GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
So she stepped into the coach and went off with the King; and when they reached his castle the wedding was celebrated with great splendour, as the little men in the wood had foretold.
At the end of a year the young Queen had a son; and as the step-mother had heard of her great good fortune she came with her daughter to the castle, as if merely to pay the King and Queen a visit. One day, when the King had gone out, and when nobody was about, the bad woman took the Queen by the head, and her daughter took her by the heels, and dragged her out of bed, and threw her out of the window into a stream that flowed beneath it. Then the old woman put her ugly daughter in the bed, and covered her up to her chin. When the King came back, and wanted to talk to his wife a little, the old woman cried,
" Stop, stop ! she is sleeping nicely; she must be kept quiet to-day."
The King dreamt of nothing wrong, and came again the next morning ; and as he spoke to his wife, and she answered ■ him, there jumped each time out of her mouth a toad instead of the piece of gold as heretofore. Then he asked why that should be, and the old woman said it was because of her great weakness, and that it would pass away.
But in the night, the boy who slept in the kitchen saw how something in the likeness of a duck swam up the gutter, and
u My King, what mak'st thou ? Sleepest thou, or wak'st thou ? "
But there was no answer. Then it said,
"What cheer my two guests keep they?"
So the kitchen-boy answered,
" In bed all soundly sleep they."
It asked again,
"And my little baby, how does he?"
And he answered,
" He sleeps in his cradle quietly."
Then the duck took the shape of the Queen, and went to the child, and gave him to drink, smoothed his little bed,