THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE
Once upon a time, there was a king who had three sons. Now it happened that one day the three princes went out hunting; in a large forest at some distance from
their father's palace, and the youngest prince lost his way, so his brothers had to return home without him.
For four days the prince wandered through the glades of the forest, sleeping on moss beneath the stars at night, and by day living on roots and wild berries. At last, on the morning of the fifth day, he came to a large open space in the middle of the forest, and here stood a stately palace ; but neither within nor without was there a trace of human life. The prince entered the open door and wandered through the deserted rooms without seeing a living soul. At last he came on a great hall, and in the centre of the hall was a table spread with dainty dishes and choice wines. The prince sat down, and satisfied his hunger and thirst, and immediately afterwards the table disappeared from his sight. This struck the prince as very strange ; but though he continued his search through all the rooms, upstairs and down, he could find no one to speak to. At last, just as it was beginning to get dark, he heard steps in the distance and he saw an old man coming towards him up the stairs.
'What are you doing wandering about my castle?' asked the old man.
To whom the prince replied: ' I lost my way hunting in the forest. If you will take me into your