474 THE DRAGON'S GRANDMOTHER,
After telling the riddle, the dragon rose and went to bed, and then the old grandmother lifted up the stone and set the soldier free. " Have you listened attentively ?" she asked.
" Indeed I have," he replied; " I know quite enough now to help us out of all our difficulties."
The old woman then opened the window cautiously, and let him out that way instead of through the door ; she also went with him a short distance to show him a new and a shorter road to his comrades.
With many thanks he parted from her, and reached their home in all haste. The two soldiers listened with surprise as he told them of the dragon's cunning old grandmother; and when they heard the riddle and its solution, they were full of joy, and, taking up their whips, began to crack them so fast that the floor of the house was soon covered with gold.
A few days afterwards the seven years came to an end, and the dragon appeared with his book under his ann, and, pointing to the signatures of the soldiers, said : " You will have to go with me to my kingdom, and a festival shall be held to celebrate the event unless you can solve my riddle. You will have to tell me what your roast meat will be on that occasion."
"Oh, that is easy enough," replied the first soldier, quickly. "In the great North Sea lies a dead sea-cat; that will be ourrc.ist meat."
"Hem ! hem !" said the dragon, in a rage, and then asked the second what would be their spoon.
* One of the ribs of a whale shall be our silver spoon."
The dragon made a wry face, and snarled again three times, " Hem ! hem ! hem V and then said to the third: "And pray what will your wine-glass be ?"
"An old horse's hoof shall our wine-glass be," he cried, joyfully.
With a cry of rage the dragon spread his wings and flew away, for his power over them was now quite gone; but they had kept their whips, and continued to whip money till they had as much as they wanted, and on this they lived happily together for the rest of their lives.