48o THE LAMB AND THE FISH
I shall hang it up in the house, And then it is mine."
While singing this, the children held hands, and danced round in a circle. One, who stood in the middle, pointing with her finger to each child at each word, and when the word mine occurred, the child who was pointed at ran from the circle, and the others had to run after him to catch him.
As the children were thus amusing themselves, and chasing each other about merrily, the step-mother looked out of window, and, when she saw them so happy, wicked envy rose in her heart, and, in her spite, she used her power of witchcraft, and changed them both; the boy into a fish, the girl into a lamb.
A sorrowful little fish might now be seen swimming about in the stream, while near its banks, in the meadow, stood a pretty little lamb, too sad to eat even a blade of grass.
It happened, not long after, that the stepmother had visitors at her house, and she thought it would be a nice opportunity to get rid of the children. So she called the cook, and told her to fetch the lamb from the meadow, and the fish from the pond, and kill them, to be cooked and eaten at the feast, and the woman innocently promised to obey.
But, when the lamb and the fish were brought into the kitchen, and she took up the knife to kill them, the lamb—who was really the little sister—cried out,
" Ah! little brother in the sea, Sadly my fond heart weeps for thee ; The cook is whetting the cruel knife, To take away my life."
Then the little fish answered,
*' Ah! little sister, my heart is sad, And oh, my fate will be quite as bad, Down in the deep, deep sea."
When the cook heard the lamb speak these sorrowful words, and the fish answer them, she was frightened, and knew they were not natural animals, but some human beings which her wicked mistress had bewitched. So she said, " Do not fear; I will not hurt either of you." So she fetched another lamb from the field, and another fish from the brook, and prepared them for the visitors.
She then took the bewitched lamb to a peasant's wife, and told