LITTLE BIRDIE AND HER FRIEND.
tree and brought the child down, " I will take it home with me, and it shall be brought up with my own little Lena."
He kept his word, and the little foundling grew up with the forester's little daughter, till they loved eachother so dearly that they were always unhappy when separated, even for a short time. The forester had named the child ' Birdie/ because she had been carried away by the bird; and Lena and Birdie were for several years happy little children together.
But the forester had an old cook, who was not fond of children, and she wanted to get rid of Birdie, who she thought was an intruder.
One evening Lena saw the woman take two buckets to the well, and carry them backwards and forwards more than twenty times. " What are you going to do with all that water ?" asked the child.
" If you will promise not to say a word, I will tell you," replied the woman.
" I will never tell any one," she said.
" Oh, very well, then, look here. To-morrow morning, early, I mean to put all this water into a kettle on the fire, and when it boils I shall throw Birdie in and cook her for dinner."
Away went poor Lena, in great distress, to find Birdie. " If you will never forsake me, I will never forsake you," said Lena.
"Then," said Birdie, "I will never, never leave you, Lena."
" Well, then," she replied, " I am going away, and you must go with me, for old cook says she will get up early to-morrow morning, and boil a lot of water to cook you in, while my father is out hunting. If you stay with me, I can save you. So you must never leave me."
" No, never, never," said Birdie.
So the children lay awake till dawn, and then they got up and ran away so quickly, that by the time the wicked old witch got up to prepare the water, they were far out of her reach.
She lit her fire, and as soon as the water boiled went into the sleeping-room to fetch poor little Birdie and throw her in. But when she came to the bed and found it empty, she was very much frightened to find both the children gone, and said to herself, " What will the forester say, when he comes home, if the children are not here ? I must go downstairs as fast as I can and send some one to catch them." Down she went, and sent three of the farm servants to run after the children and bring them back.