THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 175
lung's hen-house, which stood on a lonely part of the heath, and to remain there till she called. If they failed to do as she told them she would certainly beat them this time till they bled.
On the following morning the Prince drove his horses as usual to the fields. After he had been overpowered by sleep, as on the former days, the mare and foal ran away and hid themselves in the royal hen-house.
When the Prince awoke and found the horses gone he deter-mined to appeal to the fox; so, lighting a fire, he threw the two hairs into it, and in a few moments the fox stood beside him and asked: ' In what way can I serve you ? '
' I wish to know,' replied Iwanich,' where the King's hen-house is.'
' Hardly an hour's walk from here,' answered the fox, and offered to show the Prince the way to it.
While they were walking along the fox asked him what he wanted to do at the royal hen-house. The Trince told him of the misfortune that had befallen him, and of the necessity of recovering the mare and foal.
'That is no easy matter,' replied the fox. 'But wait a moment. I have an idea. Stand at the door of the hen-house, and wait there for your horses. In the meantime I will slip in among the hens through a hole in the wall and give them a good chase, so that the noise they make will arouse the royal henwives, and they will come to see what is the matter. When they see the horses they will at once imagine them to be the cause of the disturbance, and will drive them out. Then you must lay hands on the mare and foal and catch them.
All turned out exactly as the sly fox had foreseen. The Prince swung himself on the mare, seized the foal by its bridle, and hurried home.
While he was riding over the heath in the highest of spirits the mare suddenly said to her rider : ' You are the first person who has ever succeeded in outwitting the old witch Corva, and now you may ask what reward you like for your service. If you promise never to betray me I will give you a piece of advice which you will do well to follow.'
The Prince promised never to betray her confidence, and the mare continued: ' Ask nothing else as a reward than my foal, I'm- it has not its like in the world, and is not to bo bought for love or money; for it can go from one end of the earth to another in a few minutes. Of course the cunning Corva will do her best to dissuade