GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

498           THE TAILOR AND THE BEAR.
princess has a silver and a golden hair on her head, and they, of course, are of different colours !"
When the princess heard this, she turned quite pale, and almost fell down with fright. The little tailor had guessed her riddle, and she had firmly believed that not a man upon earth could do sc?!
When she at last recovered herself, she said: " You have guessed my riddle, but I am not won yet; you must do something more than this before I can be your wife. Down in the stable there lives a bear J you must spend the night with him, and if in the morning you are still alive, I will be your wife."
She thought as she said this that she should easily get rid of the little tailor; for the bear had never yet allowed any to escape alive when once he had them in his power. The tailor, however, did not allow himself to be frightened \ he went away, feeling quite con­tented, and saying, " Boldly ventured is half won."
When evening arrived, the little tailor was taken down to the stables where the bear lived. The bear was quite ready to bid him welcome with a pat of his paw.
" Gently, gently, friend; I will soon make you quiet f1 thought the tailor. So he sat down, made himself quite comfortable, as if he had no care, pulled some nuts out of his pocket, cracked them, and ate the kernels quite at his ease.
When the bear saw this, he began to wish for nuts also, and asked the tailor to give him some. The tailor put his hand in his pocket, and brought out a handful of what appeared to be nuts, but were really pebbles. The bear stuck them in his muzzle, and rolled them about in his teeth, but he could not crack them, try as he would.
"What a stupid blockhead I certainly must be," thought the bear, not to be able to crack a nut!" So he said to the tailor, " Crack my nuts for me, will you ?"
" Now what a fellow you are," said the tailor, " with such a great muzzle as yours, and yet not to be able to crack a nut!"
He took the pebble from the bear, and, quickly changing it for a nut, put it in his mouth, and in a moment crack it went.
"I really must try to do that myself," said the bear.
So the little tailor gave him again more pebbles, and the bear worked hard, and bit with all his strength, but, as you may be sure, without success; the tailor, meanwhile, keeping him in a good