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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

24                              GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
" Because she vexes me the whole day long," answered Conrad. Then the old King ordered him to tell how it was.
" Every morning," said Conrad, " as we pass under the dark gate-way with the geese, there is an old horse's head hang­ing on the wall, and she says to it,
" O Falada, dost thou hang there?"
And the head answers,
" Princess, dost thou so meanly fare? But if thy mother knew thy pain, Her heart would surely break in twain."
And besides this, Conrad related all that happened in the fields, and how he was obliged to run after his hat.
The old King told him to go to drive the geese next morn­ing as usual, and he himself went behind the gate and listened how the maiden spoke to Falada; and then he followed them into the fields, and hid himself behind a bush ; and he watched the goose-boy and the goose-girl tend the geese; and after a while he saw the girl make her hair all loose, and how it gleamed and shone. Soon she said,
11 O wind, blow Conrad's hat away, And make him follow as it flies, While I with my gold hair will play, And bind it up in seemly wise."
Then there came a gust of wind and away went Conrad's hat, and he after it, while the maiden combed and bound up her hair; and the old King saw all that went on. At last he went unnoticed away, and when the goose-girl came back in the evening he sent for her, and asked the reason of her doing all this.
"That I dare not tell you," she answered, "nor can I tell any man of my woe, for when I was in danger of my life I swore an oath not to reveal it." And he pressed her sore, and left her no peace, but he could get nothing out of her. At last he said,
" If you will not tell it me, tell it to the iron oven," and went away. Then she crept into the iron oven, and began to weep and to lament, and at last she opened her heart and jsaid,