GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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sleep in any other bed, nor to wear any other cloak, and on this account you shall be called ' Bearskin/ " Having said this, the stranger vanished.
The soldier immediately put on the coat, and, putting his hands in the pockets, found that the money was a reality. Then he hung the bearskin on his shoulders, and went out into the world rejoicing in his good fortune, and buying all he wished for with his money.
For the first year, his unwashed face, his uncombed and uncut hair and beard, did not disfigure him so very much; but during the second year, he began to look like a monster. The hair covered the whole of his face, his beard looked like a piece of coarse blanket, his fingers had claws instead of nails, and his face was so covered with dirt that if mustard and cress had been sown there, it must have grown on it.
Those who saw him for the first time always ran away; but wherever he went he gave money to the poor, and therefore they all prayed that he might live for the seven years, and as he paid well for a night's lodging, on all occasions, he was always sure of a shelter.
In the fourth year he came to an inn, but the landlord on seeing him would not take him in, nor even let him sleep in the stables, for he thought such a monster would frighten the horses.
However, when Bearskin put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a handful of gold pieces, the landlord began to soften, and gave him a room in one of the out-buildings, but he made him promise that he would not allow himself to be seen, for feai of getting the house into bad repute.
In the evening, when Bearskin was sitting by himself, and wish­ing that the seven years were over, he heard in an adjoining room loud lamentations. The soldier had a pitying heart, so he opened the door, and saw an old man with his hands clasped over his head and weeping bitterly.
Bearskin advanced towards him, but the old man sprang up to run away. When, however, he heard a kind, human voice speak­ing to him in friendly tones, he was inclined to remain; and the soldier's soothing words at last encouraged him to disclose the cause of his grief. His property, he said, had dwindled away by