GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE WATER-SPRITE.
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of your sweetest songs, and when it is finished, lay the flute on the ground near the brink, and you will see what happens !"
The keeper's wife did exactly as the old woman had told her. Scarcely had she finished her music, and placed the flute on the shore, than the water began to bubble and foam as before, and a wave rose and carried the flute away with it.
Almost at the same moment the water divided, and not only the head and shoulders, but nearly half the body of her husband rose above the surface. He held out his arms towards her with loving eyes ; but a second wave rose with a rushing sound, covered the poor man, and drew him under.
"Ah, me," cried the unfortunate wife, "what is the use of my only having a passing glance at my dear husband, and then to lose him again immediately ?"
Sorrow again took possession of her heart, but on dreaming the same dream about the cottage and the old woman, her hopes re­vived, and she once more paid her a visit.
This time the good fairy gave her a golden spinning-wheel, comforted her, and said: " You have not done all that is necessary yet j you must wait for another full moon, then take your golden spinning-wheel, seat yourself on the shore, and spin till the bob­bins are full, then place the spinning-wheel near the water and wait."
The wife followed out all these directions correctly, but when she placed the spinning-wheel on the shore, the water bubbled up more violently than ever; a mighty wave arose and in a moment swept it away. No sooner had it disappeared, than with a sudden flash the head and then the whole body of the gamekeeper rose above the water, and quick as lightning he sprang ashore, seized his wife by the hand and fled.
But scarcely had they gone a few steps, when the whole water raised itself with a rushing noise, and with irresistible force spread over field and meadow. Already the two fugitives saw nothing but death before them ; and just as they gave themselves up for lost, they were in a moment changed—the wife into a frog, the husband into a toad.
The flood reached them, and although they escaped death, the waters separated them one from the other and carried them in different directions. As soon as the waters receded and left them
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