GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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people of the town, they swore among themselves not to open their mouths to any one of what had happened, but to keep it quiet. Then they again started on their journey, consoling them­selves with the reflection that the second danger which might threaten them could not certainly compare with the first For some days nothing occurred, but one morning, on passing through an unploughed field, they saw a hare lying asleep in the sun, with her large ears raised, and her glassy eyes wide open. They were so terrified at the sight of the wild and horrible creature that they held a council together as to the least dangerous way of passing it. At first they wished to fly from it, but if they did, most likely the monster would follow them, seize them, and swallow them' up. " But," said one, " as we must go on, it is better to prepare for a great combat. To venture is half to win."
Then they all seven seized the spear, and walked on cautiously, the eldest foremost and the youngest behind. Mr. Pride, as the eldest called himself, was not always able to hold the spear from fright, but the youngest, who was behind, feeling very courageous, began to sing. The rest followed his example, one after another, till it came to Mr. Pride's turn, and he said very gravely—
" In the town from roof and steeple, Soon they'll see some clever people."
They were now approaching the dreadful dragon, still keeping close together, and Brother Stultz crossed himself. As, however, this was not much help, and they were approaching nearer to their dreaded enemy, they all screamed out in alarm, in Hie ! hie ! ho ho ! ho hi!" The noise woke the hare, who started up in a fright and sprung away like the wind. When Brother Stultz saw her flying through the field, he cried, full of joy—
" See, brothers, just see what is there ! The frightful monster is a hare !"
The band of seven wise men then continued their journey in search of fresh adventures, and at length arrived at the Blue Moselle, with its calm and deep waters, over which are so few bridges. The usual way, however, is to travel from place to place in boats or ships. When the seven wise men had reached the shore they called to a man who was at work on the opposite side, and asked him how they were to get over.