GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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he awoke the whole stack of wood was burning in one vast flame, the tongues of which reached to the clouds. " Listen now." said the maiden, " when the witch comes she will give you all sorts of orders. If you perform courageously, whatever she desires she cannot injure you, or touch your life. But if you show any fear she will put you in the fire, and you will be consumed. At last, when you have done all she tells you, then take her up with both hands and throw her into the flames."
Then the maiden went away, and presently the witch came sneaking up. " Ha," she exclaimed, "I am so cold, and here is a fire, to warm my old bones, and do me good; but there lies a log that will not burn, just fetch it out for me. If you can do that you are free to go where you will. Now be brisk and do as I tell you."
The drummer did not hesitate long, he sprang into the flames, but they did him no harm, and not even a hair of his head was singed as he drew out the log and placed it before her. Scarcely, however, had it touched the ground, than it was transformed, and the beautiful maiden, who had helped him in his trouble, stood before him; the silk and gold embroidered clothes she wore, proving at once that she was a king's daughter. The old witch laughed spitefully and said: " You think you are going to have the princess, but you shan't, I will take care of that," and she advanced to lay hold of the maiden and carry her away. But the drummer started forward, seized the old witch with both hands and threw her into the very midst of the flames which gathered over her as if in joy at being able to consume a witch.
The king's daughter looked earnestly at the drummer and saw that he was really a handsome youth, and remembered that he had saved her life and set her free from the witch's spell. So she held out her hand to him, and said : " You have risked everything for me, therefore I will now do something for you. Promise to be true to me, then shall you be my spouse. I have plenty of riches and possessions which the old witch has accumulated."
She led him into the house and showed him chests and boxes which were full of treasures. They left the gold and silver, took only the precious stones, and prepared to leave the mountain of glass. Then the drummer said to her, " Seat yourself with me oi my saddle, and we can fly through the air like birds,"