THE GOLDEN BLACKBIRD. 157
"I will undertake to groom it," said the youth. "I never saw the horse I was afraid of yet."
The little horse allowed itself to be rubbed down without a toss of its head and without a kick.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed the master. "How is it that he lets you touch him when no one else can go near him? '
"Perhaps he knows me," answered the stable-boy.
Two or three days later the master said to him: "The
porcelain maiden is here; but though she is as lovely as the dawn, she is so wicked that she scratches every one that approaches her. Try if she will accept your services."
When the youth entered the room where she was the golden blackbird broke forth into a joyful song, and the porcelain maiden sang too and jumped for joy.
"Good gracious!" cried the master. "The porcelain maiden and the golden blackbird know you too?"
"Yes," replied the youth, "and the porcelain maiden can tell you the whole truth if she only will."
Then she told all that had happened, and how she had