THE TWELVE WINDOWS.
save his life. This brother was very handsome, and he begged so earnestly that the princess at length agreed to give him three trials, but she added : " You will not be fortunate even then.''
On the following morning the young man tried for a long time to think of the safest way to hide himself, but all to no purpose, so he took his gun and went out. Presently he saw a raven on a tree and pointed his gun at him.
" Don't shoot me," said the raven, "some day I shall be able to repay you."
He turned away on hearing this, and went farther, till he came to a lake, just as a large fish had risen to the surface.
He took aim, but before he could draw the trigger, the fish cried out, " Don't shoot me; I shall be able to repay your kindness."
He left the creature to dive in safety, and at a little distance overtook a fox, who was walking lame. He shot, but missed him.
" O, dear," cried the fox, " do come and pull this thorn out of my foot."
The young man complied, but after doing so he felt inclined to kill the fox for the sake of his skin and fur.
" Spare my life," cried the fox, " I may repay you for it some day."
The young man granted his request, and as it was now evening, he returned home.
On the following day he had to hide himself; but after racking his brains for a long time, he knew not how to set about it. At last he remembered the raven in the forest, so he went to her and said : " I spared your life yesterday, now tell me how I can hide myself so that the princess may not find me."
The raven bowed her head, and thought for a long time. At last she croaked, " I have it!"
Then she fetched one of the eggs from her nest, divided it equally in two parts, then enclosing the young man in the shell, she joined it carefully, placed it in the nest, and sat upon it.
Meanwhile, the princess went to her first window and looked out, but she could discover nothing. She passed on to the second and the third without success, and when she reached the tenth, she began to feel very anxious. At last, at the eleventh window, she succeeded. She immediately ordered the raven to be shot, and the eggs to be brought to her. On breaking one the young man