THE ENCHANTED DEER 159
lonely,' observed the weaver at last, and he pointed to a bed in a corner, where the fisher's son threw himself, and slept till dawn.
' There is to be a horse-race in the town to-day,' remarked the weaver, ' and the Manner is to have the king's daughter to wife.' The young man trembled with excitement at the news, and his voice shook as he answered :
' That will be a prize indeed, I should like to see the race.'
' Oh, that is quite easy—anyone can go,' replied the weaver. ' I would take you myself, but I have promised to weave this cloth for the king.'
' That is a pity,' returned the young man politely, but in his heart he rejoiced, for he wished to be alone.
Leaving the house, he entered a grove of trees which stood behind, and took the box from his pocket. He raised the fid, and out flew the three little birds.
' Good master, what shall we do for thee ? ' asked they, and he answered, ' Bring me the finest horse that ever was seen, and the grandest dress, and glass shoes.'
' They are here, master,' said the birds, and so they were, and never had the young man seen anything so splendid.
Mounting the horse he rode into the ground where the horses were assembling for the great race, and took his place among them. Many good beasts were there which had won many races, but the horse of the fisher's son left them all behind, and he was first at the winning post. The king's daughter waited for him in vain to claim his prize, for he went back to the wood, and got off his horse, and put on his old clothes, and bade the box place some gold in his pockets. After that he went back to the weaver's house, and told him that the gold had been given him by the man who had won the race.