THE TAILOR AND THE BEAR.
humour, by pretending to crack the stones for him, but always cleverly changing them for real nuts.
-Presently, the little tailor took a violin from under his coat, and began to play upon it. On this, the bear, who understood music, could not help standing up and beginning to dance, and, after he had danced for a little while, he was so pleased with the music that he said to the tailor : " Is it very dffficult to learn to play upon that fiddle ?"
"Oh, no; quite easy," replied the tailor. "Look here, I lay my left hand on the strings, and with my right I draw the bow across them, making all sorts of sounds."
" I must learn to play it," said the bear, " for then I shall be able to dance whenever I like. What do you think about it; will you undertake to teach me ?"
" With all my heart!" replied the tailor, " if you have the ability for it; but first show me your paws; the nails are tremendously long, and I must cut them a little before you begin to play."
In a corner of the stable stood a vice, which the tailor brought out, and told the bear to place his foot upon it. As soon as he did so, the tailor screwed it so tight that he could not move. Then he left the bear grumbling, and said : " Wait a little while till I bring the scissors."
The bear mi ght grumble as he liked now, the tailor did not care ; he felt quite safe, so he laid himself down in the corner on a bundle of straw, and went fast asleep.
During the night the princess heard the growling, and she made sure that the bear was growling for joy over the little tailor, of whom he was making a meal. So she rose in the morning quite contented and careless ; but when she went to the stable, and peeped in, she felt quite astonished. There stood the tailor, quite lively, and as safe and sound as a fish in the water !
She could not say a single word against him for she had spoken openly about the arrangement, and the king even ordered a carriage to take her to the church to be married to the tailor. The princess was not really unwilling, for she admired the young man's courage, so they entered the king's open carriage, and drove off to church together. Meanwhile, the other tailors, who envied his good fortune, made one more effort to destroy it. They went to the stable, set the bear's feet free from the vice, and no sooner did