THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
at this announcement, for he did not know how in the world he was to set about the task, and he started on his way weeping bitterly and wondering what had made him leave his father's house and kingdom. But before he had gone far his friend the wolf stood before him and said: "Dear prince, why are you so cast down? It is true you didn't succeed in catching the bird; but don't let that discourage you, for this time you will be all the more careful and will doubtless catch the horse." With these and like words the wolf comforted the prince, and warned him specially not to touch the wall or let the horse touch it as he led it out, or he would fail in the same way as he had done with the bird.
After a somewhat lengthy journey the prince and the wolf came to the kingdom ruled over by the emperor who possessed the golden horse. One evening late they reached the capital, and the wolf advised the prince to set to work at once, before their presence in the city had aroused the watchfulness of the guards. They slipped unnoticed into the emperor's stables and into the very place where there were the most guards, for there the wolf rightly surmised they would find the horse. When they came to a certain inner door the wolf told the prince to remain outside while he went in. In a short time he returned and said: "My dear prince, the horse is most securely watched, but I have bewitched all the guards, and if you will only be careful not to touch the wall yourself or let the horse touch it as you go out, there is no danger and the game is yours."
The prince, who had made up his mind to be more than cautious this time, went cheerfully to work. He found all the guards fast asleep, and slipping into the horse's stall he seized it by the bridle and led it out; but, unfortunately, before they had got quite clear of the stable a gadfly stung the horse and caused it to switch its tail, whereby it touched the wall.. In a moment all the guards awoke, seized the prince, and beat him mercilessly with th eir horse-whips, after which they bound him with chains and flung him into a dungeon. Next morning they brought him before the emperor, who treated him exactly as the king with the golden bird had done and commanded him to be beheaded on the following day.
When the wolf-magician saw that the prince had failed