GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE THREE LITTLE MEN IN THE WOOD. 81
"King, dost thou watchful keep ? Or dost thou dose thine eyes in sleep ?"
There was no answer, and the spectre said again, " What does my visitor ?"
Then the page replied, " She is fast asleep."
Again it spokeó" Where is my little child ?"
1 He sleeps in his cradle, now," answered the page,
Then the apparition took the form of the young queen, went into the infant's room, took him up and fed him, shook up his little bed, laid him to sleep, covered him warmly with the clothes, and then swam back again through the moat in the form of a duck. All this occurred again the next night; but when she appeared the third time she spoke to the page and said, " Go and call the king, and tell him to take his sword and swing it three times over me from the window-sill." Then ran the page quickly and told the king. He came immediately with his sword and swung it three times over the apparition, and after the third time there stood before him his own beautiful wife, healthy, and charming as ever. Oh, how happy the king was now ! He kept the queen concealed in the room where his baby lived till Sunday, when he was to be baptized. As soon as the ceremony was over he said to the old step-mother, " What does that man deserve who takes another out of his bed and throws him into the water?"
" He deserves nothing better." she replied, " than to be stuck in a barrel full of the points of nails and rolled down a mountain into the water."
"Then,"said the king, "you have pronounced your own sen≠tence. Let such a barrel as this wicked woman has described be brought, and place her and her daughter in it, that they may be rolled into the water as a punishment for their cruel conduct."
But the young queen begged the king to pardon them for her sake; and he consented to do so, on condition that they should be banished from his kingdom.
There lived once a father who was so poor that he could hardly earn enough to keep himself and his son from starving. One day
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