172 THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS
had been cast on the land, struggling hard to get back into the water,
Iwanich, who felt sorry for the poor creature, seized it in his arms and flung it into the stream. But no sooner did the fish find itself in the water again, than, to the Prince's amazement, it swam up to the bank and said :
' My kind benefactor, how can I reward you for your goodness?'
'I desire nothing,' answered the Prince. 'I am quite content to have been able to be of some service to you.'
'You must do me the favour,' replied the fish, ' to take a scale from my body, and keep it carefully. If you should ever need my help, throw it into the river, and I will come to your aid at once.'
Iwanich bowed, loosened a scale from the body of the grateful beast, put it carefully away, and returned home.
A short time after this, when he was going early one morning to the usual grazing place with his horses, he noticed a flock of birds assembled together making a great noise and flying wildly backwards and forwards.
Full of curiosity, Iwanich hurried up to the spot, and saw that a large number of ravens had attacked an eagle, and although the eagle was big and powerful and was making a brave fight, it was overpowered at last by numbers, and had to give in.
But the Prince, who was sorry tor the poor bird, seized the branch of a tree and hit out at the ravens with it; terrified at this unexpected onslaught they flew away, leaving many of their number dead or wounded on the battlefield.
As soon as the eagle saw itself free from its tormentors it plucked a feather from its wing, and, handing it to the Prince, said : ' Here, my kind benefactor, take this feather as a proof of my gratitude ; should you ever be in need of my help blow this feather into the air, and I will help you as much as is in my power.'
Iwanich thanked the bird, and placing the feather beside the scale he drove the horses home.
Another day he had wandered farther than usual, and came close to a farmyard; the place pleased the Prince, and as there wTas plenty of good grass for the horses he determined to spend the day there. Just as he was sitting down under a tree he heard a cry close to him, and saw a fox which had been caught in a trap placed there by the farmer.
In vain did the poor beast try to free itself; then the good-