GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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she so stood, she felt that the tree became soft and flexible, and the branches sunk down.
All at once two of the branches wound themselves round her, and they were the arms of a human being ; and, as she looked up, she saw that the tree had changed to a handsome man, who kissed her, and pressed her to his heart, and said: " You have broken the spell, and delivered me from the power of the old woman, who is a wicked witch. She changed me into a tree, a?nd every day for two hours I was able to take the form of a white dove; but so long as she kept the ring, I could not recover my human form."
At the same time the horses and servants were set free from the witchcraft, for they also had been changed into trees, and stood near their master.
Then they all travelled away to his kingdom, for he was a king's son, and he took the maiden with him, and made her his wife.
A poor man had four sons, who were nearly grown up, and one day he called them to him, and said, " Dear children, you must now go out into the world and earn your own living. I have nothing to give you, so you had better choose some trade at which you can work, and when you have learnt it, you may make a fortune."
Then the four brothers took each a traveller's staff, said farewell to their father, and went away from the door together. When they had travelled some little distance, they arrived at a point where four roads met and crossed each other. Then said the eldest, " Here we had better separate, and this day four years we will again meet together in this spot, and in the meantime seek our fortune."
So each went his way, and the eldest presently met a man who asked him where he was going, and what he wanted. " I wish to learn a trade," he replied.
" Oh," said the man, " go with me, and learn to be a thief."
" No," replied the youth; " that would unfit me for any respect* able trade afterwards, and the end is trouble, or to swing at last, like a clapper in a bell."