THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD1
A POOR woodcutter lived with his wife and three daughters in a little hut on the borders of a great forest.
One morning as he was going to his work, he said to his wife, ' Let our eldest daughter bring me my lunch into the wood ; and so that she shall not lose her way, I will take a bag of millet with me, and sprinkle the seed on the path.'
When the sun had risen high over the forest, the girl set out with a basin of soup. But the field and wood sparrows, the larks and finches, blackbirds and greenfinches had picked up the millet long ago, and the girl could not find her way.
She went on and on, till the sun set and night came on. The trees rustled in the darkness, the owls hooted, and she began to be very much frightened. Then she saw in the distance a light that twinkled between the trees. ' There must be people living yonder,' she thought, ' who will take me in for the night,' and she began walking towards it.
Not long afterwards she came to a house with lights in the windows.
She knocked at the door and a gruff voice called, ' Come in ! '
The girl stepped into the dark entrance, and tapped at the door of the room.
1 From the German of Grimm.