GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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4i 3                  THE ENCHANTED TREE.
A poor servant-maid was once travelling through a wood with her master and mistress, when they were attacked by robbers, who came out of the thicket and murdered all that passed that way. None of the party escaped, excepting the maid-servant, who in the fight had sprung aside, and hidden herself behind a tree.
As soon as the robbers had made off with their booty, she ven­tured out of her hiding-place, and saw what dreadful trouble had happened. Then she began to weep bitterly, and said: " What shall I, a poor maiden, do now ? I know not how to find my way out of the wood, for not a living creature dwells here, and I shall certainly be starved to death."
She tried to find a way out of the wood, however, but without success. At length, tired out, she seated herself under a tree, and determined to remain there, whatever might happen, without attempting to go away, and trust in Heaven to help her.
After she had been sitting there a short time, a white dove flew down from the tree, and he carried in his beak a little golden key. This golden key he placed in the hand of the maiden, and said: " Do you see yonder a large tree? On it is a little lock, which can be opened with that key. If you open it, you will find plenty to eat and drink, and to relieve the pain of hunger from which you are suffering."
She went to the tree, unlocked it, and found to her surprise a basin full of white bread and milk, so that she could eat and be satisfied. When she had finished, she said to herself: " This is the time for the chickens to go home to roost; I am so tired, I wish I had a bed to lie on."
Again the white dove flew down, and brought another key, and said: " Unlock the tree with this, and you will find a bed !"
She did as she was told, and there she found a pretty little white bed, and, praying to Heaven to watch over her during the night, she laid herself down and slept.
In the morning came the dove the third time, and brought her another little key, and said : " Unlock the tree again, and you will