But scarcely had the golden saddle touched the horse than he began to neigh loudly. The grooms awoke, seized the youth, and threw him into prison.

The next morning he was sentenced by the court to death, but the king promised to grant him his life, and the golden horse as well, if he could bring back the beautiful princess from the golden castle.

With a heavy heart the youth set out, yet luckily for him he soon found the trusty fox. I ought only to leave you to your ill-luck, said the fox, but I pity you, and will help you once more out of your trouble. This road takes you straight to the golden castle, you will reach it by eventide, and at night when everything is quiet the beautiful princess goes to the bathing-house to bathe. When she enters it, run up to her and give her a kiss, then she will follow you, and you can take her away with you, only do not allow her to take leave of her parents first, or it will go ill with you.

Then the fox stretched out his tail, the king's son seated himself upon it, and away went the fox, over stock and stone, till his hair whistled in the wind.

When he reached the golden castle it was just as the fox had said. He waited until midnight, when everything lay in deep sleep, and the beautiful princess was going to the bathing-house. Then he sprang out and gave her a kiss. She said that she would like to go with him, but she asked him pitifully, and with tears, to allow her first to take leave of her parents. At first he withstood her prayer, but when she wept more and more, and fell at his feet, he at last gave in. But no sooner had the maiden reached the bedside of her father than he and all the rest in the castle awoke, and the youth was laid hold of and put into prison.

The next morning the king said to him, your life is forfeited, and you can only find mercy if you take away the hill which stands in front of my windows, and prevents my seeing beyond it, and you must finish it all within eight days. If you do that you shall have my daughter as your reward.

The king's son began, and dug and shoveled without stopping, but when after seven days he saw how little he had done, and how all his work was as good as nothing, he fell into great sorrow and gave up all hope. But on the evening of the seventh day the fox appeared and said, you do not deserve that I should take my trouble about you, but just go away and lie down to sleep, and I will do the work for you.

The next morning when he awoke and looked out of the window the hill had gone. The youth ran, full of joy, to the king, and told him that the task was fulfilled, and whether he liked it or not, the king had to hold to his word and give him his daughter.

So the two set forth together, and it was not long before the trusty fox came up with them. You have certainly got what is best, said he, but the golden horse also belongs to the maiden of the golden castle. How shall I get it, asked the youth. That I will tell you, answered the fox, first take the beautiful maiden to the king who sent you to the golden castle. There will be unheard-of rejoicing, they will gladly give you the golden horse, and will bring it out to you. Mount it as soon as possible, and offer your hand to all in farewell, last of all to the beautiful maiden. And as soon as you have taken her hand swing her up on to the horse, and gallop away, and no one will be able to bring you back, for the horse runs faster than the wind.

All was carried out successfully, and the king's son carried off the beautiful princess on the golden horse.

The fox did not remain behind, and he said to the youth, now I will help you to get the golden bird. When you come near to the castle where the golden bird is to be found, let the maiden get down, and I will take her into my care. Then ride with the golden horse into the castle-yard, there will be great rejoicing at the sight, and they will bring out the golden bird for you. As soon as you have the cage in your hand gallop back to us, and take the maiden away again.

When the plan had succeeded, and the king's son was about to ride home with his treasures, the fox said, now you shall reward me for my help. What do you require for it, asked the youth. When you get into the wood yonder, shoot me dead, and chop off my head and feet.

That would be fine gratitude, said the king's son. I cannot possibly do that for you.

The fox said, if you will not do it I must leave you, but before I go away I will give you a piece of good advice. Be careful about two things. Buy no gallows'-flesh, and do not sit at the edge of any well. And then he ran into the wood.

The youth thought, that is a wonderful beast, he has strange whims, who on earth would want to buy gallows'-flesh. As for the desire to sit at the edge of a well it has never yet occurred to me.

He rode on with the beautiful maiden, and his road took him again through the village in which his two brothers had remained. There was a great stir and noise, and, when he asked what was going on, he was told that two men were going to be hanged. As he came nearer to the place he saw that they were his brothers, who had been playing all kinds of wicked pranks, and had squandered all their wealth. He inquired whether they could not be set free. If you will pay for them, answered the people, but why should you waste your money on wicked men, and buy them free. He did not think twice about it, but paid for them, and when they were set free they all went on their way together.

They came to the wood where the fox had first met them, and as it was a hot day, but cool and pleasant within the wood, the two brothers said, let us rest a little by the well, and eat and drink. He agreed, and whilst they were talking he forgot himself, and sat down upon the edge of the well without thinking of any evil. But the two brothers threw him backwards into the well, took the maiden, the horse, and the bird, and went home to their father. Here we bring you not only the golden bird, said they, we have won the golden horse also, and the maiden from the golden castle. Then was there great joy, but the horse would not eat, the bird would not sing, and the maiden sat and wept.

But the youngest brother was not dead. By good fortune the well was dry, and he fell upon soft moss without being hurt, but he could not get out again. Even in this strait the faithful fox did not leave him, it came and leapt down to him, and upbraided him for having forgotten its advice. But yet I cannot give up, he said, I will help you up again into daylight. He bade him grasp his tail and keep tight hold of it, and then he pulled him up. You are not out of all danger yet, said the fox. Your brothers were not sure of your death, and have surrounded the wood with watchers, who are to kill you if you let yourself be seen. But a poor man was sitting upon the road, with whom the youth changed clothes, and in this way he got to the king's palace.

No one knew him, but the bird began to sing, the horse began to eat, and the beautiful maiden left off weeping. The king, astonished, asked, what does this mean. Then the maiden said, I do not know, but I have been so sorrowful and now I am so happy. I feel as if my true bridegroom had come. She told him all that had happened, although the other brothers had threatened her with death if she were to betray anything.

The king commanded that all people who were in his castle should be brought before him, and amongst them came the youth in his ragged clothes, but the maiden knew him at once and fell upon his neck. The wicked brothers were seized and put to death, but he was married to the beautiful maiden and declared heir to the king.

But what happened to the poor fox. Long afterwards the king's son was once again walking in the wood, when the fox met him and said, you have everything now that you can wish for, but there is never an end to my misery, and yet it is in your power to free me, and again he asked him with tears to shoot him dead and chop off his head and feet. So he did it, and scarcely was it done when the fox was changed into a man, and was no other than the brother of the beautiful princess, who at last was freed from the magic charm which had been laid upon him. And now they had all the happiness they wanted as long as they lived.

 

The Two Brothers

There were once upon a time two brothers, one rich and the other poor. The rich one was a goldsmith and evil-hearted. The poor one supported himself by making brooms, and was good and honorable. He had two children, who were twin brothers and as like each other as two drops of water. The two boys went in and out of the rich house, and often got some of the scraps to eat. It happened once when the poor man was going into the forest to fetch brush-wood, that he saw a bird which was quite golden and more beautiful than any he had ever chanced to meet with. He picked up a small stone, threw it at it, and was lucky enough to hit it, but one golden feather only fell down, and the bird flew away. The man took the feather and carried it to his brother, who looked at it and said, it is pure gold. And gave him a great deal of money for it. Next day the man climbed into a birch-tree, and was about to cut off a couple of branches when the same bird flew out, and when the man searched he found a nest, and an egg lay inside it, which was of gold. He took the egg home with him, and carried it to his brother, who again said, it is pure gold, and gave him what it was worth. At last the goldsmith said, I should indeed like to have the bird itself. The poor man went into the forest for the third time, and again saw the golden bird sitting on the tree, so he took a stone and brought it down and carried it to his brother, who gave him a great heap of gold for it. Now I can get on, thought he, and went contentedly home.

The goldsmith was crafty and cunning, and knew very well what kind of a bird it was. He called his wife and said, roast me the gold bird, and take care that none of it is lost. I have a fancy to eat it all myself. The bird, however, was no common one, but of so wondrous a kind that whosoever ate its heart and liver found every morning a piece of gold beneath his pillow. The woman prepared the bird, put it on the spit, and let it roast. Now it happened that while it was on the fire, and the woman was forced to go out of the kitchen on account of some other work, the two children of the poor broom-maker ran in, stood by the spit and turned it round once or twice. And as at that very moment two little bits of the bird fell down into the pan, one of the boys said, we will eat these two little bits. I am so hungry, and no one will ever miss them. Then the two ate the pieces, but the woman came into the kitchen and saw that they were eating something and said, what have you been eating. Two little morsels which fell out of the bird, answered they. That must have been the heart and the liver, said the woman, quite frightened, and in order that her husband might not miss them and be angry, she quickly killed a young cock, took out his heart and liver, and put them beside the golden bird. When it was ready, she carried it to the goldsmith, who consumed it all alone, and left none of it. Next morning, however, when he felt beneath his pillow, and expected to bring out the piece of gold, no more gold pieces were there than there had always been.

The two children did not know what a piece of good-fortune had fallen to their lot. Next morning when they arose, something fell rattling to the ground, and when they picked it up there were two gold pieces. They took them to their father, who was astonished and said, how can that have happened. When next morning they again found two, and so on daily, he went to his brother and told him the strange story. The goldsmith at once knew how it had happened, and that the children had eaten the heart and liver of the golden bird, and in order to revenge himself, and because he was envious and hard-hearted, he said to the father, your children are in league with the evil one, do not take the gold, and do not suffer them to stay any longer in your house, for he has them in his power, and may ruin you likewise. The father feared the evil one, and painful as it was to him, he nevertheless led the twins forth into the forest, and with a sad heart left them there.

And now the two children ran about the forest, and sought the way home again, but could not find it, and only lost themselves more and more. At length they met with a huntsman, who asked, to whom do you children belong. We are the poor broom-maker's boys, they replied, and they told him that their father would not keep them any longer in the house because a piece of gold lay every morning under their pillows. Come, said the huntsman, that is nothing so very bad, if at the same time you remain honest, and are not idle. As the good man liked the children, and had none of his own, he took them home with him and said, I will be your father, and bring you up till you are big. They learnt huntsmanship from him, and the piece of gold which each of them found when he awoke, was kept for them by him in case they should need it in the future.

When they were grown up, their foster-father one day took them into the forest with him, and said, to-day shall you make your trial shot, so that I may release you from your apprenticeship, and make you huntsmen. They went with him to lie in wait and stayed there a long time, but no game appeared. The huntsman, however, looked above him and saw a covey of wild geese flying in the form of a triangle, and said to one of them, shoot me down one from each corner. He did it, and thus accomplished his trial shot.

Soon after another covey came flying by in the form of the figure two, and the huntsman bade the other also bring down one from each corner, and his trial shot was likewise successful. Now, said the foster-father, I pronounce you out of your apprenticeship. You are skilled huntsmen. Thereupon the two brothers went forth together into the forest, and took counsel with each other and planned something. And in the evening when they had sat down to supper, they said to their foster-father, we will not touch food, or take one mouthful, until you have granted us a request. Said he, what, then, is your request. They replied, we have now finished learning, and we must prove ourselves in the world, so allow us to go away and travel. Then spoke the old man joyfully, you talk like brave huntsmen, that which you desire has been my wish. Go forth, all will go well with you. Thereupon they ate and drank joyously together.

When the appointed day came, their foster-father presented each of them with a good gun and a dog, and let each of them take as many of his saved-up gold pieces as he chose. Then he accompanied them a part of the way, and when taking leave, he gave them a bright knife, and said, if ever you separate, stick this knife into a tree at the place where you part, and when one of you returns, he will will be able to see how his absent brother is faring, for the side of the knife which is turned in the direction by which he went, will rust if he dies, but will remain bright as long as he is alive. The two brothers went still farther onwards, and came to a forest which was so large that it was impossible for them to get out of it in one day. So they passed the night in it, and ate what they had put in their hunting-pouches, but they walked all the second day likewise, and still did not get out. As they had nothing to eat, one of them said, we must shoot something for ourselves or we shall suffer from hunger, and loaded his gun, and looked about him. And when an old hare came running up towards them, he laid his gun on his shoulder, but the hare cried, dear huntsman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give, and sprang instantly into the thicket, and brought two young ones.

But the little creatures played so merrily, and were so pretty, that the huntsmen could not find it in their hearts to kill them. They therefore kept them with them, and the little hares followed on foot. Soon after this, a fox crept past. They were just going to shoot it, but the fox cried, dear hunstman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give.

He, too, brought two little foxes, and the huntsmen did not like to kill them either, but gave them to the hares for company, and they followed behind. It was not long before a wolf strode out of the thicket. The huntsmen made ready to shoot him, but the wolf cried, dear huntsman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give.

The huntsman put the two wolves beside the other animals, and they followed behind them. Then a bear came who wanted to trot about a little longer, and cried, dear huntsman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give.

The two young bears were added to the others, and there were already eight of them. Then who should come. A lion came, and tossed his mane. But the huntsmen did not let themselves be frightened and aimed at him likewise, but the lion also said, dear huntsman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give.

And he brought his little ones to them, and now the huntsmen had two lions, two bears, two wolves, two foxes, and two hares, who followed them and served them. In the meantime their hunger was not appeased by this, and they said to the foxes, listen you sneakers, provide us with something to eat. You are crafty and cunning. They replied, not far from here lies a village, from which we have already brought many a fowl. We will show you the way there. So they went into the village, bought themselves something to eat, had some food given to their beasts, and then traveled onwards. The foxes knew their way very well about the district and where the poultry-yards were, and were were able to guide the huntsmen.

Now they traveled about for a while, but could find no situation where they could remain together, so they said, there is nothing else for it, we must part. They divided the animals, so that each of them had a lion, a bear, a wolf, a fox, and a hare, then they took leave of each other, promised to love each other like brothers till their death, and stuck the knife which their foster-father had given them, into a tree, after which one went east and the other went west.

The younger, however, arrived with his beasts in a town which was all hung with black crape. He went into an inn, and asked the host if he could accommodate his animals. The innkeeper gave him a stable, where there was a hole in the wall, and the hare crept out and fetched himself the head of a cabbage, and the fox fetched himself a hen, and when he had devoured it got the cock as well, but the wolf, the bear, and the lion could not get out because they were too big. Then the innkeeper let them be taken to a place where a cow happened to be lying on the grass, that they might eat till they were satisfied. And when the huntsman had taken care of his animals, he asked the innkeeper why the town was thus hung with black crape. Said the host, because our king's only daughter is to die to-morrow. The huntsman inquired, is she sick unto death. No, answered the host, she is vigorous and healthy, nevertheless she must die. How is that, asked the huntsman.

There is a high hill without the town, whereon dwells a dragon who every year must have a pure virgin, or he lays the whole country waste, and now all the maidens have already been given to him, and there is no longer anyone left but the king's daughter, yet there is no mercy for her. She must be given up to him, and that is to be done to-morrow. Said the huntsman, why is the dragon not killed. Ah, replied the host, so many knights have tried it, but it has cost all of them their lives. The king has promised that he who conquers the dragon shall have his daughter to wife, and shall likewise govern the kingdom after his own death.

The huntsman said nothing more to this, but next morning took his animals, and with them ascended the dragon's hill. A little church stood at the top of it, and on the altar three full cups were standing, with the inscription. Whosoever empties the cups will become the strongest man on earth, and will be able to wield the sword which is buried before the threshold of the door. The huntsman did not drink, but went out and sought for the sword in the ground, but was unable to move it from its place. Then he went in and emptied the cups, and now he was strong enough to take up the sword, and his hand could quite easily wield it. As the hour came when the maiden was to be delivered over to the dragon, the king, the marshal, and courtiers accompanied her. From afar she saw the huntsman on the dragon's hill, and thought it was the dragon standing there waiting for her, and did not want to go up to him, but at last, because otherwise the whole town would have been destroyed, she was forced to take the fatal journey. The king and courtiers returned home full of grief. The king's marshal, however, was to stand still, and see all from a distance.

When the king's daughter got to the top of the hill, it was not the dragon which stood there, but the young huntsman, who comforted her, and said he would save her, led her into the church, and locked her in. It was not long before the seven-headed dragon came thither with loud roaring. When he perceived the huntsman, he was astonished and said, what business have you here on the hill. The huntsman answered, I want to fight with you. Said the dragon, many knights have left their lives here, I shall soon have made an end of you too, and he breathed fire out of seven jaws.

The fire was to have lighted the dry grass, and the huntsman was to have been suffocated in the heat and smoke, but the animals came running up and trampled out the fire. Then the dragon rushed upon the huntsman, but he swung his sword until it sang through the air, and struck off three of his heads. Then the dragon grew really furious, and rose up in the air, and spat out flames of fire over the huntsman, and was about to plunge down on him, but the huntsman once more drew out his sword, and again cut off three of his heads. The monster became faint and sank down.

Nevertheless it was just able to rush upon the huntsman, when he with his last strength smote its tail off, and as he could fight no longer, called up his animals who tore it in pieces. When the struggle was ended, the huntsman unlocked the church, and found the king's daughter lying on the floor, as she had lost her senses with anguish and terror during the contest. He carried her out, and when she came to herself once more, and opened her eyes, he showed her the dragon all cut to pieces, and told her that she was now set free. She rejoiced and said, now you will be my dearest husband, for my father has promised me to him who kills the dragon. Thereupon she took off her necklace of coral, and divided it amongst the animals in order to reward them, and the lion received the golden clasp. Her pocket-handkerchief, however, on which was her name, she gave to the huntsman, who went and cut the tongues out of the dragons, seven heads, wrapped them in the handkerchief, and preserved them carefully.

That done, as he was so faint and weary with the fire and the battle, he said to the maiden, we are both faint and weary, we will sleep awhile. Then she said, yes, and they lay down on the ground, and the huntsman said to the lion, you shall keep watch, that no one surprises us in our sleep, and both fell asleep. The lion lay down beside them to watch, but he also was so weary with the fight, that he called to the bear and said, lie down near me, I must sleep a little. If anything comes, waken me. Then the bear lay down beside him, but he also was tired, and called the wolf and said, lie down by me, I must sleep a little, but if anything comes, waken me. Then the wolf lay down by him, but he was tired likewise, and called the fox and said, lie down by me, I must sleep a little, if anything comes waken me. Then the fox lay down beside him, but he too was weary, and called the hare and said, lie down near me, I must sleep a little, and if anything should come, waken me. Then the hare sat down by him, but the poor hare was tired too, and had no one whom he could call there to keep watch, and fell asleep. And now the king's daughter, the huntsman, the lion, the bear, the wolf, the fox, and the hare, were all sleeping a sound sleep. The marshal, however, who was to look on from a distance, took courage when he did not see the dragon flying away with the maiden, and finding that all the hill had become quiet, ascended it.

There lay the dragon hacked and hewn to pieces on the ground, and not far from it were the king's daughter and a huntsman with his animals, and all of them were sunk in a sound sleep. And as he was wicked and godless he took his sword, cut off the huntsman's head, and seized the maiden in his arms, and carried her down the hill. Then she awoke and was terrified, but the marshal said, you are in my hands, you shall say that it was I who killed the dragon.

I cannot do that, she replied, for it was a huntsman with his animals who did it. Then he drew his sword, and threatened to kill her if she did not obey him, and so compelled her that she promised it. Then he took her to the king, who did not know how to contain himself for joy when he once more looked on his dear child in life, whom he had believed to have been torn to pieces by the monster. The marshal said to him, I have killed the dragon, and delivered the maiden and the whole kingdom as well, therefore I demand her as my wife, as was promised. The king said to the maiden, is what he says true. Ah, yes, she answered, it must indeed be true, but I will not consent to have the wedding celebrated until after a year and a day, for she thought in that time she should hear something of her dear huntsman.

The animals, however, were still lying sleeping beside their dead master on the dragon's hill, and there came a great bumble-bee and lighted on the hare's nose, but the hare wiped it off with his paw, and went on sleeping. The bumble-bee came a second time, but the hare again rubbed it off and slept on. Then it came for the third time, and stung his nose so that he awoke. As soon as the hare was awake, he roused the fox, and the fox, the wolf, and the wolf the bear, and the bear the lion. And when the lion awoke and saw that the maiden was gone, and his master was dead, he began to roar frightfully and cried, who has done that. Bear, why did you not waken me. The bear asked the wolf, why did you not waken me. And the wolf the fox, why did you not waken me. And the fox the hare, why did you not waken me. The poor hare alone did not know what answer to make, and the blame rested with him. Then they were just going to fall upon him, but he entreated them and said, kill me not, I will bring our master to life again. I know a mountain on which a root grows which, when placed in the mouth of anyone, cures him of all illness and every wound. But the mountain lies two hundred hours, journey from here.

The lion said, in four-and-twenty hours must you have run thither and have come back, and have brought the root with you. Then the hare sprang away, and in four-and-twenty hours he was back, and brought the root with him. The lion put the huntsman's head on again, and the hare placed the root in his mouth, and immediately everything united together again, and his heart beat, and life came back. Then the huntsman awoke, and was alarmed when he did not see the maiden, and thought, she must have gone away whilst I was sleeping, in order to get rid of me. The lion in his great haste had put his master's head on the wrong way round, but the huntsman did not observe it because of his melancholy thoughts about the king's daughter. But at noon, when he was going to eat something, he saw that his head was turned backwards and could not understand it, and asked the animals what had happened to him in his sleep. Then the lion told him that they, too, had all fallen asleep from weariness, and on awaking, had found him dead with his head cut off, that the hare had brought the life-giving root, and that he, in his haste, had laid hold of the head the wrong way, but that he would repair his mistake. Then he tore the huntsman's head off again, turned it round, and the hare healed it with the root.

The huntsman, however, was sad at heart, and traveled about the world, and made his animals dance before people. It came to pass that precisely at the end of one year he came back to the same town where he had rescued the king's daughter from the dragon, and this time the town was gaily hung with red cloth. Then he said to the host, what does this mean. Last year the town was all hung with black crape, what means the red cloth to-day. The host answered, last year our king's daughter was to have been delivered over to the dragon, but the marshal fought with it and killed it, and so to-morrow their wedding is to be solemnized, and that is why the town was then hung with black crape for mourning, and is to-day covered with red cloth for joy.

Next day when the wedding was to take place, the huntsman said at mid-day to the inn-keeper, do you believe, sir host, that I while with you here to-day shall eat bread from the king's own table.

Nay, said the host, I would bet a hundred pieces of gold that that will not come true. The huntsman accepted the wager, and set against it a purse with just the same number of gold pieces. Then he called the hare and said, go, my dear runner, and fetch me some of the bread which the king is eating. Now the little hare was the lowest of the animals, and could not transfer this order to any the others, but had to get on his legs himself. Alas. Thought he, if I bound through the streets thus alone, the butchers, dogs will all be after me. It happened as he expected, and the dogs came after him and wanted to make holes in his good skin. But he sprang away, you have never seen the like, and sheltered himself in a sentry-box without the soldier being aware of it. Then the dogs came and wanted to have him out, but the soldier did not understand a jest, and struck them with the butt-end of his gun, till they ran away yelling and howling. As soon as the hare saw that the way was clear, he ran into the palace and straight to the king's daughter, sat down under her chair, and scratched at her foot. Then she said, will you get away, and thought it was her dog. The hare scratched her foot for the second time, and she again said, will you get away, and thought it was her dog. But the hare did not let itself be turned from its purpose, and scratched her for the third time. Then she peeped down, and knew the hare by its collar.

She took him on her lap, carried him into her chamber, and said, dear hare, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and has sent me to ask for a loaf of bread like that which the king eats. Then she was full of joy and had the baker summoned, and ordered him to bring a loaf such as was eaten by the king. The little hare said, but the baker must likewise carry it thither for me, that the butchers, dogs may do no harm to me. The baker carried if for him as far as the door of the inn, and then the hare got on his hind legs, took the loaf in his front paws, and carried it to his master. Then said the huntsman, behold, sir host, the hundred pieces of gold are mine. The host was astonished, but the huntsman went on to say, yes, sir host, I have the bread, but now I will likewise have some of the king's roast meat.

The host said, I should indeed like to see that, but he would make no more wagers. The huntsman called the fox and said, my little fox, go and fetch me some roast meat, such as the king eats.

The red fox knew the byways better, and went by holes and corners without any dog seeing him, seated himself under the chair of the king's daughter, and scratched her foot. Then she looked down and recognized the fox by its collar, took him into her chamber with her and said, dear fox, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and has sent me. I am to ask for some roast meat such as the king is eating. Then she made the cook come, who was obliged to prepare a roast joint, the same as was eaten by the king, and to carry it for the fox as far as the door. Then the fox took the dish, waved away with his tail the flies which had settled on the meat, and then carried it to his master. Behold, sir host, said the huntsman, bread and meat are here but now I will also have proper vegetables with it, such as are eaten by the king. Then he called the wolf, and said, dear wolf, go thither and fetch me vegetables such as the king eats.

Then the wolf went straight to the palace, as he feared no one, and when he got to the king's daughter's parlor, he tugged at the back of her dress, so that she was forced to look round. She recognized him by his collar, and took him into her chamber with her, and said, dear wolf, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, I am to ask for some vegetables, such as the king eats. Then she made the cook come, and he had to make ready a dish of vegetables, such as the king ate, and had to carry it for the wolf as far as the door, and then the wolf took the dish from him, and carried it to his master. Behold, sir host, said the huntsman, now I have bread and meat and vegetables, but I will also have some pastry to eat like that which the king eats. He called the bear, and said, dear bear, you are fond of licking anything sweet, go and bring me some confectionery, such as the king eats.

The the bear trotted to the palace, and everyone got out of his way, but when he went to the guard, they presented their muskets, and would not let him go into the royal palace. But he got up on his hind legs, and gave them a few boxes on the ears, right and left, with his paws, so that the whole watch broke up, and then he went straight to the king's daughter, placed himself behind her, and growled a little. Then she looked behind her, knew the bear, and bade him go into her room with her, and said, dear bear, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and I am to ask for some confectionery such as the king eats. Then she summoned her confectioner, who had to bake confectionery such as the king ate, and carry it to the door for the bear. Then the bear first licked up the comfits which had rolled down, and then he stood upright, took the dish, and carried it to his master. Behold, sir host, said the huntsman, now I have bread, meat, vegetables and confectionery, but I will drink wine also, and such as the king drinks. He called his lion to him and said, dear lion, you yourself like to drink till you are tipsy, go and fetch me some wine, such as is drunk by the king.

Then the lion strode through the streets, and the people fled from him, and when he came to the watch, they wanted to bar the way against him, but he did but roar once, and they all ran away. Then the lion went to the royal apartment, and knocked at the door with his tail. The the king's daughter came forth, and was almost afraid of the lion, but she knew him by the golden clasp of her necklace, and bade him go with her into her chamber, and said, dear lion, what will you have. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and I am to ask for some wine such as is drunk by the king. Then she bade the cup-bearer be called, who was to give the lion some wine like that which was drunk by the king. The lion said, I will go with him, and see that I get the right wine. Then he went down with the cup-bearer, and when they were below, the cup-bearer wanted to draw him some of the common wine that was drunk by the king's servants, but the lion said, stop, I will taste the wine first, and he drew half a measure, and swallowed it down at one draught. No, said he, that is not right. The cup-bearer looked at him askance, but went on, and was about to give him some out of another barrel which was for the king's marshal. The lion said, stop, let me taste the wine first, and drew half a measure and drank it. That is better, but still not right, said he. Then the cup-bearer grew angry and said, how can a stupid animal like you understand wine. But the lion gave him a blow behind the ears, which made him fall down by no means gently, and when he had got up again, he conducted the lion quite silently into a little cellar apart, where the king's wine lay, from which no one ever drank. The lion first drew half a measure and tried the wine, and then he said, that may possibly be the right sort, and bade the cup-bearer fill six bottles of it. And now they went upstairs again, but when the lion came out of the cellar into the open air, he reeled here and there, and was rather drunk, and the cup-bearer was forced to carry the wine as far as the door for him, and then the lion took the handle of the basket in his mouth, and took it to his master. The huntsman said, behold, sir host, here have I bread, meat, vegetables, confectionery and wine such as the king has, and now I will dine with my animals, and he sat down and ate and drank, and gave the hare, the fox, the wolf, the bear, and the lion also to eat and to drink, and was joyful, for he saw that the king's daughter still loved him. And when he had finished his dinner, he said, sir host, now have I eaten and drunk, as the king eats and drinks, and now I will go to the king's court and marry the king's daughter.

Said the host, how can that be, when she already has a betrothed husband, and when the wedding is to be solemnized to-day. Then the huntsman drew forth the handerchief which the king's daughter had given him on the dragon's hill, and in which were folded the monster's seven tongues, and said, that which I hold in my hand shall help me to do it. Then the innkeeper looked at the handkerchief, and said, whatever I believe, I do not believe that, and I am willing to stake my house and courtyard on it. The huntsman, however, took a bag with a thousand gold pieces, put it on the table, and said, I stake that on it.

Now the king said to his daughter, at the royal table, what did all the wild animals want, which have been coming to you, and going in and out of my palace. She replied, I may not tell you, but send and have the master of these animals brought, and you will do well. The king sent a servant to the inn, and invited the stranger, and the servant came just as the huntsman had laid his wager with the innkeeper. Then said he, behold, sir host, now the king sends his servant and invites me, but I do not go in this way.

And he said to the servant, I request the lord king to send me royal clothing, and a carriage with six horses, and servants to attend me. When the king heard the answer, he said to his daughter, what shall I do. She said, cause him to be fetched as he desires to be, and you will do well. Then the king sent royal apparel, a carriage with six horses, and servants to wait on him. When the huntsman saw them coming, he said, behold, sir host, now I am fetched as I desired to be, and he put on the royal garments, took the handerchief with the dragon's tongues with him, and drove off to the king. When the king saw him coming, he said to his daughter, how shall I receive him. She answered, go to meet him and you will do well. Then the king went to meet him and led him in, and his animals followed. The king gave him a seat near himself and his daughter, and the marshal, as bridegroom, sat on the other side, but no longer knew the huntsman. And now at this very moment, the seven heads of the dragon were brought in as a spectacle, and the king said, the seven heads were cut off the dragon by the marshal, wherefore to-day I give him my daughter to wife. The the huntsman stood up, opened the seven mouths, and said, where are the seven tongues of the dragon. Then was the marshal terrified, and grew pale and knew not what answer he should make, and at length in his anguish he said, dragons have no tongues. The huntsman said, liars ought to have none, but the dragon's tongues are the tokens of the victor, and he unfolded the handerchief, and there lay all seven inside it. And he put each tongue in the mouth to which it belonged, and it fitted exactly.

Then he took the handkerchief on which the name of the princess was embroidered, and showed it to the maiden, and asked to whom she had given it, and she replied, to him who killed the dragon. And then he called his animals, and took the collar off each of them and the golden clasp from the lion, and showed them to the maiden and asked to whom they belonged. She answered, the necklace and golden clasp were mine, but I divided them among the animals who helped to conquer the dragon. Then spoke the huntsman, when I, tired of the fight, was resting and sleeping, the marshal came and cut off my head. Then he carried away the king's daughter, and gave out that it was he who had killed the dragon, but that he lied I prove with the tongues, the handkerchief, and the necklace.

And then he related how his animals had healed him by means of a wonderful root, and how he had traveled about with them for one year, and had at length come there and had learnt the treachery of the marshal by the inn-keeper's story. Then the king asked his daughter, is it true that this man killed the dragon.

And she answered, yes, it is true. Now can I reveal the wicked deed of the marshal, as it has come to light without my connivance, for he wrung from me a promise to be silent. For this reason, however, did I make the condition that the marriage should not be solemnized for a year and a day. Then the king bade twelve councillors be summoned who were to pronounce judgment on the marshal, and they sentenced him to be torn to pieces by four bulls.

The marshal was therefore executed, but the king gave his daughter to the huntsman, and named him his viceroy over the whole kingdom. The wedding was celebrated with great joy, and the young king caused his father and his foster-father to be brought, and loaded them with treasures. Neither did he forget the inn-keeper, but sent for him and said, behold, sir host, I have married the king's daughter, and your house and yard are mine.

The host said, yes, according to justice it is so. But the young king said, it shall be done according to mercy, and told him that he should keep his house and yard, and gave him the thousand pieces of gold as well.

And now the young king and queen were thoroughly happy, and lived in gladness together. He often went out hunting because it was a delight to him, and the faithful animals had to accompany him. In the neighborhood, however, there was a forest of which it was reported that it was haunted, and that whosoever did but enter it did not easily get out again. But the young king had a great inclination to hunt in it, and let the old king have no peace until he allowed him to do so. So he rode forth with a great following, and when he came to the forest, he saw a snow-white hind, and said to his men, wait here until I return, I want to hunt that beautiful creature, and he rode into the forest after it, followed only by his animals. The attendants halted and waited until evening, but he did not return, so they rode home, and told the young queen that the young king had followed a white hind into the enchanted forest, and had not come back again. Then she was in the greatest concern about him. He, however, had still continued to ride on and on after the beautiful wild animal, and had never been able to overtake it, when he thought he was near enough to aim, he instantly saw it bound away into the far distance, and at length it vanished altogether. And now he perceived that he had penetrated deep into the forest, and blew his horn but he received no answer, for his attendants could not hear it. And as night was falling, he saw that he could not get home that day, so he dismounted from his horse, lighted himself a fire near a tree, and resolved to spend the night by it. While he was sitting by the fire, and his animals also were lying down beside him, it seemed to him that he heard a human voice. He looked round, but could perceived nothing. Soon afterwards, he again heard a groan as if from above, and then he looked up, and saw an old woman sitting in the tree, who wailed unceasingly, oh, oh, oh, how cold I am. Said he, come down, and warm yourself if you are cold. But she said, no, your animals will bite me. He answered, they will do you no harm, old mother, do come down. She, however, was a witch, and said, I will throw down a wand from the tree, and if you strike them on the back with it, they will do me no harm. Then she threw him a small wand, and he struck them with it, and instantly they lay still and were turned into stone. And when the witch was safe from the animals, she leapt down and touched him also with a wand, and changed him to stone. Thereupon she laughed, and dragged him and the animals into a vault, where many more such stones already lay.

As the young king did not come back at all, the queen's anguish and care grew constantly greater. And it so happened that at this very time the other brother who had turned to the east when they separated, came into the kingdom. He had sought a situation, and had found none, and had then traveled about here and there, and had made his animals dance. Then it came into his mind that he would just go and look at the knife that they had thrust in the trunk of a tree at their parting, that he might learn how his brother was. When he got there his brother's side of the knife was half rusted, and half bright. Then he was alarmed and thought, a great misfortune must have befallen my brother, but perhaps I can still save him, for half the knife is still bright. He and his animals traveled towards the west, and when he entered the gate of the town, the guard came to meet him, and asked if he was to announce him to his consort the young queen, who had for a couple of days been in the greatest sorrow about his staying away, and was afraid he had been killed in the enchanted forest.

The sentries, indeed, thought no otherwise than that he was the young king himself, for he looked so like him, and had wild animals running behind him. Then he saw that they were speaking of his brother, and thought, it will be better if I pass myself off for him, and then I can rescue him more easily. So he allowed himself to be escorted into the castle by the guard, and was received with the greatest joy. The young queen indeed thought that he was her husband, and asked him why he had stayed away so long. He answered, I had lost myself in a forest, and could not find my way out again any sooner. At night he was taken to the royal bed, but he laid a two-edged sword between him and the young queen, she did not know what that could mean, but did not venture to ask.

He remained in the palace a couple of days, and in the meantime inquired into everything which related to the enchanted forest, and at last he said, I must hunt there once more. The king and the young queen wanted to persuade him not to do it, but he stood out against them, and went forth with a larger following. When he had got into the forest, it fared with him as with his brother, he saw a white hind and said to his men, stay here, and wait until I return, I want to chase the lovely wild beast, and then he rode into the forest and his animals ran after him. But he could not overtake the hind, and got so deep into the forest that he was forced to pass the night there. And when he had lighted a fire, he heard someone wailing above him, oh, oh, oh, how cold I am.

Then he looked up, and the self-same witch was sitting in the tree. Said he, if you are cold, come down, little old mother, and warm yourself. She answered, no, your animals will bite me. But he said, they will not hurt you. Then she cried, I will throw down a wand to you, and if you smite them with it they will do me no harm. When the huntsman heard that, he had no confidence in the old woman, and said, I will not strike my animals. Come down, or I will fetch you. Then she cried, what do you want. You shall not touch me. But he replied, if you do not come, I will shoot you. Said she, shoot away, I do not fear your bullets.

Then he aimed, and fired at her, but the witch was proof against all leaden bullets, and laughed shrilly and cried, you shall not hit me. The huntsman knew what to do, tore three silver buttons off his coat, and loaded his gun with them, for against them her arts were useless, and when he fired she fell down at once with a scream. Then he set his foot on her and said, old witch, if you do not instantly confess where my brother is, I will seize you with both my hands and throw you into the fire. She was in a great fright, begged for mercy and said, he and his animals lie in a vault, turned to stone. Then he compelled her to go thither with him, threatened her, and said, old sea-cat, now you shall make my brother and all the human beings lying here, alive again, or you shall go into the fire. She took a wand and touched the stones, and then his brother with his animals came to life again, and many others, merchants, artisans, and shepherds, arose, thanked him for their deliverance, and went to their homes. But when the twin brothers saw each other again, they kissed each other and rejoiced with all their hearts. Then they seized the witch, bound her and laid her on the fire, and when she was burnt the forest opened of its own accord, and was light and clear, and the king's palace could be seen at about the distance of a three hours, walk.

Thereupon the two brothers went home together, and on the way told each other their histories. And when the younger said that he was ruler of the whole country in the king's stead, the other observed, that I remarked very well, for when I came to the town, and was taken for you, all royal honors were paid me, the young queen looked on me as her husband, and I had to eat at her side, and sleep in your bed. When the other heard that, he became so jealous and angry that he drew his sword, and struck off his brother's head. But when he saw him lying there dead, and saw his red blood flowing, he repented most violently, my brother delivered me, cried he, and I have killed him for it, and he bewailed him aloud. Then his hare came and offered to go and bring some of the root of life, and bounded away and brought it while yet there was time, and the dead man was brought to life again, and knew nothing about the wound.

After this they journeyed onwards, and the younger said, you look like me, you have royal apparel on as I have, and the animals follow you as they do me, we will go in by opposite gates, and arrive at the same time from the two sides in the aged king's presence. So they separated, and at the same time came the watchmen from the one door and from the other, and announced that the young king and the animals had returned from the chase.

The king said, it is not possible, the gates lie quite a mile apart. In the meantime, however, the two brothers entered the courtyard of the palace from opposite sides, and both mounted the steps. Then the king said to the daughter, say which is your husband.

Each of them looks exactly like the other, I cannot tell. Then she was in great distress, and could not tell, but at last she remembered the necklace which she had given to the animals, and she sought for and found her little golden clasp on the lion, and she cried in her delight, he who is followed by this lion is my true husband. Then the young king laughed and said, yes, he is the right one, and they sat down together to table, and ate and drank, and were merry. At night when the young king went to bed, his wife said, why have you for these last nights always laid a two-edged sword in our bed. I thought you had a wish to kill me. Then he knew how true his brother had been.

 

The Golden Goose

There was a man who had three sons, the youngest of whom was called Dummling, and was despised, mocked, and sneered at on every occasion.

It happened that the eldest wanted to go into the forest to hew wood, and before he went his mother gave him a beautiful sweet cake and a bottle of wine in order that he might not suffer from hunger or thirst.

When he entered the forest he met a little grey-haired old man who bade him good-day, and said, do give me a piece of cake out of your pocket, and let me have a draught of your wine, I am so hungry and thirsty. But the clever son answered, if I give you my cake and wine, I shall have none for myself, be off with you, and he left the little man standing and went on.

But when he began to hew down a tree, it was not long before he made a false stroke, and the axe cut him in the arm, so that he had to go home and have it bound up. And this was the little grey man's doing.

After this the second son went into the forest, and his mother gave him, like the eldest, a cake and a bottle of wine. The little old grey man met him likewise, and asked him for a piece of cake and a drink of wine. But the second son, too, said sensibly enough, what I give you will be taken away from myself, be off, and he left the little man standing and went on. His punishment, however, was not delayed, when he had made a few blows at the tree he struck himself in the leg, so that he had to be carried home.

Then Dummling said, father, do let me go and cut wood. The father answered, your brothers have hurt themselves with it, leave it alone, you do not understand anything about it. But Dummling begged so long that at last he said, just go then, you will get wiser by hurting yourself. His mother gave him a cake made with water and baked in the cinders, and with it a bottle of sour beer.

When he came to the forest the little old grey man met him likewise, and greeting him, said, give me a piece of your cake and a drink out of your bottle, I am so hungry and thirsty.

Dummling answered, I have only cinder-cake and sour beer, if that pleases you, we will sit down and eat. So they sat down, and when Dummling pulled out his cinder-cake, it was a fine sweet cake, and the sour beer had become good wine. So they ate and drank, and after that the little man said, since you have a good heart, and are willing to divide what you have, I will give you good luck. There stands an old tree, cut it down, and you will find something at the roots. Then the little man took leave of him.

Dummling went and cut down the tree, and when it fell there was a goose sitting in the roots with feathers of pure gold. He lifted her up, and taking her with him, went to an inn where he thought he would stay the night. Now the host had three daughters, who saw the goose and were curious to know what such a wonderful bird might be, and would have liked to have one of its golden feathers.

The eldest thought, I shall soon find an opportunity of pulling out a feather, and as soon as Dummling had gone out she seized the goose by the wing, but her finger and hand remained sticking fast to it.

The second came soon afterwards, thinking only of how she might get a feather for herself, but she had scarcely touched her sister than she was held fast.

At last the third also came with the like intent, and the others screamed out, keep away, for goodness, sake keep away. But she did not understand why she was to keep away. The others are there, she thought, I may as well be there too, and ran to them, but as soon as she had touched her sister, she remained sticking fast to her. So they had to spend the night with the goose.

The next morning Dummling took the goose under his arm and set out, without troubling himself about the three girls who were hanging on to it. They were obliged to run after him continually, now left, now right, wherever his legs took him.

In the middle of the fields the parson met them, and when he saw the procession he said, for shame, you good-for-nothing girls, why are you running across the fields after this young man. Is that seemly? At the same time he seized the youngest by the hand in order to pull her away, but as soon as he touched her he likewise stuck fast, and was himself obliged to run behind.

Before long the sexton came by and saw his master, the parson, running behind three girls. He was astonished at this and called out, hi, your reverence, whither away so quickly. Do not forget that we have a christening to-day, and running after him he took him by the sleeve, but was also held fast to it. Whilst the five were trotting thus one behind the other, two laborers came with their hoes from the fields, the parson called out to them and begged that they would set him and the sexton free. But they had scarcely touched the sexton when they were held fast, and now there were seven of them running behind Dummling and the goose.

Soon afterwards he came to a city, where a king ruled who had a daughter who was so serious that no one could make her laugh. So he had put forth a decree that whosoever should be able to make her laugh should marry her. When Dummling heard this, he went with his goose and all her train before the king's daughter, and as soon as she saw the seven people running on and on, one behind the other, she began to laugh quite loudly, and as if she would never stop.

Thereupon Dummling asked to have her for his wife, but the king did not like the son-in-law, and made all manner of excuses and said he must first produce a man who could drink a cellarful of wine.

Dummling thought of the little grey man, who could certainly help him, so he went into the forest, and in the same place where he had felled the tree, he saw a man sitting, who had a very sorrowful face. Dummling asked him what he was taking to heart so sorely, and he answered, I have such a great thirst and cannot quench it, cold water I cannot stand, a barrel of wine I have just emptied, but that to me is like a drop on a hot stone.

There, I can help you, said Dummling, just come with me and you shall be satisfied.

He led him into the king's cellar, and the man bent over the huge barrels, and drank and drank till his loins hurt, and before the day was out he had emptied all the barrels. Then Dummling asked once more for his bride, but the king was vexed that such an ugly fellow, whom everyone called Dummling, should take away his daughter, and he made a new condition, he must first find a man who could eat a whole mountain of bread. Dummling did not think long, but went straight into the forest, where in the same place there sat a man who was tying up his body with a strap, and making an awful face, and saying, I have eaten a whole ovenful of rolls, but what good is that when one has such a hunger as I. My stomach remains empty, and I must tie myself up if I am not to die of hunger.

At this Dummling was glad, and said, get up and come with me, you shall eat yourself full. He led him to the king's palace, where all the flour in the whole kingdom was collected, and from it he caused a huge mountain of bread to be baked. The man from the forest stood before it, began to eat, and by the end of one day the whole mountain had vanished. Then Dummling for the third time asked for his bride, but the king again sought a way out, and ordered a ship which could sail on land and on water. As soon as you come sailing back in it, said he, you shall have my daughter for wife.

Dummling went straight into the forest, and there sat the little grey man to whom he had given his cake. When he heard what Dummling wanted, he said, since you have given me to eat and to drink, I will give you the ship, and I do all this because you once were kind to me. Then he gave him the ship which could sail on land and water, and when the king saw that, he could no longer prevent him from having his daughter. The wedding was celebrated, and after the king's death, Dummling inherited his kingdom and lived for a long time contentedly with his wife.

 

Allerleirauh

There was once upon a time a king who had a wife with golden hair, and she was so beautiful that her equal was not to be found on earth. It came to pass that she lay ill, and as she felt that she must soon die, she called the king and said, if you wish to marry again after my death, take no one who is not quite as beautiful as I am, and who has not just such golden hair as I have, this you must promise me. And after the king had promised her this she closed her eyes and died.

For a long time the king could not be comforted, and had no thought of taking another wife. At length his councillors said, this cannot go on. The king must marry again, that we may have a queen. And now messengers were sent about far and wide, to seek a bride who equalled the late queen in beauty. In the whole world, however, none was to be found, and even if one had been found, still there would have been no one who had such golden hair. So the messengers came home as they went.

Now the king had a daughter, who was just as beautiful as her dead mother, and had the same golden hair. When she was grown up the king looked at her one day, and saw that in every respect she was like his late wife, and suddenly felt a violent love for her. Then he spoke to his councillors, I will marry my daughter, for she is the counterpart of my late wife, otherwise I can find no bride who resembles her. When the councillors heard that, they were shocked, and said, God has forbidden a father to marry his daughter. No good can come from such a crime, and the kingdom will be involved in the ruin.

The daughter was still more shocked when she became aware of her father's resolution, but hoped to turn him from his design. Then she said to him, before I fulfil your wish, I must have three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars, besides this, I wish for a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur and peltry joined together, and one of every kind of animal in your kingdom must give a piece of his skin for it. For she thought, to get that will be quite impossible, and thus I shall divert my father from his wicked intentions. The king, however, did not give it up, and the cleverest maidens in his kingdom had to weave the three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars, and his huntsmen had to catch one of every kind of animal in the whole of his kingdom, and take from it a piece of its skin, and out of these was made a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur. At length, when all was ready, the king caused the mantle to be brought, spread it out before her, and said, the wedding shall be tomorrow.

When, therefore, the king's daughter saw that there was no longer any hope of turning her father's heart, she resolved to run away. In the night whilst every one was asleep, she got up, and took three different things from her treasures, a golden ring, a golden spinning-wheel, and a golden reel. The three dresses of the sun, moon, and stars she placed into a nutshell, put on her mantle of all kinds of fur, and blackened her face and hands with soot. Then she commended herself to God, and went away, and walked the whole night until she reached a great forest. And as she was tired, she got into a hollow tree, and fell asleep.

The sun rose, and she slept on, and she was still sleeping when it was full day. Then it so happened that the king to whom this forest belonged, was hunting in it. When his dogs came to the tree, they sniffed, and ran barking round about it. The king said to the huntsmen, just see what kind of wild beast has hidden itself in there. The huntsmen obeyed his order, and when they came back they said, a wondrous beast is lying in the hollow tree, we have never before seen one like it. Its skin is fur of a thousand different kinds, but it is lying asleep. Said the king, see if you can catch it alive, and then fasten it to the carriage, and we will take it with us. When the huntsmen laid hold of the maiden, she awoke full of terror, and cried to them, I am a poor child, deserted by father and mother, have pity on me, and take me with you. Then said they, Allerleirauh, you will be useful in the kitchen, come with us, and you can sweep up the ashes. So they put her in the carriage, and took her home to the royal palace. There they pointed out to her a closet under the stairs, where no daylight entered, and said, hairy animal, there you can live and sleep. Then she was sent into the kitchen, and there she carried wood and water, swept the hearth, plucked the fowls, picked the vegetables, raked the ashes, and did all the dirty work.

Allerleirauh lived there for a long time in great wretchedness. Alas, fair princess, what is to become of you now. It happened, however, that one day a feast was held in the palace, and she said to the cook, may I go upstairs for a while, and look on. I will place myself outside the door. The cook answered, yes, go, but you must be back here in half-an-hour to sweep the hearth.

Then she took her oil-lamp, went into her den, put off her dress of fur, and washed the soot off her face and hands, so that her full beauty once more came to light. And she opened the nut, and took out her dress which shone like the sun, and when she had done that she went up to the festival, and every one made way for her, for no one knew her, and thought no otherwise than that she was a king's daughter. The king came to meet her, gave his hand to her, and danced with her, and thought in his heart, my eyes have never yet seen any one so beautiful. When the dance was over she curtsied, and when the king looked round again she had vanished, and none knew whither. The guards who stood outside the palace were called and questioned, but no one had seen her.

She had run into her little den, however, there quickly taken off her dress, made her face and hands black again, put on the mantle of fur, and again was Allerleirauh. And now when she went into the kitchen, and was about to get to her work and sweep up the ashes, the cook said, leave that alone till morning, and make me the soup for the king, I, too, will go upstairs awhile, and take a look, but let no hairs fall in, or in future you shall have nothing to eat. So the cook went away, and Allerleirauh made the soup for the king, and made bread soup and the best she could, and when it was ready she fetched her golden ring from her little den, and put it in the bowl in which the soup was served. When the dancing was over, the king had his soup brought and ate it, and he liked it so much that it seemed to him he had never tasted better. But when he came to the bottom of the bowl, he saw a golden ring lying, and could not conceive how it could have got there. Then he ordered the cook to appear before him. The cook was terrified when he heard the order, and said to Allerleirauh, you have certainly let a hair fall into the soup, and if you have, you shall be beaten for it.

When he came before the king the latter asked who had made the soup. The cook replied, I made it. But the king said, that is not true, for it was much better than usual, and cooked differently. He answered, I must acknowledge that I did not make it, it was made by the hairy animal. The king said, go and bid it come up here.

When Allerleirauh came, the king said, who are you. I am a poor girl who no longer has any father or mother. He asked further, of what use are you in my palace. She answered, I am good for nothing but to have boots thrown at my head. He continued, where did you get the ring which was in the soup. She answered, I know nothing about the ring. So the king could learn nothing, and had to send her away again.

After a while, there was another festival, and then, as before, Allerleirauh begged the cook for leave to go and look on. He answered, yes, but come back again in half-an-hour, and make the king the bread soup which he so much likes. Then she ran into her den, washed herself quickly, and took out of the nut the dress which was as silvery as the moon, and put it on. Then she went up and was like a princess, and the king stepped forward to meet her, and rejoiced to see her once more, and as the dance was just beginning they danced it together. But when it was ended, she again disappeared so quickly that the king could not observe where she went. She, however, sprang into her den, and once more made herself a hairy animal, and went into the kitchen to prepare the bread soup. When the cook had gone upstairs, she fetched the little golden spinning-wheel, and put it in the bowl so that the soup covered it. Then it was taken to the king, who ate it, and liked it as much as before, and had the cook brought, who this time likewise was forced to confess that Allerleirauh had prepared the soup. Allerleirauh again came before the king, but she answered that she was good for nothing else but to have boots thrown at her head, and that she knew nothing at all about the little golden spinning-wheel.

When, for the third time, the king held a festival, all happened just as it had done before. The cook said, fur-skin, you are a witch, and always put something in the soup which makes it so good that the king likes it better than that which I cook, but as she begged so hard, he let her go up at the appointed time. And now she put on the dress which shone like the stars, and thus entered the hall. Again the king danced with the beautiful maiden, and thought that she never yet had been so beautiful.

And whilst she was dancing, he contrived, without her noticing it, to slip a golden ring on her finger, and he had given orders that the dance should last a very long time. When it was ended, he wanted to hold her fast by her hands, but she tore herself loose, and sprang away so quickly through the crowd that she vanished from his sight. She ran as fast as she could into her den beneath the stairs, but as she had been too long, and had stayed more than half-an-hour she could not take off her pretty dress, but only threw over it her mantle of fur, and in her haste she did not make herself quite black, but one finger remained white. Then Allerleirauh ran into the kitchen, and cooked the bread soup for the king, and as the cook was away, put her golden reel into it.

When the king found the reel at the bottom of it, he caused Allerleirauh to be summoned, and then he espied the white finger, and saw the ring which he had put on it during the dance. Then he grasped her by the hand, and held her fast, and when she wanted to release herself and run away, her mantle of fur opened a little, and the star-dress shone forth. The king clutched the mantle and tore it off. Then her golden hair shone forth, and she stood there in full splendor, and could no longer hide herself. And when she had washed the soot and ashes from her face, she was more beautiful than anyone who had ever been seen on earth. But the king said, you are my dear bride, and we will never more part from each other. Thereupon the marriage was solemnized, and they lived happily until their death.

 

The Pink

There was once upon a time a queen to whom God had given no children. Every morning she went into the garden and prayed to God in heaven to bestow on her a son or a daughter. Then an angel from heaven came to her and said, be at rest, you shall have a son with the power of wishing, so that whatsoever in the world he wishes for, that shall he have. Then she went to the king, and told him the joyful tidings, and when the time was come she gave birth to a son, and the king was filled with gladness.

Every morning she went with the child to the garden where the wild beasts were kept, and washed herself there in a clear stream. It happened once when the child was a little older, that it was lying in her arms and she fell asleep. Then came the old cook, who knew that the child had the power of wishing, and stole it away, and he took a hen, and cut it in pieces, and dropped some of its blood on the queen's apron and on her dress. Then he carried the child away to a secret place, where a nurse was obliged to suckle it, and he ran to the king and accused the queen of having allowed her child to be taken from her by the wild beasts. When the king saw the blood on her apron, he believed this, fell into such a passion that he ordered a high tower to be built, in which neither sun nor moon could be seen, and had his wife put into it, and walled up. Here she was to stay for seven years without meat or drink, and die of hunger. But God sent two angels from heaven in the shape of white doves, which flew to her twice a day, and carried her food until the seven years were over.

The cook, however, thought to himself, if the child has the power of wishing, and I am here, he might very easily get me into trouble. So he left the palace and went to the boy, who was already big enough to speak, and said to him, wish for a beautiful palace for yourself with a garden, and all else that pertains to it. Scarcely were the words out of the boy's mouth, when everything was there that he had wished for. After a while the cook said to him, it is not well for you to be so alone, wish for a pretty girl as a companion. Then the king's son wished for one, and she immediately stood before him, and was more beautiful than any painter could have painted her.

The two played together, and loved each other with all their hearts, and the old cook went out hunting like a nobleman. The thought occurred to him, however, that the king's son might some day wish to be with his father, and thus bring him into great peril. So he went out and took the maiden aside, and said, to-night when the boy is asleep, go to his bed and plunge this knife into his heart, and bring me his heart and tongue, and if you do not do it, you shall lose your life.

Thereupon he went away, and when he returned next day she had not done it, and said, why should I shed the blood of an innocent boy who has never harmed anyone. The cook once more said, if you do not do it, it shall cost you your own life.

When he had gone away, she had a little hind brought to her, and ordered her to be killed, and took her heart and tongue, and laid them on a plate, and when she saw the old man coming, she said to the boy, lie down in your bed, and draw the clothes over you. Then the wicked wretch came in and said, where are the boy's heart and tongue. The girl reached the plate to him, but the king's son threw off the quilt, and said, you old sinner, why did you want to kill me. Now will I pronounce thy sentence. You shall become a black poodle and have a gold collar round your neck, and shall eat burning coals, till the flames burst forth from your throat. And when he had spoken these words, the old man was changed into a poodle dog, and had a gold collar round his neck, and the cooks were ordered to bring up some live coals, and these he ate, until the flames broke forth from his throat.

The king's son remained there a short while longer, and he thought of his mother, and wondered if she were still alive. At length he said to the maiden, I will go home to my own country, if you will go with me, I will provide for you.

Ah, she replied, the way is so long, and what shall I do in a strange land where I am unknown. As she did not seem quite willing, and as they could not be parted from each other, he wished that she might be changed into a beautiful pink, and took her with him. Then he went away to his own country, and the poodle had to run after him.

He went to the tower in which his mother was confined, and as it was so high, he wished for a ladder which would reach up to the very top. Then he mounted up and looked inside, and cried, beloved mother, lady queen, are you still alive, or are you dead. She answered, I have just eaten, and am still satisfied, for she thought the angels were there. Said he, I am your dear son, whom the wild beasts were said to have torn from your arms, but I am alive still, and will soon set you free.

Then he descended again, and went to his father, and caused himself to be ammounced as a strange huntsman, and asked if he could offer him service. The king said yes, if he was skilful and could get game for him, he should come to him, but that deer had never taken up their quarters in any part of the district or country. Then the huntsman promised to procure as much game for him as he could possibly use at the royal table. So he summoned all the huntsmen together, and bade them go out into the forest with him. And he went with them and made them form a great circle, open at one end where he stationed himself, and began to wish.

Two hundred deer and more came running inside the circle at once, and the huntsmen shot them. Then they were all placed on sixty country carts, and driven home to the king, and for once he was able to deck his table with game, after having had none at all for years.

Now the king felt great joy at this, and commanded that his entire household should eat with him next day, and made a great feast. When they were all assembled together, he said to the huntsmen, as you are so clever, you shall sit by me. He replied, lord king, your majesty must excuse me, I am a poor huntsman. But the king insisted on it, and said, you shall sit by me, until he did it. Whilst he was sitting there, he thought of his dearest mother, and wished that one of the king's principal servants would begin to speak of her, and would ask how it was faring with the queen in the tower, and if she were alive still, or had perished.

Hardly had he formed the wish than the marshal began, and said, your majesty, we live joyously here, but how is the queen living in the tower. Is she still alive, or has she died? But the king replied, she let my dear son be torn to pieces by wild beasts, I will not have her named. Then the huntsman arose and said, gracious lord father, she is alive still, and I am her son, and I was not carried away by wild beasts, but by that wretch the old cook, who tore me from her arms when she was asleep, and sprinkled her apron with the blood of a chicken.

Thereupon he took the dog with the golden collar, and said, that is the wretch, and caused live coals to be brought, and these the dog was compelled to devour before the sight of all, until flames burst forth from its throat. On this the huntsman asked the king if he would like to see the dog in his true shape, and wished him back into the form of the cook, in the which he stood immediately, with his white apron, and his knife by his side. When the king saw him he fell into a passion, and ordered him to be cast into the deepest dungeon.

Then the huntsman spoke further and said, father, will you see the maiden who brought me up so tenderly and who was afterwards to murder me, but did not do it, though her own life depended on it. The king replied, yes, I would like to see her. The son said, most gracious father, I will show her to you in the form of a beautiful flower, and he thrust his hand into his pocket and brought forth the pink, and placed it on the royal table, and it was so beautiful that the king had never seen one to equal it. Then the son said, now will I show her to you in her own form, and wished that she might become a maiden, and she stood there looking so beautiful that no painter could have made her look more so.

And the king sent two waiting-maids and two attendants into the tower, to fetch the queen and bring her to the royal table. But when whe was led in she ate nothing, and said, the gracious and merciful God who has supported me in the tower, will soon set me free. She lived three days more, and then died happily, and when she was buried, the two white doves which had brought her food to the tower, and were angels of heaven, followed her body and seated themselves on her grave. The aged king ordered the cook to be torn in four pieces, but grief consumed the king's own heart, and he soon died. His son married the beautiful maiden whom he had brought with him as a flower in his pocket, and whether they are still alive or not, is known to God.

 

Brother Lustig

There was one upon a time a great war, and when it came to an end, many soldiers were discharged. Then brother lustig also received his dismissal, and with it nothing but a small loaf of ammunition-bread, and four kreuzers in money, with which he departed.

St. Peter, however, had placed himself in his way in the form of a poor beggar, and when brother lustig came up, he begged alms of him. Brother lustig replied, dear beggar-man, what am I to give you. I have been a soldier, and have received my dismissal, and have nothing but this little loaf of ammunition-bread, and four kreuzers of money. When that is gone, I shall have to beg as well as you. Still I will give you something.

Thereupon he divided the loaf into four parts, and gave the apostle one of them, and a kreuzer likewise. St. Peter thanked him, went onwards, and threw himself again in the soldier's way as a beggar, but in another shape, and when he came up begged a gift of him as before.

Brother lustig spoke as he had done before, and again gave him a quarter of the loaf and one kreuzer. St. Peter thanked him, and went onwards, but for the third time placed himself in another shape as a beggar in the road, and spoke to brother lustig. Brother lustig gave him also the third quarter of bread and the third kreuzer. St. Peter thanked him, and brother lustig went onwards, and had but a quarter of the loaf, and one kreuzer.

With that he went into an inn, ate the bread, and ordered one kreuzer's worth of beer. When he had had it, he journeyed onwards, and then St. Peter, who had assumed the appearance of a discharged soldier, met and spoke to him thus. Good day, comrade, can you not give me a bit of bread, and a kreuzer to get a drink. Where am I to procure it, answered brother lustig. I have been discharged, and I got nothing but a loaf of ammunition-bread and four kreuzers in money. I met three beggars on the road, and I gave each of them a quarter of my bread, and one kreuzer. The last quarter I ate in the inn, and had a drink with the last kreuzer. Now my pockets are empty, and if you also have nothing we can go a-begging together.

No, answered St. Peter, we need not quite do that. I know a little about medicine, and I will soon earn as much as I require by that. Indeed, said brother lustig, I know nothing of that, so I must go and beg alone. Just come with me, said St. Peter, and if I earn anything, you shall have half of it.

All right, said brother lustig, and they went away together. Then they came to a peasant's house inside which they heard loud lamentations and cries. So they went in, and there the husband was lying sick unto death, and very near his end, and his wife was crying and weeping quite loudly. Stop that howling and crying, said St. Peter, I will make the man well again, and he took a salve out of his pocket, and healed the sick man in a moment, so that he could get up, and was in perfect health.

In great delight the man and his wife said, how can we reward you. What shall we give you. But St. Peter would take nothing, and the more the peasant folks offered him, the more he refused. Brother lustig, however, nudged St. Peter, and said, take something. Sure enough we are in need of it.

At length the woman brought a lamb and said to St. Peter that he really must take that, but he would not. Then brother lustig gave him a poke in the side, and said, do take it, you stupid fool. We are in great want of it. Then St. Peter said at last, well, I will take the lamb, but I won't carry it. If you insist on having it, you must carry it. That is nothing, said brother lustig. I will easily carry it, and took it on his shoulder.

Then they departed and came to a wood, but brother lustig had begun to feel the lamb heavy, and he was hungry, so he said to St. Peter, look, that's a good place, we might cook the lamb there, and eat it. As you like, answered St. Peter, but I can't have anything to do with the cooking. If you will cook, there is a kettle for you, and in the meantime I will walk about a little until it is ready. But you must not begin to eat until I have come back. I will come at the right time. Well, go, then, said brother lustig. I understand cookery, I will manage it.

Then St. Peter went away, and brother lustig killed the lamb, lighted a fire, threw the meat into the kettle, and boiled it. When the lamb, however, was quite ready, and the apostle peter had not come back, brother lustig took it out of the kettle, cut it up, and found the heart. That is said to be the best part, said he, and tasted it, but at last he ate it all up. At length St. Peter returned and said, you may eat the whole of the lamb yourself, I will only have the heart, give me that.

Then brother lustig took a knife and fork, and pretended to look anxiously about amongst the lamb's flesh, but not to be able to find the heart, and at last he said abruptly, there is none here. But where can it be, said the apostle. I don't know, replied brother lustig, but look, what fools we both are, to seek for the lamb's heart, and neither of us to remember that a lamb has no heart. Oh, said St. Peter, that is something quite new. Every animal has a heart, why is a lamb to have none. No, be assured, my brother, said brother lustig, that a lamb has no heart. Just consider it seriously, and then you will see that it really has none. Well, it is all right, said St. Peter. If there is no heart, then I want none of the lamb. You may eat it alone.

What I can't eat now, I will carry away in my knapsack, said brother lustig, and he ate half the lamb, and put the rest in his knapsack.

They went farther, and then St. Peter caused a great stream of water to flow right across their path, and they were obliged to pass through it. Said St. Peter, do you go first. No, answered brother lustig, you must go first, and he thought, if the water is too deep I will stay behind. Then St. Peter strode through it, and the water just reached to his knee. So brother lustig began to go through also, but the water grew deeper and reached to his throat. Then he cried, brother, help me.

St. Peter said, then will you confess that you have eaten the lamb's heart. No, said he, I have not eaten it. Then the water grew deeper still and rose to his mouth. Help me, brother, cried the soldier. St. Peter said, then will you confess that you have eaten the lamb's heart. No, he replied, I have not eaten it. St. Peter, however, would not let him be drowned, but made the water sink and helped him through it.

Then they journeyed onwards, and came to a kingdom where they heard that the king's daughter lay sick unto death. Hi, there, brother, said the soldier to St. Peter, this is a chance for us. If we can heal her we shall be provided for, for life.

But St. Peter was not half quick enough for him. Come, lift your legs, my dear brother, said he, that we may get there in time. But St. Peter walked slower and slower, though brother lustig did all he could to drive and push him on, and at last they heard that the princess was dead. Now we are done for, said brother lustig. That comes of your sleepy way of walking.

Just be quiet, answered St. Peter, I can do more than cure sick people. I can bring dead ones to life again. Well, if you can do that, said brother lustig, it's all right, but you should earn at least half the kingdom for us by that. Then they went to the royal palace, where everyone was in great grief, but St. Peter told the king that he would restore his daughter to life. He was taken to her, and said, bring me a kettle and some water, and when that was brought, he bade everyone go out, and allowed no one to remain with him but brother lustig. Then he cut off all the dead girl's limbs, and threw them in the water, lighted a fire beneath the kettle, and boiled them. And when the flesh had fallen away from the bones, he took out the beautiful white bones, and laid them on a table, and arranged them together in their natural order. When he had done that, he stepped forward and said three times, in the name of the holy trinity, dead woman, arise. And at the third time, the princess arose, living, healthy and beautiful.

Then the king was in the greatest joy, and said to St. Peter, ask for your reward. Even if it were half my kingdom, I would give it. But St. Peter said, I want nothing for it. Oh, you tomfool, thought brother lustig to himself, and nudged his comrade's side, and said, don't be so stupid. If you have no need of anything, I have. St. Peter, however, would have nothing, but as the king saw that the other would very much like to have something, he ordered his treasurer to fill brother lustig's knapsack with gold.

Then they went on their way, and when they came to a forest, St. Peter said to brother lustig, now, we will divide the gold. Yes, he replied, we will. So St. Peter divided the gold, and divided it into three heaps. Brother lustig thought to himself, what crazy idea has he got in his head now. He is making three shares, and there are only two of us. But St. Peter said, I have divided it exactly. There is one share for me, one for you and one for him who ate the lamb's heart.

Oh, I ate that, replied brother lustig, and hastily swept up the gold. You may trust what I say. But how can that be true, said St. Peter, when a lamb has no heart. Eh, what, brother, what can you be thinking of. Lambs have hearts like other animals, why should only they have none. Well, so be it, said St. Peter, keep the gold to yourself, but I will stay with you no longer. I will go my way alone. As you like, dear brother, answered brother lustig. Farewell.

Then St. Peter went a different road, but brother lustig thought, it is a good thing that he has taken himself off, he is certainly a strange saint. Then he had money enough, but did not know how to manage it, squandered it, gave it away, and and when some time had gone by, once more had nothing. Then he arrived in a certain country where he heard that a king's daughter was dead.

Oh, ho, thought he, that may be a good thing for me. I will bring her to life again, and see that I am paid as I ought to be. So he went to the king, and offered to raise the dead girl to life again. Now the king had heard that a discharged soldier was traveling about and bringing dead persons to life again, and thought that brother lustig was the man. But as he had no confidence in him, he consulted his councillors first, who said that he might give it a trial as his daughter was dead.

Then brother lustig ordered water to be brought to him in a kettle, bade every one go out, cut the limbs off, threw them in the water and lighted a fire beneath, just as he had seen St. Peter do. The water began to boil, the flesh fell off, and then he took the bones out and laid them on the table, but he did not know the order in which to lay them, and placed them all wrong and in confusion. Then he stood before them and said, in the name of the most holy trinity, dead maiden, I bid you arise, and he said this thrice, but the bones did not stir. So he said it thrice more, but also in vain. Confounded girl that you are, get up, cried he, get up, or it shall be the worse for you.

When he had said that, St. Peter suddenly appeared in his former shape as a discharged soldier. He entered by the window and said, godless man, what are you doing. How can the dead maiden arise, when you have thrown about her bones in such confusion. Dear brother, I have done everything to the best of my ability, he answered. This once, I will help you out of your difficulty, but one thing I tell you, and that is that if ever you undertake anything of the kind again, it will be the worse for you, and also that you must neither demand nor accept the smallest thing from the king for this.

Thereupon St. Peter laid the bones in their right order, said to the maiden three times, in the name of the most holy trinity, dead maiden, arise, and the king's daughter arose, healthy and beautiful as before. Then St. Peter went away again by the window, and brother lustig was rejoiced to find that all had passed off so well, but was very much vexed to think that after all he was not to take anything for it. I should just like to know, thought he, what fancy that fellow has got in his head, for what he gives with one hand he takes away with the other - there is no sense whatever in it.

Then the king offered brother lustig whatsoever he wished to have, but he did not dare to take anything. However, by hints and cunning, he contrived to make the king order his knapsack to be filled with gold for him, and with that he departed. When he got out, St. Peter was standing by the door, and said, just look what a man you are. Did I not forbid you to take anything, and there you have your knapsack full of gold. How can I help that, answered brother lustig, if people will put it in for me. Well, I tell you this, that if ever you set about anything of this kind again you shall suffer for it. All right, brother, have no fear, now I have money, why should I trouble myself with washing bones. Faith, said St. Peter, a long time that gold will last. In order that after this you may never tread in forbidden paths, I will bestow on your knapsack this property, namely, that whatsoever you wish to have inside it, shall be there. Farewell, you will now never see me more. Good-bye, said brother lustig, and thought to himself, I am very glad that you have taken yourself off, you strange fellow. I shall certainly not follow you. But of the magical power which had been bestowed on his knapsack, he thought no more.

Brother lustig traveled about with his money, and squandered and wasted what he had as before. When at last he had no more than four kreuzers, he passed by an inn and thought, the money must go, and ordered three kreuzers, worth of wine and one kreuzer's worth of bread for himself. As he was sitting there drinking, the smell of roast goose made its way to his nose.

Brother lustig looked about and peeped, and saw that the host had two geese roasting in the oven. Then he remembered that his comrade had said that whatsoever he wished to have in his knapsack should be there, so he said, oh, ho. I must try that with the geese. So he went out, and when he was outside the door, he said, I wish those two roasted geese out of the oven and in my knapsack, and when he had said that, he unbuckled it and looked in, and there they were inside it. Ah, that's right, said he, now I am a made man, and went away to a meadow and took out the roast meat.

When he was in the midst of his meal, two journeymen came up and looked at the second goose, which was not yet touched, with hungry eyes. Brother lustig thought to himself, one is enough for me, and called the two men up and said, take the goose, and eat it to my health. They thanked him, and went with it to the inn, ordered themselves a half bottle of wine and a loaf, took out the goose which had been given them, and began to eat.

The hostess saw them and said to her husband, those two are eating a goose. Just look and see if it is not one of ours, out of the oven. The landlord ran thither, and behold the oven was empty. What, cried he, you thievish crew, you want to eat goose as cheap as that. Pay for it this moment, or I will wash you well with green hazel-sap. The two said, we are no thieves, a discharged soldier gave us the goose, outside there in the meadow. You shall not throw dust in my eyes that way. The soldier was here, but he went out by the door, like an honest fellow. I looked after him myself. You are the thieves and shall pay. But as they could not pay, he took a stick, and cudgeled them out of the house.

Brother lustig went his way and came to a place where there was a magnificent castle, and not far from it a wretched inn. He went to the inn and asked for a night's lodging, but the landlord turned him away, and said, there is no more room here, the house is full of noble guests. It surprises me that they should come to you and not go to that splendid castle, said brother lustig. Ah, indeed, replied the host, but it is no slight matter to sleep there for a night. No one who has tried it so far, has ever come out of it alive.

If others have tried it, said brother lustig, I will try it too. Leave it alone, said the host, it will cost you your neck. It won't kill me at once, said brother lustig, just give me the key, and some good food and wine. So the host gave him the key, and food and wine, and with this brother lustig went into the castle, enjoyed his supper, and at length, as he was sleepy, he lay down on the ground, for there was no bed. He soon fell asleep, but during the night was disturbed by a great noise, and when he awoke, he saw nine ugly devils in the room, who had made a circle, and were dancing around him.

Brother lustig said, well, dance as long as you like, but none of you must come too close. But the devils pressed continually nearer to him, and almost stepped on his face with their hideous feet. Stop, you devils, ghosts, said he, but they behaved still worse. Then brother lustig grew angry, and cried, stop. You'll soon see how I can make you quiet, and got the leg of a chair and struck out into the midst of them with it. But nine devils against one soldier were still too many, and when he struck those in front of him, the others seized him behind by the hair, and tore it unmercifully.

Devils, crew, cried he, this is too much, but just wait. Into my knapsack, all nine of you. In an instant they were in it, and then he buckled it up and threw it into a corner. After this all was suddenly quiet, and brother lustig lay down again, and slept till it was bright day.

Then came the inn-keeper, and the nobleman to whom the castle belonged, to see how he had fared. But when they perceived that he was merry and well they were astonished, and asked, have the spirits done you no harm, then. The reason why they have not, answered brother lustig, is because I have got the whole nine of them in my knapsack.

You may once more inhabit your castle quite tranquilly, none of them will ever haunt it again. The nobleman thanked him, made him rich presents, and begged him to remain in his service, and he would provide for him as long as he lived. No, replied brother lustig, I am used to wandering about, I will travel farther.

Then he went away, and entered into a smithy, laid the knapsack, which contained the nine devils on the anvil, and asked the smith and his apprentices to strike it. So they smote with their great hammers with all their strength, and the devils uttered howls which were quite pitiable. When he opened the knapsack after this, eight of them were dead, but one which had been lying in a fold of it, was still alive, slipped out, and went back again to hell.

Thereupon brother lustig traveled a long time about the world, and those who know, can tell many a story about him. But at last he grew old, and thought of his end, so he went to a hermit who was known to be a pious man, and said to him, I am tired of wandering about, and want now to behave in such a manner that I shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. The hermit replied, there are two roads, one is broad and pleasant, and leads to hell, the other is narrow and rough, and leads to heaven. I should be a fool, thought brother lustig, if I were to take the narrow, rough road.

So he set out and took the broad and pleasant road, and at length came to a great black door, which was the door of hell. Brother lustig knocked, and the door-keeper peeped out to see who was there. But when he saw brother lustig, he was terrified, for he was the very same ninth devil who had been shut up in the knapsack, and had escaped from it with a black eye.

So he pushed the bolt in again as quickly as he could, ran to the highest devil, and said, there is a fellow outside with a knapsack, who wants to come in, but as you value your lives don't allow him to enter, or he will wish the whole of hell into his knapsack. He once gave me a frightful hammering when I was inside it.

So they called out to brother lustig that he was to go away again, for he should not get in there. If they won't have me here, thought he, I will see if I can find a place for myself in heaven, for I must stay somewhere.

So he turned about and went onwards until he came to the door of heaven, where he knocked. St. Peter was sitting hard by as door-keeper. Brother lustig recognized him at once, and thought, here I find an old friend, I shall get on better. But St. Peter said, I can hardly believe that you want to come into heaven. Let me in, brother. I must get in somewhere. If they would have taken me into hell, I should not have come here. No, said St. Peter, you shall not enter. Then if you will not let me in, take your knapsack back, for I will have nothing at all from you. Give it here, then, said St. Peter. Then brother lustig gave him the knapsack into heaven through the bars, and St. Peter took it, and hung it beside his seat. Then said brother lustig, and now I wish myself inside my knapsack, and in a second he was in it, and in heaven, and St. Peter was forced to let him stay there.

 

Brother Lustig

Hans had served his master for seven years, so he said to him, master, my time is up, now I should be glad to go back home to my mother, give me my wages. The master answered, you have served me faithfully and honestly, as the service was so shall the reward be. And he gave Hans a piece of gold as big as his head. Hans pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket, wrapped up the lump in it, put it on his shoulder, and set out on the way home.

As he went on, always putting one foot before the other, he saw a horseman trotting quickly and merrily by on a lively horse. Ah, said Hans quite loud, what a fine thing it is to ride. There you sit as on a chair, you stumble over no stones, you save your shoes, and cover the ground, you don't know how.

The rider, who had heard him, stopped and called out, hi, there, Hans, why do you go on foot, then.

I must, answered he, for I have this lump to carry home, it is true that it is gold, but I cannot hold my head straight for it, and it hurts my shoulder.

I will tell you what, said the rider, we will exchange, I will give you my horse, and you can give me your lump. With all my heart, said Hans, but I can tell you, you will have to crawl along with it.

The rider got down, took the gold, and helped Hans up, then gave him the bridle tight in his hands and said, if you want to go at a really good pace, you must click your tongue and call out, jup. Jup.

Hans was heartily delighted as he sat upon the horse and rode away so bold and free. After a little while he thought that it ought to go faster, and he began to click with his tongue and call out, jup. Jup. The horse put himself into a sharp trot, and before Hans knew where he was, he was thrown off and lying in a ditch which separated the field from the highway. The horse would have gone off too if it had not been stopped by a countryman, who was coming along the road and driving a cow before him.

Hans pulled himself together and stood up on his legs again, but he was vexed, and said to the countryman, it is a poor joke, this riding, especially when one gets hold of a mare like this, that kicks and throws one off, so that one has a chance of breaking one's neck. Never again will I mount it. Now I like your cow, for one can walk quietly behind her, and have, over and above, one's milk, butter and cheese every day without fail. What would I not give to have such a cow. Well, said the countryman, if it would give you so much pleasure, I do not mind giving the cow for the horse. Hans agreed with the greatest delight, the countryman jumped upon the horse, and rode quickly away.

Hans drove his cow quietly before him, and thought over his lucky bargain. If only I have a morsel of bread - and that can hardly fail me - I can eat butter and cheese with it as often as I like, if I am thirsty, I can milk my cow and drink the milk. My goodness, what more can I want.

When he came to an inn he made a halt, and in his great concern ate up what he had with him - his dinner and supper - and all he had, and with his last few farthings had half a glass of beer. Then he drove his cow onwards along the road to his mother's village.

As it drew nearer mid-day, the heat was more oppressive, and Hans found himself upon a moor which it took about an hour to cross. He felt it very hot and his tongue clave to the roof of his mouth with thirst. I can find a cure for this, thought Hans, I will milk the cow now and refresh myself with the milk. He tied her to a withered tree, and as he had no pail he put his leather cap underneath, but try as he would, not a drop of milk came. And as he set himself to work in a clumsy way, the impatient beast at last gave him such a blow on his head with its hind foot, that he fell on the ground, and for a long time could not think where he was.

By good fortune a butcher just then came along the road with a wheel-barrow, in which lay a young pig. What sort of a trick is this, cried he, and helped the good Hans up. Hans told him what had happened. The butcher gave him his flask and said, take a drink and refresh yourself. The cow will certainly give no milk, it is an old beast, at the best it is only fit for the plough, or for the butcher. Well, well, said Hans, as he stroked his hair down on his head, who would have thought it. Certainly it is a fine thing when one can kill a beast like that at home, what meat one has. But I do not care much for beef, it is not juicy enough for me. A young pig like that now is the thing to have, it tastes quite different, and then there are the sausages.

Listen, Hans, said the butcher, out of love for you I will exchange, and will let you have the pig for the cow. Heaven repay you for your kindness, said Hans as he gave up the cow, whilst the pig was unbound from the barrow, and the cord by which it was tied was put in his hand.

Hans went on, and thought to himself how everything was going just as he wished, if he did meet with any vexation it was immediately set right. Presently there joined him a lad who was carrying a fine white goose under his arm. They said good morning to each other, and Hans began to tell of his good luck, and how he had always made such good bargains. The boy told him that he was taking the goose to a christening-feast. Just lift her, added he, and laid hold of her by the wings, how heavy she is - she has been fattened up for the last eight weeks. Whosoever has a bit of her when she is roasted will have to wipe the fat from both sides of his mouth. Yes, said Hans, as he weighed her in one hand, she is a good weight, but my pig is no bad one.

Meanwhile the lad looked suspiciously from one side to the other, and shook his head. Look here, he said at length, it may not be all right with your pig. In the village through which I passed, the mayor himself had just had one stolen out of its sty. I fear - I fear that you have got hold of it there. They have sent out some people and it would be a bad business if they caught you with the pig, at the very least, you would be shut up in the dark hole.

The good Hans was terrified. Goodness, he said, help me out of this fix, you know more about this place than I do, take my pig and leave me your goose. I shall risk something at that game, answered the lad, but I will not be the cause of your getting into trouble. So he took the cord in his hand, and drove away the pig quickly along a by-path.

The good Hans, free from care, went homewards with the goose under his arm. When I think over it properly, said he to himself, I have even gained by the exchange. First there is the good roast meat, then the quantity of fat which will drip from it, and which will give me dripping for my bread for a quarter of a year, and lastly the beautiful white feathers. I will have my pillow stuffed with them, and then indeed I shall go to sleep without rocking. How glad my mother will be.

As he was going through the last village, there stood a scissors-grinder with his barrow, as his wheel whirred he sang, I sharpen scissors and quickly grind, my coat blows out in the wind behind.

Hans stood still and looked at him, at last he spoke to him and said, all's well with you, as you are so merry with your grinding. Yes, answered the scissors-grinder, the trade has a golden foundation. A real grinder is a man who as often as he puts his hand into his pocket finds gold in it. But where did you buy that fine goose?

I did not buy it, but exchanged my pig for it.

And the pig?

That I got for a cow.

And the cow?

I took that instead of a horse.

And the horse?

For that I gave a lump of gold as big as my head.

And the gold?

Well, that was my wages for seven years, service.

You have known how to look after yourself each time, said the grinder. If you can only get on so far as to hear the money jingle in your pocket whenever you stand up, you will have made your fortune.

How shall I manage that, said Hans. You must be a grinder, as I am, nothing particular is wanted for it but a grindstone, the rest finds itself. I have one here, it is certainly a little worn, but you need not give me anything for it but your goose, will you do it?

How can you ask, answered Hans. I shall be the luckiest fellow on earth. If I have money whenever I put my hand in my pocket, why should I ever worry again. And he handed him the goose and received the grindstone in exchange. Now, said the grinder, as he took up an ordinary heavy stone that lay by him, here is a strong stone for you into the bargain, you can hammer well upon it, and straighten your old nails. Take it with you and keep it carefully. Hans loaded himself with the stones, and went on with a contented heart, his eyes shining with joy. I must have been born with a caul, he cried, everything I want happens to me just as if I were a sunday-child.

Meanwhile, as he had been on his legs since daybreak, he began to feel tired. Hunger also tormented him, for in his joy at the bargain by which he got the cow he had eaten up all his store of food at once. At last he could only go on with great trouble, and was forced to stop every minute, the stones, too, weighed him down dreadfully. Then he could not help thinking how nice it would be if he had not to carry them just then.

He crept like a snail to a well in a field, and there he thought that he would rest and refresh himself with a cool draught of water, but in order that he might not injure the stones in sitting down, he laid them carefully by his side on the edge of the well. Then he sat down on it, and was to stoop and drink, when he made a slip, pushed against the stones, and both of them fell into the water. When Hans saw them with his own eyes sinking to the bottom, he jumped for joy, and then knelt down, and with tears in his eyes thanked God for having shown him this favor also, and delivered him in so good a way, and without his having any need to reproach himself, from those heavy stones which had been the only things that troubled him.

There is no man under the sun so fortunate as I, he cried out. With a light heart and free from every burden he now ran on until he was with his mother at home.

 

The Gold-Children

There was once a poor man and a poor woman who had nothing but a little cottage, and who earned their bread by fishing, and always lived from hand to mouth. But it came to pass one day when the man was sitting by the water-side, and casting his net, that he drew out a fish entirely of gold. As he was looking at the fish, full of astonishment, it began to speak and said, listen, fisherman, if you will throw me back again into the water, I will change your little hut into a splendid castle.

Then the fisherman answered, of what use is a castle to me, if I have nothing to eat. The gold fish continued, that shall be taken care of, there will be a cupboard in the castle in which, when you open it, shall be dishes of the most delicate meats, and as many of them as you can desire. If that be true, said the man, then I can well do you a favor. Yes, said the fish, there is, however, the condition that you shall disclose to no one in the world, whosoever he may be, whence your good luck has come, if you speak but one single word, all will be over. Then the man threw the wonderful fish back again into the water, and went home.

But where his hovel had formerly stood, now stood a great castle. He opened wide his eyes, entered, and saw his wife dressed in beautiful clothes, sitting in a splendid room, and she was quite delighted, and said, husband, how has all this come to pass. It suits me very well. Yes, said the man, it suits me too, but I am frightfully hungry, just give me something to eat. Said the wife, but I have got nothing and don't know where to find anything in this new house. There is no need of your knowing, said the man, for I see yonder a great cupboard, just unlock it. When she opened it, there stood cakes, meat, fruit, wine, quite a bright prospect.

Then the woman cried joyfully, what more can you want, my dear. And they sat down, and ate and drank together. When they had had enough, the woman said, but husband, whence come all these riches. Alas, answered he, do not question me about it, for I dare not tell you anything. If I disclose it to anyone, then all our good fortune will disappear. Very good, said she, if I am not to know anything, then I do not want to know anything. However, she was not in earnest. She never rested day or night, and she goaded her husband until in his impatience he revealed that all was owing to a wonderful golden fish which he had caught, and to which in return he had given its liberty. And as soon as the secret was out, the splendid castle with the cupboard immediately disappeared, they were once more in the old fisherman's hut, and the man was obliged to follow his former trade and fish.

But fortune would so have it, that he once more drew out the golden fish. Listen, said the fish, if you will throw me back into the water again, I will once more give you the castle with the cupboard full of roast and boiled meats. Only be firm, for your life's sake don't reveal from whom you have it, or you will lose it all again. I will take good care, answered the fisherman, and threw the fish back into the water. Now at home everything was once more in its former magnificence, and the wife was overjoyed at their good fortune, but curiosity left her no peace, so that after a couple of days she began to ask again how it had come to pass, and how he had managed to secure it. The man kept silence for a short time, but at last she made him so angry that he broke out, and betrayed the secret.

In an instant the castle disappeared, and they were back again in their old hut. Now you have got what you want, said he, and we can gnaw at a bare bone again. Ah, said the woman, I had rather not have riches if I am not to know from whom they come, for then I have no peace.

The man went back to fish, and after a while he chanced to draw out the gold fish for a third time. Listen, said the fish, I see very well that I am fated to fall into your hands, take me home and cut me into six pieces. Give your wife two of them to eat, two to your horse and bury two of them in the ground, then they will bring you a blessing. The fisherman took the fish home with him, and did as it had bidden him. It came to pass, however, that from the two pieces that were buried in the ground two golden lilies sprang up, that the horse had two golden foals, and the fisherman's wife bore two children who were made entirely of gold. The children grew up, became tall and handsome, and the lilies and horses grew likewise. Then they said, father, we want to mount our golden steeds and travel out in the world. But he answered sorrowfully, how shall I bear it if you go away, and I know not how it fares with you. Then they said, the two golden lilies remain here. By them you can see how it is with us. If they are fresh, then we are in health. If they are withered, we are ill. If they perish, then we are dead.

So they rode forth and came to an inn, in which were many people, and when they perceived the gold-children they began to laugh, and jeer. When one of them heard the mocking he felt ashamed and would not go out into the world, but turned back and went home again to his father. But the other rode forward and reached a great forest. As he was about to enter it, the people said, it is not safe for you to ride through, the wood is full of robbers who would treat you badly. You will fare ill, and when they see that you are all of gold, and your horse likewise, they will assuredly kill you.

But he would not allow himself to be frightened, and said, I must and will ride through it. Then he took bear-skins and covered himself and his horse with them, so that the gold was no more to be seen, and rode fearlessly into the forest. When he had ridden onward a little he heard a rustling in the bushes, and heard voices speaking together. From one side came cries of, there is one, but from the other, let him go, 'tis a bearskin, as poor and bare as a church-mouse, what should we gain from him. So the gold-child rode joyfully through the forest, and no evil befell him.

One day he entered a village wherein he saw a maiden, who was so beautiful that he did not believe that any more beautiful than she existed in the world. And as such a mighty love took possession of him, he went up to her and said, I love you with my whole heart, will you be my wife. He, too, pleased the maiden so much that she agreed and said, yes, I will be your wife, and be true to you my whole life long.

Then they were married, and just as they were in the greatest happiness, home came the father of the bride, and when he saw that his daughter's wedding was being celebrated, he was astonished, and said, where is the bridegroom. They showed him the gold-child, who, however, still wore his bear-skins. Then the father said wrathfully, a bearskin shall never have my daughter. And was about to kill him. Then the bride begged as hard as she could, and said, he is my husband, and I love him with all my heart. Until at last he allowed himself to be appeased. Nevertheless the idea never left his thoughts, so that next morning he rose early, wishing to see whether his daughter's husband was a common ragged beggar. But when he peeped in, he saw a magnificent golden man in the bed, and the cast-off bear-skins lying on the ground. Then he went back and thought, what a good thing it was that I restrained my anger. I would have committed a great crime.

But the gold-child dreamed that he rode out to hunt a splendid stag, and when he awoke in the morning, he said to his wife, I must go out hunting. She was uneasy, and begged him to stay there, and said, you might easily meet with a great misfortune. But he answered, I must and will go.

Thereupon he got up, and rode forth into the forest, and it was not long before a fine stag crossed his path exactly according to his dream. He aimed and was about to shoot it, when the stag ran away. He gave chase over hedges and ditches for the whole day without feeling tired, but in the evening the stag vanished from his sight, and when the gold-child looked round him, he was standing before a little house, wherein sat a witch.

He knocked and a little old woman came out and asked, what are you doing so late in the midst of the great forest. Have you not seen a stag. Yes, answered she, I know the stag well. And thereupon a little dog which had come out of the house with her, barked at the man violently. Will you be silent, you odious toad, said he, or I will shoot you dead. Then the witch cried out in a passion, what will you slay my little dog. And immediately transformed him, so that he lay like a stone, and his bride awaited him in vain and thought, that which I so greatly dreaded, which lay so heavily on my heart, has come upon him.

But at home the other brother was standing by the gold-lilies, when one of them suddenly drooped. Good heavens, said he, my brother has met with some great misfortune I must away to see if I can possibly rescue him. Then the father said, stay here, if I lose you also, what shall I do. But he answered, I must and will go forth.

Then he mounted his golden horse, and rode forth and entered the great forest, where his brother lay turned to stone. The old witch came out of her house and called him, wishing to entrap him also, but he did not go near her, and said, I will shoot you, if you will not bring my brother to life again. She touched the stone, though very unwillingly, with her forefinger, and he was immediately restored to his human shape. And the two gold-children rejoiced when they saw each other again, kissed and caressed each other, and rode away together out of the forest the one home to his bride, and the other to his father.

The father then said, I knew well that you had rescued your brother, for the golden lily suddenly rose up and blossomed out again. Then they lived happily, and they prospered until their death.

 

The Singing, Soaring Lark

There was once upon a time a man who was about to set out on a long journey, and on parting he asked his three daughters what he should bring back with him for them. Whereupon the eldest wished for pearls, the second wished for diamonds, but the third said, dear father, I should like a singing, soaring lark. The father said, yes, if I can get it, you shall have it, kissed all three, and set out.

Now when the time had come for him to be on his way home again, he had brought pearls and diamonds for the two eldest, but he had sought everywhere in vain for a singing, soaring lark for the youngest, and he was very unhappy about it, for she was his favorite child. Then his road lay through a forest, and in the midst of it was a splendid castle, and near the castle stood a tree, but quite on the top of the tree, he saw a singing, soaring lark. Aha, you come just at the right moment, he said, quite delighted, and called to his servant to climb up and catch the little creature.

But as he approached the tree, a lion leapt from beneath it, shook himself, and roared till the leaves on the trees trembled. He who tries to steal my singing, soaring lark, he cried, will I devour. Then the man said, I did not know that the bird belonged to you. I will make amends for the wrong I have done and ransom myself with a large sum of money, only spare my life. The lion said, nothing can save you, unless you will promise to give me for my own what first meets you on your return home, and if you will do that, I will grant you your life, and you shall have the bird for your daughter, into the bargain. But the man hesitated and said, that might be my youngest daughter, she loves me best, and always runs to meet me on my return home.

The servant, however, was terrified and said, why should your daughter be the very one to meet you, it might as easily be a cat, or dog. Then the man allowed himself to be persuaded, took the singing, soaring lark, and promised to give the lion whatsoever should first meet him on his return home.

When he reached home and entered his house, the first who met him was no other than his youngest and dearest daughter, who came running up, kissed and embraced him, and when she saw that he had brought with him a singing, soaring lark, she was beside herself with joy. The father, however, could not rejoice, but began to weep, and said, my dearest child, I have bought the little bird dear. In return for it, I have been obliged to promise you to a savage lion, and when he has you he will tear you in pieces and devour you, and he told her all, just as it had happened, and begged her not to go there, come what might.

But she consoled him and said, dearest father, indeed your promise must be fulfilled. I will go thither and soften the lion, so that I may return to you safely. Next morning she had the road pointed out to her, took leave, and went fearlessly out into the forest. The lion, however, was an enchanted prince and was by day a lion, and all his people were lions with him, but in the night they resumed their natural human shapes.

On her arrival she was kindly received and led into the castle. When night came, the lion turned into a handsome man, and their wedding was celebrated with great magnificence. They lived happily together, remained awake at night, and slept in the daytime. One day he came and said, to-morrow there is a feast in your father's house, because your eldest sister is to be married, and if you are inclined to go there, my lions shall conduct you. She said, yes, I should very much like to see my father again, and went thither, accompanied by the lions.

There was great joy when she arrived, for they had all believed that she had been torn in pieces by the lion, and had long ceased to live. But she told them what a handsome husband she had, and how well off she was, remained with them while the wedding-feast lasted, and then went back again to the forest.

When the second daughter was about to be married, and she was again invited to the wedding, she said to the lion, this time I will not be alone, you must come with me. The lion, however, said that it was too dangerous for him, for if when there a ray from a burning candle fell on him, he would be changed into a dove, and for seven years long would have to fly about with the doves. She said, ah, but do come with me, I will take great care of you, and guard you from all light. So they went away together, and took with them their little child as well.

She had a room built there, so strong and thick that no ray could pierce through it, in this he was to shut himself up when the candles were lit for the wedding-feast. But the door was made of green wood which warped and left a little crack which no one noticed. The wedding was celebrated with magnificence, but when the procession with all its candles and torches came back from church, and passed by this apartment, a ray touched him, he was transformed in an instant, and when she came in and looked for him, she did not see him, but a white dove was sitting there. The dove said to her, for seven years must I fly about the world, but at every seventh step that you take I will let fall a drop of red blood and a white feather, and these will show you the way, and if you follow the trace you can release me. Thereupon the dove flew out at the door, and she followed him, and at every seventh step a red drop of blood and a little white feather fell down and showed her the way.

So she went continually further and further in the wide world, never looking about her or resting, and the seven years were almost past, then she rejoiced and thought that they would soon be saved, and yet they were so far from it. Once when they were thus moving onwards, no little feather and no drop of red blood fell, and when she raised her eyes the dove had disappeared. And as she thought to herself, in this no man can help you, she climbed up to the sun, and said to him, you shine into every crevice, and over every peak, have you not seen a white dove flying.

No, said the sun, I have seen none, but I present you with a casket, open it when you are in sorest need. Then she thanked the sun, and went on until evening came and the moon appeared, she then asked her, you shine the whole night through, and on every field and forest, have you not seen a white dove flying.

No, said the moon, I have seen no dove, but here I give you an egg, break it when you are in great need. She thanked the moon, and went on until the night wind came up and blew on her, then she said to it, you blow over every tree and under every leaf, have you not seen a white dove flying. No, said the night wind, I have seen none, but I will ask the three other winds, perhaps they have seen it.

The east wind and the west wind came, and had seen nothing, but the south wind said, I have seen the white dove, it has flown to the red sea, where it has become a lion again, for the seven years are over, and the lion is there fighting with a dragon, the dragon, however, is an enchanted princess. The night wind then said to her, I will advise you, go to the red sea, on the right bank are some tall reeds, count them, break off the eleventh, and strike the dragon with it, then the lion will be able to subdue it, and both then will regain their human form. After that, look round and you will see the griffin which is by the red sea, swing yourself, with your beloved, on to his back, and the bird will carry you over the sea to your own home. Here is a nut for you, when you are above the center of the sea, let the nut fall, it will immediately shoot up, and a tall nut-tree will grow out of the water on which the griffin may rest, for if he cannot rest, he will not be strong enough to carry you across, and if you forget to throw down the nut, he will let you fall into the sea.

Then she went thither, and found everything as the night wind had said. She counted the reeds by the sea, and cut off the eleventh, struck the dragon therewith, whereupon the lion conquered it, and immediately both of them regained their human shapes. But when the princess, who hitherto had been the dragon, was released from enchantment, she took the youth by the arm, seated herself on the griffin, and carried him off with her.

There stood the poor maiden who had wandered so far and was again forsaken. She sat down and cried, but at last she took courage and said, still I will go as far as the wind blows and as long as the cock crows, until I find him, and she went forth by long, long roads, until at last she came to the castle where both of them were living together, there she heard that soon a feast was to be held, in which they would celebrate their wedding, but she said, God still helps me, and opened the casket that the sun had given her. A dress lay therein as brilliant as the sun itself. So she took it out and put it on, and went up into the castle, and everyone, even the bride herself, looked at her with astonishment.

The dress pleased the bride so well that she thought it might do for her wedding-dress, and asked if it was for sale. Not for money or land, answered she, but for flesh and blood. The bride asked her what she meant by that, so she said, let me sleep a night in the chamber where the bridegroom sleeps. The bride would not, yet wanted very much to have the dress, at last she consented, but the page was to give the prince a sleeping-draught.

When it was night, therefore, and the youth was already asleep, she was led into the chamber, she seated herself on the bed and said, I have followed after you for seven years. I have been to the sun and the moon, and the four winds, and have enquired for you, and have helped you against the dragon, will you, then quite forget me. But the prince slept so soundly that it only seemed to him as if the wind were whistling outside in the fir-trees.

When therefore day broke, she was led out again, and had to give up the golden dress. And as that even had been of no avail, she was sad, went out into a meadow, sat down there, and wept. While she was sitting there, she thought of the egg which the moon had given her, she opened it, and there came out a clucking hen with twelve chickens all of gold, and they ran about chirping, and crept again under the old hen's wings, nothing more beautiful was ever seen in the world. Then she arose, and drove them through the meadow before her, until the bride looked out of the window.

The little chickens pleased her so much that she immediately came down and asked if they were for sale. Not for money or land, but for flesh and blood, let me sleep another night in the chamber where the bridegroom sleeps. The bride said, yes, intending to cheat her as on the former evening. But when the prince went to bed he asked the page what the murmuring and rustling in the night had been. On this the page told all, that he had been forced to give him a sleeping-draught, because a poor girl had slept secretly in the chamber, and that he was to give him another that night. The prince said, pour out the draught by the bed-side.

At night, she was again led in, and when she began to relate how ill all had fared with her, he immediately recognized his beloved wife by her voice, sprang up and cried, now I really am released. I have been as it were in a dream, for the strange princess has bewitched me so that I have been compelled to forget you, but God has delivered me from the spell at the right time.

Then they both left the castle secretly in the night, for they feared the father of the princess, who was a sorcerer, and they seated themselves on the griffin which bore them across the red sea, and when they were in the midst of it, she let fall the nut. Immediately a tall nut-tree grew up, whereon the bird rested, and then carried them home, where they found their child, who had grown tall and beautiful, and they lived thenceforth happily until their death.

 

The Goose-Girl

There was once upon a time an old queen whose husband had been dead for many years, and she had a beautiful daughter. When the princess grew up she was betrothed to a prince who lived at a great distance. When the time came for her to be married, and she had to journey forth into the distant kingdom, the aged queen packed up for her many costly vessels of silver and gold, and trinkets also of gold and silver, and cups and jewels, in short, everything which appertained to a royal dowry, for she loved her child with all her heart.

She likewise sent her maid-in-waiting, who was to ride with her, and hand her over to the bridegroom, and each had a horse for the journey, but the horse of the king's daughter was called Falada, and could speak. So when the hour of parting had come, the aged mother went into her bedroom, took a small knife and cut her finger with it until it bled. Then she held a white handkerchief to it into which she let three drops of blood fall, gave it to her daughter and said, dear child, preserve this carefully, it will be of service to you on your way.

So they took a sorrowful leave of each other, the princess put the piece of cloth in her bosom, mounted her horse, and then went away to her bridegroom. After she had ridden for a while she felt a burning thirst, and said to her waiting-maid, dismount, and take my cup which you have brought with you for me, and get me some water from the stream, for I should like to drink. If you are thirsty, said the waiting-maid, get off your horse yourself, and lie down and drink out of the water, I don't choose to be your servant.

So in her great thirst the princess alighted, bent down over the water in the stream and drank, and was not allowed to drink out of the golden cup. Then she said, ah, heaven, and the three drops of blood answered, if this your mother knew, her heart would break in two. But the king's daughter was humble, said nothing, and mounted her horse again.

She rode some miles further, but the day was warm, the sun scorched her, and she was thirsty once more, and when they came to a stream of water, she again cried to her waiting-maid, dismount, and give me some water in my golden cup, for she had long ago forgotten the girl's ill words. But the waiting-maid said still more haughtily, if you wish to drink, get it yourself, I don't choose to be your maid. Then in her great thirst the king's daughter alighted, bent over the flowing stream, wept and said, ah, heaven, and the drops of blood again replied, if this your mother knew, her heart would break in two.

And as she was thus drinking and leaning right over the stream, the handkerchief with the three drops of blood fell out of her bosom, and floated away with the water without her observing it, so great was her trouble. The waiting-maid, however, had seen it, and she rejoiced to think that she had now power over the bride, for since the princess had lost the drops of blood, she had become weak and powerless.

So now when she wanted to mount her horse again, the one that was called Falada, the waiting-maid said, Falada is more suitable for me, and my nag will do for you, and the princess had to be content with that. Then the waiting-maid, with many hard words, bade the princess exchange her royal apparel for her own shabby clothes, and at length she was compelled to swear by the clear sky above her, that she would not say one word of this to anyone at the royal court, and if she had not taken this oath she would have been killed on the spot. But Falada saw all this, and observed it well.

The waiting-maid now mounted Falada, and the true bride the bad horse, and thus they traveled onwards, until at length they entered the royal palace. There were great rejoicings over her arrival, and the prince sprang forward to meet her, lifted the waiting-maid from her horse, and thought she was his consort.

She was conducted upstairs, but the real princess was left standing below. Then the old king looked out of the window and saw her standing in the courtyard, and noticed how dainty and delicate and beautiful she was, and instantly went to the royal apartment, and asked the bride about the girl she had with her who was standing down below in the courtyard, and who she was. I picked her up on my way for a companion, give the girl something to work at, that she may not stand idle.

But the old king had no work for her, and knew of none, so he said, I have a little boy who tends the geese, she may help him. The boy was called Conrad, and the true bride had to help him to tend the geese. Soon afterwards the false bride said to the young king, dearest husband, I beg you to do me a favor. He answered, I will do so most willingly. Then send for the knacker, and have the head of the horse on which I rode here cut off, for it vexed me on the way. In reality, she was afraid that the horse might tell how she had behaved to the king's daughter.

Then she succeeded in making the king promise that it should be done, and the faithful Falada was to die, this came to the ears of the real princess, and she secretly promised to pay the knacker a piece of gold if he would perform a small service for her. There was a great dark-looking gateway in the town, through which morning and evening she had to pass with the geese, would he be so goood as to nail up Falada's head on it, so that she might see him again, more than once. The knacker's man promised to do that, and cut off the head, and nailed it fast beneath the dark gateway.

Early in the morning, when she and Conrad drove out their flock beneath this gateway, she said in passing, alas, Falada, hanging there.

Then the head answered, alas, young queen, how ill you fare. If this your mother knew, her heart would break in two.

Then they went still further out of the town, and drove their geese into the country. And when they had come to the meadow, she sat down and unbound her hair which was like pure gold, and Conrad saw it and delighted in its brightness, and wanted to pluck out a few hairs. Then she said, blow, blow, thou gentle wind, I say, blow Conrad's little hat away, and make him chase it here and there, until I have braided all my hair, and bound it up again.

And there came such a violent wind that it blew Conrad's hat far away across country, and he was forced to run after it. When he came back she had finished combing her hair and was putting it up again, and he could not get any of it. Then Conrad was angry, and would not speak to her, and thus they watched the geese until the evening, and then they went home. Next day when they were driving the geese out through the dark gateway, the maiden said, alas, Falada, hanging there.

Falada answered, alas, young queen, how ill you fare. If this your mother knew, her heart would break in two.

And she sat down again in the field and began to comb out her hair, and Conrad ran and tried to clutch it, so she said in haste, blow, blow, thou gentle wind, I say, blow Conrad's little hat away, and make him chase it here and there, until I have braided all my hair, and bound it up again.

Then the wind blew, and blew his little hat off his head and far away, and Conrad was forced to run after it, and when he came back, her hair had been put up a long time, and he could get none of it, and so they looked after their geese till evening came.

But in the evening after they had got home, Conrad went to the old king, and said, I won't tend the geese with that girl any longer. Why not, inquired the aged king. Oh, because she vexes me the whole day long. Then the aged king commanded him to relate what it was that she did to him. And Conrad said, in the morning when we pass beneath the dark gateway with the block, there is a horse's head on the wall, and she says to it, alas, Falada, hanging there.

And the head replies, alas, young queen how ill you fare. If this your mother knew, her heart would break in two.

And Conrad went on to relate what happened on the goose pasture, and how when there he had to chase his hat.

The aged king commanded him to drive his block out again next day, and as soon as morning came, he placed himself behind the dark gateway, and heard how the maiden spoke to the head of Falada, and then he too went into the country, and hid himself in the thicket in the meadow. There he soon saw with his own eyes the goose-girl and the goose-boy bringing their flock, and how after a while she sat down and unplaited her hair, which shone with radiance. And soon she said, blow, blow, thou gentle wind, I say, blow Conrad's little hat away, and make him chase it here and there, until I have braided all my hair, and bound it up again.

Then came a blast of wind and carried off Conrad's hat, so that he had to run far away, while the maiden quietly went on combing and plaiting her hair, all of which the king observed. Then, quite unseen, he went away, and when the goose-girl came home in the evening, he called her aside, and asked why she did all these things. I may not tell that, and I dare not lament my sorrows to any human being, for I have sworn not to do so by the heaven which is above me, if I had not done that, I should have lost my life.

He urged her and left her no peace, but he could draw nothing from her. Then said he, if you will not tell me anything, tell your sorrows to the iron-stove there, and he went away. Then she crept into the iron-stove, and began to weep and lament, and emptied her whole heart, and said, here am I deserted by the whole world, and yet I am a king's daughter, and a false waiting-maid has by force brought me to such a pass that I have been compelled to put off my royal apparel, and she has taken my place with my bridegroom, and I have to perform menial service as a goose-girl if this my mother knew, her heart would break in two.

The aged king, however, was standing outside by the pipe of the stove, and was listening to what she said, and heard it. Then he came back again, and bade her come out of the stove. And royal garments were placed on her, and it was marvellous how beautiful she was. The aged king summoned his son, and revealed to him that he had got the false bride who was only a waiting-maid, but that the true one was standing there, as the former goose-girl. The young king rejoiced with all his heart when he saw her beauty and youth, and a great feast was made ready to which all the people and all good friends were invited.

At the head of the table sat the bridegroom with the king's daughter at one side of him, and the waiting-maid on the other, but the waiting-maid was blinded, and did not recognize the princess in her dazzling array. When they had eaten and drunk, and were merry, the aged king asked the waiting-maid as a riddle, what punishment a person deserved who had behaved in such and such a way to her master, and at the same time related the whole story, and asked what sentence such a person merited. Then the false bride said, she deserves no better fate than to be stripped entirely naked, and put in a barrel which is studded inside with pointed nails, and two white horses should be harnessed to it, which will drag her along through one street after another, till she is dead.

It is you, said the aged king, and you have pronounced your own sentence, and thus shall it be done unto you. And when the sentence had been carried out, the young king married his true bride, and both of them reigned over their kingdom in peace and happiness.

 

The Young Giant

Once upon a time a countryman had a son who was as big as a thumb, and did not become any bigger, and during several years did not grow one hair's breadth. Once when the father was going out to plough, the little one said, father, I will go out with you. You would go out with me, said the father. Stay here, you will be of no use out there, besides you might get lost. Then thumbling began to cry, and for the sake of peace his father put him in his pocket, and took him with him.

When he was outside in the field, he took him out again, and set him in a freshly cut furrow. Whilst he sat there, a great giant came over the hill. Do you see that great bogie, said the father, for he wanted to frighten the little fellow to make him behave well, he is coming to fetch you. The giant, however, had scarcely taken two steps with his long legs before he was in the furrow.

He took up little thumbling carefully with two fingers, examined him, and without saying one word went away with him. His father stood by, but could not utter a sound for terror, and he thought nothing else but that his child was lost, and that as long as he lived he should never set eyes on him again.

But the giant carried him home, let him suckle at his breast, and thumbling grew and became tall and strong after the manner of giants. When two years had passed, the old giant took him into the forest, wanted to test him, and said, pull up a stick for yourself. Then the boy was already so strong that he tore up a young tree out of the earth by the roots. But the giant thought, we must do better than that, took him back again, and suckled him two years longer. When he tested him, his strength had increased so much that he could tear an old tree out of the ground.

That was still not enough for the giant, he again suckled him for two years, and when he then went with him into the forest and said, now just tear up a real stick, the boy tore up the biggest oak-tree from the earth, so that it cracked, and that was a mere trifle to him. Now that will do, said the giant, you are perfect. And took him back to the field from whence he had brought him. His father was there following the plough. The young giant went up to him, and said, does my father see what a fine man his son has grown into.

The farmer was alarmed, and said, no, you are not my son. I don't want you - leave me. Truly I am your son, allow me to do your work, I can plough as well as you, nay better. No, no, you are not my son, and you can not plough - go away. However, as he was afraid of this great man, he let go of the plough, stepped back and sat down at the side of the land. Then the youth took the plough, and just grasped it with one hand, but his pressure was so strong that the plough went deep into the earth.

The farmer could not bear to see that, and called to him, if you are determined to plough, you must not press so hard on it, that makes bad work. The youth, however, unharnessed the horses, and drew the plough himself, saying, just go home, father, and bid my mother make ready a large dish of food, and in the meantime I will go over the field. Then the farmer went home, and ordered his wife to prepare the food, but the youth ploughed the field which was two acres large, quite alone, and then he harnessed himself to the harrow, and harrowed the whole of the land, using two harrows at once. When he had done it, he went into the forest, and pulled up two oak-trees, laid them across his shoulders, and hung on them one harrow behind and one before, and also one horse behind and one before, and carried all as if it had been a bundle of straw, to his parents, house.

When he entered the yard, his mother did not recognize him, and asked, who is that horrible tall man. The father said, that is our son. She said, no that cannot be our son, we never had such a tall one, ours was a little thing. She called to him, go away, we do not want you. The youth was silent, but led his horses to the stable, gave them some oats and hay, and all that they wanted. When he had done this, he went into the parlor, sat down on the bench and said, mother, now I should like something to eat, will it soon be ready? She said, yes, and brought in two immense dishes full of food, which would have been enough to satisfy herself and her husband for a week. The youth, however, ate the whole of it himself, and asked if she had nothing more to set before him. No, she replied, that is all we have. But that was only a taste, I must have more.

She did not dare to oppose him, and went and put a huge pig's trough full of food on the fire, and when it was ready, carried it in. At length come a few crumbs, said he, and gobbled all there was, but it was still not sufficient to appease his hunger. Then said he, father, I see well that with you I shall never have food enough, if you will get me an iron staff which is strong, and which I cannot break against my knees, I will go out into the world. The farmer was glad, put his two horses in his cart, and fetched from the smith a staff so large and thick, that the two horses could only just bring it away.

The youth laid it across his knees, and snap, he broke it in two in the middle like a bean-stalk, and threw it away. The father then harnessed four horses, and brought a bar which was so long and thick, that the four horses could only just drag it. The son snapped this also in twain against his knees, threw it away, and said, father, this can be of no use to me, you must harness more horses, and bring a stronger staff. So the father harnessed eight horses, and brought one which was so long and thick, that the eight horses could only just carry it. When the son took it in his hand, he immediately snapped off the end of it, and said, father, I see that you will not be able to procure me any such staff as I want, I will remain no longer with you.

So he went away, and gave out that he was a smith's apprentice. He arrived at a village, wherein lived a smith who was a stingy fellow, who never did a kindness to any one, but wanted everything for himself. The youth went into the smithy and asked if he needed a journeyman. Yes, said the smith, and looked at him, and thought, that is a strong fellow who will strike out well, and earn his bread. So he asked, how much wages do you want.

I don't want any at all, he replied, only every fortnight, when the other journeymen are paid, I will give you two blows, and you must bear them. The miser was heartily satisfied, and thought he would thus save much money. Next morning, the strange journeyman was to begin to work, but when the master brought the glowing bar, and the youth struck his first blow, the iron flew asunder, and the anvil sank so deep into the earth, that there was no bringing it out again. Then the miser grew angry, and said, oh, but I can't make any use of you, you strike far too powerfully. How much will you have for the one blow.

Then said he, I will give you only quite a small blow, that's all. And he raised his foot, and gave him such a kick that he flew away over four loads of hay. Then he sought out the thickest iron bar in the smithy for himself, took it as a stick in his hand and went onwards.

When he had walked for some time, he came to a small farm, and asked the bailiff if he did not require a head-man. Yes, said the bailiff, I can make use of one. You look a capable fellow who can do something, how much a year do you want as wages. He again replied that he wanted no wages at all, but that every year he would give him three blows, which he must bear. Then the bailiff was satisfied, for he, too, was a covetous fellow. Next morning all the servants were to go into the wood, and the others were already up, but the head-man was still in bed. Then one of them called to him, get up, it is time, we are going into the wood, and you must go with us. Ah, said he quite roughly and surlily, you may just go, then, I shall be back again before any of you. Then the others went to the bailiff, and told him that the head-man was still lying in bed, and would not go into the wood with them. The bailiff said they were to awaken him again, and tell him to harness the horses. The head-man, however, said as before, just go there, I shall be back again before any of you. And then he stayed in bed two hours longer. At length he arose from the feathers, but first he got himself two bushels of peas from the loft, made himself some broth, ate it at his leisure, and when that was done, went and harnessed the horses, and drove into the wood.

Not far from the wood was a ravine through which he had to pass, so he first drove the horses on, and then stopped them, and went behind the cart, took trees and brushwood, and made a great barricade, so that no horse could get through. When he was entering the wood, the others were just driving out of it with their loaded carts to go home. Then said he to them, drive on, I will still get home before you do. He did not drive far into the wood, but at once tore two of the very largest trees of all out of the earth, threw them on his cart, and turned round. When he came to the barricade, the others were still standing there, not able to get through. Don't you see, said he, that if you had stayed with me, you would have got home just as quickly, and would have had another hour's sleep. He now wanted to drive on, but his horeses could not work their way through, so he unharnessed them, laid them on the top of the cart, took the shafts in his own hands, and pulled it all through, and he did this just as easily as if it had been laden with feathers. When he was over, he said to the others, there, you see, I have got over quicker than you. And drove on, and the others had to stay where they were. In the yard, however, he took a tree in his hand, showed it to the bailiff, and said, isn't that a fine cord of wood.

Then said the bailiff to his wife, the servant is a good one - even if he does sleep long, he is still home before the others. So he served the bailiff for a year, and when that was over, and the other servants were getting their wages, he said it was time for him to take his too. The bailiff, however, was afraid of the blows which he was to receive, and earnestly entreated him to excuse him from having them, for rather than that, he himself would be head-man, and the youth should be bailiff. No said he, I will not be a bailiff, I am head-man, and will remain so, but I will administer that which we agreed on. The bailiff was willing to give him whatsoever he demanded, but it was of no use, the head-man said no to everything.

Then the bailiff did not know what to do, and begged for a fortnight's delay, for he wanted to find some way of escape. The head-man consented to this delay. The bailiff summoned all his clerks together, and they were to think the matter over, and give him advice. The clerks pondered for a long time, but at last they said that no one was sure of his life with head-man, for he could kill a man as easily as a midge, and that the bailiff ought to make him get into the well and clean it, and when he was down below, they would roll up one of the mill-stones which was lying there, and throw it on his head, and then he would never return to daylight.

The advice pleased the bailiff, and the head-man was quite willing to go down the well. When he was standing down below at the bottom, they rolled down the largest mill-stone and thought they had broken his skull, but he cried, chase away those hens from the well, they are scratching in the sand up there, and throwing the grains into my eyes, so that I can't see. So the bailiff cried, sh-sh, - and pretended to frighten the hens away. When the head-man had finished his work, he climbed up and said, just look what a beautiful neck-tie I have on. And behold it was the mill-stone which he was wearing round his neck.

The head-man now wanted to take his reward, but the bailiff again begged for a fortnight's delay. The clerks met together and advised him to send the head-man to the haunted mill to grind corn by night, for from thence as yet no man had ever returned in the morning alive.

The proposal pleased the bailiff, he called the head-man that very evening, and ordered him to take eight bushels of corn to the mill, and grind it that night, for it was wanted. So the head-man went to the loft, and put two bushels in his right pocket, and two in his left, and took four in a wallet, half on his back, and half on his breast, and thus laden went to the haunted mill. The miller told him that he could grind there very well by day, but not by night, for the mill was haunted, and that up to the present time whosoever had gone into it at night had been found in the morning lying dead inside. He said, I will manage it, just you go and put your head on the pillow.

Then he went into the mill, and poured out the corn. About eleven o'clock he went into the miller's room, and sat down on the bench. When he had sat there a while, a door suddenly opened, and a large table came in, and on the table, wine and roasted meats placed themselves, and much good food besides, but everything came of itself, for no one was there to carry it.

After this the chairs pushed themselves up, but no people came, until all at once he beheld fingers, which handled knives and forks, and laid food on the plates, but with this exception he saw nothing. As he was hungry, and saw the food, he, too, place himself at the table, ate with those who were eating and enjoyed it. When he had had enough, and the others also had quite emptied their dishes, he distinctly heard all the candles being suddenly snuffed out, and as it was now pitch dark, he felt something like a box on the ear. Then he said, if anything of that kind comes again, I shall strike out in return. And when he had received a second box on the ear, he, too struck out.

And so it continued the whole night. He took nothing without returning it, but repaid everything with interest, and did not slay about him in vain. At daybreak, however, everything ceased. When the miller had got up, he wanted to look after him, and wondered if he were still alive. Then the youth said, I have given some in return. The miller rejoiced, and said that the mill was now released from the spell, and wanted to give him much money as a reward. But he said, money, I will not have, I have enough of it. So he took his meal on his back, went home, and told the bailiff that he had done what he had been told to do, and would now have the reward agreed on.

When the bailiff heard that, he was seriously alarmed and quite beside himself. He walked to and fro in the room, and drops of sweat ran down from his forehead. Then he opened the window to get some fresh air, but before he was aware, the head-man had given him such a kick that he flew through the window out into the air, and so far away that no one ever saw him again.

Then said the head-man to the bailiff's wife, if he does not come back, you must take the other blow. She cried, no, no I cannot bear it. And opened the other window, because drops of sweat were running down her forehead. Then he gave her such a kick that she, too, flew out, and as she was lighter she went much higher than her husband. Her husband cried, do come to me, but she replied, come you to me, I cannot come to you.

And they hovered about there in the air, and could not get to each other, and whether they are still hovering about or not, I do not know, but the young giant took up his iron bar, and went on his way.

 

The King of the Golden Mountain

There was a certain merchant who had two children, a boy and a girl, they were both young, and could not walk. And two richly-laden ships of his sailed forth to sea with all his property on board, and just as he was expecting to win much money by them, news came that they had gone to the bottom, and now instead of being a rich man he was a poor one, and had nothing left but one field outside the town. In order to drive his misfortune a little out of his thoughts, he went out to this field, and as he was walking to and fro in it, a little black mannikin stood suddenly by his side, and asked why he was so sad, and what he was taking so much to heart.

Then said the merchant, if you could help me I would willingly tell you. Who knows, replied the black dwarf. Perhaps, I can help you. Then the merchant told him that all he possessed had gone to the bottom of the sea, and that he had nothing left but this field. Do not trouble yourself, said the dwarf. If you will promise to give me the first thing that rubs itself against your leg when you are at home again, and to bring it here to this place in twelve years, time, you shall have as much money as you will. The merchant thought, what can that be but my dog, and did not remember his little boy, so he said yes, gave the black man a written and sealed promise, and went home.

When he reached home, his little boy was so delighted that he held himself by a bench, trotted up to him and seized him fast by the legs. The father was shocked, for he remembered his promise, and now knew what he had pledged himself to do, as however, he still found no money in his chest, he thought the dwarf had only been jesting. A month afterwards he went up to the garret, intending to gather together some old tin and to sell it, and saw lying there a great heap of money. Then he was happy again, made purchases, became a greater merchant than before, and felt that God was good to him. In the meantime the boy grew tall, and at the same time bright and clever. But the nearer the twelfth year approached the more anxious grew the merchant, so that his distress might be seen in his face. One day his son asked what ailed him, but the father would not say. The boy, however, persisted so long, that at last he told him that without being aware of what he was doing, he had promised him to a black dwarf, and had received much money for doing so. He said likewise that he had set his hand and seal to this, and that now when twelve years had gone by he would have to give him up.

Then said the son, oh, father, do not be uneasy, all will go well. The black man has no power over me. The son had himself blessed by the priest, and when the time came, father and son went together to the field, and the son made a circle and placed himself inside it with his father. Then came the black dwarf and said to the old man, have you brought with you that which you have promised me. He was silent, but the son asked, what do you want here? Then said the black dwarf, I have to speak with your father, and not with you. The son replied, you have betrayed and misled my father, give back the writing. No, said the black dwarf, I will not give up my rights. They spoke together for a long time after this, but at last they agreed that the son, as he did not belong to the enemy of mankind, nor yet to his father, should seat himself in a small boat, which should lie on water which was flowing away from them, and that the father should push it off with his own foot, and then the son should remain given up to the water. So he took leave of his father, placed himself in a little boat, and the father had to push it off with his own foot. The boat capsized so that the keel was uppermost and the deck under water, and the father believed his son was lost, and went home and mourned for him.

The boat, however, did not sink, but floated quietly away, and the boy sat safely inside it, and it floated thus for a long time, until at last it ran into an unknown shore. Then he landed and saw a beautiful castle before him, and set out to go to it. But when he entered it, he found that it was bewitched. He went through every room, but all were empty until he reached the last, where a snake lay coiled in a ring. The snake, however, was an enchanted maiden, who rejoiced to see him, and said, have you come, oh, my deliverer. I have already waited twelve years for you, this kingdom is bewitched, and you must set it free. How can I do that, he inquired. To-night come twelve black men, covered with chains who will ask what you are doing here, but be silent, give them no answer, and let them do what they will with you, they will torment you, beat you, stab you, let everything pass, only do not speak, at twelve o'clock, they must go away again. On the second night twelve others will come, on the third, four-and-twenty, who will cut off your head, but at twelve o'clock their power will be over, and then if you have endured all, and have not spoken the slightest word, I shall be released. I will come to you, and will have, in a bottle, some of the water of life. I will rub you with that, and then you will come to life again, and be as healthy as before. Then said he, I will gladly set you free. And everything happened just as she had said, the black men could not force a single word from him, and on the third night the snake became a beautiful princess, who came with the water of life and brought him back to life again.

So she threw herself into his arms and kissed him, and there was joy and gladness in the whole castle. After this their marriage was celebrated, and he was king of the golden mountain.

They lived very happily together, and the queen bore a fine boy. Eight years had already gone by, when the king bethought him of his father, his heart was moved, and he wished to visit him. The queen, however, would not let him go away, and said, I know beforehand that it will cause my unhappiness, but he suffered her to have no rest until she consented. At their parting she gave him a wishing-ring, and said, take this ring and put it on your finger, and then you will immediately be transported whithersoever you would be, only you must promise me not to use it in wishing me away from this place and with thy father. That he promised her, put the ring on his finger, and wished himself at home, just outside the town where his father lived. Instantly he found himself there, and made for the town, but when he came to the gate, the sentries would not let him in, because he wore such strange and yet such rich and magnificent clothing. Then he went to a hill where a shepherd was watching his sheep, changed clothes with him, put on his old shepherd's-coat, and then entered the town without hindrance.

When he came to his father, he made himself known to him, but he did not at all believe that the shepherd was his son, and said he certainly had had a son, but that he was dead long ago, however, as he saw he was a poor, needy shepherd, he would give him something to eat. Then the shepherd said to his parents, I am verily your son. Do you know of no mark on my body by which you could recognize me. Yes, said his mother, our son had a raspberry mark under his right arm. He slipped back his shirt, and they saw the raspberry under his right arm, and no longer doubted that he was their son. Then he told them that he was king of the golden mountain, and a king's daughter was his wife, and that they had a fine son of seven years old.

Then said the father, that is certainly not true, it is a fine kind of a king who goes about in a ragged shepherd's-coat. On this the son fell in a passion, and without thinking of his promise, turned his ring round, and wished both his wife and child with him. They were there in a second, but the queen wept, and reproached him, and said that he had broken his word, and had brought misfortune upon her. He said, I have done it thoughtlessly, and not with evil intention, and tried to calm her, and she pretended to believe this, but she had mischief in her mind.

Then he led her out of the town into the field, and showed her the stream where the little boat had been pushed off, and then he said, I am tired, sit down, I will sleep awhile on your lap. And he laid his head on her lap, and she picked his lice for a while until he fell asleep. When he was asleep, she first drew the ring from his finger, then she drew away the foot which was under him, leaving only the slipper behind her, and she took her child in her arms, and wished herself back in her own kingdom.

When he awoke, there he lay quite deserted, and his wife and child were gone, and so was the ring from his finger, the slipper only was still there as a token. Home to your parents you cannot return, thought he, they would say that you were a wizard, you must be off, and walk on until you arrive in your own kingdom. So he went away and came at length to a hill by which three giants were standing, disputing with each other because they did not know how to divide their father's property.

When they saw him passing by, they called to him and said little men had quick wits, and that he was to divide their inheritance for them. The inheritance, however, consisted of a sword, which, if anyone took it in his hand, and said, all heads off but mine, every head would lie on the ground, secondly, of a cloak which made any one who put it on invisible, thirdly, of a pair of boots which could transport the wearer to any place he wished in a moment. He said, give me the three things that I may see if they are still in good condition.

They gave him the cloak, and when he had put it on, he was invisible and changed into a fly. Then he resumed his own form and said, the cloak is a good one, now give me the sword. They said, no, we will not give you that, if you were to say, all heads off but mine, all our heads would be off, and you alone would be left with yours. Nevertheless they gave it to him on the condition that he was only to try it against a tree. This he did, and the sword cut in two the trunk of a tree as if it had been a blade of straw. Then he wanted to have the boots likewise, but they said, no, we will not give them, if you had them on your feet and were to wish yourself at the top of the hill, we should be left down here with nothing. Oh, no, said he, I will not do that. So they gave him the boots as well. And now when he had got all these things, he thought of nothing but his wife and his child, and said as though to himself, oh, if I were but on the golden mountain, and at the same moment he vanished from the sight of the giants, and thus their inheritance was divided.

When he was near his palace, he heard sounds of joy, and fiddles, and flutes, and the people told him that his wife was celebrating her wedding with another. Then he fell into a rage, and said, false woman, she betrayed and deserted me whilst I was asleep. So he put on his cloak, and unseen by all went into the palace. When he entered the dining-hall a great table was spread with delicious food, and the guests were eating and drinking, and laughing, and jesting. She sat on a royal seat in the midst of them in splendid apparel, with a crown on her head.

He placed himself behind her, and no one saw him. When she put a piece of meat on a plate for herself, he took it away and ate it, and when she poured out a glass of wine for herself, he took it away and drank it. She was always helping herself to something, and yet she never got anything, for plate and glass disappeared immediately. Then dismayed and ashamed, she arose and went to her chamber and wept, but he followed her there. She said, has the devil power over me, or did my deliverer never come? Then he struck her in the face, and said, did your deliverer never come. It is he who has you in his power, you traitor. Have I deserved this from you.

Then he made himself visible, went into the hall, and cried, the wedding is at an end, the true king has returned. The kings, princes, and councillors who were assembled there, ridiculed and mocked him, but he did not trouble to answer them, and said, will you go away, or not. On this they tried to seize him and pressed upon him, but he drew his sword and said, all heads off but mine, and all the heads rolled on the ground, and he alone was master, and once more king of the golden mountain.

 

The Raven

There was once upon a time a queen who had a little daughter who was still so young that she had to be carried. One day the child was naughty, and the mother might say what she liked, but the child would not be quiet. Then she became impatient, and as the ravens were flying about the palace, she opened the window and said, I wish you were a raven and would fly away, and then I should have some rest. Scarcely had she spoken the words, before the child was changed into a raven, and flew from her arms out of the window. It flew into a dark forest, and stayed in it a long time, and the parents heard nothing of their child.

Then one day a man was on his way through this forest and heard the raven crying, and followed the voice, and when he came nearer, the bird said, I am a king's daughter by birth, and am bewitched, but you can set me free. What am I to do, asked he. She said, go further into the forest, and you will find a house, wherein sits an aged woman, who will offer you meat and drink, but you must accept nothing, for if you eat and drink anything, you will fall into a sleep, and then you will not be able to set me free. In the garden behind the house there is a great heap of tan, and on this you shall stand and wait for me. For three days I will come every afternoon at two o'clock in a carriage. On the first day four white horses will be harnessed to it, then four chestnut horses, and lastly four black ones, but if you are not awake, but sleeping, I shall not be set free. The man promised to do everything that she desired, but the raven said, alas, I know already that you will not set me free, you will accept something from the woman. Then the man once more promised that he would certainly not touch anything either to eat or to drink.

But when he entered the house the old woman came to him and said, poor man, how faint you are, come and refresh yourself, eat and drink. No, said the man, I will not eat or drink. She, however, let him have no peace, and said, if you will not eat, take one drink out of the glass, one is nothing. Then he let himself be persuaded, and drank. Shortly before two o'clock in the afternoon he went into the garden to the tan heap to wait for the raven. As he was standing there, his weariness all at once became so great that he could not struggle against it, and lay down for a short time, but he was determined not to go to sleep. Hardly, however, had he lain down, than his eyes closed of their own accord, and he fell asleep and slept so soundly that nothing in the world could have aroused him.

At two o'clock the raven came driving up with four white horses, but she was already in deep grief and said, I know he is asleep. And when she came into the garden, he was indeed lying there asleep on the heap of tan. She alighted from the carriage, went to him, shook him, and called him, but he did not awake. Next day about noon, the old woman came again and brought him food and drink, but he would not take any of it. But she let him have no rest and persuaded him until at length he again took one drink out of the glass. Towards two o'clock he went into the garden to the tan heap to wait for the raven, but all at once felt such a great weariness that his limbs would no longer support him. He could not help himself, and was forced to lie down, and fell into a heavy sleep.

When the raven drove up with four brown horses, she was already full of grief, and said, I know he is asleep. She went to him, but there he lay sleeping, and there was no wakening him. Next day the old woman asked what was the meaning of this. He was neither eating nor drinking anything, did he want to die. He replied, I am not allowed to eat or drink, and will not do so. But she set a dish with food, and a glass with wine before him, and when he smelt it he could not resist, and swallowed a deep draught. When the time came, he went out into the garden to the heap of tan, and waited for the king's daughter, but he became still more weary than on the day before, and lay down and slept as soundly as if he had been a stone. At two o'clock the raven came with four black horses, and the coachman and everything else was black. She was already in the deepest grief, and said, I know that he is asleep and cannot set me free.

When she came to him, there he was lying fast asleep. She shook him and called him, but she could not waken him. Then she laid a loaf beside him, and after that a piece of meat, and thirdly a bottle of wine, and he might consume as much of all of them as he liked, but they would never grow less. After this she took a gold ring from her finger, and put it on his, and her name was graven on it. Lastly, she laid a letter beside him wherein was written what she had given him, and that none of the things would ever grow less, and in it was also written, I see right well that here you will never be able to set me free, but if you are still willing to do so, come to the golden castle of Stromberg; it lies in your power, of that I am certain. And when she had given him all these things, she seated herself in her carriage, and drove to the golden castle of Stromberg.

When the man awoke and saw that he had slept, he was sad at heart, and said, she has certainly driven by, and I have not set her free. Then he perceived the things which were lying beside him, and read the letter wherein was written how everything had happened. So he arose and went away, intending to go to the golden castle of Stromberg, but he did not know where it was. After he had walked about the world for a long time, he entered into a dark forest, and walked for fourteen days, and still could not find his way out. Then it was once more evening, and he was so tired that he lay down in a thicket and fell asleep. Next day he went onwards, and in the evening, as he was again about to lie down beneath some bushes, he heard such a howling and crying that he could not go to sleep. And at the time when people light the candles, he saw one glimmering, and arose and went towards it.

Then he came to a house which seemed very small, for in front of it a great giant was standing. He thought to himself, if I go in, and the giant sees me, it will very likely cost me my life. At length he ventured it and went in. When the giant saw him, he said, it is well that you come, for it is long since I have eaten, I will at once devour you for my supper. I'd rather you did not, said the man, I do not like to be eaten, but if you have any desire to eat, I have quite enough here to satisfy you. If that be true, said the giant, you may be easy, I was only going to devour you because I had nothing else.

Then they went, and sat down to the table, and the man took out the bread, wine, and meat which would never come to an end. This pleases me well, said the giant, and ate to his heart's content. Then the man said to him, can you tell me where the golden castle of Stromberg is. The giant said, I will look at my map, all the towns, and villages, and houses are to be found on it.

He brought out the map which he had in the room and looked for the castle, but it was not to be found on it. It's no matter, said he, I have some still larger maps in my cupboard upstairs, and we will look at them. But there, too, it was in vain. The man now wanted to set out again, but the giant begged him to wait a few days longer until his brother, who had gone out to bring some provisions, came home. When the brother came home they inquired about the golden castle of Stromberg. He replied, when I have eaten and have had enough, I will look at the map.

Then he went with them up to his chamber, and they searched on his map, but could not find it. Then he brought out still older maps, and they never rested until they found the golden castle of Stromberg, but it was many thousand miles away. How am I to get there, asked the man. The giant said, I have two hours, time, during which I will carry you into the neighborhood, but after that I must be at home to suckle the child that we have.

So the giant carried the man to about a hundred leagues from the castle, and said, you can very well walk the rest of the way alone. And he turned back, but the man went onwards day and night, until at length he came to the golden castle of Stromberg.

It stood on a glass-mountain, and the bewitched maiden was driving in her carriage round the castle, and then went inside it. He rejoiced when he saw her and wanted to climb up to her, but when he began to do so he always slipped down the glass again. And when he saw that he could not reach her, he was very worried, and said to himself, I will stay down here below, and wait for her. So he built himself a hut and stayed in it for a whole year, and every day saw the king's daughter driving about above, but never could reach her.

Then one day he saw from his hut three robbers who were beating each other, and cried to them, God be with you. They stopped when they heard the cry, but as they saw no one, they once more began to beat each other, and that too most dangerously. So he again cried, God be with you. Again they stopped, looked round about, but as they saw no one they went on beating each other. Then he cried for the third time, God be with you, and thought, I must see what these three are about, and went thither and asked why they were beating each other so furiously. One of them said that he found a stick, and that when he struck a door with it, that door would spring open. The next said that he had found a mantle, and that whenever he put it on, he was invisible, but the third said he had found a horse on which a man could ride everywhere even up the glass-mountain. And now they did not know whether they ought to have these things in common, or whether they ought to divide them.

Then the man said, I will give you something in exchange for these three things. Money indeed have I not, but I have other things of more value, but first I must make an experiment to see if you have told the truth. Then they put him on the horse, threw the mantle round him, and gave him the stick in his hand, and when he had all these things they were no longer able to see him. So he gave them some vigorous blows and cried, now, vagabonds, you have got what you deserve, are you satisfied. And he rode up the glass-mountain, but when he came in front of the castle at the top, it was shut.

Then he struck the door with his stick, and it sprang open immediately. He went in and ascended the stairs until he came to the hall where the maiden was sitting with a golden globlet of wine before her. She, however, could not see him because he had the mantle on. And when he came up to her, he drew from his finger the ring which she had given him, and threw it into the goblet so that it rang. Then she cried, that is my ring, so the man who is to set me free must be here.

They searched the whole castle and did not find him, but he had gone out, and had seated himself on the horse and thrown off the mantle. When they came to the door, they saw him and cried aloud in their delight. Then he alighted and took the king's daughter in his arms, but she kissed him and said, now have you set me free, and to-morrow we will celebrate our wedding.

 

 

The Three Little Birds

About a thousand or more years ago, there were in this country nothing but small kings, and one of them who lived on the Keuterberg was very fond of hunting. Once on a time when he was riding forth from his castle with his huntsmen, three girls were watching their cows upon the mountain, and when they saw the king with all his followers, the eldest girl pointed to him, and called to the two other girls, hullo. Hullo. If I do not get that one, I will have none. Then the second girl answered from the other side of the hill, and pointed to the one who was on the king's right hand, hullo. Hullo. If I do not get him, I will have no one. These, however, were the two ministers. The king heard all this, and when he had come back from the chase, he caused the three girls to be brought to him, and asked them what they had said yesterday on the mountain. This they would not tell him, so the king asked the eldest if she really would take him for her husband. Then she said, yes, and the two ministers married the two sisters, for they were all three fair and beautiful of face, especially the queen, who had hair like flax.

But the two sisters had no children, and once when the king was obliged to go from home he invited them to come to the queen in order to cheer her, for she was about to bear a child. She had a little boy who brought a bright red star into the world with him. Then the two sisters said to each other that they would throw the beautiful boy into the water. When they had thrown him in - I believe it was into the Weser - a little bird flew up into the air, which sang - to thy death art thou sped until God's word be said. In the white lily bloom, brave boy, is thy tomb.

When the two heard that, they were frightened to death, and ran away in great haste. When the king came home they told him that the queen had been delivered of a dog. Then the king said, what God does, is well done. But a fisherman who dwelt near the water fished the little boy out again while he was still alive, and as his wife had no children, they reared him.

When a year had gone by, the king again went away, and the queen had another little boy, whom the false sisters likewise took and threw into the water. Then up flew a little bird again and sang - to thy death art thou sped until God's word be said. In the white lily bloom, brave boy, is thy tomb.

And when the king came back, they told him that the queen had once more given birth to a dog, and he again said, what God does, is well done. The fisherman, however, fished this one also out of the water, and reared him.

Then the king again journeyed forth, and the queen had a little girl, whom also the false sisters threw into the water. Then again a little bird flew up on high and sang - to thy death art thou sped until God's word be said. In the white lily bloom, bonny girl, is thy tomb.

And when the king came home they told him that the queen had been delivered of a cat. Then the king grew angry, and ordered his wife to be cast into prison, and therein was she shut up for many long years.

When the children had grown up, the eldest once went out with some other boys to fish, but the other boys would not have him with them, and said, go your way, foundling.

Hereupon he was much troubled, and asked the old fisherman if that was true. The fisherman told him that once when he was fishing he had drawn him out of the water. So the boy said he would go forth and seek his father. The fisherman, however, entreated him to stay, but he would not let himself be hindered, and at last the fisherman consented. Then the boy went on his way and walked for many days, and at last he came to a great stretch of water by the side of which stood an old woman fishing.

"Good day, mother," said the boy.

"Many thanks," said she.

"You will fish long enough before you catch anything."

"And you will seek long enough before you find your father. How will you get over the water," said the woman.

"God knows."

Then the old woman took him up on her back and carried him through it, and he sought for a long time, but could not find his father.

When a year had gone by, the second boy set out to seek his brother. He came to the water, and all fared with him just as with his brother. And now there was no one at home but the daughter, and she mourned for her brothers so much that at last she also begged the fisherman to let her set forth, for she wished to go in search of her brothers. Then she likewise came to the great stretch of water, and she said to the old woman, "Good day, mother."

"Many thanks," replied the old woman.

"May God help you with your fishing," said the maiden. When the old woman heard that, she became quite friendly, and carried her over the water, gave her a wand, and said to her, "Go, my daughter, ever onwards by this road, and when you come to a great black dog, you must pass it silently and boldly, without either laughing or looking at it. Then you will come to a great high castle, on the threshold of which you must let the wand fall, and go straight through the castle, and out again on the other side. There you will see an old fountain out of which a large tree has grown, whereon hangs a bird in a cage which you must take down. Take likewise a glass of water out of the fountain, and with these two things go back by the same way. Pick up the wand again from the threshold and take it with you, and when you again pass by the dog, strike him in the face with it, but be sure that you hit him, and then just come back here to me."

The maiden found everything exactly as the old woman had said, and on her way back she found her two brothers who had sought each other over half the world. They went together to the place where the black dog was lying on the road, she struck it in the face, and it turned into a handsome prince who went with them to the river. There the old woman was still standing. She rejoiced much to see them again, and carried them all over the water, and then she too went away, for now she was freed. The others, however, went to the old fisherman, and all were glad that they had found each other again, but they hung the bird on the wall.

But the second son could not settle at home, and took his crossbow and went a-hunting. When he was tired he took his flute, and made music. The king was hunting too, and heard that and went thither, and when he met the youth, he said, "Who has given you leave to hunt here?"

"Oh, no one."

"To whom do you belong, then?"

"I am the fisherman's son."

"But he has no children."

"If you will not believe, come with me."

That the king did, and questioned the fisherman, who told him everything, and the little bird on the wall began to sing - the mother sits alone there in the prison small, o king of royal blood, these are thy children all. The sisters twain so false, they wrought the children woe, there in the waters deep where the fishermen come and go.

Then they were all terrified, and the king took the bird, the fisherman and the three children back with him to the castle, and ordered the prison to be opened and brought his wife out again. She had grown quite ill and weak, so the daughter gave her some of the water of the fountain to drink, and she became strong and healthy. But the two false sisters were burnt, and the daughter married the prince.

 

The Water of Life

There was once a king who had an illness, and no one believed that he would come out of it with his life. He had three sons who were much distressed about it, and went down into the palace-garden and wept. There they met an old man who inquired as to the cause of their grief. They told him that their father was so ill that he would most certainly die, for nothing seemed to cure him. Then the old man said, "I know of one more remedy, and that is the water of life. If he drinks of it he will become well again, but it is hard to find." The eldest said, "I will manage to find it." And went to the sick king, and begged to be allowed to go forth in search of the water of life, for that alone could save him. "No," said the king, "the danger of it is too great. I would rather die."

But he begged so long that the king consented. The prince thought in his heart, "If I bring the water, then I shall be best beloved of my father, and shall inherit the kingdom." So he set out, and when he had ridden forth a little distance, a dwarf stood there in the road who called to him and said, "Whither away so fast?" "Silly shrimp," said the prince, very haughtily, "it is nothing to do with you." And rode on. But the little dwarf had grown angry, and had wished an evil wish. Soon after this the prince entered a ravine, and the further he rode the closer the mountains drew together, and at last the road became so narrow that he could not advance a step further. It was impossible either to turn his horse or to dismount from the saddle, and he was shut in there as if in prison. The sick king waited long for him, but he came not.

Then the second son said, "father, let me go forth to seek the water." And thought to himself, "If my brother is dead, then the kingdom will fall to me." At first the king would not allow him to go either, but at last he yielded, so the prince set out on the same road that his brother had taken, and he too met the dwarf, who stopped him to ask whither he was going in such haste. "Little shrimp," said the prince, "that is nothing to do with you." And rode on without giving him another look. But the dwarf bewitched him, and he, like the other, rode into a ravine, and could neither go forwards nor backwards. So fare haughty people.

As the second son also remained away, the youngest begged to be allowed to go forth to fetch the water, and at last the king was obliged to let him go. When he met the dwarf and the latter asked him whither he was going in such haste, he stopped, gave him an explanation, and said, "I am seeking the water of life, for my father is sick unto death."

"Do you know, then, where that is to be found?"

"No," said the prince.

"As you have borne yourself as is seemly, and not haughtily like your false brothers, I will give you the information and tell you how you may obtain the water of life. It springs from a fountain in the courtyard of an enchanted castle, but you will not be able to make your way to it, if I do not give you an iron wand and two small loaves of bread. Strike thrice with the wand on the iron door of the castle and it will spring open, inside lie two lions with gaping jaws, but if you throw a loaf to each of them, they will be quieted. Then hasten to fetch some of the water of life before the clock strikes twelve else the door will shut again, and you will be imprisoned."

The prince thanked him, took the wand and the bread, and set out on his way. When he arrived, everything was as the dwarf had said. The door sprang open at the third stroke of the wand, and when he had appeased the lions with the bread, he entered the castle, and came to a large and splendid hall, wherein sat some enchanted princes whose rings he drew off their fingers. A sword and a loaf of bread were lying there, which he carried away. After this, he entered a chamber, in which was a beautiful maiden who rejoiced when she saw him, kissed him, and told him that he had set her free, and should have the whole of her kingdom, and that if he would return in a year their wedding should be celebrated. Likewise she told him where the spring of the water of life was, and that he was to hasten and draw some of it before the clock struck twelve. Then he went onwards, and at last entered a room where there was a beautiful newly-made bed, and as he was very weary, he felt inclined to rest a little. So he lay down and fell asleep.

When he awoke, it was striking a quarter to twelve. He sprang up in a fright, ran to the spring, drew some water in a cup which stood near, and hastened away. But just as he was passing through the iron door, the clock struck twelve, and the door fell to with such violence that it carried away a piece of his heel.

He, however, rejoicing at having obtained the water of life, went homewards, and again passed the dwarf. When the latter saw the sword and the loaf, he said, "With these you have won great wealth, with the sword you can slay whole armies, and the bread will never come to an end." But the prince would not go home to his father without his brothers, and said, "Dear dwarf, can you not tell me where my two brothers are? They went out before I did in search of the water of life, and have not returned."

"They are imprisoned between two mountains," said the dwarf. "I have condemned them to stay there, because they were so haughty." Then the prince begged until the dwarf released them, but he warned him and said, "Beware of them, for they have bad hearts." When his brothers came, he rejoiced, and told them how things had gone with him, that he had found the water of life and had brought a cupful away with him, and had rescued a beautiful princess, who was willing to wait a year for him, and then their wedding was to be celebrated and he would obtain a great kingdom.

After that they rode on together, and chanced upon a land where war and famine reigned, and the king already thought he must perish, for the scarcity was so great. Then the prince went to him and gave him the loaf, wherewith he fed and satisfied the whole of his kingdom, and then the prince gave him the sword also wherewith he slew the hosts of his enemies, and could now live in rest and peace. The prince then took back his loaf and his sword, and the three brothers rode on. But after this they entered two more countries where war and famine reigned and each time the prince gave his loaf and his sword to the kings, and had now delivered three kingdoms, and after that they went on board a ship and sailed over the sea. During the passage, the two eldest conversed apart and said, "The youngest has found the water of life and not we, for that our father will give him the kingdom - the kingdom which belongs to us, and he will rob us of all our fortune." They then began to seek revenge, and plotted with each other to destroy him. They waited until they found him fast asleep, then they poured the water of life out of the cup, and took it for themselves, but into the cup they poured salt sea-water.

Now therefore, when they arrived home, the youngest took his cup to the sick king in order that he might drink out of it, and be cured. But scarcely had he drunk a very little of the salt sea-water than he became still worse than before. And as he was lamenting over this, the two eldest brothers came, and accused the youngest of having intended to poison him, and said that they had brought him the true water of life, and handed it to him. He had scarcely tasted it, when he felt his sickness departing, and became strong and healthy as in the days of his youth.

After that they both went to the youngest, mocked him, and said, "You certainly found the water of life, but you have had the pain, and we the gain, you should have been cleverer, and should have kept your eyes open. We took it from you whilst you were asleep at sea, and when a year is over, one of us will go and fetch the beautiful princess. But beware that you do not disclose aught of this to our father, indeed he does not trust you, and if you say a single word, you shall lose your life into the bargain, but if you keep silent, you shall have it as a gift."

The old king was angry with his youngest son, and thought he had plotted against his life. So he summoned the court together and had sentence pronounced upon his son, that he should be secretly shot. And once when the prince was riding forth to the chase, suspecting no evil, the king's huntsman was told to go with him, and when they were quite alone in the forest, the huntsman looked so sorrowful that the prince said to him, "Dear huntsman, what ails you?" The huntsman said, "I cannot tell you, and yet I ought." Then the prince said, "Say openly what it is, I will pardon you." "Alas," said the huntsman, "I am to shoot you dead, the king has ordered me to do it." Then the prince was shocked, and said, "Dear huntsman, let me live, there, I give you my royal garments, give me your common ones in their stead." The huntsman said, "I will willingly do that, indeed I would not have been able to shoot you." Then they exchanged clothes, and the huntsman returned home, while the prince went further into the forest.

After a time three waggons of gold and precious stones came to the king for his youngest son, which were sent by the three kings who had slain their enemies with the prince's sword, and maintained their people with his bread, and who wished to show their gratitude for it. The old king then thought, "Can my son have been innocent?" And said to his people, "Would that he were still alive, how it grieves me that I have suffered him to be killed." "He still lives," said the huntsman, "I could not find it in my heart to carry out your command." And told the king how it had happened. Then a stone fell from the king's heart, and he had it proclaimed in every country that his son might return and be taken into favor again.

The princess, however, had a road made up to her palace which was quite bright and golden, and told her people that whosoever came riding straight along it to her, would be the right one and was to be admitted, and whoever rode by the side of it, was not the right one and was not to be admitted.

As the time was now close at hand, the eldest thought he would hasten to go to the king's daughter, and give himself out as her rescuer, and thus win her for his bride, and the kingdom to boot. Therefore he rode forth, and when he arrived in front of the palace, and saw the splendid golden road, he thought, it would be a sin and a shame if I were to ride over that. And turned aside, and rode on the right side of it. But when he came to the door, the servants told him that he was not the right one, and was to go away again.

Soon after this the second prince set out, and when he came to the golden road, and his horse had put one foot on it, he thought, it would be a sin and a shame, a piece might be trodden off. And he turned aside and rode on the left side of it, and when he reached the door, the attendants told him he was not the right one, and he was to go away again.

When at last the year had entirely expired, the third son likewise wished to ride out of the forest to his beloved, and with her forget his sorrows. So he set out and thought of her so incessantly, and wished to be with her so much, that he never noticed the golden road at all. So his horse rode onwards up the middle of it, and when he came to the door, it was opened and the princess received him with joy, and said he was her saviour, and lord of the kingdom, and their wedding was celebrated with great rejoicing. When it was over she told him that his father invited him to come to him, and had forgiven him.

So he rode thither, and told him everything, how his brothers had betrayed him, and how he had nevertheless kept silence. The old king wished to punish them, but they had put to sea, and never came back as long as they lived.

 

The Spirit in the Bottle

There was once a poor woodcutter who toiled from early morning till late at night. When at last he had laid by some money he said to his boy, "You are my only child, I will spend the money which I have earned with the sweat of my brow on your education, if you learn some honest trade you can support me in my old age, when my limbs have grown stiff and I am obliged to stay at home."

Then the boy went to a high school and learned diligently so that his masters praised him, and he remained there a long time. When he had worked through two classes, but was still not yet perfect in everything, the little pittance which the father had earned was all spent, and the boy was obliged to return home to him.

"Ah," said the father, sorrowfully, "I can give you no more, and in these hard times I cannot earn a farthing more than will suffice for our daily bread." "Dear father," answered the son, "don't trouble yourself about it, if it is God's will, it will turn to my advantage. I shall soon accustom myself to it." When the father wanted to go into the forest to earn money by helping to chop and stack wood, the son said, "I will go with you and help you." "Nay, my son," said the father, "that would be hard for you. You are not accustomed to rough work, and will not be able to bear it. Besides, I have only one axe and no money left wherewith to buy another." "Just go to the neighbor," answered the son, "he will lend you his axe until I have earned one for myself."

The father then borrowed an axe of the neighbor, and next morning at break of day they went out into the forest together. The son helped his father and was quite merry and brisk about it. But when the sun was right over their heads, the father said, "We will rest, and have our dinner, and then we shall work twice as well." The son took his bread in his hands, and said, "Just you rest, father, I am not tired, I will walk up and down a little in the forest, and look for birds' nests." "Oh, you fool," said the father, "why should you want to run about there? Afterwards you will be tired, and no longer able to raise your arm. Stay here, and sit down beside me."

The son, however, went into the forest, ate his bread, was very merry and peered in among the green branches to see if he could discover a bird's nest anywhere. So he walked to and fro until at last he came to a great dangerous-looking oak, which certainly was already many hundred years old, and which five men could not have spanned. He stood still and looked at it, and thought, many a bird must have built its nest in that. Then all at once it seemed to him that he heard a voice. He listened and became aware that someone was crying in a very smothered voice, "Let me out, let me out." He looked around, but could discover nothing. Then he fancied that the voice came out of the ground. So he cried, "Where are you?" The voice answered, "I am down here amongst the roots of the oak-tree. Let me out. Let me out."

The schoolboy began to loosen the earth under the tree, and search among the roots, until at last he found a glass bottle in a little hollow. He lifted it up and held it against the light, and then saw a creature shaped like a frog, springing up and down in it. "Let me out. Let me out," it cried anew, and the boy thinking no evil, drew the cork out of the bottle. Immediately a spirit ascended from it, and began to grow, and grew so fast that in a very few moments he stood before the boy, a terrible fellow as big as half the tree. "Do you know," he cried in an awful voice, "what your reward is for having let me out?" "No," replied the boy fearlessly, "how should I know that?" "Then I will tell you," cried the spirit, "I must strangle you for it." "You should have told me that sooner," said the boy, "for I should then have left you shut up, but my head shall stand fast for all you can do, more persons than one must be consulted about that." "More persons here, more persons there," said the spirit. "You shall have the reward you have earned. Do you think that I was shut up there for such a long time as a favor. No, it was a punishment for me. I am the mighty Mercurius. Whoso releases me, him must I strangle." "Slowly," answered the boy, "not so fast. I must first know that you really were shut up in that little bottle, and that you are the right spirit. If, indeed, you can get in again, I will believe and then you may do as you will with me." The spirit said haughtily, "that is a very trifling feat." Drew himself together, and made himself as small and slender as he had been at first, so that he crept through the same opening, and right through the neck of the bottle in again. Scarcely was he within than the boy thrust the cork he had drawn back into the bottle, and threw it among the roots of the oak into its old place, and the spirit was deceived.

And now the schoolboy was about to return to his father, but the spirit cried very piteously, "Ah, do let me out, ah, do let me out." "No," answered the boy, "not a second time. He who has once tried to take my life shall not be set free by me, now that I have caught him again." "If you will set me free," said the spirit, "I will give you so much that you will have plenty all the days of your life." "No," answered the boy, "you would cheat me as you did the first time." "You are spurning you own good luck," said the spirit, "I will do you no harm but will reward you richly." The boy thought, "I will venture it, perhaps he will keep his word, and anyhow he shall not get the better of me."

Then he took out the cork, and the spirit rose up from the bottle as he had done before, stretched himself out and became as big as a giant. "Now you shall have your reward," said he, and handed the boy a little rag just like stiking-plaster, and said, "If you spread one end of this over a wound it will heal, and if you rub steel or iron with the other end it will be changed into silver." "I must just try that," said the boy, and went to a tree, tore off the bark with his axe, and rubbed it with one end of the plaster. It immediately closed together and was healed. "Now, it is all right," he said to the spirit, "and we can part." The spirit thanked him for his release, and the boy thanked the spirit for his present, and went back to his father.

"Where have you been racing about?" said the father. "Why have you forgotten your work? I always said that you would never come to anything." "Be easy, father, I will make it up." "Make it up indeed," said the father angrily, "that's no use." "Take care, father, I will soon hew that tree there, so that it will split." Then he took his plaster, rubbed the axe with it, and dealt a mighty blow, but as the iron had changed into silver, the edge bent. "Hi, father, just look what a bad axe you've given me, it has become quite crooked." The father was shocked and said, "Ah, what have you done! Now I shall have to pay for that, and have not the wherewithal, and that is all the good I have got by your work." "Don't get angry," said the son, "I will soon pay for the axe." "Oh, you blockhead," cried the father, "Wherewith will you pay for it? You have nothing but what I give you. These are students' tricks that are sticking in your head, you have no idea of woodcutting."

After a while the boy said, "Father, I can really work no more, we had better take a holiday." "Eh, what," answered he, "do you think I will sit with my hands lying in my lap like you. I must go on working, but you may take yourself off home." "Father, I am here in this wood for the first time, I don't know my way alone. Do go with me." As his anger had now abated, the father at last let himself be persuaded and went home with him. Then he said to the son, "Go and sell your damaged axe, and see what you can get for it, and I must earn the difference, in order to pay the neighbor."

The son took the axe, and carried it into town to a goldsmith, who tested it, laid it in the scales, and said, "It is worth four hundred talers, I have not so much as that by me." The son said, "Give me what thou have, I will lend you the rest." The goldsmith gave him three hundred talers, and remained a hundred in his debt. The son thereupon went home and said, "Father, I have got the money, go and ask the neighbor what he wants for the axe." "I know that already," answered the old man, "one taler, six groschen." "Then give him him two talers, twelve groschen, that is double and enough. See, I have money in plenty." And he gave the father a hundred talers, and said, "You shall never know want, live as comfortably as you like."

"Good heavens," said the father, "how have you come by these riches?" The boy then told how all had come to pass, and how he, trusting in his luck, had made such a packet. But with the money that was left, he went back to the high school and went on learning more, and as he could heal all wounds with his plaster, he became the most famous doctor in the whole world.

 

Wise Folks

One day a peasant took his good hazel-stick out of the corner and said to his wife, Trina, I am going across country, and shall not return for three days. If during that time the cattle-dealer should happen to call and want to buy our three cows, you may strike a bargain at once, but not unless you can get two hundred talers for them, nothing less, do you hear. For heaven's sake, just go in peace, answered the woman, I will manage that. You, indeed, said the man. You once fell on your head when you were a little child, and that affects you even now, but let me tell you this, if you do anything foolish, I will make your back black and blue, and not with paint, I assure you, but with the stick which I have in my hand, and the coloring shall last a whole year, you may rely on that. And having said that, the man went on his way.

Next morning the cattle-dealer came, and the woman had no need to say many words to him. When he had seen the cows and heard the price, he said, I am quite willing to give that. Honestly speaking, they are worth it. I will take the beasts away with me at once. He unfastened their chains and drove them out of the byre, but just as he was going out of the yard-door, the woman clutched him by the sleeve and said, you must give me the two hundred talers now, or I cannot let the cows go. True, answered the man, but I have forgotten to buckle on my money-belt. Have no fear, however, you shall have security for my paying. I will take two cows with me and leave one, and then you will have a good pledge.

The woman saw the force of this, and let the man go away with the cows, and thought to herself, how pleased Hans will be when he finds how cleverly I have managed it. The peasant came home on the third day as he had said he would, and at once inquired if the cows were sold. Yes, indeed, dear Hans, answered the woman, and as you said, for two hundred talers. They are scarcely worth so much, but the man took them without making any objection. Where is the money, asked the peasant. Oh, I have not got the money, replied the woman, he had happened to forget his money-belt, but he will soon bring it, and he left good security behind him. What kind of security, asked the man. One of the three cows, which he shall not have until he has paid for the other two. I have managed very cunningly, for I have kept the smallest, which eats the least. The man was enraged and lifted up his stick, and was just going to give her the beating he had promised her, when suddenly he let the stick fail and said, you are the stupidest goose that ever waddled on God's earth, but I am sorry for you. I will go out into the highways and wait for three days to see if I find anyone who is still stupider than you. If I succeed in doing so, you shall go scot-free, but if I do not find him, you shall receive your well-deserved reward without any discount.

He went out into the great highways, sat down on a stone, and waited for what would happen. Then he saw a peasant's waggon coming towards him, and a woman was standing upright in the middle of it, instead of sitting on the bundle of straw which was lying beside her, or walking near the oxen and leading them.

The man thought to himself, that is certainly one of the kind I am in search of, and jumped up and ran backwards and forwards in front of the waggon like one who is not in his right mind. What do you want, my friend, said the woman to him. I don't know you, where do you come from. I have fallen down from heaven, replied the man, and don't know how to get back again, couldn't you drive me up. No, said the woman, I don't know the way, but if you come from heaven you can surely tell me how my husband is, who has been there these three years. You must have seen him. Oh, yes, I have seen him, but all men can't get on well. He keeps sheep, and the sheep give him a great deal to do. They run up the mountains and lose their way in the wilderness, and he has to run after them and drive them together again. His clothes are all torn to pieces too, and will soon fall off his body. There is no tailor there, for saint peter won't let any of them in, as you know by the story. Who would have thought it, cried the woman, I tell you what, I will fetch his sunday coat which is still hanging at home in the cupboard. He can wear that and look respectable. You will be so kind as to take it with you. That won't do very well, answered the peasant, people are not allowed to take clothes into heaven, they are taken away at the gate. Then listen, said the woman, I sold my fine wheat yesterday and got a good lot of money for it, I will send that to him. If you hide the purse in your pocket, no one will know that you have it. If you can't manage it any other way, said the peasant, I will do you that favor. Just sit still where you are, said she, and I will drive home and fetch the purse, I shall soon be back again. I do not sit down on the bundle of straw, but stand up in the waggon, because it makes it lighter for the cattle.

She drove her oxen away, and the peasant thought, that woman has a perfect talent for folly, if she really brings the money, my wife may think herself fortunate, for she will get no beating. It was not long before she came in a great hurry with the money, and with her own hands put it in his pocket. Before she went away, she thanked him again a thousand times for his courtesy.

When the woman got home again, she found her son who had come in from the field. She told him what unexpected things had befallen her, and then added, I am truly delighted at having found an opportunity of sending something to my poor husband. Who would ever have imagined that he could be suffering for want of anything up in heaven. The son was full of astonishment. Mother, said he, it is not every day that a man comes from heaven in this way, I will go out immediately, and see if he is still to be found, he must tell me what it is like up there, and how the work is done.

He saddled the horse and rode off with all speed. He found the peasant who was sitting under a willow-tree, and was about to count the money in the purse. Have you seen the man who has fallen down from heaven, cried the youth to him. Yes, answered the peasant, he has set out on his way back there, and has gone up that hill, from whence it will be rather nearer, you could still catch him up, if you were to ride fast. Alas, said the youth, I have been doing tiring work all day, and the ride here has completely worn me out, you know the man, be so kind as to get on my horse, and go and persuade him to come here. Aha, thought the peasant, here is another who has not a brain in his head. Why should I not do you this favor, said he, and mounted the horse and rode off at a quick trot. The youth remained sitting there till night fell, but the peasant never came back. The man from heaven must certainly have been in a great hurry, and would not turn back, thought he, and the peasant has no doubt given him the horse to take to my father. He went home and told his mother what had happened, and that he had sent his father the horse so that he might not have to be always running about. You have done well, answered she, your legs are younger than his, and you can go on foot.

When the peasant got home, he put the horse in the stable beside the cow which he had as a pledge, and then went to his wife and said, Trina, as your luck would have it, I have found two who are still sillier fools than you, this time you escape without a beating. I will store it up for another occasion. Then he lighted his pipe, sat down in his grandfather's chair, and said, it was a good stroke of business to get a sleek horse and a great purse full of money into the bargain, for two lean cows. If stupidity always brought in as much as that, I would be quite willing to hold it in honor. So thought the peasant, but you no doubt prefer simpletons.

 

 

The Two Travellers

Hill and vale do not meet, but the children of men do, good and bad. In this way a shoemaker and a tailor once met on their travels. The tailor was a handsome little fellow who was always merry and full of enjoyment. He saw the shoemaker coming towards him from the other side, and as he observed by his bag what kind of a trade he plied, he sang a little mocking song to him, sew me the seam, draw me the thread, spread it over with pitch, knock the nail on the head.

The shoemaker, however, could not bear a joke, he pulled a face as if he had drunk vinegar, and made a gesture as if he were about to seize the tailor by the throat. But the little fellow began to laugh, reached him his bottle, and said, "No harm was meant, take a drink, and swallow your anger down." The shoemaker took a very hearty drink, and the storm on his face began to clear away. He gave the bottle back to the tailor, and said, "I took a hearty gulp, they say it comes from much drinking, but not from great thirst. Shall we travel together?" "All right," answered the tailor, "if only it suits you to go into a big town where there is no lack of work." "That is just where I want to go," answered the shoemaker. "In a small hamlet there is nothing to earn, and in the country, people like to go barefoot." They traveled therefore onwards together, and always set one foot before the other like a weasel in the snow.

Both of them had time enough, but little to bite and to break. When they reached a town they went about and paid their respects to the tradesmen, and because the tailor looked so lively and merry, and had such fine red cheeks, every one gave him work willingly, and when luck was good the master's daughters gave him a kiss beneath the porch, as well. When he again fell in with the shoemaker, the tailor had always the most in his bundle. The ill-tempered shoemaker made a wry face, and thought, the greater the rascal the more the luck. But the tailor began to laugh and to sing, and shared all he got with his comrade. If a couple of pence jingled in his pockets, he ordered good cheer, and thumped the table in his joy till the glasses danced and it was lightly come, lightly go, with him.

When they had traveled for some time, they came to a great forest through which passed the road to the capital. Two foot-paths, however, led through it, one of which was a seven days, journey and the other only two, but neither of the travelers knew which way was the short one. They seated themselves beneath an oak-tree, and took counsel together how they should forecast, and for how many days they should provide themselves with bread.

The shoemaker said, "One must look before one leaps, I will take with me bread for a week." "What," said the tailor, "drag bread for seven days on one's back like a beast of burden and not be able to look about? I shall trust in God, and not trouble myself about anything. The money I have in my pocket is as good in summer as in winter, but in hot weather bread gets dry, and moldy into the bargain, even my coat does not last as far as it might. Besides, why should we not find the right way? Bread for two days, and that's enough." Each, therefore, bought his own bread, and then they tried their luck in the forest.

It was as quiet there as in a church. No wind stirred, no brook murmured, no bird sang, and through the thickly-leaved branches no sunbeam forced its way. The shoemaker spoke never a word, the bread weighed so heavily on his back that the sweat streamed down his cross and gloomy face. The tailor, however, was quite merry, he jumped about, whistled on a leaf, or sang a song, and thought to himself, God in heaven must be pleased to see me so happy.

This lasted two days, but on the third the forest would not come to an end, and the tailor had eaten up all his bread, so after all his heart sank down a yard deeper. Nevertheless, he did not lose courage, but relied on God and on his luck. On the evening of the third day he lay down hungry under a tree, and rose again next morning hungry still, so also passed the fourth day, and when the shoemaker seated himself on a fallen tree and devoured his dinner the tailor was only a spectator. If he begged for a little piece of bread, the other laughed mockingly, and said, "You have always been so merry, now you can see for once what it is to be sad, the birds which sing too early in the morning are struck by the hawk in the evening." In short, he was pitiless. But on the fifth morning the poor tailor could no longer stand up, and was hardly able to utter one word for weakness, his cheeks were white, and his eyes were red. Then the shoemaker said to him, "I will give you a bit of bread to-day, but in return for it, I will put out your right eye." The unhappy tailor who still wished to save his life, had to submit, he wept once more with both eyes, and then held them out, and the shoemaker, who had a heart of stone, put out his right eye with a sharp knife. The tailor called to remembrance what his mother had formerly said to him when he had been eating secretly in the pantry. Eat what one can, and suffer what one must. When he had consumed his dearly-bought bread, he got on his legs again, forgot his misery and comforted himself with the thought that he could always see enough with one eye.

But on the sixth day, hunger made itself felt again and gnawed him almost to the heart. In the evening he fell down by a tree, and on the seventh morning he could not raise himself up for faintness, and death was close at hand. Then said the shoemaker, "I will show mercy and give you bread once more, but you shall not have it for nothing, I shall put out your other eye for it."

And now the tailor felt how thoughtless his life had been, prayed to God for forgiveness, and said, "Do what you will, I will bear what I must, but remember that our Lord God does not always look on passively, and that an hour will come when the evil deed which you have done to me, and which I have not deserved of you, will be requited. When times were good with me, I shared what I had with you. My trade is of that kind that each stitch must always be exactly like the other. If I no longer have my eyes and can sew no more I must go a-begging. At any rate do not leave me here alone when I am blind, or I shall die of hunger." The shoemaker, however, who had driven God out of his heart, took the knife and put out his left eye. Then he gave him a bit of bread to eat, held out a stick to him, and drew him on behind him.

When the sun went down, they got out of the forest, and before them in the open country stood the gallows. Thither the shoemaker guided the blind tailor, and then left him alone and went his way. Weariness, pain, and hunger made the wretched man fall asleep, and he slept the whole night. When day dawned he awoke, but knew not where he lay. Two poor sinners were hanging on the gallows, and a crow sat on the head of each of them. Then one of the men who had been hanged began to speak, and said, "Brother, are you awake?" "Yes, I am awake," answered the second. "Then I will tell you something," said the first, "the dew which this night has fallen down over us from the gallows, gives every one who washes himself with it his eyes again. If blind people did but know this, how many would regain their sight who do not believe that to be possible."

When the tailor heard that, he took his pocket-handkerchief, pressed it on the grass, and when it was moist with dew, washed the sockets of his eyes with it. Immediately was fulfilled what the man on the gallows had said, and a couple of healthy new eyes filled the sockets. It was not long before the tailor saw the sun rise behind the mountains, in the plain before him lay the great royal city with its magnificent gates and hundred towers, and the golden balls and crosses which were on the spires began to shine. He could distinguish every leaf on the trees, saw the birds which flew past, and the midges which danced in the air. He took a needle out of his pocket, and as he could thread it as well as ever he had done, his heart danced with delight. He threw himself on his knees, thanked God for the mercy he had shown him, and said his morning prayer. Nor did he forget to pray for the poor sinners who were hanging there swinging against each other in the wind like the pendulums of clocks. Then he took his bundle on his back and soon forgot the pain of heart he had endured, and went on his way singing and whistling.

The first thing he met was a brown foal running about the fields at large. He caught it by the mane, and wanted to spring on it and ride into the town. The foal, however, begged to be set free. "I am still too young," it said, "even a light tailor such as you are would break my back in two - let me go till I have grown strong. A time may perhaps come when I may reward you for it." "Run off," said the tailor, "I see you are still a giddy thing." He gave it a touch with a switch over its back, whereupon it kicked up its hind legs for joy, leapt over hedges and ditches, and galloped away into the open country.

But the little tailor had eaten nothing since the day before. The sun to be sure fills my eyes, said he, but the bread does not fill my mouth. The first thing that comes my way and is even half edible will have to suffer for it. In the meantime a stork stepped solemnly over the meadow towards him. "Halt, halt," cried the tailor, and seized him by the leg. "I don't know if you are good to eat or not, but my hunger leaves me no great choice. I must cut your head off, and roast you." "Don't do that," replied the stork, "I am a sacred bird which brings mankind great profit, and no one does me an injury. Leave me my life, and I may do you good in some other way." "Well, be off, cousin longlegs," said the tailor. The stork rose up, let its long legs hang down, and flew gently away.

"What's to be the end of this," said the tailor to himself at last, "my hunger grows greater and greater, and my stomach more and more empty. Whatsoever comes in my way now is lost." At this point he saw a couple of young ducks which were on a pond come swimming towards him. "You come just at the right moment," said he, and laid hold of one of them and was about to wring its neck. On this an old duck which was hidden among the reeds, began to scream loudly, and swam to him with open beak, and begged him urgently to spare her dear children. "Can you not imagine," said she, "how your mother would mourn if any one wanted to carry you off, and give you your finishing stroke." "Just be quiet," said the good-tempered tailor, "you shall keep your children," and put the prisoner back into the water.

When he turned round, he was standing in front of an old tree which was partly hollow, and saw some wild bees flying in and out of it. "There I shall at once find the reward of my good deed," said the tailor, "the honey will refresh me." But the queen-bee came out, threatened him and said, "If you touch my people and destroy my nest, our stings shall pierce your skin like ten thousand red-hot needles. But if you leave us in peace and go your way, we will do you a service for it another time."

The little tailor saw that here also nothing was to be done. Three dishes empty and nothing on the fourth is a bad dinner. He dragged himself therefore with his starved-out stomach into the town, and as it was just striking twelve, all was ready-cooked for him in the inn, and he was able to sit down at once to dinner. When he was satisfied he said, "Now I will get to work." He went round the town, sought a master, and soon found a good situation. And as he had thoroughly learnt his trade, it was not long before he became famous, and every one wanted to have his new coat made by the little tailor, whose importance increased daily. "I can go no further in skill," said he, "and yet things improve every day." At last the king appointed him court-tailor.

But what odd things do happen in the world. On the very same day his former comrade the shoemaker also became court-shoemaker. When the latter caught sight of the tailor, and saw that he had once more two healthy eyes, his conscience troubled him. "Before he takes revenge on me," thought he to himself, "I must dig a pit for him." He, however, who digs a pit for another, falls into it himself. In the evening when work was over and it had grown dusk, he stole to the king and said, "Lord king, the tailor is an arrogant fellow and has boasted that he will get the golden crown back again which was lost in ancient times." "That would please me very much," said the king, and he caused the tailor to be brought before him next morning, and ordered him to get the crown back again, or to leave the town for ever. "Oho," thought the tailor, "a rogue gives more than he has got. If the surly king wants me to do what can be done by no one, I will not wait till morning, but will go out of the town at once, to-day."

He packed up his bundle, therefore, but when he was without the gate he could not help being sorry to give up his good fortune, and turn his back on the town in which all had gone so well with him. He came to the pond where he had made the acquaintance of the ducks, at that very moment the old one whose young ones he had spared, was sitting there by the shore, pluming herself with her beak. She knew him again instantly, and asked why he was hanging his head so. "You will not be surprised when you hear what has befallen me," replied the tailor, and told her his fate. "If that be all," said the duck, "we can help you. The crown fell into the water, and it lies down below at the bottom, we will soon bring it up again for you. In the meantime just spread out your handkerchief on the bank." She dived down with her twelve young ones, and in five minutes she was up again and sat with the crown resting on her wings, and the twelve young ones were swimming round about and had put their beaks under it, and were helping to carry it. They swam to the shore and put the crown on the handkerchief. No one can imagine how magnificent the crown was, when the sun shone on it, it gleamed like a hundred thousand carbuncles. The tailor tied his handkerchief together by the four corners, and carried it to the king, who was full of joy, and put a gold chain round the tailor's neck.

When the shoemaker saw that one blow had failed, he contrived a second, and went to the king and said, "Lord king, the tailor has become insolent again, he boasts that he will copy in wax the whole of the royal palace, with everything that pertains to it, loose or fast, inside and out." The king sent for the tailor and ordered him to copy in wax the whole of the royal palace, with everything that pertained to it, movable or immovable, within and without, and if he did not succeed in doing this, or if so much as one nail on the wall were wanting, he should be imprisoned for his whole life underground.

The tailor thought, "It gets worse and worse. No one can endure that," and threw his bundle on his back, and went forth. When he came to the hollow tree, he sat down and hung his head. The bees came flying out, and the queen-bee asked him if he had a stiff neck, since he hung his head so. "Alas, no," answered the tailor, "something quite different weighs me down," and he told her what the king had demanded of him. The bees began to buzz and hum amongst themselves, and the queen-bee said, "Just go home again, but come back to-morrow at this time, and bring a large sheet with you, and then all will be well." So he turned back again, but the bees flew to the royal palace and straight into it through the open windows, crept round about into every corner, and inspected everything most carefully. Then they hurried back and modelled the palace in wax with such rapidity that any one looking on would have thought it was growing before his eyes. By the evening all was ready, and when the tailor came next morning, the whole of the splendid building was there, and not one nail in the wall or tile of the roof was wanting, and it was delicate withal, and white as snow, and smelt sweet as honey. The tailor wrapped it carefully in his cloth and took it to the king, who could not admire it enough, placed it in his largest hall, and in return for it presented the tailor with a large stone house.

The shoemaker, however, did not give up, but went for the third time to the king and said, "Lord king, it has come to the tailor's ears that no water will spring up in the court-yard of the castle and he has boasted that it shall rise up in the midst of the court-yard to a man's height and be clear as crystal." Then the king ordered the tailor to be brought before him and said, "If a stream of water does not rise in my court-yard by to-morrow as you have promised, the executioner shall in that very place make you shorter by a head." The poor tailor did not take long to think about it, but hurried out to the gate, and because this time it was a matter of life and death to him, tears rolled down his face.

While he was thus going forth full of sorrow, the foal to which he had formerly given its liberty, and which had now become a beautiful chestnut horse, came leaping towards him. "The time has come," it said to the tailor, "when I can repay you for your good deed. I know already what is needful to you, but you shall soon have help, get on me, my back can carry two such as you." The tailor's courage came back to him, he jumped up in one bound, and the horse went full speed into the town, and right up to the court-yard of the castle. It galloped as quick as lightning thrice round it, and at the third time it fell violently down. At the same instant, however, there was a terrific clap of thunder, a fragment of earth in the middle of the court-yard sprang like a cannon-ball into the air, and over the castle, and directly after it a jet of water rose as high as a man on horseback, and the water was as pure as crystal, and the sunbeams began to dance on it. When the king saw this, he arose in amazement, and went and embraced the tailor in the sight of all men.

But good fortune did not last long. The king had daughters in plenty, one still prettier than the other, but he had no son. So the malicious shoemaker betook himself for the fourth time to the king, and said, "Lord king, the tailor has not given up his arrogance. He has now boasted that if he liked, he could cause a son to be brought to the lord king through the air." The king commanded the tailor to be summoned, and said, "If you cause a son to be brought to me within nine days, you shall have my eldest daughter to wife." "The reward is indeed great," thought the little tailor, "one would willingly do something for it, but the cherries grow too high for me, if I climb for them, the bough will break beneath me, and I shall fall."

He went home, seated himself cross-legged on his work-table, and thought over what was to be done. "It can't be managed," cried he at last, "I will go away, after all, I can't live in peace here." He tied up his bundle and hurried away to the gate. When he got to the meadow, he perceived his old friend the stork, who was walking backwards and forwards like a philosopher. Sometimes he stood still, took a frog into close consideration, and at length swallowed it down. The stork came to him and greeted him. "I see," he began, "that you have your pack on your back. Why are you leaving the town?" The tailor told him what the king had required of him, and how he could not perform it, and lamented his misfortune. "Don't let that turn your hair grey," said the stork, "I will help you out of your difficulty. For a long time now, I have carried the children in swaddling-clothes into the town, so for once in a way, I can fetch a little prince out of the well. Go home and be easy. In nine days from this time repair to the royal palace, and there will I come." The little tailor went home, and at the appointed time was at the castle. It was not long before the stork came flying thither and tapped at the window. The tailor opened it, and cousin longlegs came carefully in, and walked with solemn steps over the smooth marble pavement. He had, moreover, a baby in his beak that was as lovely as an angel, and stretched out its little hands to the queen. The stork laid it in her lap, and she caressed it and kissed it, and was beside herself with delight. Before the stork flew away, he took his traveling bag off his back and handed it over to the queen. In it there were little paper parcels with colored sweetmeats, and they were divided amongst the little princesses. The eldest, however, received none of them, but instead got the merry tailor for a husband. "It seems to me," said he, "just as if I had won the highest prize. My mother was if right after all, she always said that whoever trusts in God and only has good luck, can never fail."

The shoemaker had to make the shoes in which the little tailor danced at the wedding festival, after which he was commanded to quit the town for ever. The road to the forest led him to the gallows. Worn out with anger, rage, and the heat of the day, he threw himself down. When he had closed his eyes and was about to sleep, the two crows flew down from the heads of the men who were hanging there, and pecked his eyes out. In his madness he ran into the forest and must have died there of hunger, for no one has ever either seen him or heard of him again.

 

Hans the Hedgehog

There was once a country man who had money and land in plenty, but however rich he was, his happiness was still lacking in one respect - he had no children. Often when he went into the town with the other peasants they mocked him and asked why he had no children. At last he became angry, and when he got home he said, "I will have a child, even if it be a hedgehog." Then his wife had a child that was a hedgehog in the upper part of his body and a boy in the lower, and when she saw the child, she was terrified, and said, "See, there you have brought ill-luck on us." Then said the man, "What can be done now? The boy must be christened, but we shall not be able to get a godfather for him." The woman said, "And we cannot call him anything else but Hans the hedgehog."

When he was christened, the parson said, "He cannot go into any ordinary bed because of his spikes." So a little straw was put behind the stove, and Hans the hedgehog was laid on it. His mother could not suckle him, for he would have pricked her with his quills. So he lay there behind the stove for eight years, and his father was tired of him and thought, if he would but die. He did not die, however, but remained lying there.

Now it happened that there was a fair in the town, and the peasant was about to go to it, and asked his wife what he should bring back with him for her. "A little meat and a couple of white rolls which are wanted for the house," said she. Then he asked the servant, and she wanted a pair of slippers and some stockings with clocks. At last he said also, "And what will you have, Hans my hedgehog?" "Dear father," he said, "do bring me bagpipes." When, therefore, the father came home again, he gave his wife what he had bought for her, meat and white rolls, and then he gave the maid the slippers, and the stockings with clocks, and, lastly, he went behind the stove, and gave Hans the hedgehog the bagpipes.

And when Hans the hedgehog had the bagpipes, he said, "Dear father, do go to the forge and get the cock shod, and then I will ride away, and never come back again." At this, the father was delighted to think that he was going to get rid of him, and had the cock shod for him, and when it was done, Hans the hedgehog got on it, and rode away, but took swine and asses with him which he intended to keep in the forest. When they got there he made the cock fly on to a high tree with him, and there he sat for many a long year, and watched his asses and swine until the herd was quite large, and his father knew nothing about him. And while he was sitting in the tree, he played his bagpipes, and made music which was very beautiful.

Once a king came traveling by who had lost his way and heard the music. He was astonished at it, and sent his servant forth to look all round and see from whence this music came. He spied about, but saw nothing but a little animal sitting up aloft on the tree, which looked like a cock with a hedgehog on it which made this music. Then the king told the servant he was to ask why he sat there, and if he knew the road which led to his kingdom. So Hans the hedgehog descended from the tree, and said he would show the way if the king would write a bond and promise him whatever he first met in the royal courtyard as soon as he arrived at home. Then the king thought, I can easily do that, Hans the hedgehog understands nothing, and I can write what I like. So the king took pen and ink and wrote something, and when he had done it, Hans the hedgehog showed him the way, and he got safely home. But his daughter, when she saw him from afar, was so overjoyed that she ran to meet him, and kissed him. Then he remembered Hans the hedgehog, and told her what had happened, and that he had been forced to promise whatsoever first met him when he got home, to a very strange animal which sat on a cock as if it were a horse, and made beautiful music, but that instead of writing that he should have what he wanted, he had written that he should not have it. Thereupon the princess was glad, and said he had done well, for she never would have gone away with the hedgehog.

Hans the hedgehog, however, looked after his asses and pigs, and was always merry and sat on the tree and played his bagpipes. Now it came to pass that another king came journeying by with his attendants and runner, and he also had lost his way, and did not know how to get home again because the forest was so large. He likewise heard the beautiful music from a distance, and asked his runner what that could be, and told him to go and see. Then the runner went under the tree, and saw the cock sitting at the top of it, and Hans the hedgehog on the cock. The runner asked him what he was doing up there. I am keeping my asses and my pigs, but what is your desire. The messenger said that they had lost their way, and could not get back into their own kingdom, and asked if he would not show them the way. Then Hans the hedgehog descended the tree with the cock, and told the aged king that he would show him the way, if he would give him for his own whatsoever first met him in front of his royal palace. The king said, "Yes," and wrote a promise to Hans the hedgehog that he should have this. That done, Hans rode on before him on the cock, and pointed out the way, and the king reached his kingdom again in safety. When he got to the courtyard, there were great rejoicings. Now he had an only daughter who was very beautiful, she ran to meet him, threw her arms round his neck, and was delighted to have her old father back again. She asked him where in the world he had been so long. So he told her how he had lost his way, and had very nearly not come back at all, but that as he was traveling through a great forest, a creature, half hedgehog, half man, who was sitting astride a cock in a high tree, and making music, had shown him the way and helped him to get out, but that in return he had promised him whatsoever first met him in the royal court-yard, and how that was she herself, which made him unhappy now. But on this she promised that, for love of her father, she would willingly go with this Hans if he came.

Hans the hedgehog, however, took care of his pigs, and the pigs became more pigs until there were so many in number that the whole forest was filled with them. Then Hans the hedgehog resolved not to live in the forest any longer, and sent word to his father to have every stye in the village emptied, for he was coming with such a great herd that all might kill who wished to do so. When his father heard that, he was troubled, for he thought Hans the hedgehog had died long ago. Hans the hedgehog, however, seated himself on the cock, and drove the pigs before him into the village, and ordered the slaughter to begin.

Ha. - Then there was a butchery and a chopping that might have been heard two miles off. After this Hans the hedgehog said, "Father, let me have the cock shod once more at the forge, and then I will ride away and never come back as long as I live." Then the father had the cock shod once more, and was pleased that Hans the hedgehog would never return again.

Hans the hedgehog rode away to the first kingdom. There the king had commanded that whosoever came mounted on a cock and had bagpipes with him should be shot at, cut down, or stabbed by everyone, so that he might not enter the palace. When, therefore, Hans the hedgehog came riding thither, they all pressed forward against him with their pikes, but he spurred the cock and it flew up over the gate in front of the king's window and lighted there, and Hans cried that the king must give him what he had promised, or he would take both his life and his daughter's. Then the king began to speak to his daughter, and to beg her to go away with Hans in order to save her own life and her father's. So she dressed herself in white, and her father gave her a carriage with six horses and magnificent attendants together with gold and possessions. She seated herself in the carriage, and placed Hans the hedgehog beside her with the cock and the bagpipes, and then they took leave and drove away, and the king thought he should never see her again. But he was deceived in his expectation for when they were at a short distance from the town, Hans the hedgehog took her pretty clothes off, and pierced her with his hedgehog's spikes until she bled all over. "That is the reward of your falseness," said he. "Go your way, I will not have you," and on that he chased her home again, and she was disgraced for the rest of her life.

Hans the hedgehog, however, rode on further on the cock, with his bagpipes, to the dominions of the second king to whom he had shown the way. But this one had arranged that if any one resembling Hans the hedgehog should come, they were to present arms, give him safe conduct, cry long life to him, and lead him to the royal palace.

But when the king's daughter saw him she was terrified, for he really looked too strange. Then she remembered that she could not change her mind, for she had given her promise to her father. So Hans the hedgehog was welcomed by her, and married to her, and had to go with her to the royal table, and she seated herself by his side, and they ate and drank. When the evening came and they wanted to go to sleep, she was afraid of his quills, but he told her she was not to fear, for no harm would befall her, and he told the old king that he was to appoint four men to watch by the door of the chamber, and light a great fire, and when he entered the room and was about to get into bed, he would creep out of his hedgehog's skin and leave it lying there by the bedside, and that the men were to run nimbly to it, throw it in the fire, and stay by it until it was consumed.

When the clock struck eleven, he went into the chamber, stripped off the hedgehog's skin, and left it lying by the bed. Then came the men and fetched it swiftly, and threw it in the fire, and when the fire had consumed it, he was saved, and lay there in bed in human form, but he was coal-black as if he had been burnt. The king sent for his physician who washed him with precious salves, and anointed him, and he became white, and was a handsome young man. When the king's daughter saw that she was glad, and the next morning they arose joyfully, ate and drank, and then the marriage was properly solemnized, and Hans the hedgehog received the kingdom from the aged king.

When several years had passed he went with his wife to his father, and said that he was his son. The father, however, declared he had no son - he had never had but one, and he had been born like a hedgehog with spikes, and had gone forth into the world. Then Hans made himself known, and the old father rejoiced and went with him to his kingdom. My tale is done, and away it has run to little augusta's house.

 

The Skilful Huntsman

There was once a young fellow who had learnt the trade of locksmith, and told his father he would now go out into the world and seek his fortune. Very well, said the father, I am quite content with that, and gave him some money for his journey. So he traveled about and looked for work. After a time he resolved not to follow the trade of locksmith any more, for he no longer liked it, but he took a fancy for hunting.

Then there met him in his rambles a huntsman dressed in green, who asked whence he came and whither he was going. The youth said he was a locksmith's apprentice, but that the trade no longer pleased him, and he had a liking for huntsmanship, would he teach it to him. "Oh, yes," said the huntsman, "if you will go with me." Then the young fellow went with him, apprenticed himself to him for some years, and learnt the art of hunting. After this he wished to try his luck elsewhere, and the huntsman gave him nothing in the way of payment but an air-gun, which had, however, this property, that it hit its mark without fail whenever he shot with it. Then he set out and found himself in a very large forest, which he could not get to the end of in one day. When evening came he seated himself in a high tree in order to escape from the wild beasts.

Towards midnight, it seemed to him as if a tiny little light glimmered in the distance. Then he looked down through the branches towards it, and kept well in his mind where it was. But in the first place he took off his hat and threw it down in the direction of the light, so that he might go to the hat as a mark when he had descended. He got down and went to his hat, put it on again and went straight forwards. The farther he went, the larger the light grew, and when he got close to it he saw that it was an enormous fire, and that three giants were sitting by it, who had an ox on the spit, and were roasting it. Presently one of them said, "I must just taste if the meat will soon be fit to eat," and pulled a piece off, and was about to put it in his mouth when the huntsman shot it out of his hand. "Well, really," said the giant, "if the wind has not blown the bit out of my hand," and helped himself to another. But when he was just about to bite into it, the huntsman again shot it away from him. On this the giant gave the one who was sitting next him a box on the ear, and cried angrily, "Why are you snatching my piece away from me?" "I have not snatched it away," said the other, "a sharpshooter must have shot it away from you."

The giant took another piece, but again could not keep it in his hand, for the huntsman shot it out. Then the giant said, "That must be a good shot to shoot the bit out of one's very mouth, such an one would be useful to us." And he cried aloud, "Come here, you sharpshooter, seat yourself at the fire beside us and eat your fill, we will not hurt you, but if you will not come, and we have to bring you by force, you are a lost man."

On this the youth went up to them and told them he was a skilled huntsman, and that whatever he aimed at with his gun, he was certain to hit. Then they said if he would go with them he should be well treated, and they told him that outside the forest there was a great lake, behind which stood a tower, and in the tower was imprisoned a lovely princess, whom they wished very much to carry off. "Yes," said he, "I will soon get her for you." Then they added, "But there is still something else, there is a tiny little dog, which begins to bark directly any one goes near, and as soon as it barks every one in the royal palace wakens up, and for this reason we cannot get there, can you undertake to shoot it dead?" "Yes," said he, "that will be quite fun for me." After this he got into a boat and rowed over the lake, and as soon as he landed, the little dog came running out, and was about to bark, but the huntsman took his airgun and shot it dead.

When the giants saw that, they rejoiced, and thought they already had the king's daughter safe, but the huntsman wished first to see how matters stood, and told them that they must stay outside until he called them. Then he went into the castle, and all was perfectly quiet within, and every one was asleep. When he opened the door of the first room, a sword was hanging on the wall which was made of pure silver, and there was a golden star on it, and the name of the king, and on a table near it lay a sealed letter which he broke open, and inside it was written that whosoever had the sword could kill everything which opposed him. So he took the sword from the wall, hung it at his side and went onwards, then he entered the room where the king's daughter was lying sleeping, and she was so beautiful that he stood still and, holding his breath, looked at her. He thought to himself, "How can I give an innocent maiden into the power of the wild giants, who have evil in their minds?" He looked about further, and under the bed stood a pair of slippers, on the right one was her father's name with a star, and on the left her own name with a star. She wore also a large scarf of silk embroidered with gold, and on the right side was her father's name, and on the left her own, all in golden letters. Then the huntsman took a pair of scissors and cut the right corner off, and put it in his knapsack, and then he also took the right slipper with the king's name, and thrust that in. Now the maiden still lay sleeping, and she was quite sewn into her night-dress, and he cut a morsel from this also, and thrust it in with the rest, but he did all without touching her.

Then he went forth and left her lying asleep undisturbed, and when he came to the gate again, the giants were still standing outside waiting for him, and expecting that he was bringing the princess. But he cried to them that they were to come in, for the maiden was already in their power, that he could not open the gate to them, but there was a hole through which they must creep. Then the first approached, and the huntsman wound the giant's hair round his hand, pulled the head in, and cut it off at one stroke with his sword, and then drew the rest of him in. He called to the second and cut his head off likewise, and then he killed the third also, and he was well pleased that he had freed the beautiful maiden from her enemies, and he cut out their tongues and put them in his knapsack. Then thought he, "I will go home to my father and let him see what I have already done, and afterwards I will travel about the world, the luck which God is pleased to grant me will easily find me."

But when the king in the castle awoke, he saw the three giants lying there dead. So he went into the sleeping-room of his daughter, awoke her, and asked who could have killed the giants. Then said she, "Dear father, I know not, I have been asleep." But when she arose and would have put on her slippers, the right one was gone, and when she looked at her scarf it was cut, and the right corner was missing, and when she looked at her night-dress a piece was cut out of it. The king summoned his whole court together, soldiers and every one else who was there, and asked who had set his daughter at liberty, and killed the giants.

Now it happened that he had a captain, who was one-eyed and a hideous man, and he said that he had done it. Then the old king said that as he had accomplished this, he should marry his daughter. But the maiden said, "Rather than marry him, dear father, I will go away into the world as far as my legs can carry me." But the king said that if she would not marry him she should take off her royal garments and wear peasant's clothing, and go forth, and that she should go to a potter, and begin a trade in earthen vessels.

So she put off her royal apparel, and went to a potter and borrowed crockery enough for a stall, and she promised him also that if she had sold it by the evening, she would pay for it. Then the king said she was to seat herself in a corner with it and sell it, and he arranged with some peasants to drive over it with their carts, so that everything should be broken into a thousand pieces. When therefore the king's daughter had placed her stall in the street, by came the carts, and broke all she had into tiny fragments. She began to weep and said, "Alas, how shall I ever pay for the pots now." The king, however, had wished by this to force her to marry the captain; but instead of that, she again went to the potter, and asked him if he would lend to her once more. He said, no, she must first pay for what she already had.

Then she went to her father and cried and lamented, and said she would go forth into the world. Then said he, "I will have a little hut built for you in the forest outside, and in it you shall stay all your life long and cook for every one, but you shall take no money for it." When the hut was ready, a sign was hung on the door whereon was written, to-day given, to-morrow sold. There she remained a long time, and it was rumored about the world that a maiden was there who cooked without asking for payment, and that this was set forth on a sign outside her door.

The huntsman heard it likewise, and thought to himself, that would suit you. You are poor, and have no money. So he took his air-gun and his knapsack, wherein all the things which he had formerly carried away with him from the castle as tokens of his truthfulness were still lying, and went into the forest, and found the hut with the sign, to-day given, to-morrow sold. He had put on the sword with which he had cut off the heads of the three giants, and thus entered the hut, and ordered something to eat to be given to him. He was charmed with the beautiful maiden, who was indeed as lovely as any picture. She asked him whence he came and whither he was going, and he said, "I am roaming about the world." Then she asked him where he had got the sword, for that truly her father's name was on it. He asked her if she were the king's daughter. "Yes," answered she. "With this sword," said he, "did I cut off the heads of three giants." And he took their tongues out of his knapsack in proof. Then he also showed her the slipper, and the corner of the scarf, and the piece of the night-dress.

Hereupon she was overjoyed, and said that he was the one who had delivered her. On this they went together to the old king, and fetched him to the hut, and she led him into her room, and told him that the huntsman was the man who had really set her free from the giants. And when the aged king saw all the proofs of this, he could no longer doubt, and said that he was very glad he knew how everything had happened, and that the huntsman should have her to wife, on which the maiden was glad at heart. Then she dressed the huntsman as if he were a foreign lord, and the king ordered a feast to be prepared. When they went to table, the captain sat on the left side of the king's daughter, but the huntsman was on the right, and the captain thought he was a foreign lord who had come on a visit. When they had eaten and drunk, the old king said to the captain that he would set before him something which he must guess. "Supposing someone said that he had killed the three giants and he were asked where the giants, tongues were, and he were forced to go and look, and there were none in their heads. How could that have happened?" The captain said, "Then they cannot have had any." "Not so," said the king. "Every animal has a tongue," and then he likewise asked what punishment should be meted out to anyone who made such an answer. The captain replied, "He ought to be torn in pieces." Then the king said he had pronounced his own sentence, and the captain was put in prison and then torn in four pieces, but the king's daughter was married to the huntsman. After this he brought his father and mother, and they lived with their son in happiness, and after the death of the old king he received the kingdom.

 

The Two Kings' Children

There was once upon a time a king who had a little boy in whose stars it had been foretold that he should be killed by a stag when he was sixteen years of age, and when he had reached that age the huntsmen once went hunting with him. In the forest, the king's son was separated from the others, and all at once he saw a great stag which he wanted to shoot, but could not hit. At length he chased the stag so far that they were quite out of the forest, and then suddenly a great tall man was standing there instead of the stag, and said, "It is well that I have you. I have already ruined six pairs of glass skates with running after you, and have not been able to reach you."

Then he took the king's son with him, and dragged him through a great lake to a great palace, and he had to sit down to table with him and eat something. When they had eaten something together the king said, "I have three daughters, you must keep watch over the eldest for one night, from nine in the evening till six in the morning, and every time the clock strikes, I will come myself and call, and if you then give me no answer, to-morrow morning you shall be put to death, but if you always give me an answer, you shall have her to wife."

When the young folks went to the bedroom there stood a stone image of St. Christopher, and the king's daughter said to it, "My father will come at nine o'clock, and every hour till it strikes three, when he calls, give him an answer instead of the king's son." Then the stone image of St. Christopher nodded its head quite quickly, and then more and more slowly till at last it again stood still. The next morning the king said to him, "You have done the business well, but I cannot give my daughter away. You must now watch a night by my second daughter, and then I will consider with myself, whether you can have my eldest daughter to wife, but I shall come every hour myself, and when I call you, answer me, and if I call you and you do not reply, your blood shall flow."

Then they both went into the sleeping-room, and there stood a still larger stone image of St. Christopher, and the king's daughter said to it, "If my father calls, answer him." Then the great stone image of St. Christopher again nodded its head quite quickly and then more and more slowly, until at last it stood still again. And the king's son lay down on the threshold, put his hand under his head and slept. The next morning the king said to him, "You have done the business really well, but I cannot give my daughter away, you must now watch a night by the youngest princess, and then I will consider with myself whether you can have my second daughter to wife. But I shall come every hour myself, and when I call you answer me, and if I call you and you answer not, your blood shall flow for me."

Then they once more went to the sleeping-room together, and there was a much greater and much taller image of St. Christopher than the two first had been. The king's daughter said to it, "When my father calls, answer." Then the great tall stone image of St. Christopher nodded quite half an hour with its head, until at length the head stood still again. And the king's son laid himself down on the threshold of the door and slept. The next morning the king said, "You have indeed watched well, but I cannot give you my daughter now, I have a great forest, if you cut it down for me between six o'clock this morning and six at night, I will think about it."

Then he gave him a glass axe, a glass wedge, and a glass mallet. When he got into the wood, he began at once to cut, but the axe broke in two. Then he took the wedge, and struck it once with the mallet, and it became as short and as small as sand. Then he was much troubled and believed he would have to die, and sat down and wept.

Now when it was noon the king said, "One of you girls must take him something to eat." "No," said the two eldest, "we will not take it to him, the one by whom he last watched, can take him something." Then the youngest was forced to go and take him something to eat. When she got into the forest, she asked him how he was getting on. "Oh," said he, "I am getting on very badly." Then she said he was to come and just eat a little. "Nay," said he, "I cannot do that, I have to die anyway, so I will eat no more." Then she spoke so kindly to him and begged him just to try, that he came and ate something. When he had eaten something she said, "I will pick your lice a while, and then you will feel happier."

So she loused him, and he became weary and fell asleep, and then she took her handkerchief and made a knot in it, and struck it three times on the earth, and said, "Earth-workers, come forth." In a moment, numbers of little earth-men came forth, and asked what the king's daughter commanded. Then said she, "In three hours, time the great forest must be cut down, and all the wood laid in heaps." So the little earth-men went about and got together the whole of their kindred to help them with the work. They began at once, and when the three hours were over, all was done, and they came back to the king's daughter and told her so. Then she took her white handkerchief again and said, "Earth-workers, go home." At this they all disappeared.

When the king's son awoke, he was delighted, and she said, "Come home when it has struck six o'clock." He did as she told him, and then the king asked, "Have you made away with the forest?" "Yes," said the king's son. When they were sitting at table, the king said, "I cannot yet give you my daughter to wife, you must still do something more for her sake." So he asked what it was to be. "I have a great fish-pond," said the king. "You must go to it to-morrow morning and clear it of all mud until it is as bright as a mirror, and fill it with every kind of fish."

The next morning the king gave him a glass shovel and said, "The fish-pond must be done by six o'clock." So he went away, and when he came to the fish-pond he stuck his shovel in the mud and it broke in two. Then he stuck his hoe in the mud, and it broke also. Then he was much troubled. At noon the youngest daughter brought him something to eat, and asked him how he was getting on. So the king's son said everything was going very ill with him, and he would certainly have to lose his head. "My tools have broken to pieces again." "Oh," said she, "you must just come and eat something, and then you will be in another frame of mind." "No," said he, "I cannot eat, I am far too unhappy for that." Then she gave him many good words until at last he came and ate something.

Then she loused him again, and he fell asleep, so once more she took her handkerchief, tied a knot in it, and struck the ground thrice with the knot, and said, "Earth-workers, come forth." In a moment a great many little earth-men came and asked what she desired, and she told them that in three hours, time, they must have the fish-pond entirely cleaned out, and it must be so clear that people could see themselves reflected in it, and every kind of fish must be in it. The little earth-men went away and summoned all their kindred to help them, and in two hours it was done. Then they returned to her and said, "We have done as you have commanded." The king's daughter took the handkerchief and once more struck thrice on the ground with it, and said, "earth-workers, go home again." Then they all went away.

When the king's son awoke the fish-pond was done. Then the king's daughter went away also, and told him that when it was six he was to come to the house. When he arrived at the house the king asked, "Have you got the fish-pond done?" "Yes," said the king's son. That was very good.

When they were again sitting at table the king said, "You have certainly done the fish-pond, but I cannot give you my daughter yet, you must just do one thing more." "What is that, then?" asked the king's son. The king said he had a great mountain on which there was nothing but briars which must all be cut down, and at the top of it the youth must build a great castle, which must be as strong as could be conceived, and all the furniture and fittings belonging to a castle must be inside it.

And when he arose next morning the king gave him a glass axe and a glass gimlet, and he was to have all done by six o'clock. As he was cutting down the first briar with the axe, it broke off short, and so small that the pieces flew all round about, and he could not use the gimlet either. Then he was quite miserable, and waited for his dearest to see if she would not come and help him in his need. When it was mid-day she came and brought him something to eat. He went to meet her and told her all, and ate something, and let her louse him and fell asleep.

Then she once more took the knot and struck the earth with it, and said, "Earth-workers, come forth." Then came once again numbers of earth-men, and asked what her desire was. Then said she, "In the space of three hours you must cut down the whole of the briars, and a castle must be built on the top of the mountain that must be as strong as any one could conceive, and all the furniture that pertains to a castle must be inside it." They went away, and summoned their kindred to help them and when the time was come, all was ready. Then they came to the king's daughter and told her so, and the king's daughter took her handkerchief and struck thrice on the earth with it, and said, "Earth-workers, go home, on which they all disappeared." When therefore the king's son awoke and saw everything done, he was as happy as a bird in air.

When it had struck six, they went home together. Then said the king, "Is the castle ready?" "Yes," said the king's son. When they sat down to table, the king said, "I cannot give away my youngest daughter until the two eldest are married." Then the king's son and the king's daughter were quite troubled, and the king's son had no idea what to do. But he went by night to the king's daughter and ran away with her. When they had got a little distance away, the king's daughter peeped round and saw her father behind her. "Oh," said she, "what are we to do? My father is behind us, and will take us back with him. I will at once change you into a briar, and myself into a rose, and I will shelter myself in the midst of the bush."

When the father reached the place, there stood a briar with one rose on it, and he was about to gather the rose, when the thorn pricked his finger so that he was forced to go home again. His wife asked why he had not brought their daughter back with him. So he said he had nearly got up to her, but that all at once he had lost sight of her, and a briar with one rose was growing on the spot. Then said the queen, "If you had but gathered the rose, the briar would have been forced to come too." So he went back again to fetch the rose, but in the meantime the two were already far over the plain, and the king ran after them. Then the daughter once more looked round and saw her father coming, and said, "Oh, what shall we do now? I will instantly change you into a church and myself into a priest, and I will stand up in the pulpit, and preach." When the king got to the place, there stood a church, and in the pulpit was a priest preaching. So he listened to the sermon, and then went home again.

Then the queen asked why he had not brought their daughter with him, and he said, "Nay, I ran a long time after her, and just as I thought I should soon overtake her, a church was standing there and a priest was in the pulpit preaching." "You should just have brought the priest," said his wife, "and then the church would soon have come. It is no use to send you, I must go there myself." When she had walked for some time, and could see the two in the distance, the king's daughter peeped round and saw her mother coming, and said, "Now we are undone, for my mother is coming herself, I will immediately change you into a fish-pond and myself into a fish."

When the mother came to the place, there was a large fish-pond, and in the midst of it a fish was leaping about and peeping out of the water, and it was quite merry. She wanted to catch the fish, but she could not. Then she was very angry, and drank up the whole pond in order to catch the fish, but it made her so ill that she was forced to vomit, and vomited the whole pond out again. Then she cried, "I see very well that nothing can be done now, and asked them to come back to her." Then the king's daughter went back again, and the queen gave her daughter three walnuts, and said, "With these you can help yourself when you are in your greatest need."

So the young folks once more went away together. And when they had walked quite ten miles, they arrived at the castle from whence the king's son came, and near it was a village. When they reached it, the king's son said, "Stay here, my dearest, I will just go to the castle, and then will I come with a carriage and with attendants to fetch you."

When he got to the castle they all rejoiced greatly at having the king's son back again, and he told them he had a bride who was now in the village, and they must go with the carriage to fetch her. Then they harnessed the horses at once, and many attendants seated themselves outside the carriage. When the king's son was about to get in, his mother gave him a kiss, and he forgot everything which had happened, and also what he was about to do. At this his mother ordered the horses to be taken out of the carriage again, and everyone went back into the house. But the maiden sat in the village and watched and watched, and thought he would come and fetch her, but no one came. Then the king's daughter took service in the mill which belonged to the castle, and was obliged to sit by the pond every afternoon and clean the tubs.

And the queen came one day on foot from the castle, and went walking by the pond, and saw the well-grown maiden sitting there, and said, "What a fine strong girl that is. She pleases me well." Then she and all with her looked at the maid, but no one knew her. So a long time passed by during which the maiden served the miller honorably and faithfully. In the meantime, the queen had sought a wife for her son, who came from quite a distant part of the world. When the bride came, they were at once to be married. And many people hurried together, all of whom wanted to see everything. Then the girl said to the miller that he might be so good as to give her leave to go also. So the miller said, "Yes, do go there." When she was about to go, she opened one of the three walnuts, and a beautiful dress lay inside it. She put it on, and went into the church and stood by the altar. Suddenly came the bride and bridegroom, and seated themselves before the altar, and when the priest was just going to bless them, the bride peeped half round and saw the maiden standing there. Then she stood up again, and said she would not be given away until she also had as beautiful a dress as that lady there.

So they went back to the house again, and sent to ask the lady if she would sell that dress. No, she would not sell it, but the bride might perhaps earn it. Then the bride asked her how she was to do this. Then the maiden said if she might sleep one night outside the king's son's door, the bride might have what she wanted. So the bride said, "Yes," she was willing to do that. But the servants were ordered to give the king's son a sleeping draught, and then the maiden laid herself down on the threshold and lamented all night long. She had had the forest cut down for him, she had had the fish-pond cleaned out for him, she had had the castle built for him, she had changed him into a briar, and then into a church, and at last into a fish-pond, and yet he had forgotten her so quickly.

The king's son did not hear one word of it, but the servants had been awakened, and had listened to it, and had not known what it could mean. The next morning when they were all up, the bride put on the dress, and went away to the church with the bridegroom. In the meantime the maiden opened the second walnut, and a still more beautiful dress was inside it. She put it on, and went and stood by the altar in the church, and everything happened as it had happened the time before. And the maiden again lay all night on the threshold which led to the chamber of the king's son, and the servant was once more to give him a sleeping draught. The servant, however, went to him and gave him something to keep him awake, and then the king's son went to bed, and the miller's maiden bemoaned herself as before on the threshold of the door, and told of all that she had done. All this the king's son heard, and was sore troubled, and what was past came back to him. Then he wanted to go to her, but his mother had locked the door.

The next morning, however, he went at once to his beloved, and told her everything which had happened to him, and prayed her not to be angry with him for having forgotten her. Then the king's daughter opened the third walnut, and within it was a still more magnificent dress, which she put on, and went with her bridegroom to church, and numbers of children came who gave them flowers, and offered them gay ribbons to bind about their feet, and they were blessed by the priest, and had a merry wedding. But the false mother and the bride had to depart. And the mouth of the person who last told all this is still warm.

 

The Blue Light

There was once on a time a soldier who for many years had served the king faithfully, but when the war came to an end could serve no longer because of the many wounds which he had received. The king said to him, "You may return to your home, I need you no longer, and you will not receive any more money, for he only receives wages who renders me serve for them." Then the soldier did not know how to earn a living, went away greatly troubled, and walked the whole day, until in the evening he entered a forest. When darkness came on, he saw a light, which he went up to, and came to a house wherein lived a witch. "Do give me one night's lodging, and a little to eat and drink," said he to her, "or I shall starve." "Oho," she answered, "who gives anything to a run-away soldier? Yet will I be compassionate, and take you in, if you will do what I wish." "What do you wish?" said the soldier. "That you should dig all round my garden for me, tomorrow." The soldier consented, and next day labored with all his strength, but could not finish it by the evening. "I see well enough," said the witch, "that you can do no more today, but I will keep you yet another night, in payment for which you must tomorrow chop me a load of wood, and chop it small." The soldier spent the whole day in doing it, and in the evening the witch proposed that he should stay one night more. "Tomorrow, you shall only do me a very trifling piece of work. Behind my house, there is an old dry well, into which my light has fallen, it burns blue, and never goes out, and you shall bring it up again."

Next day the old woman took him to the well, and let him down in a basket. He found the blue light, and made her a signal to draw him up again. She did draw him up, but when he came near the edge, she stretched down her hand and wanted to take the blue light away from him. "No," said he, perceiving her evil intention, "I will not give you the light until I am standing with both feet upon the ground." The witch fell into a passion, let him fall again into the well, and went away.

The poor soldier fell without injury on the moist ground, and the blue light went on burning, but of what use was that to him. He saw very well that he could not escape death. He sat for a while very sorrowfully, then suddenly he felt in his pocket and found his tobacco pipe, which was still half full. "This shall be my last pleasure," thought he, pulled it out, lit it at the blue light and began to smoke. When the smoke had circled about the cavern, suddenly a little black dwarf stood before him, and said, "Lord, what are your commands?" "What my commands are?" replied the soldier, quite astonished. "I must do everything you bid me," said the little man. "Good," said the soldier, "then in the first place help me out of this well." The little man took him by the hand, and led him through an underground passage, but he did not forget to take the blue light with him. On the way the dwarf showed him the treasures which the witch had collected and hidden there, and the soldier took as much gold as he could carry. When he was above, he said to the little man, "Now go and bind the old witch, and carry her before the judge."

In a short time she came by like the wind, riding on a wild tom-cat and screaming frightfully. Nor was it long before the little man re-appeared. "It is all done," said he, "and the witch is already hanging on the gallows. What further commands has my lord," inquired the dwarf. "At this moment, none," answered the soldier, "You can return home, only be at hand immediately, if I summon you." "Nothing more is needed than that you should light your pipe at the blue light, and I will appear before you at once." Thereupon he vanished from his sight.

The soldier returned to the town from which he had come. He went to the best inn, ordered himself handsome clothes, and then bade the landlord furnish him a room as handsome as possible. When it was ready and the soldier had taken possession of it, he summoned the little black mannikin and said, "I have served the king faithfully, but he has dismissed me, and left me to hunger, and now I want to take my revenge." "What am I to do?" asked the little man. "Late at night, when the king's daughter is in bed, bring her here in her sleep, she shall do servant's work for me." The mannikin said, "That is an easy thing for me to do, but a very dangerous thing for you, for if it is discovered, you will fare ill." When twelve o'clock had struck, the door sprang open, and the mannikin carried in the princess. "Aha, are you there?" cried the soldier, "Get to your work at once. Fetch the broom and sweep the chamber." When she had done this, he ordered her to come to his chair, and then he stretched out his feet and said, "Pull off my boots," and then he threw them in her face, and made her pick them up again, and clean and brighten them. She, however, did everything he bade her, without opposition, silently and with half-shut eyes. When the first cock crowed, the mannikin carried her back to the royal palace, and laid her in her bed.

Next morning when the princess arose she went to her father, and told him that she had had a very strange dream. "I was carried through the streets with the rapidity of lightning," said she, "and taken into a soldier's room, and I had to wait upon him like a servant, sweep his room, clean his boots, and do all kinds of menial work. It was only a dream, and yet I am just as tired as if I really had done everything." "The dream may have been true," said the king, "I will give you a piece of advice. Fill your pocket full of peas, and make a small hole in the pocket, and then if you are carried away again, they will fall out and leave a track in the streets." But unseen by the king, the mannikin was standing beside him when he said that, and heard all. At night when the sleeping princess was again carried through the streets, some peas certainly did fall out of her pocket, but they made no track, for the crafty mannikin had just before scattered peas in every street there was. And again the princess was compelled to do servant's work until cock-crow.

Next morning the king sent his people out to seek the track, but it was all in vain, for in every street poor children were sitting, picking up peas, and saying, "It must have rained peas, last night." "We must think of something else," said the king, "keep your shoes on when you go to bed, and before you come back from the place where you are taken, hide one of them there, I will soon contrive to find it." The black mannikin heard this plot, and at night when the soldier again ordered him to bring the princess, revealed it to him, and told him that he knew of no expedient to counteract this stratagem, and that if the shoe were found in the soldier's house it would go badly with him. "Do what I bid you," replied the soldier, and again this third night the princess was obliged to work like a servant, but before she went away, she hid her shoe under the bed.

Next morning the king had the entire town searched for his daughter's shoe. It was found at the soldier's, and the soldier himself, who at the entreaty of the dwarf had gone outside the gate, was soon brought back, and thrown into prison. In his flight he had forgotten the most valuable things he had, the blue light and the gold, and had only one ducat in his pocket. And now loaded with chains, he was standing at the window of his dungeon, when he chanced to see one of his comrades passing by. The soldier tapped at the pane of glass, and when this man came up, said to him, "Be so kind as to fetch me that small bundle I have lying in the inn, and I will give you a ducat for doing it."

His comrade ran thither and brought him what he wanted. As soon as the soldier was alone again, he lighted his pipe and summoned the black mannikin. "Have no fear," said the latter to his master. "Go wheresoever they take you, and let them do what they will, only take the blue light with you." Next day the soldier was tried, and though he had done nothing wicked, the judge condemned him to death. When he was led forth to die, he begged a last favor of the king. "What is it?" asked the king. "That I may smoke one more pipe on my way." "You may smoke three," answered the king, "but do not imagine that I will spare your life." Then the soldier pulled out his pipe and lighted it at the blue light, and as soon as a few wreaths of smoke had ascended, the mannikin was there with a small cudgel in his hand, and said, "What does my lord command?" "Strike down to earth that false judge there, and his constable, and spare not the king who has treated me so ill." Then the mannikin fell on them like lightning, darting this way and that way, and whosoever was so much as touched by his cudgel fell to earth, and did not venture to stir again. The king was terrified, he threw himself on the soldier's mercy, and merely to be allowed to live at all, gave him his kingdom for his own, and his daughter to wife.

 

The King's Son Who Feared Nothing

There was once a king's son, who was no longer content to stay at home in his father's house, and as he had no fear of anything, he thought, I will go forth into the wide world, there the time will not seem long to me, and I shall see wonders enough. So he took leave of his parents, and went forth, and on and on from morning till night, and whichever way his path led it was the same to him. It came to pass that he arrived at the house of a giant, and as he was so tired he sat down by the door and rested. And as he let his eyes roam here and there, he saw the giant's playthings lying in the yard. These were a couple of enormous balls, and nine-pins as tall as a man. After a while he had a fancy to set the nine-pins up and then rolled the balls at them, and screamed and cried out when the nine-pins fell, and had a merry time of it.

The giant heard the noise, stretched his head out of the window, and saw a man who was not taller than other men, and yet played with his nine-pins. "Little worm," cried he, "why are you playing with my balls? Who gave you strength to do it?" The king's son looked up, saw the giant, and said, "Oh, you blockhead, you think indeed that you only have strong arms, I can do everything I want to do." The giant came down and watched the bowling with great admiration, and said, "Child of man, if you are one of that kind, go and bring me an apple of the tree of life." "What do you want with it?" said the king's son. "I do not want the apple for myself," answered the giant, "but I have a betrothed bride who wishes for it. I have traveled far about the world and cannot find the tree." "I will soon find it," said the king's son, "and I do not know what is to prevent me from getting the apple down." The giant said, "You really believe it to be so easy. The garden in which the tree stands is surrounded by an iron railing, and in front of the railing lie wild beasts, each close to the other, and they keep watch and let no man go in." "They will be sure to let me in," said the king's son. "Yes, but even if you do get into the garden, and see the apple hanging to the tree, it is still not yours. A ring hangs in front of it, through which any one who wants to reach the apple and break it off, must put his hand, and no one has yet had the luck to do it." "That luck will be mine," said the king's son. Then he took leave of the giant, and went forth over mountain and valley, and through plains and forests, until at length he came to the wondrous garden.

The beasts lay round about it, but they had put their heads down and were asleep. Moreover, they did not awake when he went up to them, so he stepped over them, climbed the fence, and got safely into the garden. There, in the very middle of it, stood the tree of life, and the red apples were shining upon the branches. He climbed up the trunk to the top, and as he was about to reach out for an apple, he saw a ring hanging before it, but he thrust his hand through that without any difficulty, and picked the apple. The ring closed tightly on his arm, and all at once he felt a prodigious strength flowing through his veins. When he had come down again from the tree with the apple, he would not climb over the fence, but grasped the great gate, and had no need to shake it more than once before it sprang open with a loud crash. Then he went out, and the lion which had been lying in front of the gate, was awake and sprang after him, not in rage and fierceness, but following him humbly as its master.

The king's son took the giant the apple he had promised him, and said, "You see, I have brought it without difficulty." The giant was glad that his desire had been so soon satisfied, hastened to his bride, and gave her the apple for which she had wished. She was a beautiful and wise maiden, and as she did not see the ring on his arm, she said, "I shall never believe that you have brought the apple, until I see the ring on your arm." The giant said, "I have nothing to do but go home and fetch it," and thought it would be easy to take away by force from the weak man, what he would not give of his own free will. He therefore demanded the ring from him, but the king's son refused it. "Where the apple is, the ring must be also," said the giant. "If you will not give it of your own accord, you must fight me for it."

They wrestled with each other for a long time, but the giant could not harm the king's son, who was strengthened by the magical power of the ring. Then the giant thought of a ruse, and said, "I have got warm with fighting, and so have you. We will bathe in the river, and cool ourselves before we begin again." The king's son, who knew nothing of falsehood, went with him to the water, and pulled off with his clothes the ring also from his arm, and sprang into the river. The giant instantly snatched the ring, and ran away with it, but the lion, which had observed the theft, pursued the giant, tore the ring out of his hand, and brought it back to its master. Then the giant placed himself behind an oak-tree, and while the king's son was busy putting on his clothes again, surprised him, and put both his eyes out.

And now the unhappy king's son stood there, and was blind and knew not how to help himself. Then the giant came back to him, took him by the hand as if he were someone who wanted to guide him, and led him to the top of a high rock. There he left him standing, and thought, "Just two steps more, and he will fall down and kill himself, and I can take the ring from him." But the faithful lion had not deserted its master. It held him fast by the clothes, and drew him gradually back again.

When the giant came and wanted to rob the dead man, he saw that his cunning had been in vain. "Is there no way, then, of destroying a weak child of man like that?" said he angrily to himself, and seized the king's son and led him back again to the precipice by another way, but the lion which saw his evil design, helped its master out of danger here also. When they had come close to the edge, the giant let the blind man's hand drop, and was going to leave him behind alone, but the lion pushed the giant so that he was thrown down and fell, dashed to pieces, on the ground.

The faithful animal again drew its master back from the precipice, and guided him to a tree by which flowed a clear brook. The king's son sat down there, but the lion lay down, and sprinkled the water in his face with its paws. Scarcely had a couple of drops wetted the sockets of his eyes, than he was once more able to see something, and noticed a little bird flying quite close by, which hit itself against the trunk of a tree. So it went down to the water and bathed itself therein, and then it soared upwards and swept between the trees without touching them, as if it had recovered its sight. Then the king's son recognized a sign from God and stooped down to the water, and washed and bathed his face in it. And when he arose he had his eyes once more, brighter and clearer than they had ever been.

The king's son thanked God for his great mercy, and traveled with his lion onwards through the world. And it came to pass that he arrived before a castle which was enchanted. In the gateway stood a maiden of beautiful form and fine face, but she was quite black. She spoke to him and said, "Ah, if you could but deliver me from the evil spell which is thrown over me." "What shall I do?" said the king's son. The maiden answered, "You must pass three nights in the great hall of this enchanted castle, but you must let no fear enter your heart. When they are doing their worst to torment you, if you bear it without letting a sound escape you, I shall be free. Your life they dare not take." Then said the king's son, "I have no fear, with God's help I will try it." So he went gaily into the castle, and when it grew dark he seated himself in the large hall and waited.

Everything was quiet, however, till midnight, when all at once a great tumult began, and out of every hole and corner came little devils. They behaved as if they did not see him, seated themselves in the middle of the room, lighted a fire, and began to gamble. When one of them lost, he said, "It is not right, some one is here who does not belong to us, it is his fault that I am losing." "Wait, you fellow behind the stove, I am coming," said another. The screaming became still louder, so that no one could have heard it without terror. The king's son stayed sitting quite calmly, and was not afraid, but at last the devils jumped up from the ground, and fell on him, and there were so many of them that he could not defend himself from them. They dragged him about on the floor, pinched him, pricked him, beat him, and tormented him, but no sound escaped from him. Towards morning they disappeared, and he was so exhausted that he could scarcely move his limbs, but when day dawned the black maiden came to him. She bore in her hand a little bottle wherein was the water of life wherewith she washed him, and he at once felt all pain depart and new strength flow through his veins. She said, "You have held out successfully for one night, but two more lie before you." Then she went away again, and as she was going, he observed that her feet had become white.

The next night the devils came and began their gambling anew. They fell on the king's son, and beat him much more severely than the night before, until his body was covered with wounds. But as he bore all quietly, they were forced to leave him, and when dawn appeared, the maiden came and healed him with the water of life. And when she went away, he saw with joy that she had already become white to the tips of her fingers. And now he had only one night more to go through, but it was the worst. The devils came again, "Are you still there?" cried they. "You shall be tormented till your breath stops." They pricked him and beat him, and threw him here and there, and pulled him by the arms and legs as if they wanted to tear him to pieces, but he bore everything, and never uttered a cry. At last the devils vanished, but he lay fainting there, and did not stir, nor could he raise his eyes to look at the maiden who came in, and sprinkled and bathed him with the water of life. But suddenly he was freed from all pain, and felt fresh and healthy as if he had awakened from sleep, and when he opened his eyes he saw the maiden standing by him, snow-white, and fair as day.

"Rise," said she, "and swing your sword three times over the stairs, and then all will be delivered." And when he had done that, the whole castle was released from enchantment, and the maiden was a rich king's daughter. The servants came and said that the table was set in the great hall, and dinner served up. Then they sat down and ate and drank together, and in the evening the wedding was solemnized with great rejoicings.

 

Donkey Cabbages

There was once a young huntsman who went into the forest to lie in wait. He had a fresh and joyous heart, and as he was going thither, whistling upon a leaf, an ugly old crone came up, who spoke to him and said, "Good-day, dear huntsman, truly you are merry and contented, but I am suffering from hunger and thirst, do give me an alms." The huntsman took pity on the poor old creature, felt in his pocket, and gave her what he could afford.

He was then about to go further, but the old woman stopped him and said, "Listen, dear huntsman, to what I tell you. I will make you a present in return for your good heart. Go on your way now, but in a little while you will come to a tree, whereon nine birds are sitting which have a cloak in their claws, and are fighting for it, take your gun and shoot into the midst of them. They will let the cloak fall down to you, but one of the birds will be hurt, and will drop down dead. Carry away the cloak, it is a wishing-cloak. When you throw it over your shoulders, you only have to wish to be in a certain place, and you will be there in the twinkling of an eye. Take out the heart of the dead bird and swallow it whole, and every morning early, when you get up, you will find a gold piece under your pillow." The huntsman thanked the wise woman, and thought to himself, "Those are fine things that she has promised me, if all does but come true." And verily when he had walked about a hundred paces, he heard in the branches above him such a screaming and twittering that he looked up and saw there a swarm of birds who were tearing a piece of cloth about with their beaks and claws, and tugging and fighting as if each wanted to have it all to himself. "Well," said the huntsman, "this is amazing, it has really come to pass just as the old crone foretold," and he took the gun from his shoulder, aimed and fired right into the midst of them, so that the feathers flew about. The birds instantly took to flight with loud outcries, but one dropped down dead, and the cloak fell at the same time. Then the huntsman did as the old woman had directed him, cut open the bird, sought the heart, swallowed it down, and took the cloak home with him.

Next morning, when he awoke, the promise occurred to him, and he wished to see if it also had been fulfilled. When he lifted up the pillow, the gold piece shone in his eyes, and next day he found another, and so it went on, every time he got up. He gathered together a heap of gold, but at last he thought, "Of what use is all my gold to me if I stay at home? I will go forth and see the world."

He then took leave of his parents, buckled on his huntsman's pouch and gun, and went out into the world. It came to pass, that one day he traveled through a dense forest, and when he came to the end of it, in the plain before him stood a fine castle. An old woman was standing with a wonderfully beautiful maiden, looking out of one of the windows. The old woman, however, was a witch and said to the maiden, "There comes one out of the forest, who has a wonderful treasure in his body. We must filch it from him, daughter of my heart, it is more suitable for us than for him. He has a bird's heart about him, by means of which a gold piece lies every morning under his pillow." She told her what she was to do to get it, and what part she had to play, and finally threatened her, and said with angry eyes, "And if you do not attend to what I say, it will be the worse for you." Now when the huntsman came nearer he noticed the maiden, and said to himself, "I have traveled about for such a long time, I will take a rest for once, and enter that beautiful castle. I have certainly money enough." Nevertheless, the real reason was that he had caught sight of the beautiful picture.

He entered the house, and was well received and courteously entertained. Before long he was so much in love with the young witch that he no longer thought of anything else, and only saw things as she saw them, and liked to do what she desired. The old woman then said, "Now we must have the bird's heart, he will never miss it." She brewed a potion, and when it was ready, poured it into a goblet and gave it to the maiden, who was to present it to the huntsman. She did so, saying, "Now, my dearest, drink to me."

So he took the goblet, and when he had swallowed the draught, he brought up the heart of the bird. The girl had to take it away secretly and swallow it herself, for the old woman would have it so. Thenceforward he found no more gold under his pillow, but it lay instead under that of the maiden, from whence the old woman fetched it away every morning, but he was so much in love and so befooled, that he thought of nothing else but of passing his time with the girl.

Then the old witch said, "We have the bird's heart, but we must also take the wishing-cloak away from him." The girl answered, "We will leave him that, he has lost his wealth." The old woman was angry and said, "Such a mantle is a wonderful thing, and is seldom to be found in this world. I must and will have it." She gave the girl several blows, and said that if she did not obey, it should fare ill with her. So she did the old woman's bidding, placed herself at the window and looked on the distant country, as if she were very sorrowful. The huntsman asked, "Why do you stand there so sorrowfully?" "Ah, my beloved," was her answer, "over yonder lies the garnet mountain, where the precious stones grow. I long for them so much that when I think of them, I feel quite sad, but who can get them. Only the birds, they fly and can reach them, but a man never." "Have you nothing else to complain of?" said the huntsman. "I will soon remove that burden from your heart." With that he drew her under his mantle, wished himself on the garnet mountain, and in the twinkling of an eye they were sitting on it together. Precious stones were glistening on every side so that it was a joy to see them, and together they gathered the finest and costliest of them.

Now, the old woman had, through her sorceries, contrived that the eyes of the huntsman should become heavy. He said to the maiden, "We will sit down and rest awhile, I am so tired that I can no longer stand on my feet." Then they sat down, and he laid his head in her lap, and fell asleep. When he was asleep, she unfastened the mantle from his shoulders, and wrapped herself in it, picked up the garnets and stones, and wished herself back at home with them.

But when the huntsman had slept his fill and awoke, and perceived that his sweetheart had betrayed him, and left him alone on the wild mountain, he said, "Oh, what treachery there is in the world," and sat down there in trouble and sorrow, not knowing what to do. But the mountain belonged to some wild and monstrous giants who dwelt thereon and lived their lives there, and he had not sat long before he saw three of them coming towards him, so he lay down as if he were sunk in a deep sleep.

Then the giants came up, and the first kicked him with his foot and said, "What sort of an earth-worm is this, lying here contemplating his inside?" The second said, "Step upon him and kill him." But the third said, contemptuously, "That would indeed be worth your while, just let him live, he cannot remain here, and when he climbs higher, toward the summit of of the mountain, the clouds will lay hold of him and bear him away." So saying they passed by. But the huntsman had paid heed to their words, and as soon as they were gone, he rose and climbed up to the summit of the mountain, and when he had sat there a while, a cloud floated towards him, caught him up, carried him away, and traveled about for a long time in the heavens. Then it sank lower, and let itself down on a great cabbage-garden, girt round by walls, so that he came softly to the ground on cabbages and vegetables.

Then the huntsman looked about him and said, "If I had but something to eat. I am so hungry, and to proceed on my way from here will be difficult. I see here neither apples nor pears, nor any other sort of fruit, everywhere nothing but cabbages, but at length he thought, at a pinch I can eat some of the leaves, they do not taste particularly good, but they will refresh me." With that he picked himself out a fine head of cabbage, and ate it, but scarcely had he swallowed a couple of mouthfuls than he felt very strange and quite different.

Four legs grew on him, a thick head and two long ears, and he saw with horror that he was changed into an ass. Still as his hunger increased every minute, and as the juicy leaves were suitable to his present nature, he went on eating with great zest. At last he arrived at a different kind of cabbage, but as soon as he had swallowed it, he again felt a change, and resumed his former human shape.

Then the huntsman lay down and slept off his fatigue. When he awoke next morning, he broke off one head of the bad cabbages and another of the good ones, and thought to himself, this shall help me to get my own again and punish treachery. Then he took the cabbages with him, climbed over the wall, and went forth to look for the castle of his sweetheart. After wandering about for a couple of days he was lucky enough to find it again. He dyed his face brown, so that his own mother would not have known him, and begged for shelter, "I am so tired," said he, "that I can go no further." The witch asked, "Who are you, countryman, and what is your business?" "I am a king's messenger, and was sent out to seek the most delicious salad which grows beneath the sun. I have even been so fortunate as to find it, and am carrying it about with me, but the heat of the sun is so intense that the delicate cabbage threatens to wither, and I do not know if I can carry it any further."

When the old woman heard of the exquisite salad, she was greedy, and said, "Dear countryman, let me just try this wonderful salad." "Why not?" answered he. "I have brought two heads with me, and will give you one of them," and he opened his pouch and handed her the bad cabbage. The witch suspected nothing amiss, and her mouth watered so for this new dish that she herself went into the kitchen and dressed it. When it was prepared she could not wait until it was set on the table, but took a couple of leaves at once, and put them in her mouth, but hardly had she swallowed them than she was deprived of her human shape, and she ran out into the courtyard in the form of an ass.

Presently the maid-servant entered the kitchen, saw the salad standing there ready prepared, and was about to carry it up, but on the way, according to habit, she was seized by the desire to taste, and she ate a couple of leaves. Instantly the magic power showed itself, and she likewise became an ass and ran out to the old woman, and the dish of salad fell to the ground.

Meantime the messenger sat beside the beautiful girl, and as no one came with the salad and she also was longing for it, she said, "I don't know what has become of the salad." The huntsman thought, the salad must have already taken effect, and said, "I will go to the kitchen and inquire about it." As he went down he saw the two asses running about in the courtyard, the salad, however, was lying on the ground. "All right," said he, "the two have taken their portion," and he picked up the other leaves, laid them on the dish, and carried them to the maiden. "I bring you the delicate food myself," said he, "in order that you may not have to wait longer." Then she ate of it, and was, like the others, immediately deprived of her human form, and ran out into the courtyard in the shape of an ass.

After the huntsman had washed his face, so that the transformed ones could recognize him, he went down into the courtyard, and said, "Now you shall receive the wages of your treachery," and bound them together, all three with one rope, and drove them along until he came to a mill. He knocked at the window, the miller put out his head, and asked what he wanted. "I have three unmanageable beasts, answered he, which I don't want to keep any longer. Will you take them in, and give them food and stable room, and manage them as I tell you, and then I will pay you what you ask?" The miller said, "Why not? But how am I to manage them?" The huntsman then said that he was to give three beatings and one meal daily to the old donkey, and that was the witch, one beating and three meals to the younger one, which was the servant-girl, and to the youngest, which was the maiden, no beatings and three meals, for he could not bring himself to have the maiden beaten. After that he went back into the castle, and found therein everything he needed.

After a couple of days, the miller came and said he must inform him that the old ass which had received three beatings and only one meal daily was dead. The two others, he continued, are certainly not dead, and are fed three times daily, but they are so sad that they cannot last much longer. The huntsman was moved to pity, put away his anger, and told the miller to drive them back again to him. And when they came, he gave them some of the good salad, so that they became human again. The beautiful girl fell on her knees before him, and said, "Ah, my beloved, forgive me for the evil I have done you, my mother drove me to it. It was done against my will, for I love you dearly. Your wishing-cloak hangs in a cupboard, and as for the bird's-heart I will take a vomiting potion." But he thought otherwise, and said, "Keep it. It is all the same, for I will take you for my true wife." So the wedding was celebrated, and they lived happily together until their death.

 

Ferdinand the Faithful

Once upon a time lived a man and a woman who so long as they were rich had no children, but when they were poor they got a little boy. They could find no godfather for him, so the man said he would just go to another village to see if he could get one there. On his way he met a poor man, who asked him where he was going. He said he was going to see if he could get a godfather, because he was so poor that no one would stand as godfather for him. "Oh," said the poor man, "you are poor, and I am poor. I will be godfather for you, but I am so badly off I can give the child nothing. Go home and tell the midwife that she is to come to the church with the child." When they all got to the church together, the beggar was already there, and he gave the child the name of Ferdinand the Faithful.

When he was going out of the church, the beggar said, "Now go home, I can give you nothing, and you likewise ought to give me nothing." But he gave a key to the midwife, and told her when she got home she was to give it to the father, who was to take care of it until the child was fourteen years old, and then he was to go on the heath where there was a castle which the key would fit, and that all which was therein should belong to him.

Now when the child was seven years old and had grown very big, he once went to play with some other boys, and each of them boasted that he had got more from his godfather than the other, but the child could say nothing, and was vexed, and went home and said to his father, "Did I get nothing at all, then, from my godfather?" "Oh, yes," said the father, "you have a key. If there is a castle standing on the heath, just go to it and open it." Then the boy went thither, but no castle was to be seen, or heard of.

After seven years more, when he was fourteen years old, he again went thither, and there stood the castle. When he had opened it, there was nothing within but a horse, - a white one. Then the boy was so full of joy because he had a horse, that he mounted on it and galloped back to his father. "Now I have a white horse, and I will travel," said he.

So he set out, and as he was on his way, a pen was lying on the road. At first he thought he would pick it up, but then again he thought to himself, "You should leave it lying there, you will easily find a pen where you are going, if you have need of one." As he was thus riding away, a voice called after him, "Ferdinand the Faithful, take it with you." He looked around, but saw no one, so he went back again and picked it up.

When he had ridden a little way farther, he passed by a lake, and a fish was lying on the bank, gasping and panting for breath, so he said, "Wait, my dear fish, I will help you to get into the water," and he took hold of it by the tail, and threw it into the lake. Then the fish put its head out of the water and said, "As you have helped me out of the mud I will give you a flute. When you are in any need, play on it, and then I will help you, and if ever you let anything fall in the water, just play and I will reach it out to you."

Then he rode away, and there came to him a man who asked him where he was going. "Oh, to the next place." "What is your name?" "Ferdinand the Faithful." "So, then we have almost the same name, I am called Ferdinand the Unfaithful." And they both set out to the inn in the nearest place.

Now it was unfortunate that Ferdinand the Unfaithful knew everything that the other had ever thought and everything he was about to do. He knew it by means of all kinds of wicked arts. There was in the inn an honest girl, who had a bright face and behaved very prettily. She fell in love with Ferdinand the Faithful because he was a handsome man, and she asked him whither he was going. "Oh, I am just traveling round about," said he. Then she said he ought to stay there, for the king of that country wanted an attendant or an outrider, and he ought to enter his service. He answered he could not very well go to any one like that and offer himself. Then said the maiden, "Oh, but I will soon do that for you." And so she went straight to the king, and told him that she knew of an excellent servant for him. He was well pleased with that, and had Ferdinand the Faithful brought to him, and wanted to make him his servant. He, however, liked better to be an outrider, for where his horse was, there he also wanted to be, so the king made him an outrider.

When Ferdinand the Unfaithful learnt that, he said to the girl, "What? Do you help him and not me?" "Oh," said the girl, "I will help you too." She thought, I must keep friends with that man, for he is not to be trusted. She went to the king, and offered him as a servant, and the king was willing.

Now when the king met his lords in the morning, he always lamented and said, "Oh, if I only had my love with me." Ferdinand the Unfaithful, however, was always hostile to Ferdinand the Faithful. So once, when the king was complaining thus, he said, "You have the outrider, send him away to get her, and if he does not do it, his head must be struck off." Then the king sent for Ferdinand the Faithful, and told him that there was, in this place or in that place, a girl he loved, and that he was to bring her to him, and if he did not do it he should die. Ferdinand the Faithful went into the stable to his white horse, and complained and lamented, "Oh, what an unhappy man am I." Then someone behind him cried, "Ferdinand the Faithful, why do you weep?" He looked round but saw no one, and went on lamenting. "Oh, my dear little white horse, now must I leave you, now I must die." Then someone cried once more, "Ferdinand the Faithful, why do you weep?" Then for the first time he was aware that it was his little white horse who was putting that question. "Do you speak, my little white horse? Can you do that?" And again, he said, "I am to go to this place and to that, and am to bring the bride. Can you tell me how I am to set about it?" Then answered the white horse, "Go to the king, and say if he will give you what you must have, you will get her for him. If he will give you a ship full of meat, and a ship full of bread, it will succeed. Great giants dwell on the lake, and if you take no meat with you for them, they will tear you to pieces, and there are the large birds which would pluck the eyes out of your head if you had no bread for them. Then the king made all the butchers in the land kill, and all the bakers bake, that the ships might be filled."

When they were full, the little white horse said to Ferdinand the Faithful, "Now mount me, and go with me into the ship, and then when the giants come, say - peace, peace, my dear little giants, I have had thought of ye, something I have brought for ye. And when the birds come, you shall again say - peace, peace, my dear little birds, I have had thought of ye, something I have brought for ye. Then they will do nothing to you, and when you come to the castle, the giants will help you. Then go up to the castle, and take a couple of giants with you. There the princess lies sleeping. You must, however, not awaken her, but the giants must lift her up, and carry her in her bed to the ship." And now everything took place as the little white horse had said, and Ferdinand the Faithful gave the giants and the birds what he had brought with him for them, and that made the giants willing, and they carried the princess in her bed to the king. And when she came to the king, she said she could not live, she must have her writings, they had been left in her castle.

Then by the instigation of Ferdinand the Unfaithful, Ferdinand the Faithful was called, and the king told him he must fetch the writings from the castle, or he should die. Then he went once more into the stable, and bemoaned himself and said, "Oh, my dear little white horse, now I am to go away again, how am I to do it?" Then the little white horse said he was just to load the ships full again. So it happened again as it had happened before, and the giants and the birds were satisfied, and made gentle by the meat. When they came to the castle, the white horse told Ferdinand the Faithful that he must go in, and that on the table in the princess's bed-room lay the writings. And Ferdinand the Faithful went in, and fetched them. When they were on the lake, he let his pen fall into the water. Then said the white horse, "Now I cannot help you at all." But he remembered his flute, and began to play on it, and the fish came with the pen in its mouth, and gave it to him. So he took the writings to the castle, where the wedding was celebrated.

The queen, however, did not love the king because he had no nose, but she would have much liked to love Ferdinand the Faithful. Once, therefore, when all the lords of the court were together, the queen said she could do feats of magic, that she could cut off anyone's head and put it on again, and that one of them ought just to try it. But none of them would be the first, so Ferdinand the Faithful, again at the instigation of Ferdinand the Unfaithful, undertook it and she hewed off his head, and put it on again for him, and it healed together directly, so that it looked as if he had a red thread round his throat. Then the king said to her, "My child, and where have you learnt that?" "Oh," she said, "I understand the art. Shall I just try it on you also." "Oh, yes," said he. So she cut off his head, but did not put it on again, and pretended that she could not get it on, and that it would not stay. Then the king was buried, but she married Ferdinand the Faithful.

He, however, always rode on his white horse, and once when he was seated on it, it told him that he was to go on to the heath which he knew, and gallop three times round it. And when he had done that, the white horse stood up on its hind legs, and was changed into a king's son.

 

The Iron Stove

In the days when wishing was still of some use, a king's son was bewitched by an old witch, and shut up in an iron stove in a forest. There he passed many years, and no one could rescue him. Then a king's daughter came into the forest, who had lost herself, and could not find her father's kingdom again. After she had wandered about for nine days, she at length came to the iron stove.

Then a voice came forth from it, and asked her, "Whence do you come, and whither are you going?" She answered, "I have lost my father's kingdom, and cannot get home again." Then a voice inside the iron stove said, "I will help you to get home again, and that indeed most swiftly, if you will promise to do what I desire of you. I am the son of a far greater king than your father, and I will marry you."

Then was she afraid, and thought, "Good heavens. What can I do with an iron stove?" But as she much wished to get home to her father, she promised to do as he desired. But he said, "You shall return here, and bring a knife with you, and scrape a hole in the iron." Then he gave her a companion who walked near her, but did not speak, and in two hours he took her home. There was great joy in the castle when the king's daughter came home, and the old king fell on her neck and kissed her. She, however, was sorely troubled, and said, "Dear father, what I have suffered. I should never have got home again from the great wild forest, if I had not come to an iron stove, but I have been forced to give my word that I will go back to it, set it free, and marry it."

Then the old king was so terrified that he all but fainted, for he had but this one daughter. They therefore resolved they would send, in her place, the miller's daughter, who was very beautiful. They took her there, gave her a knife, and said she was to scrape at the iron stove. So she scraped at it for four-and-twenty hours, but could not bring off the least morsel of it. When the day dawned, a voice in the stove said, "It seems to me it is day outside." Then she answered, "It seems so to me too, I fancy I hear the noise of my father's mill." "So you are a miller's daughter. Then go your way at once, and let the king's daughter come here."

Then she went away at once, and told the old king that the man outside there would have none of her - he wanted the king's daughter. Then the old king grew frightened, and the daughter wept. But there was a swine-herd's daughter, who was even prettier than the miller's daughter, and they determined to give her a piece of gold to go to the iron stove instead of the king's daughter. So she was taken thither and she also had to scrape for four-and-twenty hours. She, however, was no better at it. When the day broke, a voice inside the stove cried, "It seems to me it is day outside." Then answered she, "So it seems to me also, I fancy I hear my father's horn blowing." "Then you are a swineherd's daughter. Go away at once, and tell the king's daughter to come, and tell her all must be done as promised, and if she does not come, everything in the kingdom shall be ruined and destroyed, and not one stone be left standing on another."

When the king's daughter heard that she began to weep, but now there was nothing for it but to keep her promise. So she took leave of her father, put a knife in her pocket, and went forth to the iron stove in the forest. When she got there, she began to scrape, and the iron gave way, and when two hours were over, she had already scraped a small hole. Then she peeped in, and saw a youth so handsome, and so brilliant with gold and with precious jewels, that her very soul was delighted. So she went on scraping, and made the hole so large that he was able to get out.

Then said he, "You are mine, and I am yours, you are my bride, and have released me." He wanted to take her away with him to his kingdom, but she entreated him to let her go once again to her father, and the king's son allowed her to do so, but she was not to say more to her father than three words, and then she was to come back again. So she went home, but she spoke more than three words, and instantly the iron stove disappeared, and was taken far away over glass mountains and piercing swords, but the king's son was set free, and no longer shut up in it. After this she bade good-bye to her father, took some money with her, but not much, and went back to the great forest, and looked for the iron stove, but it was nowhere to be found.

For nine days she sought it, and then her hunger grew so great that she did not know what to do, for she had nothing to live on. When it was evening, she seated herself in a small tree, and made up her mind to spend the night there, as she was afraid of wild beasts. When midnight drew near she saw in the distance a small light, and thought, ah, there I should be saved. She got down from the tree, and went towards the light, but on the way she prayed. Then she came to a little old house, and much grass had grown all about it, and a small heap of wood lay in front of it. She thought, "Ah, whither have I come?" and peeped in through the window, but she saw nothing inside but toads, big and little, except a table covered with wine and roast meat, and the plates and glasses were of silver. Then she took courage, and knocked at the door, and immediately the fat toad cried, "Little green waiting-maid, Waiting-maid with the limping leg, Little dog of the limping leg, Hop hither and thither, And quickly see who is without."

And a small toad came walking by and opened the door to her. When she entered, they all bade her welcome, and she was forced to sit down. They asked, "Where have you come from, and whither are you going?" Then she related all that had befallen her, and how because she had transgressed the order which had been given her not to say more than three words, the stove, and the king's son also, had disappeared, and now she was about to seek him over the hill and dale until she found him. Then the old fat one said, "Little green waiting-maid, Waiting-maid with the limping leg, Little dog of the limping leg, Hop hither and thither, And bring me the great box."

Then the little one went and brought the box. After this they gave her meat and drink, and took her to a well-made bed, which felt like silk and velvet, and she laid herself therein, in God's name, and slept. When morning came she arose, and the old toad gave her three needles out of the great box which she was to take with her, they would be needed by her, for she had to cross a high glass mountain, and go over three piercing swords and a great lake. If she did all this she would get her lover back again.

Then she gave her three things, which she was to take the greatest care of, namely, three large needles, a plough-wheel, and three nuts. With these she traveled onwards, and when she came to the glass mountain which was so slippery, she stuck the three needles first behind her feet and then before them, and so got over it, and when she was over it, she hid them in a place which she marked carefully. After this she came to the three piercing swords, and then she seated herslef on her plough-wheel, and rolled over them. At last she arrived in front of a great lake, and when she had crossed it, she came to a large and beautiful castle. She went and asked for a place, she was a poor girl, she said, and would like to be hired. She knew, however, that the king's son whom she had released from the iron stove in the great forest was in the castle. Then she was taken as a scullery-maid at low wages. But already the king's son had another maiden by his side whom he wanted to marry, for he thought that she had long been dead.

In the evening, when she had washed up and was done, she felt in her pocket and found the three nuts which the old toad had given her. She cracked one with her teeth, and was going to eat the kernel when lo and behold there was a stately royal garment in it. But when the bride heard of this she came and asked for the dress, and wanted to buy it, and said, "It is not a dress for a servant-girl." "No," she said, she would not sell it, but if the bride would grant her one thing she should have it, and that was permission to sleep one night in her bridegroom's chamber. The bride gave her permission because the dress was so pretty, and she had never had one like it.

When it was evening she said to her bridegroom, "That silly girl will sleep in your room." "If you are willing, so am I," said he. She, however, gave him a glass of wine in which she had poured a sleeping-draught. So the bridegroom and the scullery-maid went to sleep in the room, and he slept so soundly that she could not waken him. She wept the whole night and cried, "I set you free when you were in an iron stove in the wild forest, I sought you, and walked over a glass mountain, and three sharp swords, and a great lake before I found you, and yet you will not hear me." The servants sat by the chamber-door, and heard how she thus wept the whole night through, and in the morning they told it to their lord.

And the next evening when she had washed up, she opened the second nut, and a far more beautiful dress was within it, and when the bride beheld it, she wished to buy that also. But the girl would not take money, and begged that she might once again sleep in the bridegroom's chamber. The bride, however, gave him a sleeping-draught, and he slept so soundly that he could hear nothing. But the scullery-maid wept the whole night long, and cried, "I set you free when you were in an iron stove in the wild forest, I sought you, and walked over a glass mountain, and over three sharp swords and a great lake before I found you, and yet you will not hear me." The servants sat by the chamber-door and heard her weeping the whole night through, and in the morning informed their lord of it.

And on the third evening, when she had washed up, she opened the third nut, and within it was a still more beautiful dress which was stiff with pure gold. When the bride saw that she wanted to have it, but the maiden only gave it up on condition that she might for the third time sleep in the bridegroom's apartment. The king's son, however, was on his guard, and threw the sleeping-draught away. Now when she began to weep and to cry, "Dearest love, I set you free when you were in the iron stove in the terrible wild forest" - the king's son leapt up and said, "You are the true one, you are mine, and I am yours."

Thereupon, while it was still night, he got into a carriage with her, and they took away the false bride's clothes so that she could not get up. When they came to the great lake, they sailed across it, and when they reached the three sharp-cutting swords they seated themselves on the plough-wheel, and when they got to the glass mountain they thrust the three needles in it, and so at length they got to the little old house, but when they went inside, it was a great castle, and the toads were all disenchanted, and were king's children, and full of happiness. Then the wedding was celebrated, and the king's son and the princess remained in the castle, which was much larger than the castle of their fathers. But as the old king grieved at being left alone, they fetched him away, and brought him to live with them, and they had two kingdoms, and lived in happy wedlock. A mouse did run, This story is done.

 

The Four Skilful Brothers

There was once a poor man who had four sons, and when they were grown up, he said to them, "My dear children, you must now go out into the world, for I have nothing to give you, so set out, go abroad and learn a trade, and see how you can make your way." So the four brothers took their sticks, bade their father farewell, and went through the town-gate together. When they had traveled about for some time, they came to a crossroads which branched off in four different directions. Then said the eldest, "Here we must separate, but on this day four years hence, we will meet each other again at this spot, and in the meantime we will seek our fortunes."

Then each of them went his way, and the eldest met a man who asked him where he was going, and what he was intending to do. "I want to learn a trade," he replied. Then the other said, "Come with me," and be a thief. "No," he answered, "that is no longer regarded as a reputable trade, and the end of it is that one has to swing on the gallows." "Oh," said the man, "you need not be afraid of the gallows, I will only teach you to get such things as no other man could ever lay hold of, and no one will ever detect you." So he allowed himself to be talked into it, and while with the man became an accomplished thief, and so dexterous that nothing was safe from him, if he once desired to have it.

The second brother met a man who put the same question to him - what he wanted to learn in the world. "I don't know yet," he replied. "Then come with me, and be an astronomer, there is nothing better than that, for nothing is hid from you." He liked the idea, and became such a skillful astronomer that when he had learnt everything, and was about to travel onwards, his master gave him a telescope and said to him, "With that you can see whatsoever takes place either on earth or in heaven, and nothing can remain concealed from you."

A huntsman took the third brother into training, and gave him such excellent instruction in everything which related to huntsmanship that he became an experienced hunter. When he went away, his master gave him a gun and said, "It will never fail you, whatsoever you aim at, you are certain to hit." The youngest brother also met a man who spoke to him, and inquired what his intentions were. "Would you not like to be a tailor?" said he. "Not that I know of," said the youth, "sitting doubled up from morning till night, driving the needle and the goose backwards and forwards, is not to my taste." "Oh, but you are speaking in ignorance," answered the man. "With me you would learn a very different kind of tailoring, which is respectable and proper, and for the most part very honorable." So he let himself be persuaded, and went with the man, and learnt his art from the very beginning. When they parted, the man gave the youth a needle, and said, "With this you can sew together whatever is given you, whether it is as soft as an egg or as hard as steel, and it will all become one piece of stuff, so that no seam will be visible."

When the appointed four years were over, the four brothers arrived at the same time at the cross-roads, embraced and kissed each other, and returned home to their father. "So now," said he, quite delighted, "the wind has blown you back again to me." They told him of all that had happened to them, and that each had learnt his own trade. Now they were sitting just in front of the house under a large tree, and the father said, "I will put you all to the test, and see what you can do." Then he looked up and said to his second son, "Between two branches up at the top of this tree, there is a chaffinch's nest, tell me how many eggs there are in it." The astronomer took his glass, looked up and said, "There are five." Then the father said to the eldest, "Fetch the eggs down without disturbing the bird which is sitting hatching them." The skillful thief climbed up, and took the five eggs from beneath the bird, which never observed what he was doing, and remained quietly sitting where she was, and brought them down to his father.

The father took them, and put one of them on each corner of the table, and the fifth in the middle, and said to the huntsman, "With one shot you shall shoot me the five eggs in two, through the middle." The huntsman aimed, and shot the eggs, all five as the father had desired, and that at one shot. He certainly must have had some of the powder for shooting round corners. "Now it's your turn," said the father to the fourth son, "You shall sew the eggs together again, and the young birds that are inside them as well, and you must do it so that they are not hurt by the shot." The tailor brought his needle, and sewed them as his father wished. When he had done this the thief had to climb up the tree again, and carry them to the nest, and put them back again under the bird without her being aware of it. The bird sat her full time, and after a few days the young ones crept out, and they had a red line round their necks where they had been sewn together by the tailor.

"Well," said the old man to his sons, "you really ought to be praised to the skies, you have used your time well, and learnt something good. I can't say which of you deserves the most praise. That will be proved if you have but an early opportunity of using your talents." Not long after this, there was a great uproar in the country, for the king's daughter was carried off by a dragon. The king was full of trouble about it, both by day an night, and caused it to be proclaimed that whosoever brought her back should have her to wife.

The four brothers said to each other, "This would be a fine opportunity for us to show what we can do." And resolved to go forth together and liberate the king's daughter. "I will soon know where she is," said the astronomer, and looked through his telescope and said, "I see her already, she is far away from here on a rock in the sea, and the dragon is beside her watching her."

Then he went to the king, and asked for a ship for himself and his brothers, and sailed with them over the sea until they came to the rock. There the king's daughter was sitting, and the dragon was lying asleep on her lap. The huntsman said, "I dare not fire, I should kill the beautiful maiden at the same time." "Then I will try my art," said the thief, and he crept thither and stole her away from under the dragon, so quietly and dexterously, that the monster never noticed it, but went on snoring.

Full of joy, they hurried off with her on board ship, and steered out into the open sea, but the dragon, who when he awoke had found no princess there, followed them, and came snorting angrily through the air. Just as he was circling above the ship, and about to descend on it, the huntsman shouldered his gun, and shot him to the heart. The monster fell down dead, but was so large and powerful that his fall shattered the whole ship. Fortunately, however, they laid hold of a couple of planks, and swam about the wide sea.

Then again they were in great peril, but the tailor, who was not idle, took his wondrous needle, and with a few stitches sewed the planks together and they seated themselves upon them, and collected together all the fragments of the vessel. Then he sewed these so skillfully together, that in a very short time the ship was once more seaworthy, and they could go home again in safety.

When the king once more saw his daughter, there were great rejoicings. He said to the four brothers, one of you shall have her to wife, but which of you it is to be you must settle among yourselves. Then a heated argument arose among them, for each of them preferred his own claim. The astronomer said, "If I had not seen the princess, all your arts would have been useless, so she is mine." The thief said, "What would have been the use of your seeing, if I had not got her away from the dragon. So she is mine." The huntsman said, "You and the princess, and all of you, would have been torn to pieces by the dragon if my ball had not hit him, so she is mine." The tailor said, "And if I, by my art, had not sewn the ship together again, you would all of you have been miserably drowned, so she is mine."

Then the king pronounced his verdict, each of you has an equal right, and as all of you cannot have the maiden, none of you shall have her, but I will give to each of you, as a reward, half a kingdom. The brothers were pleased with this decision, and said, it is better thus than that we should be at variance with each other. Then each of them received half a kingdom, and they lived with their father in the greatest happiness as long as it pleased God.

 

One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes

There was once a woman who had three daughters, the eldest of whom was called One-Eye, because she had only one eye in the middle of her forehead, and the second, Two-Eyes, because she had two eyes like other folks, and the youngest, Three-Eyes, because she had three eyes, and her third eye was also in the center of her forehead. However, as Two-Eyes saw just as other human beings did, her sisters and her mother could not endure her. They said to her, "You, with your two eyes, are no better than the common people, you do not belong to us." They pushed her about, and threw old clothes to her, and gave her nothing to eat but what they left, and did everything that they could to make her unhappy.

It came to pass that Two-Eyes had to go out into the fields and tend the goat, but she was still quite hungry, because her sisters had given her so little to eat. So she sat down on a ridge and began to weep, and so bitterly that two streams ran down from her eyes. And once when she looked up in her grief, a woman was standing beside her, who said, "Why are you weeping, little Two-Eyes?" Two-Eyes answered, "Have I not reason to weep, when I have two eyes like other people, and my sisters and mother hate me for it, and push me from one corner to another, throw old clothes to me, and give me nothing to eat but the scraps they leave. Today they have given me so little that I am still quite hungry." Then the wise woman said, "Wipe away your tears, Two-Eyes, and I will tell you something to stop your ever suffering from hunger again. Just say to your goat - `Bleat, my little goat, bleat, Cover the table with something to eat,' and then a clean well-spread little table will stand before you with the most delicious food upon it of which you may eat as much as you are inclined for, and when you have had enough, and have no more need of the little table, just say, `Bleat, bleat, my little goat, I pray, and take the table quite away,' and then it will vanish again from your sight." Hereupon the wise woman departed. But Two-Eyes thought, "I must instantly make a trial, and see if what she said is true, for I am far too hungry," and she said - "Bleat, my little goat, bleat, Cover the table with something to eat," and scarcely had she spoken the words than a little table, covered with a white cloth, was standing there, and on it was a plate with a knife and fork, and a silver spoon, and the most delicious food was there also, warm and smoking as if it had just come out of the kitchen. Then Two-Eyes said the shortest prayer she knew, "Lord God, be our guest forever, amen," and helped herself to some food, and enjoyed it. And when she was satisfied, she said, as the wise woman had taught her - "Bleat, bleat, my little goat, I pray, And take the table quite away," and immediately the little table and everything on it was gone again. That is a delightful way of keeping house, thought Two-Eyes, and was quite glad and happy.

In the evening, when she went home with her goat, she found a small earthenware dish with some food, which her sisters had set ready for her, but she did not touch it. Next day she again went out with her goat, and left the few bits of broken bread which had been handed to her, lying untouched. The first and second time that she did this, her sisters did not notice it at all, but as it happened every time, they did observe it, and said, "There is something wrong about Two-Eyes, she always leaves her food untasted, and she used to eat up everything that was given her, she must have discovered other ways of getting food." In order that they might learn the truth, they resolved to send One-Eye with Two-Eyes when she went to drive her goat to the pasture, to observe what Two-Eyes did when she was there, and whether anyone brought her anything to eat and drink.

So when Two-Eyes set out the next time, One-Eye went to her and said, "I will go with you to the pasture, and see that the goat is well taken care of, and driven where there is food." But Two-Eyes knew what was in One-Eye's mind, and drove the goat into high grass and said, "Come, One-Eye, we will sit down, and I will sing something to you." One-Eye sat down and was tired with the unaccustomed walk and the heat of the sun, and Two-Eyes sang constantly - "One-eye, are you waking? One-eye, are you sleeping?" Until One-Eye shut her one eye, and fell asleep, and as soon as Two-Eyes saw that One-Eye was fast asleep, and could discover nothing, she said, "Bleat, my little goat, bleat, Cover the table with something to eat," and seated herself at her table, and ate and drank until she was satisfied, and then she again cried - "Bleat, bleat, my little goat, I pray, And take the table quite away," and in an instant all had vanished. Two-Eyes now awakened One-Eye, and said, "One-Eye, you want to take care of the goat, and go to sleep while you are doing it, but in the meantime the goat might run all over the world. Come, let us go home again."

So they went home, and again Two-Eyes let her dish stand untouched, and One-Eye could not tell her mother why she would not eat it, and to excuse herself said, "I fell asleep when I was out." Next day the mother said to Three-Eyes, this time you shall go and observe if Two-Eyes eats anything when she is out, and if anyone fetches her food and drink, for she must eat and drink in secret. So Three-Eyes went to Two-Eyes, and said, "I will go with you and see if the goat is taken proper care of, and driven where there is food." But Two-Eyes knew what was in Three-Eyes' mind, and drove the goat into high grass and said, "We will sit down, and I will sing something to you, Three-Eyes." Three-Eyes sat down and was tired with the walk and with the heat of the sun, and Two-Eyes began the same song as before, and sang - "Three-Eyes, are you waking?"

But then, instead of singing - "Three-Eyes, are you sleeping?"

As she ought to have done, she thoughtlessly sang - "Two-Eyes, are you sleeping?"

And sang all the time - "Three-Eyes, are you waking? Two-Eyes, are you sleeping?"

Then two of the eyes which Three-Eyes had, shut and fell asleep, but the third, as it had not been named in the song, did not sleep. It is true that three-eyes shut it, but only in her cunning, to pretend it was asleep too, but it blinked, and could see everything very well. And when two-eyes thought that three-eyes was fast asleep, she used her little charm - "Bleat, my little goat, bleat, Cover the table with something to eat," and ate and drank as much as her heart desired, and then ordered the table to go away again, "Bleat, bleat, my little goat, I pray, And take the table quite away," and Three-Eyes had seen everything. Then Two-Eyes came to her, waked her and said, "Have you been asleep, Three-Eyes? You keep watch very well. Come, we will go home." And when they got home, Two-Eyes again did not eat, and Three-Eyes said to the mother, "Now, I know why that haughty thing there does not eat. When she is out, she says to the goat - `Bleat, my little goat, bleat, Cover the table with something to eat,' and then a little table appears before her covered with the best of food, much better than any we have here, and when she has eaten all she wants, she says - `Bleat, bleat, my little goat, I pray, And take the table quite away,' and all disappears. I watched everything closely. She put two of my eyes to sleep by means of a charm, but luckily the one in my forehead kept awake."

Then the envious mother cried, "Do you want to fare better than we do? The desire shall pass from you," and she fetched a butcher's knife, and thrust it into the heart of the goat, which fell down dead. When Two-Eyes saw that, she went out full of sadness, seated herself on the ridge of grass at the edge of the field, and wept bitter tears. Suddenly the wise woman once more stood by her side, and said, "Two-Eyes, why are you weeping?" "Have I not reason to weep?" she answered. "The goat which covered the table for me every day when I spoke your charm, has been killed by my mother, and now I shall again have to bear hunger and want." The wise woman said, "Two-Eyes, I will give you a piece of good advice, ask your sisters to give you the entrails of the slaughtered goat, and bury them in the ground in front of the house, and your fortune will be made." Then she vanished, and Two-Eyes went home and said to her sisters, "Dear sisters, do give me some part of my goat, I don't wish for what is good, but give me the entrails." Then they laughed and said, "If that's all you want, you can have it." So Two-Eyes took the entrails and buried them quietly in the evening, in front of the house-door, as the wise woman had counseled her to do.

Next morning, when they all awoke, and went to the house-door, there stood a strangely magnificent tree with leaves of silver, and fruit of gold hanging among them, so that in all the wide world there was nothing more beautiful or precious. They did not know how the tree could have come there during the night, but Two-Eyes saw that it had grown up out of the entrails of the goat, for it was standing on the exact spot where she had buried them. Then the mother said to One-Eye, "Climb up, my child, and gather some of the fruit of the tree for us." One-eye climbed up, but when she was about to get hold of one of the golden apples, the branch escaped from her hands, and that happened each time, so that she could not pluck a single apple, let her do what she might. Then said the mother, "Three-Eyes, you climb up, you with your three eyes can look about you better than One-Eye." One-Eye slipped down, and Three-Eyes climbed up. Three-Eyes was not more skillful, and might try as she would, but the golden apples always escaped her.

At length the mother grew impatient, and climbed up herself, but could get hold of the fruit no better than One-Eye and Three-Eyes, for she always clutched empty air. Then said Two-Eyes, "Let me go up, perhaps I may succeed better." The sisters cried, "You indeed, with your two eyes, what can you do?" But Two-Eyes climbed up, and the golden apples did not avoid her, but came into her hand of their own accord, so that she could pluck them one after the other, and brought a whole apronful down with her. The mother took them away from her, and instead of treating poor Two-Eyes any better for this, she and One-Eye and Three-Eyes were only envious, because Two-Eyes alone had been able to get the fruit, and they treated her still more cruelly.

It so befell that once when they were all standing together by the tree, a young knight came up. "Quick, Two-Eyes," cried the two sisters, "creep under this, and don't disgrace us," and with all speed they turned an empty barrel which was standing close by the tree over poor Two-Eyes, and they swept the golden apples which she had been gathering, under it too. When the knight came nearer he was a handsome lord, who stopped and admired the magnificent gold and silver tree, and said to the two sisters, "To whom does this fine tree belong? Anyone who would bestow one branch of it on me might in return for it ask whatsoever he desired." Then One-Eye and Three-Eyes replied that the tree belonged to them, and that they would give him a branch. They both took great trouble, but they were not able to do it, for the branches and fruit both moved away from them every time. Then said the knight, "It is very strange that the tree should belong to you, and that you should not have the power to break a piece off." They again asserted that the tree was their property.

Whilst they were saying so, Two-Eyes rolled out a couple of golden apples from under the barrel to the feet of the knight, for she was vexed with One-Eye and Three-Eyes, for not speaking the truth. When the knight saw the apples he was astonished, and asked where they came from. One-Eye and Three-Eyes answered that they had another sister, who was not allowed to show herself, for she had only two eyes like any common person. The knight, however, desired to see her, and cried, "Two-Eyes, come forth." Then Two-Eyes, quite comforted, came from beneath the barrel, and the knight was surprised at her great beauty, and said, "You, Two-Eyes, can certainly break off a branch from the tree for me." "Yes," replied Two-Eyes, "that I certainly shall be able to do, for the tree belongs to me." And she climbed up, and with the greatest ease broke off a branch with beautiful silver leaves and golden fruit, and gave it to the knight. Then said the knight, "Two-Eyes, what shall I give you for it?" "Alas, answered two-eyes, "I suffer from hunger and thirst, grief and want, from early morning till late night. If you would take me with you, and rescue me, I should be happy." So the knight lifted Two-Eyes on to his horse, and took her home with him to his father's castle, and there he gave her beautiful clothes, and meat and drink to her heart's content, and as he loved her so much he married her, and the wedding was solemnized with great rejoicing.

When Two-Eyes was thus carried away by the handsome knight, her two sisters grudged her good fortune in downright earnest. "The wonderful tree, however, still remains with us," thought they, "and even if we can gather no fruit from it, still every one will stand still and look at it, and come to us and admire it. Who knows what good things may be in store for us." But next morning, the tree had vanished, and all their hopes were at an end. And when Two-Eyes looked out of the window of her own room, to her great delight it was standing in front of it, and so it had followed her.

Two-Eyes lived a long time in happiness. Once two poor women came to her in her castle, and begged for alms. She looked in their faces, and recognized her sisters, One-Eye, and Three-Eyes, who had fallen into such poverty that they had to wander about and beg their bread from door to door. Two-Eyes, however, made them welcome, and was kind to them, and took care of them, so that they both with all their hearts repented the evil that they had done their sister in their youth.

 

The Six Servants

In olden times there lived an aged queen who was a sorceress, and her daughter was the most beautiful maiden under the sun. The old woman, however, had no other thought than how to lure mankind to destruction, and when a wooer appeared, she said that whosoever wished to have her daughter, must first perform a task, or die. Many had been dazzled by the daughter's beauty, and had actually risked this, but they never could accomplish what the old woman enjoined them to do, and then no mercy was shown, they had to kneel down, and their heads were struck off.

A certain king's son who had also heard of the maiden's beauty, said to his father, "Let me go there, I want to demand her in marriage." "Never," answered the king, "if you were to go, it would be going to your death." On this the son lay down and was sick unto death, and for seven years he lay there, and no physician could heal him. When the father perceived that all hope was over, with a heavy heart he said to him, "Go thither, and try your luck, for I know no other means of curing you." When the son heard that, he rose from his bed and was well again, and joyfully set out on his way.

And it came to pass that as he was riding across a heath, he saw from afar something like a great heap of hay laying on the ground, and when he drew nearer, he could see that it was the stomach of a man, who had laid himself down there, but the stomach looked like a small mountain. When the fat man saw the traveler, he stood up and said, "If you are in need of any one, take me into your service." The prince answered, "What can I do with such a clumsy man?" "Oh," said the stout one, "this is nothing, when I really puff myself up, I am three thousand times fatter." "If that's the case," said the prince, "I can make use of you, come with me."

So the stout one followed the prince, and after a while they found another man who was lying on the ground with his ear laid to the turf. "What are you doing there?" asked the king's son. "I am listening," replied the man. "What are you listening to so attentively?" "I am listening to what is just going on in the world, for nothing escapes my ears, I even hear the grass growing." "Tell me," said the prince, "what you hear at the court of the old queen who has the beautiful daughter." Then he answered, "I hear the whizzing of the sword that is striking off a wooer's head." The king's son said, "I can make use of you, come with me."

They went onwards, and then saw a pair of feet lying and part of a pair of legs, but could not see the rest of the body. When they had walked on for a great distance, they came to the body, and at last to the head also. "Why," said the prince, "what a tall rascal you are." "Oh," replied the tall one, "that is nothing at all yet, when I really stretch out my limbs, I am three thousand times as tall, and taller than the highest mountain on earth. I will gladly enter your service, if you will take me." "Come with me," said the prince, "I can make use of you."

They went onwards and found a man sitting by the road who had bound up his eyes. The prince said to him, "Have you weak eyes, that you cannot look at the light?" "No," replied the man, "but I must not remove the bandage, for whatsoever I look at with my eyes, splits to pieces, so powerful is my glance. If you can use that, I shall be glad to serve you." "Come with me," replied the king's son, "I can make use of you."

They journeyed onwards and found a man who was lying in the hot sunshine, trembling and shivering all over his body, so that not a limb was still. "How can you shiver when the sun is shining so warm?" said the king's son. "Alas," replied the man, "I am of quite a different nature. The hotter it is, the colder I am, and the frost pierces through all my bones, and the colder it is, the hotter I am. In the midst of ice, I cannot endure the heat, nor in the midst of fire, the cold." "You are a strange fellow," said the prince, "but if you will enter my service, follow me."

They traveled onwards, and saw a man standing who made a long neck and looked about him, and could see over all the mountains. "What are you looking at so eagerly?" said the king's son. The man replied, "I have such sharp eyes that I can see into every forest and field, and hill and valley, all over the world." The prince said, "Come with me if you will, for I am still in want of such an one."

And now the king's son and his six servants came to the town where the aged queen dwelt. He did not tell her who he was, but said, "If you will give me your beautiful daughter, I will perform any task you set me." The sorceress was delighted to get such a handsome youth as this into her net, and said, "I will set you three tasks, and if you are able to perform them all, you shall be husband and master of my daughter." "What is the first to be?" "You shall fetch me my ring which I have dropped into the red sea."

So the king's son went home to his servants and said, "The first task is not easy. A ring is to be got out of the red sea. Come, find some way of doing it." Then the man with the sharp sight said, "I will see where it is lying," and looked down into the water and said, "It is hanging there, on a pointed stone." The tall one carried them thither, and said, "I would soon get it out, if I could only see it." "Oh, is that all," cried the stout one, and lay down and put his mouth to the water, on which all the waves fell into it just as if it had been a whirlpool, and he drank up the whole sea till it was as dry as a meadow. The tall one stooped down a little, and brought out the ring with his hand.

Then the king's son rejoiced when he had the ring, and took it to the old queen. She was astonished, and said, "Yes, it is the right ring. You have safely performed the first task, but now comes the second. Do you see the meadow in front of my palace? Three hundred fat oxen are feeding there, and these must you eat, skin, hair, bones, horns and all, and down below in my cellar lie three hundred casks of wine, and these you must drink up as well, and if one hair of the oxen, or one little drop of the wine is left, your life will be forfeited to me." "May I invite no guests to this repast?" inquired the prince, "No dinner is good without some company." The old woman laughed maliciously, and replied, "You may invite one for the sake of companionship, but no more."

The king's son went to his servants and said to the stout one, "You shall be my guest to-day, and shall eat your fill." Hereupon the stout one puffed himself up and ate the three hundred oxen without leaving one single hair, and then he asked if he was to have nothing but his breakfast. Then he drank the wine straight from the casks without feeling any need of a glass, and drained them down to their dregs.

When the meal was over, the prince went to the old woman, and told her that the second task also was performed. She wondered at this and said, "No one has ever done so much before, but one task still remains," and she thought to herself, "You shall not escape me, and will not keep your head on your shoulders." "This night," said she, "I will bring my daughter to you in your chamber, and you shall put your arms round her, but when you are sitting there together, beware of falling asleep. When twelve o'clock is striking, I will come, and if she is then no longer in your arms, you are lost."

The prince thought, "The task is easy, I will most certainly keep my eyes open." Nevertheless he called his servants, told them what the old woman had said, and remarked, "Who knows what treachery lurks behind this? Foresight is a good thing - keep watch, and take care that the maiden does not go out of my room again." When night fell, the old woman came with her daughter, and gave her into the princes's arms, and then the tall one wound himself round the two in a circle, and the stout one placed himself by the door, so that no living creature could enter. There the two sat, and the maiden spoke never a word, but the moon shone through the window on her face, and the prince could behold her wondrous beauty. He did nothing but gaze at her, and was filled with love and happiness, and his eyes never felt weary. This lasted until eleven o'clock, when the old woman cast such a spell over all of them that they fell asleep, and at the self-same moment the maiden was carried away.

Then they all slept soundly until a quarter to twelve, when the magic lost its power, and all awoke again. "Oh, misery and misfortune," cried the prince, "now I am lost." The faithful servants also began to lament, but the listener said, "Be quiet, I want to listen." Then he listened for an instant and said, "She is on a rock, three hundred leagues from hence, bewailing her fate. You alone, tall one, can help her, if you will stand up, you will be there in a couple of steps."

"Yes," answered the tall one, "but the one with the sharp eyes must go with me, that we may destroy the rock." Then the tall one took the one with bandaged eyes on his back, and in the twinkling of an eye they were on the enchanted rock. The tall one immediately took the bandage from the other's eyes, and he did but look round, and the rock shivered into a thousand pieces. Then the tall one took the maiden in his arms, carried her back in a second, then fetched his companion with the same rapidity, and before it struck twelve they were all sitting as they had sat before, quite merrily and happily. When twelve struck, the aged sorceress came stealing in with a malicious face, as much as to say, "Now he is mine, for she believed that her daughter was on the rock three hundred leagues off." But when she saw her in the prince's arms, she was alarmed, and said, "Here is one who knows more than I do." She dared not make any opposition, and was forced to give him her daughter. But she whispered in her ear, "It is a disgrace to you to have to obey common people, and that you are not allowed to choose a husband to your own liking."

On this the proud heart of the maiden was filled with anger, and she meditated revenge. Next morning she caused three hundred great bundles of wood to be got together, and said to the prince that though the three tasks were performed, she would still not be his wife until someone was ready to seat himself in the midst of the wood, and bear the fire. She thought that none of his servants would let themselves be burnt for him, and that out of love for her, he himself would place himself upon it, and then she would be free. But the servants said, "Every one of us has done something except the frosty one, he must set to work, and they put him in the middle of the pile, and set fire to it." Then the fire began to burn, and burnt for three days until all the wood was consumed, and when the flames had burnt out, the frosty one was standing amid the ashes, trembling like an aspen leaf, and saying, "I never felt such a frost during the whole course of my life, if it had lasted much longer, I should have been benumbed."

As no other pretext was to be found, the beautiful maiden was now forced to take the unknown youth as a husband. But when they drove away to church, the old woman said, "I cannot endure the disgrace," and sent her warriors after them with orders to cut down all who opposed them, and bring back her daughter. But the listener had sharpened his ears, and heard the secret discourse of the old woman. "What shall we do?" said he to the stout one. But he knew what to do, and spat out once or twice behind the carriage some of the sea-water which he had drunk, and a great lake arose in which the warriors were caught and drowned.

When the sorceress perceived that, she sent her mailed knights, but the listener heard the rattling of their armor, and undid the bandage from one eye of sharp-eyes, who looked for a while rather fixedly at the enemy's troops, on which they all sprang to pieces like glass. Then the youth and the maiden went on their way undisturbed, and when the two had been blessed in church, the six servants took leave, and said to their master, "Your wishes are now satisfied, you need us no longer, we will go our way and seek our fortunes."

Half a league from the palace of the prince's father was a village near which a swineherd tended his herd, and when they came thither the prince said to his wife, "Do you know who I really am? I am no prince, but a herder of swine, and the man who is there with that herd, is my father. We two shall have to set to work also, and help him." Then he alighted with her at the inn, and secretly told the innkeepers to take away her royal apparel during the night. So when she awoke in the morning, she had nothing to put on, and the innkeeper's wife gave her an old gown and a pair of worsted stockings, and at the same time seemed to consider it a great present, and said, "If it were not for the sake of your husband I should have given you nothing at all." Then the princess believed that he really was a swineherd, and tended the herd with him, and thought to herself, "I have deserved this for my haughtiness and pride."

This lasted for a week, and then she could endure it no longer, for she had sores on her feet. And now came a couple of people who asked if she knew who her husband was. "Yes," she answered, "he is a swineherd, and has just gone out with cords and ropes to try to drive a little bargain." But they said, "Just come with us, and we will take you to him," and they took her up to the palace, and when she entered the hall, there stood her husband in kingly raiment. But she did not recognize him until he took her in his arms, kissed her, and said, "I suffered so much for you that you, too, had to suffer for me." And then the wedding was celebrated, and he who has related this, wishes that he, too, had been present at it.

 

Iron John

There was once upon a time a king who had a great forest near his palace, full of all kinds of wild animals. One day he sent out a huntsman to shoot him a roe, but he did not come back. Perhaps some accident has befallen him, said the king, and the next day he sent out two more huntsmen who were to search for him, but they too stayed away. Then on the third day, he sent for all his huntsmen, and said, scour the whole forest through, and do not give up until you have found all three. But of these also, none came home again, and of the pack of hounds which they had taken with them, none were seen again. From that time forth, no one would any longer venture into the forest, and it lay there in deep stillness and solitude, and nothing was seen of it, but sometimes an eagle or a hawk flying over it. This lasted for many years, when an unknown huntsman announced himself to the king as seeking a situation, and offered to go into the dangerous forest. The king, however, would not give his consent, and said, it is not safe in there, I fear it would fare with you no better than with the others, and you would never come out again. The huntsman replied, lord, I will venture it at my own risk, of fear I know nothing. The huntsman therefore betook himself with his dog to the forest. It was not long before the dog fell in with some game on the way, and wanted to pursue it, but hardly had the dog run two steps when it stood before a deep pool, could go no farther, and a naked arm stretched itself out of the water, seized it, and drew it under. When the huntsman saw that, he went back and fetched three men to come with buckets and bale out the water. When they could see to the bottom there lay a wild man whose body was brown like rusty iron, and whose hair hung over his face down to his knees. They bound him with cords, and led him away to the castle. There was great astonishment over the wild man, the king, however, had him put in an iron cage in his court-yard, and forbade the door to be opened on pain of death, and the queen herself was to take the key into her keeping. And from this time forth every one could again go into the forest with safety. The king had a son of eight years, who was once playing in the court-yard, and while he was playing, his golden ball fell into the cage. The boy ran thither and said, give me my ball out. Not till you have opened the door for me, answered the man. No, said the boy, I will not do that, the king has forbidden it, and ran away. The next day he again went and asked for his ball. The wild man said, open my door, but the boy would not. On the third day the king had ridden out hunting, and the boy went once more and said, I cannot open the door even if I wished, for I have not the key. Then the wild man said, it lies under your mother's pillow, you can get it there. The boy, who wanted to have his ball back, cast all thought to the winds, and brought the key. The door opened with difficulty, and the boy pinched his fingers. When it was open the wild man stepped out, gave him the golden ball, and hurried away. The boy had become afraid, he called and cried after him, oh, wild man, do not go away, or I shall be beaten. The wild man turned back, took him up, set him on his shoulder, and went with hasty steps into the forest. When the king came home, he observed the empty cage, and asked the queen how that had happened. She knew nothing about it, and sought the key, but it was gone. She called the boy, but no one answered. The king sent out people to seek for him in the fields, but they did not find him. Then he could easily guess what had happened, and much grief reigned in the royal court. When the wild man had once more reached the dark forest, he took the boy down from his shoulder, and said to him, you will never see your father and mother again, but I will keep you with me, for you have set me free, and I have compassion on you. If you do all I bid you, you shall fare well. Of treasure and gold have I enough, and more than anyone in the world. He made a bed of moss for the boy on which he slept, and the next morning the man took him to a well, and said, behold, the gold well is as bright and clear as crystal, you shall sit beside it, and take care that nothing falls into it, or it will be polluted. I will come every evening to see if you have obeyed my order. The boy placed himself by the brink of the well, and often saw a golden fish or a golden snake show itself therein, and took care that nothing fell in. As he was thus sitting, his finger hurt him so violently that he involuntarily put it in the water. He drew it quickly out again, but saw that it was quite gilded, and whatsoever pains he took to wash the gold off again, all was to no purpose. In the evening iron Hans came back, looked at the boy, and said, what has happened to the well. Nothing, nothing, he answered, and held his finger behind his back, that the man might not see it. But he said, you have dipped your finger into the water, this time it may pass, but take care you do not again let anything go in. By daybreak the boy was already sitting by the well and watching it. His finger hurt him again and he passed it over his head, and then unhappily a hair fell down into the well. He took it quickly out, but it was already quite gilded. Iron Hans came, and already knew what had happened. You have let a hair fall into the well, said he. I will allow you to watch by it once more, but if this happens for the third time then the well is polluted, and you can no longer remain with me. On the third day, the boy sat by the well, and did not stir his finger, however much it hurt him. But the time was long to him, and he looked at the reflection of his face on the surface of the water. And as he still bent down more and more while he was doing so, and trying to look straight into the eyes, his long hair fell down from his shoulders into the water. He raised himself up quickly, but the whole of the hair of his head was already golden and shone like the sun. You can imagine how terrified the poor boy was. He took his pocket-handkerchief and tied it round his head, in order that the man might not see it. When he came he already knew everything, and said, take the handkerchief off. Then the golden hair streamed forth, and let the boy excuse himself as he might, it was of no use. You have not stood the trial, and can stay here no longer. Go forth into the world, there you will learn what poverty is. But as you have not a bad heart, and as I mean well by you, there is one thing I will grant you. If you fall into any difficulty, come to the forest and cry, iron Hans, and then I will come and help you. My power is great, greater than you think, and I have gold and silver in abundance. Then the king's son left the forest, and walked by beaten and unbeaten paths ever onwards until at length he reached a great city. There he looked for work, but could find none, and he had learnt nothing by which he could help himself. At length he went to the palace, and asked if they would take him in. The people about court did not at all know what use they could make of him, but they liked him, and told him to stay. At length the cook took him into his service, and said he might carry wood and water, and rake the cinders together. Once when it so happened that no one else was at hand, the cook ordered him to carry the food to the royal table, but as he did not like to let his golden hair be seen, he kept his little cap on. Such a thing as that had never yet come under the king's notice, and he said, when you come to the royal table you must take your hat off. He answered, ah, lord, I cannot. I have a bad sore place on my head. Then the king had the cook called before him and scolded him, and asked how he could take such a boy as that into his service, and that he was to send him away at once. The cook, however, had pity on him, and exchanged him for the gardener's boy. And now the boy had to plant and water the garden, hoe and dig, and bear the wind and bad weather. Once in summer when he was working alone in the garden, the day was so warm he took his little cap off that the air might cool him. As the sun shone on his hair it glittered and flashed so that the rays fell into the bed-room of the king's daughter, and up she sprang to see what that could be. Then she saw the boy, and cried to him, boy, bring me a wreath of flowers. He put his cap on with all haste, and gathered wild field-flowers and bound them together. When he was ascending the stairs with them, the gardener met him, and said, how can you take the king's daughter a garland of such common flowers. Go quickly, and get another, and seek out the prettiest and rarest. Oh, no, replied the boy, the wild ones have more scent, and will please her better. When he got into the room, the king's daughter said, take your cap off, it is not seemly to keep it on in my presence. He again said, I may not, I have a sore head. She, however, caught at his cap and pulled it off, and then his golden hair rolled down on his shoulders, and it was splendid to behold. He wanted to run out, but she held him by the arm, and gave him a handful of ducats. With these he departed, but he cared nothing for the gold pieces. He took them to the gardener, and said, I present them to your children, they can play with them. The following day the king's daughter again called to him that he was to bring her a wreath of field-flowers, and when he went in with it, she instantly snatched at his cap, and wanted to take it away from him, but he held it fast with both hands. She again gave him a handful of ducats, but he would not keep them, and gave them to the gardener for playthings for his children. On the third day things went just the same. She could not get his cap away from him, and he would not have her money. Not long afterwards, the country was overrun by war. The king gathered together his people, and did not know whether or not he could offer any opposition to the enemy, who was superior in strength and had a mighty army. Then said the gardener's boy, I am grown up, and will go to the wars also, only give me a I am grown up, and will go the the wars also, only give me a horse. The others laughed, and said, seek one for yourself when we are gone, we will leave one behind us in the stable for you. When they had gone forth, he went into the stable, and led the horse out. It was lame of one foot, and limped hobblety jig, hobblety jig, nevertheless he mounted it, and rode away to the dark forest. When he came to the outskirts, he called 'iron Hans, three times so loudly that it echoed through the trees. Thereupon the wild man appeared immediately, and said, what do you desire. I want a strong steed, for I am going to the wars. That you shall have, and still more than you ask for. Then the wild man went back into the forest, and it was not long before a stable-boy came out of it, who led a horse that snorted with its nostrils, and could hardly be restrained, and behind them followed a great troop of warriors entirely equipped in iron, and their swords flashed in the sun. The youth made over his three-legged horse to the stable-boy, mounted the other, and rode at the head of the soldiers. When he got near the battle-field a great part of the king's men had already fallen, and little was wanting to make the rest give way. Then the youth galloped thither with his iron soldiers, broke like a hurricane over the enemy, and beat down all who opposed him. They began to flee, but the youth pursued, and never stopped, until there was not a single man left. Instead of returning to the king, however, he conducted his troop by byways back to the forest, and called forth iron Hans. What do you desire, asked the wild man. Take back your horse and your troops, and give me my three-legged horse again. All that he asked was done, and soon he was riding on his three-legged horse. When the king returned to his palace, his daughter went to meet him, and wished him joy of his victory. I am not the one who carried away the victory, said he, but a strange knight who came to my assistance with his soldiers. The daughter wanted to hear who the strange knight was, but the king did not know, and said, he followed the enemy, and I did not see him again. She inquired of the gardener where his boy was, but he smiled, and said, he has just come home on his three-legged horse, and the others have been mocking him, and crying, here comes our hobblety jig back again. They asked, too, under what hedge have you been lying sleeping all the time. So he said, I did the best of all, and it would have gone badly without me. And then he was still more ridiculed. The king said to his daughter, I will proclaim a great feast that shall last for three days, and you shall throw a golden apple. Perhaps the unknown man will show himself. When the feast was announced, the youth went out to the forest, and called iron Hans. What do you desire, asked he. That I may catch the king's daughter's golden apple. It is as safe as if you had it already, said iron Hans. You shall likewise have a suit of red armor for the occasion, and ride on a spirited chestnut-horse. When the day came, the youth galloped to the spot, took his place amongst the knights, and was recognized by no one. The king's daughter came forward, and threw a golden apple to the knights, but none of them caught it but he, only as soon as he had it he galloped away. On the second day iron Hans equipped him as a white knight, and gave him a white horse. Again he was the only one who caught the apple, and he did not linger an instant, but galloped off with it. The king grew angry, and said, that is not allowed. He must appear before me and tell his name. He gave the order that if the knight who caught the apple, should go away again they should pursue him, and if he would not come back willingly, they were to cut him down and stab him. On the third day, he received from iron Hans a suit of black armor and a black horse, and again he caught the apple. But when he was riding off with it, the king's attendants pursued him, and one of them got so near him that he wounded the youth's leg with the point of his sword. The youth nevertheless escaped from them, but his horse leapt so violently that the helmet fell from the youth's head, and they could see that he had golden hair. They rode back and announced this to the king. The following day the king's daughter asked the gardener about his boy. He is at work in the garden. The queer creature has been at the festival too, and only came home yesterday evening. He has likewise shown my children three golden apples which he has won. The king had him summoned into his presence, and he came and again had his little cap on his head. But the king's daughter went up to him and took it off, and then his golden hair fell down over his shoulders, and he was so handsome that all were amazed. Are you the knight who came every day to the festival, always in different colors, and who caught the three golden apples, asked the king. Yes, answered he, and here the apples are, and he took them out of his pocket, and returned them to the king. If you desire further proof, you may see the wound which your people gave me when they followed me. But I am likewise the knight who helped you to your victory over your enemies. If you can perform such deeds as that, you are no gardener's boy, tell me, who is your father. My father is a mighty king, and gold have I in plenty as great as I require. I well see, said the king, that I owe thanks to you, can I do anything to please you. Yes, answered he, that indeed you can. Give me your daughter to wife. The maiden laughed, and said, he does not stand much on ceremony, but I have already seen by his golden hair that he was no gardener's boy, and then she went and kissed him. His father and mother came to the wedding, and were in great delight, for they had given up all hope of ever seeing their dear son again. And as they were sitting at the marriage-feast, the music suddenly stopped, the doors opened, and a stately king came in with a great retinue. He went up to the youth, embraced him and said, I am iron Hans, and was by enchantment a wild man, but you have set me free. All the treasures which I possess, shall be your property.

 

The Maid of Brakel

There were once upon a time a king and a queen who lived happily together and had twelve children, but they were all boys. Then said the king to his wife, if the thirteenth child which you are about to bring into the world, is a girl, the twelve boys shall die, in order that her possessions may be great, and that the kingdom may fall to her alone. He even caused twelve coffins to be made, which were already filled with shavings, and in each lay a little death pillow, and he had them taken into a locked-up room, and then he gave the queen the key of it, and bade her not to speak of this to anyone.

The mother, however, now sat and lamented all day long, until the youngest son, who was always with her, and whom she had named benjamin, from the bible, said to her, dear mother, why are you so sad.

Dearest child, she answered, I may not tell you. But he let her have no rest until she went and unlocked the room, and showed him the twelve coffins ready filled with shavings. Then she said, my dearest benjamin, your father has had these coffins made for you and for your eleven brothers, for if I bring a little girl into the world, you are all to be killed and buried in them. And as she wept while she was saying this, the son comforted her and said, weep not, dear mother, we will save ourselves, and go hence. But she said, go forth into the forest with your eleven brothers, and let one sit constantly on the highest tree which can be found, and keep watch, looking towards the tower here in the castle. If I give birth to a little son, I will put up a white flag, and then you may venture to come back. But if I bear a daughter, I will hoist a red flag, and then fly hence as quickly as you are able, and may the good God protect you. And every night I will rise up and pray for you - in winter that you may be able to warm yourself at a fire, and in summer that you may not faint away in the heat.

After she had blessed her sons therefore, they went forth into the forest. They each kept watch in turn, and sat on the highest oak and looked towards the tower. When eleven days had passed and the turn came to benjamin, he saw that a flag was being raised. It was, however, not the white, but the blood-red flag which announced that they were all to die. When the brothers heard that, they were very angry and said, are we all to suffer death for the sake of a girl. We swear that we will avenge ourselves - wheresoever we find a girl, her red blood shall flow.

Thereupon they went deeper into the forest, and in the midst of it, where it was the darkest, they found a little bewitched hut, which was standing empty. Then said they, here we will dwell, and you benjamin, who are the youngest and weakest, you shall stay at home and keep house, we others will go out and fetch food.

Then they went into the forest and shot hares, wild deer, birds and pigeons, and whatsoever there was to eat. This they took to benjamin, who had to dress it for them in order that they might appease their hunger. They lived together ten years in the little hut, and the time did not appear long to them.

The little daughter which their mother the queen had given birth to, was now grown up. She was good of heart, and fair of face, and had a golden star on her forehead. Once, on a great washing, she saw twelve men's shirts among the things, and asked her mother, to whom do these twelve shirts belong, for they are far too small for father. Then the queen answered with a heavy heart, dear child, these belong to your twelve brothers. Said the maiden, where are my twelve brothers, I have never yet heard of them. She replied, God knows where they are, they are wandering about the world. Then she took the maiden and opened the chamber for her, and showed her the twelve coffins with the shavings, and the death pillows. These coffins, said she, were destined for your brothers, who went away secretly before you were born, and she related to her how everything had happened. Then said the maiden, dear mother, weep not, I will go and seek my brothers.

So she took the twelve shirts and went forth, and straight into the great forest. She walked the whole day, and in the evening she came to the bewitched hut. Then she entered it and found a young boy, who asked, from whence do you come, and whither are you bound, and was astonished that she was so beautiful, and wore royal garments, and had a star on her forehead. And she answered, I am a king's daughter, and am seeking my twelve brothers, and I will walk as far as the sky is blue until I find them. And she showed him the twelve shirts which belonged to them. Then benjamin saw that she was his sister, and said, I am benjamin, your youngest brother. And she began to weep for joy, and benjamin wept also, and they kissed and embraced each other with the greatest love. But after this he said, dear sister, there is still one difficulty. We have agreed that every maiden whom we meet shall die, because we have been obliged to leave our kingdom on account of a girl. Then said she, I will willingly die, if by so doing I can save my twelve brothers.

No, answered he, you shall not die. Seat yourself beneath this tub until our eleven brothers come, and then I will soon come to an agreement with them.

She did so, and when it was night the others came from hunting, and their dinner was ready. And as they were sitting at table, and eating, they asked, what news is there. Said benjamin, don't you know anything. No, they answered. He continued, you have been in the forest and I have stayed at home, and yet I know more than you do. Tell us then, they cried. He answered, but promise me that the first maiden who meets us shall not be killed.

Yes, they all cried, she shall have mercy, only do tell us. Then said he, our sister is here, and he lifted up the tub, and the king's daughter came forth in her royal garments with the golden star on her forehead, and she was beautiful, delicate and fair. Then they were all rejoiced, and fell on her neck, and kissed and loved her with all their hearts.

Now she stayed at home with benjamin and helped him with the work. The eleven went into the forest and caught game, and deer, and birds, and wood-pigeons that they might have food, and the little sister and benjamin took care to make it ready for them. She sought for the wood for cooking and herbs for vegetables, and put the pans on the fire so that the dinner was always ready when the eleven came. She likewise kept order in the little house, and put beautifully white clean coverings on the little beds and the brothers were always contented and lived in great harmony with her.

Once upon a time the two at home had prepared a wonderful feast, and when they were all together, they sat down and ate and drank and were full of gladness. There was, however, a little garden belonging to the bewitched house wherein stood twelve lily flowers, which are likewise called student-lilies. She wished to give her brothers pleasure, and plucked the twelve flowers, and thought she would present each brother with one while at dinner. But at the self-same moment that she plucked the flowers the twelve brothers were changed into twelve ravens, and flew away over the forest, and the house and garden vanished likewise. And now the poor maiden was alone in the wild forest, and when she looked around, an old woman was standing near her who said, my child, what have you done. Why did you not leave the twelve white flowers growing. They were your brothers, who are now forevermore changed into ravens. The maiden said, weeping, is there no way of saving them.

No, said the woman, there is but one in the whole world, and that is so hard that you will not save them by it, for you must be dumb for seven years, and may not speak or laugh, and if you speak one single word, and only an hour of the seven years is wanting, all is in vain, and your brothers will be killed by the one word.

Then said the maiden in her heart, I know with certainty that I shall set my brothers free, and went and sought a high tree and seated herself in it and spun, and neither spoke nor laughed. Now it so happened that a king was hunting in the forest, who had a great greyhound which ran to the tree on which the maiden was sitting, and sprang about it, whining, and barking at her. Then the king came by and saw the beautiful king's daughter with the golden star on her brow, and was so charmed with her beauty that he called to ask her if she would be his wife. She made no answer, but nodded a little with her head. So he climbed up the tree himself, carried her down, placed her on his horse, and bore her home. Then the wedding was solemnized with great magnificence and rejoicing, but the bride neither spoke nor smiled. When they had lived happily together for a few years, the king's mother, who was a wicked woman, began to slander the young queen, and said to the king, this is a common beggar girl whom you have brought back with you. Who knows what wicked tricks she practises secretly. Even if she be dumb, and not able to speak, she still might laugh for once. But those who do not laugh have bad consciences.

At first the king would not believe it, but the old woman urged this so long, and accused her of so many evil things, that at last the king let himself be persuaded and sentenced her to death. And now a great fire was lighted in the courtyard in which she was to be burnt, and the king stood above at the window and looked on with tearful eyes, because he still loved her so much. And when she was bound fast to the stake, and the fire was licking at her clothes with its red tongue, the last instant of the seven years expired. Then a whirring sound was heard in the air, and twelve ravens came flying towards the place, and sank downwards, and when they touched the earth they were her twelve brothers, whom she had saved. They tore the fire asunder, extinguished the flames, set their dear sister free, and kissed and embraced her. And now as she dared to open her mouth and speak, she told the king why she had been dumb, and had never laughed. The king rejoiced when he heard that she was innocent, and they all lived in great unity until their death. The wicked step-mother was taken before the judge, and put into a barrel filled with boiling oil and venomous snakes, and died an evil death.

 

Snow-White and Rose-Red

There was once a poor widow who lived in a lonely cottage. In front of the cottage was a garden wherein stood two rose-trees, one of which bore white and the other red roses. She had two children who were like the two rose-trees, and one was called Snow-White, and the other Rose-Red. They were as good and happy, as busy and cheerful as ever two children in the world were, only Snow-White was more quiet and gentle than Rose-Red. Rose-red liked better to run about in the meadows and fields seeking flowers and catching butterflies, but Snow-White sat at home with her mother, and helped her with her house-work, or read to her when there was nothing to do. The two children were so fond of one another that they always held each other by the hand when they went out together, and when Snow-White said, we will not leave each other, Rose-Red answered, never so long as we live, and their mother would add, what one has she must share with the other.

They often ran about the forest alone and gathered red berries, and no beasts did them any harm, but came close to them trustfully. The little hare would eat a cabbage-leaf out of their hands, the roe grazed by their side, the stag leapt merrily by them, and the birds sat still upon the boughs, and sang whatever they knew. No mishap overtook them, if they had stayed too late in the forest, and night came on, they laid themselves down near one another upon the moss, and slept until morning came, and their mother knew this and did not worry on their account. Once when they had spent the night in the wood and the dawn had roused them, they saw a beautiful child in a shining white dress sitting near their bed. He got up and looked quite kindly at them, but said nothing and went away into the forest. And when they looked round they found that they had been sleeping quite close to a precipice, and would certainly have fallen into it in the darkness if they had gone only a few paces further. And their mother told them that it must have been the angel who watches over good children.

Snow-white and Rose-Red kept their mother's little cottage so neat that it was a pleasure to look inside it. In the summer Rose-Red took care of the house, and every morning laid a wreath of flowers by her mother's bed before she awoke, in which was a rose from each tree. In the winter Snow-White lit the fire and hung the kettle on the hob. The kettle was of brass and shone like gold, so brightly was it polished. In the evening, when the snowflakes fell, the mother said, go, Snow-White, and bolt the door, and then they sat round the hearth, and the mother took her spectacles and read aloud out of a large book, and the two girls listened as they sat and spun. And close by them lay a lamb upon the floor, and behind them upon a perch sat a white dove with its head hidden beneath its wings.

One evening, as they were thus sitting comfortably together, someone knocked at the door as if he wished to be let in. The mother said, quick, Rose-Red, open the door, it must be a traveler who is seeking shelter. Rose-red went and pushed back the bolt, thinking that it was a poor man, but it was not. It was a bear that stretched his broad, black head within the door. Rose-red screamed and sprang back, the lamb bleated, the dove fluttered, and Snow-White hid herself behind her mother's bed. But the bear began to speak and said, do not be afraid, I will do you no harm. I am half-frozen, and only want to warm myself a little beside you. Poor bear, said the mother, lie down by the fire, only take care that you do not burn your coat. Then she cried, Snow-White, Rose-Red, come out, the bear will do you no harm, he means well. So they both came out, and by-and-by the lamb and dove came nearer, and were not afraid of him. The bear said, here, children, knock the snow out of my coat a little. So they brought the broom and swept the bear's hide clean, and he stretched himself by the fire and growled contentedly and comfortably.

It was not long before they grew quite at home, and played tricks with their clumsy guest. They tugged his hair with their hands, put their feet upon his back and rolled him about, or they took a hazel-switch and beat him, and when he growled they laughed. But the bear took it all in good part, only when they were too rough he called out, leave me alive, children, Snow-White, Rose-Red, will you beat your wooer dead. When it was bed-time, and the others went to bed, the mother said to the bear, you can lie there by the hearth, and then you will be safe from the cold and the bad weather. As soon as day dawned the two children let him out, and he trotted across the snow into the forest. Henceforth the bear came every evening at the same time, laid himself down by the hearth, and let the children amuse themselves with him as much as they liked. And they got so used to him that the doors were never fastened until their black friend had arrived.

When spring had come and all outside was green, the bear said one morning to Snow-White, now I must go away, and cannot come back for the whole summer. Where are you going, then, dear bear, asked Snow-White. I must go into the forest and guard my treasures from the wicked dwarfs. In the winter, when the earth is frozen hard, they are obliged to stay below and cannot work their way through, but now, when the sun has thawed and warmed the earth, they break through it, and come out to pry and steal. And what once gets into their hands, and in their caves, does not easily see daylight again. Snow-white was quite sorry at his departure, and as she unbolted the door for him, and the bear was hurrying out, he caught against the bolt and a piece of his hairy coat was torn off, and it seemed to Snow-White as if she had seen gold shining through it, but she was not sure about it. The bear ran away quickly, and was soon out of sight behind the trees.

A short time afterwards the mother sent her children into the forest to get fire-wood. There they found a big tree which lay felled on the ground, and close by the trunk something was jumping backwards and forwards in the grass, but they could not make out what it was. When they came nearer they saw a dwarf with an old withered face and a Snow-White beard a yard long. The end of the beard was caught in a crevice of the tree, and the little fellow was jumping about like a dog tied to a rope, and did not know what to do. He glared at the girls with his fiery red eyes and cried, why do you stand there. Can you not come here and help me. What are you up to, little man, asked Rose-Red. You stupid, prying goose, answered the dwarf. I was going to split the tree to get a little wood for cooking. The little bit of food that we people get is immediately burnt up with heavy logs. We do not swallow so much as you coarse, greedy folk. I had just driven the wedge safely in, and everything was going as I wished, but the cursed wedge was too smooth and suddenly sprang out, and the tree closed so quickly that I could not pull out my beautiful white beard, so now it is tight in and I cannot get away, and the silly, sleek, milk-faced things laugh. Ugh. How odious you are. The children tried very hard, but they could not pull the beard out, it was caught too fast. I will run and fetch someone, said Rose-Red. You senseless goose, snarled the dwarf. Why should you fetch someone. You are already two too many for me. Can you not think of something better. Don't be impatient, said Snow-White, I will help you, and she pulled her scissors out of her pocket, and cut off the end of the beard.

As soon as the dwarf felt himself free he laid hold of a bag which lay amongst the roots of the tree, and which was full of gold, and lifted it up, grumbling to himself, uncouth people, to cut off a piece of my fine beard. Bad luck to you, and then he swung the bag upon his back, and went off without even once looking at the children. Some time afterwards Snow-White and Rose-Red went to catch a dish of fish. As they came near the brook they saw something like a large grasshopper jumping towards the water, as if it were going to leap in. They ran to it and found it was the dwarf. Where are you going, said Rose-Red, you surely don't want to go into the water. I am not such a fool, cried the dwarf. Don't you see that the accursed fish wants to pull me in.

The little man had been sitting there fishing, and unluckily the wind had tangled up his beard with the fishing-line. A moment later a big fish made a bite and the feeble creature had not strength to pull it out. The fish kept the upper hand and pulled the dwarf towards him. He held on to all the reeds and rushes, but it was of little good, for he was forced to follow the movements of the fish, and was in urgent danger of being dragged into the water. The girls came just in time. They held him fast and tried to free his beard from the line, but all in vain, beard and line were entangled fast together. There was nothing to do but to bring out the scissors and cut the beard, whereby a small part of it was lost. When the dwarf saw that he screamed out, is that civil, you toadstool, to disfigure a man's face. Was it not enough to clip off the end of my beard. Now you have cut off the best part of it. I cannot let myself be seen by my people. I wish you had been made to run the soles off your shoes. Then he took out a sack of pearls which lay in the rushes, and without another word he dragged it away and disappeared behind a stone.

It happened that soon afterwards the mother sent the two children to the town to buy needles and thread, and laces and ribbons. The road led them across a heath upon which huge pieces of rock lay strewn about. There they noticed a large bird hovering in the air, flying slowly round and round above them. It sank lower and lower, and at last settled near a rock not far away. Immediately they heard a loud, piteous cry. They ran up and saw with horror that the eagle had seized their old acquaintance the dwarf, and was going to carry him off. The children, full of pity, at once took tight hold of the little man, and pulled against the eagle so long that at last he let his booty go. As soon as the dwarf had recovered from his first fright he cried with his shrill voice, could you not have done it more carefully. You dragged at my brown coat so that it is all torn and full of holes, you clumsy creatures. Then he took up a sack full of precious stones, and slipped away again under the rock into his hole. The girls, who by this time were used to his ingratitude, went on their way and did their business in the town.

As they crossed the heath again on their way home they surprised the dwarf, who had emptied out his bag of precious stones in a clean spot, and had not thought that anyone would come there so late. The evening sun shone upon the brilliant stones. They glittered and sparkled with all colors so beautifully that the children stood still and stared at them. Why do you stand gaping there, cried the dwarf, and his ashen-gray face became copper-red with rage. He was still cursing when a loud growling was heard, and a black bear came trotting towards them out of the forest. The dwarf sprang up in a fright, but he could not reach his cave, for the bear was already close. Then in the dread of his heart he cried, dear mr. Bear, spare me, I will give you all my treasures, look, the beautiful jewels lying there. Grant me my life. What do you want with such a slender little fellow as I. You would not feel me between your teeth. Come, take these two wicked girls, they are tender morsels for you, fat as young quails, for mercy's sake eat them. The bear took no heed of his words, but gave the wicked creature a single blow with his paw, and he did not move again.

The girls had run away, but the bear called to them, Snow-White and Rose-Red, do not be afraid. Wait, I will come with you. Then they recognised his voice and waited, and when he came up to them suddenly his bearskin fell off, and he stood there, a handsome man, clothed all in gold. I am a king's son, he said, and I was bewitched by that wicked dwarf, who had stolen my treasures. I have had to run about the forest as a savage bear until I was freed by his death. Now he has got his well-deserved punishment. Snow-white was married to him, and Rose-Red to his brother, and they divided between them the great treasure which the dwarf had gathered together in his cave. The old mother lived peacefully and happily with her children for many years. She took the two rose-trees with her, and they stood before her window, and every year bore the most beautiful roses, white and red.

 

The Glass Coffin

Let no one ever say that a poor tailor cannot do great things and win high honors. All that is needed is that he should go to the right smithy, and what is of most consequence, that he should have good luck. A civil, smart tailor's apprentice once went out traveling, and came into a great forest, and, as he did not know the way, he lost himself. Night fell and nothing was left for him to do in this painful solitude, but to seek a bed. He might certainly have found a good bed on the soft moss, but the fear of wild beasts let him have no rest there, and at last he made up his mind to spend the night in a tree. He sought out a high oak, climbed up to the top of it, and thanked God that he had his goose with him, for otherwise the wind which blew over the top of the tree would have carried him away. After he had spent some hours in the darkness, not without fear and trembling, he saw at a very short distance the glimmer of a light, and as he thought that a human habitation might be there, where he would be better off than on the branches of a tree, he got carefully down and went towards the light. It guided him to a small hut that was woven together of reeds and rushes. He knocked boldly, the door opened, and by the light which came forth he saw a little hoary old man who wore a coat made of bits of colored stuff sewn together. Who are you, and what do you want, asked the man in a grumbling voice. I am a poor tailor, he answered, whom night has surprised here in the wilderness, and I earnestly beg you to take me into your hut until morning. Go your way, replied the old man in a surly voice, I will have nothing to do with tramps, seek for yourself a shelter elsewhere. Having said this, he was about to slip into his hut again, but the tailor held him so tightly by the corner of his coat, and pleaded so piteously, that the old man, who was not so ill-natured as he wished to appear, was at last softened, and took him into the hut with him where he gave him something to eat, and then offered him a very good bed in a corner. The weary tailor needed no rocking, but slept sweetly till morning, but even then would not have thought of getting up, if he had not been aroused by a great noise. A violent sound of screaming and roaring forced its way through the thin walls of the hut. The tailor, full of unwonted courage, jumped up, put his clothes on in haste, and hurried out. Then close by the hut, he saw a great black bull and a beautiful stag, which were just preparing for a violent struggle. They rushed at each other with such extreme rage that the ground shook with their trampling, and the air resounded with their cries. For a long time it was uncertain which of the two would gain the victory, at length the stag thrust his horns into his adversary's body, whereupon the bull fell to the earth with a terrific roar, and was finished off by a few strokes from the stag. The tailor, who had watched the fight with astonishment, was still standing there motionless, when the stag in full career bounded up to him, and before he could escape, caught him up on his great horns. He had not much time to collect his thoughts, for it went in a swift race over stock and stone, mountain and valley, wood and meadow. He held with both hands to the ends of the horns, and resigned himself to his fate. It seemed to him just as if he were flying away. At length the stag stopped in front of a wall of rock, and gently let the tailor down. The tailor, more dead than alive, required some time to come to himself. When he had in some degree recovered, the stag, which had remained standing by him, pushed its horns with such force against a door in the rock, that it sprang open. Flames of fire shot forth, after which followed a great smoke, which hid the stag from his sight. The tailor did not know what to do, or whither to turn, in order to get out of this desert and back to human beings again. Whilst he was standing thus undecided, a voice sounded out of the rock, which cried to him, enter without fear, no evil shall befall you. He hesitated, but driven by a mysterious force, he obeyed the voice and went through the iron-door into a large spacious hall, whose ceiling, walls and floor were made of shining polished square stones, on each of which were carved signs which were unknown to him. He looked at everything full of admiration, and was on the point of going out again, when he once more heard the voice which said to him, step on the stone which lies in the middle of the hall, and great good fortune awaits you. His courage had already grown so great that he obeyed the order. The stone began to give way under his feet, and sank slowly down into the depths. When it was once more firm, and the tailor looked round, he found himself in a hall which in size resembled the former. Here, however, there was more to look at and to admire. Hollow places were cut in the walls, in which stood vases of transparent glass and filled with colored spirit or with a bluish vapor. On the floor of the hall two great glass chests stood opposite to each other, which at once excited his curiosity. When he went to one of them he saw inside it a handsome structure like a castle surrounded by farm-buildings, stables and barns, and a quantity of other good things. Everything was small, but exceedingly carefully and delicately made, and seemed to be carved out by a dexterous hand with the greatest precision. He might not have turned away his eyes from the consideration of this rarity for some time, had not the voice once more made itself heard. It ordered him to turn round and look at the glass chest which was standing opposite. How his admiration increased when he saw therein a maiden of the greatest beauty. She lay as if asleep, and was wrapped in her long fair hair as in a precious mantle. Her eyes were closely shut, but the brightness of her complexion and a ribbon which her breathing moved to and fro, left no doubt that she was alive. The tailor was looking at the beauty with beating heart, when she suddenly opened her eyes, and started up at the sight of him with a shock of joy. Divine providence, cried she, my deliverance is at hand. Quick, quick, help me out of my prison. If you push back the bolt of this glass coffin, then I shall be free. The tailor obeyed without delay, and she immediately raised up the glass lid, came out and hastened into the corner of the hall, where she covered herself with a large cloak. Then she seated herself on a stone, ordered the young man to come to her, and after she had imprinted a friendly kiss on his lips, she said, my long-desired deliverer, kind heaven has guided you to me, and put an end to my sorrows. On the self-same day when they end, shall your happiness begin. You are the husband chosen for me by heaven, and shall pass your life in unbroken joy, loved by me, and rich to overflowing in every earthly possession. Seat yourself, and listen to the story of my life. I am the daughter of a rich count. My parents died when I was still in my tender youth, and recommended me in their last will to my elder brother, by whom I was brought up. We loved each other so tenderly, and were so alike in our way of thinking and our inclinations, that we both embraced the resolution never to marry, but to stay together to the end of our lives. In our house there was no lack of company. Neighbors and friends visited us often, and we showed the greatest hospitality to every one. So it came to pass one evening that a stranger came riding to our castle, and, under pretext of not being able to get on to the next place, begged for shelter for the night. We granted his request with ready courtesy, and he entertained us in the most agreeable manner during supper by conversation intermingled with stories. My brother liked the stranger so much that he begged him to spend a couple of days with us, to which, after some hesitation, he consented. We did not rise from table until late in the night, the stranger was shown to a room, and I hastened, as I was tired, to lay my limbs in my soft bed. Hardly had I fallen off to sleep, when the sound of faint and delightful music awoke me. As I could not conceive from whence it came, I wanted to summon my waiting-maid who slept in the next room, but to my astonishment I found that speech was taken away from me by an unknown force. I felt as if a nightmare were weighing down my breast, and was unable to make the very slightest sound. In the meantime, by the light of my night-lamp, I saw the stranger enter my room through two doors which were fast bolted. He came to me and said, that by magic arts which were at his command, he had caused the lovely music to sound in order to awaken me, and that he now forced his way through all fastenings with the intention of offering his hand and heart. My dislike of his magic arts was so great, however, that I refused to answer him. He remained for a time standing without moving, apparently with the idea of waiting for a favorable decision, but as I continued to keep silence, he angrily declared he would revenge himself and find means to punish my pride, and left the room. I passed the night in the greatest disquietude, and fell asleep only towards morning. When I awoke, I hurried to my brother, but did not find him in his room, and the attendants told me that he had ridden forth with the stranger to the chase at daybreak.

I at once suspected nothing good. I dressed myself quickly, ordered my palfrey to be saddled, and accompanied only by one servant, rode full gallop to the forest. The servant fell with his horse, and could not follow me, for the horse had broken its foot. I pursued my way without halting, and in a few minutes I saw the stranger coming towards me with a beautiful stag which he led by a cord. I asked him where he had left my brother, and how he had come by this stag, out of whose great eyes I saw tears flowing. Instead of answering me, he began to laugh loudly. I fell into a great rage at this, pulled out a pistol and discharged it at the monster, but the ball rebounded from his breast and went into my horse's head. I fell to the ground, and the stranger muttered some words which deprived me of consciousness. When I came to my senses again I found myself in this underground cave in a glass coffin. The magician appeared once again, and said he had changed my brother into a stag, my castle with all that belonged to it, diminished in size by his arts, he had shut up in the other glass chest, and my people, who were all turned into smoke, he had confined in glass bottles. He told me that if I would now comply with his wish, it would be an easy thing for him to put everything back in its former state, as he had nothing to do but open the vessels, and everything would return once more to its natural form. I answered him as little as I had done the first time. He vanished and left me in my prison, in which a deep sleep came on me. Among the visions which passed before my eyes, the most comforting was that in which a young man came and set me free, and when I opened my eyes to-day I saw you, and beheld my dream fulfilled. Help me to accomplish the other things which happened in those visions. The first is that we lift the glass chest in which my castle is enclosed, on to that broad stone. As soon as the stone was laden, it began to rise up on high with the maiden and the young man, and mounted through the opening of the ceiling into the upper hall, from whence they then could easily reach the open air. Here the maiden opened the lid, and it was marvellous to behold how the castle, the houses, and the farm buildings which were enclosed, stretched themselves out and grew to their natural size with the greatest rapidity. After this, the maiden and the tailor returned to the cave beneath the earth, and had the vessels which were filled with smoke carried up by the stone. The maiden had scarcely opened the bottles when the blue smoke rushed out and changed itself into living men, in whom she recognized her servants and her people. Her joy was still more increased when her brother, who had killed the magician in the form of the bull, came out of the forest towards them in his human form, and on the self-same day the maiden, in accordance with her promise, gave her hand at the altar to the lucky tailor.

 

The Griffin

There was once upon a time a king, but where he reigned and what he was called, I do not know. He had no son, but an only daughter who had always been ill, and no doctor had been able to cure her. Then it was foretold to the king that his daughter would find her health by eating an apple. So he ordered it to be proclaimed throughout the whole of his kingdom, that whosoever brought his daughter an apple with which she could find her health, should have her to wife, and be king.

This became known to a peasant who had three sons, and he said to the eldest, go out into the garden and take a basketful of those beautiful apples with the red cheeks and carry them to the court, perhaps the king's daughter will be able to find her health with them, and then you will marry her and be king. The lad did so, and set out. When he had gone a short way he met a hoary little man who asked him what he had there in the basket, to which replied Uele for so was he named, frogs, legs. At this the little man said, well, so shall it be, and remain, and went away. At length Uele arrived at the palace, and made it known that he had brought apples which would cure the king's daughter if she ate them. This delighted the king hugely, and he caused Uele to be brought before him, but, alas. When he opened the basket, instead of having apples in it he had frogs, legs which were still kicking about. On this the king grew angry, and had him driven out of the house.

When he got home he told his father how it had fared with him. Then the father sent the next son, who was called same, but all went with him just as it had gone with Uele. He also met the hoary little man, who asked what he had there in the basket. Same said, hogs, bristles, and the hoary man said, well, so shall it be, and remain. When same got to the king's palace and said he brought apples with which the king's daughter might find her health, they did not want to let him go in, and said that one fellow had already been there, and had treated them as if they were fools. Same, however, maintained that he certainly had the apples, and that they ought to let him go in. At length they believed him, and led him to the king. But when he uncovered the basket, he had but hogs, bristles. This enraged the king most terribly, so he caused same to be whipped out of the house.

When he got home he related all that had befallen him, whereupon the youngest boy, whose name was Hans, but who was always called stupid Hans, came and asked his father if he might go with some apples. Oh, said the father, you would be just the right fellow for such a thing. If the clever one can't manage it, what can you do. The boy, however, insisted and said, indeed, father, I wish to go. Just get away, you stupid fellow, you must wait till you are wiser, said the father to that, and turned his back. Hans, however, pulled at the back of his smock and said, indeed, father, I wish to go. Well, then, so far as I am concerned you may go, but you will soon come home again, replied the old man in a spiteful voice. The boy was tremendously delighted and jumped for joy. Well, act like a fool. You grow more stupid every day, said the father again. But Hans was not discouraged, and did not let it spoil his pleasure, but as it was then night, he thought he might as well wait until the morrow, for he could not get to court that day. All night long he could not sleep in his bed, and if he did doze for a moment, he dreamt of beautiful maidens, of palaces, of gold, and of silver, and all kinds of things of that sort.

Early in the morning, he went forth on his way, and directly afterwards the little shabby-looking man in his icy clothes, came to him and asked what he was carrying in the basket. Hans gave him the answer that he was carrying apples with which the king's daughter was to find her health. Then, said the little man, so shall they be, and remain. But at the court they would none of them let Hans go in, for they said two had already been there who had told them that they were bringing apples, and one of them had frogs, legs, and the other hogs, bristles. Hans, however, resolutely maintained that he most certainly had no frogs, legs, but some of the most beautiful apples in the whole kingdom. As he spoke so pleasantly, the door-keeper thought he could not be telling a lie, and asked him to go in, and he was right, for when Hans uncovered his basket in the king's presence, golden-yellow apples came tumbling out.

The king was delighted, and caused some of them to be taken to his daughter, and then waited in anxious expectation until news should be brought to him of the effect they had. But before much time had passed by, news was brought to him. And who do you think it was who came. It was the daughter herself. As soon as she had eaten of those apples, she was cured, and sprang out of her bed. The joy the king felt cannot be described. But now he did not want to give his daughter in marriage to Hans, and said he must first make him a boat which would go quicker on dry land than on water. Hans agreed to the condition, and went home, and related how it had fared with him. Then the father sent Uele into the forest to make a boat of that kind. He worked diligently, and whistled all the time.

At mid-day, when the sun was at its highest, came the little icy man and asked what he was making. Uele gave him for answer, wooden bowls for the kitchen. The icy man said, so it shall be, and remain. By evening Uele thought he had now made the boat, but when he wanted to get into it, he had nothing but wooden bowls. The next day same went into the forest, but everything went with him just as it had done with Uele. On the third day stupid Hans went. He worked away most industriously, so that the whole forest resounded with the heavy blows, and all the while he sang and whistled right merrily. At mid-day, when it was the hottest, the little man came again, and asked what he was making. A boat which will go quicker on dry land than on water, replied Hans, and when I have finished it, I am to have the king's daughter for my wife. Well, said the little man, such an one shall it be, and remain.

In the evening, when the sun had turned into gold, Hans finished his boat, and all that was wanted for it. He got into it and rowed to the palace. The boat went as swiftly as the wind. The king saw it from afar, but would not give his daughter to Hans yet, and said he must first take a hundred hares out to pasture from early morning until late evening, and if one of them got away, he should not have his daughter. Hans was contented with this, and the next day went with his flock to the pasture, and took great care that none of them ran away.

Before many hours had passed came a servant from the palace, and told Hans that he must give her a hare instantly, for some visitors had come unexpectedly. Hans, however, was very well aware what that meant, and said he would not give her one. The king might set some hare soup before his guest next day. The maid, however, would not accept his refusal, and at last she began to argue with him. Then Hans said that if the king's daughter came herself, he would give her a fare. The maid told this in the palace, and the daughter did go herself.

In the meantime the little man came again to Hans, and asked him what he was doing there. He said he had to watch over a hundred hares and see that none of them ran away, and then he might marry the king's daughter and be king. Good, said the little man, there is a whistle for you, and if one of them runs away, just whistle with it, and then it will come back again. When the king's daughter came, Hans gave her a hare into her apron, but when she had gone about a hundred steps with it, he whistled, and the hare jumped out of the apron, and before she could turn round was back to the flock again. When the evening came the hare-herd whistled once more, and looked to see if all were there, and then drove them to the palace.

The king wondered how Hans had been able to take a hundred hares to graze without losing any of them, but he still would not give him his daughter yet, and said he must now bring him a feather from the griffin's tail. Hans set out at once, and walked straight forwards. In the evening he came to a castle, and there he asked for a night's lodging, for at that time there were no inns. The lord of the castle promised him that with much pleasure, and asked where he was going. Hans answered, to the griffin. Oh, to the griffin. They tell me he knows everything, and I have lost the key of an iron money-chest. So you might be so good as to ask him where it is. Yes, indeed, said Hans, I will do that.

Early the next morning he went onwards, and on his way arrived at another castle in which he again stayed the night. When the people who lived there learnt that he was going to the griffin, they said they had in the house a daughter who was ill, and that they had already tried every means to cure her, but none of them had done her any good, and he might be so kind as to ask the griffin what would make their daughter healthy again. Hans said he would willingly do that, and went onwards. Then he came to a lake, and instead of a ferry-boat, a tall, tall man was there who had to carry everybody across. The man asked Hans whither he was journeying. To the griffin, said Hans. Then when you get to him, said the man, just ask him why I am forced to carry everybody over the lake. Yes, indeed, most certainly I'll do that, said Hans. Then the man took him up on his shoulders, and carried him across.

At length Hans arrived at the griffin's house, but the wife only was at home, and not the griffin himself. Then the woman asked him what he wanted. Thereupon he told her everything - that he had to get a feather out of the griffin's tail, and that there was a castle where they had lost the key of their money-chest, and he was to ask the griffin where it was - that in another castle the daughter was ill, and he was to learn what would cure her - and then not far from thence there was a lake and a man beside it, who was forced to carry people across it, and he was very anxious to learn why the man was obliged to do it. Then said the woman, look here, my good friend, no Christian can speak to the griffin. He devours them all, but if you like you can lie down under his bed, and in the night, when he is quite fast asleep, you can reach out and pull a feather out of his tail, and as for those things which you are to learn, I will ask about them myself. Hans was quite satisfied with this, and got under the bed. In the evening, the griffin came home, and as soon as he entered the room, said, wife, I smell a Christian. Yes, said the woman, one was here to-day, but he went away again. And on that the griffin said no more. In the middle of the night when the griffin was snoring loudly, Hans reached out and plucked a feather from his tail. The griffin woke up instantly, and said, wife, I smell a Christian, and it seems to me that somebody was pulling at my tail. His wife said, you have certainly been dreaming, and I told you before that a Christian was here to-day, but that he went away again.

He told me all kinds of things - that in one castle they had lost the key of their money-chest, and could find it nowhere. Oh. The fools, said the griffin. The key lies in the wood-house under a log of wood behind the door. And then he said that in another castle the daughter was ill, and they knew no remedy that would cure her. Oh. The fools, said the griffin. Under the cellar-steps a toad has made its nest of her hair, and if she got her hair back she would be well. And then he also said that there was a place where there was a lake and a man beside it who was forced to carry everybody across. Oh, the fool, said the griffin. If he only put one man down in the middle, he would never have to carry another across.

Early the next morning the griffin got up and went out. Then Hans came forth from under the bed, and he had a beautiful feather, and had heard what the griffin had said about the key, and the daughter, and the man. The griffin's wife repeated it all once more to him that he might not forget it, and then he went home again. First he came to the man by the lake, who asked him what the griffin had said, but Hans replied that he must first carry him across, and then he would tell him. So the man carried him across, and when he was over Hans told him that all he had to do was to set one person down in the middle of the lake, and then he would never have to carry over any more.

The man was hugely delighted, and told Hans that out of gratitude he would take him once more across, and back again. But Hans said no, he would save him the trouble, he was quite satisfied already, and pursued his way. Then he came to the castle where the daughter was ill. He took her on his shoulders, for she could not walk, and carried her down the cellar-steps and pulled out the toad's nest from beneath the lowest step and gave it into her hand, and she sprang off his shoulder and up the steps before him, and was quite cured. Then were the father and mother beyond measure rejoiced, and they gave Hans gifts of gold and of silver, and whatsoever else he wished for, that they gave him. And when he got to the other castle he went at once into the wood-house, and found the key under the log of wood behind the door, and took it to the lord of the castle. He was not a little pleased, and gave Hans as a reward much of the gold that was in the chest, and all kinds of things besides, such as cows, and sheep, and goats.

When Hans arrived before the king, with all these things - with the money, and the gold, and the silver and the cows, sheep and goats, the king asked him how he had come by them. Then Hans told him that the griffin gave every one whatsoever he wanted. So the king thought he himself could make use of such things, and set out on his way to the griffin, but when he got to the lake, it happened that he was the very first who arrived there after Hans, and the man put him down in the middle of it and went away, and the king was drowned. Hans, however, married the daughter, and became king.

 

Strong Hans

There were once a man and a woman who had an only child, and lived quite alone in a solitary valley. It came to pass that the mother once went into the wood to gather branches of fir, and took with her little Hans, who was just two years old. As it was spring-time, and the child took pleasure in the many-colored flowers, she went still further onwards with him into the forest. Suddenly two robbers sprang out of the thicket, seized the mother and child, and carried them far away into the black forest, where no one ever came from one year's end to another.

The poor woman urgently begged the robbers to set her and her child free, but their hearts were made of stone, they would not listen to her prayers and entreaties, and drove her on farther by force. After they had worked their way through bushes and briars for about two miles, they came to a rock where there was a door, at which the robbers knocked and it opened at once. They had to go through a long dark passage, which burnt on the hearth. On the wall hung swords, sabres, and other deadly weapons which gleamed in the light, and in the midst stood a black table at which four other robbers were sitting gambling, and the captain sat at the head of it. As soon as he saw the woman he came and spoke to her, and told her to be at ease and have no fear, they would do nothing to hurt her, but she must look after the housekeeping, and if she kept everything in order, she should not fare ill with them. Thereupon they gave her something to eat, and showed her a bed where she might sleep with her child.

The woman stayed many years with the robbers, and Hans grew tall and strong. His mother told him stories, and taught him to read an old book of tales about knights which she found in the cave. When Hans was nine years old, he made himself a strong club out of a branch of fir, hid it behind the bed, and then went to his mother and said, dear mother, pray tell me who is my father. I must and will know. His mother was silent and would not tell him, that he might not become home-sick. Moreover she knew that the godless robbers would not let him go away, but it almost broke her heart that Hans should not go to his father.

In the night, when the robbers came home from their robbing expedition, Hans brought out his club, stood before the captain, and said, I now wish to know who my father is, and if you do not tell me at once I will strike you down. Then the captain laughed, and gave Hans such a box on the ear that he rolled under the table. Hans got up again, held his tongue, and thought, I will wait another year and then try again, perhaps I shall do better then. When the year was over, he brought out his club again, rubbed the dust off it, looked at it well, and said, it is a stout strong club. At night the robbers came home, drank one jug of wine after another, and their heads began to be heavy. Then Hans brought out his club, placed himself before the captain, and asked him who his father was. But the captain again gave him such a vigorous box on the ear that Hans rolled under the table. However, it was not long before he was up again, and so beat the captain and the robbers with his club, that they could no longer move either their arms or their legs.

His mother stood in a corner full of admiration for his bravery and strength. When Hans had done his work, he went to his mother, and said, now I have shown myself to be in earnest, but now I must also know who my father is. Dear Hans, answered the mother, come, we will go and seek him until we find him. She took from the captain the key to the entrance-door, and Hans fetched a great meal-sack and packed into it gold and silver, and whatsoever else he could find that was beautiful, until it was full, and then he took it on his back.

They left the cave, but how Hans did open his eyes when he came out of the darkness into daylight, and saw the green forest, and the flowers, and the birds, and the morning sun in the sky. He stood there and wondered at everything just as if he were not quite right in the head. His mother looked for the way home, and when they had walked for a couple of hours, they got safely into their lonely valley and to their little house. The father was sitting in the doorway. He wept for joy when he recognized his wife and heard that Hans was his son, for he had long regarded them both as dead.

But Hans, although he was not twelve years old, was a head taller than his father. They went into the little room together, but Hans had scarcely put his sack on the bench by the stove, than the whole house began to crack - the bench broke down and then the floor, and the heavy sack fell through into the cellar. God save us, cried the father, what's that. Now you have broken our little house to pieces. Don't let that turn your hair grey, dear father, answered Hans. There, in that sack, is more than is wanting for a new house. The father and Hans at once began to build a new house, to buy cattle and land, and to keep a farm. Hans ploughed the fields, and when he followed the plough and pushed it into the ground, the bullocks had scarcely any need to draw. The next spring, Hans said, keep all the money and have made for me a walking-stick that weighs a hundred-weight, that I may go a-traveling.

When the stick was ready, he left his father's house, went forth, and came to a deep, dark forest. There he heard something crunching and cracking, looked round, and saw a fir-tree which was wound round like a rope from the bottom to the top, and when he looked upwards he saw a great fellow who had laid hold of the tree and was twisting it like a willow-wand. Hullo, cried Hans, what are you doing up there. The fellow replied, I got some faggots together yesterday and am twisting a rope for them. That is what I like, thought Hans, he has some strength, and he called to him, leave that alone, and come with me. The fellow came down, and he was taller by a whole head than Hans, and Hans was not little. Your name is now Fir-Twister, said Hans to him.

Thereupon they went further and heard something knocking and hammering with such force that the ground shook at every stroke. Shortly afterwards they came to a mighty rock, before which a giant was standing and striking great pieces of it away with his fist. When Hans asked what he was doing, he answered, at night, when I want to sleep, bears, wolves, and other vermin of that kind come, which sniff and snuffle about me and won't let me rest, so I want to build myself a house and lay myself inside it, so that I may have some peace. Oh indeed, thought Hans, I can make use of this one also, and said to him, leave your house-building alone, and go with me. You shall be called Rock-Splitter.

The man consented, and they all three roamed through the forest, and wherever they went the wild beasts were terrified, and ran away from them. In the evening they came to an old deserted castle, went up into it, and laid themselves down in the hall to sleep. The next morning Hans went into the garden. It had run quite wild, and was full of thorns and brambles. And as he was thus walking round about, a wild boar rushed at him, he, however, gave it such a blow with his club that it fell directly. He took it on his shoulders and carried it in, and they put it on a spit, roasted it, and enjoyed themselves. Then they arranged that each day, in turn, two should go out hunting, and one should stay at home, and cook nine pounds of meat for each of them. Fir-Twister stayed at home the first, and Hans and Rock-Splitter went out hunting.

When Fir-Twister was busy cooking, a little shrivelled-up old mannikin came to him in the castle, and asked for some meat. Be off, you sneaking imp, he answered, you need no meat. But how astonished Fir-Twister was when the little insignificant dwarf sprang up at him, and belabored him so with his fists that he could not defend himself, but fell on the ground and gasped for breath. The dwarf did not go away until he had thoroughly vented his anger on him. When the two others came home from hunting, Fir-Twister said nothing to them of the old mannikin and of the blows which he himself had received, and thought, when they stay at home, they may just try their chance with the little scrubbing-brush, and the mere thought of that gave him pleasure already. The next day Rock-Splitter stayed at home, and he fared just as Fir-Twister had done, being very ill-treated by the dwarf because he was not willing to give him any meat.

When the others came home in the evening, Fir-Twister saw clearly what he had suffered, but both kept silence, and thought, Hans also must taste some of that soup. Hans, who had to stay at home the next day, did his work in the kitchen as it had to be done, and as he was standing skimming the pan, the dwarf came and without more ado demanded a piece of meat. Then Hans thought, he is a poor wretch, I will give him some of my share, that the others may not run short, and handed him a bit. When the dwarf had devoured it, he again asked for some meat, and good-natured Hans gave it to him, and told him it was a handsome piece, and that he was to be content with it. But the dwarf begged again for the third time. You are shameless, said Hans, and gave him none. Then the malicious dwarf wanted to spring on him and treat him as he had treated Fir-Twister and Rock-Splitter, but he had chosen the wrong man. Hans, without exerting himself much, gave him a couple of blows which made him jump down the castle steps.

Hans was about to run after him, but fell right over, flat on his face. When he rose up again, the dwarf had got the start of him. Hans hurried after him as far as the forest, and saw him slip into a hole in the rock. Hans now went home, but he had marked the spot. When the two others came back, they were surprised that Hans was so well. He told them what had happened, and then they no longer concealed how it had fared with them. Hans laughed and said, it served you quite right. Why were you so mean with your meat. It is a disgrace that you who are so big should have let yourselves be beaten by the dwarf. Thereupon they took a basket and a rope, and all three went to the hole in the rock into which the dwarf had slipped, and let Hans and his club down in the basket. When Hans had reached the bottom, he found a door, and when he opened it a maiden was sitting there who was lovely as any picture, nay, so beautiful that no words can express it, and by her side sat the dwarf and grinned at Hans like a sea-cat. She, however, was bound with chains, and looked so mournfully at him that Hans felt great pity for her, and thought to himself, you must deliver her out of the power of the wicked dwarf, and gave him such a blow with his club that he fell down dead.

Immediately the chains fell from the maiden, and Hans was enraptured with her beauty. She told him she was a king's daughter whom a savage count had stolen away from her home, and imprisoned there among the rocks, because she would have nothing to say to him. The count, however, had set the dwarf as a watchman, and he had made her suffer misery and vexation enough. And now Hans placed the maiden in the basket and had her drawn up.

The basket came down again, but Hans did not trust his two companions, and thought, they have already shown themselves to be false, and told me nothing about the dwarf. Who knows what design they may have against me. So he put his club in the basket, and it was lucky he did, for when the basket was half-way up, they let it fall again, and if Hans had really been sitting in it he would have been killed. But now he did not know how he was to work his way out of the depths, and when he turned it over and over in his mind he found no counsel. It is indeed sad, said he to himself, that I have to waste away down here, and as he was thus walking backwards and forwards, he once more came to the little chamber where the maiden had been sitting, and saw that the dwarf had a ring on his finger which shone and sparkled. Then he drew it off and put it on, and when he turned it round on his finger, he suddenly heard something rustle over his head.

He looked up and saw spirits of the air hovering above, who told him he was their master, and asked what his desire might be. Hans was at first struck dumb, but afterwards he said that they were to carry him up again. They obeyed instantly, and it was just as if he had flown up himself. But when he had arrived there, he found no one in sight. Fir-Twister and Rock-Splitter had hurried away, and had taken the beautiful maiden with them. But Hans turned the ring, and the spirits of the air came and told him that the two were on the sea.

Hans ran and ran without stopping, until he came to the sea-shore, and there far, far out on the water, he perceived a little boat in which his faithless comrades were sitting, and in fierce anger he leapt, without thinking what he was doing, club in hand into the water, and began to swim, but the club, which weighed a hundredweight, dragged him deep down until he was all but drowned. Then in the very nick of time he turned his ring, and immediately the spirits of the air came and bore him as swift as lightning into the boat. He swung his club and gave his wicked comrades the reward they merited and threw them into the water, and then he sailed with the beautiful maiden, who had been in the greatest alarm, and whom he delivered for the second time, home to her father and mother, and married her, and all rejoiced exceedingly.

 

The Hut in the Forest

A poor wood-cutter lived with his wife and three daughters in a little hut on the edge of a lonely forest. One morning as he was about to go to his work, he said to his wife, let our eldest daughter bring me my dinner into the forest, or I shall never get my work done, and in order that she may not miss her way, he added, I will take a bag of millet with me and strew the seeds on the path. When, therefore, the sun was just above the centre of the forest, the girl set out on her way with a bowl of soup, but the field-sparrows, and wood-sparrows, larks and finches, blackbirds and siskins had picked up the millet long before, and the girl could not find the track. Trusting to chance, she went on and on, until the sun sank and night began to fall. The trees rustled in the darkness, the owls hooted, and she began to be afraid. Then in the distance she perceived a light which glimmered between the trees. There ought to be some people living there, who can take me in for the night, thought she, and went up to the light. It was not long before she came to a house the windows of which were all lighted up. She knocked, and a rough voice from inside cried, come in. The girl stepped into the dark entrance, and knocked at the door of the room. Just come in, cried the voice, and when she opened the door, an old gray-haired man was sitting at the table, supporting his face with both hands, and his white beard fell down over the table almost as far as the ground. By the stove lay three animals, a hen, a cock, and a brindled cow. The girl told her story to the old man, and begged for shelter for the night. The man said, my pretty hen, my pretty cock, my pretty brindled cow, what are you saying now. Duks, answered the animals, and that must have meant, we are willing, for the old man said, here you shall have shelter and food, go to the fire, and cook us our supper. The girl found in the kitchen abundance of everything, and cooked a good supper, but had no thought of the animals. She carried the full bowl to the table, seated herself by the gray-haired man, ate and satisfied her hunger. When she had had enough, she said, but now I am tired, where is there a bed in which I can lie down, and sleep. The animals replied, thou hast eaten with him, thou hast drunk with him, thou hast had no thought for us, so find out for thyself where thou canst pass the night. Then said the old man, just go upstairs, and you will find a room with two beds, shake them up, and put white linen on them, and then I, too, will come and lie down to sleep. The girl went up, and when she had shaken the beds and put clean sheets on, she lay down in one of them without waiting any longer for the old man. After some time the gray-haired man came, held his candle over the girl and shook his head. When he saw that she had fallen into a sound sleep, he opened a trap-door, and let her down into the cellar. Late at night, the wood-cutter came home, and reproached his wife for leaving him to hunger all day. It is not my fault, she replied, the girl went out with your dinner, and must have lost herself, but surely she will come back to-morrow. The wood-cutter, however, arose before dawn to go into the forest, and requested that the second daughter should take him his dinner that day. I will take a bag with lentils, said he, the seeds are larger than millet, the girl will see them better, and can't lose her way. At dinner-time, therefore, the girl took out the food, but the lentils had disappeared. The birds of the forest had picked them up as they had done the day before, and had left none. The girl wandered about in the forest until night, and then she too reached the house of the old man, was told to go in, and begged for food and a bed. The man with the white beard again asked the animals, my pretty hen, my pretty cock, my pretty brindled cow, what are you saying now. The animals again replied 'duks, and everything happened just as it had happened the day before. The girl cooked a good meal, ate and drank with the old man, and did not concern herself about the animals, and when she inquired about her bed they answered, thou hast eaten with him, thou hast drunk with him, thou hast had no thought for us, so find out for thyself where thou canst pass the night. When she was asleep the old man came, looked at her, shook his head, and let her down into the cellar. On the third morning the wood-cutter said to his wife, send our youngest child out with my dinner to-day, she has always been good and obedient, and will stay in the right path, and not rove about like her sisters, the wild bumble-bees. The mother did not want to do it, and said, am I to lose my dearest child, as well. Have no fear, he replied, the girl will not go astray. She is too prudent and sensible. Besides I will take some peas with me, strew them about. They are still larger than lentils, and will show her the way. But when the girl went out with her basket on her arm, the wood-pigeons had already got all the peas in their crops, and she did not know which way she was to turn. She was full of sorrow and never ceased to think how hungry her father would be, and how her good mother would grieve, if she did not go home. At length when it grew dark, she saw the light and came to the house in the forest. She begged quite prettily to be allowed to spend the night there, and the man with the white beard again asked his animals, my pretty hen, my pretty cock, my pretty brindled cow, what are you saying now. Duks, said they. Then the girl went to the stove where the animals were lying, and petted the cock and hen, and stroked their smooth feathers with her hand, and caressed the brindled cow between her horns, and when, in obedience to the old man's orders, she had made ready some good soup, and the bowl was placed upon the table, she said, am I to eat as much as I want, and the good animals to have nothing. Outside is food in plenty, I will look after them first. So she went and brought some barley and stewed it for the cock and hen, and a whole armful of sweet-smelling hay for the cow. I hope you will like it, dear animals, said she, and you shall have a refreshing draught in case you are thirsty. Then she fetched a bucketful of water, and the cock and hen jumped on to the edge of it and dipped their beaks in, and then held up their heads as the birds do when they drink, and the brindled cow also took a hearty draught. When the animals were fed, the girl seated herself at the table by the old man, and ate what he had left. It was not long before the cock and the hen began to thrust their heads beneath their wings, and the eyes of the cow likewise began to blink. Then said the girl, ought we not to go to bed. My pretty hen, my pretty cock, my pretty brindled cow, what are you saying now. The animals answered, duks, thou hast eaten with us, thou hast drunk with us, thou hast had kind thought for all of us, we wish thee good-night. Then the maiden went upstairs, shook the feather-beds, and laid clean sheets on them, and when she had done it the old man came and lay down in one of the beds, and his white beard reached down to his feet. The girl lay down on the other, said her prayers, and fell asleep.

She slept quietly till midnight, and then there was such a noise in the house that she awoke. There was a sound of cracking and splitting in every corner, and the doors sprang open, and beat against the walls. The beams groaned as if they were being torn out of their joints, it seemed as if the staircase were falling down, and at length there was a crash as if the entire roof had fallen in. When, however, all grew quiet once more, and the girl was not hurt, she stayed quietly lying where she was, and fell asleep again. But when she woke up in the morning with the brilliancy of the sunshine, what did her eyes behold. She was lying in a vast hall, and everything around her shone with royal splendor. On the walls, golden flowers grew up on a ground of green silk, the bed was of ivory, and the canopy of red velvet, and on a chair close by, was a pair of slippers embroidered with pearls. The girl believed that she was in a dream, but three richly clad attendants came in, and asked what orders she would like to give. If you will go, she replied, I will get up at once and make ready some soup for the old man, and then I will feed the pretty hen, and the pretty cock, and the pretty brindled cow. She thought the old man was up already, and looked round at his bed. He, however, was not lying in it, but a stranger.

And while she was looking at him, and becoming aware that he was young and handsome, he awoke, sat up in bed, and said, I am a king's son, and was bewitched by a wicked witch, and made to live in this forest, as an old gray-haired man. No one was allowed to be with me but my three attendants in the form of a cock, a hen, and a brindled cow. The spell was not to be broken until a girl came to us whose heart was so good that she showed herself full of love, not only towards mankind, but towards animals - and that you have done, and by you at midnight we were set free, and the old hut in the forest was changed back again into my royal palace. And when they had arisen, the king's son ordered the three attendants to set out and fetch the father and mother of the girl to the marriage feast. But where are my two sisters, inquired the maiden. I have locked them in the cellar, and to-morrow they shall be led into the forest, and shall live as servants to a charcoal-burner, until they have grown kinder, and do not leave poor animals to suffer hunger.

 

The Goose-Girl at the Well

There was once upon a time a very old woman, who lived with her flock of geese in a remote clearing in the mountains, and there had a little house. The clearing was surrounded by a large forest, and every morning the old woman took her crutch and hobbled into it. There, however, she was quite active, more so than any one would have thought, considering her age, and collected grass for her geese, picked all the wild fruit she could reach, and carried everything home on her back. Anyone would have thought that the heavy load would have weighed her to the ground, but she always brought it safely home. If anyone met her, she greeted him quite courteously. Good day, dear countryman, it is a fine day. Ah, you wonder that I should drag grass about, but everyone must take his burden on his back. Nevertheless, people did not like to meet her if they could help it, and took by preference a round-about way, and when a father with his boys passed her, he whispered to them, beware of the old woman. She has claws beneath her gloves. She is a witch.

One morning, a handsome young man was going through the forest. The sun shone bright, the birds sang, a cool breeze crept through the leaves, and he was full of joy and gladness. He had as yet met no one, when he suddenly perceived the old witch kneeling on the ground cutting grass with a sickle. She had already thrust a whole load into her bundle, and near it stood two baskets, which were filled with wild apples and pears. But, good little mother, said he, how can you carry all that away. I must carry it, dear sir, answered she, rich folk's children have no need to do such things, but with the peasant folk the saying goes, don't look behind you, you will only see how crooked your back is. Will you help me, she said, as he remained standing by her. You have still a straight back and young legs, it would be a trifle to you. Besides, my house is not so very far from here, it stands there on the heath behind the hill. How soon you would bound up thither. The young man took compassion on the old woman. My father is certainly no peasant, replied he, but a rich count. Nevertheless, that you may see that it is not only peasants who can carry things, I will take your bundle. If you will try it, said she, I shall be very glad. You will certainly have to walk for an hour, but what will that matter to you, only you must carry the apples and pears as well. The young man felt somewhat uneasy when he heard of an hour's walk, but the old woman would not let him off, packed the bundle on his back, and hung the two baskets on his arm. See, it is quite light, said she. No, it is not light, answered the count, and pulled a rueful face. Verily, the bundle weighs as heavily as if it were full of cobblestones, and the apples and pears are as heavy as lead. I can scarcely breathe. He had a mind to put everything down again, but the old woman would not allow it. Just look, said she mockingly, the young gentleman will not carry what I, an old woman, have so often dragged along. You are ready with fine words, but when it comes to be earnest, you want to take to your heels. Why are you standing loitering there. She continued, step out. No one will take the bundle off again. As long as he walked on level ground, it was still bearable, but when they came to the hill and had to climb, and the stones rolled down under his feet as if they were alive, it was beyond his strength. Drops of sweat stood on his forehead, and ran, hot and cold, down his back. Mother, said he, I can go no farther. I want to rest a little. Not here, answered the old woman, when we have arrived at our journey's end, you can rest. But now you must go forward. Who knows what good it may do you. Old woman, you are becoming shameless, said the count, and tried to throw off the bundle, but he labored in vain. It stuck as fast to his back as if it grew there. He turned and twisted, but he could not get rid of it.

The old woman laughed at this, and sprang about quite delighted on her crutch. Don't get angry, dear sir, said she, you are growing as red in the face as a turkey-cock. Carry your bundle patiently. I will give you a good present when we get home. What could he do. He was obliged to submit to his fate, and crawl along patiently behind the old woman. She seemed to grow more and more nimble, and his burden still heavier. All at once she made a bound, jumped on to the bundle and seated herself on the top of it. And however withered she might be, she was yet heavier than the stoutest country lass. The youth's knees trembled, but when he did not go on, the old woman hit him about the legs with a switch and with stinging-nettles. Groaning continually, he climbed the mountain, and at length reached the old woman's house, when he was just about to drop. When the geese perceived the old woman, they flapped their wings, stretched out their necks, ran to meet her, cackling all the while.

Behind the flock walked, stick in hand, an old wench, strong and big, but ugly as night. Good mother, said she to the old woman, has anything happened to you, you have stayed away so long. By no means, my dear daughter, answered she, I have met with nothing bad, but, on the contrary, with this kind gentleman, who has carried my burden for me. Only think, he even took me on his back when I was tired. The way, too, has not seemed long to us. We have been merry, and have been cracking jokes with each other all the time.

At last the old woman slid down, took the bundle off the young man's back, and the baskets from his arm, looked at him quite kindly, and said, now seat yourself on the bench before the door, and rest. You have fairly earned your wages, and they shall not be wanting. Then she said to the goose-girl, go into the house, my dear daughter, it is not becoming for you to be alone with a young gentleman. One must not pour oil on to the fire, he might fall in love with you. The count knew not whether to laugh or to cry. Such a sweetheart as that, thought he, could not touch my heart, even if she were thirty years younger.

In the meantime the old woman stroked and fondled her geese as if they were children, and then went into the house with her daughter. The youth lay down on the bench, under a wild apple-tree. The air was warm and mild. On all sides stretched a green meadow, which was set with cowslips, wild thyme, and a thousand other flowers. Through the midst of it rippled a clear brook on which the sun sparkled, and the white geese went walking backwards and forwards, or paddled in the water. It is quite delightful here, said he, but I am so tired that I cannot keep my eyes open. I will sleep a little. If only a gust of wind does not come and blow my legs off my body, for they are as rotten as tinder. When he had slept a little while, the old woman came and shook him till he awoke. Sit up, said she, you can not stay here. I have certainly treated you ill enough, still it has not cost you your life. Of money and land you have no need, here is something else for you. Thereupon she thrust a little box into his hand, which was cut out of a single emerald. Take great care of it, said she, it will bring you good fortune. The count sprang up, and as he felt that he was quite fresh, and had recovered his vigor, he thanked the old woman for her present, and set off without even once looking back at the beautiful daughter.

When he was already some way off, he still heard in the distance the noisy cry of the geese. For three days the count had to wander in the wilderness before he could find his way out. He then reached a large town, and as no one knew him, he was led into the royal palace, where the king and queen were sitting on their throne. The count fell on one knee, drew the emerald box out of his pocket, and laid it at the queen's feet. She bade him rise and hand her the little box. Hardly, however, had she opened it, and looked therein, than she fell as if dead to the ground. The count was seized by the king's servants, and was being led to prison, when the queen opened her eyes, and ordered them to release him, and every one was to go out, as she wished to speak with him in private.

When the queen was alone, she began to weep bitterly, and said, of what use to me are the splendors and honors with which I am surrounded. Every morning I awake in pain and sorrow. I had three daughters, the youngest of whom was so beautiful that the whole world looked on her as a wonder. She was as white as snow, as rosy as apple-blossom, and her hair as radiant as sun-beams. When she cried, not tears fell from her eyes, but pearls and jewels only. When she was fifteen years old, the king summoned all three sisters to come before his throne. You should have seen how all the people gazed when the youngest entered, it was just as if the sun were rising. Then the king spoke, my daughters, I know not when my last day may arrive. I will to-day decide what each shall receive at my death. You all love me, but the one of you who loves me best, shall fare the best.

Each of them said she loved him best. Can you not express to me, said the king, how much you do love me, and thus I shall see what you mean. The eldest spoke, I love my father as dearly as the sweetest sugar. The second, I love my father as dearly as my prettiest dress. But the youngest was silent. Then the father said, and you, my dearest child, how much do you love me. I do not know, and can compare my love with nothing. But her father insisted that she should name something. So she said at last, the best food does not please me without salt, therefore I love my father like salt. When the king heard that, he fell into a passion, and said, if you love me like salt, your love shall also be repaid you with salt. Then he divided the kingdom between the two elder, but caused a sack of salt to be bound on the back of the youngest, and two servants had to lead her forth into the wild forest. We all begged and prayed for her, said the queen, but the king's anger was not to be appeased. How she cried when she had to leave us. The whole road was strewn with the pearls which flowed from her eyes. The king soon afterwards repented of his great severity, and had the whole forest searched for the poor child, but no one could find her.

When I think that the wild beasts have devoured her, I know not how to contain myself for sorrow. Many a time I console myself with the hope that she is still alive, and may have hidden herself in a cave, or has found shelter with compassionate people. But picture to yourself, when I opened your little emerald box, a pearl lay therein, of exactly the same kind as those which used to fall from my daughter's eyes. And then you can also imagine how the sight of it stirred my heart. You must tell me how you came by that pearl. The count told her that he had received it from the old woman in the forest, who had appeared very strange to him, and must be a witch, but he had neither seen nor heard anything of the queen's child. The king and the queen resolved to seek out the old woman. They thought that there where the pearl had been, they would obtain news of their daughter.

The old woman was sitting in that lonely place at her spinning-wheel spinning. It was already dusk, and a log which was burning on the hearth gave a scanty light. All at once there was a noise outside, the geese were coming home from the pasture, and uttering their hoarse cries. Soon afterwards the daughter also entered. But the old woman scarcely thanked her, and only shook her head a little. The daughter sat down beside her, took her spinning-wheel, and twisted the threads as nimbly as a young girl. Thus they both sat for two hours, and exchanged never a word. At last something rustled at the window and two fiery eyes peered in. It was an old night-owl, which cried 'uhu, three times.

The old woman looked up just a little, then she said, now, my little daughter, it is time for you to go out and do your work. She rose and went out, and where did she go. Over the meadows ever onward into the valley. At last she came to a well, with three old oak-trees standing beside it. Meanwhile the moon had risen large and round over the mountain, and it was so light that one could have found a needle. She removed a skin which covered her face, then bent down to the well, and began to wash herself. When she had finished, she dipped the skin also in the water, and then laid it on the meadow, so that it should bleach in the moonlight, and dry again. But how the maiden was changed. Such a change as that was never seen before. When the gray mask fell off, her golden hair broke forth like sun-beams, and spread about like a mantle over her whole form. Her eyes shone out as brightly as the stars in heaven, and her cheeks bloomed a soft red like apple-blossom. But the fair maiden was sad. She sat down and wept bitterly. One tear after another forced itself out of her eyes, and rolled through her long hair to the ground.

There she sat, and would have remained sitting a long time, if there had not been a rustling and cracking in the boughs of the neighboring tree. She sprang up like a roe which has been overtaken by the shot of the hunter. Just then the moon was obscured by a dark cloud, and in an instant the maiden had put on the old skin and vanished, like a light blown out by the wind. She ran back home, trembling like an aspen-leaf. The old woman was standing on the threshold, and the girl was about to relate what had befallen her, but the old woman laughed kindly, and said, I already know all. She led her into the room and lighted a new log. She did not, however, sit down to her spinning again, but fetched a broom and began to sweep and scour. All must be clean and sweet, she said to the girl. But, mother, said the maiden, why do you begin work at so late an hour. What do you expect. Do you know then what time it is, asked the old woman. Not yet midnight, answered the maiden, but already past eleven o'clock. Do you not remember, continued the old woman, that it is three years to-day since you came to me. Your time is up, we can no longer remain together.

The girl was terrified, and said, alas, dear mother, will you cast me off. Where shall I go. I have no friends, and no home to which I can go. I have always done as you bade me, and you have always been satisfied with me. Do not send me away. The old woman would not tell the maiden what lay before her. My stay here is over, she said to her, but when I depart, house and parlor must be clean. Therefore do not hinder me in my work. Have no care for yourself, you shall find a roof to shelter you, and the wages which I will give you shall also content you. But tell me what is about to happen, the maiden continued to entreat. I tell you again, do not hinder me in my work. Do not say a word more, go to your chamber, take the skin off your face, and put on the silken gown which you had on when you came to me, and then wait in your chamber until I call you. But I must once more tell of the king and queen, who had journeyed forth with the count in order to seek out the old woman in the wilderness.

The count had strayed away from them in the wood by night, and had to walk onwards alone. Next day it seemed to him that he was on the right track. He still went forward, until darkness came on, then he climbed a tree, intending to pass the night there, for he feared that he might lose his way. When the moon illumined the surrounding country he perceived a figure coming down the mountain. She had no stick in her hand, but yet he could see that it was the goose-girl, whom he had seen before in the house of the old woman. Oho, cried he, there she comes, and if I once get hold of one of the witches, the other shall not escape me. But how astonished he was, when she went to the well, took off the skin and washed herself, when her golden hair fell down all about her, and she was more beautiful than anyone whom he had ever seen in the whole world. He hardly dared to breathe, but stretched his head as far forward through the leaves as he could, and stared at her. Either he bent over too far, or whatever the cause might be, the bough suddenly cracked, and that very moment the maiden slipped into the skin, sprang away like a roe, and as the moon was suddenly covered, disappeared from his sight.

Hardly had she disappeared, before the count descended from the tree, and hastened after her with nimble steps. He had not been gone long before he saw, in the twilight, two figures coming over the meadow. It was the king and queen, who had perceived from a distance the light shining in the old woman's little house, and were going to it. The count told them what wonderful things he had seen by the well, and they did not doubt that it had been their lost daughter. They walked onwards full of joy, and soon came to the little house. The geese were sitting all round it, and had thrust their heads under their wings and were sleeping, and not one of them moved. The king and queen looked in at the window, where the old woman was sitting quite quietly spinning, nodding her head and never looking round. The room was perfectly clean, as if the little mist men, who carry no dust on their feet, lived there. Their daughter, however, they did not see. They gazed at all this for a long time, until at last they took heart, and knocked softly at the window. The old woman appeared to have been expecting them. She rose, and called out quite kindly, come in. I know you already.

When they had entered the room, the old woman said, you might have spared yourself the long walk, if you had not three years ago unjustly driven away your child, who is so good and lovable. No harm has come to her. For three years she has had to tend the geese. With them she has learnt no evil, but has preserved her purity of heart. You, however, have been sufficiently punished by the misery in which you have lived. Then she went to the chamber and called, come out, my little daughter. Thereupon the door opened, and the princess stepped out in her silken garments, with her golden hair and her shining eyes, and it was as if an angel from heaven had entered. She went up to her father and mother, fell on their necks and kissed them. There was no help for it, they all had to weep for joy. The young count stood near them, and when she perceived him she became as red in the face as a moss-rose, she herself did not know why. The king said, my dear child, I have given away my kingdom, what shall I give you. She needs nothing, said the old woman. I give her the tears that she has wept on your account. They are precious pearls, finer than those that are found in the sea, and worth more than your whole kingdom, and I give her my little house as payment for her services.

When the old woman had said that, she disappeared from their sight. The walls rattled a little, and when the king and queen looked round, the little house had changed into a splendid palace, a royal table had been spread, and the servants were running hither and thither. The story goes still further, but my grandmother, who related it to me, had partly lost her memory, and had forgotten the rest. I shall always believe that the beautiful princess married the count, and that they remained together in the palace, and lived there in all happiness so long as God willed it. Whether the snow-white geese, which were kept near the little hut, were verily young maidens no one need take offence, whom the old woman had taken under her protection, and whether they now received their human form again, and stayed as handmaids to the young queen, I do not exactly know, but I suspect it. This much is certain, that the old woman was no witch, as people thought, but a wise woman, who meant well. Very likely it was she who, at the princess's birth, gave her the gift of weeping pearls instead of tears. That does not happen nowadays, or else the poor would soon become rich.

 

The Nix of the Mill-Pond

There was once upon a time a miller who lived with his wife in great contentment. They had money and land, and their prosperity increased year by year more and more. But ill luck comes like a thief in the night. As their wealth had increased so did it again decrease, year by year, and at last the miller could hardly call the mill in which he lived, his own. He was in great distress, and when he lay down after his day's work, found no rest, but tossed about in his bed, sorely troubled.

One morning he rose before daybreak and went out into the open air, thinking that perhaps there his heart might become lighter. As he was stepping over the mill-dam the first sunbeam was just breaking forth, and he heard a rippling sound in the pond. He turned round and perceived a beautiful woman, rising slowly out of the water. Her long hair, which she was holding off her shoulders with her soft hands, fell down on both sides, and covered her white body. He soon saw that she was the nixie of the mill-pond, and in his fright did not know whether he should run away or stay where he was. But the nixie made her sweet voice heard, called him by his name, and asked him why he was so sad. The miller was at first struck dumb, but when he heard her speak so kindly, he took heart, and told her how he had formerly lived in wealth and happiness, but that now he was so poor that he did not know what to do. Be easy, answered the nixie, I will make you richer and happier than you have ever been before, only you must promise to give me the young thing which has just been born in your house. What else can that be, thought the miller, but a puppy or a kitten, and he promised her what she desired.

The nixie descended into the water again, and he hurried back to his mill, consoled and in good spirits. He had not yet reached it, when the maid-servant came out of the house and cried to him to rejoice, for his wife had given birth to a little boy. The miller stood as if struck by lightning. He saw very well that the cunning nixie had been aware of it, and had cheated him. Hanging his head, he went up to his wife's bedside and when she said, why do you not rejoice over the fine boy, he told her what had befallen him, and what kind of a promise he had given to the nixie. Of what use to me are riches and prosperity, he added, if I am to lose my child. But what can I do. Even the relatives, who had come thither to wish them joy, did not know what to say.

In the meantime prosperity again returned to the miller's house. All that he undertook succeeded. It was as if presses and coffers filled themselves of their own accord, and as if money multiplied nightly in the cupboards. It was not long before his wealth was greater than it had ever been before. But he could not rejoice over it untroubled, for the bargain which he had made with the nixie tormented his soul. Whenever he passed the mill-pond, he feared she might ascend and remind him of his debt. He never let the boy himself go near the water. Beware, he said to him, if you do but touch the water, a hand will rise, seize you, and draw you down. But as year after year went by and the nixie did not show herself again, the miller began to feel at ease. The boy grew up to be a youth and was apprenticed to a huntsman. When he had learnt everything, and had become an excellent huntsman, the lord of the village took him into his service. In the village lived a beautiful and true-hearted maiden, who pleased the huntsman, and when his master perceived that, he gave him a little house, the two were married, lived peacefully and happily, and loved each other with all their hearts.

One day the huntsman was chasing a roe. And when the animal turned aside from the forest into the open country, he pursued it and at last shot it. He did not notice that he was now in the neighborhood of the dangerous mill-pond, and went, after he had disembowelled the roe, to the water, in order to wash his blood-stained hands. Scarcely, however, had he dipped them in than the nixie ascended, smilingly wound her dripping arms around him, and drew him quickly down under the waves, which closed over him. When it was evening, and the huntsman did not return home, his wife became alarmed. She went out to seek him, and as he had often told her that he had to be on his guard against the snares of the nixie, and dared not venture into the neighborhood of the mill-pond, she already suspected what had happened.

She hastened to the water, and when she found his hunting-pouch lying on the shore, she could no longer have any doubt of the misfortune. Lamenting her sorrow, and wringing her hands, she called on her beloved by name, but in vain. She hurried across to the other side of the pond, and called him anew. She reviled the nixie with harsh words, but no answer greeted her. The surface of the water remained calm, only the crescent moon stared steadily back at her. The poor woman did not leave the pond. With hasty steps, she paced round and round it, without resting a moment, sometimes in silence, sometimes uttering a loud cry, sometimes sobbing softly. At last her strength came to an end, she sank down to the ground and fell into a heavy sleep. Presently a dream took possession of her.

She was anxiously climbing upwards between great masses of rock. Thorns and briars caught her feet, the rain beat in her face, and the wind tossed her long hair about. When she had reached the summit, quite a different sight presented itself to her. The sky was blue, the air soft, the ground sloped gently downwards, and on a green meadow, gay with flowers of every color, stood a pretty cottage. She went up to it and opened the door. There sat an old woman with white hair, who beckoned to her kindly. At that very moment, the poor woman awoke, day had already dawned, and she at once resolved to act in accordance with her dream. She laboriously climbed the mountain. Everything was exactly as she had seen it in the night. The old woman received her kindly, and pointed out a chair on which she might sit. You must have met with a misfortune, she said, since you have sought out my lonely cottage. With tears, the woman related what had befallen her. Be comforted, said the old woman, I will help you. Here is a golden comb for you. Tarry till the full moon has risen, then go to the mill-pond, seat yourself on the shore, and comb your long black hair with this comb. When you have done, lay it down on the bank, and you will see what will happen.

The woman returned home, but the time till the full moon came, passed slowly. When at last the shining disc appeared in the heavens, she went out to the mill-pond, sat down and combed her long black hair with the golden comb, and when she had finished, she laid it down at the water's edge. It was not long before there was a movement in the depths, a wave rose, rolled to the shore, and bore the comb away with it. In not more than the time necessary for the comb to sink to the bottom, the surface of the water parted, and the head of the huntsman arose. He did not speak, but looked at his wife with sorrowful glances. At the same instant, a second wave came rushing up, and covered the man's head. All had vanished, the mill-pond lay peaceful as before, and nothing but the face of the full moon shone on it. Full of sorrow, the woman went back, but again the dream showed her the cottage of the old woman.

Next morning she again set out and complained of her woes to the wise woman. The old woman gave her a golden flute, and said, tarry till the full moon comes again, then take this flute. Play a beautiful air on it, and when you have finished, lay it on the sand. Then you will see what will happen. The wife did as the old woman told her. No sooner was the flute lying on the sand than there was a stirring in the depths, and a wave rushed up and bore the flute away with it. Immediately afterwards the water parted, and not only the head of the man, but half of his body also arose. He stretched out his arms longingly towards her, but a second wave came up, covered him, and drew him down again. Alas, what does it help me, said the unhappy woman, that I should see my beloved, only to lose him again. Despair filled her heart anew, but the dream led her a third time to the house of the old woman. She set out, and the wise woman gave her a golden spinning-wheel, consoled her and said, all is not yet fulfilled, tarry until the time of the full moon, then take the spinning-wheel, seat yourself on the shore, and spin the spool full, and when you have done that, place the spinning-wheel near the water, and you will see what will happen. The woman obeyed all she said exactly.

As soon as the full moon showed itself, she carried the golden spinning-wheel to the shore, and span industriously until the flax came to an end, and the spool was quite filled with the threads. No sooner was the wheel standing on the shore than there was a more violent movement than before in the depths of the pond, and a mighty wave rushed up, and bore the wheel away with it. Immediately the head and the whole body of the man rose into the air, in a water-spout. He quickly sprang to the shore, caught his wife by the hand and fled. But they had scarcely gone a very little distance, when the whole pond rose with a frightful roar, and streamed out over the open country. The fugitives already saw death before their eyes, when the woman in her terror implored the help of the old woman, and in an instant they were transformed, she into a toad, he into a frog. The flood which had overtaken them could not destroy them, but it tore them apart and carried them far away. When the water had dispersed and they both touched dry land again, they regained their human form, but neither knew where the other was. They found themselves among strange people, who did not know their native land. High mountains and deep valleys lay between them. In order to keep themselves alive, they were both obliged to tend sheep.

For many long years they drove their flocks through field and forest and were full of sorrow and longing. When spring had once more broken forth on the earth, they both went out one day with their flocks, and as chance would have it, they drew near each other. They met in a valley, but did not recognize each other. Yet they rejoiced that they were no longer so lonely. Henceforth they each day drove their flocks to the same place. They did not speak much, but they felt comforted. One evening when the full moon was shining in the sky, and the sheep were already at rest, the shepherd pulled the flute out of his pocket, and played on it a beautiful but sorrowful air. When he had finished he saw that the shepherdess was weeping bitterly. Why are you weeping, he asked. Alas, answered she, thus shone the full moon when I played this air on the flute for the last time, and the head of my beloved rose out of the water. He looked at her, and it seemed as if a veil fell from his eyes, and he recognized his dear wife, and when she looked at him, and the moon shone in his face she knew him also. They embraced and kissed each other, and no one need ask if they were happy.

 

The True Sweetheart

There was once upon a time a girl who was young and beautiful, but she had lost her mother when she was quite a child, and her step-mother did all she could to make the girl's life wretched. Whenever this woman gave her anything to do, she worked at it indefatigably, and did everything that lay in her power. Still she could not touch the heart of the wicked woman, she was never satisfied, it was never enough. The harder the girl worked, the more work was put upon her, and all that the woman thought of was how to weigh her down with still heavier burdens, and make her life still more miserable. One day she said to her, here are twelve pounds of feathers which you must pick, and if they are not done this evening, you may expect a good beating. Do you imagine you are to idle away the whole day. The poor girl sat down to the work, but tears ran down her cheeks as she did so, for she saw plainly enough that it was quite impossible to finish the work in one day. Whenever she had a little heap of feathers lying before her, and she sighed or smote her hands together in her anguish, they flew away, and she had to pick them up again, and begin her work anew. Then she put her elbows on the table, laid her face in her two hands, and cried, is there no one, then, on God's earth to have pity on me. Then she heard a low voice which said, be comforted, my child, I have come to help you. The maiden looked up, and an old woman was by her side. She took the girl kindly by the hand, and said, only tell me what is troubling you. As she spoke so kindly, the girl told her of her miserable life, and how one burden after another was laid upon her, and she never could get to the end of the work which was given to her. If I have not done these feathers by this evening, my step-mother will beat me, she has threatened she will, and I know she keeps her word. Her tears began to flow again, but the good old woman said, do not be afraid, my child, rest a while, and in the meantime I will look to your work. The girl lay down on her bed, and soon fell asleep. The old woman seated herself at the table with the feathers, and how they did fly off the quills, which she scarcely touched with her withered hands. The twelve pounds were soon finished, and when the girl awoke, great snow-white heaps were lying, piled up, and everything in the room was neatly cleared away, but the old woman had vanished. The maiden thanked God, and sat still till evening came, when the step-mother came in and marveled to see the work completed. Just look, you awkward creature, said she, what can be done when people are industrious, and why could you not set about something else. There you sit with your hands crossed. When she went out she said, the creature is worth more than her salt. I must give her some work that is still harder. Next morning she called the girl, and said there is a spoon for you. With that you must empty out the great pond which is beside the garden, and if it is not done by night, you know what will happen. The girl took the spoon, and saw that it was full of holes, but even if it had not been, she never could have emptied the pond with it. She set to work at once, knelt down by the water, into which her tears were falling, and began to empty it. But the good old woman appeared again, and when she learnt the cause of her grief, she said, be of good cheer, my child. Go into the thicket and lie down and sleep, I will soon do your work. As soon as the old woman was alone, she barely touched the pond, and a vapor rose up on high from the water, and mingled itself with the clouds. Gradually the pond was emptied, and when the maiden awoke before sunset and came thither, she saw nothing but the fishes which were struggling in the mud. She went to her step-mother, and showed her that the work was done. It ought to have been done long before this, said she, and grew white with anger, but she meditated something new. On the third morning she said to the girl, you must build me a castle on the plain there, and it must be ready by the evening. The maiden was dismayed, and said, how can I complete such a great work. I will endure no opposition, screamed the step-mother. If you can empty a pond with a spoon that is full of holes, you can build a castle too. I will take possession of it this very day, and if anything is wanting, even if it be the most trifling thing in the kitchen or cellar, you know what lies before you. She drove the girl out, and when she entered the valley, the rocks were there, piled up one above the other, and all her strength would not have enabled her even to move the very smallest of them. She sat down and wept, and still she hoped the old woman would help her. The old woman was not long in coming, she comforted her and said, lie down there in the shade and sleep, and I will soon build the castle for you. If it would be a pleasure to you, you can live in it yourself. When the maiden had gone away, the old woman touched the gray rocks. They began to rise, moved together and stood there as if giants had built the walls, and on these the building arose and it seemed as if countless hands were working invisibly, and placing one stone upon another. There was a dull heavy noise from the ground, pillars arose of their own accord on high, and placed themselves in order near each other. The tiles laid themselves in order on the roof, and when noon-day came, the great weather-cock was already turning itself on the summit of the tower, like a golden maid with fluttering garments. The inside of the castle was being finished while evening was drawing near. How the old woman managed it, I know not, but the walls of the rooms were hung with silk and velvet, embroidered chairs were there, and richly ornamented arm-chairs by marble tables, crystal chandeliers hung down from the ceilings, and mirrored themselves in the smooth floor, green parrots were there in gilt cages, and so were strange birds which sang most beautifully, and there was on all sides as much magnificence as if a king were going to live there. The sun was just setting when the girl awoke, and the brightness of a thousand lights flashed in her face. She hurried to the castle, and entered by the open door. The steps were spread with red cloth, and the golden balustrade beset with flowering trees. When she saw the splendor of the rooms, she stood as if turned to stone. Who knows how long she might have stood there if she had not remembered the step-mother. Alas, she said to herself, if she could but be satisfied at last, and would give up making my life a misery to me. The girl went and told her that the castle was ready. I will move into it at once, said she, and rose from her seat. When they entered the castle, she was forced to hold her hand before her eyes, the brilliancy of everything was so dazzling. You see, said she to the girl, how easy it has been for you to do this, I ought to have given you something harder. She went through all the rooms, and examined every corner to see if anything was wanting or defective, but she could discover nothing. Now we will go down below, said she, looking at the girl with malicious eyes. The kitchen and the cellar still have to be examined and if you have forgotten anything you shall not escape your punishment. But the fire was burning on the hearth, and the meat was cooking in the pans, the tongs and shovel were leaning against the wall, and the shining brazen utensils all arranged in sight. Nothing was missing, not even a coal-box and a water-pail. Which is the way to the cellar, she cried. If that is not abundantly filled with wine casks it shall go ill with you. She herself raised up the trap-door and descended, but she had hardly made two steps before the heavy trap-door which was only laid back, fell down. The girl heard a scream, lifted up the door very quickly to go to her aid, but she had fallen down, and the girl found her lying lifeless at the bottom. And now the magnificent castle belonged to the girl alone. She at first did not know how to reconcile herself to her good fortune. Beautiful dresses were hanging in the wardrobes, the chests were filled with gold and silver, or with pearls and jewels, and she never felt a desire that she was not able to gratify. And soon the fame of the beauty and riches of the maiden went over all the world. Wooers presented themselves daily but none pleased her. At length the son of the king came and he knew how to touch her heart, and she betrothed herself to him. In the garden of the castle was a lime-tree, under which they were one day sitting together, when he said to her, I will go home and obtain my father's consent to our marriage. I entreat you to wait for me under this lime-tree, I shall be back with you in a few hours. The maiden kissed him on his left cheek, and said, keep true to me, and never let any one else kiss you on this cheek. I will wait here under the lime-tree until you return. The maid stayed beneath the lime-tree until sunset, but he did not return. She sat three days from morning till evening, waiting for him, but in vain. As he still was not there by the fourth day, she said, some accident has assuredly befallen him. I will go out and seek him, and will not come back until I have found him. She packed up three of her most beautiful dresses, one embroidered with bright stars, the second with silver moons, the third with golden suns, tied up a handful of jewels in her handkerchief, and set out. She inquired everywhere for her betrothed, but no one had seen him, no one knew anything about him. Far and wide did she wander through the world, but she found him not. At last she hired herself to a farmer as a cowherd, and buried her dresses and jewels beneath a stone. And now she lived as a herdswoman, guarded her herd, and was very sad and full of longing for her beloved. She had a little calf which she taught to know her, and fed it out of her own hand, and when she said, little calf, little calf, kneel by my side, and do not forget your cowherd-maid, as the prince forgot his betrothed bride, who waited for him 'neath the lime-tree's shade. The little calf knelt down, and she stroked it. And when she had lived for a couple of years alone and full of grief, a report was spread over all the land that the king's daughter was about to celebrate her marriage. The road to the town passed through the village where the maiden was living, and it came to pass that once when the maiden was driving out her herd, the bridegroom traveled by. He was sitting proudly on his horse, and never looked round, but when she saw him she recognized her beloved, and it was just as if a sharp knife had pierced her heart. Alas, said she, I believed him true to me, but he has forgotten me. Next day he again came along the road. When he was near her she said to the little calf, little calf, little calf, kneel by my side, and do not forget your cowherd-maid, as the prince forgot his betrothed bride, who waited for him 'neath the lime-tree's shade. When he was aware of the voice, he looked down and reined in his horse. He looked into the girl's face and then put his hands before his eyes as if he were trying to remember something, but he soon rode onwards and was out of sight. Alas, said she, he no longer knows me. And her grief was ever greater. Soon after this a great festival three days long was to be held at the king's court, and the whole country was invited to it. Now will I try my last chance, thought the maiden, and when evening came she went to the stone under which she had buried her treasures. She took out the dress with the golden suns, put it on, and adorned herself with the jewels. She let down her hair, which she had concealed under a handkerchief, and it fell down in long curls about her, and thus she went into the town, and in the darkness was observed by no one. When she entered the brightly lighted hall, every one started back in amazement, but no one knew who she was. The king's son went to meet her, but he did not recognize her. He led her out to dance, and was so enchanted with her beauty, that he thought no more of the other bride. When the feast was over, she vanished in the crowd, and hastened before daybreak to the village, where she once more put on her herd's dress. Next evening she took out the dress with the silver moons, and put a half-moon made of precious stones in her hair. When she appeared at the festival, all eyes were turned upon her, but the king's son hastened to meet her, and filled with love for her, danced with her alone, and no longer so much as glanced at anyone else. Before she went away she was forced to promise him to come again to the festival on the last evening. When she appeared for the third time, she wore the star-dress which sparkled at every step she took, and her hair-ribbon and girdle were starred with jewels. The prince had already been waiting for her for a long time, and forced his way up to her. Do but tell who you are, said he, I feel just as if I had already known you a long time. Do you not know what I did when you left me. Then she stepped up to him, and kissed him on his left cheek, and in a moment it was as if scales fell from his eyes, and he recognized the true bride. Come, said he to her, here I stay no longer, gave her his hamd, and led her down to the carriage. The horses hurried away to the magic castle as if the wind had been harnessed to the carriage. The illuminated windows already shone in the distance. When they drove past the lime-tree, countless glow-worms were swarming about it. It shook its branches, and sent forth their fragrance. On the steps flowers were blooming, and the room echoed with the song of strange birds, but in the hall the entire court was assembled, and the priest was waiting to marry the bridegroom and the true bride.

 

The Master-Thief

One day an old man and his wife were sitting in front of a miserable house resting a while from their work. Suddenly a splendid carriage with four black horses came driving up, and a richly-dressed man descended from it. The peasant stood up, went to the great man, and asked what he wanted, and in what way he could serve him. The stranger stretched out his hand to the old man, and said, I want nothing but to enjoy for once a country dish, cook me some potatoes, in the way you always have them, and then I will sit down at your table and eat them with pleasure. The peasant smiled and said, you are a count or a prince, or perhaps even a duke, noble gentlemen often have such fancies, but you shall have your wish. The wife then went into the kitchen and began to wash and rub the potatoes, and to make them into balls, as they are eaten by the country-folks. Whilst she was busy with this work, the peasant said to the stranger, come into my garden with me for a while, I have still something to do there. He had dug some holes in the garden, and now wanted to plant trees in them. Have you no children, asked the stranger, who could help you with your work. No, answered the peasant, I had a son, it is true, but it is long since he went out into the world. He was a ne'er-do-well, clever and knowing, but he would learn nothing and was full of bad tricks. At last he ran away from me, and since then I have heard nothing of him. The old man took a young tree, put it in a hole, drove in a post beside it, and when he had shovelled in some earth and had trampled it firmly down, he tied the stem of the tree above, below, and in the middle, fast to the post by a rope of straw. But tell me, said the stranger, why you don't tie that crooked knotted tree, which is lying in the corner there, bent down almost to the ground, to a post also that it may grow straight, as well as these. The old man smiled and said, sir, you speak according to your knowledge, it is easy to see that you are not familiar with gardening. That tree there is old, and mis-shapen, no one can make it straight now. Trees must be trained while they are young. That is how it was with your son, said the stranger, if you had trained him while he was still young, he would not have run away. Now he too must have grown hard and mis-shapen. Truly it is a long time since he went away, replied the old man, he must have changed. Would you know him again if he were to come to you, asked the stranger. Hardly by his face, replied the peasant, but he has a mark about him, a birth-mark on his shoulder, that looks like a bean. When he had said that the stranger pulled off his coat, bared his shoulder, and showed the peasant the bean. Good God, cried the old man, you are really my son, and love for his child stirred in his heart. But, he added, how can you be my son, you have become a great lord and live in wealth and luxury. How have you contrived to do that. Ah, father, answered the son, the young tree was bound to no post and has grown crooked. Now it is too old, it will never be straight again. How have I come by all this. I have become a thief, but do not be alarmed, I am a master-thief. For me there are neither locks nor bolts, whatsoever I desire is mine. Do not imagine that I steal like a common thief, I only take some of the superfluity of the rich. Poor people are safe, I would rather give to them than take anything from them. It is the same with anything which I can have without trouble, cunning, and dexterity - I never touch it. Alas, my son, said the father, it still does not please me, a thief is still a thief, I tell you it will end badly. He took him to his mother, and when she heard that was her son, she wept for joy, but when he told her that he had become a master-thief, two streams flowed down over her face. At length she said, even if he has become a thief, he is still my son, and my eyes have beheld him once more. They sat down to table, and once again he ate with his parents the wretched food which he had not eaten for so long. The father said, if our lord, the count up there in the castle, learns who you are, and what trade you follow, he will not take you in his arms and cradle you in them as he did when he held you at the font, but will cause you to swing from a halter. Be easy, father, he will do me no harm, for I understand my trade. I will go to him myself this very day. When evening drew near, the master-thief seated himself in his carriage, and drove to the castle. The count received him civilly, for he took him for a distinguished man. When, however, the stranger made himself known, the count turned pale and was quite silent for some time. At length he said, you are my godson, and on that account mercy shall take the place of justice, and I will deal leniently with you. Since you pride yourself on being a master-thief, I will put your art to the proof, but if you do not stand the test, you must marry the rope-maker's daughter, and the croaking of the raven must be your music on the occasion. Lord count, answered the master-thief, think of three things, as difficult as you like, and if I do not perform your tasks, do with me what you will. The count reflected for some minutes, and then said, well, then, in the first place, you shall steal the horse I keep for my own riding, out of the stable. In the next, you shall steal the sheet from beneath the bodies of my wife and myself when we are asleep, without our observing it, and the wedding-ring of my wife as well. Thirdly and lastly, you shall steal away out of the church, the parson and clerk. Mark what I am saying, for your life depends on it. The master-thief went to the nearest town, there he bought the clothes of an old peasant woman, and put them on. Then he stained his face brown, and painted wrinkles on it as well, so that no one could have recognized him. Then he filled a small cask with old hungary wine in which was mixed a powerful sleeping-drink. He put the cask in a basket, which he took on his back, and walked with slow and tottering steps to the count's castle. It was already dark when he arrived. He sat down on a stone in the court-yard and began to cough, like an asthmatic old woman, and to rub his hands as if he were cold. In front of the door of the stable some soldiers were lying round a fire, one of them observed the woman, and called out to her, come nearer, old mother, and warm yourself beside us. After all, you have no bed for the night, and must take one where you can find it. The old woman tottered up to them, begged them to lift the basket from her back, and sat down beside them at the fire. What have you got in your little cask, old hag, asked one. A good mouthful of wine, she answered. I live by trade, for money and fair words I am quite ready to let you have a glass. Let us have it here, then, said the soldier, and when he had tasted one glass he said, when wine is good, I like another glass, and had another poured out for himself, and the rest followed his example. Hallo, comrades, cried one of them to those who were in the stable, here is an old girl who has wine that is as old as herself, take a draught, it will warm your stomachs far better than our fire. The old woman carried her cask into the stable. One of the soldiers had seated himself on the saddled riding-horse, another held its bridle in his hand, a third had laid hold of its tail. She poured out as much as they wanted until the spring ran dry. It was not long before the bridle fell from the hand of the one, and he fell down and began to snore, the other left hold of the tail, lay down and snored still louder. The one who was sitting in the saddle, did remain sitting, but bent his head down almost to the horse's neck, and slept and blew with his mouth like the bellows of a forge. The soldiers outside had already been asleep for a long time, and were lying on the ground motionless, as if dead. When the master-thief saw that he had succeeded, he gave the first a rope in his hand instead of the bridle, and the other who had been holding the tail, a wisp of straw, but what was he to do with the one who was sitting on the horse's back. He did not want to throw him down, for he might have awakened and have uttered a cry. He had a good idea, he unbuckled the girths of the saddle, tied a couple of ropes which were hanging to a ring on the wall fast to the saddle, and drew the sleeping rider up into the air on it, then he twisted the rope round the posts, and made it fast. He soon unloosed the horse from the chain, but if he had ridden over the stony pavement of the yard they would have heard the noise in the castle. So he wrapped the horse's hoofs in old rags, led him carefully out, leapt upon him, and galloped off. When day broke, the master galloped to the castle on the stolen horse. The count had just got up, and was looking out of the window. Good morning, sir count, he cried to him, here is the horse, which I have got safely out of the stable. Just look, how beautifully your soldiers are lying there sleeping, and if you will but go into the stable, you will see how comfortable your watchers have made it for themselves. The count could not help laughing. Then he said, for once you have succeeded, but things won't go so well the second time, and I warn you that if you come before me as a thief, I will handle you as I would a thief. When the countess went to bed that night, she closed her hand with the wedding-ring tightly together, and the count said, all the doors are locked and bolted, I will keep awake and wait for the thief, but if he gets in by the window, I will shoot him. The master-thief, however, went in the dark to the gallows, cut a poor sinner who was hanging there down from the halter, and carried him on his back to the castle. Then he set a ladder up to the bedroom, put the dead body on his shoulders, and began to climb up. When he had got so high that the head of the dead man showed at the window, the count, who was watching in his bed, fired a pistol at him, and immediately the master let the poor sinner fall down, descended the ladder, and hid himself in one corner. The night was sufficiently lighted by the moon, for the master to see distinctly how the count got out of the window on to the ladder, came down, carried the dead body into the garden, and began to dig a hole in which to lay it. Now, thought the thief, the favorable moment has come, stole nimbly out of his corner, and climbed up the ladder straight into the countess's bedroom. Dear wife, he began in the count's voice, the thief is dead, but, after all, he is my godson, and has been more of a scape-grace than a villain. I will not put him to open shame, besides, I am sorry for the parents. I will bury him myself before daybreak in the garden, that the thing may not be known. So give me the sheet, I will wrap up the body in it, and not bury him like a dog. The countess gave him the sheet. I tell you what, continued the thief, I have a fit of magnanimity, give me the ring too, - the unhappy man risked his life for it, so he may take it with him into his grave. She would not gainsay the count, and although she did it unwillingly she drew the ring from her finger, and gave it to him. The thief made off with both these things, and reached home safely before the count in the garden had finished his work of burying. What a long face the count did pull when the master came next morning, and brought him the sheet and the ring. Are you a wizard, said he, who has fetched you out of the grave in which I myself laid you, and brought you to life again. You did not bury me, said the thief, but the poor sinner on the gallows, and he told him exactly how everything had happened, and the count was forced to own to him that he was a clever, crafty thief. But you have not reached the end yet, he added, you have still to perform the third task, and if you do not succeed in that, all is of no use. The master smiled and returned no answer. When night had fallen he went with a long sack on his back, a bundle under his arms, and a lantern in his hand to the village church. In the sack he had some crabs, and in the bundle short wax-candles. He sat down in the churchyard, took out a crab, and stuck a wax-candle on his back. Then he lighted the little light, put the crab on the ground, and let it creep about. He took a second out of the sack, and treated it in the same way, and so on until the last was out of the sack. Hereupon he put on a long black garment that looked like a monk's cowl, and stuck a gray beard on his chin. When at last he was quite unrecognizable, he took the sack in which the crabs had been, went into the church, and ascended the pulpit. The clock in the tower was just striking twelve, when the last stroke had sounded, he cried with a loud and piercing voice, hearken, sinful men, the end of all things has come. The last day is at hand. Hearken. Hearken. Whosoever wishes to go to heaven with me must creep into the sack. I am peter, who opens and shuts the gate of heaven. Behold how the dead outside there in the chuchyard are wandering about collecting their bones. Come, come, and creep into the sack, the world is about to be destroyed. The cry echoed through the whole village. The parson and clerk who lived nearest to the church, heard it first, and when they saw the lights which were moving about the churchyard, they observed that something unusual was going on, and went into the church. They listened to the sermon for a while, and then the clerk nudged the parson and said, it would not be amiss if we were to use the opportunity together, and before the dawning of the last day, find an easy way of getting to heaven. To tell the truth, answered the parson, that is what I myself have been thinking, so if you are inclined, we will set out on our way. Yes, answered the clerk, but you, the pastor, have the precedence, I will follow. So the parson went first, and ascended the pulpit where the master opened his sack. The parson crept in first, and then the clerk. The master immediately tied up the sack tightly, seized it by the middle, and dragged it down the pulpit-steps, and whenever the heads of the two fools bumped against the steps, he cried, we are going over the mountains. Then he drew them through the village in the same way, and when they were passing through puddles, he cried, now we are going through wet clouds. And when at last he was dragging them up the steps of the castle, he cried, now we are on the steps of heaven, and will soon be in the outer court. When he had got to the top, he pushed the sack into the pigeon-house, and when the pigeons fluttered about, he said, hark how glad the angels are, and how they are flapping their wings. Then he bolted the door upon them, and went away. Next morning he went to the count, and told him that he had performed the third task also, and had carried the parson and clerk out of the church. Where have you left them, asked the Lord. They are lying upstairs in a sack in the pigeon-house, and imagine that they are in heaven. The count went up himself, and convinced himself that the master had told the truth. When he had delivered the parson and clerk from their captivity, he said, you are an arch-thief, and have won your wager. For once you escape with a whole skin, but see that you leave my land, for if ever you set foot on it again, you may count on your elevation to the gallows. The arch-thief took leave of his parents, once more went forth into the wide world, and no one has ever heard of him since.

 

The Drummer

A young drummer went out quite alone one evening into the country, and came to a lake on the shore of which he perceived lying there three pieces of white linen. What fine linen, said he, and put one piece in his pocket. He returned home, thought no more of what he had found, and went to bed. Just as he was going to sleep, it seemed to him as if someone was calling his name. He listened, and was aware of a soft voice which cried to him, drummer, drummer, wake up. As it was a dark night he could see no one, but it appeared to him that a figure was hovering about his bed. What do you want, he asked. Give me back my shift, answered the voice, that you took away from me last evening by the lake. You shall have it back again, said the drummer, if you will tell me who you are.

Ah, replied the voice, I am the daughter of a mighty king. But I have fallen into the power of a witch, and am shut up on the glass-mountain. I have to bathe in the lake every day with my two sisters, but I cannot fly back again without my shift. My sisters have gone away, but I have been forced to stay behind. I entreat you to give me my shift back. Don't worry, poor child, said the drummer. I will willingly give it back to you. He took it out of his pocket, and reached it to her in the dark. She snatched it in haste, and wanted to go away with it. Stop a moment, perhaps I can help you. You can only help me by ascending the glass-mountain, and indeed if you were quite close to it you could not ascend it. When I want to do a thing I always can do it, said the drummer. I am sorry for you, and have no fear of anything. But I do not know the way which leads to the glass-mountain. The road goes through the great forest, in which the man-eaters live, she answered, and more than that, I dare not tell you. And then he heard her wings as she flew away. By daybreak the drummer arose, buckled on his drums, and went without fear straight into the forest.

After he had walked for a while without seeing any giants, he thought to himself, I must waken up the sluggards, and he hung his drum before him, and beat such a roll that the birds flew out of the trees with loud cries. It was not long before a giant who had been lying sleeping among the grass, rose up, and was as tall as a fir-tree. Wretch, cried he, what are you drumming here for, and wakening me out of my best sleep. I am drumming, he replied, because I want to show the way to many thousands who are following me. What do they want in my forest, demanded the giant. They want to put an end to you, and cleanse the forest of such a monster as you.

Oho. Said the giant, I will trample you all to death like so many ants. Do you think you can do anything against us, said the drummer, if you stoop to take hold of one, he will jump away and hide himself. But when you are lying down and sleeping, they will come forth from every thicket, and creep up to you. Every one of them has a hammer of steel in his belt, and with that they will beat in your skull. The giant grew angry and thought, if I meddle with the crafty folk, it might turn out badly for me. I can strangle wolves and bears, but I cannot protect myself from these earth-worms. Listen, little fellow, said he, go back again, and I will promise you that for the future I will leave you and your comrades in peace, and if there is anything else you wish for, tell me, for I am quite willing to do something to please you. You have long legs, said the drummer, and can run quicker than I. Carry me to the glass-mountain, and I will give my followers a signal to go back, and they shall leave you in peace this time. Come here, worm, said the giant. Seat yourself on my shoulder, I will carry you where you wish to be.

The giant lifted him up, and the drummer began to beat his drum up aloft to his heart's delight. The giant thought, that is the signal for the other people to turn back. After a while, a second giant was standing in the road, who took the drummer from the first, and stuck him in his button-hole. The drummer laid hold of the button, which was as large as a dish, held on by it, and looked merrily around. Then they came to a third giant, who took him out of the button-hole, and set him on the rim of his hat. Up there the drummer walked backwards and forwards, and looked over the trees, and when he perceived a mountain in the blue distance, he thought, that must be the glass-mountain, and so it was. The giant only made two more steps, and they reached the foot of the mountain, where the giant put him down.

The drummer demanded to be put on the summit of the glass-mountain, but the giant shook his head, growled something in his beard, and went back into the forest. And now the poor drummer was standing before the mountain, which was as high as if three mountains were piled on each other, and at the same time as smooth as a looking-glass, and did not know how to get up it. He began to climb, but that was useless, for he always slipped back again. If one was a bird now, thought he. But what was the good of wishing, no wings grew for him. Whilst he was standing thus, not knowing what to do, he saw, not far from him, two men who were struggling fiercely together. He went up to them and saw that they were disputing about a saddle which was lying on the ground before them, and which both of them wanted to have.

What fools you are, said he, to quarrel about a saddle, when you have not a horse for it. The saddle is worth fighting about, answered one of the men. Whosoever sits on it, and wishes himself in any place, even if it should be the very end of the earth, gets there the instant he has uttered the wish. The saddle belongs to us in common. It is my turn to ride on it, but that other man will not let me do it. I will soon decide the quarrel, said the drummer, and he went to a short distance and stuck a white rod in the ground. Then he came back and said, now run to the goal, and whoever gets there first, shall ride first. Both set out at a trot, but hardly had they gone a couple of steps before the drummer swung himself on the saddle, wished himself on the glass-mountain and before any one could turn round, he was there.

On the top of the mountain was a plain. There stood an old stone house, and in front of the house lay a great fish-pond, but behind it was a dark forest. He saw neither men nor animals, everything was quiet. Only the wind rustled amongst the trees, and the clouds moved by quite close above his head. He went to the door and knocked. When he had knocked for the third time, an old woman with a brown face and red eyes opened the door. She had spectacles on her long nose, and looked sharply at him. Then she asked what he wanted. Entrance, food, and a bed for the night, replied the drummer. That you shall have, said the old woman, if you will perform three services in return. Why not, he answered, I am not afraid of any kind of work, however, hard it may be. The old woman let him go in, and gave him some food and a good bed at night.

The next morning when he had slept his fill, she took a thimble from her wrinkled finger, reached it to the drummer, and said, go to work now, and empty out the pond with this thimble. But you must have done it before night, and must have sought out all the fishes which are in the water and laid them side by side, according to their kind and size. That is strange work, said the drummer, but he went to the pond, and began to empty it. He baled the whole morning. But what can anyone do to a great lake with a thimble, even if he were to bale for a thousand years. When it was noon, he thought, it is all useless, and whether I work or not it will come to the same thing. So he gave it up and sat down. Then came a maiden out of the house who set a little basket with food before him, and said, what ails you, that you sit so sadly here. He looked at her, and saw that she was wondrously beautiful.

Ah, said he, I cannot finish the first piece of work, how will it be with the others. I came forth to seek a king's daughter who is said to dwell here, but I have not found her, and I will go farther. Stay here, said the maiden, I will help you out of your difficulty. You are tired, lay your head in my lap, and sleep. When you awake again, your work will be done. The drummer did not need to be told that twice. As soon as his eyes were shut, she turned a wishing-ring and said, rise, water. Fishes, come out. Instantly the water rose on high like a white mist, and moved away with the other clouds, and the fishes sprang on the shore and laid themselves side by side each according to his size and kind. When the drummer awoke, he saw with amazement that all was done. But the maiden said, one of the fish is not lying with those of its own kind, but quite alone. When the old woman comes to-night and sees that all she demanded has been done, she will ask you, what is this fish lying alone for. Then throw the fish in her face, and say, this one shall be for you, old witch.

In the evening the witch came, and when she had put this question, he threw the fish in her face. She behaved as if she did not notice it, and said nothing, but looked at him with malicious eyes. Next morning she said, yesterday it was too easy for you, I must give you harder work. To-day you must hew down the whole of the forest, split the wood into logs, and pile them up, and everything must be finished by the evening. She gave him an axe, a mallet, and two wedges. But the axe was made of lead, and the mallet and wedges were of tin. When he began to cut, the edge of the axe was blunted, and the mallet and wedges were beaten out of shape. He did not know how to manage, but at mid-day the maiden came once more with his dinner and comforted him. Lay your head on my lap, said she, and sleep. When you awake, your work will be done. She turned her wishing-ring, and in an instant the whole forest fell down with a crash, the wood split, and arranged itself in heaps, and it seemed just as if unseen giants were finishing the work.

When he awoke, the maiden said, do you see that the wood is piled up and arranged, one bough alone remains. But when the old woman comes this evening and asks you about that bough, give her a blow with it, and say, that is for you, you witch. The old woman came, there you see how easy the work was, said she. But for whom have you left that bough. For you, you witch, he replied, and gave her a blow with it. But she pretended not to feel it, laughed scornfully, and said, early to-morrow morning you shall arrange all the wood in one heap, set fire to it, and burn it.

He rose at break of day, and began to pick up the wood, but how can a single man get a whole forest together. The work made no progress. The maiden, however, did not desert him in his need. She brought him his food at noon, and when he had eaten, he laid his head on her lap, and went to sleep. When he awoke, the entire pile of wood was burning in one enormous flame, which stretched its tongues out into the sky. Listen to me, said the maiden, when the witch comes, she will give you all kinds of orders. Do whatever she asks you without fear, and then she will not be able to get the better of you, but if you are afraid, the fire will lay hold of you, and consume you. At last when you have done everything, seize her with both your hands, and throw her into the midst of the fire.

The maiden departed, and the old woman came sneaking up to him. Oh, I am cold, said she, but that is a fire that burns. It warms my old bones, and does me good. But I see a log lying there which won't burn, bring it out for me. When you have done that, you are free, and may go where you like. Now, jump in. The drummer did not reflect long. He sprang into the midst of the flames, but they did not hurt him, and could not even singe a hair of his head. He carried the log out, and laid it down. Hardly, however, had the wood touched the earth than it was transformed, and the beautiful maiden who had helped him in his need stood before him, and by the silken and shining golden garments which she wore, he knew right well that she was the king's daughter. But the old woman laughed venomously, and said, you think you have her safe, but you have not got her yet. Just as she was about to fall on the maiden and take her away, the youth seized the old woman with both his hands, raised her up on high, and threw her into the jaws of the fire, which closed over her as if it were delighted that an old witch was to be burnt.

Then the king's daughter looked at the drummer, and when she saw that he was a handsome youth and remembered how he had risked his life to deliver her, she gave him her hand, and said, you have ventured everything for my sake, but I also will do everything for yours. Promise to be true to me, and you shall be my husband. We shall not want for riches, we shall have enough with what the witch has gathered together here. She led him into the house, where there were chests and coffers crammed with the old woman's treasures.

The maiden left the gold and silver where it was, and took only the precious stones. She would not stay any longer on the glass-mountain, so the drummer said to her, seat yourself by me on my saddle, and then we will fly down like birds. I do not like the old saddle, said she, I need only turn my wishing-ring and we shall be at home. Very well, then, answered the drummer, then wish us in front of the town-gate. In the twinkling of an eye they were there, but the drummer said, I will just go to my parents and tell them the news. Wait for me outside here, I shall soon be back.

Ah, said the king's daughter, I beg you to be careful. On your arrival do not kiss your parents on the right cheek, or else you will forget everything, and I shall stay behind here outside, alone and deserted. How can I forget you, said he, and promised her to come back very soon, and gave his hand upon it. When he went into his father's house, he had changed so much that no one knew who he was, for the three days which he had passed on the glass-mountain had been three years. Then he made himself known, and his parents fell on his neck with joy, and his heart was so moved that he forgot what the maiden had said and kissed them on both cheeks. But when he had given them the kiss on the right cheek, every thought of the king's daughter vanished from him.

He emptied out his pockets, and laid handfuls of the largest jewels on the table. The parents had not the least idea what to do with the riches. Then the father built a magnificent castle all surrounded by gardens, woods, and meadows as if a prince were going to live in it, and when it was ready, the mother said, I have found a maiden for you and the wedding shall be in three days. The son was content to do as his parents desired. The poor king's daughter had stood for a long time outside the town waiting for the return of the young man. When evening came, she said, he must certainly have kissed his parents on the right cheek, and has forgotten me. Her heart was full of sorrow, she wished herself into a solitary little hut in a forest, and would not return to her father's court. Every evening she went into the town and passed the young man's house. He often saw her, but he no longer knew her. At length she heard the people saying, the wedding will take place to-morrow. Then she said, I will try if I can win back his heart.

On the first day of the wedding ceremonies, she turned her wishing-ring, and said, a dress as bright as the sun. Instantly the dress lay before her, and it was as bright as if it had been woven of real sunbeams. When all the guests were assembled, she entered the hall. Every one was amazed at the beautiful dress, and the bride most of all, and as pretty dresses were the things she had most delight in, she went to the stranger and asked if she would sell it to her. Not for money, she answered, but if I may pass the first night outside the door of the room where your betrothed sleeps, I will give it up to you. The bride could not overcome her desire and consented, but she mixed a sleeping-draught with the wine her betrothed took at night, which made him fall into a deep sleep. When all had be- - line missing in book copy - of the bedroom, opened it just a little, and cried, drummer, drummer, I pray you hear. Have you forgotten you held me dear. That on the glass-mountain we sat hour by hour. That I rescued your life from the witch's power. Did you not plight your troth to me. Drummer, drummer, hearken to me. But it was all in vain, for the drummer did not awake, and when morning dawned, the king's daughter was forced to go back again as she came.

On the second evening she turned her wishing-ring and said, a dress as silvery as the moon. When she appeared at the feast in the dress which was as soft as moonbeams, it again excited the desire of the bride, and the king's daughter gave it to her for permission to pass the second night also, outside the door of the bedroom. When in the stillness of the night, she cried, drummer, drummer, I pray you hear. Have you forgotten you held me dear. That on the glass-mountain we sat hour by hour. That I rescued your life from the witch's power. Did you not plight your troth to me. Drummer, drummer, hearken to me. But the drummer, who was stupefied with the sleeping-draught, could not be aroused. Sadly next morning she went back to her hut in the forest. But the people in the house had heard the lamentation of the unknown maiden, and told the bridegroom about it. They told him also that it was impossible that he could hear anything of it, because the maiden he was going to marry had poured a sleeping-draught into his wine.

On the third evening, the king's daughter turned her wishing-ring, and said, a dress glittering like the stars. When she showed herself therein at the feast, the bride was quite beside herself with the splendor of the dress, which far surpassed the others, and she said, I must, and will have it. The maiden gave it as she had given the others for permission to spend the night outside the bridegroom's door. The bridegroom, however, did not drink the wine which was handed to him before he went to bed, but poured it behind the bed, and when everything was quiet, he heard a sweet voice which called to him, drummer, drummer, I pray you hear. Have you forgotten you held me dear. That on the glass-mountain we sat hour by hour. That I rescued your life from the witch's power. Did you not plight your troth to me. Drummer, drummer, hearken to me. Suddenly his memory returned to him.

Ah, cried he, how can I have acted so unfaithfully. But the kiss which in the joy of my heart I gave my parents, on the right cheek, that is to blame for it all. That is what stupefied me. He sprang up, took the king's daughter by the hand, and led her to his parents, bed. This is my true bride, said he. If I marry the other, I shall do a great wrong. The parents, when they heard how everything had happened, gave their consent. Then the lights in the hall were lighted again, drums and trumpets were brought, friends and relations were invited to come, and the real wedding was solemnized with great rejoicing. The first bride received the beautiful dresses as a compensation, and declared herself satisfied.

 

The Fisherman and His Wife

There was once upon a time a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pig-stye close by the sea, and every day he went out fishing. And he fished, and he fished. And once he was sitting with his rod, looking at the clear water, and he sat and he sat. Then his line suddenly went down, far down below, and when he drew it up again, he brought out a large flounder. Then the flounder said to him, hark, you fisherman, I pray you, let me live, I am no flounder really, but an enchanted prince. What good will it do you to kill me. I should not be good to eat, put me in the water again, and let me go. Come, said the fisherman, there is no need for so many words about it - a fish that can talk I should certainly let go, anyhow. And with that he put him back again into the clear water, and the flounder went to the bottom, leaving a long streak of blood behind him.

Then the fisherman got up and went home to his wife in the pig-stye. Husband, said the woman, have you caught nothing to-day. No, said the man, I did catch a flounder, who said he was an enchanted prince, so I let him go again. Did you not wish for anything first, said the woman. No, said the man, what should I wish for. Ah, said the woman, it is surely hard to have to live always in this pig-stye which stinks and is so disgusting. You might have wished for a little hut for us. Go back and call him. Tell him we want to have a little hut, he will certainly give us that. Ah, said the man, why should I go there again. Why, said the woman, you did catch him, and you let him go again. He is sure to do it. Go at once.

The man still did not quite like to go, but did not like to oppose his wife either, and went to the sea. When he got there the sea was all green and yellow, and no longer so smooth, so he stood still and said, flounder, flounder in the sea, come, I pray thee, here to me. For my wife, good Ilsabil, wills not as I'd have her will. Then the flounder came swimming to him and said, well what does she want, then. Ah, said the man, I did catch you, and my wife says I really ought to have wished for something. She does not like to live in a pig-stye any longer. She would like to have a hut. Go, then, said the flounder, she has it already.

When the man went home, his wife was no longer in the stye, but instead of it there stood a hut, and she was sitting on a bench before the door. Then she took him by the hand and said to him, just come inside. Look, now isn't this a great deal better. So they went in, and there was a small porch, and a pretty little parlor and bedroom, and a kitchen and pantry, with the best of furniture, and fitted up with the most beautiful things made of tin and brass, whatsoever was wanted. And behind the hut there was a small yard, with hens and ducks, and a little garden with flowers and fruit. Look, said the wife, is not that nice. Yes, said the husband, and so it shall remain - now we will live quite contented. We will think about that said the wife. With that they ate something and went to bed.

Everything went well for a week or a fortnight, and then the woman said, hark you, husband, this hut is far too small for us, and the garden and yard are little. The flounder might just as well have given us a larger house. I should like to live in a great stone castle. Go to the flounder, and tell him to give us a castle. Ah, wife, said the man, the hut is quite good enough. Why whould we live in a castle. What. Said the woman. Just go there, the flounder can always do that. No, wife, said the man, the flounder has just given us the hut, I do not like to go back so soon, it might make him angry. Go, said the woman, he can do it quite easily, and will be glad to do it. Just you go to him. The man's heart grew heavy, and he would not go. He said to himself, it is not right, and yet he went. And when he came to the sea the water was quite purple and dark-blue, and grey and thick, and no longer so green and yellow, but it was still quiet. And he stood there and said, flounder, flounder in the sea, come, I pray thee, here to me. For my wife, good Ilsabil, wills not as I'd have her will. Well, what does she want, now, said the flounder. Alas, said the man, half scared, she wants to live in a great stone castle. Go to it, then, she is standing before the door, said the flounder.

Then the man went away, intending to go home, but when he got there, he found a great stone palace, and his wife was just standing on the steps going in, and she took him by the hand and said, come in. So he went in with her, and in the castle was a great hall paved with marble, and many servants, who flung wide the doors. And the walls were all bright with beautiful hangings, and in the rooms were chairs and tables of pure gold, and crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, and all the rooms and bedrooms had carpets, and food and wine of the very best were standing on all the tables, so that they nearly broke down beneath it. Behind the house, too, there was a great court-yard, with stables for horses and cows, and the very best of carriages. There was a magnificent large garden, too, with the most beautiful flowers and fruit-trees, and a park quite half a mile long, in which were stags, deer, and hares, and everything that could be desired. Come, said the woman, isn't that beautiful. Yes, indeed, said the man, now let it be, and we will live in this beautiful castle and be content. We will consider about that, said the woman, and sleep upon it. Thereupon they went to bed.

Next morning the wife awoke first, and it was just daybreak, and from her bed she saw the beautiful country lying before her. Her husband was still stretching himself, so she poked him in the side with her elbow, and said, get up, husband, and just peep out of the window. Look you, couldn't we be the king over all that land. Go to the flounder, we will be the king. Ah, wife, said the man, why should we be king. I do not want to be king. Well, said the wife, if you won't be king, I will. Go to the flounder, for I will be king. Ah, wife, said the man, why do you want to be king. I do not like to say that to him. Why not, said the woman. Go to him this instant. I must be king.

So the man went, and was quite unhappy because his wife wished to be king. It is not right, it is not right, thought he. He did not wish to go, but yet he went. And when he came to the sea, it was quite dark-grey, and the water heaved up from below, and smelt putrid. Then he went and stood by it, and said, flounder, flounder in the sea, come, I pray thee, here to me. For my wife, good Ilsabil, wills not as I'd have her will. Well, what does she want, now. Said the flounder. Alas, said the man, she wants to be king. Go to her. She is king already. So the man went, and when he came to the palace, the castle had become much larger, and had a great tower and magnificent ornaments, and the sentinel was standing before the door, and there were numbers of soldiers with kettle-drums and trumpets. And when he went inside the house, everything was of real marble and gold, with velvet covers and great golden tassels.

Then the doors of the hall were opened, and there was the court in all its splendor, and his wife was sitting on a high throne of gold and diamonds, with a great crown of gold on her head, and a sceptre of pure gold and jewels in her hand, and on both sides of her stood her maids-in-waiting in a row, each of them always one head shorter than the last. Then he went and stood before her, and said, ah, wife, and now you are king. Yes, said the woman, now I am king. So he stood and looked at her, and when he had looked at her thus for some time, he said, and now that you are king, let all else be, now we will wish for nothing more. No, husband, said the woman, quite anxiously, I find time passes very heavily, I can bear it no longer. Go to the flounder - I am king, but I must be emperor, too. Oh, wife, why do you wish to be emperor. Husband, said she, go to the flounder. I will be emperor. Alas, wife, said the man, he cannot make you emperor. I may not say that to the fish. There is only one emperor in the land. An emperor the flounder cannot make you. I assure you he cannot. What. Said the woman, I am the king, and you are nothing but my husband. Will you go this moment. Go at once. If he can make a king he can make an emperor. I will be emperor. Go instantly. So he was forced to go.

As the man went, however, he was troubled in mind, and thought to himself, it will not end well. It will not end well. Emperor is too shameless. The flounder will at last be tired out. With that he reached the sea, and the sea was quite black and thick, and began to boil up from below, so that it threw up bubbles, and such a sharp wind blew over it that it curdled, and the man was afraid. Then he went and stood by it, and said, flounder, flounder in the sea, come, I pray thee, here to me. For my wife, good Ilsabil, wills not as I'd have her will. Well, what does she want, now, said the flounder. Alas, flounder, said he, my wife wants to be emperor. Go to her, said the flounder. She is emperor already. So the man went, and when he got there the whole palace was made of polished marble with alabaster figures and golden ornaments, and soldiers were marching before the door blowing trumpets, and beating cymbals and drums. And in the house, barons, and counts, and dukes were going about as servants. Then they opened the doors to him, which were of pure gold. And when he entered, there sat his wife on a throne, which was made of one piece of gold, and was quite two miles high. And she wore a great golden crown that was three yards high, and set with diamonds and carbuncles, and in one hand she had the sceptre, and in the other the imperial orb. And on both sides of her stood the yeomen of the guard in two rows, each being smaller than the one before him, from the biggest giant, who was two miles high, to the very smallest dwarf, just as big as my little finger. And before it stood a number of princes and dukes. Then the man went and stood among them, and said, wife, are you emperor now. Yes, said she, now I am emperor. Then he stood and looked at her well, and when he had looked at her thus for some time, he said, ah, wife, be content, now that you are emperor. Husband, said she, why are you standing there. Now, I am emperor, but I will be Pope too. Go to the flounder. Oh, wife, said the man, what will you not wish for. You cannot be Pope. There is but one in christendom. He cannot make you Pope. Husband, said she, I will be Pope. Go immediately, I must be Pope this very day. No, wife, said the man, I do not like to say that to him. That would not do, it is too much. The flounder can't make you Pope. Husband, said she, what nonsense. If he can make an emperor he can make a Pope. Go to him directly. I am emperor, and you are nothing but my husband. Will you go at once.

Then he was afraid and went, but he was quite faint, and shivered and shook, and his knees and legs trembled. And a high wind blew over the land, and the clouds flew, and towards evening all grew dark, and the leaves fell from the trees, and the water rose and roared as if it were boiling, and splashed upon the shore. And in the distance he saw ships which were firing guns in their sore need, pitching and tossing on the waves. And yet in the midst of the sky there was still a small patch of blue, though on every side it was as red as in a heavy storm. So, full of despair, he went and stood in much fear and said, flounder, flounder in the sea, come, I pray thee, here to me. For my wife, good Ilsabil, wills not as I'd have her will. Well, what does she want, now, said the flounder. Alas, said the man, she wants to be Pope. Go to her then, said the flounder, she is Pope already. So he went, and when he got there, he saw what seemed to be a large church surrounded by palaces. He pushed his way through the crowd. Inside, however, everything was lighted up with thousands and thousands of candles, and his wife was clad in gold, and she was sitting on a much higher throne, and had three great golden crowns on, and round about her there was much ecclesiastical splendor. And on both sides of her was a row of candles the largest of which was as tall as the very tallest tower, down to the very smallest kitchen candle, and all the emperors and kings were on their knees before her, kissing her shoe. Wife, said the man, and looked attentively at her, are you now Pope. Yes, said she, I am Pope. So he stood and looked at her, and it was just as if he was looking at the bright sun. When he had stood looking at her thus for a short time, he said, ah, wife, if you are Pope, do let well alone. But she looked as stiff as a post, and did not move or show any signs of life. Then said he, wife, now that you are Pope, be satisfied, you cannot become anything greater now. I will consider about that, said the woman.

Thereupon they both went to bed, but she was not satisfied, and greediness let her have no sleep, for she was continually thinking what there was left for her to be. The man slept well and soundly, for he had run about a great deal during the day. But the woman could not fall asleep at all, and flung herself from one side to the other the whole night through, thinking always what more was left for her to be, but unable to call to mind anything else. At length the sun began to rise, and when the woman saw the red of dawn, she sat up in bed and looked at it. And when, through the window, she saw the sun thus rising, she said, cannot I, too, order the sun and moon to rise. Husband, she said, poking him in the ribs with her elbows, wake up. Go to the flounder, for I wish to be even as God is. The man was still half asleep, but he was so horrified that he fell out of bed. He thought he must have heard amiss, and rubbed his eyes, and said, wife, what are you saying. Husband, said she, if I can't order the sun and moon to rise, and have to look on and see the sun and moon rising, I can't bear it. I shall not know what it is to have another happy hour, unless I can make them rise myself. Then she looked at him so terribly that a shudder ran over him, and said, go at once. I wish to be like unto God. Alas, wife, said the man, falling on his knees before her, the flounder cannot do that. He can make an emperor and a Pope. I beseech you, go on as you are, and be Pope. Then she fell into a rage, and her hair flew wildly about her head, she tore open her bodice, kicked him with her foot, and screamed, I can't stand it, I can't stand it any longer. Will you go this instant.

Then he put on his trousers and ran away like a madman. But outside a great storm was raging, and blowing so hard that he could scarcely keep his feet. Houses and trees toppled over, the mountains trembled, rocks rolled into the sea, the sky was pitch black, and it thundered and lightened, and the sea came in with black waves as high as church-towers and mountains, and all with crests of white foam at the top. Then he cried, but could not hear his own words, flounder, flounder in the sea, come, I pray thee, here to me. For my wife, good Ilsabil, wills not as I'd have her will. Well, what does she want, now, said the flounder. Alas, said he, she wants to be like unto God. Go to her, and you will find her back again in the pig-stye. And there they are still living to this day.

 

The Frog King, or Iron Henry

In olden times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face. Close by the king's castle lay a great dark forest, and under an old lime-tree in the forest was a well, and when the day was very warm, the king's child went out into the forest and sat down by the side of the cool fountain, and when she was bored she took a golden ball, and threw it up on high and caught it, and this ball was her favorite plaything.

Now it so happened that on one occasion the princess's golden ball did not fall into the little hand which she was holding up for it, but on to the ground beyond, and rolled straight into the water. The king's daughter followed it with her eyes, but it vanished, and the well was deep, so deep that the bottom could not be seen. At this she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and could not be comforted. And as she thus lamented someone said to her, "What ails you, king's daughter? You weep so that even a stone would show pity."

She looked round to the side from whence the voice came, and saw a frog stretching forth its big, ugly head from the water. "Ah, old water-splasher, is it you," she said, "I am weeping for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well." "Be quiet, and do not weep," answered the frog, "I can help you, but what will you give me if I bring your plaything up again?" "Whatever you will have, dear frog," said she, "My clothes, my pearls and jewels, and even the golden crown which I am wearing." The frog answered, "I do not care for your clothes, your pearls and jewels, nor for your golden crown, but if you will love me and let me be your companion and play-fellow, and sit by you at your little table, and eat off your little golden plate, and drink out of your little cup, and sleep in your little bed - if you will promise me this I will go down below, and bring you your golden ball up again."

"Oh yes," said she, "I promise you all you wish, if you will but bring me my ball back again." But she thought, "How the silly frog does talk. All he does is to sit in the water with the other frogs, and croak. He can be no companion to any human being."

But the frog when he had received this promise, put his head into the water and sank down; and in a short while came swimmming up again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass. The king's daughter was delighted to see her pretty plaything once more, and picked it up, and ran away with it. "Wait, wait," said the frog. "Take me with you. I can't run as you can." But what did it avail him to scream his croak, croak, after her, as loudly as he could. She did not listen to it, but ran home and soon forgot the poor frog, who was forced to go back into his well again.

The next day when she had seated herself at table with the king and all the courtiers, and was eating from her little golden plate, something came creeping splish splash, splish splash, up the marble staircase, and when it had got to the top, it knocked at the door and cried, "Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me." She ran to see who was outside, but when she opened the door, there sat the frog in front of it. Then she slammed the door to, in great haste, sat down to dinner again, and was quite frightened. The king saw plainly that her heart was beating violently, and said, "My child, what are you so afraid of? Is there perchance a giant outside who wants to carry you away?" "Ah, no," replied she. "It is no giant but a disgusting frog."

"What does a frog want with you?" "Ah, dear father, yesterday as I was in the forest sitting by the well, playing, my golden ball fell into the water. And because I cried so, the frog brought it out again for me, and because he so insisted, I promised him he should be my companion, but I never thought he would be able to come out of his water. And now he is outside there, and wants to come in to me."

In the meantime it knocked a second time, and cried, "Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me, do you not know what you said to me yesterday by the cool waters of the well. Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me."

Then said the king, "That which you have promised must you perform. Go and let him in." She went and opened the door, and the frog hopped in and followed her, step by step, to her chair. There he sat and cried, "Lift me up beside you." She delayed, until at last the king commanded her to do it. Once the frog was on the chair he wanted to be on the table, and when he was on the table he said, "Now, push your little golden plate nearer to me that we may eat together." She did this, but it was easy to see that she did not do it willingly. The frog enjoyed what he ate, but almost every mouthful she took choked her. At length he said, "I have eaten and am satisfied, now I am tired, carry me into your little room and make your little silken bed ready, and we will both lie down and go to sleep."

The king's daughter began to cry, for she was afraid of the cold frog which she did not like to touch, and which was now to sleep in her pretty, clean little bed. But the king grew angry and said, "He who helped you when you were in trouble ought not afterwards to be despised by you." So she took hold of the frog with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner, but when she was in bed he crept to her and said, "I am tired, I want to sleep as well as you, lift me up or I will tell your father." At this she was terribly angry, and took him up and threw him with all her might against the wall. "Now, will you be quiet, odious frog," said she. But when he fell down he was no frog but a king's son with kind and beautiful eyes. He by her father's will was now her dear companion and husband. Then he told her how he had been bewitched by a wicked witch, and how no one could have delivered him from the well but herself, and that to-morrow they would go together into his kingdom.

Then they went to sleep, and next morning when the sun awoke them, a carriage came driving up with eight white horses, which had white ostrich feathers on their heads, and were harnessed with golden chains, and behind stood the young king's servant Faithful Henry. Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his master was changed into a frog, that he had caused three iron bands to be laid round his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness. The carriage was to conduct the young king into his kingdom. Faithful Henry helped them both in, and placed himself behind again, and was full of joy because of this deliverance. And when they had driven a part of the way the king's son heard a cracking behind him as if something had broken. So he turned round and cried, "Henry, the carriage is breaking." "No, master, it is not the carriage. It is a band from my heart, which was put there in my great pain when you were a frog and imprisoned in the well." Again and once again while they were on their way something cracked, and each time the king's son thought the carriage was breaking, but it was only the bands which were springing from the heart of Faithful Henry because his master was set free and was happy.

 

Our Lady's Child

Hard by a great forest dwelt a wood-cutter with his wife, who had an only child, a little girl three years old. They were so poor, however, that they no longer had daily bread, and did not know how to get food for her. One morning the wood-cutter went out sorrowfully to his work in the forest, and while he was cutting wood, suddenly there stood before him a tall and beautiful woman with a crown of shining stars on her head, who said to him 'I am the virgin mary, mother of the child jesus. You are poor and needy, bring your child to me, I will take her with me and be her mother, and care for her.' The wood-cutter obeyed, brought his child, and gave her to the virgin mary, who took her up to heaven with her. There the child fared well, ate sugar-cakes, and drank sweet milk, and her clothes were of gold, and the little angels played with her. And when she was fourteen years of age, the virgin mary called her one day and said 'dear child, I am about to make a long journey, so take into your keeping the keys of the thirteen doors of heaven. Twelve of these you may open, and behold the glory which is within them, but the thirteenth, to which this little key belongs, is forbidden you. Take care not to open it, or you will be unhappy.' The girl promised to be obedient, and when the virgin mary was gone, she began to examine the dwellings of the kingdom of heaven. Each day she opened one of them, until she had made the round of the twelve. In each of them sat one of the apostles in the midst of a great light, and she rejoiced in all the magnificence and splendor, and the little angels who always accompanied her rejoiced with her. Then the forbidden door alone remained, and she felt a great desire to know what could be hidden behind it, and said to the angels 'I will not open it entirely, and I will not go inside, but I will unlock it so that we can see just a little through the opening.' 'Oh'no, said the little angels, 'that would be a sin. The virgin mary has forbidden it, and it might easily cause your unhappiness.' Then she was silent, but the desire in her heart was not stilled, but gnawed there and tormented her, and let her have no rest. And once when the angels had all gone out, she thought 'now I am quite alone, and I could peep in. If I do, no one will ever know.' She sought out the key, and when she had got it in her hand, she put it in the lock, and when she had put it in, she turned it round as well. Then the door sprang open, and she saw there the trinity sitting in fire and splendor. She stayed there awhile, and looked at everything in amazement, then she touched the light a little with her finger, and her finger became quite golden. Immediately a great fear fell on her. She shut the door violently, and ran hi there. But her terror would not quit her, let her do what she 'Yes, said the girl, for the second time. Then she perceived the finger which had become golden from touching the fire of heaven, and saw well that the child had sinned, and said for the third time 'have you not done it.' 'No, said the girl for the third time. Then said the virgin mary 'you have not obeyed me, and besides that you have lied, you are no longer worthy to be in heaven.' Then the girl fell into a deep sleep, and when she awoke she lay on the earth below, and in the midst of a wilderness. She wanted to cry out, but she could bring forth no sound. She sprang up and wanted to run away, but whithersoever she turned herself, she was continually held back by thick hedges of thorns through which she could not break. In the desert, in which she was imprisoned, there stood an old hollow tree, and this had to be her dwelling-place. Into this she crept when night came, and here she slept. Here, too, she found a shelter from might, and her heart beat continually and would not be still, the gold too stayed on her finger, and would not go away, let her rub it and wash it never so much. It was not long before the virgin mary came back from her journey. She called the girl before her, and asked to have the keys of heaven back. When the maiden gave her the bunch, the virgin looked into her eyes and said 'have you not opened the thirteenth door also.' 'No, she replied. Then she laid her hand on the girl's heart, and felt how it beat and beat, and saw right well that she had disobeyed her order and had opened the door. Then she said once again 'are you certain that you have not done it.' storm and rain, but it was a miserable life, and bitterly did she weep when she remembered how happy she had been in heaven, and how the angels had played with her. Roots and wild berries were her only food, and for these she sought as far as she could go. In the autumn she picked up the fallen nuts and leaves, and carried them into the hole. The nuts were her food in winter, and when snow and ice came, she crept amongst the leaves like a poor little animal that she might not freeze. Before long her clothes were all torn, and one bit of them after another fell off her. As soon, however, as the sun shone warm again, she went out and sat in front of the tree, and her long hair covered her on all sides like a mantle. Thus she sat year after year, and felt the pain and the misery of the world. One day, when the trees were once more clothed in fresh green, the king of the country was hunting in the forest, and followed a roe, and as it had fled into the thicket which shut in this part of the forest, he got off his horse, tore the bushes asunder, and cut himself a path with his sword. When he had at last forced his way through, he saw a wonderfully beautiful maiden sitting under the tree, and she sat there and was entirely covered with her golden hair down to her very feet. He stood still and looked at her full of surprise, then he spoke to her and said 'who are you. Why are you sitting here in the wilderness.' But she gave no answer, for she could not open her mouth. The king continued 'will you go with me to my castle. Then she just nodded her head a little. The king took her in his arms, carried her to his horse, and rode home with her, and when he reached the royal castle he caused her to be dressed in beautiful garments, and gave her all things in abundance. Although she could not speak, she was still so beautiful and charming that he began to love her with all his heart, and it was not long before he married her. After a year or so had passed, the queen brought a son into the world. Thereupon the virgin mary appeared to her in the night when she lay in her bed alone, and said 'if you will tell the truth and confess that you did unlock the forbidden door, I will open your mouth and give you back your speech, but if you persevere in your sin, and deny obstinately, I will take your new-born child away with me.' The the queen was permitted to answer, but she remained hard, and said 'no, I did not open the forbidden door, and the virgin mary took the new-born child from her arms, and vanished with it. Next morning when the child was not to be found, it was whispered among the people that the queen was a man-eater, and had put her own child to death. She heard all this and could say nothing to the contrary, but the king would not believe it, for he loved her so much. When a year had gone by the queen again bore a son, and in the night the virgin mary again came to her, and said 'if you will confess that you opened the forbidden door, I will give you your child back and untie your tongue but if you continue in sin and deny it, I will take away with me this new child also.' Then the queen again said 'no, I did not open the forbidden door.' And the virgin took the child out of her arms, and away with her to heaven. Next morning, when this child also had disappeared, the people declared quite loudly that the queen had devoured it, and the king's councillors demanded that she should be brought to justice. The king however, loved her so dearly that he would not believe it, and commanded the councillors under pain of death not to say any more about it. The following year the queen gave birth to a beautiful little daughter, and for the third time the virgin mary appeared to her in the night and said 'follow me.' She took the queen by the hand and led her to heaven, and showed her there her two eldest children, who smiled at her, and were playing with the ball of the world. When the queen rejoiced thereat, the virgin mary said 'is your heart not yet softened. If you will own that you opened the forbidden door, I will give you back your two little sons.' But for the third time the queen answered 'no, I did not open the forbidden door.' Then the virgin let her sink down to earth once more, and took from her likewise her third child.

Next morning, when the loss was reported abroad, all the people cried loudly 'the queen is a man-eater. She must be judged, and the king was no longer able to restrain his councillors. Thereupon a trial was held, and as she could not answer, and defend herself, she was condemned to be burnt at the stake. The wood was got together, and when she was fast bound to the stake, and the fire began to burn round about her, the hard ice of pride melted, her heart was moved by repentance, and she thought 'if I could but confess before my death that I opened the door.' Then her voice came back to her, and she cried out loudly 'yes, mary, I did it, and straight-way rain fell from the sky and extinguished the flames of fire, and a light broke forth above her, and the virgin mary descended with the two little sons by her side, and the new-born daughter in her arms. She spoke kindly to her, and said 'he who repents his sin and acknowledges it, is forgiven.' Then she gave her the three children, untied her tongue, and granted her happiness for her whole life.

 

Frederick and Catherine

There was once upon a time a man who was called Frederick and a woman called Catherine, who had married each other and lived together as young married folks. One day Frederick said, I will now go and plough, Catherine, when I come back, there must be some roast meat on the table for hunger, and a fresh draught for thirst. Just go, Frederick, answered kate, just go, I will have all ready for you. So when dinner-time drew near she got a sausage out of the chimney, put it in the frying-pan, put some butter to it, and set it on the fire. The sausage began to fry and to hiss, Catherine stood beside it and held the handle of the pan, and had her own thoughts as she was doing it. Then it occurred to her, while the sausage is getting done you could go into the cellar and draw beer. So she set the frying-pan safely on the fire, took a can, and went down into the cellar to draw beer. The beer ran into the can and kate watched it, and then she thought, oh, dear. The dog upstairs is not fastened up, it might get the sausage out of the pan. Lucky I thought of it. And in a trice she was up the cellar-steps again, but the spitz had the sausage in its mouth already, and trailed it away on the ground. But Catherine, who was not idle, set out after it, and chased it a long way into the field, the dog, however, was swifter than Catherine and did not let the sausage go, but skipped over the furrows with it. What's gone is gone, said kate, and turned round, and as she had run till she was weary, she walked quietly and comfortably, and cooled herself. During this time the beer was still running out of the cask, for kate had not turned the tap. And when the can was full and there was no other place for it, it ran into the cellar and did not stop until the whole cask was empty. As soon as kate was on the steps she saw the accident. Good gracious, she cried. What shall I do now to stop Frederick finding out. She thought for a while, and at last she remembered that up in the garret was still standing a sack of the finest wheat flour from the last fair, and she would fetch that down and strew it over the beer. Yes, said she, he who saves a thing when he ought, has it afterwards when he needs it, and she climbed up to the garret and carried the sack below, and threw it straight down on the can of beer, which she knocked over, and Frederick's draught swam also in the cellar. It is all right, said kate, where the one is the other ought to be also, and she strewed the meal over the whole cellar. When it was done she was heartily delighted with her work, and said, how clean and wholesome it does look here. At mid-day home came Frederick, now, wife, what have you ready for me. Ah, freddy, she answered, I was frying a sausage for you, but whilst I was drawing the beer to drink with it, the dog took it away out of the pan, and whilst I was running after the dog, all the beer ran out, and whilst I was drying up the beer with the flour, I knocked over the can as well, but be easy, the cellar is quite dry again. Said Frederick, kate, kate, you should not have done that, to let the sausage be carried off and the beer run out of the cask, and throw out all our flour into the bargain. Well, Frederick, I did not know that, you should have told me. The man thought, if this is the kind of wife I have, I had better take more care of things. Now he had saved up a good number of talers which he changed into gold, and said to Catherine, look, these are yellow counters for playing games, I will put them in a pot and bury them in the stable under the cow's manger, but mind you keep away from them, or it will be the worse for you. Said she, oh, no, Frederick, I certainly will not go near them. And when Frederick was gone some pedlars came into the village who had cheap earthen bowls and pots, and asked the young woman if there was nothing she wanted to bargain with them for. Oh, dear people, said Catherine, I have no money and can buy nothing, but if you have any use for yellow counters I will buy of you. Yellow counters, why not. But just let us see them. Then go into the stable and dig under the cow's manger, and you will find the yellow counters. I am not allowed to go there. The rogues went thither, dug and found pure gold. Then they laid hold of it, ran away, and left their pots and bowls behind in the house. Catherine though she must use her new things, and as she had no lack in the kitchen already without these, she knocked the bottom out of every pot, and set them all as ornaments on the paling which went round about the house. When Frederick came and saw the new decorations, he said, Catherine, what have you been about. I have bought them, Frederick, for the counters which were under the cow's manger. I did not go there myself, the pedlars had to dig them out for themselves. Ah, wife, said Frederick, what have you done. Those were not counters, but pure gold, and all our wealth, you should not have done that. Indeed, Frederick, said she, I did not know that, you should have forewarned me. Catherine stood for a while and wondered, then she said, listen, Frederick, we will soon get the gold back again, we will run after the thieves. Come, then, said Frederick, we will try it, but take with you some butter and cheese that we may have something to eat on the way. Yes, Frederick, I will take them. They set out, and as Frederick was the better walker, Catherine followed him. It is to my advantage, thought she, when we turn back I shall be a little way in advance. Then she came to a hill where there were deep ruts on both sides of the road. There one can see, said Catherine, how they have torn and skinned and galled the poor earth, it will never be whole again as long as it lives, and in her heart's compassion she took her butter and smeared the ruts right and left, that they might not be so hurt by the wheels, and as she was thus bending down in her charity, one of the cheeses rolled out of her pocket down the hill. Said Catherine, I have made my way once up here, I will not go down again, another may run and fetch it back. So she took another cheese and rolled it down. But the cheeses did not come back, so she let a third run down, thinking. Perhaps they are waiting for company, and do not like to walk alone. As all three stayed away she said, I do not know what that can mean, but it may perhaps be that the third has not found the way, and has gone wrong, I will just send the fourth to call it. But the fourth did no better than the third. Then Catherine was angry, and threw down the fifth and sixth as well, and these were her last. She remained standing for some time watching for their coming, but when they still did not come, she said, oh, you are good folks to send in search of death, you stay a fine long time away. Do you think I will wait any longer for you. I shall go my way, you may run after me, you have younger legs than I. Catherine went on and found Frederick, who was standing waiting for her because he wanted something to eat. Now just let us have what you have brought with you, said he. She gave him the dry bread. Where have you the butter and the cheeses, asked the man. Ah, freddy, said Catherine, I smeared the cart-ruts with the butter and the cheeses will come soon, one ran away from me, so I sent the others after to call it. Said Frederick, you should not have done that, Catherine, to smear the butter on the road, and let the cheeses run down the hill. Really, Frederick, you should have told me. Then they ate the dry bread together, and Frederick said, Catherine, did you make the house safe when you came away. No, Frederick, you should have told me to do it before. Then go home again, and make the house safe before we go any farther, and bring with you something else to eat. I will wait here for you. Catherine went back and thought, Frederick wants something more to eat, he does not like butter and cheese, so I will take with me a handkerchief full of dried pears and a pitcher of vinegar for him to drink. Then she bolted the upper half of the door fast, but unhinged the lower door, and took it on her back, believing that when she had placed the door in security the house must be well taken care of. Catherine took her time on the way, and thought, Frederick will rest himself so much the longer. When she had once reached him she said, here is the house-door for you, Frederick, and now you can take care of the house yourself. Oh, heavens, said he, what a wise wife I have. She takes the under-door off the hinges that everything may run in, and bolts the upper one. It is now too late to go back home again, but since you have brought the door here, you shall just carry it farther. I will carry the door, Frederick, but the dried pears and the vinegar-jug will be too heavy for me, I will hang them on the door, it may carry them. And now they went into the forest, and sought the rogues, but did not find them. At length as it grew dark they climbed into a tree and resolved to spend the night there. Scarcely, however, had they sat down at the top of it than the rascals came thither who carry away with them what does not want to go, and find things before they are lost. They sat down under the very tree in which Frederick and Catherine were sitting, lighted a fire, and were about to share their booty. Frederick got down on the other side and collected some stones together. Then he climbed up again with them, and wished to throw them at the thieves and kill them. The stones, however, did not hit them, and the knaves cried, it will soon be morning, the wind is shaking down the fir-cones. Catherine still had the door on her back, and as it pressed so heavily on her, she thought it was the fault of the dried pears, and said, Frederick, I must throw the pears down. No, Catherine, not now, he replied, they might betray us. Oh, but, Frederick, I must. They weigh me down far too much. Do it, then, and be hanged. Then the dried pears rolled down between the branches, and the rascals below said, those are birds, droppings. A short time afterwards, as the door was still heavy, Catherine said, ah, Frederick, I must pour out the vinegar. No, Catherine, you must not, it might betray us. Ah, but, Frederick, I must, it weighs me down far too much. Then do it and be hanged. So she emptied out the vinegar, and it spattered over the robbers. They said amongst themselves, the dew is already falling. At length Catherine thought, can it really be the door which weighs me down so, and said, Frederick, I must throw the door down. No, not now, Catherine, it might betray us. Oh, but, Frederick, I must. It weighs me down far too much. Oh, no, Catherine, do hold it fast. Ah, Frederick, I am letting it fall. Let it go, then, in the devil's name. Then it fell down with a violent clatter, and the rascals below cried, the devil is coming down the tree, and they ran away and left everything behind them. Early next morning, when the two came down they found all their gold again, and carried it home. When they were once more at home, Frederick said, and now, Catherine, you, too, must be industrious and work. Yes, Frederick, I will soon do that, I will go into the field and cut corn. When Catherine got into the field, she said to herself, shall I eat before I cut, or shall I sleep before I cut. Oh, I will eat first. Then Catherine ate and eating made her sleepy, and she began to cut, and half in a dream cut all her clothes to pieces, her apron, her gown, and her shift. When Catherine awoke again after a long sleep she was standing there half-naked, and said to herself, is it I, or is it not I. Alas, it is not I. In the meantime night came, and Catherine ran into the village, knocked at her husband's window, and cried, Frederick. What is the matter. I should very much like to know if Catherine is in. Yes, yes, replied Frederick, she must be in and asleep. Said she, that's all right, then I am certainly at home already, and ran away. Outside Catherine found some vagabonds who were going to steal. Then she went to them and said, I will help you to steal. The rascals thought that she knew what opportunities the place offered, and were willing. Catherine went in front of the houses, and cried, good folks, have you anything. We want to steal. The thieves thought to themselves, that's a fine way of doing things, and wished themselves once more rid of Catherine. Then they said to her, outside the village the pastor has some turnips in the field. Go there and pull up some turnips for us. Catherine went to the ground, and began to pull them up, but was so lazy that she never stood up straight. Then a man came by, saw her, and stood still and thought that it was the devil who was thus rooting amongst the turnips. He ran away into the village to the pastor, and said, mr. Pastor, the devil is in your turnip-ground, rooting up turnips. Ah, heavens, answered the pastor, I have a lame foot, I cannot go out and drive him away. Said the man, then I will carry you on my back, and he carried him out on his back. And when they came to the ground, Catherine arose and stood up her full height. Ah, the devil, cried the pastor, and both hurried away, and in his great fright the pastor could run better with his lame foot than the man who had carried him on his back could do on his sound legs.

 

The Little Peasant

There was a certain village wherein no one lived but really rich peasants, and just one poor one, whom they called the little peasant. He had not even so much as a cow, and still less money to buy one, and yet he and his wife did so wish to have one. One day he said to her, listen, I have a good idea, there is our gossip the carpenter, he shall make us a wooden calf, and paint it brown, so that it looks like any other, and in time it will certainly get big and be a cow. The woman also liked the idea, and their gossip the carpenter cut and planed the calf, and painted it as it ought to be, and made it with its head hanging down as if it were eating. Next morning when the cows were being driven out, the little peasant called the cow-herd and said, look, I have a little calf there, but it is still small and has to be carried. The cow-herd said, all right, and took it in his arms and carried it to the pasture, and set it among the grass. The little calf always remained standing like one which was eating, and the cow-herd said, it will soon run by itself, just look how it eats already. At night when he was going to drive the herd home again, he said to the calf, if you can stand there and eat your fill, you can also go on your four legs. I don't care to drag you home again in my arms. But the little peasant stood at his door, and waited for his little calf, and when the cow-herd drove the cows through the village, and the calf was missing, he inquired where it was. The cow-herd answered, it is still standing out there eating. It would not stop and come with us. But the little peasant said, oh, but I must have my beast back again. Then they went back to the meadow together, but someone had stolen the calf, and it was gone. The cow-herd said, it must have run away. The peasant, however, said, don't tell me that, and led the cow-herd before the mayor, who for his carelessness condemned him to give the peasant a cow for the calf which had run away. And now the little peasant and his wife had the cow for which they had so long wished, and they were heartily glad, but they had no food for it, and could give it nothing to eat, so it soon had to be killed. They salted the flesh, and the peasant went into the town and wanted to sell the skin there, so that he might buy a new calf with the proceeds. On the way he passed by a mill, and there sat a raven with broken wings, and out of pity he took him and wrapped him in the skin. But as the weather grew so bad and there was a storm of rain and wind, he could go no farther, and turned back to the mill and begged for shelter. The miller's wife was alone in the house, and said to the peasant, lay yourself on the straw there, and gave him a slice of bread and cheese. The peasant ate it, and lay down with his skin beside him, and the woman thought, he is tired and has gone to sleep. In the meantime came the parson. The miller's wife received him well, and said, my husband is out, so we will have a feast. The peasant listened, and when he heard them talk about feasting he was vexed that he had been forced to make shift with a slice of bread and cheese. Then the woman served up four different things, roast meat, salad, cakes, and wine. Just as they were about to sit down and eat, there was a knocking outside. The woman said, oh, heavens. It is my husband. She quickly hid the roast meat inside the tiled stove, the wine under the pillow, the salad on the bed, the cakes under it, and the parson in the closet on the porch. Then she opened the door for her husband, and said, thank heaven, you are back again. There is such a storm, it looks as if the world were coming to an end. The miller saw the peasant lying on the straw, and asked, what is that fellow doing there. Ah, said the wife, the poor knave came in the storm and rain, and begged for shelter, so I gave him a bit of bread and cheese, and showed him where the straw was. The man said, I have no objection, but be quick and get me something to eat. The woman said, but I have nothing but bread and cheese. I am contented with anything, replied the husband, so far as I am concerned, bread and cheese will do, and looked at the peasant and said, come and eat some more with me. The peasant did not require to be invited twice, but got up and ate. After this the miller saw the skin in which the raven was, lying on the ground, and asked, what have you there. The peasant answered, I have a soothsayer inside it. Can he foretell anything to me, said the miller. Why not, answered the peasant, but he only says four things, and the fifth he keeps to himself. The miller was curious, and said, let him foretell something for once. Then the peasant pinched the raven's head, so that he croaked and made a noise like krr, krr. The miller said, what did he say. The peasant answered, in the first place, he says that there is some wine hidden under the pillow. Bless me, cried the miller, and went there and found the wine. Now go on, said he. The peasant made the raven croak again, and said, in the second place, he says that there is some roast meat in the tiled stove. Upon my word, cried the miller, and went thither, and found the roast meat. The peasant made the raven prophesy still more, and said, thirdly, he says that there is some salad on the bed. That would be a fine thing, cried the miller, and went there and found the salad. At last the peasant pinched the raven once more till he croaked, and said, fourthly, he says that there are some cakes under the bed. That would be a fine thing, cried the miller, and looked there, and found the cakes. And now the two sat down to the table together, but the miller's wife was frightened to death, and went to bed and took all the keys with her. The miller would have liked much to know the fifth, but the little peasant said, first, we will quickly eat the four things, for the fifth is something bad. So they ate, and after that they bargained how much the miller was to give for the fifth prophesy, until they agreed on three hundred talers. Then the peasant once more pinched the raven's head till he croaked loudly. The miller asked, what did he say. The peasant replied, he says that the devil is hiding outside there in the closet on the porch. The miller said, the devil must go out, and opened the house-door. Then the woman was forced to give up the keys, and the peasant unlocked the closet. The parson ran out as fast as he could, and the miller said, it was true. I saw the black rascal with my own eyes. The peasant, however, made off next morning by daybreak with the three hundred talers. At home the small peasant gradually launched out. He built a beautiful house, and the peasants said, the small peasant has certainly been to the place where golden snow falls, and people carry the gold home in shovels. Then the small peasant was brought before the mayor, and bidden to say from whence his wealth came. He answered, I sold my cow's skin in the town, for three hundred talers. When the peasants heard that, they too wished to enjoy this great profit, and ran home, killed all their cows, and stripped off their skins in order to sell them in the town to the greatest advantage. The mayor, however, said, but my servant must go first. When she came to the merchant in the town, he did not give her more than two talers for a skin, and when the others came, he did not give them so much, and said, what can I do with all these skins. Then the peasants were vexed that the small peasant should have thus outwitted them, wanted to take vengeance on him, and accused him of this treachery before the mayor. The innocent little peasant was unanimously sentenced to death, and was to be rolled into the water, in a barrel pierced full of holes. He was led forth, and a priest was brought who was to say a mass for his soul. The others were all obliged to retire to a distance, and when the peasant looked at the priest, he recognized the man who had been with the miller's wife. He said to him, I set you free from the closet, set me free from the barrel. At this same moment up came, with a flock of sheep, the very shepherd whom the peasant knew had long been wishing to be mayor, so he cried with all his might, no, I will not do it. If the whole world insists on it, I will not do it. The shepherd hearing that, came up to him, and asked, what are you about. What is it that you will not do. The peasant said, they want to make me mayor, if I will but put myself in the barrel, but I will not do it. The shepherd said, if nothing more than that is needful in order to be mayor, I would get into the barrel at once. The peasant said, if you will get in, you will be mayor. The shepherd was willing, and got in, and the peasant shut the top down on him. Then he took the shepherd's flock for himself, and drove it away. The parson went to the crowd, and declared that the mass had been said. Then they came and rolled the barrel towards the water. When the barrel began to roll, the shepherd cried, I am quite willing to be mayor. They believed no otherwise than that it was the peasant who was saying this, and answered, that is what we intend, but first you shall look about you a little down below there, and they rolled the barrel down into the water. After that the peasants went home, and as they were entering the village, the small peasant also came quietly in, driving a flock of sheep and looking quite contented. Then the peasants were astonished, and said, peasant, from whence do you come. Have you come out of the water. Yes, truly, replied the peasant, I sank deep, deep down, until at last I got to the bottom. I pushed the bottom out of the barrel, and crept out, and there were pretty meadows on which a number of lambs were feeding, and from thence I brought this flock away with me. Said the peasants, are there any more. Oh, yes, said he, more than I could want. Then the peasants made up their minds that they too would fetch some sheep for themselves, a flock apiece, but the mayor said, I come first. So they went to the water together, and just then there were some of the small fleecy clouds in the blue sky, which are called little lambs, and they were reflected in the water, whereupon the peasants cried, we already see the sheep down below. The mayor pressed forward and said, I will go down first, and look about me, and if things promise well I'll call you. So he jumped in. Splash, went the water. It sounded as if he were calling them, and the whole crowd plunged in after him as one man. Then the entire village was dead, and the small peasant, as sole heir, became a rich man.

 

The Boots of Buffalo-Leather

A soldier who is afraid of nothing, troubles himself about nothing. One of this kind had received his discharge, and as he had learnt no trade and could earn nothing, he traveled about and begged alms of kind people. He had an old rain-coat on his back, and a pair of riding-boots of buffalo-leather which were still left to him. One day he was walking he knew not where, straight out into the open country, and at length came to a forest. He did not know where he was, but saw sitting on the trunk of a tree, which had been cut down, a man who was well dressed and wore a green shooting-coat. The soldier shook hands with him, sat down on the grass by his side, and stretched out his legs. I see you have good boots on, which are well blacked, said he to the huntsman, but if you had to travel about as I have, they would not last long. Look at mine, they are of buffalo-leather, and have been worn for a long time, but in them I can go through thick and thin. After a while the soldier got up and said, I can stay no longer, hunger drives me onwards, but, brother brightboots, where does this road lead to. I don't know that myself, answered the huntsman, I have lost my way in the forest. Then you are in the same plight as I, said the soldier. Birds of a feather flock together, let us remain together, and seek our way. The huntsman smiled a little, and they walked on further and further, until night fell. We do not get out of the forest, said the soldier, but there in the distance I see a light shining. There we might find something to eat. They found a stone house, knocked at the door, and an old woman opened it. We are looking for quarters for the night, said the soldier, and some lining for our stomachs, for mine is as empty as an old knapsack. You cannot stay here, answered the old woman. This is a robbers, house, and you would do wisely to get away before they come home, or you will be lost. It won't be so bad as that, answered the soldier, I have not had a mouthful for two days, and whether I am murdered here or die of hunger in the forest is all the same to me. I shall come in. The huntsman would not follow, but the soldier drew him in with him by the sleeve. Come, my dear brother, we shall not come to an end so quickly as that. The old woman had pity on them and said, creep in here behind the stove, and if they leave anything, I will give it to you on the sly when they are asleep. Scarcely were they in the corner before twelve robbers came bursting in, seated themselves at the table which was already laid, and vehemently demanded some food. The old woman brought in some great dishes of roast meat, and the robbers enjoyed that thoroughly. When the soldier smelled the food, he said to the huntsman, I cannot hold out any longer, I shall seat myself at the table, and eat with them. You will bring us to destruction, said the huntsman, and held him back by the arm. But the soldier began to cough loudly. When the robbers heard that, they threw away their knives and forks, leapt up, and discovered the two who were behind the stove. Aha, gentlemen, are you in the corner, cried they. What are you doing here. Have you been sent as spies. Wait a while, and you shall learn how to fly on a dry bough. But do be civil, said the soldier, I am hungry, give me something to eat, and then you can do what you like with me. The robbers were astonished, and the captain said, I see that you have no fear. Well, you shall have some food, but after that you must die. We shall see, said the soldier, and seated himself at the table, and began to cut away valiantly at the roast meat. Brother brightboots, come and eat, cried he to the huntsman. You must be as hungry as I am, and cannot have better roast meat at home, but the huntsman would not eat. The robbers looked at the soldier in astonishment, and said, the rascal uses no ceremony. After a while he said, I have had enough food, now get me something good to drink. The chief of the robbers was in the mood to humor him in this also, and called to the old woman, bring a bottle out of the cellar, and mind it be of the best. The soldier drew the cork out with a loud noise, and then went with the bottle to the huntsman and said, watch this, brother, and you shall see something that will surprise you. I am now going to drink the health of the whole clan. Then he brandished the bottle over the heads of the robbers, and cried, long life to you all, but with your mouths open and your right hands lifted up, and then he drank a hearty draught. Scarcely were the words said than they all sat motionless as if made of stone, and their mouths were open and their right hands stretched up in the air. The huntsman said to the soldier, I see that you are acquainted with tricks of another kind, but now come and let us go home. Oho, my dear brother, but that would be marching away far too soon. We have conquered the enemy, and must first take the booty. Those men there are sitting fast, and are opening their mouths with astonishment, but they will not be allowed to move until I permit them. Come, eat and drink. The old woman had to bring another bottle of the best wine, and the soldier would not stir until he had eaten enough to last for three days. At last when day came, he said, now it is time to strike our tents, and in order that our march may be a short one, the old woman shall show us the nearest way to the town.

When they had arrived there, he went to his old comrades, and said, out in the forest I have found a nest full of gallows, birds, come with me and we will take it. The soldier led them, and said to the huntsman, you must go back again with me to see how they flutter when we seize them by the feet. He placed the men round about the robbers, and then he took the bottle, drank a mouthful, brandished it above them, and cried, long life to you all. Instantly they all regained the power of movement, but were thrown down and bound hand and foot with cords. Then the soldier ordered them to be thrown into a cart as if they had been so many sacks, and said, now drive them straight to prison. The huntsman, however, took one of the men aside and gave him another commission as well.

Brother brightboots, said the soldier, we have safely routed the enemy and been well fed, now we will quietly walk behind them as if we were stragglers. When they approached the town, the soldier saw a crowd of people pouring through the gate of the town who were raising loud cries of joy, and waving green boughs in the air. Then he saw that the entire body-guard was coming up. What can this mean, said he to the huntsman.

Don't you know, he replied, that the king has for a long time been absent from his kingdom, and that today he is returning, and every one is going to meet him. But where is the king, said the soldier. I do not see him. Here he is, answered the huntsman, I am the king, and have announced my arrival.

Then he opened his hunting-coat, and his royal garments were visible. The soldier was alarmed, and fell on his knees and begged him to forgive him for having in his ignorance treated him as an equal, and spoken to him by such a name. But the king shook hands with him, and said, you are a brave soldier, and have saved my life. You shall never again be in want, I will take care of you. And if ever you would like to eat a piece of roast meat, as good as that in the robber's house, come to the royal kitchen. But if you would drink a health, you must first ask my permission.

 

 

 

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