THE GOLDEN BIRD.
As time went on and the eldest son did not return home, the second son offered to do what he could. So he set out on his way to find the golden bird. As the eldest had done, he also met a fox, who gave him the same advice, to which he paid no attention.
When he arrived at the two hotels, his brother, who was standing at one of the windows from which sounds of merriment issued, saw him pass, and called to him to come in.
He could not withstand this invitation so he entered, and was very soon like his brother, living only a life of pleasure and luxury. Again the time passed on, and the youngest brother finding the others did not return offered to go and seek for them. But his father would not give him permission.
" You are less likely to find the golden bird than your brothers." he said, " for if any misfortune should happen to them they know how to take care of themselves, and will not fail to act for the best."
But at last, as the brothers did not return, and the king became anxious, he allowed the youngest to go. At the entrance to the wood the fox again appeared, begged to have his life spared, and offered the third brother the same advice. The youth had plenty of courage, and he said, " Make yourself quite easy, dear fox, I will do thee no harm."
" Neither shall you repent of your kindness," answered the fox, " and to enable you to go very fast on your journey, just climb up behind on my tail."
No sooner was the youth seated than the fox began to run, and they went so fast over sticks and stones that the wind whistled through his hair. As soon as they arrived near the village the young man slipped from the fox's back, and following his good advice, turned without being seen into the humble-looking inn, and remained there the night.
The next morning he rose, and went out into the fields, and there was the fox waiting for him. " I will tell you what to do next," he said, when the youth appeared ; " you must go straight on from here till you come to a castle, before which you will find a whole band of soldiers lying down; but do not trouble yourself about that, for they will all be asleep and snoring. So pass in between them and enter the castle, and go through all the rooms. At last you will reach a chamber in which hangs a golden bird in