GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE COFFIN OF GLASS.                  503
No one should ever say that a poor tailor cannot rise to honour: it is only necessary for him to hit the right nail on the head, and he is sure to be lucky. A polite, pleasant little apprentice-boy was once on his travels, and at length reached a large forest, and, as he knew nothing of the road, he wandered about till he lost himself.
Night came on, and there seemed nothing for him to do but to seek a lodging in this dreadful solitude. The soft moss might have made a most pleasant bed for him, but the fear of the wild beasts would have disturbed his rest, so he was obliged at last to climb to the top of a high tree and make a sleeping room of the branches.
The wind, which was very high, however, waved the branches about so terribly that he could not sleep, and indeed felt thankful that he had brought his goose with him; the weight of this in his pocket kept him firm on the branch, otherwise he would certainly have been blown away.
After having been in the tree about an hour in the darkness— not without great trembling and shaking—he spied at a little distance the glimmer of a light. The thought that he might be near the dwelling of a human being gave him courage ; no doubt he should find some better night's lodging than the top of a tree; he therefore descended cautiously and went towards the light.
It led him to a little cottage that was covered with reeds and rushes. He knocked courageously; the door opened of itself, and he could see by the light which had shone outside a hoary-headed old man, dressed in many-coloured, patchwork clothes which had been sewn together.
" Who are you, and what do you want here ?" asked the man, in a snarling voice.
"lama poor tailor," he replied, " and night has overtaken me in this wilderness. I pray you earnestly to take me in till the morning."
♦' Go your way." answered the old man, in a suriy tone ; in I wiH