GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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He set out with his animals on a journey, and while travelling west, came to the town in which his brother's wife, the king's daughter, lived. As soon as he reached the gate of the town, the watchman advanced towards him, and asked if he should go and announce his arrival to the princess, who had for two days been in great trouble about him fearing that he had been detained in the forest by enchantment.
The watchman had not the least idea that the young man was any other than the prince himself, especially as he had the wild animals running behind him. The twin brother saw this, and he said to himself, " Perhaps it will be best for me to allow myself to be taken for my brother, I shall be able more easily to save him." So he followed the sentinel to the castle, where he was received with great joy.
The young princess had no idea that this was not her husband, and asked him why he had remained away so long.
He replied, " I rode a long distance into the wood, and could not find my way out again." But she thought he was very cold and distant to her.
In a few days he discovered all about his brother that he wished to know, and was determined to go and seek for him in the enchant­ed wood. So he said, " I must go to the hunt just once more."
The king and the young princess said all they could to dissuade him, but to no purpose, and at length he left the castle with a large company of attendants.
When he reached the wood, all happened as it had done with his brother. He saw the beautiful white deer, and told his at­tendants to wait while he went after it, followed only by his animals, but neither could he overtake it: and the white deer led him far down into the forest, where he found he must remain all night.
After he had lighted a fire, he heard, as his brother had done, the old woman in the tree, crying out that she was freezing with cold, and he said to her, " If you are cold, old mother, come down and warm yourself."
" No," she cried ; " your animals will bite me."
"No, indeed they will not," he said.
" I can't trust them," she cried; "here, I will throw you a little switch, and if you gently strike them across the back, then they will not be able to hurl me,"