THE SEVEN FOALS
them, and that he should then be instantly chased back to his own home. So when the youth got home again he too related all that had happened to him, and he too said that he had gone out in search of a place once, but that never would he do it again.
On the third day Cinderlad wanted to set out. He had a fancy to try to watch the seven foals himself, he said.
The two others laughed at him, and mocked him. ' What! when all went so ill with us, do you suppose that you are going to succeed? You look like succeeding—you who have never done anything else but lie and poke about among the ashes ! ' said they. ' Yes, I will go too,' said Cinderlad, ' for I have taken it into my head.'
The two brothers laughed at him, and his father and mother begged him not to go, but all to no purpose, and Cinderlad set out on his way. So when he had walked the whole day, he too came to the King's palace as darkness began to fall.
There stood the King outside on the steps, and he asked whither he was bound.
' I am walking about in search of a place,' said Cinderlad. ' From whence do you come, then ? ' inquired the King, for by this time he wanted to know a little more about the men before he took any of them into his service.
So Cinderlad told him whence he came, and that he was brother to the two who had watched the seven foals for the King, and then he inquired if he might be allowed to try to watch them on the following day.
' Oh, shame on them ! ' said the King, for it enraged him even to think of them. ' If thou art brother to those two, thou too art not good for much. I have had enough of such fellows.'
' "Well, but as I have come here, you might just give me leave to make the attempt,' said Cinderlad.
' Oh, very well, if thou art absolutely determined to have thy back flayed, thou may'st have thine own way if thou wilt,' said the King.
' I would much rather have the Princess,' said Cinderlad. Next morning, in the grey light of dawn, the Master of the Horse let out the seven foals again, and off they set over hill and dale, through woods and bogs, and off went Cinderlad after them. When he had run thus for a long time, he too came to the cleft in the rock. There the old hag was once more sitting spinning from her distaff, and she cried to Cinderlad :