51 Tales translated to English by Lucy Crane & Illustrated by Walter Crane

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

10                         GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
she ran, took up a mug, and saying, " Here's to me !" took a good draught. " One good drink deserves another," she said " and it should not be cut short;" so she took another hearty draught. Then she went and put the fowls down to the fire again, and, basting them with butter, she turned the spit briskly round. And now they began to smell so good that Grethel saying, " I must find out whether they really are all right," licked her fingers, and then cried, " Well, I never! the fowls are good; it's a sin and a shame that no one is here to eat them !"
So she ran to the window to see if her master and his guest were coming, but as she could see nobody she went back to her fowls. " Why, one of the wings is burning !" she cried presently, " I had better eat it and get it out of the way." So she cut it off and ate it up, and it tasted good, and then she thought,
" I had better cut off the other too, in case the master should miss anything." And when both wings had been dis­posed of she went and looked for the master, but still he did not come.
" Who knows," said she, " whether they are coming or not ? they may have put up at an inn." And after a pause she said again, " Come, I may as well make myself happy, and first I will make sure of a good drink and then of a good meal, and when all is done I shall be easy; the gifts of the gods are not to be despised." So first she ran down into the cellar and had a famous drink, and ate up one of the fowls with great relish. And when that was done, and still the master did not come, Grethel eyed the other fowl, saying, " What one is the other must be, the two belong to each other, it is only fair that they should be both treated alike; perhaps, when I have had another drink, I shall be able to manage it." So she took another hearty drink, and then the second fowl went the way of the first.
Just as she was in the middle of it the master came back. " Make haste, Grethel," cried he, " the guest is coming directly!" "Very well, master," she answered, "it will soon be ready." The master went to see that the table was properly laid, and, taking the great carving knife with which he meant to carve the fowls, he sharpened it upon the step. Presently