THE SINGING BONE.
There lived two brothers in that country, the sons of a poor man, who gave notice of their readiness to enter on this perilous undertaking. The eldest, who was clever and crafty, was influenced by pride; the youngest, who was innocent and simple, offered himself from kindness of heart.
Thereupon the king advised that, as the best and safest way would be to take opposite directions in the wood, the eldest was to go in the evening, and the youngest in the morning.
The youngest had not gone far when a little fairy stepped up to him. He held in his hand a black spear, and said, "I will give you this spear because your heart is innocent and good. With this you can go out and discover the wild boar, and he shall not be able to harm you."
He thanked the little man, took the spear, placed it on his shoulder, and, without delay, went farther into the forest. It was not long before he espied the animal coming towards him, and fiercely making ready to spring. But the youth stood still, and held the spear firmly in front of him. In wild rage the fierce beast ran violently towards him, and was met by the spear, on the point of which he threw himself, and, as it pierc'ed him to the heart, he fell dead.
Then the youngster took the dead monster on his shoulder, and went to find his brother. As he approached the other side of the wood, where stood a large hall, he heard music, and found a number of people dancing, drinking wine, and making merry. His eldest brother was amongst them, for he thought the wild boar would not run far away, and he wished to get up his courage for the evening by cheerful company and wine.
When he caught sight of his youngest brother coming out of the forest laden with his booty, the most restless jealousy and malice rose in his heart. But he disguised his bitter feelings and spoke kindly to his brother, and said,
" Come in, and stay with us, dear brother, and rest awhile, and get up your strength by a cup of wine."
So the youth, not suspecting anything wrong, carried the dead boar into his brother's house, and told him of the little man he had met in the wood, who had given him the spear, and how he had killed the wild animal.
The elder brother persuaded him to stay and rest till the