GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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338                   THE LION'S CASTLE.
When the hour was up which the bride had allowed her, she was obliged to leave the room, although he still slept, and the bride at once claimed the beautiful dress according to the agree­ment. The poor wife seemed now to have no hope left, and going out into the meadows, she sat down and wept. Presently she remembered the egg which the moon had given her; taking it out of her pocket, she broke it, and out came a hen, with twelve beautiful little chicks, looking like balls of gold. They ran here and there, chirped and pecked, and then crept under their mother's wings in the prettiest manner possible. It was a most beautiful sight. At last she stood up, and drove the hen and her chickens gently out of the meadow, till they came in front of a window where the bride sat. As soon as she saw them she wanted to buy them, as she did the dress, but she was told, as before, they were not to be sold for silver or gold.
" Then what will you let me have tl em for ?" asked the bride.
"For permission to stay another hour in the bridegroom's chamber," she replied.
The bride agreed, but she intended to deceive her as before; she had cause to fear what this stranger might say to the bride­groom, and determined to prevent them from speaking to each other. But the prince had been slightly disturbed the evening before by the complaining tones of his true wife, and he asked his servant what caused it. Then the servant told him all, and said that his evening slumber had been caused by a sleeping-draught, which he had been told to give him, and that while he was asleep a poor maiden had come secretly to his room.
"I believe she is coming in again this evening," added the servant
" If you have another sleeping-draught for me," said the prince, " throw it away, I shall not take it"
On that evening, when the prince heard the stranger coming, he laid himself on a couch, and closed his eyes as if he slept His poor wife crept softly into the room, and, thinking he was sleeping heavily as before, she began to talk of her trouble, as she had then done, in a mournful tone.
But not for long, the prince recognized the voice, and starting up, exclaimed, " That is the voice of my own dear wife whom I had lost." tie sprung from the couch as he spoke, and exclaimecj,