352 THE MAGIC BOOK
and we should have lost the money. After all, I always know what is best.'
'Nonsense!' said her husband; 'women always think they know best. I should have sold the dog just the same whatever you had told me. Put the money away in a safe place, and don't talk so much.'
The next day Hans came again; but though everything had turned out as he had foretold, he found that his father was still not quite satisfied.
'Be off with you!' said he, 'you'll get us into trouble.'
'I haven't helped you enough yet,' replied the boy. 'To-morrow there will come a great fat cow, as big as the house. Take it to the king's palace and you'll get as much as a thousand dollars for it. Only you must unfasten the halter you lead it with and bring it back, and don't return by the high road, but through the forest.'
The next day, when the couple arose, they saw an enormous head looking in at their bedroom window, and behind it was a cow which was nearly as big as their hut. Kirsten was wild with joy to think of the money the cow would bring them.
' But how are you going to put the rope over her head ?' asked she.
'Wait and you'll see, mother,' answered her husband. Then Peder took the ladder that led up to the hayloft and set it against the cow's neck, and he climbed up and slipped the rope over her head. When he had made sure that the noose was fast they started for the palace, and met the king himself walking in his grounds.
'I heard that the princess was going to be married,' said Peder, 'so I've brought your majesty a cow which is bigger than any cow that was ever seen. Will your majesty deign to buy it?'
The king had, in truth, never seen so large a beast, and he willingly paid the thousand dollars, which was the price demanded; but Peder remembered to take off the