THE WITCH AND HER SERVANTS 177
This time Corva received him in the most friendly manner, and set a sumptuous repast before him. As soon as he had finished she asked him what reward he demanded for his year's service.
' Nothing more nor less,' replied the Prince, ' than the foal of
The witch pretended to be much astonished at his request, and said that he deserved something much better than the foal, for the beast was lazy and nervous, blind in one eye, and, in short, was quite worthless.
But the Prince knew what he wanted, and when the old witch saw that he had made up his mind to have the foal, she said, ' I am obliged to keep my promise and to hand you over the foal; and as I know who you are and what you want, I will tell you in what way the animal will be useful to you. The man in the cauldron of boiling pitch, whom you set free, is a mighty magician; through your curiosity and thoughtlessness Militza came into his power, and he has transported her and her castle and belongings into a distant country.
' You arc the only person who can kill him ; and in consequence he feara you to such an extent that he has set spies to watch you, and they report your movements to him daily.
' When you have reached him, beware of speaking a single word to him, or you will fall into the power of his friends. Seize him at once by the beard and dash him to the ground.'
Iwanich thanked the old witch, mounted his foal, piit spurs to its sides, and they flew like lightning through the air.
Already it was growing dark, when Iwanich perceived sonic figures in the distance; they soon came up to them, and then the Prince saw that it was the magician and his friends who were driving through the air in a carriage drawn by owls.
When the magician found himself lace to face with Ewanich, without hope of escape, he turned to him with false friendliness and said : k Thrice my kind benefactor! '
But the Prince, without saying a word, seized him at once by his beard and dashed him to the ground. At the same moment the foal sprang on the top of the magician and kicked and stamped on him with his hoofs till he died.
Then Iwanich found himself once more in the palace of his bride, and Militza herself flew into his arms.
From this time forward thev lived in undisturbed peace and
happiness till the end of their lives.