THE FLYING TRUNK 169
the Turks hopped up with such a start that their slippers flew about their ears ; such a meteor they had never yet seen. Now they could understand that it must be a Turkish angel who was going to marry the Princess.
As soon as the merchant's son descended again into the forest with his trunk, he thought, ' I will go into the town now, and hear how it all looked.' And it was quite natural that he wanted to do so.
What stories people told ! Every one whom he asked about it had seen it in a separate way ; but one and all thought it fine.
11 saw the Turkish angel himself,' said one. ' He had eyes like glowing stars, and a beard like foaming water.'
1 He flew in a fiery mantle,' said another ; ' the most lovely little cherub peeped forth from among the folds.'
Yes, they were wonderful things that he heard ; and on the following day he was to be married.
Now he went back to the forest to rest himself in his trunk. But what had become of that ? A spark from the fireworks had set fire to it, and the trunk was burned to ashes. He could not fly any more, and could not get to his bride.
She stood all day on the roof waiting ; and most likely she is waiting still. But he wanders through the world telling fairy tales ; but they are not so merry as that one he told about the Matches.
On the last house in a little village stood a Stork's nest. The Mother Stork sat in it with her four young ones, who stretched out their heads with the pointed black beaks, for their beaks had not yet turned red. A little way off stood the Father-Stork, all alone on the ridge of the roof, quite upright and stiff ; he had drawn up one of his legs, so as not to be quite idle while he stood sentry. One would have thought he had been carved out of wood, so still did he stand. He thought, ' It must look very grand, that my wife has a sentry standing by her nest. They