THE HISTORY OF DWARF LONG NOSE- 243
The goose thanked him with tears in her eyes, and the dwarf kept his word. He killed the other two geese for dinner, but built a little shed for Mimi in one of his rooms, under the pretence of fattening her under his own eye. He spent all his spare time talking to her and comforting her, and fed her on all the dantiest dishes. They confided their histories to each other, and Jem learnt that the goose was the daughter of the wizard Weatherbold, who lived on the island of Gothland. He fell out with an old fairy, who got the better of him by cunning and treachery, and to revenge herself turned his daughter into a goose and carried her off to this distant place. When Long Nose told her his story she said :
' I know a little of these matters, and what you say shows me that you are under a herb enchantment — that is to say, that if you can find the herb whose smell woke you up the spell would be broken.'
This was but small comfort for Jem, for how and where was he to find the herb?
About this time the grand duke had a visit from a neighbouring prince, a friend of his. He sent for Long Nose and said to him :
' Now is the time to show what you can really do. This prince who is staying with me has better dinners than any one except myself, and is a great judge of cooking. As long as he is here you must take care that my table shall be served in a manner to surprise him constantly. At the same time, on pain of my displeasure, take care that no dish shall appear twice. Get everything you wish and spare nothing. If you want to melt down gold and precious stones, do so. I would rather be a poor man than have to blush before him.'
The dwarf bowed and answered :
' Your highness shall be obeyed. I will do all in my power to please you and the prince.'
From this time the little cook was hardly seen except in the kitchen, where, surrounded by his helpers, he gave