266 THE BATTLE OF THE BIRDS
dogs and cats that steal the king's meat,' replied the boy.
' Thou art the cook's son !' cried the giant. ' Go home to thy mother' ; and turning his back he strode straight to the castle.
' If you seek to trick me this time, the highest stone will soon be the lowest,' said he, and the king and queen trembled, but they could not bear to give up their boy.
' The butler's son is the same age as ours,' whispered the queen ; ' he will not know the difference,' and she took the child and dressed him in the prince's clothes, and the giant led him away along the road. Before they had gone far he stopped, and held out a stick.
' If thy father had that rod, what would he do with it ? ' asked the giant.
' He would beat the dogs and cats that break the king's glasses,' answered the boy.
' Thou art the son of the butler!' cried the giant. ' Go home to thy mother'; and turning round he strode back angrily to the castle.
' Bring out thy son at once,' roared he, 'or the stone that is highest will be lowest,' and this time the real prince was brought.
But though his parents wept bitterly and fancied the child was suffering all kinds of dreadful things, the giant treated him like his own son, though he never allowed him to see his daughters. The boy grew to be a big boy, and one day the giant told him that he would have to amuse himself alone for many hours, as he had a journey to make. So the boy wandered by the river, and down to the sea, and at last he wandered to the top of the castle, where he had never been before. There he paused, for the sound of music broke upon his ears, and opening a door near him, he beheld a girl sitting by the window, holding a harp.
' Haste and begone, I see the giant close at hand,'