to her sweetheart's, who was called Roland, and knocked at his door. When he came to her, she said,
" Listen, dear Roland, we must flee away in all haste ; my step-mother meant to put me to death, but she has killed her only child instead. When the day breaks, and she sees what she has done, we are lost."
" But I advise you," said Roland, " to bring away her magic wand with you; otherwise we cannot escape her when she comes after to overtake us." So the maiden fetched the magic wand, and she took up the head of her step-sister and let drop three drops of blood on the ground,—one by the bed, one in the kitchen, and one on the steps. Then she hastened back to her sweetheart.
When the old witch got up in the morning, she called out to her daughter, to give her the apron, but no daughter came. Then she cried out, " Where art thou ? "
" Here, at the steps, sweeping!" answered one of the drops of blood.
The old woman went out, but she saw nobody at the steps, and cried again, " Where art thou ? "
" Here in the kitchen warming myself," cried the second drop of blood.
So she went into the kitchen and found no one. Then she cried again, " Where art thou ? "
" Oh, here in bed fast asleep! " cried the third drop of blood.
Then the mother went into the room, and up to the bed, and there lay her only child, whose head she had cut off herself. The witch fell into a great fury, rushed to the window, for from it she could see far and wide, and she caught sight of her step-daughter, hastening away with her dear Roland.
" It will be no good to you," cried she, " if you get ever so far away, you cannot escape me." Then she put on her boots, which took her an hour's walk at every stride, and it was not long before she had overtaken them. But the maiden, when she saw the old woman striding up, changed, by means of the magic wand, her dear Roland into a lake, and herself into a duck swimming upon it. The witch stood on the bank and threw in crumbs of bread, and took great pains to decoy the duck towards her, but the duck would not be de-