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THE YELLOW FAIRY BOOK
JOAN, TODDLES, AND TINY
Books Yellow, Red, and Green and Blue,
All true, or just as good as true,
And here's the Yellow Book for YOU!
Hard is the path from A to Z,
And puzzling to a curly head,
Yet leads to Books--Green, Blue, and Red.
For every child should understand
That letters from the first were planned
To guide us into Fairy Land
So labour at your Alphabet,
For by that learning shall you get
To lands where Fairies may be met.
And going where this pathway goes,
You too, at last, may find, who knows?
The Garden of the Singing Rose.
The Editor thinks that children will readily forgive him for
publishing another Fairy Book. We have had the Blue, the Red,
the Green, and here is the Yellow. If children are pleased, and
they are so kind as to say that they are pleased, the Editor does
not care very much for what other people may say. Now, there is
one gentleman who seems to think that it is not quite right to
print so many fairy tales, with pictures, and to publish them in
red and blue covers. He is named Mr. G. Laurence Gomme, and he
is president of a learned body called the Folk Lore Society.
Once a year he makes his address to his subjects, of whom the
Editor is one, and Mr. Joseph Jacobs (who has published many
delightful fairy tales with pretty pictures) is another.
Fancy, then, the dismay of Mr. Jacobs, and of the Editor, when
they heard their president say that he did not think it very nice
in them to publish fairy books, above all, red, green, and blue
fairy books! They said that they did not see any harm in it,
and they were ready to 'put themselves on their country,' and be
tried by a jury of children. And, indeed, they still see no harm
in what they have done; nay, like Father William in the poem,
they are ready 'to do it again and again.'
 You may buy them from Mr. Nutt, in the Strand.
Where is the harm? The truth is that the Folk Lore Society--made
up of the most clever, learned, and beautiful men and women of
the country--is fond of studying the history and geography of
Fairy Land. This is contained in very old tales, such as country
people tell, and savages:
'Little Sioux and little Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo.'
These people are thought to know most about fairyland and its
inhabitants. But, in the Yellow Fairy Book, and the rest, are
many tales by persons who are neither savages nor rustics, such
as Madame D'Aulnoy and Herr Hans Christian Andersen. The Folk
Lore Society, or its president, say that THEIR tales are not so
true as the rest, and should not be published with the rest. But
WE say that all the stories which are pleasant to read are quite
true enough for us; so here they are, with pictures by Mr. Ford,
and we do not think that either the pictures or the stories are
likely to mislead children.
As to whether there are really any fairies or not, that is a
difficult question. Professor Huxley thinks there are none. The
Editor never saw any himself, but he knows several people who
have seen them--in the Highlands--and heard their music. If ever
you are in Nether Lochaber, go to the Fairy Hill, and you may
hearthe music yourself, as grown-up people have done, but you
must goon a fine day. Again, if there are really no fairies, why
dopeople believe in them, all over the world? The ancient Greeks
believed, so did the old Egyptians, and the Hindoos, and the Red
Indians, and is it likely, if there are no fairies, that so many
different peoples would have seen and heard them? The Rev. Mr.
Baring-Gould saw several fairies when he was a boy, and was
travelling in the land of the Troubadours. For these reasons,
the Editor thinks that there are certainly fairies, but they
never do anyone any harm; and, in England, they have been
frightened away by smoke and schoolmasters. As to Giants, they
have died out, but real Dwarfs are common in the forests of
Africa. Probably a good many stories not perfectly true have
been told about fairies, but such stories have also been told
about Napoleon, Claverhouse, Julius Caesar, and Joan of Arc, all
of whom certainly existed. A wise child will, therefore,
remember that, if he grows up and becomes a member of the Folk
Lore Society, ALL the tales in this book were not offered to him
as absolutely truthful, but were printed merely for his
entertainment. The exact facts he can learn later, or he can
leave them alone.
There are Russian, German, French, Icelandic, Red Indian, and
other stories here. They were translated by Miss Cheape, Miss
Alma, and Miss Thyra Alleyne, Miss Sellar, Mr. Craigie (he did
the Icelandic tales), Miss Blackley, Mrs. Dent, and Mrs. Lang,
but the Red Indian stories are copied from English versions
published by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology, in America.
Mr. Ford did the pictures, and it is hoped that children will
find the book not less pleasing than those which have already
been submitted to their consideration. The Editor cannot say
'good-bye' without advising them, as they pursue their studies,
to read The Rose and the Ring, by the late Mr. Thackeray, with
pictures by the author. This book he thinks quite indispensable
in every child's library, and parents should be urged to purchase
it at the first opportunity, as without it no education is
The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership
The Six Swans
The Dragon of the North
Story of the Emperor's New Clothes
The Golden Crab
The Iron Stove
The Dragon and his Grandmother
The Donkey Cabbage
The Little Green Frog
The Seven-headed Serpent
The Grateful Beasts
The Giants and the Herd-boy
The Invisible Prince
How Six Men travelled through the Wide World
The Wizard King
The Glass Mountain
Alphege, or the Green Monkey
The Three Brothers
The Boy and the Wolves, or the Broken Promise
The Glass Axe
The Dead Wife
In the Land of Souls
The White Duck
The Witch and her Servants
The Magic Ring
The Flower Queen's Daughter
The Flying Ship
The Snow-daughter and the Fire-son
The Story of King Frost
The Death of the Sun-hero
The Hazel-nut Child
The Story of Big Klaus and Little Klaus
How to tell a True Princess
The Blue Mountains
The Witch in the Stone Boat
Hermod and Hadvor
The Steadfast Tin-soldier
A Story about a Darning-needle
THE YELLOW FAIRY BOOK
THE CAT AND THE MOUSE IN PARTNERSHIP
A cat had made acquaintance with a mouse, and had spoken so much
of the great love and friendship she felt for her, that at last
the Mouse consented to live in the same house with her, and to go
shares in the housekeeping. 'But we must provide for the winter
or else we shall suffer hunger,' said the Cat. 'You, little
Mouse, cannot venture everywhere in case you run at last into a
trap.' This good counsel was followed, and a little pot of fat
was bought. But they did not know where to put it. At length,
after long consultation, the Cat said, 'I know of no place where
it could be better put than in the church. No one will trouble
to take it away from there. We will hide it in a corner, and we
won't touch it till we are in want.' So the little pot was
placed in safety; but it was not long before the Cat had a great
longing for it, and said to the Mouse, 'I wanted to tell you,
little Mouse, that my cousin has a little son, white with brown
spots, and she wants me to be godmother to it. Let me go out
to-day, and do you take care of the house alone.'
'Yes, go certainly,' replied the Mouse, 'and when you eat
anything good, think of me; I should very much like a drop of the
red christening wine.'
But it was all untrue. The Cat had no cousin, and had not been
asked to be godmother. She went straight to the church, slunk to
the little pot of fat, began to lick it, and licked the top off.
Then she took a walk on the roofs of the town, looked at the
view, stretched herself out in the sun, and licked her lips
whenever she thought of the little pot of fat. As soon as it was
evening she went home again.
'Ah, here you are again!' said the Mouse; 'you must certainly
have had an enjoyable day.'
'It went off very well,' answered the Cat.
'What was the child's name?' asked the Mouse.
'Top Off,' said the Cat drily.
'Topoff!' echoed the Mouse, 'it is indeed a wonderful and curious
name. Is it in your family?'
'What is there odd about it?' said the Cat. 'It is not worse
than Breadthief, as your godchild is called.'
Not long after this another great longing came over the Cat. She
said to the Mouse, 'You must again be kind enough to look after
the house alone, for I have been asked a second time to stand
godmother, and as this child has a white ring round its neck, I
The kind Mouse agreed, but the Cat slunk under the town wall to
the church, and ate up half of the pot of fat. 'Nothing tastes
better,' said she, 'than what one eats by oneself,' and she was
very much pleased with her day's work. When she came home the
Mouse asked, 'What was this child called?'
'Half Gone,' answered the Cat.
'Halfgone! what a name! I have never heard it in my life. I
don't believe it is in the calendar.'
Soon the Cat's mouth began to water once more after her licking
business. 'All good things in threes,' she said to the Mouse; 'I
have again to stand godmother. The child is quite black, and has
very white paws, but not a single white hair on its body. This
only happens once in two years, so you will let me go out?'
'Topoff! Halfgone!' repeated the Mouse, 'they are such curious
names; they make me very thoughtful.'
'Oh, you sit at home in your dark grey coat and your long tail,'
said the Cat, 'and you get fanciful. That comes of not going out
in the day.'
The Mouse had a good cleaning out while the Cat was gone, and
made the house tidy; but the greedy Cat ate the fat every bit up.
'When it is all gone one can be at rest,' she said to herself,
and at night she came home sleek and satisfied. The Mouse asked
at once after the third child's name.
'It won't please you any better,' said the Cat, 'he was called
'Cleangone!' repeated the Mouse. 'I do not believe that name has
been printed any more than the others. Cleangone! What can it
mean?' She shook her head, curled herself up, and went to sleep.
From this time on no one asked the Cat to stand godmother; but
when the winter came and there was nothing to be got outside, the
Mouse remembered their provision and said, 'Come, Cat, we will go
to our pot of fat which we have stored away; it will taste very
'Yes, indeed,' answered the Cat; ' it will taste as good to you
as if you stretched your thin tongue out of the window.'
They started off, and when they reached it they found the pot in
its place, but quite empty!
'Ah,' said the Mouse,' 'now I know what has happened! It has all
come out! You are a true friend to me! You have eaten it all
when you stood godmother; first the top off, then half of it
'Will you be quiet!' screamed the Cat. 'Another word and I will
eat you up.'
'Cleangone' was already on the poor Mouse's tongue, and scarcely
was it out than the Cat made a spring at her, seized and
You see that is the way of the world.
THE SIX SWANS
A king was once hunting in a great wood, and he hunted the game
so eagerly that none of his courtiers could follow him. When
evening came on he stood still and looked round him, and he saw
that he had quite lost himself. He sought a way out, but could
find none. Then he saw an old woman with a shaking head coming
towards him; but she was a witch.
'Good woman,' he said to her, 'can you not show me the way out of
'Oh, certainly, Sir King,' she replied, 'I can quite well do
that, but on one condition, which if you do not fulfil you will
never get out of the wood, and will die of hunger.'
'What is the condition?' asked the King.
'I have a daughter,' said the old woman, 'who is so beautiful
that she has not her equal in the world, and is well fitted to be
your wife; if you will make her lady-queen I will show you the
way out of the wood.'
The King in his anguish of mind consented, and the old woman led
him to her little house where her daughter was sitting by the
fire. She received the King as if she were expecting him, and he
saw that she was certainly very beautiful; but she did not please
him, and he could not look at her without a secret feeling of
horror. As soon as he had lifted the maiden on to his horse the
old woman showed him the way, and the King reached his palace,
where the wedding was celebrated.
The King had already been married once, and had by his first wife
seven children, six boys and one girl, whom he loved more than
anything in the world. And now, because he was afraid that their
stepmother might not treat them well and might do them harm, he
put them in a lonely castle that stood in the middle of a wood.
It lay so hidden, and the way to it was so hard to find, that he
himself could not have found it out had not a wise-woman given
him a reel of thread which possessed a marvellous property: when
he threw it before him it unwound itself and showed him the way.
But the King went so often to his dear children that the Queen
was offended at his absence. She grew curious, and wanted to
know what he had to do quite alone in the wood. She gave his
servants a great deal of money, and they betrayed the secret to
her, and also told her of the reel which alone could point out
the way. She had no rest now till she had found out where the
King guarded the reel, and then she made some little white
shirts, and, as she had learnt from her witch-mother, sewed an
enchantment in each of them.
And when the King had ridden off she took the little shirts and
went into the wood, and the reel showed her the way. The
children, who saw someone coming in the distance, thought it was
their dear father coming to them, and sprang to meet him very
joyfully. Then she threw over each one a little shirt, which
when it had touched their bodies changed them into swans, and
they flew away over the forest. The Queen went home quite
satisfied, and thought she had got rid of her step-children; but
the girl had not run to meet her with her brothers, and she knew
nothing of her.
The next day the King came to visit his children, but he found no
one but the girl.
'Where are your brothers?' asked the King.
'Alas! dear father,' she answered, 'they have gone away and left
me all alone.' And she told him that looking out of her little
window she had seen her brothers flying over the wood in the
shape of swans, and she showed him the feathers which they had
let fall in the yard, and which she had collected. The King
mourned, but he did not think that the Queen had done the wicked
deed, and as he was afraid the maiden would also be taken from
him, he wanted to take her with him. But she was afraid of the
stepmother, and begged the King to let her stay just one night
more in the castle in the wood. The poor maiden thought, 'My
home is no longer here; I will go and seek my brothers.' And
when night came she fled away into the forest. She ran all
through the night and the next day, till she could go no farther
for weariness. Then she saw a little hut, went in, and found a
room with six little beds. She was afraid to lie down on one, so
she crept under one of them, lay on the hard floor, and was going
to spend the night there. But when the sun had set she heard a
noise, and saw six swans flying in at the window. They stood on
the floor and blew at one another, and blew all their feathers
off, and their swan-skin came off like a shirt. Then the maiden
recognised her brothers, and overjoyed she crept out from under
the bed. Her brothers were not less delighted than she to see
their little sister again, but their joy did not last long.
'You cannot stay here,' they said to her. 'This is a den of
robbers; if they were to come here and find you they would kill
'Could you not protect me?' asked the little sister.
'No,' they answered, 'for we can only lay aside our swan skins
for a quarter of an hour every evening. For this time we regain
our human forms, but then we are changed into swans again.'
Then the little sister cried and said, 'Can you not be freed?'
'Oh, no,' they said, 'the conditions are too hard. You must not
speak or laugh for six years, and must make in that time six
shirts for us out of star-flowers. If a single word comes out of
your mouth, all your labour is vain.' And when the brothers had
said this the quarter of an hour came to an end, and they flew
away out of the window as swans.
But the maiden had determined to free her brothers even if it
should cost her her life. She left the hut, went into the
forest, climbed a tree, and spent the night there. The next
morning she went out, collected star-flowers, and began to sew.
She could speak to no one, and she had no wish to laugh, so she
sat there, looking only at her work.
When she had lived there some time, it happened that the King of
the country was hunting in the forest, and his hunters came to
the tree on which the maiden sat. They called to her and said
'Who are you?'
But she gave no answer.
'Come down to us,' they said, 'we will do you no harm.'
But she shook her head silently. As they pressed her further
with questions, she threw them the golden chain from her neck.
But they did not leave off, and she threw them her girdle, and
when this was no use, her garters, and then her dress. The
huntsmen would not leave her alone, but climbed the tree, lifted
the maiden down, and led her to the King. The King asked, 'Who
are you? What are you doing up that tree?'
But she answered nothing.
He asked her in all the languages he knew, but she remained as
dumb as a fish. Because she was so beautiful, however, the
King's heart was touched, and he was seized with a great love for
her. He wrapped her up in his cloak, placed her before him on
his horse. and brought her to his castle. There he had her
dressed in rich clothes, and her beauty shone out as bright as
day, but not a word could be drawn from her. He set her at table
by his side, and her modest ways and behaviour pleased him so
much that he said, 'I will marry this maiden and none other in
the world,' and after some days he married her. But the King had
a wicked mother who was displeased with the marriage, and said
wicked things of the young Queen. 'Who knows who this girl is?'
she said; 'she cannot speak, and is not worthy of a king.'
After a year, when the Queen had her first child, the old mother
took it away from her. Then she went to the King and said that
the Queen had killed it. The King would not believe it, and
would not allow any harm to be done her. But she sat quietly
sewing at the shirts and troubling herself about nothing. The
next time she had a child the wicked mother did the same thing,
but the King could not make up his mind to believe her. He said,
'She is too sweet and good to do such a thing as that. If she
were not dumb and could defend herself, her innocence would be
proved.' But when the third child was taken away, and the Queen
was again accused, and could not utter a word in her own defence,
the King was obliged to give her over to the law, which decreed
that she must be burnt to death. When the day came on which the
sentence was to be executed, it was the last day of the six years
in which she must not speak or laugh, and now she had freed her
dear brothers from the power of the enchantment. The six shirts
were done; there was only the left sleeve wanting to the last.
When she was led to the stake, she laid the shirts on her arm,
and as she stood on the pile and the fire was about to be
lighted, she looked around her and saw six swans flying through
the air. Then she knew that her release was at hand and her
heart danced for joy. The swans fluttered round her, and hovered
low so that she could throw the shirts over them. When they had
touched them the swan-skins fell off, and her brothers stood
before her living, well and beautiful. Only the youngest had a
swan's wing instead of his left arm. They embraced and kissed
each other, and the Queen went to the King, who was standing by
in great astonishment, and began to speak to him, saying,
'Dearest husband, now I can speak and tell you openly that I am
innocent and have been falsely accused.'
She told him of the old woman's deceit, and how she had taken the
three children away and hidden them. Then they were fetched, to
the great joy of the King, and the wicked mother came to no good
But the King and the Queen with their six brothers lived many
years in happiness and peace.
THE DRAGON OF THE NORTH
 'Der Norlands Drache,' from Esthnische Mahrchen. Kreutzwald,
Very long ago, as old people have told me, there lived a terrible
monster, who came out of the North, and laid waste whole tracts
of country, devouring both men and beasts; and this monster was
so destructive that it was feared that unless help came no living
creature would be left on the face of the earth. It had a body
like an ox, and legs like a frog, two short fore-legs, and two
long ones behind, and besides that it had a tail like a serpent,
ten fathoms in length. When it moved it jumped like a frog, and
with every spring it covered half a mile of ground. Fortunately
its habit, was to remain for several years in the same place, and
not to move on till the whole neighbourhood was eaten up.
Nothing could hunt it, because its whole body was covered with
scales, which were harder than stone or metal; its two great eyes
shone by night, and even by day, like the brightest lamps, and
anyone who had the ill luck to look into those eyes became as it
were bewitched, and was obliged to rush of his own accord into
the monster's jaws. In this way the Dragon was able to feed upon
both men and beasts without the least trouble to itself, as it
needed not to move from the spot where it was lying. All the
neighbouring kings had offered rich rewards to anyone who should
be able to destroy the monster, either by force or enchantment,
and many had tried their luck, but all had miserably failed.
Once a great forest in which the Dragon lay had been set on fire;
the forest was burnt down, but the fire did not do the monster
the least harm. However, there was a tradition amongst the wise
men of the country that the Dragon might be overcome by one who
possessed King Solomon's signet-ring, upon which a secret writing
was engraved. This inscription would enable anyone who was wise
enough to interpret it to find out how the Dragon could be
destroyed. Only no one knew where the ring was hidden, nor was
there any sorcerer or learned man to be found who would be able
to explain the inscription.
At last a young man, with a good heart and plenty of courage, set
out to search for the ring. He took his way towards the
sunrising, because he knew that all the wisdom of old time comes
from the East. After some years he met with a famous Eastern
magician, and asked for his advice in the matter. The magician
'Mortal men have but little wisdom, and can give you no help, but
the birds of the air would be better guides to you if you could
learn their language. I can help you to understand it if you
will stay with me a few days.'
The youth thankfully accepted the magician's offer, and said, 'I
cannot now offer you any reward for your kindness, but should my
undertaking succeed your trouble shall be richly repaid.'
Then the magician brewed a powerful potion out of nine sorts of
herbs which he had gathered himself all alone by moonlight, and
he gave the youth nine spoonfuls of it daily for three days,
which made him able to understand the language of birds.
At parting the magician said to him. 'If you ever find Solomon's
ring and get possession of it, then come back to me, that I may
explain the inscription on the ring to you, for there is no one
else in the world who can do this.'
From that time the youth never felt lonely as he walked along; he
always had company, because he understood the language of birds;
and in this way he learned many things which mere human knowledge
could never have taught him. But time went on, and he heard
nothing about the ring. It happened one evening, when he was hot
and tired with walking, and had sat down under a tree in a forest
to eat his supper, that he saw two gaily-plumaged birds, that
were strange to him, sitting at the top of the tree talking to
one another about him. The first bird said:
'I know that wandering fool under the tree there, who has come so
far without finding what he seeks. He is trying to find King
Solomon's lost ring.'
The other bird answered, 'He will have to seek help from the
Witch-maiden, who will doubtless be able to put him on the
right track. If she has not got the ring herself, she knows well
enough who has it.'
'But where is he to find the Witch-maiden?' said the first bird.
'She has no settled dwelling, but is here to-day and gone
to-morrow. He might as well try to catch the wind.'
The other replied, 'I do not know, certainly, where she is at
present, but in three nights from now she will come to the spring
to wash her face, as she does every month when the moon is full,
in order that she may never grow old nor wrinkled, but may always
keep the bloom of youth.'
'Well,' said the first bird, 'the spring is not far from here.
Shall we go and see how it is she does it?'
'Willingly, if you like,' said the other.
The youth immediately resolved to follow the birds to the spring,
only two things made him uneasy: first, lest he might be asleep
when the birds went, and secondly, lest he might lose sight of
them, since he had not wings to carry him along so swiftly. He
was too tired to keep awake all night, yet his anxiety prevented
him from sleeping soundly, and when with the earliest dawn he
looked up to the tree-top, he was glad to see his feathered
companions still asleep with their heads under their wings. He
ate his breakfast, and waited until the birds should start, but
they did not leave the place all day. They hopped about from one
tree to another looking for food, all day long until the evening,
when they went back to their old perch to sleep. The next day
the same thing happened, but on the third morning one bird said
to the other, 'To-day we must go to the spring to see the
Witch-maiden wash her face.' They remained on the tree till
noon; then they flew away and went towards the south. The young
man's heart beat with anxiety lest he should lose sight of his
guides, but he managed to keep the birds in view until they again
perched upon a tree. The young man ran after them until he was
quite exhausted and out of breath, and after three short rests
the birds at length reached a small open space in the forest, on
the edge of which they placed themselves on the top of a high
tree. When the youth had overtaken them, he saw that there was a
clear spring in the middle of the space. He sat down at the foot
of the tree upon which the birds were perched, and listened
attentively to what they were saying to each other.
'The sun is not down yet,' said the first bird; 'we must wait yet
awhile till the moon rises and the maiden comes to the spring.
Do you think she will see that young man sitting under the tree?'
'Nothing is likely to escape her eyes, certainly not a young man,
said the other bird. 'Will the youth have the sense not to let
himself be caught in her toils?'
'We will wait,' said the first bird, 'and see how they get on
The evening light had quite faded, and the full moon was already
shining down upon the forest, when the young man heard a slight
rustling sound. After a few moments there came out of the forest
a maiden, gliding over the grass so lightly that her feet seemed
scarcely to touch the ground, and stood beside the spring. The
youth could not turn away his eyes from the maiden, for he had
never in his life seen a woman so beautiful. Without seeming to
notice anything, she went to the spring, looked up to the full
moon, then knelt down and bathed her face nine times, then looked
up to the moon again and walked nine times round the well, and as
she walked she sang this song:
'Full-faced moon with light unshaded,
Let my beauty ne'er be faded.
Never let my cheek grow pale!
While the moon is waning nightly,
May the maiden bloom more brightly,
May her freshness never fail!'
Then she dried her face with her long hair, and was about to go
away, when her eye suddenly fell upon the spot where the young
man was sitting, and she turned towards the tree. The youth rose
and stood waiting. Then the maiden said, 'You ought to have a
heavy punishment because you have presumed to watch my secret
doings in the moonlight. But I will forgive you this time,
because you are a stranger and knew no better. But you must tell
me truly who you are and how you came to this place, where no
mortal has ever set foot before.'
The youth answered humbly: 'Forgive me, beautiful maiden, if I
have unintentionally offended you. I chanced to come here after
long wandering, and found a good place to sleep under this tree.
At your coming I did not know what to do, but stayed where I was,
because I thought my silent watching could not offend you.'
The maiden answered kindly, 'Come and spend this night with us.
You will sleep better on a pillow than on damp moss.'
The youth hesitated for a little, but presently he heard the
birds saying from the top of the tree, 'Go where she calls you,
but take care to give no blood, or you will sell your soul.' So
the youth went with her, and soon they reached a beautiful
garden, where stood a splendid house, which glittered in the
moonlight as if it was all built out of gold and silver. When
the youth entered he found many splendid chambers, each one finer
than the last. Hundreds of tapers burnt upon golden
candlesticks, and shed a light like the brightest day. At length
they reached a chamber where a table was spread with the most
costly dishes. At the table were placed two chairs, one of
silver, the other of gold. The maiden seated herself upon the
golden chair, and offered the silver one to her companion. They
were served by maidens dressed in white, whose feet made no sound
as they moved about, and not a word was spoken during the meal.
Afterwards the youth and the Witch-maiden conversed pleasantly
together, until a woman, dressed in red, came in to remind them
that it was bedtime. The youth was now shown into another room,
containing a silken bed with down cushions, where he slept
delightfully, yet he seemed to hear a voice near his bed which
repeated to him, 'Remember to give no blood!'
The next morning the maiden asked him whether he would not like
to stay with her always in this beautiful place, and as he did
not answer immediately, she continued: 'You see how I always
remain young and beautiful, and I am under no one's orders, but
can do just what I like, so that I have never thought of marrying
before. But from the moment I saw you I took a fancy to you, so
if you agree, we might be married and might live together like
princes, because I have great riches.'
The youth could not but be tempted with the beautiful maiden's
offer, but he remembered how the birds had called her the witch,
and their warning always sounded in his ears. Therefore he
answered cautiously, 'Do not be angry, dear maiden, if I do not
decide immediately on this important matter. Give me a few days
to consider before we come to an understanding.'
'Why not?' answered the maiden. 'Take some weeks to consider if
you like, and take counsel with your own heart.' And to make the
time pass pleasantly, she took the youth over every part of her
beautiful dwelling, and showed him all her splendid treasures.
But these treasures were all produced by enchantment, for the
maiden could make anything she wished appear by the help of King
Solomon's signet ring; only none of these things remained fixed;
they passed away like the wind without leaving a trace behind.
But the youth did not know this; he thought they were all real.
One day the maiden took him into a secret chamber, where a little
gold box was standing on a silver table. Pointing to the box,
she said, 'Here is my greatest treasure, whose like is not to be
found in the whole world. It is a precious gold ring. When you
marry me, I will give you this ring as a marriage gift, and it
will make you the happiest of mortal men. But in order that our
love may last for ever, you must give me for the ring three drops
of blood from the little finger of your left hand.'
When the youth heard these words a cold shudder ran over him, for
he remembered that his soul was at stake. He was cunning enough,
however, to conceal his feelings and to make no direct answer,
but he only asked the maiden, as if carelessly, what was
remarkable about the ring?
She answered, 'No mortal is able entirely to understand the power
of this ring, because no one thoroughly understands the secret
signs engraved upon it. But even with my half-knowledge I can
work great wonders. If I put the ring upon the little finger of
my left hand, then I can fly like a bird through the air wherever
I wish to go. If I put it on the third finger of my left hand I
am invisible, and I can see everything that passes around me,
though no one can see me. If I put the ring upon the middle
finger of my left hand, then neither fire nor water nor any sharp
weapon can hurt me. If I put it on the forefinger of my left
hand, then I can with its help produce whatever I wish. I can in
a single moment build houses or anything I desire. Finally, as
long as I wear the ring on the thumb of my left hand, that hand
is so strong that it can break down rocks and walls. Besides
these, the ring has other secret signs which, as I said, no one
can understand. No doubt it contains secrets of great
importance. The ring formerly belonged to King Solomon, the
wisest of kings, during whose reign the wisest men lived. But it
is not known whether this ring was ever made by mortal hands: it
is supposed that an angel gave it to the wise King.'
When the youth heard all this he determined to try and get
possession of the ring, though he did not quite believe in all
its wonderful gifts. He wished the maiden would let him have it
in his hand, but he did not quite like to ask her to do so, and
after a while she put it back into the box. A few days after
they were again speaking of the magic ring, and the youth said,
'I do not think it possible that the ring can have all the power
you say it has.'
Then the maiden opened the box and took the ring out, and it
glittered as she held it like the clearest sunbeam. She put it
on the middle finger of her left hand, and told the youth to take
a knife and try as hard as he could to cut her with it, for he
would not be able to hurt her. He was unwilling at first, but
the maiden insisted. Then he tried, at first only in play, and
then seriously, to strike her with the knife, but an invisible
wall of iron seemed to be between them, and the maiden stood
before him laughing and unhurt. Then she put the ring on her
third finger, and in an instant she had vanished from his eyes.
Presently she was beside him again laughing, and holding the ring
between her fingers.
'Do let me try,' said the youth, 'whether I can do these
The maiden, suspecting no treachery, gave him the magic ring.
The youth pretended to have forgotten what to do, and asked what
finger he must put the ring on so that no sharp weapon could hurt
'Oh, the middle finger of your left hand,' the maiden answered,
She took the knife and tried to strike the youth, and he even
tried to cut himself with it, but found it impossible. Then he
asked the maiden to show him how to split stones and rocks with
the help of the ring. So she led him into a courtyard where
stood a great boulder-stone. 'Now,' she said, 'put the ring upon
the thumb of your left hand, and you will see how strong that
hand has become. The youth did so, and found to his astonishment
that with a single blow of his fist the stone flew into a
thousand pieces. Then the youth bethought him that he who does
not use his luck when he has it is a fool, and that this was a
chance which once lost might never return. So while they stood
laughing at the shattered stone he placed the ring, as if in
play, upon the third finger of his left hand.
'Now,' said the maiden, 'you are invisible to me until you take
the ring off again.'
But the youth had no mind to do that; on the contrary, he went
farther off, then put the ring on the little finger of his left
hand, and soared into the air like a bird.
When the maiden saw him flying away she thought at first that he
was still in play, and cried, 'Come back, friend, for now you see
I have told you the truth.' But the young man never came back.
Then the maiden saw she was deceived, and bitterly repented that
she had ever trusted him with the ring.
The young man never halted in his flight until he reached the
dwelling of the wise magician who had taught him the speech of
birds. The magician was delighted to find that his search had
been successful, and at once set to work to interpret the secret
signs engraved upon the ring, but it took him seven weeks to make
them out clearly. Then he gave the youth the following
instructions how to overcome the Dragon of the North: 'You must
have an iron horse cast, which must have little wheels under each
foot. You must also be armed with a spear two fathoms long,
which you will be able to wield by means of the magic ring upon
your left thumb. The spear must be as thick in the middle as a
large tree, and both its ends must be sharp. In the middle of
the spear you must have two strong chains ten fathoms in length.
As soon as the Dragon has made himself fast to the spear, which
you must thrust through his jaws, you must spring quickly from
the iron horse and fasten the ends of the chains firmly to the
ground with iron stakes, so that he cannot get away from them.
After two or three days the monster's strength will be so far
exhausted that you will be able to come near him. Then you can
put Solomon's ring upon your left thumb and give him the
finishing stroke, but keep the ring on your third finger until
you have come close to him, so that the monster cannot see you,
else he might strike you dead with his long tail. But when all
is done, take care you do not lose the ring, and that no one
takes it from you by cunning.'
The young man thanked the magician for his directions, and
promised, should they succeed, to reward him. But the magician
answered, 'I have profited so much by the wisdom the ring has
taught me that I desire no other reward.' Then they parted, and
the youth quickly flew home through the air. After remaining in
his own home for some weeks, he heard people say that the
terrible Dragon of the North was not far off, and might shortly
be expected in the country. The King announced publicly that he
would give his daughter in marriage, as well as a large part of
his kingdom, to whosoever should free the country from the
monster. The youth then went to the King and told him that he
had good hopes of subduing the Dragon, if the King would grant
him all he desired for the purpose. The King willingly agreed,
and the iron horse, the great spear, and the chains were all
prepared as the youth requested. When all was ready, it was
found that the iron horse was so heavy that a hundred men could
not move it from the spot, so the youth found there was nothing
for it but to move it with his own strength by means of the
magic ring. The Dragon was now so near that in a couple of
springs he would be over the frontier. The youth now began to
consider how he should act, for if he had to push the iron horse
from behind he could not ride upon it as the sorcerer had said he
must. But a raven unexpectedly gave him this advice: 'Ride upon
the horse, and push the spear against the ground, as if you were
pushing off a boat from the land.' The youth did so, and found
that in this way he could easily move forwards. The Dragon had
his monstrous jaws wide open, all ready for his expected prey. A
few paces nearer, and man and horse would have been swallowed up
by them! The youth trembled with horror, and his blood ran cold,
yet he did not lose his courage; but, holding the iron spear
upright in his hand, he brought it down with all his might right
through the monster's lower jaw. Then quick as lightning he
sprang from his horse before the Dragon had time to shut his
mouth. A fearful clap like thunder, which could be heard for
miles around, now warned him that the Dragon's jaws had closed
upon the spear. When the youth turned round he saw the point of
the spear sticking up high above the Dragon's upper jaw, and knew
that the other end must be fastened firmly to the ground; but the
Dragon had got his teeth fixed in the iron horse, which was now
useless. The youth now hastened to fasten down the chains to the
ground by means of the enormous iron pegs which he had provided.
The death struggle of the monster lasted three days and three
nights; in his writhing he beat his tail so violently against the
ground, that at ten miles' distance the earth trembled as if with
an earthquake. When he at length lost power to move his tail,
the youth with the help of the ring took up a stone which twenty
ordinary men could not have moved, and beat the Dragon so hard
about the head with it that very soon the monster lay lifeless
You can fancy how great was the rejoicing when the news was
spread abroad that the terrible monster was dead. His conqueror
was received into the city with as much pomp as if he had been
the mightiest of kings. The old King did not need to urge his
daughter to marry the slayer of the Dragon; he found her already
willing to bestow her hand upon this hero, who had done all alone
what whole armies had tried in vain to do. In a few days a
magnificent wedding was celebrated, at which the rejoicings
lasted four whole weeks, for all the neighbouring kings had met
together to thank the man who had freed the world from their
common enemy. But everyone forgot amid the general joy that they
ought to have buried the Dragon's monstrous body, for it began
now to have such a bad smell that no one could live in the
neighbourhood, and before long the whole air was poisoned, and a
pestilence broke out which destroyed many hundreds of people. In
this distress, the King's son-in-law resolved to seek help once
more from the Eastern magician, to whom he at once travelled
through the air like a bird by the help of the ring. But there
is a proverb which says that ill-gotten gains never prosper, and
the Prince found that the stolen ring brought him ill-luck after
all. The Witch-maiden had never rested night nor day until she
had found out where the ring was. As soon as she had discovered
by means of magical arts that the Prince in the form of a bird
was on his way to the Eastern magician, she changed herself into
an eagle and watched in the air until the bird she was waiting
for came in sight, for she knew him at once by the ring which was
hung round his neck by a ribbon. Then the eagle pounced upon the
bird, and the moment she seized him in her talons she tore the
ring from his neck before the man in bird's shape had time to
prevent her. Then the eagle flew down to the earth with her
prey, and the two stood face to face once more in human form.
'Now, villain, you are in my power!' cried the Witch-maiden. 'I
favoured you with my love, and you repaid me with treachery and
theft. You stole my most precious jewel from me, and do you
expect to live happily as the King's son-in-law? Now the tables
are turned; you are in my power, and I will be revenged on you
for your crimes.'
'Forgive me! forgive me!' cried the Prince; 'I know too well how
deeply I have wronged you, and most heartily do I repent it.'
The maiden answered, 'Your prayers and your repentance come too
late, and if I were to spare you everyone would think me a fool.
You have doubly wronged me; first you scorned my love, and then
you stole my ring, and you must bear the punishment.'
With these words she put the ring upon her left thumb, lifted the
young man with one hand, and walked away with him under her arm.
This time she did not take him to a splendid palace, but to a
deep cave in a rock, where there were chains hanging from the
wall. The maiden now chained the young man's hands and feet so
that he could not escape; then she said in an angry voice, 'Here
you shall remain chained up until you die. I will bring you
every day enough food to prevent you dying of hunger, but you
need never hope for freedom any more.' With these words she left
The old King and his daughter waited anxiously for many weeks for
the Prince's return, but no news of him arrived. The King's
daughter often dreamed that her husband was going through some
great suffering: she therefore begged her father to summon all
the enchanters and magicians, that they might try to find out
where the Prince was and how he could be set free. But the
magicians, with all their arts, could find out nothing, except
that he was still living and undergoing great suffering; but none
could tell where he was to be found. At last a celebrated
magician from Finland was brought before the King, who had found
out that the King's son-in-law was imprisoned in the East, not by
men, but by some more powerful being. The King now sent
messengers to the East to look for his son-in-law, and they by
good luck met with the old magician who had interpreted the signs
on King Solomon's ring, and thus was possessed of more wisdom
than anyone else in the world. The magician soon found out what
he wished to know, and pointed out the place where the Prince was
imprisoned, but said: 'He is kept there by enchantment, and
cannot be set free without my help. I will therefore go with you
So they all set out, guided by birds, and after some days came to
the cave where the unfortunate Prince had been chained up for
nearly seven years. He recognised the magician immediately, but
the old man did not know him, he had grown so thin. However, he
undid the chains by the help of magic, and took care of the
Prince until he recovered and became strong enough to travel.
When he reached home he found that the old King had died that
morning, so that he was now raised to the throne. And now after
his long suffering came prosperity, which lasted to the end of
his life; but he never got back the magic ring, nor has it ever
again been seen by mortal eyes.
Now, if YOU had been the Prince, would you not rather have stayed
with the pretty witch-maiden?
STORY OF THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
Many years ago there lived an Emperor who was so fond of new
clothes that he spent all his money on them in order to be
beautifully dressed. He did not care about his soldiers, he did
not care about the theatre; he only liked to go out walking to
show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the
day; and just as they say of a king, 'He is in the
council-chamber,' they always said here, 'The Emperor is in the
In the great city in which he lived there was always something
going on; every day many strangers came there. One day two
impostors arrived who gave themselves out as weavers, and said
that they knew how to manufacture the most beautiful cloth
imaginable. Not only were the texture and pattern uncommonly
beautiful, but the clothes which were made of the stuff possessed
this wonderful property that they were invisible to anyone who
was not fit for his office, or who was unpardonably stupid.
'Those must indeed be splendid clothes,' thought the Emperor.
'If I had them on I could find out which men in my kingdom are
unfit for the offices they hold; I could distinguish the wise
from the stupid! Yes, this cloth must be woven for me at once.'
And he gave both the impostors much money, so that they might
begin their work.
They placed two weaving-looms, and began to do as if they were
working, but they had not the least thing on the looms. They
also demanded the finest silk and the best gold, which they put
in their pockets, and worked at the empty looms till late into
'I should like very much to know how far they have got on with
the cloth,' thought the Emperor. But he remembered when he
thought about it that whoever was stupid or not fit for his
office would not be able to see it. Now he certainly believed
that he had nothing to fear for himself, but he wanted first to
send somebody else in order to see how he stood with regard to
his office. Everybody in the whole town knew what a wonderful
power the cloth had, and they were all curious to see how bad or
how stupid their neighbour was.
'I will send my old and honoured minister to the weavers,'
thought the Emperor. 'He can judge best what the cloth is like,
for he has intellect, and no one understands his office better
Now the good old minister went into the hall where the two
impostors sat working at the empty weaving-looms. 'Dear me!'
thought the old minister, opening his eyes wide, 'I can see
nothing!' But he did not say so.
Both the impostors begged him to be so kind as to step closer,
and asked him if it were not a beautiful texture and lovely
colours. They pointed to the empty loom, and the poor old
minister went forward rubbing his eyes; but he could see nothing,
for there was nothing there.
'Dear, dear!' thought he, 'can I be stupid? I have never thought
that, and nobody must know it! Can I be not fit for my office?
No, I must certainly not say that I cannot see the cloth!'
'Have you nothing to say about it?' asked one of the men who was
'Oh, it is lovely, most lovely!' answered the old minister,
looking through his spectacles. 'What a texture! What colours!
Yes, I will tell the Emperor that it pleases me very much.'
'Now we are delighted at that,' said both the weavers, and
thereupon they named the colours and explained the make of the
The old minister paid great attention, so that he could tell the
same to the Emperor when he came back to him, which he did.
The impostors now wanted more money, more silk, and more gold to
use in their weaving. They put it all in their own pockets, and
there came no threads on the loom, but they went on as they had
done before, working at the empty loom. The Emperor soon sent
another worthy statesman to see how the weaving was getting on,
and whether the cloth would soon be finished. It was the same
with him as the first one; he looked and looked, but because
there was nothing on the empty loom he could see nothing.
'Is it not a beautiful piece of cloth?' asked the two impostors,
and they pointed to and described the splendid material which was
'Stupid I am not!' thought the man, 'so it must be my good office
for which I am not fitted. It is strange, certainly, but no one
must be allowed to notice it.' And so he praised the cloth which
he did not see, and expressed to them his delight at the
beautiful colours and the splendid texture. 'Yes, it is quite
beautiful,' he said to the Emperor.
Everybody in the town was talking of the magnificent cloth.
Now the Emperor wanted to see it himself while it was still on
the loom. With a great crowd of select followers, amongst whom
were both the worthy statesmen who had already been there before,
he went to the cunning impostors, who were now weaving with all
their might, but without fibre or thread.
'Is it not splendid!' said both the old statesmen who had already
been there. 'See, your Majesty, what a texture! What colours!'
And then they pointed to the empty loom, for they believed that
the others could see the cloth quite well.
'What!' thought the Emperor, 'I can see nothing! This is indeed
horrible! Am I stupid? Am I not fit to be Emperor? That were
the most dreadful thing that could happen to me. Oh, it is very
beautiful,' he said. 'It has my gracious approval.' And then he
nodded pleasantly, and examined the empty loom, for he would not
say that he could see nothing.
His whole Court round him looked and looked, and saw no more than
the others; but they said like the Emperor, 'Oh! it is
beautiful!' And they advised him to wear these new and
magnificent clothes for the first time at the great procession
which was soon to take place. 'Splendid! Lovely! Most
beautiful!' went from mouth to mouth; everyone seemed delighted
over them, and the Emperor gave to the impostors the title of
Court weavers to the Emperor.
Throughout the whole of the night before the morning on which the
procession was to take place, the impostors were up and were
working by the light of over sixteen candles. The people could
see that they were very busy making the Emperor's new clothes
ready. They pretended they were taking the cloth from the loom,
cut with huge scissors in the air, sewed with needles without
thread, and then said at last, 'Now the clothes are finished!'
The Emperor came himself with his most distinguished knights, and
each impostor held up his arm just as if he were holding
something, and said, 'See! here are the breeches! Here is the
coat! Here the cloak!' and so on.
'Spun clothes are so comfortable that one would imagine one had
nothing on at all; but that is the beauty of it!'
'Yes,' said all the knights, but they could see nothing, for
there was nothing there.
'Will it please your Majesty graciously to take off your
clothes,' said the impostors, 'then we will put on the new
clothes, here before the mirror.'
The Emperor took off all his clothes, and the impostors placed
themselves before him as if they were putting on each part of his
new clothes which was ready, and the Emperor turned and bent
himself in front of the mirror.
'How beautifully they fit! How well they sit!' said everybody.
'What material! What colours! It is a gorgeous suit!'
'They are waiting outside with the canopy which your Majesty is
wont to have borne over you in the procession,' announced the
Master of the Ceremonies.
'Look, I am ready,' said the Emperor. 'Doesn't it sit well!' And
he turned himself again to the mirror to see if his finery was on
The chamberlains who were used to carry the train put their hands
near the floor as if they were lifting up the train; then they
did as if they were holding something in the air. They would not
have it noticed that they could see nothing.
So the Emperor went along in the procession under the splendid
canopy, and all the people in the streets and at the windows
said, 'How matchless are the Emperor's new clothes! That train
fastened to his dress, how beautifully it hangs!'
No one wished it to be noticed that he could see nothing, for
then he would have been unfit for his office, or else very
stupid. None of the Emperor's clothes had met with such approval
as these had.
'But he has nothing on!' said a little child at last.
'Just listen to the innocent child!' said the father, and each
one whispered to his neighbour what the child had said.
'But he has nothing on!' the whole of the people called out at
This struck the Emperor, for it seemed to him as if they were
right; but he thought to himself, 'I must go on with the
procession now. And the chamberlains walked along still more
uprightly, holding up the train which was not there at all.
THE GOLDEN CRAB
 'Prinz Krebs,' from Griechische Mahrchen. Schmidt.
Once upon a time there was a fisherman who had a wife and three
children. Every morning he used to go out fishing, and whatever
fish he caught he sold to the King. One day, among the other
fishes, he caught a golden crab. When he came home he put all
the fishes together into a great dish, but he kept the Crab
separate because it shone so beautifully, and placed it upon a
high shelf in the cupboard. Now while the old woman, his wife,
was cleaning the fish, and had tucked up her gown so that her
feet were visible, she suddenly heard a voice, which said:
'Let down, let down thy petticoat
That lets thy feet be seen.'
She turned round in surprise, and then she saw the little
creature, the Golden Crab.
'What! You can speak, can you, you ridiculous crab?' she said,
for she was not quite pleased at the Crab's remarks. Then she
took him up and placed him on a dish.
When her husband came home and they sat down to dinner, they
presently heard the Crab's little voice saying, 'Give me some
too.' They were all very much surprised, but they gave him
something to eat. When the old man came to take away the plate
which had contained the Crab's dinner, he found it full of gold,
and as the same thing happened every day he soon became very fond
of the Crab.
One day the Crab said to the fisherman's wife, 'Go to the King
and tell him I wish to marry his younger daughter.'
The old woman went accordingly, and laid the matter before the
King, who laughed a little at the notion of his daughter marrying
a crab, but did not decline the proposal altogether, because he
was a prudent monarch, and knew that the Crab was likely to be a
prince in disguise. He said, therefore, to the fisherman's wife,
'Go, old woman, and tell the Crab I will give him my daughter if
by to-morrow morning he can build a wall in front of my castle
much higher than my tower, upon which all the flowers of the
world must grow and bloom.'
The fisherman's wife went home and gave this message.
Then the Crab gave her a golden rod, and said, 'Go and strike
with this rod three times upon the ground on the place which the
King showed you, and to-morrow morning the wall will be there.'
The old woman did so and went away again.
The next morning, when the King awoke, what do you think he saw?
The wall stood there before his eyes, exactly as he had bespoken
Then the old woman went back to the King and said to him, 'Your
Majesty's orders have been fulfilled.'
'That is all very well,' said the King, 'but I cannot give away
my daughter until there stands in front of my palace a garden in
which there are three fountains, of which the first must play
gold, the second diamonds, and the third brilliants.'
So the old woman had to strike again three times upon the ground
with the rod, and the next morning the garden was there. The
King now gave his consent, and the wedding was fixed for the very
Then the Crab said to the old fisherman, 'Now take this rod; go
and knock with it on a certain mountain; then a black man will
come out and ask you what you wish for. Answer him thus: ''Your
master, the King, has sent me to tell you that you must send him
his golden garment that is like the sun.'' Make him give you,
besides, the queenly robes of gold and precious stones which are
like the flowery meadows, and bring them both to me. And bring
me also the golden cushion.'
 Ein Mohr.
The old man went and did his errand. When he had brought the
precious robes, the Crab put on the golden garment and then crept
upon the golden cushion, and in this way the fisherman carried
him to the castle, where the Crab presented the other garment to
his bride. Now the ceremony took place, and when the married
pair were alone together the Crab made himself known to his young
wife, and told her how he was the son of the greatest king in the
world, and how he was enchanted, so that he became a crab by day
and was a man only at night; and he could also change himself
into an eagle as often as he wished. No sooner had he said this
than he shook himself, and immediately became a handsome youth,
but the next morning he was forced to creep back again into his
crab-shell. And the same thing happened every day. But the
Princess's affection for the Crab, and the polite attention with
which she behaved to him, surprised the royal family very much.
They suspected some secret, but though they spied and spied, they
could not discover it. Thus a year passed away, and the Princess
had a son, whom she called Benjamin. But her mother still
thought the whole matter very strange. At last she said to the
King that he ought to ask his daughter whether she would not like
to have another husband instead of the Crab? But when the
daughter was questioned she only answered:
'I am married to the Crab, and him only will I have.'
Then the King said to her, 'I will appoint a tournament in your
honour, and I will invite all the princes in the world to it, and
if any one of them pleases you, you shall marry him.'
In the evening the Princess told this to the Crab, who said to
her, 'Take this rod, go to the garden gate and knock with it,
then a black man will come out and say to you, ''Why have you
called me, and what do you require of me?'' Answer him thus:
'Your master the King has sent me hither to tell you to send him
his golden armour and his steed and the silver apple.'' And bring
them to me.'
The Princess did so, and brought him what he desired.
The following evening the Prince dressed himself for the
tournament. Before he went he said to his wife, 'Now mind you do
not say when you see me that I am the Crab. For if you do this
evil will come of it. Place yourself at the window with your
sisters; I will ride by and throw you the silver apple. Take it
in your hand, but if they ask you who I am, say that you do not
know.' So saying, he kissed her, repeated his warning once more,
and went away.
The Princess went with her sisters to the window and looked on at
the tournament. Presently her husband rode by and threw the
apple up to her. She caught it in her hand and went with it to
her room, and by-and-by her husband came back to her. But her
father was much surprised that she did not seem to care about any
of the Princes; he therefore appointed a second tournament.
The Crab then gave his wife the same directions as before, only
this time the apple which she received from the black man was of
gold. But before the Prince went to the tournament he said to
his wife, 'Now I know you will betray me to-day.'
But she swore to him that she would not tell who he was. He then
repeated his warning and went away.
In the evening, while the Princess, with her mother and sisters,
was standing at the window, the Prince suddenly galloped past on
his steed and threw her the golden apple.
Then her mother flew into a passion, gave her a box on the ear,
and cried out, 'Does not even that prince please you, you fool?'
The Princess in her fright exclaimed, 'That is the Crab himself!'
Her mother was still more angry because she had not been told
sooner, ran into her daughter's room where the crab-shell was
still lying, took it up and threw it into the fire. Then the
poor Princess cried bitterly, but it was of no use; her husband
did not come back.
Now we must leave the Princess and turn to the other persons in
the story. One day an old man went to a stream to dip in a crust
of bread which he was going to eat, when a dog came out of the
water, snatched the bread from his hand, and ran away. The old
man ran after him, but the dog reached a door, pushed it open,
and ran in, the old man following him. He did not overtake the
dog, but found himself above a staircase, which he descended.
Then he saw before him a stately palace, and, entering, he found
in a large hall a table set for twelve persons. He hid himself
in the hall behind a great picture, that he might see what would
happen. At noon he heard a great noise, so that he trembled with
fear. When he took courage to look out from behind the picture,
he saw twelve eagles flying in. At this sight his fear became
still greater. The eagles flew to the basin of a fountain that
was there and bathed themselves, when suddenly they were changed
into twelve handsome youths. Now they seated themselves at the
table, and one of them took up a goblet filled with wine, and
said, 'A health to my father!' And another said, 'A health to my
mother!' and so the healths went round. Then one of them said:
'A health to my dearest lady,
Long may she live and well!
But a curse on the cruel mother
That burnt my golden shell!'
And so saying he wept bitterly. Then the youths rose from the
table, went back to the great stone fountain, turned themselves
into eagles again, and flew away.
Then the old man went away too, returned to the light of day, and
went home. Soon after he heard that the Princess was ill, and
that the only thing that did her good was having stories told to
her. He therefore went to the royal castle, obtained an audience
of the Princess, and told her about the strange things he bad
seen in the underground palace. No sooner had he finished than
the Princess asked him whether he could find the way to that
'Yes,' he answered, 'certainly.'
And now she desired him to guide her thither at once. The old
man did so, and when they came to the palace he hid her behind
the great picture and advised her to keep quite still, and he
placed himself behind the picture also. Presently the eagles
came flying in, and changed themselves into young men, and in a
moment the Princess recognised her husband amongst them all, and
tried to come out of her hiding-place; but the old man held her
back. The youths seated themselves at the table; and now the
Prince said again, while he took up the cup of wine:
'A health to my dearest lady,
Long may she live and well!
But a curse on the cruel mother
That burnt my golden shell!'
Then the Princess could restrain herself no longer, but ran
forward and threw her arms round her husband. And immediately he
knew her again, and said:
'Do you remember how I told you that day that you would betray
me? Now you see that I spoke the truth. But all that bad time
is past. Now listen to me: I must still remain enchanted for
three months. Will you stay here with me till that time is
So the Princess stayed with him, and said to the old man, 'Go
back to the castle and tell my parents that I am staying here.'
Her parents were very much vexed when the old man came back and
told them this, but as soon as the three months of the Prince's
enchantment were over, he ceased to be an eagle and became once
more a man, and they returned home together. And then they lived
happily, and we who hear the story are happier still.
THE IRON STOVE
Once upon a time when wishes came true there was a king's son who
was enchanted by an old witch, so that he was obliged to sit in a
large iron stove in a wood. There he lived for many years, and
no one could free him. At last a king's daughter came into the
wood; she had lost her way, and could not find her father's
kingdom again. She had been wandering round and round for nine
days, and she came at last to the iron case. A voice came from
within and asked her, 'Where do you come from, and where do you
want to go?' She answered, 'I have lost my way to my father's
kingdom, and I shall never get home again.' Then the voice from
the iron stove said, 'I will help you to find your home again,
and that in a very short time, if you will promise to do what I
ask you. I am a greater prince than you are a princess, and I
will marry you.' Then she grew frightened, and thought, 'What
can a young lassie do with an iron stove?' But as she wanted very
much to go home to her father, she promised to do what he wished.
He said, 'You must come again, and bring a knife with you to
scrape a hole in the iron.'
Then he gave her someone for a guide, who walked near her and
said nothing, but he brought her in two hours to her house.
There was great joy in the castle when the Princess came back,
and the old King fell on her neck and kissed her. But she was
very much troubled, and said, 'Dear father, listen to what has
befallen me! I should never have come home again out of the
great wild wood if I had not come to an iron stove, to whom I
have had to promise that I will go back to free him and marry
him!' The old King was so frightened that he nearly fainted, for
she was his only daughter. So they consulted together, and
determined that the miller's daughter, who was very beautiful,
should take her place. They took her there, gave her a knife,
and said she must scrape at the iron stove. She scraped for
twenty-four hours, but did not make the least impression. When
the day broke, a voice called from the iron stove, 'It seems to
me that it is day outside.' Then she answered, 'It seems so to
me; I think I hear my father's mill rattling.'
'So you are a miller's daughter! Then go away at once, and tell
the King's daughter to come.'
Then she went away, and told the old King that the thing inside
the iron stove would not have her, but wanted the Princess. The
old King was frightened, and his daughter wept. But they had a
swineherd's daughter who was even more beautiful than the
miller's daughter, and they gave her a piece of gold to go to the
iron stove instead of the Princess. Then she was taken out, and
had to scrape for four-and-twenty hours, but she could make no
impression. As soon as the day broke the voice from the stove
called out, 'It seems to be daylight outside.' Then she
answered, ' It seems so to me too; I think I hear my father
blowing his horn.' 'So you are a swineherd's daughter! Go away
at once, and let the King's daughter come. And say to her that
what I foretell shall come to pass, and if she does not come
everything in the kingdom shall fall into ruin, and not one stone
shall be left upon another.' When the Princess heard this she
began to cry, but it was no good; she had to keep her word. She
took leave of her father, put a knife in her belt, and went to
the iron stove in the wood. As soon as she reached it she began
to scrape, and the iron gave way and before two hours had passed
she had made a little hole. Then she peeped in and saw such a
beautiful youth all shining with gold and precious stones that
she fell in love with him on the spot. So she scraped away
harder than ever, and made the hole so large that he could get
out. Then he said, 'You are mine, and I am thine; you are my
bride and have set me free!' He wanted to take her with him to
his kingdom, but she begged him just to let her go once more to
her father; and the Prince let her go, but told her not to say
more than three words to her father, then to come back again. So
she went home, but alas! she said MORE THAN THREE WORDS; and
immediately the iron stove vanished and went away over a mountain
of glass and sharp swords. But the Prince was free, and was no
longer shut up in it. Then she said good-bye to her father, and
took a little money with her, and went again into the great wood
to look for the iron stove; but she could not find it. She
sought it for nine days, and then her hunger became so great that
she did not know how she could live any longer. And when it was
evening she climbed a little tree and wished that the night would
not come, because she was afraid of the wild beasts. When
midnight came she saw afar off a little light, and thought, 'Ah!
if only I could reach that!' Then she got down from the tree and
went towards the light. She came to a little old house with a
great deal of grass growing round, and stood in front of a little
heap of wood. She thought, 'Alas! what am I coming to?' and
peeped through the window; but she saw nothing inside except big
and little toads, and a table beautifully spread with roast meats
and wine, and all the dishes and drinking-cups were of silver.
Then she took heart and knocked. Then a fat toad called out:
'Little green toad with leg like crook,
Open wide the door, and look
Who it was the latch that shook.'
And a little toad came forward and let her in. When she entered
they all bid her welcome, and made her sit down. They asked her
how she came there and what she wanted. Then she told everything
that had happened to her, and how, because she had exceeded her
permission only to speak three words, the stove had disappeared
with the Prince; and how she had searched a very long time, and
must wander over mountain and valley till she found him.
Then the old toad said:
'Little green toad whose leg doth twist,
Go to the corner of which you wist,
And bring to me the large old kist.'
And the little toad went and brought out a great chest. Then
they gave her food and drink, and led her to a beautifully made
bed of silk and samite, on which she lay down and slept soundly.
When the day dawned she arose, and the old toad gave her three
things out of the huge chest to take with her. She would have
need of them, for she had to cross a high glass mountain, three
cutting swords, and a great lake. When she had passed these she
would find her lover again. So she was given three large
needles, a plough-wheel, and three nuts, which she was to take
great care of. She set out with these things, and when she came
to the glass mountain which was so slippery she stuck the three
needles behind her feet and then in front, and so got over it,
and when she was on the other side put them carefully away.
Then she reached the three cutting swords, and got on her
plough-wheel and rolled over them. At last she came to a great
lake, and, when she had crossed that, arrived at a beautiful
castle. She went in and gave herself out as a servant, a poor
maid who would gladly be engaged. But she knew that the Prince
whom she had freed from the iron stove in the great wood was in
the castle. So she was taken on as a kitchen-maid for very small
wages. Now the Prince was about to marry another princess, for
he thought she was dead long ago.
In the evening, when she had washed up and was ready, she felt in
her pocket and found the three nuts which the old toad had given
her. She cracked one and was going to eat the kernel, when
behold! there was a beautiful royal dress inside it! When the
bride heard of this, she came and begged for the dress, and
wanted to buy it, saying that it was not a dress for a
serving-maid. Then she said she would not sell it unless she was
granted one favour--namely, to sleep by the Prince's door. The
bride granted her this, because the dress was so beautiful and
she had so few like it. When it was evening she said to her
bridegroom, 'That stupid maid wants to sleep by your door.'
'If you are contented, I am,' he said. But she gave him a glass
of wine in which she had poured a sleeping-draught. Then they
both went to his room, but he slept so soundly that she could not
wake him. The maid wept all night long, and said, 'I freed you
in the wild wood out of the iron stove; I have sought you, and
have crossed a glassy mountain, three sharp swords, and a great
lake before I found you, and will you not hear me now?' The
servants outside heard how she cried the whole night, and they
told their master in the morning.
When she had washed up the next evening she bit the second nut,
and there was a still more beautiful dress inside. When the
bride saw it she wanted to buy it also. But the maid did not
want money, and asked that she should sleep again by the Prince's
door. The bride, however, gave him a sleeping-draught, and he
slept so soundly that he heard nothing. But the kitchen-maid
wept the whole night long, and said, 'I have freed you in a wood
and from an iron stove; I sought you and have crossed a glassy
mountain, three sharp swords, and a great lake to find you, and
now you will not hear me!' The servants outside heard how she
cried the whole night, and in the morning they told their master.
And when she had washed up on the third night she bit the third
nut, and there was a still more beautiful dress inside that was
made of pure gold. When the bride saw it she wanted to have it,
but the maid would only give it her on condition that she should
sleep for the third time by the Prince's door. But the Prince
took care not to drink the sleeping-draught. When she began to
weep and to say, 'Dearest sweetheart, I freed you in the horrible
wild wood, and from an iron stove,' he jumped up and said, 'You
are right. You are mine, and I am thine.' Though it was still
night, he got into a carriage with her, and they took the false
bride's clothes away, so that she could not follow them. When
they came to the great lake they rowed across, and when they
reached the three sharp swords they sat on the plough-wheel, and
on the glassy mountain they stuck the three needles in. So they
arrived at last at the little old house, but when they stepped
inside it turned into a large castle. The toads were all freed,
and were beautiful King's children, running about for joy. There
they were married, and they remained in the castle, which was
much larger than that of the Princess's father's. But because
the old man did not like being left alone, they went and fetched
him. So they had two kingdoms and lived in great wealth.
A mouse has run,
My story's done.
THE DRAGON AND HIS GRANDMOTHER
There was once a great war, and the King had a great many
soldiers, but he gave them so little pay that they could not live
upon it. Then three of them took counsel together and determined
One of them said to the others, 'If we are caught, we shall be
hanged on the gallows; how shall we set about it?' The other
said, 'Do you see that large cornfield there? If we were to hide
ourselves in that, no one could find us. The army cannot come
into it, and to-morrow it is to march on.'
They crept into the corn, but the army did not march on, but
remained encamped close around them. They sat for two days and
two nights in the corn, and grew so hungry that they nearly died;
but if they were to venture out, it was certain death.
They said at last, 'What use was it our deserting? We must
perish here miserably.'
Whilst they were speaking a fiery dragon came flying through the
air. It hovered near them, and asked why they were hidden there.
They answered, 'We are three soldiers, and have deserted because
our pay was so small. Now if we remain here we shall die of
hunger, and if we move out we shall be strung up on the gallows.'
'If you will serve me for seven years,' said the dragon, I will
lead you through the midst of the army so that no one shall catch
you.' 'We have no choice, and must take your offer,' said they.
Then the dragon seized them in his claws, took them through the
air over the army, and set them down on the earth a long way from
He gave them a little whip, saying, 'Whip and slash with this,
and as much money as you want will jump up before you. You can
then live as great lords, keep horses, and drive about in
carriages. But after seven years you are mine.' Then he put a
book before them, which he made all three of them sign. 'I will
then give you a riddle,' he said; 'if you guess it, you shall be
free and out of my power.' The dragon then flew away, and they
journeyed on with their little whip. They had as much money as
they wanted, wore grand clothes, and made their way into the
world. Wherever they went they lived in merrymaking and
splendour, drove about with horses and carriages, ate and drank,
but did nothing wrong.
The time passed quickly away, and when the seven years were
nearly ended two of them grew terribly anxious and frightened,
but the third made light of it, saying, 'Don't be afraid,
brothers, I wasn't born yesterday; I will guess the riddle.'
They went into a field, sat down, and the two pulled long faces.
An old woman passed by, and asked them why they were so sad.
'Alas! what have you to do with it? You cannot help us.' 'Who
knows?' she answered. 'Only confide your trouble in me.'
Then they told her that they had become the servants of the
Dragon for seven long years, and how he had given them money as
plentifully as blackberries; but as they had signed their names
they were his, unless when the seven years had passed they could
guess a riddle. The old woman said, 'If you would help
yourselves, one of you must go into the wood, and there he will
come upon a tumble-down building of rocks which looks like a
little house. He must go in, and there he will find help.'
The two melancholy ones thought, 'That won't save us!' and they
remained where they were. But the third and merry one jumped up
and went into the wood till he found the rock hut. In the hut
sat a very old woman, who was the Dragon's grandmother. She
asked him how he came, and what was his business there. He told
her all that happened, and because she was pleased with him she
took compassion on him, and said she would help him.
She lifted up a large stone which lay over the cellar, saying,
'Hide yourself there; you can hear all that is spoken in this
room. Only sit still and don't stir. When the Dragon comes, I
will ask him what the riddle is, for he tells me everything; then
listen carefully what he answers.'
At midnight the Dragon flew in, and asked for his supper. His
grandmother laid the table, and brought out food and drink till
he was satisfied, and they ate and drank together. Then in the
course of the conversation she asked him what he had done in the
day, and how many souls he had conquered.
'I haven't had much luck to-day,' he said, 'but I have a tight
hold on three soldiers.'
'Indeed! three soldiers!' said she. 'Who cannot escape you?'
'They are mine,' answered the Dragon scornfully, 'for I shall
only give them one riddle which they will never be able to
'What sort of a riddle is it?' she asked.
'I will tell you this. In the North Sea lies a dead sea-cat--
that shall be their roast meat; and the rib of a whale--that
shall be their silver spoon; and the hollow foot of a dead
horse--that shall be their wineglass.'
When the Dragon had gone to bed, his old grandmother pulled up
the stone and let out the soldier.
'Did you pay attention to everything?'
'Yes,' he replied, 'I know enough, and can help myself
Then he went by another way through the window secretly, and in
all haste back to his comrades. He told them how the Dragon had
been outwitted by his grandmother, and how he had heard from his
own lips the answer to the riddle.
Then they were all delighted and in high spirits, took out their
whip, and cracked so much money that it came jumping up from the
ground. When the seven years had quite gone, the Fiend came with
his book, and, pointing at the signatures, said, 'I will take
you underground with me; you shall have a meal there. If you can
tell me what you will get for your roast meat, you shall be free,
and shall also keep the whip.'
Then said the first soldier, 'In the North Sea lies a dead sea-
cat; that shall be the roast meat.'
The Dragon was much annoyed, and hummed and hawed a good deal,
and asked the second, 'But what shall be your spoon?'
'The rib of a whale shall be our silver spoon.'
The Dragon-made a face, and growled again three times, 'Hum, hum,
hum,' and said to the third, 'Do you know what your wineglass
'An old horse's hoof shall be our wineglass.'
Then the Dragon flew away with a loud shriek, and had no more
power over them. But the three soldiers took the little whip,
whipped as much money as they wanted, and lived happily to their
THE DONKEY CABBAGE
There was once a young Hunter who went boldly into the forest.
He had a merry and light heart, and as he went whistling along
there came an ugly old woman, who said to him, 'Good-day, dear
hunter! You are very merry and contented, but I suffer hunger
and thirst, so give me a trifle.' The Hunter was sorry for the
poor old woman, and he felt in his pocket and gave her all he
could spare. He was going on then, but the old woman stopped him
and said, 'Listen, dear hunter, to what I say. Because of your
kind heart I will make you a present. Go on your way, and in a
short time you will come to a tree on which sit nine birds who
have a cloak in their claws and are quarrelling over it. Then
take aim with your gun and shoot in the middle of them; they will
let the cloak fall, but one of the birds will be hit and will
drop down dead. Take the cloak with you; it is a wishing-cloak,
and when you throw it on your shoulders you have only to wish
yourself at a certain place, and in the twinkling of an eye you
are there. Take the heart out of the dead bird and swallow it
whole, and early every morning when you get up you will find a
gold piece under your pillow.'
The Hunter thanked the wise woman, and thought to himself 'These
are splendid things she has promised me, if only they come to
pass!' So he walked on about a hundred yards, and then he heard
above him in the branches such a screaming and chirping that he
looked up, and there he saw a heap of birds tearing a cloth with
their beaks and feet, shrieking, tugging, and fighting, as if
each wanted it for himself. 'Well,' said the Hunter, 'this is
wonderful! It is just as the old woman said'; and he took his
gun on his shoulder, pulled the trigger, and shot into the midst
of them, so that their feathers flew about. Then the flock took
flight with much screaming, but one fell dead, and the cloak
fluttered down. Then the Hunter did as the old woman had told
him: he cut open the bird, found its heart, swallowed it, and
took the cloak home with him. The next morning when he awoke he
remembered the promise, and wanted to see if it had come true.
But when he lifted up his pillow, there sparkled the gold piece,
and the next morning he found another, and so on every time he
got up. He collected a heap of gold, but at last he thought to
himself, 'What good is all my gold to me if I stay at home? I
will travel and look a bit about me in the world.' So he took
leave of his parents, slung his hunting knapsack and his gun
round him, and journeyed into the world.
It happened that one day he went through a thick wood, and when
he came to the end of it there lay in the plain before him a
large castle. At one of the windows in it stood an old woman
with a most beautiful maiden by her side, looking out. But the
old woman was a witch, and she said to the girl, 'There comes one
out of the wood who has a wonderful treasure in his body which we
must manage to possess ourselves of, darling daughter; we have
more right to it than he. He has a bird's heart in him, and so
every morning there lies a gold piece under his pillow.'
She told her how they could get hold of it, and how she was to
coax it from him, and at last threatened her angrily, saying,
'And if you do not obey me, you shall repent it!'
When the Hunter came nearer he saw the maiden, and said to
himself, 'I have travelled so far now that I will rest, and turn
into this beautiful castle; money I have in plenty.' But the
real reason was that he had caught sight of the lovely face.
He went into the house, and was kindly received and hospitably
entertained. It was not long before he was so much in love with
the witch-maiden that he thought of nothing else, and only looked
in her eyes, and whatever she wanted, that he gladly did. Then
the old witch said, 'Now we must have the bird-heart; he will not
feel when it is gone.' She prepared a drink, and when it was
ready she poured it in a goblet and gave it to the maiden, who
had to hand it to the hunter.
'Drink to me now, my dearest,' she said. Then he took the
goblet, and when he had swallowed the drink the bird-heart came
out of his mouth. The maiden had to get hold of it secretly and
then swallow it herself, for the old witch wanted to have it.
Thenceforward he found no more gold under his pillow, and it lay
under the maiden's; but he was so much in love and so much
bewitched that he thought of nothing except spending all his time
with the maiden.
Then the old witch said, 'We have the bird-heart, but we must
also get the wishing-cloak from him.'
The maiden answered, 'We will leave him that; he has already lost
The old witch grew angry, and said, 'Such a cloak is a wonderful
thing, it is seldom to be had in the world, and have it I must
and will.' She beat the maiden, and said that if she did not
obey it would go ill with her.
So she did her mother's bidding, and, standing one day by the
window, she looked away into the far distance as if she were very
'Why are you standing there looking so sad?' asked the Hunter.
'Alas, my love,' she replied, ' over there lies the granite
mountain where the costly precious stones grow. I have a great
longing to go there, so that when I think of it I am very sad.
For who can fetch them? Only the birds who fly; a man, never.'
'If you have no other trouble,' said the Hunter, 'that one I can
easily remove from your heart.'
So he wrapped her round in his cloak and wished themselves to the
granite mountain, and in an instant there they were, sitting on
it! The precious stones sparkled so brightly on all sides that
it was a pleasure to see them, and they collected the most
beautiful and costly together. But now the old witch had through
her caused the Hunter's eyes to become heavy.
He said to the maiden, 'We will sit down for a little while and
rest; I am so tired that I can hardly stand on my feet.'
So they sat down, and he laid his head on her lap and fell
asleep. As soon as he was sound asleep she unfastened the cloak
from his shoulders, threw it on her own, left the granite and
stones, and wished herself home again.
But when the Hunter had finished his sleep and awoke, he found
that his love had betrayed him and left him alone on the wild
mountain. 'Oh,' said he, 'why is faithlessness so great in the
world?' and he sat down in sorrow and trouble, not knowing what
But the mountain belonged to fierce and huge giants, who lived on
it and traded there, and he had not sat long before he saw three
of them striding towards him. So he lay down as if he had fallen
into a deep sleep.
The giants came up, and the first pushed him with his foot, and
said, 'What sort of an earthworm is that?'
The second said, 'Crush him dead.'
But the third said contemptuously, 'It is not worth the trouble!
Let him live; he cannot remain here, and if he goes higher up the
mountain the clouds will take him and carry him off.'
Talking thus they went away. But the Hunter had listened to
their talk, and as soon as they had gone he rose and climbed to
the summit. When he had sat there a little while a cloud swept
by, and, seizing him, carried him away. It travelled for a time
in the sky, and then it sank down and hovered over a large
vegetable garden surrounded by walls, so that he came safely to
the ground amidst cabbages and vegetables. The Hunter then
looked about him, saying, 'If only I had something to eat! I am
so hungry, and it will go badly with me in the future, for I see
here not an apple or pear or fruit of any kind--nothing but
vegetables everywhere.' At last he thought, 'At a pinch I can
eat a salad; it does not taste particularly nice, but it will
refresh me.' So he looked about for a good head and ate it, but
no sooner had he swallowed a couple of mouthfuls than he felt
very strange, and found himself wonderfully changed. Four legs
began to grow on him, a thick head, and two long ears, and he saw
with horror that he had changed into a donkey. But as he was
still very hungry and this juicy salad tasted very good to his
present nature, he went on eating with a still greater appetite.
At last he got hold of another kind of cabbage, but scarcely had
swallowed it when he felt another change, and he once more
regained his human form.
The Hunter now lay down and slept off his weariness. When he
awoke the next morning he broke off a head of the bad and a head
of the good cabbage, thinking, 'This will help me to regain my
own, and to punish faithlessness.' Then he put the heads in his
pockets, climbed the wall, and started off to seek the castle of
his love. When he had wandered about for a couple of days he
found it quite easily. He then browned his face quickly, so that
his own mother would not have known him, and went into the
castle, where he begged for a lodging.
'I am so tired,' he said, 'I can go no farther.'
The witch asked, 'Countryman, who are you, and what is your
He answered, 'I am a messenger of the King, and have been sent to
seek the finest salad that grows under the sun. I have been so
lucky as to find it, and am bringing it with me; but the heat of
the sun is so great that the tender cabbage threatens to grow
soft, and I do not know if I shall be able to bring it any
When the old witch heard of the fine salad she wanted to eat it,
and said, 'Dear countryman, just let me taste the wonderful
'Why not?' he answered; 'I have brought two heads with me, and
will give you one.'
So saying, he opened his sack and gave her the bad one. The
witch suspected no evil, and her mouth watered to taste the new
dish, so that she went into the kitchen to prepare it herself.
When it was ready she could not wait till it was served at the
table, but she immediately took a couple of leaves and put them
in her mouth. No sooner, however, had she swallowed them than
she lost human form, and ran into the courtyard in the shape of a
Now the servant came into the kitchen, and when she saw the salad
standing there ready cooked she was about to carry it up, but on
the way, according to her old habit, she tasted it and ate a
couple of leaves. Immediately the charm worked, and she became a
donkey, and ran out to join the old witch, and the dish with the
salad in it fell to the ground. In the meantime, the messenger
was sitting with the lovely maiden, and as no one came with the
salad, and she wanted very much to taste it, she said, 'I don't
know where the salad is.'
Then thought the Hunter, 'The cabbage must have already begun to
work.' And he said, 'I will go to the kitchen and fetch it
When he came there he saw the two donkeys running about in the
courtyard, but the salad was lying on the ground.