GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

to me." Then he tied them all together with a rope, and led them away till they came to a mill. He knocked at the window, and the miller put his head out, and asked what was his pleasure. " I have three troublesome animals here," he replied, "and I cannot keep them any longer. Will you take care of them for a time, and provide them with fodder and shelter, and I will pay you whatever you ask for your trouble ?"
"Well," said the miller, "I am quite willing; but how am I to manage these unruly brutes ?"
" Oh," replied the hunter, " that one n—pointing to the old witch—" requires good flogging and little food; the dark one " which was the maid—" you may feed pretty well, and perhaps she will require a little chastisement sometimes; but this delicate one requires good food and no beating." For, treacherous as the maiden had been to him, he could not find it in his heart to have her beaten. After this he went back to the castle, and whatever was necessary for his own comfort he found there.
In two days came the miller, and said that the old ass who re­quired so much beating was dead. " The other two," he added, " who have had as much to eat as they like, are not quite dead, but they are so unhappy that I do not think they will live long."
Then the hunter allowed his anger to cool. He pitied the two young girls whom he had punished, and he told the miller to bring them back immediately. The moment they arrived, he gave them some of the good salad to eat, and they at once recovered their human shape.
The maiden then fell on her knees before the hunter, and ex­claimed : " Forgive me, dearest, for all the wicked things I did to you ; my old stepmother forced me to do it all against my will, for I have always loved you from my heart. Your wishing-cloak hangs in the cupboard, and I will find the bird's heart for you to-morrow. My old mother took it from me."
After this confession, all the hunter's thoughts of revenge were changed.
" Never mind what has. passed !" he cried; " I can keep you now, and you shall be my own dear wife."
The marriage took place soon after, and they lived in great hap­piness with each other till their death.