246 THE HISTORY OF DWARF LONG NOSE
Luckily this is a new moon just now, for the herb only springs up at such times. But tell me, are there chestnut trees near the palace ? '
' Oh, yes !' cried Long Nose, much relieved; ' near the lake — only a couple of hundred yards from the palace — is a large clump of them. But why do you ask? '
' Because the herb only grows near the roots of chestnut trees,' replied Mimi; ' so let us lose no time in finding it. Take me under your arm and put me down out of doors, and I'll hunt for it.'
He did as she bade, and as soon as they were in the garden put her on the ground, when she waddled off as fast as she could towards the lake, Jem hurrying after her with an anxious heart, for he knew that his life depended on her success. The goose hunted everywhere, but in vain. She searched under each chestnut tree, turning every blade of grass with her bill — nothing to be seen, and evening was drawing on !
Suddenly the dwarf noticed a big old tree standing alone on the other side of the lake. ' Look,' cried he, ' let us try our luck there.'
The goose fluttered and skipped in front, and he ran after as fast as his little legs could carry him. The tree cast a wide shadow, and it was almost dark beneath it, but suddenly the goose stood still, flapped her wings with joy, and plucked something, which she held out to her astonished friend, saying: ' There it is, and there is more growing here, so you will have no lack of it.'
The dwarf stood gazing at the plant. It gave out a strong sweet scent, which reminded him of the day of his enchantment. The stems and leaves were a bluish green, and it bore a dark, bright red flower with a yellow edge.
' What a wonder !' cried Long Nose. ' I do believe this is the very herb which changed me from a squirrel into my present miserable form. Shall I try an experiment?'
' Not yet,' said the goose. ' Take a good handful of