THREE PRINCES AND THEIR BEASTS 51
beasts, and he must first allow her to give each of them a stroke with her rod.
But he answered her:
' Certainly not. I am their master, and no one shall strike them but I myself. Give me the rod'; and lie touched the fox with it, and in a moment it was turned into stone. Then he knew that the old woman was a witch, and he turned to her and said:
' Unless you restore my brothers and their beasts back to life at once, my lion will tear you in pieces.'
Then the witch was terrified, and taking a young oak tree she burnt it into white ashes, and sprinkled the ashes on the stones that stood around. And in a moment the two princes stood before their brother, and their beasts stood round them.
Then the three princes set off together to the town. And the king did not know which was his son-in-law, but the princess knew which was her husband, and there were great rejoicings throughout the land.