PINKEL THE THIEF
of her daughter. But nothing could be seen of her, and heavy rain was falling.
'It is no night for my cloak,' she muttered; 'it would be covered with mud by the time I got back.' So she took it off her shoulders and hung it carefully up in a cupboard in the room. After that she put on her clogs and started to seek her daughter. Directly the last sound of the clogs had ceased, Pinkel jumped up and took down the cloak, and rowed off as fast as he could.
He had not gone far when a puff of wind unfolded the cloak, and its brightness shed gleams across the water. The witch, who was just entering the forest, turned round at that moment and saw the golden rays. She forgot all about her daughter, and ran down to the shore, screaming with rage at being outwitted a third time.
'Is that you, Pinkel?' cried she.
'Yes, dear mother, it is I.'
'Have you taken my gold cloak?'
'Yes, dear mother, I have.'
'Are you not a great knave?'
'Yes, truly dear mother, I am.'
And so indeed he was!
But, all the same, he carried the cloak to the king's palace, and in return he received the hand of the king's daughter in marriage, People said that it was the bride who ought to have worn the cloak at her wedding feast; but the king was so pleased with it that he would not part from it; and to the end of his life was never seen without it. After his death, Pinkel became king; and let us hope that he gave up his bad and thievish ways, and ruled his subjects well. As for his brothers, he did not punish them, but left them in the stables, where they grumbled all day long.
(Thorpe's Yule-Tide Stories.)