GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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table, the king said : " What did all those wild animals want who came to you to-day, going in and out of my castle ?"
"I cannot tell you yet," she replied, "but if you will send into the town for the master of these animals, then I will do so."
The king sent on hearing this a servant at once to the inn with an invitation to the stranger who owned the animals, and the ser­vant arrived just as the hunter had finished his bet with the land­lord.
"See, landlord !" he cried, " the king has sent me an invitation by his servant; but I cannot accept it yet." He turned to the man who waited and said : "Tell my lord the king that I cannot obey his commands to visit him unless he sends me suitable clothes for a royal palace, and a carriage with six horses, and ser­vants to wait upon me."
The servant returned with the message, and when the king heard it, he said to his daughter : " What shall I do ?" " I would send for him as he requests," she replied. So they sent royal robes, and a carriage and six horses with ser­vants, and when the hunter saw them coming, he said to the land­lord : " See ! they have sent for me as I wished."
He dressed himself in the kingly clothes, took the handkerchief containing the dragon's tongues, and drove away to the castle.
As soon as he arrived, the king said to his daughter; " How shall I receive him ?"
"I should go and meet him," she replied.
So the king went to meet him, and led him into the royal apart­ment, and all his animals followed. The king pointed him to a seat by his daughter. The marshal sat on her other side as bride­groom, but the visitor knew it not.
Just at this moment the dragon's seven heads were brought into the room to show to the company, and the king said: " These heads belonged to the dragon who was for so many years the terror of this town. The marshal slew the dragon, and saved my daugh­ter's life, therefore, I have given her to him in marriage, according to my promise."
At this the hunter rose, and, advancing, opened the seven throats of the dragon, and said : " Where are the tongues ?"
The marshal turned white with fear, and knew not what to do. At last, he said in his terror : " Dragons have no tongues."