GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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262            THE PRINCESS IN DISGUISE.
their skins, of which the mantle was to be made, and at last, when all was finished, he brought them and laid them before her, and then said: " To-morrow our marriage shall take place,"
Then the king's daughter saw that there was no hope of changing her father's heart, so she determined to run away from the castle.
In the night, when every one slept, she rose and took from her jewel-case a gold ring, a gold spinning wheel, and a golden hook. The three dresses of the sun, moon, and stars, she folded in so small a parcel, that they were placed in a walnut shell; then she put on the fur mantle, stained her face and hands black with wal­nut juice, and committing herself to the care of heaven, she left her home.
After travelling the whole night, she came at last to a large forest, and feeling very tired, she crept into a hollow tree and went to sleep. The sun rose, but she still slept on, and did not awake till nearly noon.
It happened on this very day that the king to whom the wood belonged was hunting in the forest, and when his hounds came to the tree, they sniffed about, and ran round and round the tree, barking loudly. The king called to his hunters and said : "Just go and see what wild animal the dogs are barking at."
They obeyed, and quickly returning, told the king that in the hollow tree was a most wonderful creature, such as they had never seen before, that the skin was covered with a thousand different sorts of fur, and that it was fast asleep.
"Then," said the king, "go and see if you can capture it alive, then bind it on the waggon, and bring it home."
While the hunters were binding the maiden, she awoke, and full of terror, cried out to them : " I am only a poor child, forsaken by my father and mother; take pity on me, and take me with you."
"Well," they replied, "you maybe useful to the cook, little Roughskin. Come with us, you can at least sweep up the ashes."
So they seated her on the waggon, and took her home to the king's castle. They showed her a little stable under the steps, tvhere no daylight ever came, and said: " Roughskin, here you can live and sleep." So the king's daughter was sent into the kitchen to fetch the wood, draw the water, stir the fire, pluck the fowls, look after the vegetables, sweep the ashes, and do all the hard work.