GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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He took the maiden by the hand and led her in. The large hall was full of the castle household, who had assembled, and the priest stood in readiness to marry them. The prince hastened forward, leading.the bride who had suffered so much from her step-mother, and been so true to her lover; and she became at last his wife, to the great joy of the castle and its inmates,
In olden times, every sound in nature had a sense and significance of some sort. When the hammer of the smith sounded, it was as if it said : " How I strike ! how I strike I" The sound of the plane on the table said, "I scratch, I scratch." The rush of the water over the mill-wheel had a meaning, and if the miller was a cheat, it seemed to say sometimes, "Who cheats? who cheats?" and at others to reply, " The miller, the miller f and when the mill went very fast, " Stealing six out of eight! stealing six out of eight!"
In these good old days, also, the birds had a language of their own, which everyone could understand, although it sounded only like twittering, screaming, and whistling, and was really music without words. About this time an idea arose among the birds that they would be no longer without a master, and they determined to elect one of their number to be king. One voice only was raised against this proposal; the plover declared that he had lived free and he would die free. Full of anxiety, he flew about here and there among the birds, crying, " Don't believe it! don't believe it!" But Js no one noticed him, he returned to his lonely home in the marshes, and has never since associated with his own species.
The birds meanwhile were determined to have a general meeting on the subject; so one fine May morning they assembled in great numbers from woods, fields, and meadows. The eagle and the bullfinch, the owl and the crow, the lark and the sparrow, and /nany more that could be named ; even the cuckoo was present, 9nd the lapwing—who is called the cuckoo's clerk, because he lets his note be heard just after him—and a great number of little birds, as well as one without a name who also mixed with the flock.