GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
King's son hastened to meet them, and lifted the waiting-woman from her horse, thinking she was his bride ; and then he led her up the stairs, while the real Princess had to remain below. But the old King, who was looking out of the window, saw her standing in the yard, and noticed how delicate and gentle and beautiful she was, and then he went down and asked the seeming bride who it was that she had brought with her and that was now standing in the courtyard.
" Oh!" answered the bride, " I only brought her with me for company; give the maid something to do, that she may not be for ever standing idle."
But the old King had no work to give her; until he bethought him of a boy he had who took care of the geese, and that she might help him. And so the real Princess was sent to keep geese with the goose-boy, who was called Conrad.
Soon after the false bride said to the Prince,
"Dearest husband, I pray thee do me a pleasure."
" With all my heart," answered he.
" Then " said she, " send for the knacker, that he may carry off the horse I came here upon, and make away with him; he was very troublesome to me on the journey." For she was afraid that the horse might tell how she had behaved to the Princess. And when the order had been given that Falada should die, it came to the Princess's ears, and she came to the knacker's man secretly, and promised him a piece of gold if he would do her a service. There was in the town a great dark gate-way through which she had to pass morning and evening with her geese, and she asked the man to take Falada's head and to nail it on the gate, that she might always see it as she passed by. And the man promised, and he took Falada's head and nailed it fast in the dark gate-way.
Early next morning as she and Conrad drove their geese through the gate, she said as she went by,
" O Falada, dost thou hang there ?"
And the head answered,
" Princess, dost thou so meanly fare? But if thy mother knew thy pain, Her heart would surely break in twain."