GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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On his road, he came again to the hollow tree, on which he seated himself with his head drooping, and feeling very sad. Presently, the bees came out, and amongst them the queen-bee, who, when she saw him, asked him if he had a stiff neck, as he held his head so low.
"Ah, no," answered the tailor, "something more painful de­presses my head." Then he told her what the king required him to do.
Immediately the bees began to buzz and to hum, and the queen-bee said to him : " Go back to your house, and come again in the morning; bring a large cloth with you, and you will find it is all right."
So he turned his steps homewards. But the bees flew to the king's castle, and, as they found the windows open, they crept in, and examined every corner, and saw exactly how everything was arranged.
Then they hastened back, and reproduced the castle in wax in the most perfect manner, so that it appeared to grow before the eye. By evening it was finished, and, when the tailor made his appearance in the morning, there stood the beautiful building quite ready for him—not a nail on the wall missing, nor even a tile on the roof. It was delicately white like snow, and yet sweet as honey. The tailor packed it up carefully in his handkerchief, and carried it to the king.
The king could not help wondering as he looked at this curious piece of workmanship. He placed it in a saloon, and in return he presented the tailor with a large stone-built residence. The shoemaker, however, was not yet satisfied.
A third time he appeared before the king, and said : " My lord king, it has come to the ears of the tailor that in the court of the palace there is not a well or a fountain, and he boasts that he could cause water to flow there as clear as crystal, and to the height of a tall man !"
So the king sent for the tailor, and said to him : " If by to-mor­row morning you do not cause a stream of water to flow in my court as you have promised, then shall the executioner in the same court make you shorter by a head P
The poor tailor, as he went from the king's presence, did not take long to decide what to do. He hastened away from the town