GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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n6                           THE RIDDLE,
but also by the witch herself, for the travellers had wandered back through the wood nearly to the old woman's house. A dish full of soup was first placed on the table, in which the bird had been cooked, and they began to eat quite greedily ; but scarce had they taken two mouthfuls when they all fell to the ground dead. The raven, in feeding on the poisoned flesh of the horse, was itself poisoned, and shared this poison with the robbers.
The prince and his servant were thus saved, and very glad to have lost their supper.
There was now no one left in the house but the daughter of the landlord, who was a truly honest girl, and would take no part in the terrible deeds done in the house. She opened all the doors for the strangers, and pointed out to them an accumulation of treasures; but the king's son said she might keep them, he would have none of it, and so he rode away with his servant They had been travelling for many days, when they came to a large city in which lived a very proud and beautiful princess.
She had made known her determination that she would take for her husband any man who should propose to her a riddle which she could not find out. But if she did find out the answer, then his head would be cut off.
Three days was the time allowed for her to try, and she was so clever that she always discovered the meaning of the riddle before the appointed time had expired.
Already had nine of these wise men risked their lives for the beautiful princess, and the king's son, who had just arrived in the town, was so struck with her great beauty that he determined to follow their example.
So he presented himself before her, and propounded his riddle, "What is that which never slew anything, and yet slew twelve?"
The princess was puzzled now. She thought, and thought, but she could make nothing of it Then she studied her riddle book, but all to no purpose. Her wisdom had come to an end.
So the princess determined to try some other means, and, calling her maid, she told her to hide herself in the stranger's room, for that very likely he might dream, and tell the answer of the riddle in his sleep.
But the prince's clever servant found out what was going on, and laid himself in bed in the room of his master, and when the