GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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to a dark wood, and remained there a long time, during which the parents heard nothing of her.
But one day, a man travelling through the wood, heard a voice calling him, and on going to the place from whence it came, he saw a raven on a tree. " I am a king's daughter by birth," said the raven, as he came near, " and have been changed by magic; but it is in your power to let me free."
" What am I to do ?" he asked.
" Go farther into the forest," she replied, "and there you will see a tiny house, in which lives an old woman, who will offer you something to eat and drink; but do not dare to take anything, if you do you will fall into a deep sleep and be unable to set me at liberty. In the garden behind the house is a large tan-yard, and there you must stand and wait for me. I shall come to you at two o'clock each day, for three days, and each time in a carriage; on the first day drawn by four white horses, on the second by four red horses, and the third time four black horses. If, however, you should not be awake, but sleeping at any time when I come to you, then I shall not be free." The man promised to do all she desired, but the raven said, " Ah, I know already that you will not deliver me, you are sure to take something the old woman offers you." The man promised again that he certainly would not touch anything, either to eat or to drink, and then he left her.
As he approached the house, the woman came out to him and said, " Poor man, you seem tired out; but come in and refresh yourself, and have something to eat and drink."
" No," he replied, " I do not want anything." But she gave him no peace till he came in, and then she said :
" If you won't eat perhaps you will just drink a little from this glass, once is nothing at all."
At last he allowed himself to be persuaded, and drank from the glass. Next day at noon he wrent out to wait for the raven, till two o'clock, at the tan-yard. But while he stood there, a feeling of fatigue came at once upon him so painfully, that he could not overcome it. " I must lie down," he said, " but I will not sleep.'*
No sooner, however, had he stretched himself on the ground, than his eyes closed involuntarily, and presently he slept so soundly that nothing on earth could awake him.
At two o'clock came the raven in her carriage, drawn by four