GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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The shepherd boy replied, "Will your majesty ask me the three questions ?"
On this the king said, " First I want to know how many drops of water there are in the ocean ?"
" My lord king," said the boy, " if you could have all the rivers in the world stopped up, so that not a drop could run into the sea, and I could count them, then I might be able to tell you how many drops the ocean contains.7'
Without a remark, the king propounded the next question. " How many stars are there in the heavens ?"
The shepherd boy replied, " Give me a large sheet of paper. If I make a number of points with a pen, close together, then whoever casts his eyes upon it will be dazzled if he attempts to count them. If, however, it were possible to count these points, even then it would not be easy to count the stars."
No one, however, would attempt to count them, so the king asked his third question : " How many seconds of time are there in eternity ?"
The shepherd boy replied : " In Pomerania there is a diamond mountain, one league high, one league broad, and one league deep. If a little bird could go once in every hundred years, and with his little beak peck away a morsel from the mountain until the whole mountain was removed, not even then would one second of eternity be passed P
Then the king replied: " You have answered all my questions wisely, and shall from this time dwell with me in my royal castle, and be to me as my own son."
There lived once a poor peasant named Krebs, who drove with wo oxen and a cart containing a load of wood through the town, and sold it to a doctor for two dollars. When he went in to receive his money the doctor was at dinner, and the peasant looked at all the good things on the table till he began to long for some of them, and to wish he had been a doctor.