GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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The king of the golden mountain. 357
As soon as he appeared, they called to him, and said that little men were often very clever, and that they would leave it to him to divide their inheritance fairly.
It consisted of a sword, which one took in his hand, and said, " When I wield this, all the heads must lie on the ground except mine/7 The second giant produced a cloak, which made every one who wore it invisible, and the third put on a pair of boots, and said that those who wore these boots had only to wish themselves in any particular spot, and they would be there immediately.
Then the king of the golden mountain said to the giants, " Be­fore I decide upon the division of these wonderful possessions of which you boast so much, you must let me prove their value." ' They gave him the cloak first, and the instant he put it on, he was invisible to them, and changed into a fly. He quickly re­sumed his own shape, and said, "The cloak is good, now give me the sword."
"No," they replied, "we cannot give you that; for if you said, " Heads down, all but mine/ you would have power over us, for your head would be the only one erect." They gave it to him at last, however, on condition that he would first try its strength on a tree.
He did so, and the sword cut the trunk of the tree in'two, as if it had been a stalk of straw. Then he wanted the boots, but they again refused, "Because," they said, "if you put them on, and should wish yourself over this mountain, we should be down here, and have nothing."
But he told them it was not likely he should have such a wish as that. So they let him try the boots; but the moment he had them on his feet, he forgot everything but his wife and child, and said to himself, " Oh, if I were only on the golden mountain !" In a moment he had vanished from the eyes of the giants, and with him all their shares of the inheritance.
As soon as he arrived at the castle, he heard sounds of merry­making, the flute and violin playing joyous music, and he was told that his wife was celebrating her marriage with another. " The false one," he exclaimed angrily, " she has betrayed and forsaken me while I slept, and now she is marrying another." He threw on his cloak, and went into the castle invisible.
When he entered the dancing-saloon, he saw a table richly