' Big and handsome you were last year, my colt, but this year you are ever so much handsomer,' said the youth ; ' in all the King's court no such horse is to be found. But now you shall come away with me.'
' No,' said the dappled Colt once more ; ' here I must stay for another year. Just kill the twelve little foals again, so that I can suck the mares this year also, and then come and look at me in the summer.'
So the youth did it—he killed all the little foals, and then went home again.
But next year, when he returned to look after the dappled colt and the mares, he was quite appalled. He had never imagined that any horse could become so big and overgrown, for the dappled horse had to lie down on all fours before the youth could get on his back, and it was very hard to do that even when it was lying down, and it was so plump that its coat shone and glistened just as if it had been a looking-glass. This time the dappled horse was not unwilling to go away with the youth, so he mounted it, and when he came riding home to his brothers they all smote their hands together and crossed themselves, for never in their lives had they either seen or heard tell of such a horse as that.
' If you will procure me the best shoes for my horse, and the most magnificent saddle and bridle that can be found,' said the youth, ' you may have all my twelve mares just as they are standing out on the hill, and their twelve foals into the bargain.' For this year also each mare had her foal. The brothers were quite willing to do this ; so the lad got such shoes for his horse that the sticks and stones flew high up into the air as he rode away over the hills, and such a gold saddle and such a gold bridle that they could be seen glittering and glancing from afar.
' And now we will go to the King's palace,' said Dapplegrim— that was the horse's name, ' but bear in mind that you must ask the King for a good stable and excellent fodder for me.'
So the lad promised not to forget to do that. He rode to the palace, and it will be easily understood that with such a horse as he had he was not long on the way.
When he arrived there, the King was standing out on the steps, and how he did stare at the man who came riding up !
' Nay,' said he,' never in my whole life have I seen such a man and such a horse.'
And when the youth inquired if he could have a place in the