GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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14*              THE THREE GOLDEN* HAIRS.
When he arrived at the ferry, the man asked for the promised answer.
"Ferry me over first," he replied, "and then I will tell you."
So when they reached the opposite shore, he gave the ferryman the Demon's advice, that the next person who came and wished to be ferried over, should have the oar placed in his hand, and from that moment he would have to take the ferryman's place.
Then the youth journeyed on till he came to the town where the unfruitful tree grew, and where the watchman was waiting for his answer. To him the young man repeated what he had heard, and said, " Kill the mouse that is gnawing at the root, then will your tree again bear golden apples."
The watchman thanked him, and gave him in return for his information two asses laden with gold, which were led after him. He very soon arrived at the city which coritined the dried-up fountain. The sentinel came forward to receiv his answer. Said the youth, " Under a stone in the fountain sits a toad; it must be searched for and killed, then will wine again flow from it." To show how thankful he was for this advice, the sentinel also ordered two asses laden with gold to be sent after him.
At length the child of fortune reached home with his riches, and his wife was overjoyed at seeing him again, and hearing ho v well he had succeeded in his undertaking. He placed before the king the three golden hairs he had brought from the head of the black Demon; and when the king saw these and the four asses laden with gold he was quite satisfied, and said, " Now that you have performed all the required conditions, I am quite ready to sanction your marriage with my daughter; but, my dear son-in-law, tell me how you obtained all this gold ? It is indeed, a very valuable treasure; where did you find it ?"
" I crossed the river in a ferry-boat, and on the opposite shore I found the gold lying in the sand." " Can I find some if I go ?" asked the king eagerly. -" Yes, as much as you please," replied he. " There is a ferry­man there who will row you over, and you can fill a sack in no time."
The greedy old king set out on his journey in all haste, and when he came near the river he beckoned to the ferryman to row him over the ferry.