THE GOLDEN BIRD. 241
to the king who sent you to the golden castle, and take to him the beautiful princess. There will then be very great rejoicing ; he will willingly give you the golden horse, and they will lead him out to you; then mount him without delay, and stretch out your hand to each of them to take leave, and last of all to the princess, and when you have her by the hand swing her up on the horse behind you, and off you go ! nobody will be able to overtake you, for that horse goes swifter than the wind."
And so it was all happily done, and the king's son carried off the beautiful princess on the golden horse. The fox did not stay behind, and he said to the young man,
" Now, I will help you to get the golden bird. When you draw near the castle where the bird is, let the lady alight, and I will take her under my care ; then you must ride the golden horse into the castle-yard, and there will be great rejoicing to see it, and they will bring out to you the golden bird; as soon as you have the cage in your hand, you must start off back to us, and then you shall carry the lady away."
The plan was successfully carried out; and when the young man returned with the treasure, the fox said,
" Now, what will you give me for my reward ? "
" What would you like ? n asked the young man.
" When we are passing through the wood, I desire that you should slay me, and cut my head and feet off."
" That were a strange sign of gratitude," said the king's son, " and I could not possibly do such a thing."
Then said the fox,
" If you will not do it, I must leave you ; but before I go let me give you some good advice. Beware of two things : buy no gallows-meat, and sit at no brook-side." With that the fox ran off into the wood.
The young man thought to himself, " That is a wonderful animal, with most singular ideas. How should any one buy gallows-meat ? and I am sure I have no particular fancy for sitting by a brook-side."
So he rode on with the beautiful princess, and their way led them through the village where his two brothers had stayed. There they heard great outcry and noise, and when he asked what it was all about, they told him that two people