THE WHITE DOVE
little pleasure too, and give me something that I have taken a fancy to.'
'Oh yes, indeed,' said the old woman; 'what is it that you want?'
' I want the princess here who is in the shape of a white dove,' said the prince.
' What nonsense! ' said the witch. 'Why should you imagine that there are princesses here flying about in the shape of white doves? But if you will have a princess, you can get one such as we have them.' She then came to him, dragging a shaggy little grey ass with long ears. ' Will you have this? ' said she; ' you can't get any other princess!'
The prince used his eyes and saw the red silk thread on one of the ass's hoofs, so he said: ' Yes, just let me have it.'
' What will you do with it? ' asked the witch.
' I will ride on it,'said the prince; but with that the witch dragged it away again, and came back with an old, wrinkled, toothless hag, whose hands trembled with age. ' You can have no other princess,' said she. ' Will you have her ?'
' Yes, I will,' said the prince, for he saw the red silk thread on the old woman's finger.
At this the witch became so furious that she danced about and knocked everything to pieces that she could lay her hands upon, so that the splinters flew about the ears of the prince and princess, who now stood there in her own beautiful shape.
Then their marriage had to be celebrated, for the witch had to stick to what she had promised, and he must get the princess whatever might happen afterwards.
The princess now said to him, ' At the marriage feast you may eat what you please, but you must not drink anything whatever, for if you do that you will forget me.'
This, however, the prince forgot on the wedding day, and stretched out his hand and took a cup of wine; but