THE CLEVER ELFE. 157
She was scarcely able to answer this question, and stood a long time as if in doubt; at last a thought struck her : " I will go home and ask Hans whether I am really myself or some one else, he is sure to know."
She found her way home, although it was dark, very quickly, the bells tinkling as she ran; but when she reached the front door of the house it was locked. She knocked at the window and cried:
" Hans, is the Elfe at home ?"
" Yes," he answered, " she is at home." Oh, how frightened she felt as she heard this.
" Oh, dear," she exclaimed; " then I am not the clever Elfe after all."
Then she went from door to door of the neighbours' houses, but when they heard the bells jingling no one would admit her, and even the neighbours did not recognise her. At last she ran away from the village and has not been heard of since. So after all it is better to be industrious than clever.
Once upon a time lived a tailor who had three sons, and only one goat to supply them with milk. Of course, such a valuable animal had to be well fed, and the boys used to take her by turns every day to browse in the lanes and to crop the green grass which grew by the road side. One day the eldest son took her into the churchyard, in which she not only enjoyed the green fresh grass, but frisked about quite merrily. In the evening, when it was time to go home, the boy said to her, " Have you had enough?" and the goat repliedó
"I am so full, I could not pull, Even a blade of grass. Baa, baa!"
"Then come home," said the youth; and he took hold of the rope, led her to the stable and tied her up.
" Well," said the father, as his son appeared, "have you taken care of the goat?"
^ Yes, indeed, father; she has eaten till she can eat no more."