GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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and then submitted to the cruel shoemaker, who must have had a heart of stone.
There came into the mind of the poor tailor at this moment something that his mother had once said when he had stolen some­thing nice out of the store-room : " Eat as much as you may, and suffer what you must."
As soon as he had eaten his dearly-bought bread, he was able again to get on his legs, forget his misfortune, and comforted him­self with the reflection that he could still see well enough with the eye that was left. But on the sixth day the hunger was fiercer than ever, and seemed as if it were consuming his very vitals. In the evening he fell under a tree, and on the morning of the seventh day was unable to rise from exhaustion, while death stared him in the face.
Then the wretched shoemaker spoke again : " I will have com­passion on you, and give you another piece of bread if you will consent to lose your left eye also, but you can do as you like."
Then the tailor recalled his light-hearted, thoughtless life, and praying for pardon, said to his comrade : " Do what you will, I will endure what I must, but remember that every moment of your life is judged, and an hour will come when your wicked acts to me will be requited. Neither have I deserved this cruelty. In my best days I have always shared with you what I had earned. My trade is an art that requires to be carried on stitch by stitch, and if I lose both eyes, I shall be unable to work any more, and shall be obliged to beg; but if I am to be blind, do not leave me here alone in the forest, or I must die of starvation."
The shoemaker, who had driven all good thoughts out of his heart, would not listen; he made the poor tailor blind in both eyes, and then, after placing a piece of bread in his hand, waited till he had eaten it, gave him a stick to guide his footsteps, and led him away. About sunset they came out of the forest, and in a field near stood a gallows. To this the shoemaker led the blind tailor, laid him down under it, and went away and left him.
Overcome with fatigue, pain, and hunger, the unfortunate man sunk to sleep, and slept the whole night. At day-break he awoke, but knew not that above where he lay hung two poor criminals, and that on each of their heads sat a crow.