4o6 THE FEARLESS PRINCE.
aloud and made such a noise, that the giants stretched out their necks from the window, to see what was the matter.
As soon as they saw a little fellow not bigger than other men playing with their skittles, they were astonished, and cried out: " You little worm, do you suppose you have the strength to play with our skittles, or even to lift our ball?"
The prince looked up, and when he saw the giants, he exclaimed I " Oh, you clodhoppers! you think that no one has any strength but yourselves. You look here now, I can do anything I like."
The giants on this came out, and were quite astonished whe they saw how cleverly he played with their skittles. At last one of them said: " You little child of man, as you are so clever, I wish you would go and fetch me a golden apple from the top of an enchanted tree."
"What do you want it for?" asked the youth. " Oh, not for myself," he replied, in but I have a sweetheart who wishes for one very much; I have been all over the world, but I could never find the tree."
MI will find it," said the king's son, " and I should like to see any one try to prevent me from getting an apple and carrying it away, if I choose."
"Ah," said the giant, "it is not so easy as you think. I have heard that the garden in which the tree grows has iron railings all round it, and outside these railings lie a number of wild beasts close together, who keep watch, and allow no one to enter." " They will let me pass," he said.
" Even if they do," replied the giant, "your difficulties are not over, for you will have to find the right tree, and when it is found, the thing is not done. On the tree hangs a ring, through which you must put your hand to reach the apple you wish to pluck, or else you will not succeed."
" I mean to succeed," said the prince.
He then took leave of the giants, and went away over hill and valley, through fields and woods, till at last he found the wonderful garden. Wild animals were crouching round it, but their heads were lowered, for they slept. He had to step over them, however, but he did it so cautiously that they did not wake; so he climbed over the railings, and found himself in the garden without having been molested.