GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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back into the world. When she reached her old home,.being willing to begin work at once, she took the broom which stood in the corner and began to sweep.
Then a strange servant came and asked her what she was doing there, and a strange mistress sent for her, and she found to her surprise that instead of being only three days absent as she thought, she had been seven years with the good people in the mountain, her former master had died during the time, and the house had been let to strangers.
A poor woman had a pretty little child who was carried away by the fairies, and a changeling with a thick head and staring eyes left in its place, which did nothing but eat and drink all he could get. In her trouble the mother went to a neighbour and asked her advice.
" I will tell you what to do," she said; " take the changeling into the kitchen, seat him on the hearth, make up a good fire, and then fill two egg shells with water, and place them on the fire to boil. That, perhaps, will make him laugh, and if he laughs you will get rid of him."
So the woman went home and did as her neighbour advised, and when the changeling saw her fill the egg shells with water and set them on the fire, he said:—
"Now I am as old As a mine of gold, Yet I never saw In my life before, Water in egg shells boiled.M
And after saying this he began to laugh.
The moment he laughed, one of the men from the fairy moun­tain came into the kitchen; he brought the woman's own child with him, seated him on the hearth, and carried awav 5 change-