History of Literature









Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm


"Grimms Fairy Tales"




"Grimms Fairy Tales"


 



 




Grimms Fairy Tales



Translation by Margaret Hunt
 

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.

 

 

 
     
         
 

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