THE GOLD CHILDREN.
if I am not to know where they come from; it destroys my peace."
The husband again went fishing, and, after a time, what should he again pull up in his net but the gold fish for the third time.
" Listen," cried the fish, " I see I am always to fall into your hands; therefore, you must take me to your house, and cut me in two pieces. These you must place in the ground, and you will have gold enough to last your life !"
The man took the fish home, and did exactly as he had been told.
It happened, after a while, that from the pieces of the fish placed in the earth, two golden lilies sprung up, which were taken great care of.
Not long after the fisherman's wife had two little children, but they were both golden, as well as the two little foals in the stable. The children grew tall and beautiful, and the lilies and the foals grew also.
One day the children came to their father: " We should like to ride out and see the world on our golden steeds. Will you let us?"
But the parents answered sorrowfully: " How shall we able to endure the thought that you are far away from us, and perhaps ill, or in danger ?"
" Oh," they replied, " the two golden lilies will remain, and by them you can always tell how we are going on. If they are fresh, we are in health; if they fade, we are sick; and when they fall, we shall die !"
So the parents let them go, and they rode away for some time till they came to an inn where a number of people were staying. But when they saw the two gold children, they began to laugh and make a mockery of them.
As soon as one of them heard the laughter and mocking words, he would not go any farther, but turned back and went home to his father. The other, however, rode on till he came to a large forest As he was about to enter the forest, some people came by and said: " You had better not ride there, for the wood is full of robbers, who will overcome you and rob you, especially when they see that you and your horse are golden, and you will both be killed."