GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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572               THE TWELVE WINDOWS.
A king's daughter once lived in a castle, which had above its bat­tlements a hall containing twelve windows. She would often ascend to this lofty room, for if she looked out of the windows she could see all over her kingdom. In the first window she could see more clearly than any living being ; in the second, this power was much increased; in the third, her sight could penetrate still farther; and so on, each window excelling the one next it, till at the twelfth she could look out over all the earth, and nothing was hidden from her eyes.
This princess was very proud, she would submit to no one, and was determined in all points to be master. She made it known, however, that she would marry any man who could so completely conceal himself as to make it impossible for her to find him. If, however, any one attempted to do this, and failed, he would have his head cut off, and stuck on a pole.
There stood already ninety-seven poles with heads upon them before the castle, and therefore for a long time no one had ven­tured to make the attempt.
The princess was beginning to feel quite contented, and thought to herself, "Now I shall remain free for my whole life," when three brothers appeared before her, and declared that they were ready to try their fortunes in this matter.
She readily agreed to the proposal, but the eldest, who was silly enough to suppose that if he crept into a chalk pit, he would be safe, was quickly discovered by the princess from her first window, and his fate soon decided.
The second brother hid himself in the cellar under the castle ; but the princess saw him easily from her first window, and he also was taken out, his head cut off, and placed upon the ninety-ninth pole.
After seeing this, the youngest brother stepped forward, and begged that he might have a day to consider, and also that the princess would grant him the favour of trying athir I time after she had found him twice; if then he failed, he would i,ot expect to