GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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278
THE LOST SON.
should I take away his innocent life, for he has never injured any one?"
"Very well," he said; "if you don't kill him to-night, you shall die yourself."
Then the poor child went out in the dark, and was obliged to kill a little fawn, and take out its heart and tongue to show to the wicked man, that he might think the boy was dead.
But he was in the room when the man came in, and still alive, concealed under the bed, and when he heard what the wicked man said, he thought to himself, " You old sinner! now as you wanted to kill me after all the good things I have obtained for you, I will pronounce your fate."
Instantly he wished that the cook should be turned into a large black dog, which should be fastened up with a golden chain, and have only ashes to eat; and as he uttered the wish in a low tone, it was immediately accomplished, and the wicked cook became a fierce black dog, who could, however, hurt no one because he was always chained up.
The children, after this, remained for some time at the castle alone, but at last the boy began to think of his mother, and to wonder whether she was alive. So he said to the maiden : " I should like to return to my fatherland; will you go with me ? I will provide for all you want."
"Ah," she replied, " it is such a long way, and what will become of me in a strange land where I am unknown ?"
So as he saw she could not bear to be separated from him, he wished that she might be changed into a beautiful carnation, and then he placed the flower in his coat, and took it with him.
The boy had a long distance to travel, and the black dog was obliged to follow, and go also into his own country. They went first to the tower where the queen was shut up, and as it was so high, the boy wished for a ladder which should reach to the top. Then he climbed up and looked in and cried, " Dearest mother, queen wife, art thou living or dead ?"
She thought the fairies spoke to her, and said : " I have enough to eat; I am quite satisfied."
But he spoke again, and said : " I am thy dear son, whom they say was stolen from thy lap by wild animals; but I am still alive and I will rescue thee very soon."