GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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skin; for had the old woman put me in the pot with my comrades, I should, without mercy, have been boiled to broth."
"I might have shared the same fate." said the straw, "for all my brothers were pushed into fire and smoke by the old woman. She packed sixty of us in a bundle, and brought us in here to take away our lives, but luckily I contrived to slip through her fingers." " Well, now what shall we do with ourselves ?" said the coal. "I think," answered the bean, "as we have been so fortunate as to escape death, we may as well be companions, and travel away together to some more friendly country, for here we may expect nothing but new misfortunes."
This proposal was gladly accepted hy the two others; so they started immediately on their journey together. After travelling a little distance, they came to a stream, over which there was no bridge of any sort—not even one of wood—so they were puzzled to know how to get over to the other side.
Then the straw took courage, and said, " I will lay myself across the stream, so that you can step over me, as if I were a bridge."
So the straw stretched himself from one shore to the other, and the coal, who from his nature is rather hot-headed, tripped out quite boldly on the newly-built bridge. But when he reached the middle of the stream, and heard the water rushing under him, he wus so alarmed that he stood still, and dared not move a step rarther. Sad were the consequences; for the straw, being slightly icorched in the middle by the heat still in the coal, broke in pieces rom its weight, and fell into the brook. The coal, with a hiss, ilid after him into the water, and gave up the ghost.
The bean, who had cautiously remained behind on the shore, :ould not contain herself when she saw what had happened, and aughed so heartily that she burst. Now would she have been in , worse plight than her comrades; but, as good luck would .ave it, a tailor, who was out on his travels, came to rest by the rook, and noticed the bean. He was a kind-hearted man, so he Dok a needle and thread out of his pocket, and taking up the ean, sewed her together. She thanked him very much, but un-)rtunately he had only black thread to sew with, and, in conse-uence, since that time all beans have a black mark down their acks.