GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE BRIDE'S VENTURE.                269
To his other bride he sent a messenger to say that he had a wife already whom he had chosen before he knew her, and that he prayed her to return to her own country.
Soon after, the marriage was celebrated, and the lion taken into favour, for, after all, he had spoken the truth,
In olden times there stood, far down in the forest, an old castle, in which dwelt an aged woman, quite alone, who was a great sor­ceress. By day she took the form of a cat, during the night she was an owl, and for a few hours every evening she assumed the form of a human being.
If any one came within a hundred steps of her castle, there he was obliged to remain, standing in the same place, and quite un­able to move, till she spoke and set him free. If a young maiden came within the enchanted circle, the old witch changed her into a bird, fastened her up in a basket, and carried her to a chamber in the castle, where she had more than seven thousand of these rare birds shut up.
Not far from this wood lived a young maiden, named Florinda, who was more beautiful than all the other maidens in the village. She was betrothed to a very handsome young man, whose name was Yoringal. They were in their bridal days, and had great de­light in the society of each other.
It happened sometimes that when they wanted to talk together, they would go into the wood to walk. "We must be careful not to go too near the castle," Yoringal had often said.
One beautiful evening, however, they went to take their usual walk. The sun shone between the trunks of the trees, and brightened the dark leaves of the forest, while the cooing of the turtle-dove sounded so sweetly and mournfully from the beeches, that Florinda felt inclined to weep; indeed, they both felt as if something dreadful was about to happen to them, or as if they were going to die.
Meanwhile, the sun was setting behind the trees, and in their desponding mood, they scarcely noticed it, but wandered on, for-