GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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forest. He raised his horn and blew, but there was no answer, for his attendants could not hear; and then as night came on he saw plainly that he should not be able to find his way home till the next day, so he alighted from his horse, lit a fire by a tree, and de≠termined to make himself as comfortable as he could for theniht.
As he sat under the tree by the fire, with his animals lying near him, he heard, as he thought, a human voice. He looked round, but could see nothing. Presently there was a groan over his head, he looked up and saw an old woman sitting on a branch, who kept grumbling, " Oh, oh, how cold I am; I am freezing."
" If you are cold, come down and warm yourself," he said.
" No, no," she replied, "your animals will bite me."
" Indeed they will do no such thing. Come down, old mother," he said kindly; " none of them shall hurt you."
He did not know that she was a wicked witch, so when she said, " I will throw you down a little switch from the tree, and if you just touch them on the back with it they cannot hurt me."
He did as she told him, and as soon as they were touched by the wand the animals were all turned to stone. Then she jumped down, and touching the prince on the back with the switch, he also was instantly turned into stone. Thereupon she laughed maliciously, and dragged him and his animals into a grave where several similar stones lay.
When the princess found that her husband did not return, her anxiety and care increased painfully, and she became at last very unhappy.
Now it so happened that just at this time the twin brother of the prince, who since their separation had been wandering in the east, arrived in the king's country, of which his father-in-law was king. He had tried to obtain a situation but could not succeed, and only his animals were left to him.
One day, as he was wandering from one place to another, it occurred to his mind that he might as well go and look at the knife which they had stuck in the trunk of a tree at the time of their separation. When he came to it there was his brother's side of the knife half rusted, and the other half still bright.
In great alarm he thoughtó" My brother must have fallen into some terrible trouble. I will go and find him, I may be able to rescue him, as the half of the knife is still bright"