GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
" That is soon done," said the musician, " only you must do whatever I tell you."
" O musician," answered the hare, " I will obey you, as a scholar his master."
So they went a part of the way together, until they came to a clear place in the wood where there stood an aspen tree. The musician tied a long string round the neck of the hare, and knotted the other end of it to the tree.
" Now then, courage, little hare ! run twenty times round the tree !" cried the musician, and the hare obeyed : as he ran round the twentieth time the string had wound twenty times round the tree trunk and the hare was imprisoned, and pull and tug as he would he only cut his tender neck with the string. " Wait there until I come back again," said the musician, and walked on.
The wolf meanwhile had struggled, and pulled, and bitten, at the stone, and worked away so long, that at last he made his paws free and got himself out of the cleft. Full of anger and fury he hastened after the musician to tear him to pieces. When the fox saw him run by he began groaning, and cried out with all his might,
" Brother wolf, come and help me! the musician has betrayed me." The wolf then pulled the branches down, bit the knots in two, and set the fox free, and he went with him to take vengeance on the musician. They found the imprisoned hare, and set him likewise free, and then they all went on together to seek their enemy.
The musician had once more played his fiddle, and this time he had been more fortunate. The sound had reached the ears of a poor woodcutter, who immediately, and in spite of himself, left his work, and, with his axe under his arm, came to listen to the music.
" At last here comes the right sort of companion," said the musician ; " it was a man I wanted, and not wild animals." And then he began to play so sweetly that the poor man stood as if enchanted, and his heart was filled with joy. And as he was standing there up came the wolf, the fox, and the hare, and he could easily see that they meant mischief. Then he raised his shining axe, and stood in front of the musician, as if to say,