The Yellow Fairy Book
Part 5 out of 7
out into the fields and find your daughter's body and bury her.'
Just as the old man was leaving the house the little dog under
the table began to bark, saying:
'YOUR daughter shall live to be your delight;
HER daughter shall die this very night.'
'Hold your tongue, you foolish beast!' scolded the woman.
'There's a pancake for you, but you must say:
"HER daughter shall have much silver and gold;
HIS daughter is frozen quite stiff and cold." '
But the doggie ate up the pancake and barked, saying:
'His daughter shall wear a crown on her head;
Her daughter shall die unwooed, unwed.'
Then the old woman tried to coax the doggie with more pancakes
and to terrify it with blows, but he barked on, always repeating
the same words. And suddenly the door creaked and flew open, and
a great heavy chest was pushed in, and behind it came the
step-daughter, radiant and beautiful, in a dress all glittering
with silver and gold. For a moment the step-mother's eyes were
dazzled. Then she called to her husband: 'Old man, yoke the
horses at once into the sledge, and take my daughter to the same
field and leave her on the same spot exactly; 'and so the old man
took the girl and left her beneath the same tree where he had
parted from his daughter. In a few minutes King Frost came past,
and, looking at the girl, he said:
'Are you warm, maiden?'
'What a blind old fool you must be to ask such a question!' she
answered angrily. 'Can't you see that my hands and feet are
Then King Frost sprang to and fro in front of her, questioning
her, and getting only rude, rough words in reply, till at last he
got very angry, and cracked his fingers, and gnashed his teeth,
and froze her to death.
But in the hut her mother was waiting for her return, and as she
grew impatient she said to her husband: 'Get out the horses, old
man, to go and fetch her home; but see that you are careful not
to upset the sledge and lose the chest.'
But the doggie beneath the table began to bark, saying:
'Your daughter is frozen quite stiff and cold,
And shall never have a chest full of gold.'
'Don't tell such wicked lies!' scolded the woman. 'There's a
cake for you; now say:
"HER daughter shall marry a mighty King."
At that moment the door flew open, and she rushed out to meet her
daughter, and as she took her frozen body in her arms she too was
chilled to death.
THE DEATH OF THE SUN-HERO 
 From the Bukowinaer Tales and Legends. Von Wliolocki.
Many, many thousand years ago there lived a mighty King whom
heaven had blessed with a clever and beautiful son. When he was
only ten years old the boy was cleverer than all the King's
counsellors put together, and when he was twenty he was the
greatest hero in the whole kingdom. His father could not make
enough of his son, and always had him clothed in golden garments
which shone and sparkled like the sun; and his mother gave him a
white horse, which never slept, and which flew like the wind.
All the people in the land loved him dearly, and called him the
Sun-Hero, for they did not think his like existed under the sun.
Now it happened one night that both his parents had the same
extraordinary dream. They dreamt that a girl all dressed in red
had come to them and said: 'If you wish that your son should
really become the Sun-Hero in deed and not only in name, let him
go out into the world and search for the Tree of the Sun, and
when he has found it, let him pluck a golden apple from it and
bring it home.'
When the King and Queen had each related their dreams to the
other, they were much amazed that they should both have dreamt
exactly the same about their son, and the King said to his wife,
'This is clearly a sign from heaven that we should send our son
out into the world in order that he may come home the great
Sun-Hero, as the Red Girl said, not only in name but in deed.'
The Queen consented with many tears, and the King at once bade
his son set forth in search of the Tree of the Sun, from which he
was to pluck a golden apple. The Prince was delighted at the
prospect, and set out on his travels that very day.
For a long time he wandered all through the world, and it was not
till the ninety-ninth day after he started that he found an old
man who was able to tell him where the Tree of the Sun grew. He
followed his directions, and rode on his way, and after another
ninety-nine days he arrived at a golden castle, which stood in
the middle of a vast wilderness. He knocked at the door, which
was opened noiselessly and by invisible hands. Finding no one
about, the Prince rode on, and came to a great meadow, where the
Sun-Tree grew. When he reached the tree he put out his hand to
pick a golden apple; but all of a sudden the tree grew higher, so
that he could not reach its fruit. Then he heard some one behind
him laughing. Turning round, he saw the girl in red walking
towards him, who addressed him in these words:
'Do you really imagine, brave son of the earth, that you can
pluck an apple so easily from the Tree of the Sun? Before you
can do that, you have a difficult task before you. You must
guard the tree for nine days and nine nights from the ravages of
two wild black wolves, who will try to harm it. Do you think you
can undertake this?'
'Yes,' answered the Sun-Hero, 'I will guard the Tree of the Sun
nine days and nine nights.'
Then the girl continued: 'Remember, though, if you do not succeed
the Sun will kill you. Now begin your watch.'
With these words the Red Girl went back into the golden castle.
She had hardly left him when the two black wolves appeared: but
the Sun-Hero beat them off with his sword, and they retired,
only, however, to reappear in a very short time. The Sun-Hero
chased them away once more, but he had hardly sat down to rest
when the two black wolves were on the scene again. This went on
for seven days and nights, when the white horse, who had never
done such a thing before, turned to the Sun-Hero and said in a
human voice: 'Listen to what I am going to say. A Fairy gave me
to your mother in order that I might be of service to you; so let
me tell you, that if you go to sleep and let the wolves harm the
tree, the Sun will surely kill you. The Fairy, foreseeing this,
put everyone in the world under a spell, which prevents their
obeying the Sun's command to take your life. But all the same,
she has forgotten one person, who will certainly kill you if you
fall asleep and let the wolves damage the tree. So watch and
keep the wolves away.'
Then the Sun-Hero strove with all his might and kept the black
wolves at bay, and conquered his desire to sleep; but on the
eighth night his strength failed him, and he fell fast asleep.
When he awoke a woman in black stood beside him, who said: 'You
have fulfilled your task very badly, for you have let the two
black wolves damage the Tree of the Sun. I am the mother of the
Sun, and I command you to ride away from here at once, and I
pronounce sentence of death upon you, for you proudly let
yourself be called the Sun-Hero without having done anything to
deserve the name.'
The youth mounted his horse sadly, and rode home. The people all
thronged round him on his return, anxious to hear his adventures,
but he told them nothing, and only to his mother did he confide
what had befallen him. But the old Queen laughed, and said to
her son: 'Don't worry, my child; you see, the Fairy has protected
you so far, and the Sun has found no one to kill you. So cheer
up and be happy.'
After a time the Prince forgot all about his adventure, and
married a beautiful Princess, with whom he lived very happily for
some time. But one day when he was out hunting he felt very
thirsty, and coming to a stream he stooped down to drink from it,
and this caused his death, for a crab came swimming up, and with
its claws tore out his tongue. He was carried home in a dying
condition, and as he lay on his death-bed the black woman
appeared and said: 'So the Sun has, after all, found someone, who
was not under the Fairy's spell, who has caused your death. And
a similar fate will overtake everyone under the Sun who
wrongfully assumes a title to which he has no right.'
THE WITCH 
 From the Russian.
Once upon a time there was a peasant whose wife died, leaving him
with two children--twins--a boy and a girl. For some years the
poor man lived on alone with the children, caring for them as
best he could; but everything in the house seemed to go wrong
without a woman to look after it, and at last he made up his mind
to marry again, feeling that a wife would bring peace and order
to his household and take care of his motherless children. So he
married, and in the following years several children were born to
him; but peace and order did not come to the household. For the
step-mother was very cruel to the twins, and beat them, and
half-starved them, and constantly drove them out of the house;
for her one idea was to get them out of the way. All day she
thought of nothing but how she should get rid of them; and at
last an evil idea came into her head, and she determined to send
them out into the great gloomy wood where a wicked witch lived.
And so one morning she spoke to them, saying:
'You have been such good children that I am going to send you to
visit my granny, who lives in a dear little hut in the wood. You
will have to wait upon her and serve her, but you will be well
rewarded, for she will give you the best of everything.'
So the children left the house together; and the little sister,
who was very wise for her years, said to the brother:
'We will first go and see our own dear grandmother, and tell her
where our step-mother is sending us.'
And when the grandmother heard where they were going, she cried
'You poor motherless children! How I pity you; and yet I can do
nothing to help you! Your step-mother is not sending you to her
granny, but to a wicked witch who lives in that great gloomy
wood. Now listen to me, children. You must be civil and kind to
everyone, and never say a cross word to anyone, and never touch a
crumb belonging to anyone else. Who knows if, after all, help
may not be sent to you?'
And she gave her grandchildren a bottle of milk and a piece of
ham and a loaf of bread, and they set out for the great gloomy
wood. When they reached it they saw in front of them, in the
thickest of the trees, a queer little hut, and when they looked
into it, there lay the witch, with her head on the threshold of
the door, with one foot in one corner and the other in the other
corner, and her knees cocked up, almost touching the ceiling.
'Who's there?' she snarled, in an awful voice, when she saw the
And they answered civilly, though they were so terrified that
they hid behind one another, and said:
'Good-morning, granny; our step-mother has sent us to wait upon
you, and serve you.'
'See that you do it well, then,' growled the witch. 'If I am
pleased with you, I'll reward you; but if I am not, I'll put you
in a pan and fry you in the oven--that's what I'll do with you,
my pretty dears! You have been gently reared, but you'll find my
work hard enough. See if you don't.'
And, so saying, she set the girl down to spin yarn, and she gave
the boy a sieve in which to carry water from the well, and she
herself went out into the wood. Now, as the girl was sitting at
her distaff, weeping bitterly because she could not spin, she
heard the sound of hundreds of little feet, and from every hole
and corner in the hut mice came pattering along the floor,
squeaking and saying:
'Little girl, why are your eyes so red?
If you want help, then give us some bread.'
And the girl gave them the bread that her grandmother had given
her. Then the mice told her that the witch had a cat, and the
cat was very fond of ham; if she would give the cat her ham, it
would show her the way out of the wood, and in the meantime they
would spin the yarn for her. So the girl set out to look for the
cat, and, as she was hunting about, she met her brother, in great
trouble because he could not carry water from the well in a
sieve, as it came pouring out as fast as he put it in. And as
she was trying to comfort him they heard a rustling of wings, and
a flight of wrens alighted on the ground beside them. And the
'Give us some crumbs, then you need not grieve.
For you'll find that water will stay in the sieve.'
Then the twins crumbled their bread on the ground, and the wrens
pecked it, and chirruped and chirped. And when they had eaten
the last crumb they told the boy to fill up the holes of the
sieve with clay, and then to draw water from the well. So he did
what they said, and carried the sieve full of water into the hut
without spilling a drop. When they entered the hut the cat was
curled up on the floor. So they stroked her, and fed her with
ham, and said to her:
'Pussy, grey pussy, tell us how we are to get away from the
Then the cat thanked them for the ham, and gave them a pocket-
handkerchief and a comb, and told them that when the witch
pursued them, as she certainly would, all they had to do was to
throw the handkerchief on the ground and run as fast as they
could. As soon as the handkerchief touched the ground a deep,
broad river would spring up, which would hinder the witch's
progress. If she managed to get across it, they must throw the
comb behind them and run for their lives, for where the comb fell
a dense forest would start up, which would delay the witch so
long that they would be able to get safely away.
The cat had scarcely finished speaking when the witch returned to
see if the children had fulfilled their tasks.
'Well, you have done well enough for to-day,' she grumbled; 'but
to-morrow you'll have something more difficult to do, and if you
don't do it well, you pampered brats, straight into the oven you
Half-dead with fright, and trembling in every limb, the poor
children lay down to sleep on a heap of straw in the corner of
the hut; but they dared not close their eyes, and scarcely
ventured to breathe. In the morning the witch gave the girl two
pieces of linen to weave before night, and the boy a pile of wood
to cut into chips. Then the witch left them to their tasks, and
went out into the wood. As soon as she had gone out of sight the
children took the comb and the handkerchief, and, taking one
another by the hand, they started and ran, and ran, and ran. And
first they met the watch-dog, who was going to leap on them and
tear them to pieces; but they threw the remains of their bread to
him, and he ate them and wagged his tail. Then they were
hindered by the birch-trees, whose branches almost put their eyes
out. But the little sister tied the twigs together with a piece
of ribbon, and they got past safely, and, after running through
the wood, came out on to the open fields.
In the meantime in the hut the cat was busy weaving the linen and
tangling the threads as it wove. And the witch returned to see
how the children were getting on; and she crept up to the window,
'Are you weaving, my little dear?'
'Yes, granny, I am weaving,' answered the cat.
When the witch saw that the children had escaped her, she was
furious, and, hitting the cat with a porringer, she said: 'Why
did you let the children leave the hut? Why did you not scratch
their eyes out?'
But the cat curled up its tail and put its back up, and answered:
'I have served you all these years and you never even threw me a
bone, but the dear children gave me their own piece of ham.'
Then the witch was furious with the watch-dog and with the
birch-trees, because they had let the children pass. But the dog
'I have served you all these years and you never gave me so much
as a hard crust, but the dear children gave me their own loaf of
And the birch rustled its leaves, and said: 'I have served you
longer than I can say, and you never tied a bit of twine even
round my branches; and the dear children bound them up with their
So the witch saw there was no help to be got from her old
servants, and that the best thing she could do was to mount on
her broom and set off in pursuit of the children. And as the
children ran they heard the sound of the broom sweeping the
ground close behind them, so instantly they threw the
handkerchief down over their shoulder, and in a moment a deep,
broad river flowed behind them.
When the witch came up to it, it took her a long time before she
found a place which she could ford over on her broom-stick; but
at last she got across, and continued the chase faster than
before. And as the children ran they heard a sound, and the
little sister put her ear to the ground, and heard the broom
sweeping the earth close behind them; so, quick as thought, she
threw the comb down on the ground, and in an instant, as the cat
had said, a dense forest sprung up, in which the roots and
branches were so closely intertwined, that it was impossible to
force a way through it. So when the witch came up to it on her
broom she found that there was nothing for it but to turn round
and go back to her hut.
But the twins ran straight on till they reached their own home.
Then they told their father all that they had suffered, and he
was so angry with their step-mother that he drove her out of the
house, and never let her return; but he and the children lived
happily together; and he took care of them himself, and never let
a stranger come near them.
THE HAZEL-NUT CHILD 
 From the Bukowniaer. Van Wliolocki.
There was once upon a time a couple who had no children, and they
prayed Heaven every day to send them a child, though it were no
bigger than a hazel-nut. At last Heaven heard their prayer and
sent them a child exactly the size of a hazel-nut, and it never
grew an inch. The parents were very devoted to the little
creature, and nursed and tended it carefully. Their tiny son too
was as clever as he could be, and so sharp and sensible that all
the neighbours marvelled over the wise things he said and did.
When the Hazel-nut child was fifteen years old, and was sitting
one day in an egg-shell on the table beside his mother, she
turned to him and said, 'You are now fifteen years old, and
nothing can be done with you. What do you intend to be?'
'A messenger,' answered the Hazel-nut child.
Then his mother burst out laughing and said, 'What an idea! You
a messenger! Why, your little feet would take an hour to go the
distance an ordinary person could do in a minute!'
But the Hazel-nut child replied, 'Nevertheless I mean to be a
messenger! Just send me a message and you'll see that I shall be
back in next to no time.'
So his mother said, 'Very well, go to your aunt in the
neighbouring village, and fetch me a comb.' The Hazel-nut child
jumped quickly out of the egg-shell and ran out into the street.
Here he found a man on horseback who was just setting out for the
neighbouring village. He crept up the horse's leg, sat down
under the saddle, and then began to pinch the horse and to prick
it with a pin. The horse plunged and reared and then set off at
a hard gallop, which it continued in spite of its rider's efforts
to stop it. When they reached the village, the Hazel-nut child
left off pricking the horse, and the poor tired creature pursued
its way at a snail's pace. The Hazel-nut child took advantage of
this, and crept down the horse's leg; then he ran to his aunt and
asked her for a comb. On the way home he met another rider, and
did the return journey in exactly the same way. When he handed
his mother the comb that his aunt had given him, she was much
amazed and asked him, 'But how did you manage to get back so
'Ah! mother,' he replied, 'you see I was quite right when I said
I knew a messenger was the profession for me.'
His father too possessed a horse which he often used to take out
into the fields to graze. One day he took the Hazel-nut child
with him. At midday the father turned to his small son and said,
'Stay here and look after the horse. I must go home and give
your mother a message, but I shall be back soon.'
When his father had gone, a robber passed by and saw the horse
grazing without any one watching it, for of course he could not
see the Hazel-nut child hidden in the grass. So he mounted the
horse and rode away. But the Hazel-nut child, who was the most
active little creature, climbed up the horse's tail and began to
bite it on the back, enraging the creature to such an extent that
it paid no attention to the direction the robber tried to make it
go in, but galloped straight home. The father was much
astonished when he saw a stranger riding his horse, but the
Hazel-nut child climbed down quickly and told him all that had
happened, and his father had the robber arrested at once and put
One autumn when the Hazel-nut child was twenty years old he said
to his parents: 'Farewell, my dear father and mother. I am going
to set out into the world, and as soon as I have become rich I
will return home to you.'
The parents laughed at the little man's words, but did not
believe him for a moment. In the evening the Hazel-nut child
crept on to the roof, where some storks had built their nest.
The storks were fast asleep, and he climbed on to the back of the
father-stork and bound a silk cord round the joint of one of its
wings, then he crept among its soft downy feathers and fell
The next morning the storks flew towards the south, for winter
was approaching. The Hazel-nut child flew through the air on the
stork's back, and when he wanted to rest he bound his silk cord
on to the joint of the bird's other wing, so that it could not
fly any farther. In this way he reached the country of the black
people, where the storks took up their abode close to the
capital. When the people saw the Hazel-nut child they were much
astonished, and took him with the stork to the King of the
country. The King was delighted with the little creature and
kept him always beside him, and he soon grew so fond of the
little man that he gave him a diamond four times as big as
himself. The Hazel-nut child fastened the diamond firmly under
the stork's neck with a ribbon, and when he saw that the other
storks were getting ready for their northern flight, he untied
the silk cord from his stork's wings, and away they went, getting
nearer home every minute. At length the Hazel-nut child came to
his native village; then he undid the ribbon from the stork's
neck and the diamond fell to the ground; he covered it first with
sand and stones, and then ran to get his parents, so that they
might carry the treasure home, for he himself was not able to
lift the great diamond.
So the Hazel-nut child and his parents lived in happiness and
prosperity after this till they died.
THE STORY OF BIG KLAUS AND LITTLE KLAUS
In a certain village there lived two people who had both the same
name. Both were called Klaus, but one owned four horses and the
other only one. In order to distinguish the one from the other,
the one who had four horses was called Big Klaus, and the one who
had only one horse, Little Klaus. Now you shall hear what befell
them both, for this is a true story.
The whole week through Little Klaus had to plough for Big Klaus,
and lend him his one horse; then Big Klaus lent him his four
horses, but only once a week, and that was on Sunday. Hurrah!
how loudly Little Klaus cracked his whip over all the five
horses! for they were indeed as good as his on this one day.
The sun shone brightly, and all the bells in the church-towers
were pealing; the people were dressed in their best clothes, and
were going to church, with their hymn books under their arms, to
hear the minister preach. They saw Little Klaus ploughing with
the five horses; but he was so happy that he kept on cracking his
whip, and calling out 'Gee-up, my five horses!'
'You mustn't say that,' said Big Klaus. 'Only one horse is
But as soon as someone else was going by Little Klaus forgot that
he must not say it, and called out 'Gee-up, my five horses!'
'Now you had better stop that,' said Big Klaus, 'for if you say
it once more I will give your horse such a crack on the head that
it will drop down dead on the spot!'
'I really won't say it again!' said Little Klaus. But as soon as
more people passed by, and nodded him good-morning, he became so
happy in thinking how well it looked to have five horses
ploughing his field that, cracking his whip, he called out
'Gee-up, my five horses!'
'I'll see to your horses!' said Big Klaus; and, seizing an iron
bar, he struck Little Klaus' one horse such a blow on the head
that it fell down and died on the spot.
'Alas! Now I have no horse!' said Little Klaus, beginning to
cry. Then he flayed the skin off his horse, dried it, and put it
in a sack, which he threw over his shoulder, and went into the
town to sell it. He had a long way to go, and had to pass
through a great dark forest. A dreadful storm came on, in which
he lost his way, and before he could get on to the right road
night came on, and it was impossible to reach the town that
Right in front of him was a large farm-house. The
window-shutters were closed, but the light came through the
chinks. 'I should very much like to be allowed to spend the
night there,' thought Little Klaus; and he went and knocked at
the door. The farmer's wife opened it, but when she heard what
he wanted she told him to go away; her husband was not at home,
and she took in no strangers.
'Well, I must lie down outside,' said Little Klaus; and the
farmer's wife shut the door in his face. Close by stood a large
haystack, and between it and the house a little out-house,
covered with a flat thatched roof.
'I can lie down there,' thought Little Klaus, looking at the
roof; 'it will make a splendid bed, if only the stork won't fly
down and bite my legs.' For a live stork was standing on the
roof, where it had its nest. So Little Klaus crept up into the
out-house, where he lay down, and made himself comfortable for
the night. The wooden shutters over the windows were not shut at
the top, and he could just see into the room.
There stood a large table, spread with wine and roast meat and a
beautiful fish. The farmer's wife and the sexton sat at the
table, but there was no one else. She was filling up his glass,
while he stuck his fork into the fish which was his favourite
'If one could only get some of that!' thought Little Klaus,
stretching his head towards the window. Ah, what delicious cakes
he saw standing there! It WAS a feast!
Then he heard someone riding along the road towards the house.
It was the farmer coming home. He was a very worthy man; but he
had one great peculiarity--namely, that he could not bear to see
a sexton. If he saw one he was made quite mad. That was why the
sexton had gone to say good-day to the farmer's wife when he knew
that her husband was not at home, and the good woman therefore
put in front of him the best food she had. But when they heard
the farmer coming they were frightened, and the farmer's wife
begged the sexton to creep into a great empty chest. He did so,
as he knew the poor man could not bear to see a sexton. The wife
hastily hid all the beautiful food and the wine in her oven; for
if her husband had seen it, he would have been sure to ask what
it all meant.
'Oh, dear! oh, dear!' groaned Little Klaus up in the shed, when
he saw the good food disappearing.
'Is anybody up there?' asked the farmer, catching sight of Little
Klaus. 'Why are you lying there? Come with me into the house.'
Then Little Klaus told him how he had lost his way, and begged to
be allowed to spend the night there.
'Yes, certainly,' said the farmer; 'but we must first have
something to eat!'
The wife received them both very kindly, spread a long table, and
gave them a large plate of porridge. The farmer was hungry, and
ate with a good appetite; but Little Klaus could not help
thinking of the delicious dishes of fish and roast meats and
cakes which he knew were in the oven. Under the table at his
feet he had laid the sack with the horse-skin in it, for, as we
know, he was going to the town to sell it. The porridge did not
taste good to him, so he trod upon his sack, and the dry skin in
the sack squeaked loudly.
'Hush!' said Little Klaus to his sack, at the same time treading
on it again so that it squeaked even louder than before.
'Hallo! what have you got in your sack?' asked the farmer.
'Oh, it is a wizard!' said Little Klaus. 'He says we should not
eat porridge, for he has conjured the whole oven full of roast
meats and fish and cakes.'
'Goodness me!' said the farmer; and opening the oven he saw all
the delicious, tempting dishes his wife had hidden there, but
which he now believed the wizard in the sack had conjured up for
them. The wife could say nothing, but she put the food at once
on the table, and they ate the fish, the roast meat, and the
cakes. Little Klaus now trod again on his sack, so that the skin
'What does he say now?' asked the farmer.
'He says,' replied Little Klans, 'that he has also conjured up
for us three bottles of wine; they are standing in the corner by
The wife had to fetch the wine which she had hidden, and the
farmer drank and grew very merry. He would very much like to
have had such a wizard as Little Klaus had in the sack.
'Can he conjure up the Devil?' asked the farmer. 'I should like
to see him very much, for I feel just now in very good spirits!'
'Yes,' said Little Klaus; 'my wizard can do everything that I
ask. Isn't that true?' he asked, treading on the sack so that it
squeaked. 'Do you hear? He says ''Yes;'' but that the Devil
looks so ugly that we should not like to see him.'
'Oh! I'm not at all afraid. What does he look like?'
'He will show himself in the shape of a sexton!'
'I say!' said the farmer, 'he must be ugly! You must know that I
can't bear to look at a sexton! But it doesn't matter. I know
that it is the Devil, and I sha'n't mind! I feel up to it now.
But he must not come too near me!'
'I must ask my wizard,' said Little Klaus, treading on the sack
and putting his ear to it.
'What does he say?'
'He says you can open the chest in the corner there, and you will
see the Devil squatting inside it; but you must hold the lid so
that he shall not escape.'
'Will you help me to hold him?' begged the farmer, going towards
the chest where his wife had hidden the real sexton, who was
sitting inside in a terrible fright. The farmer opened the lid a
little way, and saw him inside.
'Ugh!' he shrieked, springing back. 'Yes, now I have seen him;
he looked just like our sexton. Oh, it was horrid!'
So he had to drink again, and they drank till far on into the
'You MUST sell me the wizard,' said the farmer. 'Ask anything
you like! I will pay you down a bushelful of money on the spot.'
'No, I really can't,' said Little Klans. 'Just think how many
things I can get from this wizard!'
'Ah! I should like to have him so much!' said the farmer,
begging very hard.
'Well!' said Little Klaus at last, 'as you have been so good as
to give me shelter to-night, I will sell him. You shall have the
wizard for a bushel of money, but I must have full measure.'
'That you shall,' said the farmer. 'But you must take the chest
with you. I won't keep it another hour in the house. Who knows
that he isn't in there still?'
Little Klaus gave the farmer his sack with the dry skin, and got
instead a good bushelful of money. The farmer also gave him a
wheelbarrow to carry away his money and the chest. 'Farewell,'
said Little Klaus; and away he went with his money and the big
chest, wherein sat the sexton.
On the other side of the wood was a large deep river. The water
flowed so rapidly that you could scarcely swim against the
A great new bridge had been built over it, on the middle of which
Little Klaus stopped, and said aloud so that the sexton might
'Now, what am I to do with this stupid chest? It is as heavy as
if it were filled with stones! I shall only be tired, dragging
it along; I will throw it into the river. If it swims home to
me, well and good; and if it doesn't, it's no matter.'
Then he took the chest with one hand and lifted it up a little,
as if he were going to throw it into the water.
'No, don't do that!' called out the sexton in the chest. 'Let me
get out first!'
'Oh, oh!' said Little Klaus, pretending that he was afraid. 'He
is still in there! I must throw him quickly into the water to
'Oh! no, no!' cried the sexton. 'I will give you a whole
bushelful of money if you will let me go!'
'Ah, that's quite another thing!' said Little Klaus, opening the
chest. The sexton crept out very quickly, pushed the empty chest
into the water and went to his house, where he gave Little Klaus
a bushel of money. One he had had already from the farmer, and
now he had his wheelbarrow full of money.
'Well, I have got a good price for the horse!' said he to himself
when he shook all his money out in a heap in his room. 'This
will put Big Klaus in a rage when he hears how rich I have become
through my one horse; but I won't tell him just yet!'
So he sent a boy to Big Klaus to borrow a bushel measure from
'Now what can he want with it?' thought Big Klaus; and he smeared
some tar at the bottom, so that of whatever was measured a little
should remain in it. And this is just what happened; for when he
got his measure back, three new silver five-shilling pieces were
sticking to it.
What does this mean?' said Big Klaus, and he ran off at once to
'Where did you get so much money from?'
'Oh, that was from my horse-skin. I sold it yesterday evening.'
'That's certainly a good price!' said Big Klaus; and running home
in great haste, he took an axe, knocked all his four horses on
the head, skinned them, and went into the town.
'Skins! skins! Who will buy skins?' he cried through the
All the shoemakers and tanners came running to ask him what he
wanted for them. 'A bushel of money for each,' said Big Klaus.
'Are you mad?' they all exclaimed. 'Do you think we have money
by the bushel?'
'Skins! skins! Who will buy skins?' he cried again, and to all
who asked him what they cost, he answered, 'A bushel of money.'
'He is making game of us,' they said; and the shoemakers seized
their yard measures and the tanners their leathern aprons and
they gave Big Klaus a good beating. 'Skins! skins!' they cried
mockingly; yes, we will tan YOUR skin for you! Out of the town
with him!' they shouted; and Big Klaus had to hurry off as
quickly as he could, if he wanted to save his life.
'Aha!' said he when he came home, 'Little Klaus shall pay dearly
for this. I will kill him!'
Little Klaus' grandmother had just died. Though she had been
very unkind to him, he was very much distressed, and he took the
dead woman and laid her in his warm bed to try if he could not
bring her back to life. There she lay the whole night, while he
sat in the corner and slept on a chair, which he had often done
before. And in the night as he sat there the door opened, and
Big Klaus came in with his axe. He knew quite well where Little
Klaus's bed stood, and going up to it he struck the grandmother
on the head just where he thought Little Klaus would be.
'There!' said he. 'Now you won't get the best of me again!' And
he went home.
'What a very wicked man!' thought Little Klaus. 'He was going to
kill me! It was a good thing for my grandmother that she was
dead already, or else he would have killed her!'
Then he dressed his grandmother in her Sunday clothes, borrowed a
horse from his neighbour, harnessed the cart to it, sat his
grandmother on the back seat so that she could not fall out when
he drove, and away they went. When the sun rose they were in
front of a large inn. Little Klaus got down, and went in to get
something to drink. The host was very rich. He was a very
worthy but hot-tempered man.
'Good morning!' said he to Little Klaus. 'You are early on the
'Yes,' said Little Klaus. 'I am going to the town with my
grandmother. She is sitting outside in the cart; I cannot bring
her in. Will you not give her a glass of mead? But you will
have to speak loud, for she is very hard of hearing.'
'Oh yes, certainly I will!' said the host; and, pouring out a
large glass of mead, he took it out to the dead grandmother, who
was sitting upright in the cart.
'Here is a glass of mead from your son,' said the host. But the
dead woman did not answer a word, and sat still. 'Don't you
hear?' cried the host as loud as he could. 'Here is a glass of
mead from your son!'
Then he shouted the same thing again, and yet again, but she
never moved in her place; and at last he grew angry, threw the
glass in her face, so that she fell back into the cart, for she
was not tied in her place.
'Hullo!' cried Little Klaus, running out of the door, and seizing
the host by the throat. 'You have killed my grandmother! Look!
there is a great hole in her forehead!'
'Oh, what a misfortune!' cried the host, wringing his hands. 'It
all comes from my hot temper! Dear Little Klaus! I will give
you a bushel of money, and will bury your grandmother as if she
were my own; only don't tell about it, or I shall have my head
cut off, and that would be very uncomfortable.'
So Little Klaus got a bushel of money, and the host buried his
grandmother as if she had been his own.
Now when Little Klaus again reached home with so much money he
sent his boy to Big Klaus to borrow his bushel measure.
'What's this?' said Big Klaus. 'Didn't I kill him? I must see
to this myself!'
So he went himself to Little Klaus with the measure.
'Well, now, where did you get all this money?' asked he, opening
his eyes at the heap.
'You killed my grandmother--not me,' said Little Klaus. 'I sold
her, and got a bushel of money for her.'
'That is indeed a good price!' said Big Klaus; and, hurrying
home, he took an axe and killed his grandmother, laid her in the
cart, and drove off to the apothecary's, and asked whether he
wanted to buy a dead body.
'Who is it, and how did you get it?' asked the apothecary.
'It is my grandmother,' said Big Klaus. 'I killed her in order
to get a bushel of money.'
'You are mad!' said the apothecary. 'Don't mention such things,
or you will lose your head!' And he began to tell him what a
dreadful thing he had done, and what a wicked man he was, and
that he ought to be punished; till Big Klaus was so frightened
that he jumped into the cart and drove home as hard as he could.
The apothecary and all the people thought he must be mad, so they
let him go.
'You shall pay for this!' said Big Klaus as he drove home. 'You
shall pay for this dearly, Little Klaus!'
So as soon as he got home he took the largest sack he could find,
and went to Little Klaus and said: 'You have fooled me again!
First I killed my horses, then my grandmother! It is all your
fault; but you sha'n't do it again!' And he seized Little Klaus,
pushed him in the sack, threw it over his shoulder, crying out
'Now I am going to drown you!'
He had to go a long way before he came to the river, and Little
Klaus was not very light. The road passed by the church; the
organ was sounding, and the people were singing most beautifully.
Big Klaus put down the sack with Little Klaus in it by the
church-door, and thought that he might as well go in and hear a
psalm before going on farther. Little Klaus could not get out,
and everybody was in church; so he went in.
'Oh, dear! oh, dear!' groaned Little Klaus in the sack, twisting
and turning himself. But he could not undo the string.
There came by an old, old shepherd, with snow-white hair and a
long staff in his hand. He was driving a herd of cows and oxen.
These pushed against the sack so that it was overturned.
'Alas!' moaned Little Klans, 'I am so young and yet I must die!'
'And I, poor man,' said the cattle-driver, 'I am so old and yet I
'Open the sack,' called out Little Klaus; 'creep in here instead
of me, and you will die in a moment!'
'I will gladly do that,' said the cattle-driver; and he opened
the sack, and Little Klaus struggled out at once.
'You will take care of the cattle, won't you?' asked the old man,
creeping into the sack, which Little Klaus fastened up and then
went on with the cows and oxen. Soon after Big Klaus came out of
the church, and taking up the sack on his shoulders it seemed to
him as if it had become lighter; for the old cattle-driver was
not half as heavy as Little Klaus.
'How easy he is to carry now! That must be because I heard part
of the service.'
So he went to the river, which was deep and broad, threw in the
sack with the old driver, and called after it, for he thought
Little Klaus was inside:
'Down you go! You won't mock me any more now!'
Then he went home; but when he came to the cross-roads, there he
met Little Klaus, who was driving his cattle.
'What's this?' said Big Klaus. 'Haven't I drowned you?'
'Yes,' replied Little Klaus; 'you threw me into the river a good
'But how did you get those splendid cattle?' asked Big Klaus.
'They are sea-cattle!' said Little Klaus. 'I will tell you the
whole story, and I thank you for having drowned me, because now I
am on dry land and really rich! How frightened I was when I was
in the sack! How the wind whistled in my ears as you threw me
from the bridge into the cold water! I sank at once to the
bottom; but I did not hurt myself for underneath was growing the
most beautiful soft grass. I fell on this, and immediately the
sack opened; the loveliest maiden in snow-white garments, with a
green garland round her wet hair, took me by the hand, and said!
''Are you Little Klaus? Here are some cattle for you to begin
with, and a mile farther down the road there is another herd,
which I will give you as a present!'' Now I saw that the river
was a great high-road for the sea-people. Along it they travel
underneath from the sea to the land till the river ends. It was
so beautiful, full of flowers and fresh grass; the fishes which
were swimming in the water shot past my ears as the birds do here
in the air. What lovely people there were, and what fine cattle
were grazing in the ditches and dykes!'
'But why did you come up to us again?' asked Big Klaus. 'I
should not have done so, if it is so beautiful down below!'
'Oh!' said Little Klaus, 'that was just so politic of me. You
heard what I told you, that the sea-maiden said to me a mile
farther along the road--and by the road she meant the river, for
she can go by no other way--there was another herd of cattle
waiting for me. But I know what windings the river makes, now
here, now there, so that it is a long way round. Therefore it
makes it much shorter if one comes on the land and drives across
the field to the river. Thus I have spared myself quite half a
mile, and have come much quicker to my sea-cattle!'
'Oh, you're a lucky fellow!' said Big Klaus. 'Do you think I
should also get some cattle if I went to the bottom of the
'Oh, yes! I think so,' said Little Klaus. 'But I can't carry
you in a sack to the river; you are too heavy for me! If you
like to go there yourself and then creep into the sack, I will
throw you in with the greatest of pleasure.'
'Thank you,' said Big Klaus; 'but if I don't get any sea-cattle
when I come there, you will have a good hiding, mind!'
'Oh, no! Don't be so hard on me!' Then they went to the river.
When the cattle, which were thirsty, caught sight of the water,
they ran as quickly as they could to drink.
'Look how they are running!' said Little Klaus. 'They want to go
to the bottom again!'
'Yes; but help me first,' said Big Klaus, 'or else you shall have
And so he crept into the large sack, which was lying on the back
of one of the oxen. 'Put a stone in, for I am afraid I may not
reach the bottom,' said Big Klaus.
'It goes all right!' said Little Klaus; but still he laid a big
stone in the sack, fastened it up tight, and then pushed it in.
Plump! there was Big Klaus in the water, and he sank like lead
to the bottom.
'I doubt if he will find any cattle!' said Little Klaus as he
drove his own home.
PRINCE RING 
 From the Icelandic.
Once upon a time there was a King and his Queen in their kingdom.
They had one daughter, who was called Ingiborg, and one son,
whose name was Ring. He was less fond of adventures than men of
rank usually were in those days, and was not famous for strength
or feats of arms. When he was twelve years old, one fine winter
day he rode into the forest along with his men to enjoy himself.
They went on a long way, until they caught sight of a hind with a
gold ring on its horns. The Prince was eager to catch it, if
possible, so they gave chase and rode on without stopping until
all the horses began to founder beneath them. At last the
Prince's horse gave way too, and then there came over them a
darkness so black that they could no longer see the hind. By
this time they were far away from any house, and thought it was
high time to be making their way home again, but they found they
had got lost now. At first they all kept together, but soon each
began to think that he knew the right way best; so they
separated, and all went in different directions.
The Prince, too, had got lost like the rest, and wandered on for
a time until he came to a little clearing in the forest not far
from the sea, where he saw a woman sitting on a chair and a big
barrel standing beside her. The Prince went up to her and
saluted her politely, and she received him very graciously. He
looked down into the barrel then, and saw lying at the bottom an
unusually beautiful gold ring, which pleased him so much that he
could not take his eyes off it. The woman saw this, and said
that he might have it if he would take the trouble to get it; for
which the Prince thanked her, and said it was at least worth
trying. So he leaned over into the barrel, which did not seem
very deep, and thought he would easily reach the ring; but the
more he stretched down after it the deeper grew the barrel. As
he was thus bending down into it the woman suddenly rose up and
pushed him in head first, saying that now he could take up his
quarters there. Then she fixed the top on the barrel and threw
it out into the sea.
The Prince thought himself in a bad plight now, as he felt the
barrel floating out from the land and tossing about on the waves.
How many days he spent thus he could not tell, but at last he
felt that the barrel was knocking against rocks, at which he was
a little cheered, thinking it was probably land and not merely a
reef in the sea. Being something of a swimmer, he at last made
up his mind to kick the bottom out of the barrel, and having done
so he was able to get on shore, for the rocks by the sea were
smooth and level; but overhead there were high cliffs. It seemed
difficult to get up these, but he went along the foot of them for
a little, till at last he tried to climb up, which at last he
Having got to the top, he looked round about him and saw that he
was on an island, which was covered with forest, with apples
growing, and altogether pleasant as far as the land was
concerned. After he had been there several days, he one day
heard a great noise in the forest, which made him terribly
afraid, so that he ran to hide himself among the trees. Then he
saw a Giant approaching, dragging a sledge loaded with wood, and
making straight for him, so that he could see nothing for it but
to lie down just where he was. When the Giant came across him,
he stood still and looked at the Prince for a little; then he
took him up in his arms and carried him home to his house, and
was exceedingly kind to him. He gave him to his wife, saying he
had found this child in the wood, and she could have it to help
her in the house. The old woman was greatly pleased, and began
to fondle the Prince with the utmost delight. He stayed there
with them, and was very willing and obedient to them in
everything, while they grew kinder to him every day.
One day the Giant took him round and showed him all his rooms
except the parlour; this made the Prince curious to have a look
into it, thinking there must be some very rare treasure there.
So one day, when the Giant had gone into the forest, he tried to
get into the parlour, and managed to get the door open half-way.
Then he saw that some living creature moved inside and ran along
the floor towards him and said something, which made him so
frightened that he sprang back from the door and shut it again.
As soon as the fright began to pass off he tried it again, for he
thought it would be interesting to hear what it said; but things
went just as before with him. He then got angry with himself,
and, summoning up all his courage, tried it a third time, and
opened the door of the room and stood firm. Then he saw that it
was a big Dog, which spoke to him and said:
'Choose me, Prince Ring.'
The Prince went away rather afraid, thinking with himself that it
was no great treasure after all; but all the same what it had
said to him stuck in his mind.
It is not said how long the Prince stayed with the Giant, but one
day the latter came to him and said he would now take him over to
the mainland out of the island, for he himself had no long time
to live. He also thanked him for his good service, and told him
to choose some-one of his possessions, for he would get whatever
he wanted. Ring thanked him heartily, and said there was no need
to pay him for his services, they were so little worth; but if he
did wish to give him anything he would choose what was in the
parlour. The Giant was taken by surprise, and said:
'There, you chose my old woman's right hand; but I must not break
Upon this he went to get the Dog, which came running with signs
of great delight; but the Prince was so much afraid of it that it
was all he could do to keep from showing his alarm.
After this the Giant accompanied him down to the sea, where he
saw a stone boat which was just big enough to hold the two of
them and the Dog. On reaching the mainland the Giant took a
friendly farewell of Ring, and told him he might take possession
of all that was in the island after he and his wife died, which
would happen within two weeks from that time. The Prince thanked
him for this and for all his other kindnesses, and the Giant
returned home, while Ring went up some distance from the sea; but
he did not know what land he had come to, and was afraid to speak
to the Dog. After he had walked on in silence for a time the Dog
spoke to him and said:
'You don't seem to have much curiosity, seeing you never ask my
The Prince then forced himself to ask, 'What is your name?'
'You had best call me Snati-Snati,' said the Dog. 'Now we are
coming to a King's seat, and you must ask the King to keep us all
winter, and to give you a little room for both of us.'
The Prince now began to be less afraid of the Dog. They came to
the King and asked him to keep them all the winter, to which he
agreed. When the King's men saw the Dog they began to laugh at
it, and make as if they would tease it; but when the Prince saw
this he advised them not to do it, or they might have the worst
of it. They replied that they didn't care a bit what he thought.
After Ring had been with the King for some days the latter began
to think there was a great deal in him, and esteemed him more
than the others. The King, however, had a counsellor called Red,
who became very jealous when he saw how much the King esteemed
Ring; and one day he talked to him, and said he could not
understand why he had so good an opinion of this stranger, who
had not yet shown himself superior to other men in anything. The
King replied that it was only a short time since he had come
there. Red then asked him to send them both to cut down wood
next morning, and see which of them could do most work.
Snati-Snati heard this and told it to Ring, advising him to ask
the King for two axes, so that he might have one in reserve if
the first one got broken. Next morning the King asked Ring and
Red to go and cut down trees for him, and both agreed. Ring got
the two axes, and each went his own way; but when the Prince had
got out into the wood Snati took one of the axes and began to hew
along with him. In the evening the King came to look over their
day's work, as Red had proposed, and found that Ring's wood-heap
was more than twice as big.
'I suspected,' said the King, 'that Ring was not quite useless;
never have I seen such a day's work.'
Ring was now in far greater esteem with the King than before, and
Red was all the more discontented. One day he came to the King
and said, 'If Ring is such a mighty man, I think you might ask
him to kill the wild oxen in the wood here, and flay them the
same day, and bring you the horns and the hides in the evening.'
'Don't you think that a desperate errand?' said the King, 'seeing
they are so dangerous, and no one has ever yet ventured to go
Red answered that he had only one life to lose, and it would be
interesting to see how brave he was; besides, the King would have
good reason to ennoble him if he overcame them. The King at last
allowed himself, though rather unwillingly, to be won over by
Red's persistency, and one day asked Ring to go and kill the oxen
that were in the wood for him, and bring their horns and hides to
him in the evening. Not knowing how dangerous the oxen were,
Ring was quite ready, and went off at once, to the great delight
of Red, who was now sure of his death.
As soon as Ring came in sight of the oxen they came bellowing to
meet him; one of them was tremendously big, the other rather
less. Ring grew terribly afraid.
'How do you like them?' asked Snati.
'Not well at all,' said the Prince.
'We can do nothing else,' said Snati, 'than attack them, if it is
to go well; you will go against the little one, and I shall take
With this Snati leapt at the big one, and was not long in
bringing him down. Meanwhile the Prince went against the other
with fear and trembling, and by the time Snati came to help him
the ox had nearly got him under, but Snati was not slow in
helping his master to kill it.
Each of them then began to flay their own ox, but Ring was only
half through by the time Snati had finished his. In the evening,
after they had finished this task, the Prince thought himself
unfit to carry all the horns and both the hides, so Snati told
him to lay them all on his back until they got to the Palace
The Prince agreed, and laid everything on the Dog except the skin
of the smaller ox, which he staggered along with himself. At the
Palace gate he left everything lying, went before the King, and
asked him to come that length with him, and there handed over to
him the hides and horns of the oxen. The King was greatly
surprised at his valour, and said he knew no one like him, and
thanked him heartily for what he had done.
After this the King set Ring next to himself, and all esteemed
him highly, and held him to be a great hero; nor could Red any
longer say anything against him, though he grew still more
determined to destroy him. One day a good idea came into his
head. He came to the King and said he had something to say to
'What is that?' said the King.
Red said that he had just remembered the gold cloak, gold
chess-board, and bright gold piece that the King had lost about a
'Don't remind me of them!' said the King.
Red, however, went on to say that, since Ring was such a mighty
man that he could do everything, it had occurred to him to advise
the King to ask him to search for these treasures, and come back
with them before Christmas; in return the King should promise him
The King replied that he thought it altogether unbecoming to
propose such a thing to Ring, seeing that he could not tell him
where the things were; but Red pretended not to hear the King's
excuses, and went on talking about it until the King gave in to
him. One day, a month or so before Christmas, the King spoke to
Ring, saying that he wished to ask a great favour of him.
'What is that?' said Ring.
'It is this,' said the King: 'that you find for me my gold cloak,
my gold chess-board, and my bright gold piece, that were stolen
from me about a year ago. If you can bring them to me before
Christmas I will give you my daughter in marriage.'
'Where am I to look for them, then?' said Ring.
'That you must find out for yourself,' said the King: 'I don't
Ring now left the King, and was very silent, for he saw he was in
a great difficulty: but, on the other hand, he thought it was
excellent to have such a chance of winning the King's daughter.
Snati noticed that his master was at a loss, and said to him that
he should not disregard what the King had asked him to do; but he
would have to act upon his advice, otherwise he would get into
great difficulties. The Prince assented to this, and began to
prepare for the journey.
After he had taken leave of the King, and was setting out on the
search, Snati said to him, 'Now you must first of all go about
the neighbourhood, and gather as much salt as ever you can.' The
Prince did so, and gathered so much salt that he could hardly
carry it; but Snati said, 'Throw it on my back,' which he
accordingly did, and the Dog then ran on before the Prince, until
they came to the foot of a steep cliff.
'We must go up here,' said Snati.
'I don't think that will be child's play,' said the Prince.
'Hold fast by my tail,' said Snati; and in this way he pulled
Ring up on the lowest shelf of the rock. The Prince began to get
giddy, but up went Snati on to the second shelf. Ring was nearly
swooning by this time, but Snati made a third effort and reached
the top of the cliff, where the Prince fell down in a faint.
After a little, however, he recovered again, and they went a
short distance along a level plain, until they came to a cave.
This was on Christmas Eve. They went up above the cave, and
found a window in it, through which they looked, and saw four
trolls lying asleep beside the fire, over which a large
porridge-pot was hanging.
'Now you must empty all the salt into the porridge-pot,' said
Ring did so, and soon the trolls wakened up. The old hag, who
was the most frightful of them all, went first to taste the
'How comes this?' she said; 'the porridge is salt! I got the
milk by witchcraft yesterday out of four kingdoms, and now it is
All the others then came to taste the porridge, and thought it
nice, but after they had finished it the old hag grew so thirsty
that she could stand it no longer, and asked her daughter to go
out and bring her some water from the river that ran near by.
'I won't go,' said she, 'unless you lend me your bright gold
'Though I should die you shan't have that,' said the hag.
'Die, then,' said the girl.
'Well, then, take it, you brat,' said the old hag, 'and be off
with you, and make haste with the water.'
The girl took the gold and ran out with it, and it was so bright
that it shone all over the plain. As soon as she came to the
river she lay down to take a drink of the water, but meanwhile
the two of them had got down off the roof and thrust her, head
first, into the river.
The old hag began now to long for the water, and said that the
girl would be running about with the gold piece all over the
plain, so she asked her son to go and get her a drop of water.
'I won't go,' said he, 'unless I get the gold cloak.'
'Though I should die you shan't have that,' said the hag.
'Die, then,' said the son.
'Well, then, take it,' said the old hag, 'and be off with you,
but you must make haste with the water.'
He put on the cloak, and when he came outside it shone so bright
that he could see to go with it. On reaching the river he went
to take a drink like his sister, but at that moment Ring and
Snati sprang upon him, took the cloak from him, and threw him
into the river.
The old hag could stand the thirst no longer, and asked her
husband to go for a drink for her; the brats, she said, were of
course running about and playing themselves, just as she had
expected they would, little wretches that they were.
'I won't go,' said the old troll, 'unless you lend me the gold
'Though I should die you shan't have that,' said the hag.
'I think you may just as well do that,' said he, 'since you won't
grant me such a little favour.'
'Take it, then, you utter disgrace!' said the old hag, 'since you
are just like these two brats.'
The old troll now went out with the gold chess-board, and down to
the river, and was about to take a drink, when Ring and Snati
came upon him, took the chess-board from him, and threw him into
the river. Before they had got back again, however, and up on
top of the cave, they saw the poor old fellow's ghost come
marching up from the river. Snati immediately sprang upon him,
and Ring assisted in the attack, and after a hard struggle they
mastered him a second time. When they got back again to the
window they saw that the old hag was moving towards the door.
'Now we must go in at once,' said Snati, 'and try to master her
there, for if she once gets out we shall have no chance with her.
She is the worst witch that ever lived, and no iron can cut her.
One of us must pour boiling porridge out of the pot on her, and
the other punch her with red-hot iron.'
In they went then, and no sooner did the hag see them than she
said, 'So you have come, Prince Ring; you must have seen to my
husband and children.'
Snati saw that she was about to attack them, and sprang at her
with a red-hot iron from the fire, while Ring kept pouring
boiling porridge on her without stopping, and in this way they at
last got her killed. Then they burned the old troll and her to
ashes, and explored the cave, where they found plenty of gold and
treasures. The most valuable of these they carried with them as
far as the cliff, and left them there. Then they hastened home
to the King with his three treasures, where they arrived late on
Christmas night, and Ring handed them over to him.
The King was beside himself with joy, and was astonished at how
clever a man Ring was in all kinds of feats, so that he esteemed
him still more highly than before, and betrothed his daughter to
him; and the feast for this was to last all through
Christmastide. Ring thanked the King courteously for this and
all his other kindnesses, and as soon as he had finished eating
and drinking in the hall went off to sleep in his own room.
Snati, however, asked permission to sleep in the Prince's bed for
that night, while the Prince should sleep where the Dog usually
lay. Ring said he was welcome to do so, and that he deserved
more from him than that came to. So Snati went up into the
Prince's bed, but after a time he came back, and told Ring he
could go there himself now, but to take care not to meddle with
anything that was in the bed.
Now the story comes back to Red, who came into the hall and
showed the King his right arm wanting the hand, and said that now
he could see what kind of a man his intended son-in-law was, for
he had done this to him without any cause whatever. The King
became very angry, and said he would soon find out the truth
about it, and if Ring had cut off his hand without good cause he
should be hanged; but if it was otherwise, then Red should die.
So the King sent for Ring and asked him for what reason he had
done this. Snati, however, had just told Ring what had happened
during the night, and in reply he asked the King to go with him
and he would show him something. The King went with him to his
sleeping-room, and saw lying on the bed a man's hand holding a
'This hand,' said Ring, 'came over the partition during the
night, and was about to run me through in my bed, if I had not
The King answered that in that case he could not blame him for
protecting his own life, and that Red was well worthy of death.
So Red was hanged, and Ring married the King's daughter.
The first night that they went to bed together Snati asked Ring
to allow him to lie at their feet, and this Ring allowed him to
do. During the night he heard a howling and outcry beside them,
struck a light in a hurry and saw an ugly dog's skin lying near
him, and a beautiful Prince in the bed. Ring instantly took the
skin and burned it, and then shook the Prince, who was lying
unconscious, until he woke up. The bridegroom then asked his
name; he replied that he was called Ring, and was a King's son.
In his youth he had lost his mother, and in her place his father
had married a witch, who had laid a spell on him that he should
turn into a dog, and never be released from the spell unless a
Prince of the same name as himself allowed him to sleep at his
feet the first night after his marriage. He added further, 'As
soon as she knew that you were my namesake she tried to get you
destroyed, so that you might not free me from the spell. She was
the hind that you and your companions chased; she was the woman
that you found in the clearing with the barrel, and the old hag
that we just now killed in the cave.'
After the feasting was over the two namesakes, along with other
men, went to the cliff and brought all the treasure home to the
Palace. Then they went to the island and removed all that was
valuable from it. Ring gave to his namesake, whom he had freed
from the spell, his sister Ingiborg and his father's kingdom to
look after, but he himself stayed with his father-in-law the
King, and had half the kingdom while he lived and the whole of it
after his death.
There was once a poor Prince. He possessed a kingdom which,
though small, was yet large enough for him to marry on, and
married he wished to be.
Now it was certainly a little audacious of him to venture to say
to the Emperor's daughter, 'Will you marry me?' But he did
venture to say so, for his name was known far and wide. There
were hundreds of princesses who would gladly have said 'Yes,' but
would she say the same?
Well, we shall see.
On the grave of the Prince's father grew a rose-tree, a very
beautiful rose-tree. It only bloomed every five years, and then
bore but a single rose, but oh, such a rose! Its scent was so
sweet that when you smelt it you forgot all your cares and
troubles. And he had also a nightingale which could sing as if
all the beautiful melodies in the world were shut up in its
little throat. This rose and this nightingale the Princess was
to have, and so they were both put into silver caskets and sent
The Emperor had them brought to him in the great hall, where the
Princess was playing 'Here comes a duke a-riding' with her
ladies-in-waiting. And when she caught sight of the big caskets
which contained the presents, she clapped her hands for joy.
'If only it were a little pussy cat!' she said. But the
rose-tree with the beautiful rose came out.
'But how prettily it is made!' said all the ladies-in-waiting.
'It is more than pretty,' said the Emperor, 'it is charming!'
But the Princess felt it, and then she almost began to cry.
'Ugh! Papa,' she said, 'it is not artificial, it is REAL!'
'Ugh!' said all the ladies-in-waiting, 'it is real!'
'Let us see first what is in the other casket before we begin to
be angry,' thought the Emperor, and there came out the
nightingale. It sang so beautifully that one could scarcely
utter a cross word against it.
'Superbe! charmant!' said the ladies-in-waiting, for they all
chattered French, each one worse than the other.
'How much the bird reminds me of the musical snuff-box of the
late Empress!' said an old courtier. 'Ah, yes, it is the same
tone, the same execution!'
'Yes,' said the Emperor; and then he wept like a little child.
'I hope that this, at least, is not real?' asked the Princess.
'Yes, it is a real bird,' said those who had brought it.
'Then let the bird fly away,' said the Princess; and she would
not on any account allow the Prince to come.
'But he was nothing daunted. He painted his face brown and
black, drew his cap well over his face, and knocked at the door.
'Good-day, Emperor,' he said. 'Can I get a place here as servant
in the castle?'
'Yes,' said the Emperor, 'but there are so many who ask for a
place that I don't know whether there will be one for you; but,
still, I will think of you. Stay, it has just occurred to me
that I want someone to look after the swine, for I have so very
many of them.'
And the Prince got the situation of Imperial Swineherd. He had a
wretched little room close to the pigsties; here he had to stay,
but the whole day he sat working, and when evening was come he
had made a pretty little pot. All round it were little bells,
and when the pot boiled they jingled most beautifully and played
the old tune--
'Where is Augustus dear?
Alas! he's not here, here, here!'
But the most wonderful thing was, that when one held one's finger
in the steam of the pot, then at once one could smell what dinner
was ready in any fire-place in the town. That was indeed
something quite different from the rose.
Now the Princess came walking past with all her ladies-in-
waiting, and when she heard the tune she stood still and her face
beamed with joy, for she also could play 'Where is Augustus
It was the only tune she knew, but that she could play with one
'Why, that is what I play!' she said. 'He must be a most
accomplished Swineherd! Listen! Go down and ask him what the
And one of the ladies-in-waiting had to go down; but she put on
wooden clogs. 'What will you take for the pot?' asked the
'I will have ten kisses from the Princess,' answered the
'Heaven forbid!' said the lady-in-waiting.
'Yes, I will sell it for nothing less,' replied the Swineherd.
'Well, what does he say?' asked the Princess.
'I really hardly like to tell you,' answered the lady-in-waiting.
'Oh, then you can whisper it to me.'
'He is disobliging!' said the Princess, and went away. But she
had only gone a few steps when the bells rang out so prettily--
'Where is Augustus dear?
Alas! he's not here, here, here.'
'Listen!' said the Princess. 'Ask him whether he will take ten
kisses from my ladies-in-waiting.'
'No, thank you,' said the Swineherd. 'Ten kisses from the
Princess, or else I keep my pot.'
'That is very tiresome!' said the Princess. 'But you must put
yourselves in front of me, so that no one can see.'
And the ladies-in-waiting placed themselves in front and then
spread out their dresses; so the Swineherd got his ten kisses,
and she got the pot.
What happiness that was! The whole night and the whole day the
pot was made to boil; there was not a fire-place in the whole
town where they did not know what was being cooked, whether it
was at the chancellor's or at the shoemaker's.
The ladies-in-waiting danced and clapped their hands.
'We know who is going to have soup and pancakes; we know who is
going to have porridge and sausages--isn't it interesting?'
'Yes, very interesting!' said the first lady-in-waiting.
'But don't say anything about it, for I am the Emperor's
'Oh, no, of course we won't!' said everyone.
The Swineherd--that is to say, the Prince (though they did not
know he was anything but a true Swineherd)--let no day pass
without making something, and one day he made a rattle which,
when it was turned round, played all the waltzes, galops, and
polkas which had ever been known since the world began.
'But that is superbe!' said the Princess as she passed by. 'I
have never heard a more beautiful composition. Listen! Go down
and ask him what this instrument costs; but I won't kiss him
'He wants a hundred kisses from the Princess,' said the
lady-in-waiting who had gone down to ask him.
'I believe he is mad!' said the Princess, and then she went on;
but she had only gone a few steps when she stopped.
'One ought to encourage art,' she said. 'I am the Emperor's
daughter! Tell him he shall have, as before, ten kisses; the
rest he can take from my ladies-in-waiting.'
'But we don't at all like being kissed by him,' said the
'That's nonsense,' said the Princess; 'and if I can kiss him, you
can too. Besides, remember that I give you board and lodging.'
So the ladies-in-waiting had to go down to him again.
'A hundred kisses from the Princess,' said he, 'or each keeps his
'Put yourselves in front of us,' she said then; and so all the
ladies-in-waiting put themselves in front, and he began to kiss
'What can that commotion be by the pigsties?' asked the Emperor,
who was standing on the balcony. He rubbed his eyes and put on
his spectacles. 'Why those are the ladies-in-waiting playing
their games; I must go down to them.'
So he took off his shoes, which were shoes though he had trodden
them down into slippers. What a hurry he was in, to be sure!
As soon as he came into the yard he walked very softly, and the
ladies-in-waiting were so busy counting the kisses and seeing
fair play that they never noticed the Emperor. He stood on
'What is that?' he said, when he saw the kissing; and then he
threw one of his slippers at their heads just as the Swineherd
was taking his eighty-sixth kiss.
'Be off with you!' said the Emperor, for he was very angry. And
the Princess and the Swineherd were driven out of the empire.
Then she stood still and wept; the Swineherd was scolding, and
the rain was streaming down.
'Alas, what an unhappy creature I am!' sobbed the Princess.
'If only I had taken the beautiful Prince! Alas, how unfortunate
And the Swineherd went behind a tree, washed the black and brown
off his face, threw away his old clothes, and then stepped
forward in his splendid dress, looking so beautiful that the
Princess was obliged to courtesy.
'I now come to this. I despise you!' he said. 'You would have
nothing to do with a noble Prince; you did not understand the
rose or the nightingale, but you could kiss the Swineherd for the
sake of a toy. This is what you get for it!' And he went into
his kingdom and shut the door in her face, and she had to stay
'Where's my Augustus dear?
Alas! he's not here, here, here!
HOW TO TELL A TRUE PRINCESS
There was once upon a time a Prince who wanted to marry a
Princess, but she must be a true Princess. So he travelled
through the whole world to find one, but there was always
something against each. There were plenty of Princesses, but he
could not find out if they were true Princesses. In every case
there was some little defect, which showed the genuine article
was not yet found. So he came home again in very low spirits,
for he had wanted very much to have a true Princess. One night
there was a dreadful storm; it thundered and lightened and the
rain streamed down in torrents. It was fearful! There was a
knocking heard at the Palace gate, and the old King went to open
There stood a Princess outside the gate; but oh, in what a sad
plight she was from the rain and the storm! The water was
running down from her hair and her dress into the points of her
shoes and out at the heels again. And yet she said she was a
'Well, we shall soon find that!' thought the old Queen. But she
said nothing, and went into the sleeping-room, took off all the
bed-clothes, and laid a pea on the bottom of the bed. Then she
put twenty mattresses on top of the pea, and twenty eider-down
quilts on the top of the mattresses. And this was the bed in
which the Princess was to sleep.
The next morning she was asked how she had slept.
'Oh, very badly!' said the Princess. 'I scarcely closed my eyes
all night! I am sure I don't know what was in the bed. I laid
on something so hard that my whole body is black and blue. It is
Now they perceived that she was a true Princess, because she had
felt the pea through the twenty mattresses and the twenty
No one but a true Princess could be so sensitive.
So the Prince married her, for now he knew that at last he had
got hold of a true Princess. And the pea was put into the Royal
Museum, where it is still to be seen if no one has stolen it.
Now this is a true story.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
There were once a Scotsman and an Englishman and an Irishman
serving in the army together, who took it into their heads to run
away on the first opportunity they could get. The chance came
and they took it. They went on travelling for two days through a
great forest, without food or drink, and without coming across a
single house, and every night they had to climb up into the trees
through fear of the wild beasts that were in the wood. On the
second morning the Scotsman saw from the top of his tree a great
castle far away. He said to himself that he would certainly die
if he stayed in the forest without anything to eat but the roots
of grass, which would not keep him alive very long. As soon,
then, as he got down out of the tree he set off towards the
castle, without so much as telling his companions that he had
seen it at all; perhaps the hunger and want they had suffered had
changed their nature so much that the one did not care what
became of the other if he could save himself. He travelled on
most of the day, so that it was quite late when he reached the
castle, and to his great disappointment found nothing but closed
doors and no smoke rising from the chimneys. He thought there
was nothing for it but to die after all, and had lain down beside
the wall, when he heard a window being opened high above him. At
this he looked up, and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever
set eyes on.
'Oh, it is Fortune that has sent you to me,' he said.
'It is indeed,' said she. 'What are you in need of, or what has
sent you here?'
'Necessity,' said he. 'I am dying for want of food and drink.'
'Come inside, then,' she said; 'there is plenty of both here.'
Accordingly he went in to where she was, and she opened a large
room for him, where he saw a number of men lying asleep. She
then set food before him, and after that showed him to the room
where the others were. He lay down on one of the beds and fell
sound asleep. And now we must go back to the two that he left
behind him in the wood.
When nightfall and the time of the wild beasts came upon these,
the Englishman happened to climb up into the very same tree on
which the Scotsman was when he got a sight of the castle; and as
soon as the day began to dawn and the Englishman looked to the
four quarters of heaven, what did he see but the castle too! Off
he went without saying a word to the Irishman, and everything
happened to him just as it had done to the Scotsman.
The poor Irishman was now left all alone, and did not know where
the others had gone to, so he just stayed where he was, very sad
and miserable. When night came he climbed up into the same tree
as the Englishman had been on the night before. As soon as day
came he also saw the castle, and set out towards it; but when he
reached it he could see no signs of fire or living being about
it. Before long, however, he heard the window opened above his
head, looked up, and beheld the most beautiful woman he had ever
seen. He asked if she would give him food and drink, and she
answered kindly and heartily that she would, if he would only
come inside. This he did very willingly, and she set before him
food and drink that he had never seen the like of before. In the
room there was a bed, with diamond rings hanging at every loop of
the curtains, and everything that was in the room besides
astonished him so much that he actually forgot that he was
hungry. When she saw that he was not eating at all, she asked
him what he wanted yet, to which he replied that he would neither
eat nor drink until he knew who she was, or where she came from,
or who had put her there.
'I shall tell you that,' said she. 'I am an enchanted Princess,
and my father has promised that the man who releases me from the
spell shall have the third of his kingdom while he is alive, and
the whole of it after he is dead, and marry me as well. If ever
I saw a man who looked likely to do this, you are the one. I
have been here for sixteen years now, and no one who ever came to
the castle has asked me who I was, except yourself. Every other
man that has come, so long as I have been here, lies asleep in
the big room down there.'
'Tell me, then,' said the Irishman, 'what is the spell that has
been laid on you, and how you can be freed from it.'
'There is a little room there,' said the Princess, 'and if I
could get a man to stay in it from ten o'clock till midnight for
three nights on end I should be freed from the spell.'
'I am the man for you, then,' said he; 'I will take on hand to do
Thereupon she brought him a pipe and tobacco, and he went into
the room; but before long he heard a hammering and knocking on
the outside of the door, and was told to open it
'I won't,' he said.
The next moment the door came flying in, and those outside along
with it. They knocked him down, and kicked him, and knelt on his
body till it came to midnight; but as soon as the cock crew they
all disappeared. The Irishman was little more than alive by this
time. As soon as daylight appeared the Princess came, and found
him lying full length on the floor, unable to speak a word. She
took a bottle, rubbed him from head to foot with something from
it, and thereupon he was as sound as ever; but after what he had
got that night he was very unwilling to try it a second time.
The Princess, however, entreated him to stay, saying that the
next night would not be so bad, and in the end he gave in and
When it was getting near midnight he heard them ordering him to
open the door, and there were three of them for every one that
there had been the previous evening. He did not make the
slightest movement to go out to them or to open the door, but
before long they broke it up, and were in on top of him. They
laid hold of him, and kept throwing him between them up to the
ceiling, or jumping above him, until the cock crew, when they all
disappeared. When day came the Princess went to the room to see
if he was still alive, and taking the bottle put it to his
nostrils, which soon brought him to himself. The first thing he
said then was that he was a fool to go on getting himself killed
for anyone he ever saw, and was determined to be off and stay
there no longer, When the Princess learned his intention she
entreated him to stay, reminding him that another night would
free her from the spell. 'Besides,' she said, 'if there is a
single spark of life in you when the day comes, the stuff that is
in this bottle will make you as sound as ever you were.'
With all this the Irishman decided to stay; but that night there
were three at him for every one that was there the two nights
before, and it looked very unlikely that he would be alive in the
morning after all that he got. When morning dawned, and the
Princess came to see if he was still alive, she found him lying
on the floor as if dead. She tried to see if there was breath in
him, but could not quite make it out. Then she put her hand on
his pulse, and found a faint movement in it. Accordingly she
poured what was in the bottle on him, and before long he rose up
on his feet, and was as well as ever he was. So that business
was finished, and the Princess was freed from the spell.
The Princess then told the Irishman that she must go away for the
present, but would return for him in a few days in a carriage
drawn by four grey horses. He told her to 'be aisy,' and not
speak like that to him. 'I have paid dear for you for the last
three nights,' he said, 'if I have to part with you now;' but in
the twinkling of an eye she had disappeared. He did not know
what to do with himself when he saw that she was gone, but before
she went she had given him a little rod, with which he could,
when he pleased, waken the men who had been sleeping there, some
of them for sixteen years.
After being thus left alone, he went in and stretched himself on
three chairs that were in the room, when what does he see coming
in at the door but a little fair-haired lad.
'Where did you come from, my lad?' said the Irishman.
'I came to make ready your food for you,' said he.
'Who told you to do that?' said the Irishman.
'My mistress,' answered the lad--'the Princess that was under the
spell and is now free.'
By this the Irishman knew that she had sent the lad to wait on
him. The lad also told him that his mistress wished him to be
ready next morning at nine o'clock, when she would come for him
with the carriage, as she had promised. He was greatly pleased
at this, and next morning, when the time was drawing near, went
out into the garden; but the little fair-haired lad took a big
pin out of his pocket, and stuck it into the back of the
Irishman's coat without his noticing it, whereupon he fell sound
Before long the Princess came with the carriage and four horses,
and asked the lad whether his master was awake. He said that he
wasn't. 'It is bad for him,' said she, 'when the night is not
long enough for him to sleep. Tell him that if he doesn't meet
me at this time to-morrow it is not likely that he will ever see
me again all his life.'
As soon as she was gone the lad took the pin out of his master's
coat, who instantly awoke. The first word he said to the lad
was, 'Have you seen her?'
'Yes,' said he, 'and she bade me tell you that if you don't meet
her at nine o'clock to-morrow you will never see her again.'
He was very sorry when he heard this, and could not understand
why the sleep should have fallen upon him just when she was
coming. He decided, however, to go early to bed that night, in
order to rise in time nest morning, and so he did. When it was
getting near nine o'clock he went out to the garden to wait till
she came, and the fair-haired lad along with him; but as soon as
the lad got the chance he stuck the pin into his master's coat
again and he fell asleep as before. Precisely at nine o'clock
came the Princess in the carriage with four horses, and asked the
lad if his master had got up yet; but he said 'No, he was asleep,
just as he was the day before.' 'Dear! dear!' said the
Princess, 'I am sorry for him. Was the sleep he had last night
not enough for him? Tell him that he will never see me here
again; and here is a sword that you will give him in my name, and
my blessing along with it.'
With this she went off, and as soon as she had gone the lad took
the pin out of his master's coat. He awoke instantly, and the
first word he said was, 'Have you seen her?' The lad said that he
had, and there was the sword she had left for him. The Irishman
was ready to kill the lad out of sheer vexation, but when he gave
a glance over his shoulder not a trace of the fair-haired lad was
Being thus left all alone, he thought of going into the room
where all the men were lying asleep, and there among the rest he
found his two comrades who had deserted along with him. Then he
remembered what the Princess had told him--that he had only to
touch them with the rod she had given him and they would all
awake; and the first he touched were his own comrades. They
started to their feet at once, and he gave them as much silver
and gold as they could carry when they went away. There was
plenty to do before he got all the others wakened, for the two
doors of the castle were crowded with them all the day long.
The loss of the Princess, however, kept rankling in his mind day
and night, till finally he thought he would go about the world to
see if he could find anyone to give him news of her. So he took
the best horse in the stable and set out. Three years he spent
travelling through forests and wildernesses, but could find no
one able to tell him anything of the Princess. At last he fell
into so great despair that he thought he would put an end to his
own life, and for this purpose laid hold of the sword that she
had given him by the hands of the fair-haired lad; but on drawing
it from its sheath he noticed that there was some writing on one
side of the blade. He looked at this, and read there, 'You will
find me in the Blue Mountains.' This made him take heart again,
and he gave up the idea of killing himself, thinking that he
would go on in hope of meeting some one who could tell him where
the Blue Mountains were. After he had gone a long way without
thinking where he was going, he saw at last a light far away, and
made straight for it. On reaching it he found it came from a
little house, and as soon as the man inside heard the noise of
the horse's feet he came out to see who was there. Seeing a
stranger on horseback, he asked what brought him there and where
he was going.
'I have lived here,' said he, 'for three hundred years, and all
that time I have not seen a single human being but yourself.'
'I have been going about for the last three years,' said the
Irishman, 'to see if I could find anyone who can tell me where
the Blue Mountains are.'
'Come in,' said the old man, 'and stay with me all night. I have
a book which contains the history of the world, which I shall go
through to-night, and if there is such a place as the Blue
Mountains in it we shall find it out.'
The Irishman stayed there all night, and as soon as morning came
rose to go. The old man said he had not gone to sleep all night
for going through the book, but there was not a word about the
Blue Mountains in it. 'But I'll tell you what,' he said, 'if
there is such a place on earth at all, I have a brother who lives
nine hundred miles from here, and he is sure to know where they
are, if anyone in this world does.' The Irishman answered that
he could never go these nine hundred miles, for his horse was
giving in already. 'That doesn't matter,' said the old man; 'I
can do better than that. I have only to blow my whistle and you
will be at my brother's house before nightfall.'
So he blew the whistle, and the Irishman did not know where on
earth he was until he found himself at the other old man's door,
who also told him that it was three hundred years since he had
seen anyone, and asked him where he was going.
'I am going to see if I can find anyone that can tell me where
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