GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD.             561
ground. Near the stove lay three animals, a cock, a hen, and a speckled cow. The maiden told the old man of her trouble, and asked if she could have a night's lodging. Instead of answering her the old man turned to the animals and said :
"Little chicks and spotted cow, Shall we keep her here or no ?"
The animals made certain sounds which meant that she was to stay. So the old man said : " You will find plenty of everything here, so go into the kitchen and cook us some supper."
The maiden found an abundance of all she wanted, and after cooking a dish full of good food she placed it on the table, and seating herself with the old man ate a hearty meal, but she never thought of the animals. When she was satisfied she said : " I am very tired, where is a bed on which I can sleep ?" In reply, came a voiceŚ
41 You can eat and drink,
But you cannot think ;                              Of poor animals such as we ;
\                              You shall have a bed,*
Just to rest your head,
But you don't know where it will be."
The maiden scarcely noticed what the voice said, for the old man told her to go upstairs, where she would find two rooms, with a bed in each; she was to shake the beds well, and make them both. The young maiden went quickly upstairs, made her own bed, and without thinking of one for the old man, she lay down and went fast asleep. After a while the old man came up to his room, and finding his bed not made shook his head, and going into the room where the maiden lay sleeping, opened a trap-door in the floor, and let down the bed on which she lay into the cellar beneath.
Meanwhile, the wood-cutter returned home in the evening very late, and reproached his wife for having left him the whole day hungry. " It is not my fault," she said, " ' sent the maiden with your dinner at noon, and I suppose she must have lost her way, she will be back again to-morrow, no doubt."
Before day, however, the wood-cutter was obliged to be off to the forest, and he desired his wife to send his second daughter with his dinner, " I will carry a bag of liuseed with me this time."