GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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IRON HANS.                          461
"Are you the knight," asked the king, "who has attended the feast each day in a different coloured armour, and caught the three golden apples?"
"Yes," he replied; "and there are the apples," he continued, taking them out of his pocket, and offering them to the king. " If you wish for farther proof, I can show you the wound which one of your people inflicted with his sword when they followed me. I am also the knight who helped you to conquer the enemy on the battle field."
"If you can perform such deeds as these," said the king, "you cannot be a common gardener. Who is your father?"
" My father is a mighty king," he replied; " and I have money quite as much as I want."
" ' see plainly," said the king, " that I owe you more than thanks. Can I do anything to show my gratitude?"
"Yes, indeed," replied the young knight. "You can give me your daughter to be my wife."
The young maiden laughed as she said, "I shall raise no obstacle; for I knew long ago by his golden hair that he was no gardener's son." And then she went forward and kissed him.
To the marriage came his father and mother, who were over­joyed at finding him alive; for they had given up all hopes of seeing their dear son again.
On the day of the marriage, while they sat at the wedding-feast, all at* once the music ceased, the door opened, and a noble-looking king stepped into the room, followed by a magnificent retinue. He approached the bridegroom, embraced him, and said, " I am Iron Hans. I was once a wild man while under the sorcerer's spell; but you have set me free. All the treasures that I possess shall now be yours."
There once lived two brothers—one was poor, the other rich; B but the rich brother gave the poor one nothing, and he had to work hard for his living. Times were sometimes so bad that his wife and children had not even bread to eat.