Then she blew up the fire to make the coals burn under a saucepan in which something was boiling, but the daughter cautioned them not to eat or drink anything in the house, for that her step-mother was brewing wicked drinks.
So hey went to sleep without any supper, and slept quite peaceably all night till the next morning. Just as they were about to start—indeed, the king's son was already on his horse—the old woman came up to them and said, " Wait a moment, till I give you some drink for a farewell cup."
While she went to fetch it the prince rode away, and his servant, who sprung hastily into the saddle, was just about to follow him, when the wicked witch returned with the drink.
" Carry this to your master," she exclaimed, and at the same moment the bottle burst, and the poison spurted all over the horse. So virulent was the venom that the animal instantly fell dead.
The servant ran after his master, and related what had happened, but as he did not wish to lose the saddle he went back to fetch it.
When he came to the place where he saw the dead horse lay, he found a raven already feeding upon the carcase.
" I will take this bird," he said; "it will do very well for our dinner to-day, unless we find something better." So he killed the raven, and took it away with him.
After this the king's son and his servant travelled the whole day through the forest, but could find no resting-place till evening advanced, and then they came to a kind of inn, and entered. They were shown into a small parlour, and the servant gave the bird he had killed to the landlord, telling him to have it roasted for their supper.
But the young prince and his servant were in more danger now than while in the witch's hut; they had lighted on a den of murderers and thieves.
When it was quite dark, twelve evil-looking men surrounded the house, whose intention it was to get at the foreigners and rob them.
However, before commencing their evil operations, they seated themselves at the supper-table prepared for the king's son and his servant, and presently they were joined, not only by the landlord