THE MAGIC BOOK
shelf of books. Here was a good way of passing the time, he thought, for he was fond of reading, and he took one of the books from the shelf. It was all about magic, and told you how you could change yourself into anything in the world you liked. Could anything be more exciting or more useful? So he put it in his pocket, and ran quickly away out of the mountain by a little door which had been left open.
When he got home his parents asked him what he had been doing and where he had got the fine clothes he wore.
'Oh, I earned them myself,' answered he.
'You never earned them in this short time,' said his father. 'Be off with you; I won't keep you here. I will have no thieves in my house!'
'Well I only came to help you,' replied the boy sulkily. 'Now I'll be off, as you wish; but to-morrow morning when you rise you will see a great dog at the door. Do not drive it away, but take it to the castle and sell it to the duke, and they will give you ten dollars for it; only you must bring the strap you lead it with, back to the house.'
Sure enough the next day the dog was standing at the door waiting to be let in. The old man was rather afraid of getting into trouble, but his wife urged him to sell the dog as the boy had bidden him, so he took it up to the castle and sold it to the duke for ten dollars. But he did not forget to take off the strap with which he had led the animal, and to carry it home. When he got there old Kirsten met him at the door.
'Well, Peder, and have you sold the dog?' asked she.
'Yes, Kirsten; and I have brought back ten dollars, as the boy told us,' answered Peder.
'Ay! but that's fine!' said his wife. 'Now you see what one gets by doing as one is bid; if it had not been for me you would have driven the dog away again.