120 THE WIDOWS TWO DAUGHTERS.
A widow, who lived in a cottage at some little distance from the village, had two daughters, one of whom was beautiful and industrious, the other idle and ugly. But this ugly one the mother loved best, because she was her own child; and she cared so little for the other, that she made her do all the work, and be quite a Cinderella in the house.
Poor maiden, she was obliged to go every day and seat herself by the side of a well which stood in the broad high road, and here she had to sit and spin till her fingers bled. \ One day when the spindle was so covered with blood that she could not use it, she rose and dipped it in the water of the well to wash it While she was doing so, it slipped from her hand and fell to the bottom. In terror and tears, she ran and told her stepmother what had happened.
The woman scolded her in a most violent manner, and was so merciless that she said, " As you have let the spindle fall into the water, you may go in and fetch it out, for I will not buy another."
Then the maiden went back to the well, and hardly knowing what she was about in her distress of mind, threw herself into the water to fetch the spindle.
At first she lost all consciousness, but presently, as her senses returned, she found herself in a beautiful meadow, on which the sun was brightly shining and thousands of flowers grew.
She walked a long way across this meadow, till she came to a baker's oven, which was full of new bread, and the loaves cried, "Ah, pull us out! pull us out, or we shall burn, we have been so long baking !"
Then she stepped near to the oven, and with the bread shovel took the loaves all out.
She walked on after this, and presently came to a tree full of apples, and the tree cried, " Shake me, shake me, my apples are all quite ripe."
Then she shook the tree till the fruit fell around her like rain,