GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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was discovered, they could deny nothing, and must therefore take the consequences of their conduct. Thereupon the king asked the soldier which of them he would have for a wife, so he replied : "I am no longer young, so give me the eldest."
On that very day the marriage was celebrated, and the kingdom promised to the soldier after the king's death. The rest of the king's daughters were condemned to be placed under the spell of enchantment for as many days as they had danced nights with the princes in the enchanted castle.
A young drummer was one evening walking across the fields, and as he came to a lake, he saw lying on the shore three pieces of white linen.
" What fine linen !" he said ; and taking up one piece, he put it in his pocket. He went home, thought no more of what he had found, and went to bed. Just as he was going to sleep, he thought he heard some one call out his name, aud heard distinctly a gentle voice say : " Drummer, drummer, wake up !"
At first in the dark he could distinguish nothing, but presently he saw hovering over his bed a light form.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Give me back my dress," answered the voice, "which you took away from the lake yesterday."
" You shall have it." said the drummer, " if you will tell me who you are."
"Ah," cried the voice, "I am the daughter of a mighty king, but I have fallen into the power of a witch, and am confined to a glass mountain. Each day I am obliged to bathe in the lake with my two sisters; but without my dress, I cannot fly back to the iceberg, and my sisters have already gone away and left me alone. I pray you, therefore, to give me back my dress."
" Be at peace, poor child," said the drummer; " you shall have your dress very soon." Then he took the piece of linen out of his pocket, and offered it to her in the darkness. She seized it hastily,