GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE THREE GOLDEN HAIRS.
*39
very quickly, I am not the least afraid of the Demon. Thereupon he said farewell, and started on his travels. His way led him to a large city, and as he stood at the gate and asked admission, a watchman said to himó
"What trade do you follow, and how much do you know?"
" I know everything," he replied.
"Then you can do us a favour," answered the watchman, "if you can tell why our master's fountain, from which wine used to flow, is dried up, and never gives us even water now?"
" I will tell you when I come back," he said; " only wait till then."
He travelled on still farther, and came by-and-by to another town, where the watchman also asked him what trade he followed, and what he knew.
"I know everything," he answered.
" Then," said the watchman, " you can do us a favour, and tell us why a tree in our town which once bore golden apples, now only produces leaves ?"
" Wait till I return," he replied, " and I will tell you."
On he went again, and came to a broad river, over which he must pass in a ferry-boat, and the ferryman asked him the same question about his trade and his knowledge. He gave the same reply, that he knew everything.
"Then," said the man, " you can do me a favour, and tell me how it is that I am obliged to go backwards and forwards in my ferry-boat, every day, without a change of any kind?"
" wait till I come back," he replied, " then you shall know all about it."
As soon as he reached the other side of the water, he found the entrance to the Black Forest, in which was the Demon's cave. It was very dark and gloomy, and the Demon was not at home; but his old mother was sitting on the stool of care, and she looked up and said, " What do you want; you don't look wicked enough to be one of us ?"
" I just want three golden hairs from the Demon's head," he re≠plied; "otherwise, my wife will be taken away from me."
" That is asking a great deal," she replied ; " for if the Demon :omes home and finds you here, he will have no mercy on you. rlowever, if you will trust me, I will try to help you."