THE BROTHER AND SISTER
HE brother took his sister's hand and said to her,
" Since our mother died we have had no good days ; our stepmother beats us every day, and if we go near her she kicks us away; we have nothing to eat but hard crusts of bread left over; the dog under the table fares better; he gets a good piece every now* and then. If our mother only knew, how she would pity us ! Come, let us go together out into the wide world !"
So they went, and journeyed the whole day through fields and meadows and stony places, and if it rained the sister said,
" The skies and we are weeping together." In the evening they came to a great wood, and they were so weary with hunger and their long journey, that they climbed up into a high tree and fell asleep.
The next morning, when they awoke, the sun was high in heaven, and shone brightly through the leaves. Then said the brother,
" Sister, I am thirsty; if I only knew where to find a brook, that I might go and drink ! I almost think that I hear one rushing." So the brother got down and led his sister by the hand, and they went to seek the brook. But their wicked stepmother was a witch, and had known quite well that the two children had run away, and had sneaked after them, as only witches can, and had laid a spell on all the brooks in the