THE FAIRY'S TWO GIFTS.
have not much," she said, " but what there is, we will give you with all our hearts."
She placed the potatoes on the fire, and while they were cooking, milked the goat, that the visitor might have a little milk. As soon as the cloth was laid, the fairy seated herself at the table and ate with them, and the poor fare tasted good, because it was partaken amid contentment and peace.
After they had finished, and bed-time came, the wife called her husband away privately and said: " Dear husband, let us for tonight make up a straw bed for ourselves that the traveller may lie in our bed and rest; after walking the whole day she must be tired."
" With all my heart," he replied, " I will go and ask her to do so."
The good fairy, however, would not at first consent to accept this kind offer, but they were so earnest in their request that at length she could not refuse. The poor man and his wife, therefore, slept on their bed of straw, and the fairy rested comfortably in the bed.
In the morning, when she rose, she found the wife cooking an early breakfast for her of the best they had. The fairy again took her place at the table, the sun shone brightly into the room, and the faces of the poor people wore such a happy, contented expression that she was sorry to leave them.
As she rose to go she wished them farewell, and thanked them for their hospitality. But at the aoor, she turned and said : " As you have been so kind and compassionate to me when you thought I was poor and in need, therefore I will show you that I have power to reward you. Three times shall your wish be granted you."
"What greater blessings can I wish for," said the husband, " but that we two, as long as we live, may be healthy and strong, and that we may always have our simple daily wants provided for? I cannot think of a third wish."
"Would you not like a new house instead of this old one?" she asked.
"Oh, yes," they both cried, "if we have these three wishes granted, we shall want nothing more."
Then the fairy changed the old house into a new one, and promising them the fulfilment of their other wishes, went her way. About noon the owner of the fine house happened to look