GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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412
THE WONDERFUL PLANT.
and how the feathers flew about as the flock took flight! One, however, was dead, and the cloak fluttered down after them to the ground. The hunter did as the old woman had told him; he took out the heart, wrapped it up carefully, and put it in his pocket; then he carried the cloak home.
The next morning, when he awoke, he at once wished to prove whether the promise of the woman would be accomplished. So he lifted his pillow, and there were the pieces of gold sparkling as they lay. The next morning it was the same, and the next, and so it continued, as she had said it would. At last, he gathered the gold into a heap, and thought, " What is the use of all this gold if I remain here ? I will go out and see the world."
So he took leave of his parents, hung up his game-bag and his gun, and set out on his travels. It so happened that one day he passed through a dense wood, to which there seemed no end; but he saw,in the distance a noble-looking castle. At the window stood two women, looking out; one very old, the other a wonder­fully beautiful maiden.
The old woman, however, was a witch, and she said to the maiden, " Yonder comes one through the wood who has wonderful treasures about him; we must therefore entrap him, my heart's life, and get it from him. He has in his possession a bird's heart, and, therefore, every morning finds a piece of gold under his pillow."
Then she explained how she wished her daughter to act, and the sort of game she had to play, and at last threatened her, and said, with angry eyes, " and if you do not obey me, misfortune will follow you all your life."
As the hunter drew near he espied the maiden, and said to her, " I have been wandering about for a long time, and if I might be allowed to rest in this beautiful castle I have plenty of money to pay for it."
The reason, however, of his wish to stay was in reality that he wished to become acquainted with the beautiful maiden the moment he had cast his eyes upon her. He was received into the house in a very friendly manner, and entertained most courteously, and in a very short time found himself so much in love with the bewitching maiden that he could not bear her to be out of his sight, and whatsoever she wished he was ready to agree to.