GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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" Stop." cried the lion again, " I will taste the wine first." St he drew another pint and drank it off. "Ah !" he said, " that is better, but still not the right wine."
Then the cup-bearer was angry, and said : "What can a stupid beast like you understand about wine ?" But the lion with a lash of his tail knocked him down, and before the man could move himself, found his way stealthily into a little private cellar, in which were casks of wine never tasted by any but the king. The lion drew half-a-pint, and when he had tasted it, he said to himself: "That is wine of the right sort" So he called the cup-bearer, and made him draw six flagons full.
As they came up from the cellar into the open air, the lion's head swam a little, and he was almost tipsy; but as the cup-bearer was obliged to carry the wine for him to the door of the inn, it did not much matter. When they arrived, the lion took the handle of the basket in his mouth, and carried the wine to his master.
"Now, master landlord," said the hunter, " I have bread, meat, vegetables, sweetmeats, and wines, such as the king has, so I will sit down, and with my faithful animals enjoy a good meal;" and, indeed, he felt very happy, for he knew now that the king's daugh­ter still loved him.
After they had finished, the hunter said to the landlord:
" Now that I have eaten and drank of the same provisions as the king, I will go to the king's castle and marry his daughter."
" Well," said the landlord, " how that it is to be managed I cannot tell, when she has already a bridegroom to whom she will to-day be married."
The hunter without a word took out the pocket-handkerchief which the king's daughter had given him on the dragon's moun­tain, and opening it, showed the landlord the seven tongues of the monster which he had cut out and wrapped in the handkerchief.
"That which I have so carefully preserved will help me," said the hunter.
The landlord looked at the handkerchief and said: " I may be­lieve all the rest, but I would bet my house and farmyard that you will never marry the king's daughter."
"Very well," said the hunter, " I accept your bet, and, if I lose, there are my hundred gold pieces," and he laid them on the table.
That same day, when the king and his daughter were seated at