GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE FALSE BRIDE.                    283
stay, because there is a maid to wait upon the bride, and I have no other employment"
" I am sorry there is no situation suitable for you in the castle," replied the king; " but I know a little maiden who has a number of geese ; she is called Kurdchen; she may help you."
The real bride being anxious to remain near the castle, was glad to do as the king proposed, and so the king's daughter went to help in the care of the geese.
Soon after this, the false bride said to the king's son, " Dearest prince, will you do me a favour ?"
"Certainly, I will do it," he replied.
"Well, then, I want you to have the horse that I rode on, in my journey here, destroyed, for it was very restive more than once, and made me quite fearful."
The truth was, she knew that the horse could speak, and feared he would some day tell the prince she was not the king's daughter nor the real bride.
The order to kill the true Falada came to the ears of the true bride, and she found out the man, and promised him a piece of gold if he would do her a service.
\ In the town was a large, gloomy-looking door, through which the geese had to be driven morning and evening, and she told the man who was going to kill Falada to fasten the head on this gloomy door that she might see it every day as she passed through.
The man thought it a strange request, but he promised to comply, so poor Falada's head was cut off and nailed to the door. Early the next morning, when she and Kurdchen passed through she spoke to the head, and said, " Falada, dost thou know me ? n
"Ah, yes," replied the head; "you are the young princess, and if your mother knew, she would break her heart."
Then she joined Kurdchen, and they drove the geese into the field. As soon as they could sit down, the young princess un­fastened her hair that she might comb it and make it neat
Kurdchen was quite delighted when she saw the hair, for it was bright and golden, and the princess had always hitherto worn it hidden under a cap, so she came over to cut off a lock for herself. But the princess did not wish to lose her hair, so she cried out,
"Blow, blow, wind, take Kiirdchen's hat in the air, And do not let her catch it till I have done my hair*"