GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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about you ? I shall trust to Providence, and drive away care. The money in my pocket will keep as good in summer as in winter, but bread will become dry in the heat, and mouldy in the damp weather. My coat also is a little out at elbows; besides, after all, why should we not find the right way? Two days' pro­visions is all I shall carry."
So they each brought what they chose, and started with the hope that by good fortune they might find the shortest path.
The forest was as still as a church when they entered it, not a breath of air stirred, the brook flowed silently, the song of the birds was hushed, and through the thick foliage not a sunbeam could penetrate. The shoemaker said not a word, but the pres­sure of the weight of bread on his shoulders obliged him every now and then to wipe off the drops of perspiration from his morose and sullen countenance. The tailor, however, was quite lively, sprang here and there, picked off a leaf or sang a song, and thought that heaven itself must be pleased to see him so happy.
Two days passed, but on the third day the end of the forest seemed as far off as ever, and the tailor had eaten all his bread. By this time his spirits had sunk an ell lower; he did not lose his courage, however, but still trusted to Providence, and his own good luck. On the evening of the third day he laid himself down hungry and tired under a tree, and rose again next morning still hungry; and so he wrent on till the fourth day, and when the shoe­maker sat down on the stump of a fallen tree to eat his supper, the tailor could not help seeing him. But wrhen he begged for a piece of bread, the other laughed scornfully, and said : " You that have always been so merry, can now know what it is to feel miserable. The birds sing in the morning early, but in the evening they become the prey of the hawk." In short, he was quite without pity or sympathy.
But on the fifth morning the poor tailor could not hold out any longer, and from exhaustion could scarcely utter a word; his cheeks wTere white, and his eyes quite red.
Then said the wicked shoemaker : rt I will give you a piece of bread to-day, if you will let me put out your right eye."
The unhappy tailor, whose only thought then was how to save his life, felt that he had no other means of doing so, and that he could not help himself. He wept once more with his two eyes,