BROTHER AND SISTER
For many nights the Queen came in the same way, but she never spoke a word, and the nurse was too frightened to say anything about her visits.
After some little time had elapsed the Queen spoke one night, and said:
' Is my child well ? Is my Roe well ? I'll come back twice and then farewell.'
The nurse made no answer, but as soon as the Queen had disappeared she went to the King and told him all. The King exclaimed, ' Good heavens ! what do you say ? I will watch myself to-night by the child's bed.'
When the evening came he went to the nursery, and at midnight the Queen appeared and said:
' Is my child well ? Is my Roe well ? I'll come back once and then farewell.'
And she nursed and petted the child as usual before she disappeared. The King dared not trust himself to speak to her, but the following night he kept watch again.
That night when the Queen came she said :
' Is my child well ? Is my Roe well ? I've come this once, and now farewell.'
Then the King could restrain himself no longer, but sprang to her side and cried, ' You can be no one but my dear wife ! '
' Yes,' said she,' I am your dear wife !' and in the same moment she was restored to life, and was as fresh and well and rosy as ever. Then she told the King all the cruel things the wicked witch and her daughter had done. The King had them both arrested at once and brought to trial, and they were condemned to death. The daughter was led into the forest, where the wild beasts tore her to pieces, and the old witch was burnt at the stake.
As soon as she was reduced to ashes the spell was taken off the little Roe, and he was restored to his natural shape once more, and so brother and sister lived happily ever after.1