THE FAIRY'S TWO GIFTS.
out of his window, and saw with surprise opposite to him a pretty new cottage with red tiles, on the spot where the old house once stood. He stared at it for some time, and at last called his wife, and said to her: "Tell me how this can have happened: yesterday, there stood an old wretched-looking hut; to-day, this beautiful new cottage. Run over, and ask how it has all come about" -
The wife went over to ask the poor man to explain this wonderful change. " Yesterday evening," he said, came a poor traveller to our door and begged for a night's lodging. She was very poorly clad, but we gave her all we had, and our bed. This morning when she left us she offered to grant us the fulfilment of three wishes. We wished for continued health and our daily food as the greatest blessings, and at last she changed our old hut into this new and beautiful cottage."
On hearing this, the rich man's wife ran hastily back, and related to her husband what she had heard. " I could tear and beat myself to pieces," he exclaimed. " Oh, if I had only known ! That stranger came here first, such a shabby-looking woman she was, and begged me to give her a night's lodging, but I refused her."
"Nevermind," said his wife; "now make haste, get on your horse and ride after this woman; if you can but overtake her you can ask her to grant you three wishes also."
The rich man followed this good advice, saddled his horse, rode after the traveller, and at last overtook her. He spoke to her then most gently and kindly, and hoped that she would not take it amiss that he had not admitted her the evening before. "I assure you," he said, " I was only looking for the key of the house door, and in the mean time you went away; if you should pass our way again you must stay with us."
" Yes," she replied, " I will do so, if I ever pass your house again."
Then the rich man asked the pcor woman if she would not grant him three wishes as well as his neighbour. " ' would grant you this willingly," replied the fairy, "but I do not think it would be good foi you; you have nothing to wish foi."
The rich man replied that he could easily find something to wish for that would bnng him good fortune, if he only knew thas, his wishes would be accomplished.