GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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84                THE THREE WHITE SNAKES.
vault with her husband. Here they knocked and called loudly for a long time, till at last the watchman heard them and word was sent to the king. He came himself very quickly and ordered the door of the vault to be opened, and oh ! how astonished and joyful he was to find them both alive and uninjured, and to know that his anxiety was over, for the whole matter had been a greattrouble to him.
The three leaves, the young prince took with him, and gave them in charge to a servant to take care of, saying, " Preserve them carefully for me, and see that they are safe every day; who knows what help they may be to us in any future trouble ?"
In the wife of the young prince after this event, a great change appeared—it was as if with her return to life, all her love for her husband had vanished from her heart.
Not long after he wished to take a voyage across the sea to see his old father, and she accompanied him. While they were on board ship, she forgot all the true and great love he had shown for her in trying to restore her to life when she was dead, and made friends with the captain, who was as wicked as herself.
One day when the young prince lay asleep on deck, she called the skipper to her and told him to take her husband by the feet, while she raised his head, and before he was awake enough to save himself, these two wicked people threw him overboard into the sea. As soon as this shameful deed was accomplished, she said to the skipper, " Now let us sail home again and say that the prince has died on the voyage. I will praise and extol you so greatly to my father, that I know he will readily give his consent to our marriage, and leave the crown to you after his death."
But the faithful servant to whom the prince had given the wonder­ful leaves to take care of saw all that his master's wife had done. Unnoticed he lowered one of the boats from the ship's side, got on board and very soon discovered the body of the prince. Dragging it hastily into the boat, bo rowed away and soon left the traitors far behind. As soon as he felt safely out of sight, he produced the precious leaves which he always carried about with him, laid one on each eye and one on the mouth of the dead man, who very quickly showed signs of life, and was at last sufficiently restored to help in rowing the boat. They both rowed with all their strength day and night, and their little bark flew so swiftly