The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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THE TWIN BROTHERS                   325
your sword, then you will be able to cleave the log in two.'
Then the stranger went forth, and with one blow cleft the log in two.
But the king said: ' I will impose another task upon you, before you can wed my daughter.'
' Speak on,' said the stranger.
' Listen, then,' answered the king; 'you must mount a horse and ride three miles at full gallop, holding in each hand a goblet full of water. If you spill no drop then I shall give you my daughter to wife, but should you not succeed then I will take your life.'
Then the stranger returned to the house of the old woman, and again he was so troubled as to forget his zither.
In the evening the princess came to the window as before to listen to the music, but again all was still; and she called to him: ' What is the matter that you do not play on your zither?'
Then he related all that the king had ordered him to do, and the princess answered: ' Do not let yourself be disturbed, only play now, and come to me to-morrow morning.'
Then next morning he went to her, and she gave him her ring, saying : ' Throw this ring into the water and it will immediately freeze, so that you will not spill any.'
The stranger did as the princess bade him, and car­ried the water all the way.
Then the king said : ' Now I will give you a third task, and this shall be the last. I have a negro who will fight with you to-morrow, and if you are the conqueror you shall wed my daughter.'
The stranger returned, full of joy, to the house of the old woman, and that evening was so merry that the princess called to him : ' You seem very cheerful this even­ing ; what has my father told you that makes you so glad ?'
He answered: ' Your father has told me that to-
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