GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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Then was the Jew taken before the magistrate and condemned to the gallows, from which the honest servant had been saved.
A merchant had two children, a boy and a girl, who were both so very young that they could not run alone. About this time, the merchant sent two richly laden ships to sea, which contained the whole of his possessions, and while he was expecting to receive a large amount of profits, news came that his ships had been both wrecked, and all they contained lost. His position was now changed from that of a rich man to a poor one, for he had nothing left but a field of about an acre in extent.
One day, when he wished to divert his thoughts from his mis­fortunes, he went out to walk in his field. As he wandered along, thinking sorrowfully over the future, he saw a dark little man standing near him, who asked him what made him so sad. " If you could help me," replied the merchant, " I might be inclined to tell you."
w Who knows, perhaps I may be able to help you," replied the little man; " now tell me your trouble."
Then the merchant described the great loss he had sustained in the wreck of his two ships, adding, " All my possessions are lying at the bottom of the sea,"
" Do not make yourself unhappy," replied the dark man. " If you will promise that whatever comes first out of your house to meet you on your return home, and clings to your knees, shall be brought to this spot in twelve years, I will give you as much gold as you like."
" Well," thought he, " my dog is the only one who can do that, my children are too young to walk."
So he promised and gave the little strange man a written agree­ment, and sealed it with his own seal to ensure that he would honourably keep his promise, and after doing this he returned home. As he came near the house, his little son saw him coming, and he was so delighted that he let go the chair by which he was Voiding, and toddling towards him caught him by the knees. In