THE THREE SPINNING EAIRIES. i8x
There was once a young girl who was so idle that she hated work, and let her mother say what she would, nothing would induce her to spin. At last she became so angry that she was determined to try what effect a good flogging would have.
But at the first blow the girl set up such a loud screaming, that the queen, who was passing near, stopped to enquire what was the matter; she even alighted from her carriage, and stepped into the house and said :—
11 Why are you beating your daughter ? her screams are heard by people in the street."
Then the mother was ashamed to expose the laziness of her daughter, and said :—
" I cannot get her away from the spinning wheel, and we are too poor to provide her with flax."
" Oh," answered the queen, " there is nothing more pleasant to me than the sound of spinning, the humming of the wheel delights me. Give me your daughter, I will take her to the castle; I have plenty of flax, and she shall spin as much as she likes."
The mother was in her heart quite overjoyed at' this proposal, and glad to allow the queen to take the maiden away with her. As soon as they arrived at the castle, the queen took the idle girl into three rooms that were all quite full of beautiful flax.
"Spin me this flax," she said, "and as soon as it is finished come to me and I will give you my eldest son for your husband. Although you may be poor, I do not care for that, your unwearied industry is sufficient dowry."
The maiden was in a terrible fright when she heard this, for she knew she could never spin all that fiax if she worked every day from morning till night for a hundred years; and as soon as she was alone she began to cry ; at the end of three days, when the queen came to see her, she had not raised her hand to begin her task. The queen was quite surprised, but the maiden excused herself by saying that she felt so unhappy at leaving her mother's home that she knew not how to begin.